Months of preparation are finally about to come to fruition as Joe and Yuri are gearing up for the final match of the Megalonia Tournament. This is it; the calm before the storm. Both Yuri and Joe are ready to face each other in the ring, and after weeks of neglecting my boy Yuri, we finally get to spend some time with Shirato’s prize pooch! This episode was definitely full of surprises, so grab your gear and let’s dive into Episode 12 of anime Megalo Box, ‘Leap Over the Edge of Death’.
It’s the eve of the title match of the Megalonia Tournament and both Joe and Yuri are putting on their game face as they prep for what promises to be the biggest boxing event of the year! Both sides are willing to put it all on the line for a fair fight, even if it means making a bit of a sacrifice…
Art: I’ve mentioned this before, but Megalo Box has a unique animation style that mimics the animation of anime from the 90s despite being rendered using the most cutting edge animation tools available. Rather than detracting from the story, it gives Megalo Box a gritty rustic feel that is very fitting given the rough tough atmosphere of the series. But there’s a scene where for one second Yuri looked exactly like his Ashita no Joe counterpart, Tooru Rikiishi, and I absolutely loved it!!
Training Montage: Rather than showing us an hour-long episode of just Joe and Yuri training, the episode condenses days of training into a 15-minute montage with rap accompaniment.
Music: So, there’s another rap song in this week’s episode, but unlike the one from last week, this song serves as a ballad of sorts for both Joe and Yuri, much the same way the opening themes of Ashita no Joe served as theme songs for Joe and Rikiishi. It’s a really cool shoutout to the old series while updating it for a more modern audience.
Themes & Trivia
Redemption Arc: These last few episodes have served as a bit of a redemption arc for Yukiko Shirato. Before this, she was just a cold-hearted chairwoman of the Shirato Corp. who is willing to do whatever it takes to see that her plans succeed. But, for the first time, ever, we see her actually showing some genuine emotions towards Yuri and surprisingly Sachio. Turns out she’s not quite as heartless as she appears.
Parallels: In this episode, we get to see Joe and Nanbu’s first meeting, and let me tell you, it is almost an exact replica of how Joe and Danpei meet in Ashita no Joe (minus the group of street brats nipping at Joe’s heels).
Walden: After his match with Joe, Mikio pulls a Henry David Thoreau and renounces everything for a simple life in a cabin in the woods. For those of you unfamiliar with this reference, American author Henry Thoreau left society behind and moved into a cabin in the woods in an attempt to reconnect with nature and live a ‘simple life.’ He spent years living off the land, later turning his experiences into a semi-autobiographical book.
Guess Who’s Back: Aragaki makes a surprise 11th-hour appearance, helping Joe prepare for his upcoming match with Yuri.
Removing the Armor: YURI HAS HIS GEAR REMOVED!
This episode had me so pumped for the final episode. I was practically bouncing in my damn seat! I mean, wooooooooow!!! I love Joe and I want him to win, but, Yuri was the real highlight of the episode. Most of the conflict and emotional buildup came from him as he finally, FINALLY tells Shirato where to shove it and decides to do things for himself for the first time in the entire series. He’s no longer a lapdog waiting for his master to feed him scraps. He’s focused and ready to take control of his own destiny!!
Special mentions go to Lady Shirato, because, damn did she take her sweet time coming around. I will admit that up until this episode, I absolutely hated her, but she a much more rounded character than I gave her credit for… just wow!
It’s Game Time
This is it, next week’s episode marks the end of Megalo Box and this week’s episode did a phenomenal job of setting up everything! The tension has finally come to a head and this is the final moment of ‘peace’ before Joe and Yuri face off on the main stage. It’s anyone’s game at this point, but, as always, my money is on Joe!!