Tomorrow’s Joe: A Statuette Celebrates a Heavyweight Champion Anime Series

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 19, 2009 in Animation, Comic Books, Hobbies and Collections |

Tomorrow's Joe: Collectable Statuette

Ashita-no-Jo: A panel from the mangaBack in the day my friend Ardith Carlton (who now lives in Japan) would keep telling us about this amazing anime series called Tomorrow’s Joe (あしたのジョ) which she claimed at the time was one of THE best anime series of all time. Of course none of us believed her because the subject matter in the show was boxing and this being the 80s our obsessions at the time were giant robots and cool looking spaceships and of course Joe offered none of that. Little did we know what a cool series that we were missing out on! Ashita no Jō is now seen as one of the heavyweights of its genre. And in celebration of the series Kaitendoh is releasing a huge 1/6th scale collectable statuette which will come out in December:

Ashita no Jō: Collectable Statutte

Ashita no Jō: Collectable Statutte

Ashita no Jō: Collectable Statutte

These are the opening titles to the anime series from 1970 (Quentin Tarantino would love this opening theme):

And here’s a trailer for the anime film from 1980:

This is a cover from the manga which was launched on January 1st, 1968:

Tomorrow's Joe manga cover

It’s interesting to note that Joe has inspired a series of videogames, in fact in 2004 one came out for the Playstation. The original manga was actually published in Italy as well as Japan, but sadly has never been brought to the United States. And sadly the anime series has never come over to the United States either. My guess is that back in the day the fact that it wasn’t a typical sci fi title went against it, and in a modern age of Bleach the series looks too old school to be appreciated by kids who might be let down by the fact that Joe has no magical powers.

However I think with the recession the time may be right for a new generation to discover and appreciate this classic. What made the series popular back in the day was that Joe was a working class hero — a product of the slums of Tokyo. If I had my way I’d love for a publisher like Vertical, Inc. to translate the manga, but until then I’d urge my fellow anime and manga bloggers to spread the word about this heavyweight classic.

Statuette found via

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