Let me start by saying, it’s mind blowing to me that I just got around to watching Megalo Box, especially considering it was released over two years ago in 2018. If you were to ask me what my ideal sports anime is, a boxing series set in the future where fighters wear a metal exoskeleton to enhance their speed and strength, would be it. On top of it all, I’m a real sucker for an underdog story, and while this is common-place in anime, Megalo Box does it in a way that makes it stand out from the pack. Needless to say, my initial impressions of the series already had my expectations high, and after completing it, I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint with its first season.
Right out of the gate, I was drawn to Megalo Box’s grungy aesthetic. The animation is masterfully done and it serves as a great throwback to the classics that came before it, like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Akira.
If the premise of Megalo Box sounds familiar, that’s probably because it is the 50th anniversary adaptation of the manga classic, Ashita no Joe. Its premise and effortless style alone isn’t what makes this series unique. The “secret sauce” is its main character, JNK.DOG a.k.a “Gearless” Joe, dynamic soundtrack, and overall “cool factor”.
The story starts out in the slums where “stray dog” Joe is fighting in fixed underground matches thanks to his manager, Gansaku Nanbu. Hearing the news of the Shirato Group’s upcoming Megalonia tournament, Joe grows increasingly tired of never getting the chance to show off in a real fight. His life quickly begins to change one night after almost crashing his motorcycle into Yukiko Shirato, and coming toe to toe with the current Megalonia Champion, Yuri.
After a brief exchange of words, Joe gets under Yuri’s skin so much so that he shows up to fight him in the ring. Obviously outmatched, Joe loses early on. Barely making it to his feet after, Joe demands a rematch (no one saw that coming). But, in order to fight him again, he will have to meet Yuri in his ring, and the only way to do that is by climbing the Megalonia rankings from the very bottom to become one of the top four fighters.
What unfolds next on Joe’s journey is pure entertainment. This series had me on the edge of my seat in every episode. It’s a show that I would recommend to fans of anime, and even those who aren’t, with confidence. It has so much going for it with its likable main character, throwback art style, and killer soundtrack. I, for one, can’t wait for season two later this year, and hope you take the time to check it out.
Best Anime on Netflix Right Now 2020
Is Megalo Box worth watching?
I would absolutely recommend not sleeping on Megalo Box a second longer. Even if you aren't a fan of series centered around sports, I still think this is the one you should give a chance; However, if you aren't enjoying it by the third episode, it probably isn't for you.
They are currently only on season 1 with season 2 currently in development. You can catch up before its release, which is slated for a still to be announced date in 2020. Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!
Megalo Box Trailer
Where to watch Megalo Box: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll