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Ashita No Joe


  • Movie: Ashita No Joe
  • Country: Japan
  • Duration: 2 hr. 11 min.
  • Genres: Drama, Sports, Manga
  • Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: 7.8 (scored by 851 users)
  • Ranked: #1080
  • Popularity: #1429
  • Members: 1,665
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12 people found this review helpful
Jun 5, 2013
Overall 8.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
On a super crazy Yamapi nostalgia which propelled me to re-watch almost all he's been acting in, I have finally come around to watch this movie. I was hesitant because, honestly, among all the combat sports, boxing is definitely not my favourite.

Being the movie adaptation of a legendary manga, the plot of this live action would need a 1 page discussion at least. But here's the rub! The movie does absolutely no justice to the cultural reality it was born in. Tomorrow's Joe is originally a story of social redemption that features a very self destructive antihero; it's not your average story of poor guy becomes rich and popular thanks to his fists and strength of will. It is, or I'd better say it SHOULD BE, the mirror of a period, a true social condemnation embodied by a derelict guy who can express himself only on the ring. This is where the film fails big time. The character of Joe is so scantily written one needs to be a seer to understand his motives – unless you've read all 20 volumes of the manga, in which case you'll probably be disappointed anyway by its brevity.
The direction seems to have been so preoccupied with the tiniest visual detail that it completely forgot to tell a story. The same applies to all the characters, whose arc is touched so superficially I had to appeal to my imagination to fill all the glaring voids.

Not to mention the boxing aspect itself. While the actors have done an amazing job at preparing for a difficult athletic task, the combats themselves are visually beautiful but tremendously repetitive. Since so much time is dedicated to the fight, I was hoping for more moves and tricks that never came. Once again, in their anxiety to be loyal to the manga they concentrated on the outer picture, instead of creating a movie which could stand on its own feet, for viewers who weren't yet born in the 60ies or have never heard of Yabuki Joe.

So why am I giving this film such a high overall rate?
Let's say this is my way to pay homage to the cast, mostly Tomohisa and Yusuke Iseya, and the director of photography. As you may have inferred from the premise of this review, I do not belong to the group of those who think Yamapi's just another pretty idol who can't act. On the contrary, I maintain he has what in theatre jargon is called the "physique du role", regardless of the part he plays. He does not express much with his face, he actually uses his whole body to enter the character. From Akira who flaps his arms like a weird butterfly to the über cool flying doctor, from the basketball court to the boxing ring he's always extremely believable. I could mention more roles, but it won't be necessary, I stand my ground: here, he IS Joe. If he had been given the chance, he would have created an unforgettable character.
Iseya did an amazing job too, despite the sad lack of depth the character he portrays is condemned to by the terrible script.

As for photography, it's absolutely stunning. Colours, angles, close-up shots and flashbacks are spot on. It does have a flaw, though, directly related to the abovementioned necessity to stay visually true to the manga: at times it looks as though the story took place in the 20ies, when in fact it's the 60ies and 70ies, as proved by the fact that people watch television, among other things.
The music falls into the same trap, but I'm willing to forgive this detail, since it's very beautiful and suits the atmosphere perfectly.

I may rewatch this movie in the future, just for the visual. I'm not sure I'm willing to recommend it, unless you're familiar with the characters and don't care for the plot.
Let's say that this movie has done nothing to ignite my interest for the sport, but it has confirmed my undying love for Yamashita Tomohisa – as if that ever needed validation.

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10 people found this review helpful
Jan 2, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Wooow, this movie is a must watch for every fan of boxing. I was expecting a good fighting movie and it turned out to be so much more than that. The story has a very deep meaning and it's really surprising. The actors were prepared very well, they fought like real boxers. I know that many people think that Yamapi is not a very good actor. I hope that after watching this movie they will change their opinion because his acting was so awesome here, he was always good in my opinion but in Ashita no Joe he is just amazing. The music matched the atmosphere of the movie perfectly and I love Utada's song

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7 people found this review helpful
Apr 26, 2012
Overall 7.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
Its a very good and well made movie overall. Althought its far from perfect i believe any fan of sports will be able to enjoy it.

My main problem with it was that altough it was deep and serious there were many elements that stood out and damaged the atmoshphere. I think crazy freakish looking coach didnt fit the movie at all. He was supposed to be there for guidance but in the end did very little.
And when your main protagonist is extremely silent you need charismatic people around him to make the movie more engaging.

The fights themselves were also too focused on a single boxing move so they felt kinda silly at times. The overdone slow motion effects didnt help either. On top of that the whole thing was really silent and could have used some music.

Also i found the set up for the ending(not the ending itself) pretty underwhelming. I would have hoped for something more special.

I would have prefered if they had tried to make this movie super realistic dark and gritty set in modern times rather than the early 20th century but it is still enjoyable and worth a watch.

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6 people found this review helpful
May 20, 2012
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
If you like fight movies with a good ending then this is your kind of movie.
It starts off with Joe getting into trouble and events lead him to the prison where he begins to follow the lessons from the "old man" on boxing. After getting into a couple more fights he meets the guy who makes him want to really get into boxing by basically Joe just wanting to just beat him.
It shows the intense training and how hard they work up for their fight together.
If there was much music in the movie I didn't really notice since I was too busy watching all the fighting haha.
Some scenes might be a little sad but the ending and movie as a whole I'd say was good.

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0 people found this review helpful
Mar 7, 2017
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
Very nice and deep movie. Kudos to the actor for having immersed themselves so much in the story. I heard they had to train for months and lost each ~10kilos, which is 20%~ of their weight... Whoah.
The story in itself isn't only a story about just fighting. It's about living, and getting up again after each it; it's about life in the slums too, although this part wasn't as deepened as I would've wanted it to be, but week, that wasn't the main part of the movie. This movie is for you if:
-you like box
-you don't really like box but well a movie full of adrenaline like this one is what you're looking for
-yamapi ~~
- you want to stop a little time to fully immerse you in an intense movie~
Well, it's a nice movie, but I'd say you have to watch it even if just for the actors since their transformation is so great. I mean, they really looked like they were on the verge of dying o_o
I stared this movie from afar but never really felt like watching it, but now that I did I'm not regretting it. It was a great and intense movie!

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0 people found this review helpful
Oct 20, 2016
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I was really hesitant at first about watching this film due to my little knowledge of sports but the story line was what allowed me to stay. To me the characters were believable and it had some slight humor time to time but managed to stay in its original seriousness. Highly recommend watching this drama !
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