2018 To Be The Year of Fighting Anime With ‘Megalo Box’ and ‘Baki’
Anime is experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the west and a newfound mainstream appeal. Stateside theatrical releases of anime films and their live action counterparts have been come more frequent in recent years as a result of this. One of the sub genres of anime that was responsible for capturing the attention of many world wide back during the surge in the late 90’s and early 2000s were movies and shows that revolved around fighting. Think more along the lines Street Fighter and less Dragonball Z.
As the years went on, with that genre took a back seat with a few exceptions like Hajime no Ippo. But it looks like things will change this year with the announcement of two major projects slated to do debut this summer. Megalo Box is being hailed as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ashita No Joe. Instead of traditional boxing, the show will feature fighters who enhance their bodies with exoskeletons.
Megalo Box is directed by Yo Moriyama and features animation by TMS Entertainment. The story follows J.D. (“Junk Dog”), a boxer who descends into the underground world of “Megalo Box”, in which fighters combine their training with special gear technology to create the ultimate martial art.
Megalo Box will begin broadcasting on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) and BS-TBS in April of 2018.
The other major announcement is about one of the most popular animes and manga of the genre. Baki The Grappler is finally getting an animated follow up that it deserves. The manga only predates Pancrase by 2 years, but it draws from the very early days of unorganized fighting and toughman contest. But its quite obvious that as time went on that the writer drew inspiration from real life individuals, even changing the name of some and sticking them in his stories. If you’re a fan of combat sports, you’ll probably love the show and manga. If want to get your feet wet, you can find all the episodes and OVAs on Youtube.
The official Twitter for Keisuke Itagaki’s long-running action/martial arts manga series Baki posted a first visual for its upcoming new TV anime adaptation today. The 26-episode new TV anime is based on the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc told in the manga’s second installment Baki, and is scheduled to be streamed on Netflix first for Japanese audience in summer 2018, then for international audience in fall.
With this news and the recent Castlevania announcement, 2018 will likely be another stellar year for anime.