Tag Archives: Megalo Box

Five Series I’ll Be Watching from Spring 2021

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

While I am planning on finishing out the shows from this season, time inevitably moves forward, and the Spring 2021 season is almost upon us. It definitely does not feel as stacked as the last season, but there are a number of interesting standouts here that might just end up being relatively good shows.

To Your Eternity

I’ll be completely honest, about 90% of my interest in the show thus far has been generated by the name attached to it. Yoshitoki Ooima is also the original creator of “A Silent Voice,” a film that has every right to be called one of the best animated film of the last decade. While I am not necessarily convinced the series will rise to the occasion in the same way, Its trailer certainly has not pulled any punches with regards to its content. The combination of a lonely boy roaming the artic and a strange wolf with many secrets to reveal feels like a recipe for continued excitement throughout the series. Though, I do remember saying something vaguely similar about “Dororo” and, well, lets just say that Final thoughts post isn’t coming any time soon.

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Zombie Land Saga: Revenge

Ok, so maybe I gave up on “Zombieland Saga” a little to early. After all, everything I saw about the show initially was pretty funny, and I only ended up watching one or two episodes. I mean, what is life if not getting hit by a car, becoming a zombie and then joining and all zombie idol group? The show is my type of humor for sure, and in hindsight I am not really sure what turned me off to this series other than just being unmotivated to watch new things. I guess I will just have to try again and see what happens.

Nomad: Megalo Box 2

I still maintain that “Megalo Box” does not need a second season, and that the first season enough. After all, unlike a lot of other anime, the series ends on a feeling of completeness in the story. With that being said, I am still incredibly excited for what the series has to offer this time around. With seven years having gone past and J.D. stuck in a cycle of drinking and underground fighting, a new challenger has seemingly arisen to remind him of the days of old. In much the same way people are fans of the “Rocky” sequels, I feel like this season might open up the space to explore areas of J.D.’s character that otherwise were left fairly unexplored, if at all. So, yeah, I’m all for it.

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Shadow House

Being the first release of Mangaka group Soumatou, “Shadow House” does not appear to have much of a following. However, the people who have watched the series to seem to be in agreement on its quality. Shadow House follows the story of aristocrats living in a western mansion, except their faces are hidden in shadow and are represented by dolls, with more being revealed about these characters as the story moves forward. There are definitely a lot of interesting angles that one could take this kind of premise, and for that reason I am excited to see where the story goes. At the very least, if the series does crash and burn, it will probably end up being pretty spectacular.

Eden’s Zero

Morbid curiousity exists in all of us, and unfortunately for me it has led to wanting to watch Hiro Mashima’s follow up to “Fairytail,” “Eden’s Zero.” I have written a number of articles and posts about my evolving feelings on “Fairytail,” but in summary, my feelings on the series have soured quite a bit since starting it back in 2013. While I may be letting my feelings for the series spill into my assessment of “Eden’s Zero,” I cannot help but feel like the problems of “Fairytail” will end up spilling over into this series as well. Already it feels like the character designs are lackluster, and the story just feels unmotivated, like Mashima took the adventuring in his previous work and just through it into this one.

While I may have some reservations about these series, it definitely feels like there is a lot of potential for quality. The spring season will soon be upon us, and these are the anime I will be watching thus far.


What are you all planning on watching for the upcoming season? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Anime I am Looking Forward to Next Year

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Surprisingly, the never-ending hell-scape that is 2020 is, in fact, ending pretty soon. While I personally have very little hope that the U.S. will be recovering from COVID-19 anytime soon, there is still plenty to look forward to, and one of those things is anime. While my attention largely drifted away from seasonal shows in 2020, what has been revealed for next year has me as excited as ever to be an anime fan. With that being said, here are the five anime I am most looking forward to, as of right now.

Megalo Box 2

Ok, so maybe most of the series on this list are sequels, but hey, there’s very little chance of them being bad, right? Bad might not be the right word for “Megalo Box,” however. The original “Megalo Box” was not only one of the best anime of 2018, it arguably competes with the best of the last decade. Despite its more traditional sports narrative, it still feels like a powerful story of man willing to bet everything in order to succeed in the thing he loves. Not to mention, his rivalry with Yuri gives the series a serious “Rocky” vibe.

All of this is to say that the second season has a lot to live up to. With the first season already being a complete and fulfilling narrative, it feels unlikely that the second season will be able to match its profound impact.

Eden’s Zero

My falling out of love with “Fairytail” in past years has left me wondering about whether or not Hiro Mashima actually has what it takes to write anything of quality. While I did consider reading the manga for “Edens Zero” a while back when it first came out, I decided against it only because there was other stuff I wanted to get to first at the time. While, at the end of the day, I still do not expect much out of the series, I am hoping at the very least that it is entertaining.

The Promised Neverland 2

“The Promised Neverland” has become one of my favorite series of the last few years, and much like “Megalo Box,” it has an ingrained legacy to live up to. However, unlike “Megalo Box,” the second season of “The Promised Neverland” is a true continuation, and given where the series left off relative to the manga, it is likely to be an exciting second season. Studio CloverWorks did an amazing job with the first season, so now its time to see if they can replicate what made it so great.

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Dr. Stone: Stone Wars

“Dr. Stone” also left off on the beginning of a pretty important arc in its story, where Senku is preparing to go to war with Tsubasa after their ideological differences lead them to splitting up. While Senku is working to revive all of humanity, Tsubasa believes that it is the adults who have ruined society, and wishes to leave them in stone. Since it is likely that this ideological dispute will be at the center of the story, I am totally on board.

Log Horizon 3

Man, to think after so long its finally back… Log Horizon has been one of my favorite series since its release in 2013. While not being as highly regarded in the Isekai sub-genre as some other shows, its unique focus on the politics of running a society of people trapped in a video game, combined with its diverse cast of characters makes it a stimulating watch. Unfortunately, after the author got in trouble for Tax Evasion, the series got put on hold. But after getting out at the end of 2018, and continuing his work while under house arrest, he managed to continue the series. Now a new 12 episode 3rd season is coming and I am excited.

Honorable Mention: Beastars 2

This is only kind of a joke. While anyone who has read my final thoughts on the series knows that I do not like “Beastars,” its ending left me extremely confused about the direction of its story. Granted, the entire series left me confused about the direction of its story, but that is an argument for another post. If I hate watch anything next year, it will be this series without a doubt.


Thanks for reading! What shows are you most looking forward to for next year? Let me know in the comments below.

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Megalo Box: A Rivalry for the Ages

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The Spring 2018 anime season had many shows that are worthy of being called great, but arguably the most deserving of that title is Megalo Box. Even with other strong contenders like Golden Kamuy, Hinamatsuri, and the already established My Hero Academia, Megalo Box almost literally came out swinging with its more traditional, yet not less moving story of a man who wanted to win at boxing and do it his way. An engaging story, unique visuals, and a killer soundtrack, Megalo Box is a show that has it all.

Megalo Box tells the story of Junk Dog, a man who moves to a new city in order to compete in Megalo Box, a form of boxing that is conducting using gear, special equipment that enhances the physical abilities of those who wear it. Soon after entering the city, Junk Dog finds out about Megalonia, a one of its kind competition meant only for the best of the best Megalo Box fighters. With the help of his longtime coach Nanbu, Junk Dog, or Joe, according to his illegal citizenship card, will compete to win Megalonia, not just for victory, but also to help Nanbu with his looming debts.

Joe

The characters are usually the focus when it comes to sports-centered shows and movies, and Megalo Box is no different. Almost everything in the show revolves around Joe, the scrappy underdog from nowhere who looks to take on Yuuri, the number one fighter in the land. Even by the end of the show, though, a lot of Joe’s past and who he is as a person is left very much up in the air. To be honest, it would be a lie to say that Joe is especially interesting. However, the story’s forward momentum and supporting cast make up for it plenty.

Nanbu

Speaking of the supporting cast, Nanbu, Joe’s underground boxing coach, is a big part of the show’s plot. While he is the one who gets Joe into Megalonia in the first place, as is revealed later on, he also owes a lot of money to some powerful people, which usually gets the two of them in trouble. I wrote a piece defending Nanbu and some of his actions which you can read here, but even still, he is not a great person overall, because of his history of rigging underground fights. Many who no Nanbu often call him a scorpion, because he will stab anyone in the back to get ahead.

Yuuri

Yuuri is the other half of the intense rivalry between him and Joe that makes the show so interesting. He is a little more interesting than Joe, as his relationship with the owner of Shirato, Yukiko, makes him a bit more dynamic. As the show progresses, Yuuri comes to understand what it is that motivates Joe to fight: his love of fighting. Joe has no Ulterior motive when it comes to Megalo Boxing because he just wants to be the best. By the end, Yuuri recognizes this, and the two show it by fighting the final match of Megalonia without any Gear.

The other major supporting cast member would be Sachio, a small kid who decides to start hanging around Joe and Nanbu after the two help him get out of trouble with a store owner. When Sachio first meets Joe and Nanbu, he is still rather cynical about their chances of getting to Megalonia. However, as time goes on, Sachio starts to believe in Joe because of his fighting ability and eventually starts helping Joe from the outside the ring.

Megalo Box’s story is one that, on the surface might seem stale in played out even when it comes to boxing, but in reality is one of the most compelling shows that have aired this year. Even despite Joe’s somewhat lackluster personality, the show more than makes up for it with his mysterious background and dynamic storytelling. Joe and Yuuri are people that at the outset of the show seem like polar opposites. Yuuri seems more than happy to live the high life and enjoy’s his status at Shirato while Joe is really coming from nothing and has to do everything himself. But, as is shown in the end, the two love fighting and they see that in each other.

Sachio and Nanbu

Another part of the story that I personally enjoyed was the relationship between Nanbu and Sachio. The way Sachio’s innocence makes him really believe in Nanbu only to be betrayed later on is not only great storytelling but it also serves as a great parallel to Joe’s relationship with Nanbu, which is always usually on thin ice. It is also hilarious because Sachio’s innocent belief in him is part of what makes Nanbu do the right thing in the end and come back and help Joe.

Megalo Box Soundtrack Intermission

Normally I would not feel super bad about summing up the animation and music in one or two short paragraphs and calling it a day, but Megalo Box brings an insane amount of talent and uniqueness to both the categories. The Music in Megalo Box is a fun and creative mix of a lot of different genres, but mainly a lot of Rock and Rap. The best example of this can be heard on the show’s opening song “Bite” by Leo Imai, which turns out to be an intense Classic Rock ballad. Another great example would be the song “Intermission” which, as you might expect, plays during the show’s midway point whenever it needs to go to commercial break. This song is very much a Hip-Hop beat with a guitar at the center of it, very much fusing Rock and Hip-Hop together. The credit for the music goes to Mabanua, who’s only anime credit according to MAL is Megalo Box, which is quite impressive considering how great this soundtrack is overall.

Many noticed right away how different Megalo Box looks in terms of its animation. This likely comes from its relation to the Ashita no Joe franchise and that fact that Megalo Box was created as a celebration of the series 50th anniversary. Either way, the ruggedness of the animation style and the very drab color palette for the show gives it a huge amount of realism that would not be there without those design choices. The quality of the animation itself is also breathtaking. Megalo Box’s fight scenes are absolutely some of the best in recent memory, and I am including season two of My Hero Academia in that evaluation.

If I were to pick two words to describe this show overall, they would be unique and dynamic. Megalo Box does everything a great sports show should, and more. Its rivalry between Yuuri and Joe is phenomenally well-written, Its animation and music are insanely amazing, and its story does not shy away from more human elements of its characters. If you have not seen Megalo Box, it absolutely needs to be at the top of your watchlist.


What do you guys think of Megalo Box? Is it in the running for Anime of the Season? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Megalo Box Episode 10 and the Scorpion: Why Nanbu Deserves a Bit More Sympathy

Without knowing much about the show, you might take a look at a picture of Nanbu from Megalo Box and think he’s kind of a terrible person, and this is not entirely wrong. Nanbu is very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing, even despite how obvious it is he is a wolf. He spends a lot of the show pretending to help JD, only to betray him afterwards.

In the show’s most recent episode, Fujimaki, the man supporting Nanbu and Joe in their efforts to reach Megalonia, reminds Nanbu that they are not there to win. The only reason he decided to support them in their efforts to reach Megalonia is to force Joe to throw the fight so that Nanbu could pay off his debts to them. When Joe finds this out, he gets rightfully angry, questioning whether or Nanbu even thought he could win.

Screenshot 2018-06-09 22.17.40.png

Fujimaki goes on to describe Nanbu later on as a scorpion, and compares him to the main character in a story about a scorpion who needs to cross the river, only to betray a frog that agrees to help him. When the frog asks why the scorpion stung him, the scorpion basically replied “I had to.” However, I do not think that story is necessarily the most accurate description as a whole.

Screenshot 2018-06-09 22.24.04

For starters, Joe throwing fights at the beginning of the show was the only real way that he could make money while fighting and not get caught. Even despite his manipulative behavior while managing him, Nanbu was in a way helping him by letting him fight while making sure he was ok. Without the money he got from fighting, JD could have ended up homeless, and possibly dead. It would not be the easiest surviving as an undocumented person living in a big city.

It is also important to remember that Nanbu’s training is a large part of the reason Joe was even able to get to Megalonia. It is fair to say that Joe had a lot of natural talent, even before they began training for Megalonia, but there was no way he was going to make it there withoug Nanbu’s connections or his ability as a coach. This is not to say that the relationship they have during this period is not manipulative or possesive, far from it. But, it is important to remeber that Nanbu is not just a bad person.

Again, none of this is to say that Nanbu is a great person, or even a good person, but like every character, and even just like with people, pointing out only the good or only the bad in someone will never give you a wholistic view of that individual. Doing good does not negate doing something bad, and vice versa.


What do you guys think of the Nanbu as a character? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

This Week in Anime: Megalo Box Soundtrack, FLCL Behind the Scenes, and More…

A lot has happened over the last week, most of it pretty light-hearted.

Welcome back, everyone. For today’s This Week in Anime, there is going to be a lot of cool stuff to cover, so let’s get started.

Megalo Box Soundtrack to be Released in June

Megalo Box Soundtrack
Source: Crunchyroll.com 

It was recently announced that the soundtrack to the recent hit Megalo Box, a show inspired by the 50th anniversary of the critically acclaimed manga Ashita no Joe, will be released in June. The soundtrack includes a collection of 47 tracks from the show, with songs from Japanese artists, including the Yasei Collective, COMA-CHI, and DJ Baku. Another version will be available that includes 12 additional tracks, totaling 59. The full soundtrack will be released sometime in June

If I were to pick the best soundtrack from the Spring 2018 anime season, it would hands down be Megabox. Its mix of 90s inspired hip-hop and classic rock does a great job at elevating the hype every time I watch it. Out of all of the anime soundtracks that I have come across, there have only ever been a few that made me think, “I would be totally ok with paying money to listen to this.” Before Megalo Box,  it was Hyouka, Terror in Resonance, Phi Brain, and Jormungund. Now, Megalo Box is definitely on that list.

FLCL Releases a Behind the Scenes Video of English Dub Production

On Saturday, Adult Swin released a behind the scenes video for the upcoming sequels to the original Fooly Cooly, FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative. The video contains interviews with each of the main cast of the upcoming series’, including Kari Wahlgreen, who is playing Haruko, and who also played her in the original series.

Other members of the cast include Xanthe Huynh, who will be playing Hidomi, Ray Chase as Handa, and Steve Blum as Yoga. The first of the show’s sequels, FLCL Progressive, will be released starting on June 2nd, and Alternative will be released sometime in September.

As someone who enjoyed the original FLCL a lot, I can only hope that these sequels live up to the hype. Reading some interviews from the past couple of months, it very much sounded like a lot of the people involved in the project did not really want to create it. However, at least on the production side, Production I.G. has always been a reliable source of quality, so there is a bit of hope there. Hopefully, that will translate into some fun sequels.

Hiro Mashima Unveils New Secret Project

On Monday, Hiro Mashima unveiled on Twitter that he was working on a new project, despite already working on two other projects. According to Mashima’s tweet, “We are moving forward with three switching heads.” That part refers to both the series finale for Fairytail and another new project that will be released in the summer.

Fairytail was my initial introduction to Mashima, but I would be lying if I said I had done much exploration of his work other than that. Still, seeing all of this new work from him does make me excited, especially with the free time I’ll have this summer.


What do you guys think of this week’s anime related news? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!