Megalo Box is back after three years to continue the story of our fearless and gearless protagonist Joe. The first season showed fans Joe’s rise from being an underground fighter known as “Junk Dog” to the Megalonia champion known as “Gearless Joe.” This season, however, takes an unexpected and depressing turn and shows our champion’s fall from grace.
A Depressing Reunion
It has been seven years since Joe won his final battle with Yuri, and things seem to have changed drastically. The episode shows us that Joe has been through a lot hinting at the death of his trainer Gansaku Nanbu. We see him abandon his name and legacy to move from one ring to the next, fighting anyone he can under the new and more fitting moniker known as ‘Nomad’.
We also see that Joe’s fighting prowess hasn’t reduced much since we last left him, as he’s still very much a champion in the ring. He’s still as swift and agile as ever and still hits like a truck. However, this time, we also see that he’s now more wild and reckless as he doesn’t relent to go all-out on his opponents. Unfortunately, due to his rough circumstances, Joe has grown addicted to pain pills which reduces his effectiveness and dulls his senses despite still being able to hold his own in a fight. This is proven when Joe finally meets a promising opponent nicknamed “Chief” who, just like Joe, was previously a legitimate Megalo boxer.
Joe challenges him to a fair fight hoping to finally get a real challenge he’s been craving but is forced to reflect on his choices when the fight doesn’t go the way he expected. Watching the two fight was quite satisfying, reminiscent of the matches seen in the first season, which did a good job of making you feel as if each match was an event of its own.
Nostalgic Animation and Direction
The episode also showcased the anime’s incredible soundtrack that’s just as good if not better than the first season and matches each fight incredibly well. The animation on the other hand, has stayed exactly the same as the previous season. So much so, that you wouldn’t suspect three years have passed since the anime’s debut.
So far, the first episode of Megalo Box 2: Nomad has impressed me in many ways, yet it also noticeably leaves a lot of questions to be answered. It seems to me like a decision was made to reset the series in some way and the studio chose a rather depressing way to go about it. As a viewer who watched the last episode of the previous season before jumping into the current season, watching things change so drastically was quite jarring, to say the least. To make things worse, the episode keeps us completely out of the loop on the events that happened during the last seven years. However, this at least gives viewers an excuse to return in hopes to find the answers they seek. Though I’m yet to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.
Overall, the first episode of Megalo Box 2: Nomad was both interesting and entertaining once you set aside it’s depressing themes.
Megalo Box 2: Nomad is available to stream right now on Funimation.
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