My all time favourite anime – except Loveless – is Ashita no Joe. It’s the story of teenage orphan Yabuki Joe, his boxing coach Danpei and his nemesis Rikiishi. I’ve so far watched 54 of the 79 episodes of the first season.
One night when I got home to my hotel, the young night receptionist was watching tv. And Ashita no Joe was on! When I told him how much I loved the series, he told me that the area where Joe lived – Namidabashi (Bridge of Tears) was exactly the area of the hotel!
It made sense. I had seen some poor people on the street outside a bar and actually thought of Ashita no Joe. Next night I shot the above photo. It’s easy to picture Joe walking down this street, whistling, in the first episode of the legendary series.
Update: Here’s what Joe looks like – I found this ad on the door of a subway train: