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Megalo Box Season 1: Limited Edition Blu-ray Review

Megalo.jpg

“Megalo Box” isn’t quite a knockout, but it’s still entertaining.

In the 13 episode first season of the anime series “Megalo Box” (not to be confused with the Mega Bloks toys), the story revolves around a cocky and talented megalo boxer (basically futuristic boxing with mechanical gear) that goes by the name JNK-Dog (and later Joe) whose life and career is in the dumps. He’s stuck doing fixed underground fights with his trainer Gansaku Nanbu (the fights are run by a mobster named Fujimaki), he longs for real matches, and he’s not a citizen so he can’t enter the premier Megalonia World Championship tournament headed by the Shirato group (namely Yukiko Shirato). However, he is determined to become a citizen to fight in Megalonia and become the champ. In order to do so, he has to get through the current champion named Yuri. After an accident, there has been real tension between the two and it only builds over time. Throughout the season, viewers can expect to see plots involving a kid named Sachio who joins Joe’s team, fighting matches against opponents like Shark Samejima, Aragki, Mikio (Yukiko’s brother who wants the company), and Glenn Burroughs, trouble with Fujimaki, behind-the-scenes fighter drama, and the inevitable showdown between Joe and Yuri.

“Megalo Box” isn’t anything new. Not only does it take the popular fighting tournament element that you see in mega popular anime series like the Dragon Ball franchise, but it’s also filled with familiar sports drama tropes. For the most part, it’s simply a very safe and predictable anime series, and yet, the drama filled journey of Joe is still engaging to watch. Even though he can be a bit of a jerk, you want to embark on the journey with him as he starts from the bottom and works his way up to the top of Megalonia. On top of that, the series also offers up some impressive world building. Granted, there could have always been more, but what we did get was visually appealing.

If I had any real criticism of the series, it’s that the ending is a bit of a cop-out. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll just say the entire series builds up to the finale and the story is done in a fashion that could aggravate many viewers. Essentially, you don’t get the payoff you want. On one hand, it’s a bold move. On the other, it’s a letdown that you don’t get to see what the entire show was building towards. Vague I know.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 16:9 1080p. How does it look? The animation shines in 1080p.

Audio Track: Japanese and English Stereo. How do they sound? The English track is decent enough, but the original language Japanese track is the clear choice to go with.

Extras:
* A thick nifty booklet featuring an episode guide, character guide, a location breakdown, animation gallery, concept art, promo pics, interviews with director Yo Moriyama, writers Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima, character designer Hiroshi Shimizu, art director Jiro Kouno, musician mabanua, producer Minako Fujiyoshi and director Yo Moriyama, Professor Ryusuke Hikawa, credits, song lyrics, and more
* Art gallery
* Separate interviews with English voice actors Kaiji Tang and Jason Marnocha and one with them together.
* Japanese “Megalo Box” audio dramas that run 15 minutes total.
* Clean opening and ending credits
* A 3 part making of extra that covers production, character and background art and music and sound.

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August 2, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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