After watching twenty-nine episodes of Ashita no Joe, the time seems ripe to tell my dear readers about why I have become addicted to it. In the past couple of weeks, I have only twice turned my attention to other anime: Rolling Girls and Angel Cop. But, I might be forgiven for my narrow viewing by the fact that Ashita no Joe renders everything else mediocre in comparison–especially more recent anime. Don’t get me wrong. Rolling Girls is entertaining, Aldnoah.Zero 2 will likely be quite good, and Yuri Kuma Arashi just might find itself on my watch list. But, none of these has a prayer of meeting the quality of Ashita no Joe.
So, what makes Ashita no Joe so great? It’s strongest suit is the characters. Our hero might be the worst jerk you’ve ever seen; but, Joe Yabuki feels surprisingly real, and certain moments of his characters development blow one’s mind. The Aoyama Arc’s conclusion almost made me fall out of my chair! Sometimes you root for Joe, at other times you pity him, and much of the time you want to see him knocked flat. With Joe’s proclivity for fighting everyone and everything, one does see that time and time again. Yet, Joe always gets back up.