Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
Nanbu and Joe are on their way to Megalonia – but how can they make the biggest splash in only 3 months time?
The episode opens with Nanbu making his way to the official Megalonia headquarters to register Joe. With the help of Mr. Fujimaki from last episode, everything goes smoothly, and Joe is officially registered for Megalonia.
It’s revealed that as of his registration, he’s at the bottom of the barrel: ranked 257th among all of the aspiring Megalonia fighters.
Fujimaki reminds Nanbu that both he and Joe literally have their lives on the line, and the trainer quickly gets to work upgrading Joe’s gear.
Nanbu gives Joe the run-down. In 3 months he can get 5 fights organized. Joe will need to fight and win all 5 for a chance to be placed in the final 4 and battle Yuri once again on the big stage.
During a trip to a shady parts shop in an effort to improve Joe’s gear, we’re introduced to a group of street urchins, led by a young boy named Sachio.
They pawn off some stolen cameras in exchange for a bag of narcotics otherwise known as “Red Candy”
The kids gladly eat the candy, the shop owner commenting that they’re happy to be distracted from their miserable existence.
While the shop owner heads to the back, Nanbu spots an impressive looking Gear in his inventory. Reported to be an early prototype for the Gear that Yuri uses, he pines after it only to be told that it’s well beyond his price-point.
The conversation around Megalonia and Gears seems to catch Sachio’s attention, but he quickly realizes something else that distracts him.
Sachio finds that there were only 3 pieces inside, meaning that he doesn’t get a piece. He lashes out at the shop owner, who begins to get violent with the child.
Joe doesn’t appreciate that at all, so he steps in to stop it, landing a couple good hits before the shop owner calls on his thug, Potemkin, to kick them out.
Sachio and his friends plant a tracker on Joe and Nanbu’s car, and follow them to a run down gym near the riverbank. Intrigued, they watch as Nanbu and Joe have a series of training sessions under the bridge.
Nanbu takes the opportunity to show Joe that he still has a lot to learn. After showing off the upgraded gear, however, Sachio insists that it won’t work – going into technical detail as to what is wrong with it. While Nanbu agrees with his assessments, he shouts that they have no other choice and sends the kid away.
Sachio believes their only chance is the Gear they were eyeing in the shop. He’s desperate to go to Megalonia along with Joe and Nanbu, and has his friends deliver the Gear to them after he’s been caught.
His friends plead for Joe to go save him with the new Gear, and before we know it Joe is launching his motorcycle through the front window and straight into Potemkin’s face, just as the thug is beating up Sachio for information.
In the spar that follows, Joe gets some great hits in with the new Gear – moving and striking more effectively than before. He’s confident that he can win with this new technology, but Potemkin lands a series of powerful blows that cause it to literally crumble away and threaten to fry Joe with electricity.
After Sachio breaks it off of him, Joe stands his ground against Potemkin without any Gear on. He’s reminded of the thrill of combat, standing before his towering opponent.
He trusts Sachio to provide him the last minute call before delivering a brutal counter, knocking Potemkin out for good.
After his victory, Sachio assumes that he’s going to be cast away once again, until Joe asks him where he’s going.
Excited, Sachio follows after them, as the underdog duo becomes a trio headed for the biggest stage in Megalo Boxing!
Megalo Box continues to impress this week as we witness more world-building and character development.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the animation style, but I have to say that I’m completely in love with it. The long, quiet shots of scenery do a lot to transport us to the dark and dingy world of Megalo Box’s slums and underworld.
Roads are cracked and falling apart, infrastructure is non-existent, liars and thieves make their livings as best as they can on the rough streets in the world of Megalo Box.
We also get to learn a bit more about Nanbu in this episode as well. In the opening scenes he appears to encounter a number of other sponsors/promoters that are familiar with him. It’s been alluded to that he was a famous fighter and/or coach in the past, so I’m interested to see that element explained via backstory in the not too distant future. We also get to see him actually do some training with Joe, demonstrating that he’s not just a drunk hack taking advantage of him, but is actually interested in molding him into a proper fighter.
The introduction of Sachio was also done tremendously well. The introduction of him and his ilk appear to be a passing scene to demonstrate the harsh world of Megalo Box, but when they cross paths with Joe and Nanbu, it quickly becomes something much more.
Sachio is crass, and obviously has a temperament in line with his age, but he has an understanding of Gears that goes well beyond his years. His motivations for wanting to go to Megalonia are still buried, but the picture inside of his hat is sure to hold some clues as to what drives him.
Somehow, the pacing of this episode felt just right as well. After two episodes that featured a lot more fighting, I think there was some concern regarding how the show would feel without a major bout to look forward to. This episode showed that there is still a lot for us to learn as viewers about the various characters, and that there will likely be no shortage of exciting fights in this rugged dystopia.
Overall, a fantastic continuation of one of the season’s strongest series so far. You can catch it every Thursday on Crunchyroll!