Key visual, featuring the main character Joe/Junk Dog
|Megalo Box - Shukumei no Sōken|
|Written by||Chikara Sakuma|
|Magazine||Shōnen Magazine Edge|
|Original run||February 17, 2018 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yō Moriyama|
|Written by||Katsuhiko Manabe|
|Original network||TBS, BS-TBS|
|Original run||April 6, 2018 – June 29, 2018|
Megalo Box (メガロボクス Megaro Bokusu) is a 2018 anime television series created in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the manga Ashita no Joe. It is produced by the studio TMS Entertainment, which also produced the second Ashita no Joe anime in 1980. The head of production is director Yō Moriyama, working with screenwriters Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima, with music composed by hip-hop artist Mabanua.
The series was broadcast in Japan from April 6, 2018 to June 29, 2018 and was simulcast on Crunchyroll. The series was licensed by Viz Media for an English release and began airing on Toonami in the United States from December 8, 2018.
The series takes place in a futuristic setting where licensed citizens live in a wealthy city while, on the outskirts of this city, there is a slum town where unlicensed citizens live in Japan. Megalo Boxing is a popular sport in this world similar to boxing, except the boxers fight while wearing a metal frame which makes their attacks much more lethal. Junk Dog is a young man who fights in underground illegal rings in fights that have a fixed result where his coach Gansaku Nanbu directs him on when to lose a fight. One evening he almost crashes his motorcycle into Yukiko Shirato, who is the head of the wealthy Shirato Group which oversees the Megalonia tournament. Junk Dog picks a fight with her bodyguard Yūri who is also the top ranked Megalo Boxer. Yukiko stops the fight but Yūri seeks out Junk Dog and meets him in the underground ring where he easily beats the less-experienced fighter and tells him to fight him again in Megalonia, which Junk Dog would need a place at the top of the official Megalo Box rankings to qualify for, as well as a proper citizenship ID to enter the rankings in the first place. After Nanbu persuades the mob boss Fujimaki to forge Junk Dog an ID under the name Joe, the two are given 3 months to achieve their goal of working their way to the top of the Megalo Box rankings in order to have a chance of fighting in Megalonia.
- Joe/Junk Dog
- Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya (Japanese); Kaiji Tang (English)
- Junk Dog (ジャンクドッグ Janku Doggu) is an underground Megalo Boxer from the outskirts of town whose real name is unknown, he is forced to throw fights to earn money for his crooked manager. He initially fights with old Gear that is constantly in need of repair. He takes on the name "Joe" (ジョー Jō) when he has a Citizen ID forged in order to enter the Megalonia tournament. He later takes on the ring name "Gearless" Joe (ギアレスジョー Giaresu Jō) as part of a gimmick to rise in the rankings quickly, fighting without Gear against Gear-equipped opponents.
- Gansaku Nanbu
- Voiced by: Shirō Saitō (Japanese); Jason Marnocha (English)
- Gansaku Nanbu (南部贋作 Nanbu Gansaku) is Junk Dog's manager, coach and a gambler with a drinking problem who keeps making him throw fights, even though deep down he believes in Junk Dog's abilities.
- Voiced by: Michiyo Murase (Japanese); Erica Mendez (English)
- Sachio (サチオ) is a young boy from the impoverished Restricted Area who is talented with using and fixing machinery, which he and his friends often use to steal goods which they exchange for "Red Candy", a type of drug.
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese); Lex Lang (English)
- Yūri (勇利) is Yukiko's bodyguard and the Megalo Boxing champion. He seeks out Junk Dog after the latter insults his owner, meeting him in the underground ring he easily defeats him before telling him to work his way up in Megalonia if he wants to fight him again. Yūri is equipped with a unique prototype "integrated" Gear, which is surgically grafted directly to his arms.
- Yukiko Shirato
- Voiced by: Nanako Mori (Japanese); Erika Harlacher (English)
- Yukiko Shirato (白都ゆき子 Shirato Yukiko) is the head of the Shirato Group who oversees the Megalonia tournament.
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Kinoshita (Japanese); Jamieson Price (English)
- Fujimaki (藤巻) is a mob boss that sets up fixed fights for Junk Dog and Nanbu. He assists the duo in acquiring a forged Citizen ID so they can enter Megalonia and pay him back with the prize money after Junk Dog refuses to throw a fight.
- Tatsumi Leonard Aragaki
- Voiced by: Makoto Tamura (Japanese); Greg Chun (English)
- Tatsumi Leonard Aragaki (タツミ・レナード・アラガキ Tatsumi Renādo Aragaki) is Nanbu's former student. He was called up for military service a few years before the start of the story, during his time as a soldier he was directly hit by an explosion which cost him his legs and burned half his face off. When he returned home he started to suffer from PTSD which led him to attempt suicide and he also felt abandoned by Nanbu after finding that he had closed down his gym when he thought Aragaki had died. He makes his return to Megalo Boxing 3 years before the start of the story and fights his way up to rank 17, when he hears that Nanbu has a new popular Megalo Boxer named Joe he vows to destroy him so that Nanbu can feel his pain, but he also wants to earn money from sponsors so that he can repay everyone from the veteran's association for giving him his life back.
- Mikio Shirato
- Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki (Japanese); Robbie Daymond (English)
- Mikio Shirato (白都樹生 Shirato Mikio) is Yukiko's older brother and the developer of Ace, a state-of-the-art Gear equipped with artificial intelligence that allows it to read and predict an opponent's moves, formulating the perfect counters and strategies. Mikio is arrogant, egotistical, and smug, believing "stray dogs" like Joe are not worthy of standing in the same ring as himself. Mikio was passed over for becoming the head of the Shirato Group in favor of his sister, a fact that causes him to hold a grudge against her.
The series was announced on October 12, 2017 through a video uploaded to TMS Entertainment's official YouTube channel. Yō Moriyama, who previously worked as a concept designer on Attack on Titan and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, serves as series director and concept designer. The opening theme is "Bite" by LEO Imai and the ending theme is "Kakatte Koi yo" (かかってこいよ Come at Me) by NakamuraEmi with insert songs performed by rap artist COMA-CHI. The series was simulcasted on Crunchyroll; it aired for 13 episodes and the Japanese Blu-ray release contained a new short anime. During their Anime Expo 2018 panel, Viz Media announced that they have licensed the anime. Anime Limited announced that they had acquired the series for home video release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
|No.||Title[a]||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||English air date|
|1||"Buy or Die?" / "Don't Let the Simmering Fire Die. It'll Light the Way in the Dark."|
"Kusuburu hi o Tayasu na. Sore ga Kurai Michi o Terasu Akari to Naru" (くすぶる火をたやすな。それが暗い道を照らす灯となる)
|Yō Moriyama||Katsuhiko Manabe||April 6, 2018||December 8, 2018|
|Junk Dog is a Megalo Boxer who fights in an illegal underground ring in fixed matches under the guidance of Gansaku Nanbu, he longs to have a real fight that doesn't have a decided result. One evening he almost hits Yukiko Shirato with his motorcycle, she is the head of the Shirato Group which oversees the Megalonia tournament. Yukiko offers to reimburse Junk Dog but he refuses, he instead angrily tells her that the Megalonia tournament is not true Megalo Boxing. Yūri, Yukiko's bodyguard, is offended by Junk Dog's lack of respect towards his owner, Junk Dog picks a fight with him in the hopes of experiencing true Megalo Boxing. Yūri gives off a powerful aura which gets Junk Dog pumped up, but Yukiko stops the fight from happening. Later on, Junk Dog is getting ready to fight his latest opponent, but Yūri steps into the ring instead, the crowd is shocked since Yūri is actually the Megalo Box champion, and is there without Yukiko knowing. Nanbu tries to stop the fight but is punched out of the ring by Junk Dog, who insists on fighting Yūri with his own skill.|
|2||"The Man Only Dies Once" / ""No Man Has Ever Died Twice", Mumbled the Gambler."|
"Ni-do Shinda Yatsu wa Inai, Bakuchi-uchi wa Sō Usobuita" (二度死んだヤツはいない、バクチ打ちはそう嘯いた)
|Keiya Saitō||Kensaku Kojima||April 13, 2018||December 15, 2018|
|Nanbu is unable to stop the match between Junk Dog and Yūri, as the boss of the underground ring has allowed it to go ahead, Yūri gives himself a handicap by only fighting with one hand, but Junk Dog forces him to fight with both hands, nevertheless Junk Dog is knocked out in the first round. Junk Dog gets up just as Yūri is leaving and tells him that he still isn't satisfied, Yūri tells him that if he wants to fight him again then he needs to work his way up to fighting him in a proper Megalonia match. While out riding his motorcycle, Junk Dog sees a billboard that says "It's a wonderful District life. Not for your average joe." which further inspires him to enter Megalonia. Nanbu tells him that he would need a citizenship ID to enter the tournament. Junk Dog starts defying Nanbu and fights with his full strength, easily defeating his opponent in a fight he was supposed to lose, this gets Nanbu in trouble with the mob boss Fujimaki, who runs the underground ring. Nanbu manages to bargain his way out by telling Fujimaki that he'll pay him back with the money he'll earn when Junk Dog wins Megalonia. Fujimaki complies and creates a forged ID for Junk Dog, who chooses the name Joe.|
|3||"Gear Is Dead" / "You're Just Crying Sour Grapes. Machines Don't Breathe to Begin With."|
"Zetsubō no Hate no Makeoshimi. Kikai wa Hana Kara Iki Shicha Nai" (絶望の果ての負け惜しみ。機械はハナから息しちゃない)
|Takaaki Wada||Katsuhiko Manabe||April 20, 2018||January 5, 2019|
|Nanbu enters Joe into the Megalo Box rankings which starts him at the very bottom in 257th place, he plans to have Joe fight the toughest opponents that the rankings will allow, so that he can move to the top bracket in as little as 5 fights. The two visit Goskino Factory to get better gear, they notice the shopkeeper has a Shirato Group Composite Titanium Prototype Gear in the back room. A boy named Sachio and his friends enter with a bag of stolen cameras, which they exchange for Red Candy, a type of drug. Sachio realises there isn't enough Red Candy for him and attacks the shopkeeper, who pulls a knife on the child, Joe intervenes but gets thrown out by Potemkin Higashi, a former Megalo Boxer. Nanbu plans to have Joe fight the 185th ranked Megalo Boxer, Shark Samejima, and the two begin their training, Sachio interrupts their training and asks them to take him to Megalonia, when they refuse he breaks into Goskino and steals the Prototype but gets caught. Joe, Nanbu and the other kids go to rescue him, Joe tries to fight Higashi while wearing the Prototype but it breaks apart, surprisingly he's able to defeat him without it. Joe and Nanbu decide to take Sachio with them.|
|4||"Let's Dance with Death" / "I'd Rather Boogie with That Babe Than Dance with the Reaper."|
"Shinigami to Odoru Yori, Anomusume to Bugī o Odoritai" (死神と踊るより、あの娘とブギーを踊りたい)
|Jirō Fujimoto||Kensaku Kojima||April 27, 2018||January 12, 2019|
|Joe enters the ring for his first professional match against Shark Samejima, but shocks the whole arena by not wearing any gear for the fight, being dubbed "Gearless" Joe, this is all part of Nanbu's plan to have him attract attention. Joe gets knocked down in the first round which badly disorients him, but he gets up at the 9th count just as the round ends. Shark loses his temper in the second round and fouls Joe, who spends the rest of the round dodging him. During the interval Sachio chastises both Joe and Nanbu, which allows the two to focus and get their priorities straight, Joe uses his footwork to KO Shark in the third round. Some time passes, during which Joe wins 2 more fights and climbs to rank 102 while gaining a reputation for himself, even grabbing Yukiko's attention. Nanbu visits an old acquaintance to meet Joe's next opponent who is rank 17, but is shocked to find that the challenger is someone from his past with a half-burned face.|
|5||"The Man from Death" / "So, Where Are You from? From the Other Side, from Hell."|
"Anta wa Doko Kara Kita Nda? Mukōgishida yo, Jigoku sa" (あんたはどこから来たんだ？向こう岸だよ、地獄さ)
|Takuya Wada||Katsuhiko Manabe||May 4, 2018||January 19, 2019|
|Nanbu's ex-student Aragaki, who returned from military service after being declared missing in action and also losing his legs in an explosion, returns after Nanbu had believed him to be dead. Aragaki frankly tells Nanbu that he will destroy Joe in order for Nanbu to pay him back for what he has lost, which makes Nanbu worried about their upcoming fight, but Joe refuses to call it off. Joe and Sachio research Aragaki, they find that after his return to Megalo Boxing 3 years ago he has left his opponents in a critical condition. In a flashback it is shown that Aragaki had attempted suicide after coming back from the war and also felt betrayed when he found that Nanbu had closed down his gym and moved on despite telling Aragaki the gym was his home and he would wait for him. The fight begins with Joe getting knocked down by one punch from Aragaki and the count begins to reach 10.|
|6||"Until the Last Dog Dies" / "The Midsummer Heat Might Drive a Dog to Kill, but It Will Never Break Him."|
"Manatsu no Inu wa Hito o Koroshitaku Naru Atsusadaga, Kesshite Heta Barya Shinai" (真夏の犬は人を殺したくなる暑さだが、決してへたばりゃしない)
|Yasuo Tsuchiya||Kensaku Kojima||May 11, 2018||January 26, 2019|
|Joe manages to get up at the 9th count and continues to fight Aragaki, Nanbu considers throwing in the towel but Joe stops him and starts to fight by evenly distributing his weight like Nanbu taught him, which causes Aragaki to recall memories of Nanbu teaching him the same technique. Aragaki has a change of heart through the fight and forfeits at the start of the 5th round, he reconciles with Nanbu after the fight and gives him back a betting slip which Nanbu had given him before he went to war as a good luck charm which later stopped him from committing suicide, he tells Nanbu to give it to Joe. Yukiko publicly announces Glen Burroughs as the 3rd of 4 boxers who will partake in Megalonia, out on the balcony Mikio Shirato tells Yūri that the general public cares more about "Gearless" Joe than the other boxers, but he has a plan to stop Joe from making it to Megalonia.|
|7||"The Road to Death" / "If You're Crossing This River, Don't Bother Paying for a Round Trip."|
"San no na ga Tsuku Ano Kawa o Wataru no ni, Ōfuku no Funachin wa Muyōda" (三の名がつくあの川を渡るのに、往復の船賃は無用だ)
|Junichirō Hashiguchi||Katsuhiko Manabe||May 18, 2018||February 2, 2019|
|Joe continues to grow in popularity, but still has very little chance of being chosen for Megalonia. Mikio wins a match against Sugar R. Hill and tells the crowd that he will challenge Joe next. The Shirato Group's executive committee urges Yukiko to put Mikio in Megalonia but she has a different agenda and doesn't want her brother to get any further. Mikio tells Yukiko that he knows she set up his fight with Sugar in hopes of knocking him out of the runnings and she was also planning to set him up to fight with Joe for the same reason. Mikio meets with Joe before their fight is due to start and reveals that he knows he's an illegal underground fighter with a fake ID and threatens to tell the world if he gets in the ring. Joe goes to punch Mikio but is stopped by Nanbu who knocks him out, Mikio wins the match by default when Joe doesn't enter the ring, he vows to take back the Shirato Group from Yukiko.|
|8||"Deadline of the Dream" / "No One Else Tells You When It's Time to Give up on Your Dream."|
"Anta no Yume no Shōmi Kigen o Kimeru no wa, Dareka Janai" (あんたの夢の賞味期限を決めるのは、誰かじゃない)
|Masahisa Koyata||Kensaku Kojima||May 25, 2018||February 16, 2019|
|After Mikio wins by forfeit, the Shirato Group plans to officially name him as the last finalist in Megalonia. After realizing that Mikio still hasn't revealed Joe's secret to the public, Nanbu decides to beg Fujimaki for some info on Mikio to force him into a rematch with Joe. Fujimaki tells Nanbu that someone asked for info on Joe's fake ID, but never got the full story from him or his men, leading Nanbu to realize that Mikio bluffed him with half-truths. Needing to get leverage on Mikio, Nanbu interrogates a former Gear engineer, where he lets slip that Mikio led a team to create a Gear that could read the Gear of other fighters, trying to beat the team developing the integrated Gear that Yūri now wears on his arms. With this info, Nanbu realizes Joe might have a chance, and he tries every method he can to persuade Yukiko to call for a rematch. However, Yukiko is suspicious of Nanbu and locks him in a room. That night, as the ceremony is held to introduce the final four fighters for Megalonia, Joe crashes the scene on his bike and demands that Mikio fight him fairly. Yukiko decides to rip the fourth Megalonia ticket in half, giving one half each to Joe and Mikio, and declares whoever wins their rematch wins the final spot.|
|9||"A Dead Flower Shall Never Bloom" / "This Flower's Buds Smell Rotten, Its Seeds Returning to the Earth."|
"Ano Hana no Tsubomi wa Fushū o Makichirashi, Tane wa Tsuchi ni Kaeru" (あの花のつぼみは腐臭をまき散らし、種は土にかえる)
|Tokio Yamauchi||Katsuhiko Manabe||June 1, 2018||February 23, 2019|
|Mikio is pummeling Joe in their official rematch, as Mikio's gear, Ace, has been significantly upgraded from before to learn Joe's moves and counter them within seconds. Yūri notes that Mikio upgraded his gear to be able to fight him, as a flashback shows Mikio using drugs to increase his synchronization with Ace to a higher level than normal. With none of his combinations working, Joe decides to drop his guard completely, confusing Ace's programming and leaving Mikio unable to finish Joe off. Further flashbacks show Mikio questioning whether the boxing ability is actually his, or that of Ace. Joe decides to bet everything on a counter-punch. Nanbu expects Mikio to throw a right straight, but instead Mikio punches with his left. However, Joe instinctively counters with an uppercut, knocking out Mikio and earning his spot in Megalonia. As Joe's Team Nowhere celebrates at their boat, Nanbu sneaks out of their post-fight party to meet with Fujimaki.|
|10||"The Die Is Cast" / "The Dice Have Been Thrown. You Can Double Your Bet If You Want."|
"Sai wa Nage Rareta. Daburu Appu de Betto Suru mo Yoshi" (サイは投げられた。ダブルアップでベットするも良し)
|Ryōsuke Senbo||Kensaku Kojima||June 8, 2018||March 2, 2019|
|As Joe comes outside to urinate, Nanbu tells him that the real bet he made with Fujimaki was to reach Megalonia and then throw the match upon reaching the semifinals. Joe is angered that Nanbu still wants him to throw a fight to save himself, and punches him before speeding away on his bike. Sachio overhears their argument, and runs away after feeling betrayed by Nanbu. Fujimaki tells Nanbu that if Joe does not throw the fight, he'll kill all three of them. Later, Nanbu finds Sachio, telling him that he found out about his past: Sachio's father designed the prototype Gear that Yūri wears, but his research was stolen by someone in the Shirato group and the man himself later turned up dead. Nanbu takes Sachio to Yukiko's mansion offering him a chance at revenge, but Sachio can't bring himself to do it, so Nanbu instead convinces Yukiko to take custody of Sachio to protect him from Fujimaki. Later that night, as Yukiko tries to find the truth behind Sachio's father, Yūri defeats Pepe Iglesias to move on to the final round of Megalonia. Outside the arena, Joe and Yūri talk about their motivations while a drunken Nanbu stumbles around the boat, recalling Fujimaki telling him about The Scorpion and the Frog|
|11||"A Deadmarch" / "Enough with the Gloomy Hymns. Gimme Something with Trumpets."|
"Shinkikusai Sanbika wa Yoshite Kure. Hoshite Iru no wa Rappada" (辛気臭い讃美歌はよしてくれ。欲しているのはラッパだ)
|Yasuo Tsuchiya||Katsuhiko Manabe||June 15, 2018||March 9, 2019|
|Fujimaki's men escort Nanbu to the arena where Joe is slated to fight Glen Burroughs in their semifinal match. Meanwhile, Sachio refuses to go see the fight, thinking Joe and Nanbu both abandoned him for a rigged match. Nanbu is shown to the luxury suite where Fujimaki watches the fight, as Joe appears by himself in the ring, wearing his old Gear after a visit to his old mechanic friend. Nanbu instructs Joe to take a dive in the third round, while Fujimaki keeps a close eye on Nanbu, chiding him for acting like a real coach even though he's about to make him throw the fight. Nanbu hopes that this act will repay their debt, but Fujimaki states that Joe will be under his heel forever. As Joe gets pummeled in the corner, Nanbu tries to encourage Joe to continue fighting while his Gear falls off and he hits the mat. Suddenly Sachio appears ringside, yelling at Joe not to give up. Joe gets off the mat and manages to beat Burroughs with a counterpunch, knocking him out. Meanwhile, Nanbu begins to brawl against Fujimaki's men in the suite. As one of them points a gun at him, Nanbu grabs a knife. Meanwhile, Joe and Sachio are celebrating their victory, and then race to the suite where Nanbu has stabbed his remaining eye out as payment to Fujimaki. Impressed at the spectacle, Fujimaki decides to let the three go.|
|12||"Leap over the Edge of Death" / "If You're Going to Leave Your Album Behind at the Water's Edge, Then You Don't Want to Cross This Particular River."|
"Kishibe ni Arubamu o Nokoshitainara, San no Kawa Kara Hikikaese" (岸辺にアルバムを残したいなら、三の川から引き返せ)
|Yoshitaka Fujimoto||Kensaku Kojima||June 22, 2018||March 16, 2019[b]|
|Yukiko signs a contract with the military for her company's integrated Gear development, but is shocked to discover that Yuri has decided to have his own Gear removed. Yuri states that he wants to fight Joe on equal terms, without any Gear. A newly-blind Nanbu invites Aragaki to help train Joe for the fight in his place, using his improved hearing to critique Joe's form. Meanwhile, Yuri visits Mikio at his cabin in the woods to get his Gear surgically removed. Later, Yukiko learns that Joe's ID badge is fake, and has an excuse to disqualify him from the tournament, but she holds off and decides to visit Yuri. Yuri slowly recovers from the pain of the surgery, and refuses Yukiko's help when she offers anesthesia, wanting to fight through the pain on his own. Later, Yukiko then visits Joe by the riverbank, telling him that she knows about the fake ID, but won't stop his fight with Yuri, as she can't understand what made Yuri want to take such drastic action to fight him.|
|13||"Born to Die" / "Though the Flesh May Rot, the Bones Will Remain. They Are the Proof That You Were Alive."|
"Niku wa Kuchite mo Hone wa Nokoru. Sore ga Sei o Uketa Akashi to Naru" (肉は朽ちても骨は残る。それが正を受けた証となる)
|Yūjirō Abe||Katsuhiko Manabe||June 29, 2018||March 23, 2019|
|Joe and Yuri have their rematch in the finals of Megalonia, as Yuri enters the ring with his Gear removed to fight Joe on equal terms. Meanwhile, Yukiko tries to deal with her military clients who want to customize her Gear for weapons development, but she chafes at the idea. Though the recovery from surgery has depleted Yuri's stamina, he continues matching Joe blow-for-blow until he struggles to sip from his own water bottle after 12 rounds. In the 13th round, both fighters bet everything on one last punch. Suddenly, the episode shifts to one year in the future, where Nanbu has opened a new boxing gym called "Gym Nowhere." The next Megalonia tournament is about to begin, with the original winner having vacated their title. Yuri is shown confined to a wheelchair, and Joe later stops by the gym on his bike to deliver a couple packages. The ending title card reveals that "Gearless" Joe won the championship fight a year ago by K.O.|
Chikara Sakuma launched a manga adaptation of the Megalo Box anime titled Megalo Box - Shukumei no Sōken (メガロボクス 宿命の双拳 "Megalo Box - The Twin Fists of Fate") which has been serialized in Kodansha's Shōnen Magazine Edge since February 17, 2018.
- English translation per Crunchyroll.
- The first half of episode 12 of Megalo Box was ran twice on Toonami, once 15 minutes before its scheduled start time and again in its normal start time, after a broadcast error froze the airing of an episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization. This was likely done to fix the block's schedule after the unexpected error occurred.
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