Just a few weeks prior to the drafting of this article, the announcement of a second season to 2018’s Megalo Box took fans by surprise (however, no premiere date has been confirmed). Megalo Box is an homage to Ashita no Joe, the original boxing manga which was published through the first half of the seventies. Megalo Box re-creates the original concept of Ashita no Joe by bringing it into the future as boxing in that series is under the control of powerful corporations, and without the approval of government-sanctioned athletic commissions to ensure safety. Through the first season, not only are viewers treated to entertaining fights but to relevant themes of corporatism and oppression. As we anticipate the premiere of Megalo Box season 2, we’d like to share why we’re looking forward to it!
Megalo Box Goes International and Expands the World
In addition to soccer (or football for you non-American readers), there is no sport more international than boxing! While the first season portrays Megalo Boxing as a spectacle with no age limits, medical checks, weight classes, or drug testing, its concept could have a lot of potential if the second season takes it global! The first season largely takes place in a corporate-owned mega-city where people with money can be citizens and those who can’t pay live stateless in the city’s scorching hot outskirts.
While the first season does a great job of concluding Joe’s story as he becomes a local champion, outside of him, there are still many unanswered questions in relation to how the world of Megalo Box as a whole functions. A second season is a perfect opportunity to provide a better idea of what the world of Megalo Box is like beyond that city. Are there still places with democratically elected governments? Or are they rules under autocracies? Are there nations under martial law? Or are all nations privatized? One unanswered question from the first season relates to a war that happened prior to the beginning of the series. Only the fact that a war happened is mentioned and nothing is explained beyond that. Is the second season going to explain what that war was about? We’d sure like to know!
We Can Learn More About Joe
The first season excellently provides the audience with a good idea of who Joe is as a human being and what drives him to fight. Other than that, there is no elaboration on his background. How did he get into boxing? How did he meet Nanbu? We bring up these questions because the original Ashita no Joe does a great job of answering them in context to Joe Yabuki. He was a teenage orphan who had to take care of himself and he was a natural street fighter. If audiences check out Ashita no Joe, they can also see how he meets Danpei and why he sticks with him despite their difficult relationship. The first season doesn’t really portray any equivalent to these plot points so we’re expecting a second season can provide them.
Naturally, the core characters of Megalo Box take inspiration from the characters of Ashita no Joe. Joe in Megalo Box is obviously based on Joe Yabuki. In addition, Yuuri (Joe’s rival) is based on Rikiishi Tooru (the first main rival in Ashita no Joe); Yukiko is inspired by Youko Shiraki (though their personalities significantly differ); Sachio (a boy in Megalo Box) is a homage to another Sachio from Ashita no Joe (who is a girl); and Nanbu represents Danpei Tange, Joe Yabuki’s trainer. With Megalo Box now having the chance to continue, this is the perfect opportunity to re-introduce other characters from the original Ashita no Joe to a new audience.
One notable character from Ashita no Joe that would be interesting to feature in season 2 is Carlos Rivera, Joe Yabuki’s rival in the original series’ second act. Carlos’ rivalry with Joe is friendly in nature but still has the right amount of tension to build a great fight. As for how a hypothetical fight plays out between Megalo Box Joe and Carlos; hopefully, it can equate to or even top the original fight which gives the legendary Thrilla in Manila a run for its money!
One last character from Ashita no Joe that needs to be in Megalo Box is Jose Mendoza, the world champion. As the champion, it’s natural that he’s portrayed as “the man” like 16-time wrestling champion Ric Flair. He can knockout bums with just a simple one-two, or end careers by cracking skulls with his trademark corkscrew blows (while also jet flyin’, and stylin’ and profilin’!). The inclusion of someone like Mendoza would be great for Megalo Box because as the champion, he can represent the elite. Like the original Mendoza, a Megalo Box Mendoza can once again look down on his competition who represents the little guy and have that sick desire to keep them at the bottom.
With rising income gaps being reported around the world (amongst other inequality issues), Megalo Box is definitely the anime the world needs right now. With economies in some countries now tanking like with what Greece faced earlier in the decade, can this pave the way for a world like Megalo Box? While we don’t know for sure, we just can’t believe in coincidences. With what has also been occurring around the world between the end of the first season and now, a second season can use those events as motivation to continue the story and warn audiences what may come if nations don’t fix their problems. However, the idea of Megalo Boxing (or maybe an MMA or pro-wrestling version of it?) would still be cool to see in real life. For these very reasons, we can’t wait for season 2 of Megalo Box!