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!

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
exciting stuff!

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
I still get a Gorillaz vibe from these scenes and I love it!

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
and the don’t seem too pleased to have people encroaching on their turf

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 .

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
looks familiar?

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
is Joe vs The Machine already a movie?

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
an attactiv antagonist? I bet he’ll either get a redemption or be a complete monster

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
Nanbu is REALLY strong!

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.

Megalo Box Episode 7 anime review
I love this image, I can’t explain why

Somehow I ended up not using any pictures of Joe… It’s not cause I didn’t have them, see:


12 thoughts

  1. I fully expected his citizen status to make a comeback at some time, but it still caught me completely off guard. When I saw the brother having the records on screen, I thought “Oh, shit!” I sort of thought Joe might blow caution to the wind, since they’re f*cked anyway (with the crime-boss if they don’t make it), and I’m forever glad that the shock prevented it (though it’s not quite completely off the table yet). I honestly don’t know where they’re going with this, now. Change genres and use his new-found popularity to draw attention to the plight of the stateless? No. So, what now? Yeah, good episode.

  2. One of the things Shawn and I talked about when we recorded the show last night was just how great of a job they’re doing in giving the supporting cast their own motivations for being a large part of the narrative.

    Yes, Joe is out to prove he’s the real deal after years of throwing matches in the boxing underground. He’s a true underdog story, BUT he’s not the only character with real motivation to win. The Megalonia tournament has given purpose to Nanbu, who’s using it as a redemption run of of sorts, that whiny kid has a sense purpose now (I thought that little scene was a nice touch).

    Aragaki had legitimate cause to want to fight and beat Joe. Mikio has his own motivation for wanting to win other than just being the champion. He wants to take down his sister and her prized fighter, Yuri, who is basically in this tournament for her as a means of showcasing their newest gear. Every major character right now has a legit reason to be there.

      1. I think all of it makes Mikio seem like not as huge of a jerk though, y’now? Like, he’s doing what he feels is necessary to solidify his spot so he can have his own revenge. It’s not because he just wants to ruin Joe’s life or something.

        1. well I’m not sure I would call any of his motivations noble but as I said in my post I’m not exactly buying him as he big bad they seem to be setting him up to be either

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