The last few episodes of Megalobox really renewed my interest in the series. I was truly looking forward to this week and the resolution of that cliffhanger ending with the mob guy that looks like he could be a decent boxer too. I wasn’t too sure what shady deal Nambu had made but I was really hoping he put up the kid as collateral.

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review

He hadn’t 😒

I appreciate a character that can stay true to themselves. Character growth is great and all but you don’t want to trade someone’s unique personality just to end up with a homogeneous sea of morally irreproachable good guys with occasional sarcastic one liners. Nambu is a small time crook who decided a long time ago that the most practical use of his undeniable coaching skills was to arrange fixed fights for a guaranteed quick buck.

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review
there are 7 identical bottles…must be a popular brand

There’s an entire personality and mindset that goes into a decision like that. After all, it’s the boxers’ careers he’s leveraging for this meager measure of comfort. This is not a man with a deep love for the sport or a paternal relationship to his trainees. And this is exactly the type of guy that would have come up with a last ditch all or nothing gamble such as throwing Megalonia. (Everything points to a really obvious redemption arc for Nambu in the remaining episodes but at least for a while, he was consistent with his faults).

Joe reacted like a cool guy Sports anime protagonist but in showing a drop of emotion for the first time, his voice actually cracked a little. I’m not sure if this was on purpose, to emphasize how even keeled and impassive he usually is but it was the most genuine characterization we’ve seen out of this guy so far. Since the voice actor has been superhero, I’m going to assume it was deliberate.

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review Joe
your form is a bit off there

My biggest note for the episode was “that kid sure has an important role this week”. Look, I understand that Sachio was meant as a cute and energetic foil to grumpy Nanbu and stoic Joe, to lighten up the mood and create contrast, but I also think he is completely unnecessary. Megalo box is already fast paced and fairly lighthearted enough. Clearly, he’s now being used to further humanize Yukiko by giving her a pseudo motherly whitewash and again, I think it’s completely useless and the production would have been better served by concentrating their resources elsewhere. You know, even I thin I take this kid thing way too seriously.

The first round in Megalonia was Yuri against the spider. Another nice match if a bit short for my tastes. I really enjoyed seeing the different dignitaries being hosted by the Shirato corporation. I’m thinking that general who decided to go watch a boxing match in full dress uniform was there to emphasis that gear technology does indeed have paramilitary applications (as I suggested weeks ago not that I’m a visionary or anything…).

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review Yuri
he looks pretty scary there

Did you guys notice that Yuri got in “the zone”. I’m not sure how much overlap there is between Megalo Box viewers and Kuroko no Basuke fans, but I found the use of the exact same effect a nice little throwback. It made me happy!

I have strayed considerably from my initial attempts at forcing a *ship* in this series. Maybe there just isn’t enough material to base myself on or maybe I’m a horrible shipper to begin with (most likely both). However, you really can’t deny that Joe and Yuri have crazy chemistry.  As soon as you put these two in a scene together, you can practically hear the smooth saxophone music in the background. Even Yuri’s dog loves Joe. This was meant to be people. At this point it’s canon!

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review
and I ove Yuri’s dog!

The story of the scorpion and the frog was repeated throughout the episode. The very heavy handed moral here being that we cannot escape our nature. Nanbu will always be a scoundrel, Joe will always be a nobody, Yuri will always be the king of kings and that kid will always be a brat. Of course, ultimately, the series is making the exact opposite point. It’s all fine but it’s also very standard. There really was no need to spell it out in such detail, we’ve all seen this story a million times before.

All in all, I did enjoy this episode. We are left in limbo, not quite knowing how Joe will react to everything that’s happened (he’ll go fight in earnest – we do all know). Although I found that it didn’t really bring that much to the overall narrative, it’s a decent set up and I am still very much looking forward to next week.

Side note, “Moon Shine” is a little lazy as far as booze names go.

Megalo Box Episode 10 anime review
I seems to have a ting for glass/eye reflections

I haven’t insisted on it enough but Joe really is quite handsome. I’m not sure why his attractiveness hasn’t quite hit me. Maybe it’s due to his lack of personality?

12 thoughts

  1. All anime used to look this good, when they tried. Cowboy Bebop is a great example of this level of quality. Also: Sachio is girl. Nobody considered the possibility in the show, but its kinda obvious, just dangling out there. She’s a robotics and drone builder/operator expert, and there’s nothing about being a girl which prevents success in those areas. I still like this show and enjoy understanding how they made it cyberpunk from a typical boxing anime from the 70’s.

    1. Sachio’s the kid right?
      Speaking of unreasonably pretty have you seen Pretty Derby – man that’s a great looking show for a mobile game commercial…

      1. Yeah, I’ve been watching that show. Its sort of a sports anime combined with monster girls. Not as cute as Interviews with monster girls, but that show was a good balance of moe factors and avoided squick.

  2. Crime boss doesn’t get that Joe’s the real Scorpion here. Surely he won’t punch anyone out if his life’s at stake? Frankly, from early on Joe just refusing to throw that match in the beginning was a dick move. If you’ve agreed to do something you do it, especially if the stakes are that high, and if you’re going to leave your partner out in the cold you give him advance notice so he can find a replacement or at least make a plan. Nanbu not telling Joe is also a dick move, but franky one he deserves. After all that, Joe’s still going to fight all out (and by now he should). But, yeah, Joe’s the scorpion here. Definitely.

    Also, I don’t think the kid’s only there to humanise Yukiko: there’s a debt they keep talking about, and if the kid receives a settlement for that invention, I’m fairly sure there’s enough money to pay it off. (It even makes sense that he’s a kid; any older and he might have tried something pre-plot-opportune moment, so that he wouldn’t be there for that to happen.)

    Finally, I think my favourite ending would be Yuri winning this fair and square, and thus Crime Boss’s bet panning out. The most high-profile anticlimax in anime I can remember. I’d be laughing all year. I think they’re going the settlement route, though.

    1. Why would they pay him a settlement now? That would really humaize Shirato….You may be right – I really don’t pay as much attention to that character as I should.
      Yuri winning would e interesting. I have a feeling they won’t te s who wins. The show will end at the beginning of the fight since it’s for the ove of boxing and all…. I don’t know why I’m saying tht, just a hunch

  3. I think there’s more to Nanbu’s character than just always having been a small-time crook fixing matches. His story seems more tragic to me than that. The flashbacks from the Aragaki arc lead me to believe he was was once actually a legit trainer with a legit gym and a legit fighter. I don’t think it all fell apart for him until after Aragaki left. At that point, ended up an alcoholic gambling addict who, racked up a whole lot of debt and ended up using Joe to help him make quick money.

    Nanbu is a great character to me because he has more than one or two dimensions. We see a guy who is a “scorpion” dragging others down with him, be we also see glimpses of his former self. One that believed in his fighter, one that had some self-respect.

    I think Fujimaki was honestly insulting Nanbu with that story. He was basically reaffirming their power structure by reminding him that pain and failure are in his nature, and he can’t help it.

    1. I agree. Like I wrote a few weeks ago to me Nanbu is the best developped chara and I think he’s the MC despite not being the protagonist.
      However I also think he has something defeatist in his nature. He gave up on Aragaki very quickly. When backed up against a wall his instinct is to try to slither out. This less than righteous side of him is something I love about the character. It gives him way more depth than a straight forward mentor chatacter. Regardless of his intentions he lacks follow through and tends toward the easy way out. A very realistic archetype we rarely see as a good guy. I hope they don’t blunt the nuances of his character

  4. Not a big surprise, but I haven’t really heard anything about this series. I like the look of it though. It feels a bit like an oldschool style anime (especially when I look at the way the animation is drawn). This sounds interesting indeed (and…..adding it to the list that has only grown bigger and bigger :))

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