Megalo Box, the acclaimed anime series that celebrates the classic show Ashita no Joe but goes on it’s own path, returns with a second season. Episode one begins in black and white as fans watch the final fight between Joe and Yuri, the previous champion of Megalonia. Joe was victorious, but as the scene changes, several years pass and “Gearless” Joe is fighting, once again, in an underground ring. His opponents are easily taken down, as he just roams from ring to ring with his new moniker, Nomad.
The once prideful and strong-willed Joe is now drinking his life away and taking pills to forget a past which we aren’t privy to just yet. His manager, Gansaku Nanbo, talks to him in his motel room, reminding Joe that changing his name won’t make his past disappear. But Nanbo isn’t really there; it’s just an illusion in Joe’s mind, so something must have happened to him and it upsets Joe to see the illusion. He continues wallowing, wandering to another bar, getting drunk again, and eventually ending up in another underground ring since he defeated all his previous challenges in the other one. This time he is up against a real pro fighter named “Chief,” but he knows who Nomad is, and during their fight, Chief takes a blow and stays down.
Joe knew that his opponent threw the fight and confronts him outside, but ends up getting hit hard by Chief and stays on the floor in pain. The episode concludes with Nomad taking refuge from the cold, snowy night in what’s left of a bus and still seeing his old manager.
I was a big fan of the first season of Megalo Box, from the animation to the music and character development, but this one seems to have turned it all upside down. What happened to Joe’s friends, his manager, and Yuri, whom he became friends with at the end of season one? Why is still fighting in underground rings when he should be in a more professional competition? Did he lose badly to the new champion, or was there some other tragedy that occurred? Yes, I have lots of questions, and there’s no doubt I’ll be tuning in each week to discover the answers and see if Joe can arise again.
Nomad: Megalo Box 2 can be streamed through Funimation.