The sixth episode of Megalo Box’s second season has officially dropped, with no intention of holding back any of its emotional punches. After Joe returns to his home to see the people he cares about, not wanting anything to do with him, he continues to be there when they are in trouble. However, as episode 6 shows, forgiveness isn’t something that happens overnight; even when time passes, you have to earn it. I will lightly address spoilers for the latest episode in this article.
I believe that episode 6 is great because of its importance to the show’s narrative and themes. It doesn’t have the intense action shown in previous episodes; the show’s emotional beats are still present for audiences to enjoy.
After Sachio attacks a small-time megalo boxer because of his friends being bullied, he has to pay the consequences after Bonjiri’s restaurant gets destroyed and his deed is taken.
Although he vows to make up for his mistakes by fighting in the ring, Joe fights instead to help them out. Joe loses, but because the match was fixed, he can return the deed for Bonjiri’s restaurant.
However, the kids still look down at Joe and state that they don’t want to see him again. As a result, Joe walks away into the night with the show leaving his bond with the kids ambiguous. At least until episode 7 releases in the following week.
Episode 6 focuses less on Joe and his journey to develop its side characters and their problems. The kids of Nomad Megalo Box 2 deliver good performances, with each of them dealing with the return of Joe in different ways. Sachio, for example, is bitter that Joe has returned, making it clear that he doesn’t want to see him again.
Oicho is also taking Joe’s return badly because he abandoned them when everyone was at their worst. Other characters such as Bonjiri and Santa are trying not to push the topic, but they still feel resentment towards Joe.
However, the episode shows through flashbacks why the kid’s bond with Joe became sour and how it’s more complicated than it appears. Not too long after Joe loses against Liu, his coach and father-figure, Nanbu, dies.
Sachio, in his depression, states that Joe is no longer welcome in the family, sparking Joe’s transformation to Nomad. Megalo Box demonstrates that the character development present within these characters is more complicated than it appears.
The theme of facing your problems instead of running away is present throughout Nomad Megalo Box 2, but episode 6 touches on this theme the most. Although Joe is doing his best to make up for what he’s done, his friends still resent him.
However, the characters also start to question why Joe is back in the first place. The episode’s main question is whether they should forgive Joe or have nothing to do with him.
What makes this episode, and in turn, the anime, so memorable is that the answer isn’t black or white. It’s a complicated situation that illustrates that nobody is wrong with what has happened.
Forgiveness isn’t an easy path, and Abuhachi mentions in the episode that “even though we know we’ll regret it someday, we keep choosing the easy way out.” That is the core message behind the theme of Nomad Megalo Box 2 and why it’s as impactful as a championship match.
Screenshots via official Twitter
Megalobox 2 Official Twitter
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