Tomorrow Joe

4/1/1970 - 9/29/1971 TV series 79 episodes Mushi Productions/Fuji TV
Episode director:
#5: First for tomorrow
#14: No KO gong yet?!
#31: Fly, pro boxer
#74: Departure today
Director: Dezaki Osamu
Animation Director: Sugino Akio
A smash hit TV series predating Rocky about a boxer who fights his way to the top, based on a manga by Chiba Tetsuya. This was Osamu Dezaki's debut as TV series director, and it was the work which 'catapulted him to fame' as the first auteur in anime history. It still ranks as one of the most popular anime of all time over in Japan.

The episode which brings us the first instance (of many) of the most famous image from this series, that of Joe smacking his opponent of the day with a so-called "cross counter", happens to occur at the end of Hata's episode #14, the episode featuring of the first bout between Joe and his arch-rival Rikiishi Tôru. (the shots in the above animation are from this episode) It is easily the most satisfying of Hata's four in this series, and indeed one of Hata's best, #5 leaving little impression and his other two episodes, #31 and #74, being 'mere' comic releif episodes with a surfeit of inspid silly antics, indicative of the fact that Hata had by this time presumably acquired his label of director of children's fare. #31 was produced soon after Cleopatra had been released, and #74 while Hata was acting as chief director of Stories of Andersen.

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