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First Look: Ashita no Joe

May 9, 2010

Here we go again with an old-school manga related post. This time it’s one of the best sports mangas called  “Ashita no Joe”. This is the second oldest manga I ever read. The oldest ones are Japanese Batman stories.

For everyone who read 20th Century Boys it’s like a deed reading this manga to find out why the hell Endou Kenji (main char of 20thCB) calls himself Yabuki Joe who is the main character of Ashita no JOE. Well, I took this deed seriously and started reading last week although sports manga are one of my most hated ones (especially baseball related stuff). The reason I’m writing a fist look instead of a full review is that there are just 55 translated chapters out there.

Surprisingly, this boxing manga is pretty damn awesome. Even the beginning is nice ‘cause the fist fight you see is between homeless people. One of them is the 15-year-old Joe. At that time Joe is a delinquent who wanders around in the poorest districts of Tokyo. He even messes with the police. The other homeless is Danpei Tange who is a retired pro-boxer who recognizes Joe’s boxing potential. He urges him to become his student but Joe declines. Joe continues cheating off people’s money and gets arrested by the police. In prison he meets his first rival Rikiichi who is ranked on the 6th place on a boxing list (sadly I forgot his weight class and the name of that list -.-). After a lost fight, he is now  eager to beat him. Fortunately Danpei Tange sends him postcards with boxing lessons so that he can train even when he’s arrested. As everybody’s interested in who would win, they the wardens set up a real boxing fight…

Overall:
It seems that my sports manga allergy only applies to baseball series. It seems that I’m immune when it comes to boxing and American football (currently reading Eyeshield 21). Maybe I’ll try out an other sport like soccer or basket ball to prove that.

Sadly, there are just 55 translated chapters available but I found very high quality raws for the whole series (Can you guess where?). So if anybody wants them, just leave a comment and I’ll send a hint where you can find them, too! I’d be very glad if a scanlation group would pick it up as it’s a huge win for the manga community to be able to experience the whole manga.

Okay… that’s it for the first look of Ashita no Joe. It really deserves an 8/10. I’m expecting more character development in the upcoming chapters.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that in 2011 a live action movie of Ashita no Joe will be released! I’m looking forward to see it. If there are any news or trailers available, expect an article about it.

PS: I jus had to post this picture:

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