Megalo Box- Episode 3: The Base of the Mountain

Things slow down after the roller-coaster ride of a set-up episodes 1 and 2 where Joe and Nanbu get themselves ready for the fights ahead and set up all the necessary components of Nanbu’s “plan” to get Joe situated at the very top to face Yuri at Megalonia and save their necks.

But first, they need one more helping hand.

Joe and Nanbu acquire a boat to live in underneath a bridge where they set up a boxing ring to practice like hell in the three months they have left to shoot through the bottom rank 257 on the fighter list to make an arrival at Megalonia. Nanbu personally enters the HQ building to register Joe and his face is recognized by the other businessmen before their training session begins. Before they do that however, the duo address the fact that Joe’s gear is too outdated and they shop for a new one. They notice a prototype integrated gear in the back room of the store Nanbu is ordering a gear in and is told that it was the old model that Yuri’s current gear is based off of. Nanbu and Joe are clearly interested in it but their financial status bars them from purchasing it. While this is going on, the shopkeeper tends to a bunch of kids who previously stole a bunch of cameras from a street vendor and trades them back some candy in return. One of the kids overhears Nanbu and Joe talk about Megalonia and even the store’s guard/bouncer, named Potemkin, says that Joe won’t get anywhere. The same kid starts a fuss with the store owner after he comes up one candy short for himself and the owner calls up Potemkin to punish the kid, only for Joe to step in and break up the fight. As the duo leave, the kids place one of their little gadgets on Nanbu’s truck.

Back on the boat, Nanbu shows Joe his upcoming fight with the 185th ranked fighter, Shark Samejima, who has currently been having a tough time finding fights to advance any further in his career. Aiming high and making a scene will get Joe some notoriety to even stand a chance at getting into Megalonia. While the kids from the store incident wander in to check what’s what, Nanbu gives some actual lessons on Joe’s boxing such as his overly aggressive style that focuses too much on parries, leaving his entire body exposed. As the days continue, one of the kids visits to watch the duo train, while they mostly ignore him. Joe’s upgraded gear finally arrives and Nanbu boasts that the upgrades have made it around thrice as powerful as before, the kid however states that the upgrades are overburdening Joe’s arms and the battery will give out in an extended fight. Nanbu praises the kid’s observations but states that this is their only means of winning on such short notice. The kid asks if they could bring him to Megalona too and the two refuse him as they don’t have a second to lose and he once again makes a scene and runs off once Joe picks up the kid’s hat that came off during his little struggle with Nanbu. As he runs, he yells his name is Sacchio.

Nanbu spends the night drinking and then throwing away all the bottles of liquor he has while Sacchio breaks his way into a store and is caught by the owner. The next morning, Joe returns from his jog to find smoke coming from the boat and finds Nanbu trying to put out the fire that came out of the upgraded gear. With their only gear now out of commission, the two wonder how they’re going to fix this as Nanbu had set up Joe’s fight for tomorrow. Seconds later the ragtag group of kids storm in to inform them that Sacchio broke into the store to steal the prototype integrated gear for Joe and is about to be reprimanded. As the store owner and Potemkin prepare the end the kid’s life, Joe smashes through the window with his bike and prepares to fight, now armed with the new gear, against Potemkin. Joe manages to block and attack with great improvements but the gear begins to malfunction and is heavily damaged after a powerful strike from Potemkin’s punch. The gear begins to fry and Sacchio gets a crowbar to detach the gear from Joe’s back. Nanbu suggests that they run but Joe decides to stay and fight and asks for guidance. Sacchio is the one to call the shots after he explains that Potemkin’s gear makes a particular noise that determines which hand he’s about to use and Joe is able to use that distinction to quickly land some hits to bring the big guy down. Nanbu and Joe welcome Sacchio’s help after his display of knowledge and the trio try to think of the quickest way to find Joe a new gear before tomorrow’s match.

There was a noticeable dip in quality in some of the still shots and animations but after such an explosive debut, I can’t really blame them, yet. The story’s pacing was a bit quick but given we only we have 10 more episodes and a still a ways to go with opponents for Joe to beat, hopefully it turns out alright. I forgot to mention this but that scene with Yuuri shows how Joe’s words seem to have gotten to him, as he finishes his training he decides to go back for another set to better himself.

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