A Brand New NHK Documentary Examines the influence of Ashita no Joe Manga


A New History Documentary Series that broadcasts on the NHK channel titled “Another Stories: Unmei no Bunkiten (“Another Stories: The Crossroads of Fate”)” is set to air an episode that will examine the classic sports manga series by Tetsuya Chiba (Illustrator) and Asao Takamori (Writer), Ashita no Joe, it told the story of a boxer who was down on his luck and overcame hurdles to become champion and explore how it overtook Japan by storm in the Late Sixties.

Ashita no Joe - Jidai to Ikita Hero Promotional Banner
Image Credit: NHK

The episode, entitled “Ashita no Joe – Jidai to Ikita Hero” (“Tomorrow’s Joe – A Living Hero of the Era”) focuses on the influence of the Ashita no Joe manga on the Japanese student movement during the late Sixties as well as its impact on other famous cultural figures such as poet/playwright Shūji Terayama (who planned a real-life funeral for Joe’s rival Rikiishi), author Mitsuyo Kakuta, and marathon runner Yuko Arimori. The Episode is set to broadcast on NHK BS Premium during the 21:00 time slot (9:00 pm JST) on January 25th, 2022

Ashita no Joe made its debut in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonēn Magazine in January 1968 and ran until May 1973, it was compiled into twenty tankobon volumes and was reprinted in Shukan Gendai in March 2009 until the year’s end.

To this day, Ashita no Joe is considered to be the most influential manga series of all time, where it would be adapted into anime, live-action films, a stage play, a radio drama, and six video games. But in 2018 it would be reimagined in a futuristic retelling called Megalobox, which the anime was released on Joe’s 50th Anniversary and would pick up a sequel series. You can catch the first season on Crunchyroll and Netflix and the second season on FunimationHulu.


Currently, on NHK World-Japan, there is a documentary available to watch called “Face to Face” and the episode titled “Living in the moment through Manga” is available to watch On Demand through August 29th, 2022. Where Robert Campbell sits down with Ashita no Joe Artist Tetsuya Chiba for an exclusive interview.

Source: Crunchyroll, NHK World Japan

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