Ashita no Joe

Ashita no Joe (あしたのジョー) is a critically acclaimed boxing manga written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Tetsuya Chiba in 1968 that was later adapted into an anime series and movie. The title means “Joe of tomorrow” or Tomorrow’s Joe. Outside Japan it is also referred to as Champion Joe, Rocky Joe or Joe. It was adapted into a live-action film starring popular actor/singer Tomohisa Yamashita as Yabuki Joe and Yūsuke Iseya as Rikiishi. The movie premiered in Japan on February 11, 2011.

Joe, a teenage orphan in the slums of the Doya streets, meets Danpei, a homeless, alcoholic ex-boxing coach. Danpei, seeing Joe’s boxing talent, decides to train him. When Joe is sent to a terrible juvenile home for petty crimes, he meets Rikiishi who becomes his boxing rival. Danpei arrives at the home to help Joe to train in order to defeat Rikiishi. When Joe decides to seriously pursue boxing, Danpei cannot get a coaching license because of his reputation as a drunk.

This anime builds in atmosphere especially with its signature whistle theme that Joe is known for. If there’s any sport anime that can be considered the best this may be it. While the summary sums up part of the story, the rest deals with gritty matches & men’s commitment to their promises. Both Joe & Rikkishi are great characters who even rival the greats of today. While Joe begins as unlikeable he does mature however not everything is obtained easily. Training is the least of Joe’s struggles as he must deal with poverty & the responsibilities of becoming a professional boxer. Similar to Hajime No Ippo, the stories in Joe are quite tragic to the point where it influenced a real life funeral for a certain character. While the tone can be broody at times, it shall leave an impression as you see a wild beast become a man who considers respect, honor & rivalry as important as life itself.

[Oct 1979] Takeshi Obo – Ashita no Joe —Utsukushiki Ookami Tachi—
[Feb 1980] Ashita no Joe Theatrical Features OST
[1980] Ashita no Joe 2 Original Soundtrack
[Aug 21, 1996] Natsukashi no Music Clip 6 Ashita no Joe
[Dec 21, 2002] Ashita no Joe Best Song File (1970-1981)
[Aug 27, 2003] Ashita no Joe – OST Honmei Ban
[Feb 25, 2009] Ashita No Joe (21st Century Version)

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