Here it is at last. The crumbling of Team Nowhere that everyone knew was bound to come, but tastes so sour nevertheless. Sachio is holed up in Shirato’s home, Joe is pissing blood and feeling betrayed by Nanbu, and Nanbu himself is drowning himself in alcohol. It’s the lowest we’ve ever seen Team Nowhere, but what better time than before Megalonia for the trio to slingshot back to greatness?
The main obstacle standing in their way of course is Mr. Fujimaki, who I was originally thankful for because he offered Nanbu and Joe a chance rather than boiling them into fond immediately. However, I wasn’t aware that he had told Nanbu the conditions from the very beginning. This wasn’t some in the moment decision to make Joe throw Megalonia, but something that Nanbu knew about since the very beginning. But that was the only chance they had, so what could Nanbu really do but accept it?
But regardless of all that nonsense, Joe feels betrayed by Nanbu. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s been ten episodes of fights, motivational revelations, and emotional breakdowns. Team Nowhere has been through thick and thin from the very first matches against the likes of Samejima to the higher intensity punch outs with Aragaki. After all that, it was probably easy for Joe to believe that Nanbu really trusted him, that they were all in this together because they all thought Joe had a winning shot. I don’t think that’s far from the truth, I do believe that Nanbu considers Joe an amazing Megalo Boxer. However, with the literal threat of death looming not just over his own shoulder, but over Sachio’s and Joe’s, Nanbu’s backed into a wall. When Joe tells Nanbu that he doesn’t have a single bone in his body and drives off on his bike, Nanbu looks the most distraught than we’ve ever seen him. Joe’s words definitely cut deep, and I can’t help but feel that Joe is underestimating how serious Fujimaki is, or if he does, he simply doesn’t care.
The reveal of Sachio’s backstory was another interesting point of the episode, and one that I thought would consume an entire twenty minutes. Instead we were given quite a short description, but nevertheless we learn Sachio’s tragic past. A father who’s brilliant ideas were stolen during his time at Shirato Corporation, leading to suicide. Along with a mother who fell sick and died a year afterwards. After learning this, I thought it was hilarious that Nanbu would drive Sachio to Shirato’s home with a knife, only Nanbu would do that. Fortunately, Sachio realizes that Shirato herself is not a bad woman, and decides that he’ll get his revenge on the corporation by winning Megalonia with Joe. It was extremely sweet and emotional, but what got me even more, was Nanbu’s goodbye. He leaves Sachio in the safety of Shirato’s hands, and tells Sachio to take care of Joe. That is death flag numero uno in every anime ever, and I’m quite certain it was Nanbu’s way of saying he’s accepted that Joe won’t throw the fight. Now I’m not sure what Nanbu is planning, but I believe his redemption will come next episode. I just hope he doesn’t do anything suicidal such as attacking Fujimaki or something.
The Pepe Iglesias fight was super hype, and their dramatic entrances were fitting of the level that Megalonia stands on as a competition. Pepe’s entrance was awesome and his banter with Yuri was amusing, and the match itself was quite exciting. Unfortunately for Pepe, Yuri is the destined fighter to face Joe, and he never stood a chance. The animation was great, with another use of the 360 degree turn as the two fighters duke it out. Pepe’s fighting style itself was fascinating to watch, and I could really tell that this truly was the highest level of Megalo Boxing as I watched him face off against Yuri. The speed, the power, the threat of it being over in one punch!
Overall, I loved the episode but I’m a bit fearful for what Nanbu may do next. I’m not sure what he’s thinking, but his line to Sachio has instilled some worry into my heart. Hopefully Joe comes to save him and Team Nowhere can enter Megalonia with nothing holding them back.