After last week’s intense match between Gearless Joe and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ Aragaki, I couldn’t wait to see what new heights Team Nowhere would reach. This week’s episode takes a break from the action and delves into the politics of the Megalonia Tournament. Even outside the ring, JD and crew will have to fight tooth and nail to make it to the big stage.
After winning his match against Aragaki, JD has finally started to gain some traction and his Megalonia dreams are suddenly much more attainable. But then, a new challenger threatens to end their rise to the top.
Suddenly Famous: After last week’s victory over Aragaki, JD has become a bit of a celebrity. He’s on posters, billboards, in magazines, street graffiti, and there are even Gearless Joe tattoos! But his newfound fame is isolated to the slums, the populous of the city is more interested in the upcoming title fight between Sugar R. Hill and Shirato Mikio.
Heartless Villain?: Yukiko has been for the most part a shadowy puppet master, orchestrating the Megalonia Tournament on behalf of the Shirato Corporation. She’s ruthless, manipulative, and shrewd, both in business and in her personal life. But, we didn’t know the extent of her crude tactics until she knowingly did everything in her power to sabotage her brother…
Themes & Trivia
Publicity Stunt: Nanbu remarks that the results of the individual matches don’t actually matter in the Megalonia Tournament, the real contenders are decided by the promoters that run the tournament. This is later proven to be true when the Shirato Board holds a special closed door meeting to address Mikio going against their wishes and challenging Joe.
Dog on a Leash: The dog allusions are back. This time around, Nanbu literally chains JD up so he can recuperate from his match against Aragaki… he’s literally on a short leash.
Man v. Machine: It’s practically the whole premise. Is it the gear that wins matches or the man wearing it? Yuri is a literal representation of this, as he is equipped with a new Gear tech that is integrated into his body. He is for all intents and purposes both man and machine, with an emphasis on the machine. He is little more than a tool of the Shirato Corporation, while JD, who doesn’t use Gear in his matches, is the other end of the spectrum as a testament to the indomitable spirit of man.
Boxing took a backseat to the politics this week, and man, let me just say that Yukiko is a piece of work. You don’t wind up the head of a international corporation by playing nice and Yukiko definitely knows how to throw her weight around.
I really liked seeing the inner workings of the Megalonia Tournament. Up until this point, we’ve been seeing things from JD’s perspective, through the lense of a contender unfamiliar with the politics of the city. In the minds of JD and the audience, hard work equals success, but in reality, there are larger pieces at play and sometimes no matter how hard you work you just can’t win.
A Dream Deferred
It all boils down to power and privilege. Those in power pull the strings and those at the bottom have no choice but to scratch out a living as best they can. Reality hit us hard this episode and for some, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but, it’s only Episode 7, there’s still time to turn this all around!!
What do you guys thought of this week’s episode of Megalo Box? How did you feel about the way things wrapped up? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Spring 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!