Megalo Box Episode 8
Quite the dramatic episode after last week’s sobering ending! Not only did we get to see Nanbu’s passionate plea to Shirato about Joe’s talent, our favorite average Joe bikes into Megalonia Stadium and challenges Shirato to her face! The epitome of hype production, this episode has paved the path for the Mikio and Joe fight to be stellar.
The first thing that came to mind at the start of this episode was how Fujimaki would respond to Team Nowhere pulling out from the fight. I was afraid that he’d cut off Nanbu’s finger to show how serious he was, or something far worse. Luckily for us, Fujimaki isn’t an evil idiot but more of a greedy, smart bastard. It’s nice to see how Nanbu has grown from the bumbling coward he was in the first episodes into someone who genuinely roots for Joe. Even in the face of life and death before Fujimaki’s scary smile, Nanbu isn’t on his knees crying for mercy, but pleading for Joe’s sake instead. Perhaps it’s the effect of having Sachio at his side, who gave absolutely no craps about Fujimaki’s position as an underground gang leader. In fact, it seems like Fujimaki has taken a liking to Sachio!
The reveal that Mikio bluffed Nanbu into forfeiting was unexpected, and I thought a man in his position would definitely have the means to dig through Joe’s past. Unfortunately, Fujimaki is a professional and Mikio would’ve never made it that far anyway. But Mikio has a gear powered by artificial intelligence, what the heck does he have to fear from Joe? That’s what I was thinking as last episode ended, but as revealed by our former Shirato engineer, the artificial intelligence can only adapt to gears, not the fighters wearing them. This is basically Luffy versus Enel, with a powerful opponent getting shafted by fate against our protagonist. However, I don’t expect the coming fight to be a cakewalk for Joe at all. Joe even mentions himself that Mikio doesn’t seem to fear Joe, but rather looks down upon him as trash. The underestimation of Joe from Mikio is going to make it so much more satisfying when Joe’s fist slams into smug Shirato face!
A side note on the former engineer though, does he know Sachio? As he walks into Fujimaki’s bar, the engineer stares at Sachio. Do they have history? Could it possibly be one of the figures that Sachio keeps in the picture under his hat? Perhaps a coworker of his fathers? Sachio’s parents have not been explored fully yet, and with the introduction of this possible connection, I’m sure it’s coming up in future episodes! Perhaps they’re the engineers who designed the integrated gear? So many questions!
The episode ended with the two highlights of Nanbu’s desperate plea and Joe’s spectacular entrance. As expected of our devoted Nanbu, he slams his fist into the metal table for Joe’s future. He begs for Shirato to trust Joe as a genuine article, and really displays how much he’s come to care for the guy. And although Shirato shuts him down, I’m sure his words had an effect on her that would come to fruition with Joe’s arrival later on. Don’t worry Nanbu, I’m sure your words weren’t wasted!
Joe’s entrance was amazing. Simple as that. It’s completely in character for him to show up and angrily question Shirato’s integrity, and I was rooting for him the entire time. The look on Mikio’s face was hilarious, and Yuri’s comment about a stray dog not letting go finally came to light. But major props goes to Shirato Yukiko herself for choosing genuine Megalo Boxing and offering Joe the chance to fight Mikio again. She basically openly declares war on Mikio, and he does the same to her. Their brother sister relationship is an absolute blast to watch and I love the fierce competition between the two geniuses!
Overall, this episode has hyped me like crazy for the next episode, and Megalo Box continues to top the charts for the anime I’m watching this season.