In most reviews it is easy to analyze the holes in the writing. Sometimes it is harder to pinpoint what the anime does right. Usually it all starts and ends with the writing. Characters/plot/conflict I’ve noticed that MEGALOBOX has great writing so far and the last two episodes really are an opportunity for a lesson in writing.
You thought school was out huh?
If you are a writer you may have heard of something called the try-fail cycle. It is the nuts and bolts of conflict in a story you can basically break it down into four answers:
2. Yes, BUT
4. No, AND
In most stories you want to stick with the last three it is a pretty boring story if the character always gets what they want. This is what is making the conflict in MEGALOBOX so good the lovely episodes of the try fail cycle.
For this I’m going to focus on the end of episode 7 and then 8. There are spoilers.
Conflict: Joe needs to beat Mikio to get the last spot in Megalonia
Cycle: No, AND
This is the starting point. Joe needs to face Mikio and his body is already messed up from his last fight. The viewer is expecting a hard fight for him, but Mikio surprises us by telling Joe that he knows that his ID is fake and if he goes out to the ring he will expose it to the world. So not only does Joe fail at getting to fight Mikio he also has the new threat of getting exposed for his illegal ID. Thus No, AND
Conflict: Nanbu needs to convince the CEO Shirato to let Joe fight Mikio
Cycle: No, AND
Nanbu (Joes coach) goes in to make an appeal for Joe. Trying to explain to her why they didn’t fight. She isn’t buying his story. There is a moment of hope and usually as an anime watcher this would be the point of success. The moment Nanbu mentions that Joe is the “genuine article”. We have a moment of a flash back to Yuri and we think that this is the moment where she will let Joe fight again. However, she doesn’t still doesn’t trust them so she not only turns him down, but locks him in the room so he doesn’t have a chance to contact Joe and the team. Thus No, AND
Conflict: Joe gets detained and makes a last attempt to get into Megalonia
Cycle: Yes, BUT
So Joes goes ahead and barges in on the ceremony that announces that Mikio will be the last fighter in Megalonia. As he is being dragged away Mikio taunts him that he is not the “genuine article” and those words finally reach Yukiko. So she decides to rip the ticket in half and give half to each. So he is successful on getting closer to the big fight, but he still has one more fight left. Thus Yes, BUT.
In breaking these things down the main lesson is that you need conflict… Duh. However, these are great episodes that really let you see the try-fail cycles and it isn’t always the answer that you expect. Which also makes it great writing. In the end never give your characters what they want right away. Make them suffer… haha.
That concludes the lesson for today!