November 06, 2012

Futari no Joe

Its been a while since my last post. While I still have had some time to watch anime, life kicks in and getting in front of the computer to write a new review seems to become more and more challenging. That being said,   Futari no Joe is a good OVA to get the "rust" off and jump back into writing reviews.

Futari no Joe is a short 6 episode OVA with a boxing theme. The plot revolves around two individuals, both of which are named Joe. The story starts out by following Joe Yuki (I'll refer to him as Yuki from now on to keep things less confusing), a DJ with a series of childhood abandonment issues. Because of Yuki's past with his parents selfish withdrawal of love for him, he begins to despise people who are weak. While it is never really clear what Yuki feels makes a person weak, he is adamant that he can't stand them. One day while walking around, Yuki comes across a box, Joe, who is trying to earn some money by allowing people to try an hit him. With Joe's training as a boxer he makes a fool out of a man who can't hit him and eventually begins collapsing. Yuki becomes infuriated with the man's weakness and challenges Joe only to lose. From then on, Yuki decides to take up boxing and the paths of Joe, Yuki, and their close friends and family begin crossing continuously throughout the short series. Both fighters end up training for the opportunity to face each other in the ring and settle their score from their first encounter on the street.

When I chose to watch this OVA, I was in one of those moods where I knew I wanted to watch an anime, but couldn't quite put my finger on exactly what it was that I wanted to watch. Being a fan of sports anime, especially martial arts based shows, I decided to give this a shot. While it didn't hold a candle to Hajime no Ippo as far as my preferences go, Futari no Joe was still quite enjoyable to watch. It took me having to let go of my expectations of what I would watch from longer, more drawn out boxing shows like Hajime no Ippo or Ring ni Kakero, but once I was able to do this, I was able to appreciate the show on its own merits.

The music was nothing special, which seems to be my bad luck with a lot of anime lately. While it isn't the defining factor for me, it would be nice to seek out a new soundtrack once in a while to listen to and change things up.

The animation was not too bad for the most part. The colour use was great and the scenes were well put together. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the character design style. Something about he characters felt inconsistent for me. I noticed a lot that Joe (the boxer) often would look almost chunky and disproportional in his facial features. While I might be a little overcritical of such a small thing, it was something that did impact my experience with the show. That is not to say that others may not really care or even prefer the design style used on the characters.

Overall, this show is worth checking out if you are into boxing anime. The drama was a little dry for my taste but for those who really enjoy the "hard story woes me" type of plot you may find it more appealing than I did.

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