I just finished Megalobox and nearly jumped out my seat. That show was just pure hype. As I was watched the last episode, one thing that I couldn’t get out of my head was how great the rivalry between Joe and Yuri was. We’ve seen some great anime rivalries over the years but what makes a great rivalry? Let’s break down our current best, Joe and Yuri, and see what makes them so great.
For those who haven’t watched the show, Joe is a boxer who threw matches to make money. This isn’t something he wanted to do but had to in order to make money for him and his coach. It got to a point where Joe was just sick and tired of it with the need to show how great he is. Through unforeseen circumstances, he is faced against the number one Megaloboxer named Yuri. During this fight, Joe is teased with what a real fight is and what the real deal is.
I feel like anyone can name a great anime rivalry but can you really say what actually makes them so great? Okay, let’s take a moment to look at some other rivalries. My example will be somewhat recent, Black Clover. What makes this rivalry interesting? To be honest, not much mostly because we’ve seen series like Naruto that seems to have a similar dynamic… until you really look who they are to each other. Unlike Naruto and Sasuke, Asta and Yuno didn’t need 468231647 episodes to get closer or even respect one another. Literally the first few episodes, you see that both sides respect one another and know that they can’t slip up in the case that the other would be closer to their goals.
How does any of that translate to Megalobox? What brings Yuri and Joe together in the first place is a disagreement as to what Megaloboxing is. After they finally fight, Joe realizes that this is what he has been fighting for and ultimately what he lives for. An opponent such as Yuri. When Joe climbs the ranks, Yuri’s respect for Joe grows exponentially and even feels a sense of Jelously for the first time in his life. When they finally have a match together, Yuri has his gear removed in order to fight Joe on equal footing almost as if he’s returning the favor to Joe who worked his way up with no gear.
One thing that is constantly brought up in this series is the term, “The Real Deal.” Joe earns this from all of the antics he pulled winning every single fight into Megalonia with no gear. Even though Yuri was the number one boxer, this guy who was throwing fights in the streets is making Yuri question if he’s “The Real Deal.” Ultimately, meeting Joe had helped him find himself and what he wants in life, not the shared goals that he had with Shirato. Now he fights for himself against the person who gives him reason to fight.
I was just so blown away with this series. As much as I loved it, I don’t think we should be blessed with another season. It gave us a bunch of answers but also left us with just as many questions. This is what I want to walk away with after being told a great story. Leave me figuring things out on my own. That’s how you build a lasting impression with me anyways.
What did you think about Megalobox? I would also love to hear what a boxing anime fan thought about the series. I feel like they can bring a pretty interesting perspective. Thanks for taking the time to read and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!