Champion Joe

Title:Champion Joe
Ashita no Joe Movie
Tomorrow's Joe
Keywords: , , , ,
Joe Yabuki is a wandering delinquent who has no family to go back to. So he wanders the slums of Tokyo and gets into some fights to help out young kids in trouble. An alcoholic boxing trainer saw how Joe fought in the streets and offers him a chance to become a boxer. However Joe didn't take the offer right away and got into a fight at a police station that caused him to be held at a detention hall where he decides to ask up on the trainer's offer and trains himself at the detention hall until he's released to box in actual competitions.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

A movie adaptation of the 1960s and 1970s hit shounen boxing anime/ manga series written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Tetsuya Chiba.
Released in Japanese theaters on March 8, 1980.
Animated by Mushi Productions
Licensed by Tai Seng
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 5 6 6 5 Ggultra2764 [series:2524#1552]
Ashita no Joe was the first major shounen manga/ anime series to become a hit in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s and one of the earliest anime titles to adopt a sport into its plot. This movie is more of a compressed remake of the 1970-71 TV anime series and definitely shows its age with both its animation and plot direction. The series is the grandpa of all the common cliches you can expect from your favorite shounen action titles such as characters fighting on even when completely battered in a fight, many male characters being cocky and obsessed with fighting, the male lead getting by in boxing fights by the skin of his teeth and obsessive training sequences involving the male lead and his rival.

While I can forgive the cliches and animation for the movie considering the time period this was made, I couldn't find myself connecting with any characters in the series as Joe came across as way too unlikeable for me as a lead character that the movie expected me to connect with as he was way too cocky and full of himself for me to care about him. Not to mention that compared to Ippo from Hajime no Ippo, Joe had no common sense when it came to dealing with proper technique and strategies in a boxing match as he was too full of himself where I found it absurd that he would even be successful enough to land a fight with Rikiishi as a pro.

I'll rate this as a Watch since this title paved the way for future shounen anime titles to come. But unless you don't mind the outdated animation and cliches of 60s and 70s anime/ manga titles, you might not dig this movie. If you are expecting a more expanded plot than what the movie covers, then try hunting down the 1970-71 anime made for it.

Last updated Wednesday, January 18 2012. Created Wednesday, January 18 2012.

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