Megalo Box (manga 2018–present / anime 2018)
Manga written by Chikara Sakuma, published by Kodansha. Anime directed by You Moriyama, written by Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima, with TMS Entertainment.
Megalo Box is a modern re-imagining of the 1968 manga series Ashita no Joe by Ikki Kajiwara. In the not so distant future, boxing matches are fought with partial exoskeletons; making punches faster and much, much harder.
The series follows the fighter, Junk Dog, and his drunk coach Nanbu, competing in shady underground Megalo boxing matches. But when a chance encounter pits Junk Dog against Megalo Boxing champion, Yuuri; the defeat spurs the pair in an attempt to qualify for the Megalonia Championship.
I’m not familiar with any of the original Ashita no Joe material, but Moriyama has captured the authentic feel. The illustration has a 1960s look with gritty texturing and a beautiful colour grade, but with slick modern animation and excellent composition.
While commenting subtly on inequality and class divide, the plot is enjoyably straightforward, and the lack of cliche lines is refreshing; though there’s an exciting twist in episode four.
Simulcast Fridays on Crunchyroll