Kodansha USA Licenses Ashita no Joe Boxing Manga Series for Print & Digital Release in December 2024

ashita no joe volume one cover feature image
© Asao Takamori, Tetsuya Chiba / Kodansha

Kodansha USA exclusively confirmed with ICv2 that it will release the legendary boxing manga Ashita no Joe: Fighting for Tomorrow for the first time in English on print and digital formats this coming December 2024. 

Kodansha will translate and publish the epic boxing manga series in its entirety, across eight oversized, hardcover omnibus editions — the first of which will be released in December 2024 at a cost of US$59.95. Each volume will be distributed by Penguin Random House upon its release. 

Digital editions will also be available to purchase across participating digital manga retailers and on Kodansha USA’s website. 

kodansha usa ashita no joe cover visual

Kodansha publisher Toshihiro Tsuchiya provided the following statement on the manga’s English release: 

Kodansha believes that the manga market is maturing, as well as looking for past manga classics that have never been translated into English. This work is a true masterpiece that Japan is proud of. This year marks the 50th anniversary since its completion in 1973. Because of this, we think that now is the best time to bring Ashita no Joe: Fighting for Tomorrow to English-reading manga fans worldwide. 

We consider it an honor and a labor of love to introduce such an important manga masterpiece to a new generation of fans. And we hope that this new edition will be as much of an inspiration as it was when it originally debuted in Japan.

The original Ashita no Joe manga was written by Asao Takamori and illustrated by Tetsuya Chiba. It ran in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine from January 1, 1968 to May 13, 1973 with a total of 20 tankoubon volumes released during its publication. 

The manga inspired a 79-episode 1970 TV anime series and a second 47-episode TV anime series in 1980. Two edited versions of the series were released as films in 1980 and 1981, respectively. The series also inspired a radio drama, stage play, two separate live-action film adaptations in 1970 and 2011, and a 6-episode OVA series. 

ashita no joe volume one cover
© Asao Takamori, Tetsuya Chiba / Kodansha

A futuristic anime reimagining of Ashita no Joe titled Megalobox was released in 2018, while a second season Megalobox 2: Nomad aired in 2021. 

Kodansha describes the synopsis of Ashita no Joe: Fighting for Tomorrow as: 

A young drifter named Joe Yabuki wanders through the slums of Tokyo, but when the local ruffians try to give him a hard time, he teaches them a rough lesson with his fists. The spectacle sparks a gleam in the eye of an old drunk who happens to be watching – Danpei Tange, a failed boxer and former coach who sees something special in the boy. He pleads with Joe to train with him, but the cocky young fighter brushes him off. Later, though, when Joe is arrested and put in a juvenile detention facility, he realizes that he’s going to need to hone his raw fighting skills if he wants to survive.

Source: ICv2, Kodansha USA Website

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He also contributes work to the website Yatta Tachi. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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