Based on a comic by Takao Asamori (aka Ikki Kajiwara), and Tetsuya Chiba, Ashita no Joe is a story about a delinquent orphan named Joe who's boxing talent was discovered by ex boxer Danpei Tange, and was groomed to become the top boxer.
The story of this movie tells about 50% of the tale that was told in the comic. It shows how he gets discovered by Danpei, his meeting with Toru Rikiishi at the juvenile delinquent detention center, and his eventual debut as a professional boxer, and battle with Rikiishi.
The story is set somewhere in the '60s which matches the time line of when the comic was written. It's set in the slums of Tokyo where orphan Joe Yabuki shows up one day. Such environment might not exist in Tokyo today, so the title Tomorrow's Joe might be inaccurate now, and should be Yesterday's Joe.
The quality of production is good to average for Japanese movies made these days. It might be difficult to understand the story if you are not familiar with the comic and its lore. So the movie was made primarily for old time Ashita no Joe fan, and might not have universal appeal to the audience.
If this movie is financially successful, I wouldn't be surprised if a sequel is made that tells the remaining story of Joe Yabuki. The fact that a movie is made over 40 years after the release of the comic tells the enormous popularity of this comic to the Japanese. What is so appealing about the story, you be the judge.
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