TMS Entertainment’s ‘Megalo Box‘ is known to be one of the most hyped anime of recent times. But it’s also the kind of show that will sadly be forgotten too soon and that bums out most fans. We live in a world where most anime have become predictable and most of what they portray is already known to the viewers. This makes you wonder if true art is already dead. But then once in a while, anime like ‘Megalo Box’ come around that prove that there still may still be some hope.
The purpose of art is to create a combination of cognitive establishments that together lead to the catharsis of certain predictable response by the viewers. This response may be happiness, sadness or even a revelation of some kind. But in the end, it’s the responsibility of the creator to figure the response he wants to get and then structure things in such a way that the expected result is achieved. That’s exactly what ‘Megalo Box’ does to you. Now this result came out as a disappointment for some viewers but others who kept an open mind towards the “art perspective” perceived this as what it actually is.
When I first started watching this anime, I had great expectations but the ending was something I had assumed to be predictable. Since it’s a sports anime and from the beginning, it’s clear that it will be focusing on the struggle of an underdog boxer making his way to the top, it’s very easy to determine what may come next in the series. After all, most sports movies or anime are just replicas of events that have occurred previously. All of them lead to an end where one loses and the other one wins (there are split decisions as well in real sports but that’s not usually how movies or anime end, so please ignore that possibility).
However, unlike sports, art cannot be confined to the boundaries of winning or losing. Take two really good anime series for example that would be considered “artistic” in their own unique way. Let’s consider ‘Samurai Champloo’ and ‘Death Note‘ here. Both of them are popular anime and are widely known for their perfection of the art of storytelling. But claiming that one is better than the other would be an insult to both. Hence, art neither wins nor it loses, it just enlightens and pleases you in ways unknown to you. Before we dive deep into the controversial ending of ‘Megalo Box’, let’s first drift through the plot once and then we can get to unraveling some unanswered questions that have been left behind.
Summary of the Plot
‘Megalo Box’ is the boxing of the future where each boxer uses mechanical limb enhancers that give them more strength and upgrades their overall performance. Joe is one such boxer who fights in the illegal underground leagues and despite his obvious talent, he is forced to become a victim of match-fixing every time he fights so that he and his coach both can keep their heads above water. But then one day, a major league ‘Megalo Box’ champion named Yuri steps into the underground ring against Joe who had earlier confronted him. Yuri clearly overshadows Joe in this unprofessional match but Joe shows a lot of “spirit” and keeps getting up after being knocked out again and again. Yuri tries to be humble and just leaves the gym by blurting out a final challenge for Joe: “If you’re serious about fighting me again, then fight your way up to me and my ring.”