Posted on 1 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Megalo Box

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and some of the best fight scenes in anime. Some would probably count Megalo Box among them, near the top of sports anime. I am not one of them. For you see, Megalo Box is not a boxing manly mans sports anime. Megalo Box is a character drama. With boxing.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 29 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Its finally here, the finale of Megalo Box. And what a finale it was. Lets just get right into it.

Cutting right to the chase, I think Megalo Box was golden until the last 6 minutes. Everything was going great, I had no complaints, and then… Megalo Box anti-climaxed itself. The final 6 minutes simply didn’t fit with the rest of the series. It’s not a bad ending per-se, the status quo has changed and arcs have all been wrapped up. It’s simply an ill-fitting ending. I can understand why they went this way to. They didn’t want to copy Ashita no Joe, they wanted to set themselves apart from it. And I can appreciate that. However I think they went to far away in their quest to be different. Ashita no Joe’s ending is memorable even to those who only see a 5 minute clip and nothing else. Its so beloved for a reason. This? This feels less like an ending and more like groundwork for a second season.

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Posted on 23 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it.

Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories for our leads, and best of all Yuri made his choice. But we will get to him.  First up, the ending rap. I am not normally a fan of rap, and what Megalo Box and Devilman Crybaby of last season made me realize is, that’s because I hate the subject matter. The “gangsta” lifestyle makes for terrible music to me. But lyrics about people, their struggles, who they are? Reminds me of Eminem’s “Mockingbird” and “When I’m Gone”, the only rapper I could ever stand. That plus the uniqueness of hearing Japanese rap, so very distinct from English, just really sells it. If nothing else this season, Megalo Box has succeeded in getting me to buy its soundtrack on the 27th.

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Posted on 16 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in!

Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets go with Joes. The symbolism of his shoddy gear, which we only saw him wear back as Junk Dog, falling off through the fight was amazing. We saw that each time his gear fell off he took the lead in the fight, hitting Burroughs hard. It was a rather obvious, but still great, metaphor for Joe refusing to be/fighting back against “Junk Dog”. We saw that Joe didn’t want to throw this fight, but was content to stay “Junk Dog”. Atleast until Nanbu and Yuri/Sachio stepped in that is. What’s interesting to me is Yuri is Joe’s dividing line. Yuri is what separates Joe from Junk Dog, ever since their first fight which woke him up. I love everything about it.

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Posted on 10 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Hello and welcome to another week of Megalo Box, with perhaps the best pre-finale hype episode ever. This week we have amazing music, fantastic language skills and lots of converging plot threads. Lets jump in!

First, numero uno, Megalo Box has the best soundtrack of this season. It’s simply fantastic. Pepe Iglesias’ theme was on for maybe 30 seconds and I already fell in love with it. It just oozes style and reminds me of Cowboy Bebop with the rhythm and what I believe is a trumpet. It also fits his character perfectly, with it providing a majority of Pepe’s characterisation this episode. It’s a shame he was taken out so quickly but we will get to that in just a moment. We also had Yuri’s theme this episode which was barely a piece of music, frankly. Hopefully Megalo Box has more in store for Yuri because so far its music has been on point. I mean, c’mon, just listen to this and this. Are they not the hypest tracks you’ve ever heard?

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Posted on 5 June 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Hello again everyone and welcome to another (2) week(s) of Megalo Box! First off, apologies for missing last week. Was a bit hectic. Still, means we can cover the rest of the Mikio arc in a single post! Smaller victories! Lets jump in.

To start off, Megalo Box continues to stand out. The rough lineart, the style in every scene and the narrative are lovely. Mikio’s build up, backstory and motivations all made me enjoy him as a character. He was a complete toss-pot of a person, terrible dude, but as a villain I enjoyed him. I am a little annoyed that they are playing up his “pride”, a good loser, at the end with his respect towards Joe however. It just doesn’t fit his character to me. This man was willing to blackmail his opponent, run with AI Gear and inject himself with what can only be drugs all to steal the family company from his sister. These are not the actions of a “good man” and I hope Megalo Box doesn’t attempt to redeem him. Not all characters need to be “likeable”, and we already have Aragaki for this role.

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Posted on 21 May 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Hello everyone, and welcome to the most surprising episode of Megalo Box yet. This week we have family drama, Joe’s declining health and a shocker of an ending. Lets jump in!

So starting from the top, lets talk about this ending. I never thought Megalo Box would pull something like this, with its limited number of episodes. I assumed there would be a basic, linear progression of fights. With this however we now have 2 strong antagonists, or perhaps 2 protagonists. Its difficult to decide where Yuri fits into this, though Mikio’s place is clear. Regardless I am very impressed through brought Joe’s legal citizenship back into question. Mikio was already an interesting opponent, the rich boy with something to prove, but this blackmail really sells his “Anything to win” attitude. I am slightly disappointed that we didn’t get a fight, and might not get one next week, but based on the quality of previous fights, its not that big a loss. Fewer, higher quality fights with intense narrative weight like the inevitable Mikio fight will beat out Samejima any day.

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Posted on 14 May 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Alright, Megalo Box was a series of highs and lows this week and I don’t want to waste time with a preamble. So this week, lets speed things up and just jump in!

To start off, the big showpiece of this week is the Aragaki vs Joe fight. We will get to its place in the story, its result and all that later. For now the elephant in the room is the quality of the fight and booooy, is that a mixed bag. To start off, the good. The music was, as always, good. It gave each round its own distinct feel. The final 30 seconds was also phenomenal. The rotating camera shot as Aragaki and Joe just hammer each other… Ive rewatched it more times than I can count. The weight, the rhythm, everything from the first two episodes is there in spades. This single shot managed to keep me excited for Megalo Box’s finale. Sadly, this shot was, animation wise, the only thing it had going for it.

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Posted on 6 May 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Hello everyone and welcome to Megalo Box, now with added 100% more feels. This week we have a story of disabled boxers, war and mutual mistakes, and I loved every second of it. Lets jump in!

So lets get this out of the way right now, I was not expecting anything that happened this episode. I was prepared for some backstory on Aragaki and some sort of grudge with Nanbu. What I was not prepared for was a more effective story of war and lost limbs than anything I got from Violet Evergarden. That might seem an exaggeration but over the next few paragraphs I will explain. Specifics of the war story aside, I am glad Megalo Box is taking the time to build up its boxers. We need more than the end boss Yuri to carry this story, so compelling or interesting opponents are a must. Not only do they let Megalo Box tell interesting stories, but we get to explore Nanbu and Joe through their opponents as well. It gives Megalo Box real breathing room for its character moments.

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Posted on 30 April 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Megalo Box

Welcome one and all, to the real start of Joe’s boxing journey. This week Megalo Box’s starts to show its first cracks and gives us more fights than we can shake a stick at. Lets jump in!

Overall, this was a good episode in every respect but one. The music, story and pacing all do wonders. The one sticking point for me this week though was the main fight and its animation. For the most part it works, having Joe struggle with fear as his main opponent was brilliant. With both Joe and Nanbu caught up in it, Sachio had to be the one to save the day. The kid needed to be more than the plucky sidekick. However the fight animation itself worried me. It feels slow, delayed in places. Not smooth and snappy, nor working with the music like previous fights. In addition, ending the whole thing with one punch after all that buildup felt like an anti-climax. It wasn’t a bad fight by any means, let me make that clear, but I was hoping for more in our first big match.

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