A few notes on Ashita no Joe

For those who don’t go out of their way to watch old shows and study about anime, Ashita no Joe was a fairly influential 80-some episode series by Mushi Pro from the early ’70s. I guess about a month ago, some group put out the first three episodes. I doubt they’re going to do anymore, but I picked them up just because I wanted to at least check it out. They didn’t yet reach the point where he becomes a pro boxer, but the first three episodes gave me a good enough taste of the show.

Story is some guy named Joe comes into a small town, while on what we assume is a journey with no destination. Through a number of events, he runs into old man whose name escapes me at the moment. This crazy old drunk was a boxer back in his heyday, and after a display of Joe’s skills with his fists, he wishes to train Joe to be the best boxer in the world– perhaps in an attempt to reclaim is past glory. Joe being as stubborn as an ox, refuses to let the old man train him. After Joe picks a lot of stupid fights with the Yakuza, he finally decides to let the old man take him in.

The show has fairly decent production for its time, which is a given since it’s Mushi Pro. The first episode boasts some fairly fluid animation and good storyboarding, but subsequent episodes resort to a lot of recap and recycled animation to fill up minutes. The acting is typical for the ’70s, which is to say it’s very awkward. Look out for a lot of fast talking and stilted laughter. Overall I’d say it was a decent three episodes, though I’m not sure I could handle another 80 or so.

One thing that struck me about this show was all the characters look Japanese. But by that I mean they all have black hair.

If anyone was wondering, this is what Elwood Blues was up to before “The Blues Brothers”

Ashita no Joe also beat the whole loli-tsundere craze by about 30 years.

Thanks, Ashita no Joe.

I guess I should go download Ideon or something…

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