Ashita no Joe Boxing Film Comes to North American DVD
posted on 2008-01-25 12:21 EST by Egan Loo
Tai Seng, a home video distributor best known for Chinese-language films, will release Yoichiro Fukuda's animated film based on Asao Takamori and Tetsuya Chiba's Ashita no Joe boxing manga classic. The 1980 film revisits the story that was first animated in the 1970 television series by Osamu Dezaki (Black Jack, Golgo 13: The Professional). Like the manga, the movie follows an orphan named Joe Yabuki as he rises from the Tokyo slums under the tutelage of a former boxer. Under the English title Champion Joe, the 152-minute DVD will ship on March 25 with Japanese and English dialogue soundtracks with optional English subtitles.
Takamori and Chiba's original 1968-1973 manga is among the most critically acclaimed stories in Japanese popular culture, and Dezaki's television series added to the story's iconic status. It would later influence two generations of sports and shōnen manga, including Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit). A crucial twist in the television version's plot made headlines in Japan as people marked the occasion with public ceremonies.