Miss my review last week? You can find it here!
After getting clocked real good at the end of the last match, things weren’t looking good for our boy Joe. The episode opens with some flashbacks to Aragaki’s training days with Nanbu, working on his stance and developing his Megalo Boxing technique. As he’s distracted reminiscing and staring at his former coach, Joe stands up and the fight resumes.
Joe spends the rest of the round getting pummeled, but maintains his stance and stays on his feet.
Through rounds 2 and 3, Joe begins to employ more of Nanbu’s coaching in a Karate Kid style revelation, constantly repeating the phrase “Split it evenly – fifty fifty!” referencing the distribution of his weight on his feet.
Being confronted with Joe’s determination and his utilization of Nanbu’s teachings, Aragaki has a few angry outbursts, attempting to put Joe down for the count. Unfortunately, Joe’s biggest strength is his durability.
Though he spends rounds 2 and 3 getting pummeled in various different ways, even being knocked out two more times, he continues to stand, much to Aragaki’s annoyance.
Nanbu attempts to throw in the towel, stating that as his coach it’s important that his fighter lives to see another day. Joe, however, reminds Nanbu that they’re on a one-way train that’s got no brakes: they’re in it until the end.
Having landed a clean shot at the end of round 3, Joe and Aragaki go into round 4 and it soon turns into an all-out slugfest.
Form and defense be damned, the two trade blows in shot after shot, until the bell finally rings and they return to their corners once again.
In a surprise move, after reflecting on the journey that’s brought him to this point, Aragaki consults with his coach and the team decides to forfeit the match – giving “Gearless Joe” the win.
Joe takes his win and immediately passes out, while Nanbu goes to Aragaki’s locker room afterwards to chat.
Nanbu had a hunch as to what was going on, which is confirmed when he enters the locker room and sees that Aragaki’s legs were bleeding onto his prosthetics. Apparently, he was on his way to being bedridden and was determined to take one more fight – and challenging Nanbu and Joe seemed like the best way for him to get closure. In an emotional exchange, Aragaki asks Nanbu if it’s okay that he gives up at this point.
Nanbu agrees. Before he leaves, Aragaki gives him back the ticket that saved his life – a dog racing bet that went south on Nanbu when he was still Aragaki’s trainer.
He says “Tell Joe…I believe in him too.”
Meanwhile, the latest Megalonia entrant is announced: a massive fighter named Glen Burroughs, otherwise known as the “Bloody Lion”.
This heavyweight fighter earns the 3rd spot heading into Megalonia, but his press conference is littered with questions surrounding “Gearless Joe”. With only one spot left in the Megalonia grand finale, there’s a lot of buzz around this upstart fighter, which annoys Megalonia manager Yukiko and the behemoth fighter alike.
On the rooftop, Yuri is informed of Joe’s recent victory, and seems impressed with Joe’s continued rise. A mysterious colleague known as Mikio dismisses the Gearless wonder:
Last week, many fans of Megalo Box correctly guessed the outcome of this week’s episode with two key predictions – that Joe would get up, and ultimately win. However, it’s the decisions that the series made in getting to that pre-determined destination that really helped to set it apart.
Joe will get up on the count of nine. Yep. However, after getting up, it wasn’t just an easy cruise to the win from there. He continued to get battered through the next couple rounds, even going down two more times – and another nine-count recovery – before getting into the swing of things.
Joe will ultimately win. True enough. However, Megalo Box did something pretty clever near the middle of the episode when Nanbu was talking to Joe about making sure that he leaves the ring alive. He asked Joe to trust in his ability to set up another round of fights, and for a brief moment, I as a viewer did trust in Nanbu’s ability to help Joe come back from this. It cast doubt on the assumed outcome that Joe would be victorious, and made the dramatic round 4 bout a true climax. Not only that, but Joe didn’t win with a knockout, he won because his opponent forfeited.
The backstory with Aragaki and Nanbu was fleshed out superbly in just this brief 2-episode arc, and once again Aragaki’s plight aligns with the struggle that many servicemen and women face after returning home from war.
For a 12-episode series, I continue to be thoroughly impressed by the pacing of the show. The closing moments introduce not one, but two upcoming bouts. The first fight will likely be with Mikio, which will then place Joe into Megalonia against Glen Burroughs – essentially paving the road to his final opponent: Yuri.
When it comes to animation, there were some truly breathtaking moments. Round 4 was really the height of the animation quality, featuring a particularly impressive 360 degree shot between Aragaki and Joe as they traded body and head blows. The way the camera perspective moved while maintaining the quality of the characters really helped to escalate the scene.
This week’s episode was thoroughly impressive. If you haven’t started watching yet, you need to pick this series up as soon as possible! I’m interested to see how the next fight shapes up, and where Megalo Box is set to lead us from here!
Megalo Box - Episode 6
- Megalo Box's latest episode arrives at its assumed destination, but takes us on the scenic route
- Stunning animation choices during the climactic round
- Impactful story arc & closure for Aragaki and Nanbu
- Series is moving along at a fantastic pace