Megalo Box [Review]
“In the not too distant future, boxing has become a sport enhanced by “Gear,” machine exoskeletons worn over the shoulders and arms to allow boxers to punch farther and harder than before. Known as “Megalobox,” the sport is popular as both a regular sporting event and as one during which underground bets are laid, with dramatic differences between the fanbases. Junk Dog, a young Megaloboxer, is struggling both to make a name for himself in the underground fights as well as with whether he’s really happy with his current situation. When he hears that the upscale Shirato Group is sponsoring a worldwide Megaloboxing tournament in a special arena, he’s largely ambivalent, seeing it as both not worth it and beyond his grasp. But he’s getting tired of the rigged fights he’s forced to participate in. Then he encounters Yuri, the reigning champ of the sport, and might change his mind.” -ANN
Megalo Box was created in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the manga “Ashita no Joe”. The characters and themes of Megalo Box show some parallel with “Ashita no Joe”. The story of Megalo Box takes a different direction and does its own thing as it is meant to be more of a homage than an exact copy of the manga. The boxing ring is the main attraction in Megalo Box, though with a Sci-Fi twist with the use of “Gears”. It’s a cliché underdog story that packs a punch (pun intended). Though I would’ve loved to see the story focus more around the Gears, the “gearless” route wasn’t a bad idea either. It furthers the idea of the “underdog story” and provides some unpredictable matches. While Megalo Box ended well and there are story elements that are left not quite answered. Such as Shirato’s true intent with the Gears and the Megalo Box Tournament, as well as Yuri’s position after the final fight. Could be up for the audience’s interpretation but I feel like there’s some potential to make the story a little longer. Food for thought.
Artwork & Animation:
The artwork is, undoubtedly, the highlight of the show. The 90s anime art style but still keep the fluid animation that we see today. Honestly, the art was a breath of fresh air! While the art today is great a lot of it are beginning to look the same, merging into a mesh of colors and lines. The background art for Megalo Box is very gritty and has a lot of character to it.
For an original anime and only 12 episodes, there’s a lot going on with the cast of characters. The character development is proportional between all the characters. The side characters got just enough development to stay relevant and interesting while our main cast, that got the bulk of it, is multilayered and complex, making them genuine and unpredictable.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
The 90s vibe continues to the soundtrack, bringing back that nostalgic sound that we all know and love. The opening theme had this grunge sound which, to me, was the icing on the cake.
Megalo Box was, without a doubt, a very compelling show. Though it’s potential is held back by a time constraint. I wished I would’ve gotten to see it with an even more developed story.
Overall: Score 8
Megalo box came out of nowhere and blew the anime community away with its 90s anime aesthetic and Underdog Sci-Fi story. With multilayered and complex character in an unpredictable world, Megalo Box will have you clenching your teeth for each and every bout in the ring!
Best Girl: Yukiko Shirato
Besides being the only significant female character in the show, Shirato is a strong-willed antagonist, having her own ambition and not falling into the “fall in love with the main protagonist” type of character.