- Genre : Cyberpunk, Sports!, action, cool
- Studio: TMS Entertainment
Well this is unexpected. I’m not quite sure where to begin. I haven’t ever really found myself in this type of position before. To be frank, I never thought I would ever have to write anything like this. Since the beginning of this show I’ve been pretty steadfast in one thing but now, I just don’t know where I stand anymore. Despite a marked presence, those kids didn’t annoy me!
This week, Megalo Box centered around the 3 Bs, that is, Boxing, Business and Brothers.
The episode opened on what could be perceived as a simple flexing of the artistic muscles as the production team showed off their already very obvious talent with a fatalistically enjoyable montage of, coolness? This opening tag was pretty much flawless, from the catchy and well synchronized music choice, to the always beautiful character designs of people we will never see again, to the lushly saturated colors. It was a treat to watch.
And had it been a simple piece of eye candy for the audience, that would already have been pretty good but it also turned out to have a narrative import. What that minute or so of pure fun did, was seamless detail Joe’s meteoric rise in popularity without resorting to a single line of text or dialogue. Good job guys, this is what everyone is drooling about.
The entire episode in fact, has a certain hunger games feel, as we departed from the pure art and physicality of boxing, and got a peek at the complex business behind it. Nanbu has been pretty consistently showing us the dual role of coach and promoter, spending as much time hustling to line up interesting matches for Joe as training him to fight in them, but Megalonia is on a whole different level.
We’re talking board meetings, number crunching on ratings and courting advertisers. In the end, it’s much more important for the owners and sponsors of the tournament to have a highly marketable champion that who than champion actually is. In that regard, Joe’s suddenly undeniable fame may buy him a place in the ring regardless of his rank.
This is the aspect that reminded me of those scenes in the Hunger Games, where the kids could receive gifts from patrons in the audience. One of my very favorite elements… It says something that I liken the episode to the completely fictional and rather far fetched universe of the Hunger Games, instead of real world sports promotion where all these elements are a daily reality .
One aspect they haven’t gotten into yet (and maybe never will but I hope they do), is the symbiotic business relationship between Megalonia and whoever manufactures those gears. Yuri seems to have a dedicated team that has created a personal hardware fine tuned for him only, but mass produced gears exist. Do they have any use outside boxing? We didn’t see anyone using them in those battleground scenes but it would seem to be a natural fit with military or law enforcement. Not necessarily for hand to hand combat extra physical strength can be useful in many situation. First responders and firefighters for instance.
Otherwise, then I figure those companies must manufacture other products as well. No matter how popular Megalo boxing may be, it’s not going to be profitable enough for an entire side industry. In that way, Joe’s gearless statute may rub some people the wrong way for completely different reasons than we’ve seen up until now. Threatening their industry should the trend ever become widespread.
Seeing Yuri train really brought that home, as his highly sophisticated and integrated gear makes him almost inhuman in the ring. There’s a real Man vs Machine setup happening… Yeah it took me 7 episodes for the obvious to dawn on me. I have other qualities!
So we’ve covered the Boxing and Business but what about the brother?
Well that would be late comer and pretty boy Miko. When they mentioned that Yukiko had a brother, for a second there I thought it was Yuri and figured Oooohhh That makes sense! Sadly, it wasn’t to be no matter how well it fit with my completely made up side narrative. Instead, we have Miko who is going to be our antagonist of the week for an episode or two.
As the man had only appeared for a second in the last episode, we started off knowing nothing about Miko. He seemed pleasant enough. Clam, affable, even looks a little like Joe. To be honest, I’m still not sure I know much about him. He has a big chip on his shoulder about his sister and his place in the family business and is taking his rise in Megalonia as some sort if personal revenge quest but that’s about it.
The show is trying to set him up as a huge jerk for having challenged Joe just to blackmail him into forfeiting the match but I’m not sure where this goes. They made it sound really dramatic with desperate whiles as the episode faded to black. However, Joe wouldn’t have had a shot at all at the match if it wasn’t for Miko personally challenging him and this will make people even more curious which will make his next match a huge draw for the audience.
The only long term negative is that someone else knows Joe’s secret now and could use it to blackmail him again in the future.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable episode, one of my favorites , and I’m really looking forward to next week again.
Somehow I ended up not using any pictures of Joe… It’s not cause I didn’t have them, see: