Joe Yabuki is a scoundrel, plain and simple. He's confident, cocky, a con artist and a drifter, and one hell of a fighter too -- or at least, that's what Danpei Tange, the washout and drunk ex-boxing coach believes. Danpei is so sure of Joe's ability to be a pro boxer that he gives up the drink and works hard to earn money to build a gym; but Joe, on the other hand, has other plans that are not nearly as noble. Can Danpei convince this loose cannon to pick up the gloves and box like a world class champion?
I came across Ashita no Joe whilst looking for more boxing manga like Hajime no Ippo, first thing I noticed that it was almost 50 years old manga, sure I can guess most of you are put off by this and I was as well. But after finishing it, I swore to myself to never ever judge something based how old it is because this was one hella of a manga. Story: Starts off with Joe, being an orphan kid. Arriving in a random village nowhere to go and then eventuallly stirring up trouble, fighting off some of the guys as the-drunk-ex-boxer notices his talent and decides to make Joe into World Boxing Champion. Of course Joe isn't interested any of that and cherishes freedom more than anything. Story doesn't seem that amazing but I think it's pretty realistic. (Except Police being such wussies for some reason) You should also remember that it's written with 70's social values, some things may seem odd. Art: At the beginning, art looks like children scribblings at that time. Some people have comical faces, however it improves drastically as story progresses and takes itself more seriously. I think I barely noticed when art started to look a lot better, also you might think that you won't get used to art but in my honest opinion, it's really simple and nice to look at while reading through pages. Easy to follow the fights as well. Characters: What intruiges me about the manga that protagonist is complete and utter douchebag. He isn't goody-two shoes who does what other says, at times it does seem really annoying as Joe keeps doing stupid things but trust me, there's so much character development over the time that I must say other manga doesn't do it right unlike this one. Joe coach, the ex-boxer is just your typical drunk character, however his passion for boxing is really intense. Also very strict and doesn't take wussy attitude which I think is cool. Most of the characters play a role in the manga, not just interact with Joe once and disappears for the rest of manga. There's romance but just slightly.
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