Ashita no Joe
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|Ashita no Joe|
Cover of the first volume of Ashita no Joe, as published in Japan by Kodansha
(Ashita no Jō)
|Genre||Drama, Sports (Boxing)|
|Written by||Asao Takamori|
|Illustrated by||Tetsuya Chiba|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||January 1, 1968 – May 13, 1973|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Written by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Music by||Yagi Masao|
|Original network||Fuji Television|
|Original run||April 1, 1970 – September 29, 1971|
|Ashita no Joe: Gekijōban|
|Directed by||Mizuho Nishikubo|
|Written by||Shun'ichi Yukimuro|
|Studio||Tokyo Movie Shinsha|
|Released||March 8, 1980|
|Anime television series|
|Ashita no Joe 2|
|Directed by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Written by||Tadaaki Yamazaki|
|Studio||Tokyo Movie Shinsha|
|Original network||Nippon Television|
|Original run||October 13, 1980 – August 31, 1981|
|Ashita no Joe 2|
|Directed by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Studio||Tokyo Movie Shinsha|
|Released||July 4, 1981|
|Megalo Box - Shukumei no Sōken|
|Written by||Chikara Sakuma|
|Magazine||Shōnen Magazine Edge|
|Original run||February 17, 2018 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||You Moriyama|
|Written by||Katsuhiko Manabe
|Original network||TBS, BS-TBS|
|Original run||April 5, 2018 – scheduled|
Ashita no Joe (Japanese: あしたのジョー Hepburn: Ashita no Jō, "Tomorrow's Joe") is a boxing manga written by Asao Takamori (aka Ikki Kajiwara) and illustrated by Tetsuya Chiba in 1968 that was later adapted into an anime series and movie. Outside Japan it is also referred to as Champion Joe, Rocky Joe or Joe.
Joe Yabuki is a troubled young man who runs away from an orphanage. Wandering through the Tokyo slums, he meets former boxing trainer Danpei. Joe is later arrested and goes to a temporary jail where he fights Nishi, leader of a group of hooligans. He and Nishi then go to a juvenile prison miles away from Tokyo. There Joe meets Rikiishi, a former boxing prodigy, and a rivalry develops between them. They face each other in a match in which Rikiishi dominates Joe until the latter hits him with a cross-counter, resulting in both being knocked out. Joe and Rikiishi vow to fight again. As Rikiishi learns he is meant to leave the prison, he challenges Joe to a fight in the future, and the two promise to meet again, this time as professional boxers.
Upon his release from prison, Joe initially has trouble gaining a boxing license due to his lack of formal education but succeeds in his second attempt with the help of Danpei and Nishi. Joe manages to go up to Bantamweight, after provoking a champion boxer named Wolf Kanagushi. Joe quickly rises in the ranks and gains popularity for his brawling style, and trademark cross-counter KO wins. Joe manages to perform a triple-cross counter on Wolf. Joe then earns the right to fight Rikiishi in the professional ring. Although Rikiishi is assured a promising career, he is intent in settling his score with Joe, whom he feels stands in his path. Because Rikiishi is three weight classes above Joe, he has to cut down a massive amount of weight and undergoes an incredibly taxing weight loss program which includes severe dehydration. Rikiishi defeats Joe in the 8th round with but collapses as he is about to shake Joe's hand due to an extremely hard blow to the temple two rounds before and his landing his head on the ropes. Rikiishi dies from the combined effects of the extreme weight loss on his body and brain hemorrage suffered during the fight. Joe is still shaken up from that match, both mentally and physically. Soon after, during matches, his trainer Danpei realises that Joe is having a serious problem with boxing: he's unable to give headshots to his opponents, Rikiishi's accidental death having traumatized him. It takes Joe quite some time to get over it and costs him three straight losses. But then he finally conquers his fears when he faces the globally #6 ranked Carlos Rivera. The fight ends with a draw, yet it gives Joe tremendous fame and respect around the world, especially since Rivera was going to face the World Champion Jose Mendoza in his next match.
Joe starts to climb up the boxing ladder, but struggles with maintaining bantamweight due to a late growth spurt, forcing him to undergo strenuous training similar to what Rikiishi had to. He defeats the Asian–Pacific Champion, Kim Yong-bi, a South Korean boxer and survivor of the Korean War, dedicating the win to Rikiishi. After winning the title match, Joe defends his title. He wins all defenses, ultimately defending it against the Malaysian fighter Harimau. His unorthodox fighting style is unpredictable but Joe manages to successfully defend his title. He is now given the chance to face the World Champion Jose Mendoza, who defeated Carlos Rivera with a KO punch in the first round, ending his boxing career. It is later revealed that Carlos had developed permanent brain damage from his fight.
The fight is held in a packed stadium, and is attended by many of Joe's friends and former rivals, including Wolf and the-now sickly and haggard Carlos. Joe faces Mendoza, even though he is at a disadvantage since it was revealed he was punch-drunk, and has lost vision in one eye. The match is a brutal back-and-forth with Joe able to knock down the Champion more than once. Though originally composed, Mendoza starts losing his mind as Joe keeps getting up no matter how much damage he takes, to the point that he wonders if he's trapped in a nightmare. The match goes all of its fifteen rounds, with Mendoza barely gaining a win by points, but much to the shock of the audience, Mendoza has seemingly aged decades in minutes from the toll the fight has taken on his body, with his hair turned snow white from the trauma he has suffered. Danpei turns to console him only to find him unresponsive, but with a smile on his face; it is implied at this point that Joe has died from his injuries. It has been debated among fans whether Joe really died or not and Chiba even said that he drew the ending scene last minute.
The series debuted as a manga in Weekly Shōnen Magazine at a time when considerable economic and social upheaval was transforming Japanese culture in the late 1960s. Joe was essentially the tragic hero representing the struggle of the lower class. His trial and sacrifice to the sport was a semi-reflection of the will of the people he was representing. By the 1970s, manga readers and college students across Japan would turn the character into an icon.
- Joy Yabuki (矢吹 丈 Yabuki Jō), nicknamed Joe (ジョー Jō)
- Voiced by: Teruhiko Aoi, Kei Tomiyama (Pilot Film), Yoshito Yasuhara (Radio Drama)
- Live-Action Film: Shōji Ishibashi (1970), Tomohisa Yamashita (2011)
- The protagonist of the story. An OPBF Champion and 4th in the World Ranking. He is known for his long bangs and for always wearing a worn-out beige coat and a red flat cap. Not long after birth he found himself in many orphanages and facilities. However, he quickly grew tired of the boring life and frequently escaped, eventually finding his way to the Doya Town the story takes place in.
- Joe is rude and quick to fight, but he can also be very frivolous at times. Because of his rough upbringing he is a delinquent who likes his solitude, but he later grows to appreciate his new friends and rivals. He is not very good at understanding women, and essentially only treats them nice out of giri. As a result of Rikiishi's death, he temporarily suffers from yips and cannot hit people in the temple, but he later overcomes this. This allows him to move past the loss of Rikiishi.
- He is a bantamweight and his specialties include the cross counter and the No Guard stance. He has extraordinary punching strength, fortitude, and fighting spirit, often standing up after taking killer blows and has been known to counter cross-counters (a double-cross), possessing a raw, natural talent for the sport. He has even countered double crosses with a triple-cross, implying he has high-level technical abilities. Following his fight with Rikiishi, he begins to better develop his guarding. During his fight with Jose, he even unconsciously uses Jose's own corkscrew punch against him. Near the end of the manga, more and more hints build up implying that he is becoming punch-drunk, a condition that is confirmed right before his fight with Jose. On several occasions it is hinted that he is aiming for the world championship not for his own sake, but for Rikiishi's, since he died fighting Joe and was considered a future world contender.
- Danpei Tange (丹下 段平 Tange Danpei)
- Voiced by: Jūkei Fujioka, Takeshi Aono (Boxing Mania Video Game), Akira Nagoya (Pilot Film), Haruhiko Saitō (Radio Drama)
- Live-Action Film: Ryūtarō Tatsumi (1970), Teruyuki Kagawa (2011)
- Joe's boxing coach. He was formerly a boxer as well, but retired after losing his left eye. Afterwards he becomes a coach, but as shown in a flashback in episode 2, he was a harsh trainer who fell from grace after his last student threw a fight for money. He then becomes an unemployed drunkard who only changes his ways after meeting Joe. After seeing Joe's potential, he decides to bet everything on him, believing that Joe can become an extraordinary boxer. He teaches him in the form of individual tips called "For the Sake of Tomorrow" (明日のために ashita no tame ni). After Joe and Nishi are released from the juvenile detention center he takes them on as his only two trainees, he also allows them to live with him in his small shack under a bridge, which he converts into the Tange Boxing Club (丹下拳闘クラブ Tange Kentō Kurabu). After Joe becomes a success, many other rookie boxers sign with Danpei, allowing him to start a proper gym, but keeps the old schack intact due to nostalgia.
- Kanichi Nishi (西寛一 Nishi Kan'ichi), nicknamed Mammoth Nishi (マンモス西 Manmosu Nishi)
- Voiced by: Toku Nishio, Jiro Daruma (Ashita no Joe 2), Shiro Kishibe (Film), Daisuke Gōri (Boxing Mania Video Game)
- Live-Action Film: Masaaki Yamamoto (1970), Katsuya (2011)
- Referred to as "Mammoth Nishi," Joe initially meets him in the retention center where he is first introduced as the ruthless leader of his cell and commands the other inmates to pin down Joe, stuff a wet rag in his mouth and take turns jumping on him from the top of the bunkbeds. He and Joe meet again on the boat ride to the juvenile detention center, but this time Nishi is scared of what will happen to the two of them, and is shown to be terrified of the other inmates at first unlike Joe, who is not intimidated by them even as they are both attacked on their first night. Nishi's softer side is shown in the juvenile detention center as he and Joe become friends and he takes up boxing during the juvenile detention centre tournament, after he and Joe are released they both become training partners coached by Danpei and they live in his shack under a bridge, which is converted into a humble boxing club, they also both work together at the Hayashi family grocery store. Despite initially being portrayed as a thug, he is revealed to have a soft personality and is known for often crying at things, but overall he is friendly and polite to everyone. Unlike Joe, Nishi has only mediocre success as a boxer, not helped by him being a heavyweight, which there are few of on the Asian boxing circuit. While he briefly has more success as a Middleweight, he has trouble keeping his weight down, and is eventually forced to retire after a hand injury. He soon finds far more success co-coaching Joe, and also discovers that he has a talent for retail work helping with the Hayashi's store. This eventually leads to him marrying their daughter Noriko, and settling down as a conventional family man.
- Yōko Shiraki (白木 葉子 Shiraki Yōko)
- Voiced by: Kazuko Nishizawa, Masako Ebisu (ep. 34~44), Emi Tanaka (Ashita no Joe 2), Fumi Dan (Film), Hiroko Ushida (Aoi Honō)
- Live-Action Film: Yōko Takagi (1970), Karina (2011)
- Originally introduced as a wealthy girl from outside the slums, Joe first meets her when he and the slumtown kids scam her. She is eventually revealed to be the daughter of a wealthy former boxer and gym owner, and becomes heavily involved in the affairs of the Shiraki Gym. By the end of the series, she realizes she has fallen in love with Joe, and begs him not to risk his life fighting Jose Mendoza, to no avail. Just before his death, Joe gives her his boxing gloves as a keepsake.
- Tōru Rikiishi (力石 徹 Rikiishi Tōru)
- Voiced by: Shūsei Nakamura, Toshiyuki Hosokawa (Film), Hideyuki Hori (Boxing Mania Video Game), Kōji Shimizu (Radio Drama)
- Live-Action Film: Seiichirō Kameishi (1970), Yūsuke Iseya (2011)
- Joe meets Rikiishi in the juvenile detention center. He was a boxer but was sentenced to the juvenile detention center because he punches an audience member half to death after the audience member says that the match was rigged in Rikiishi's favor, enraging him. Joe challenges Rikiishi without knowing he was once a professional boxer and manages to punch him in the face once before Rikiishi knocks him out in one punch. He is quintessential in motivating Joe to start taking boxing seriously, even if his only reason is to beat Rikiishi in a rematch. Rikiishi is widely considered to be one of the most promising rookie boxers in the world, but his career is tragically cut short, as he dies immediately after his and Joe's rematch from his injuries and the toll his extreme weight loss training took on his body.
- Mikinosuke Shiraki (白木 幹之介 Shiraki Mikinosuke)
- Voiced by: Tamio Ōki
- Live-Action Film: Bontarō Miake (1970), Masahiko Tsugawa (2011)
- Former boxer, a wealthy businessman and founder of the Shiraki Gym. He immediately spots the pure talent of Rikiishi while observing him fighting in a boxing tournament in the juvenile detention center, and recruits him once Rikiishi is released, building the entire gym around Rikiishi's career. After Rikiishi's untimely death, he intends to shut the gym down but instead leaves it to his daughter at her request.
- Wolf Kanagushi (ウルフ 金串 Urufu Kanagushi)
- Voiced by: Osamu Katō, Rokurō Naya (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Live-Action Film: Speedy Hayase (1970), Mitsuki Koga (2011)
- In order to get recognition quickly, Joe targeted the bantamweight rookie champion, Wolf Kanagushi. Wolf was a confident and brash fighter who was easily provoked by Joe into a fist fight, ending in a double knockout. This news eventually led to the public demanding a match between them, which Wolf lost. He eventually became a thug who got defeated due to his weak jaw, and later borrowed money from Joe after rekindling their friendship. By the end of the series he finally pays it back and supports Joe for his last match, actively cheering.
- Jun Shioya (塩谷 ジュン Shioya Jun)
- Voiced by: Keiko Yokozawa (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Wolf's fiancée.
- Jirō Shioya (塩谷 ジロー Shioya Jirō)
- Voiced by: Yoku Shioya (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Jun's little brother.
- Goromaki Gondō (ゴロマキ 権藤)
- Voiced by: Chikao Ōtsuka, Takeshi Watabe (Ashita no Joe 2)
- A smartly-dressed bodyguard often hired by the Yakuza, Joe meets him while wandering around after his fight with Rikiishi, where he sees him getting into a fight with Wolf where he easily overpowers the former boxer. Joe breaks up the fight and later has a conversation with Gondo which encourages him to return to boxing. When Wolf asks him what "Goromaki" means he says it means "brawl".
- Tiger Ōzaki (タイガー尾崎 Taigā Ōzaki)
- Voiced by: Shōzō Iizuka, Hiroya Ishimaru (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Called a 'lizardlike' man by Joe, he was the bantamweight champion. Though he rarely spoke, he was very cunning in diagnosing Joe's weakpoint after the fight against Rikiishi. Tiger made sure to fight Joe early in the latter's career after his traumatizing fight with Rikiishi so that he could take him on when he had the highest chance to win. Though he did using these tactics, he was eventually knocked out in seconds by Carlos.
- Carlos Rivera (カーロス・リベラ)
- Voiced by: Taichirō Hirokawa, Ryūsei Nakao (Ashita no Joe 2), Joe Yamanaka (Film)
- Former 6th Rank WBC Bantamweight fighter. He became known as the "beltless champion" due to having incredible skill at boxing but not actually holding a world title, it was believed that the world champion was too scared of losing their title to challenge him. He is shown to have great instinct when it comes to boxing, as he identifies Joe as an excellent boxer despite Joe not holding a title, his punches are so fast that he is able to hit his opponent in the face with his elbow without anyone seeing. He is very energetic and theatrical, often playing himself up and having fun in the ring but when he is struggling in a fight he gets deadly serious. He was born in the slums of Venezuela and had a similar childhood to Joe, he is also shown dressing up as Santa Claus and giving presents to the children in the slums while he was in Japan, where he and Joe become friends. He and Joe fight to a draw in a match in which he was forced to use a technique where he tenses up all the muscles in his body at once in order to deliver punches faster than the eye can see, after this he returned to America where he finally had his chance to challenge the world champion, Jose Mendoza. He lost the fight due to the strain on his body from his fight with Joe, he was then hospitalized where it became clear that he had suffered serious motor neuron damage and brain damage and would not be able to fight again, Joe becomes consumed by even more guilt when he hears of this.
- Harry Robert (ハリー・ロバート)
- Voiced by: Takeshi Kuwabara, Michihiro Ikemizu (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Carlos Rivera's manager and longtime friend, they both travel around the world looking for worthy opponents for Carlos, he is given a proposition by Yōko for Carlos to fight Joe which he accepts, subsequently travelling to Japan with Carlos. He and Carlos often find themselves having to look for opponents in different countries due to the fact that wherever Carlos goes he quickly gains a reputation as being such a good fighter that nobody wants to challenge him, forcing them to go to a country where he is less known.
- Kim Yong-bi (金 竜飛 Kin Ryūhi)
- Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Former OPBF champion. He is a South Korean boxer and a member of the military who fought in the Vietnam War in the merciless "Tiger Squad", his manager is also his superior in the army and mentor, Colonel Hyun. When he was 5 years old, the Korean War broke out and his father went off to fight, he and his mother soon became homeless and starving and one day she was killed by an incendiary bomb as Kim looked on in horror. Kim wandered alone for the next few days until he came upon an unconscious soldier lying in a pool of mud, he stole the soldier's rations but the soldier woke up and reached out to him, Kim picked up a large rock and killed the soldier in fear, before eating all of the rations. When he returned to his village a group of soldiers lead by Hyun started to interrogate the villagers over who had killed the soldier, when Kim heard the soldier's name was Kim Chung-ryun he realised that the man he had killed was his father, and vomited up the rations he had stolen. Since then he has suffered from a permanent loss of appetite and also seems to suffer from PTSD as he is shown to have a habit of washing his hands for hours at a time to get "blood" off of them, in addition to this he becomes extremely distressed at the sight of blood and has a tendency to start attacking the bleeding person in front of him. He has a reputation as the "human computer" due to his cold demeanour and calculated methods of boxing, which includes his "Chom-Chom" (
舞々Chomuchomu, written with the character for "dance") technique where he knocks down his opponent but stops them from falling to the ground by keeping them standing up with a flurry of punches, this technique is said to have killed two of his opponents in the past. During his fight with Joe he gets distressed from the way Joe keeps getting up no matter how many times he knocks him down even after using his Chom-Chom, calling Joe a "monster", in the 6th round he is knocked out of the ring by Joe and loses his title to him, after which he retires from boxing.
- Harimau (ハリマオ Harimao)
- Voiced by: Takashi Taguchi (Ashita no Joe 2)
- A wild, illiterate Malaysian tribesman who was only interested in exciting fights and chocolate, and challenged Joe for his OPBF belt. The match was orchestrated by Yōko to rekindle Joe's wild spirit. Harimaru relies on a very unorthodox style that skirts close to being outright illegal, utilizing jumps and agility far more than traditional boxing. Most of his techniques only avoids disqualification because there is no specific rule against them.
- Jose Mendoza (ホセ・メンドーサ)
- Voiced by: Yoshito Miyamura (Ashita no Joe 2), Masami Okada (film)
- The perfect champion who had never lost, fought beautifully and was admired by all. He takes great care of his health and family, and is constantly calm and confident, giving an aura of being truly unbeatable. A recurring theme is his immense physical strength, to the point of leaving big bruises on Joe's body by gripping him, easily forcing him into a handshake, and even bending coins with his fingers. However, Joe eventually discovers that Jose has one weakness; despite his speed, strength and stamina, he can't take hits nearly as well, and relies on avoiding getting hit as much as possible. He begins to breaks down from this during the later stages of his fight with Joe, where he loses his cool and fears for his life against Joe's unrelenting spirit. Mendoza was knocked down for the first time in his career during the fight, and even fouled Joe violently in a moment of terror. He would win the decision, but the trauma his body suffers from the fight ages him prematurely.
- Sachi (サチ)
- Voiced by: Fuyumi Shiraishi
- Live-Action Film: Rina Hatakeyama (2011)
- Kinoko (キノコ)
- Voiced by: Keiko Ushizaki, Junko Hori (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Tarō (太郎)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Masuoka, Kiyonobu Suzuki (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Hyoromatsu (ヒョロ松)
- Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki
- Chūkichi (チュー吉)
- Voiced by: Noriko Tsukase
- Tonkichi (トン吉)
- Voiced by: Jōji Yanami, Hiroko Maruyama (Ashita no Joe 2)
- Chibi (チビ)
- Voiced by: Mitsuko Asō
- Noriko Hayashi (林 紀子 Hayashi Noriko)
- Voiced by: Kaoru Ozawa, Kei Moriwaki (Ashita no Joe 2)
- The teenaged daughter of the owners of the local grocery store. She is heavily implied to have romantic feelings for Joe, but disapproves of his boxing career, and nothing ever happens between them. Instead, she becomes involved with, and eventually marries Nishi shortly before the end of the series.
- Keishichi Hayashi (林 敬七 Hayashi Keishichi)
- Voiced by: Setsuo Wakui, Minoru Yada (Ashita no Joe 2)
- The co-owner of the local grocery store that Joe and Nishi work at. He is significantly more even-tempered than his wife.
- Tamako Hayashi (林 玉子 Hayashi Tamako)
- Voiced by: Teruko Abe, Shō Saitō (Ashita no Joe 2)
- The co-owner of the grocery store, she scolds Joe often.
- JD (Junk Dog)
- Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya
- Gansaku Nanbu
- Voiced by: Shiro Saito
- Yukito Shirato
- Voiced by: Nanako Mori
- Voiced by: Michiyo Murase
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Kinoshita
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto
Ashita no Joe was originally serialized in Japan in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1968 to 1973, it was collected into 20 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha and sold over 20 million copies. It has never received an official English release but has been published in Italy by Star Comics and in France by Glénat Editions. Chikara Sakuma will launch 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 is set to be serialized in Kodansha's Shōnen Magazine Edge on February 17, 2018.
- Author: Asao Takamori
- Illustrator: Tetsuya Chiba
- Screenwriter: Osamu Dezaki (Ashita no Jōe 1), Shun'ichi Yukimuro (Gekijōban), Tadaaki Yamazaki (Ashita no Jōe 2)
- Director: Osamu Dezaki (Ashita no Jōe 1), Mizubo Nishikubo (Gekijōban), Osamu Dezaki (Ashita no Jōe 2)
- Episode Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
- Producer: Atsushi Tomioka, Koji Bessho
- Design: Akio Sugino
- Art: Tetsuya Chiba, Teiichi Akashi
- Animation Director: Akihiro Kanayama, Akio Sugino, Shingo Araki
- Music: Masao Yagi
On March 2, 2005 the complete original 1970 anime series was released by Nippon Columbia on 2 DVD box sets covering 33 hours 55 minutes of footage across 79 episodes spanning 16 disks. It also includes an all-color explanation book in 3 volumes totaling 120 pages.
Previous release formats include mini-box sets on September 21, 2001 and individual disks on September 21, 2002.
The Ashita no Joe movie was introduced in 1980 reusing footages from the TV series to form an identical story but much reduced in length. It was to bridge the gap for audiences who were about to see the 2nd half of the series named Ashita no Joe 2. The 2nd series featured new directors, as it synced up with the final half of the manga.
A new anime television adaptation titled Megalo Box has been announced and will premiere April 2018. It is based on the manga, but will feature an original story. You Moriyama will direct the series at TMS Entertainment and serve as conceptual designer, while Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima are overseeing scripts, mabanua will compose the music. Yoshimasa Hosoya will voice the protagonist, Junk Dog.
A live-action film based on the manga was released in 1970 in Japan, featuring Shōji Ishibashi as Joe, Ryūtarō Tatsumi as Danpei and Seiichirō Kameishi as Rikiishi. A second live-action film adaptation premiered in Japan on February 11, 2011, starring popular actor/singer Tomohisa Yamashita as Joe, Teruyuki Kagawa as Danpei and Yūsuke Iseya as Rikiishi.
Reception and cultural impact
The series is a cult favorite in Japanese pop culture to the present day. When the fans of the series saw the death of Rikiishi, there was a special funeral for him. In March 1970, about 700 people packed the streets dressed in black, wearing black armbands and ribbons with flowers and incense, participated in the funeral. The event was called for by poet Shūji Terayama and was conducted in a full scale boxing ring watched over by a Buddhist priest. On October 13, 2006, it was voted "Japanese Favorite TV Anime" placing 4 out of 100 among celebrities votes. Joe Yabuki was ranked seventh in Mania Entertainment's "10 Most Iconic Anime Heroes", written by Thomas Zoth, who commented that, "Tomorrow's Joe captured the zeitgeist of 1960s Japan. The story of Joe's rise from nothing touched a chord with Japanese audiences, who were seeing their country prosper after a long period of postwar devastation." According to a character designer from the video game company SNK, Ashita no Joe was an influence in designing Kyo Kusanagi. Anime News Network's reviewer Justin Sevakis analyzed the series, praising its storyline but criticized some aspects about the first movie adaptation. He praised Joe's character development and his relationship with other boxers. According to The Japan Times's Mark Schilling, the series "became the template for not only Fumihiko Sori's 2011 live-action film of the same title, but many Japanese sports movie and TV franchises."
The live-action film also received positive response from Hollywood Reporter's Maggie Lee who gave praised the casting' work to do boxing. On the other hand, she criticized the characterization of Danpei and Yoko. Russell Edwards from Variety enjoyed the director's work and, like Lee, enjoyed the work of the leading actors.
|Title||Alternate Titles||Publisher||Developer||Platform||Release Date|
|Ashita no Joe||Taito||Wave Corp||Arcade||1990|
|Ashita no Joe Densetsu||Legend of Success Joe||SNK||Wave Corp||Neo Geo||1991|
|Ashita no Joe||K Amusement Leasing||Wave Corp||SNES||November 27, 1992|
|Boxing Mania: Ashita no Joe||Boxing Mania||Konami||Arcade||2001|
|Ashita no Joe Touchi: Typing Namida Hashi||Ashita no Joe Keyboard Pack||Sunsoft||Sunsoft||PlayStation 2||March 29, 2001|
|Ashita no Joe 2: The Anime Super Remix||Capcom||Capcom||PlayStation 2||June 20, 2002|
|Ashita no Joe Masshiro ni Moe Tsukiro!||Konami||PlayStation 2||December 4, 2003|
|Ashita no Joe Makkani Moeagare!||Konami||Game Boy Advance||December 4, 2003|
|Ashita no Joe Masshiro ni Moe Tsukiro! Konami the Best||Ashita no Joe Masshiro ni Moe Tsukiro! Greatest Hits||Konami||PlayStation 2||July 8, 2004|
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