Story Premise

Ashita no Joe

An influential anime and manga series that translates to "Joe of Tomorrow". The story begins when a young solitary boy named Joe Yabuki meets a retired boxer, Danpei Tange. After seeing Joe's raw power in a street fight, Danpei insists on training him in the art of boxing. However Joe refuses until his rival Toru Rikiishi appears.

The manga, written by Tetsuya Chiba, was published by Shonen magazine between January 1968 and May 1973, while the anime version was aired by Fuji TV between April and September 1970, then between October 1980 and August 1981. The series is arguably the single best boxing series ever produced, and the anime was produced by Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions and featured an episode director by the name of Yoshiyuki Tomino, who later went on to change the face of anime with his series Mobile Suit Gundam.

Relevance to Urusei Yatsura

Ashita no Joe was an undoubtedly an influential sports fiction, but even by the time the 80's were approaching it started to be considered a bit dated and cheezy. The series was ripe for parody, and Urusei Yatsura would often poke fun at this famous anime.

Any episodes dealing with boxing would undoubtedly make a reference, such as episode 43 "Fear of Meow" in which even the animation style is reminiscent of the show.

Particularly many of the fights between Ryuunosuke and her Father mirror fights that took place in Ashita no Joe (for example the famous cross-counter punch between Joe and Rikishi). Even their relationship is similar to that of Joe and his grizzled old coach.

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Cast of Characters
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The Animated Series
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