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'''''Ashita no Joe''''' (English title: "Tomorrow's Joe") a critically acclaimed boxing manga created by Asao Takamori and Tetsuya Chiba in 1968 that was later adapted into an anime series and movie. While absurdly popular in its home country, it's almost completely unknown outside of it. Outside Japan, it is also referred to as ''Rocky Joe'' or ''Joe''. Creator/MasamiKurumada, author of ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', has also stated that he actually created his first famous manga (''Manga/RingNiKakero'') as a tribute to this one.

Joe Yabuki is a troubled orphan who runs away from the orphanage, wandering the slums of Tokyo until he meets up with former boxing trainer Danpei Tange, who teaches Joe how to box while the latter is in prison. While in prison, Joe develops rivalries and friendships with the other inmates (and these two groups often overlap) while developing his skills at boxing and trying to become the best in the world.

''Ashita no Joe'' has been made into several video games, including a ''VideoGame/PunchOut''-like arcade game by Creator/{{Taito}}, the infamous UsefulNotes/NeoGeo game ''VideoGame/LegendOfSuccessJoe'', ''Ashita no Joe: Masseki ni Moe Agare!'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance, ''Ashita no Joe: Masshiro ni Moe Tsukiro!'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2. The GBA and [=PS2=] games are both by {{Konami}}) and VideoGame/SundayVSMagazineShuuketsuChoujouDaikessen for [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSP]].

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!! This manga contains examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion: The first anime series by MushiProduction show us some examples:
*** Youko's first introduction in the manga (c.11) is as an audience member at Joe's trial. She was the person who donated all the money to Joe's scheme with the children, and didn't have a speaking role with him in that chapter. In the anime series, we are shown Joe tricking her himself, inside her home with all the kids, and insulting Joe after the trial is over. [[TropesAreNotBad This actually makes their antagonism more personal.]]
*** Joe managed to escape the prison in the anime, something he never did in the manga. He returned because he couldn't face the fact he didn't had a fight with Rikishii.
** The second series isn't short of this either. The backstories of some characters are expanded upon, including Wolf Kanagushi(who now has a fiancée) and Jose Mendoza(who is stated as an ace since he was ''sixteen'').
*** Jose Mendoza in general gets more screen time, and unlike the manga, his view on Joe evolves to a similar type of FriendlyRivalry that his past opponents shared.
*** On top of that, there's added ShipTease between [[spoiler: Joe and Yoko]]
* TheAlcoholic: Danpei at first. He gets better.
* AllThereIsToKnowAboutTheCryingGame: To an infamous degree (at least for Western audiences), the ending of the series applies, [[spoiler: where Joe dies in his last match]]. This is due to other works almost always referencing/parodying the series by using this particular scene.
* AntiVillain: Youko. She antagonizes Joe mostly during the first half of the series, then organizes most of Joe's fights, and, as he puts it, toys with his fate like a demon. She is however a good person, [[spoiler: and grows to fall in love with Joe, who likes her back in his own way]].
** All Joe's rivals, [[spoiler: exept for Harimao,]] are honorable fighters that he respects in some way, despite being his opponents.
* {{Badass}}: Joe, Rikishi
* BadassGrandpa: Danpei.
* BookDumb: Joe, which comes back to bite him ''big time'' when it turns out there's a theory portion of the boxing license exam.
* ByronicHero: Joe Yabuki goes through many hardships... and he brings almost all of them on himself.
* CannotSpitItOut: Joe can't tell Youko that he likes her due to being NotGoodWithPeople, to the degree that [[spoiler: the day when he finally confesses... is the day when ''he dies''.]]
* CasualtyInTheRing: Two characters die this way. One of them is happy about it.
* CharacterDevelopment: Nishi goes from a JerkAss leader of a group of delinquents to a GentleGiant.
* CrossCounter: TropeMaker. It's also Joe's specialty.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Ashita no Joe 2 is this for the manga. Boxers die or retire a lot more.
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: Mendoza wins the final fight of the manga, and Joe dies on the ring. Somewhat of a BitterSweetEnding since Joe achieved glory despite his loss, managed to tell Youko his feelings, and ultimately dies with a smile because he had the fight he dreamt of, and chose his fate.]]
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler: Weirdly, the ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' clone arcade game has one.]]
* EyepatchOfPower: Danpei.
* FamousLastWords: [[spoiler: Joe Yabuki]]'s are: "Take [[spoiler: these gloves]] and keep them for me... I hope you'll keep them for me...", and they go to [[spoiler: Youko Shiraki.]] Some dubs (like the Italian one) take it further [[spoiler: to a DyingDeclarationOfLove. ("I hope you'll keep them as a proof of my love for you...").]]
* GameBreakingInjury: It's a frequent trope in the series. For instance [[spoiler:Joe's triple cross-counter fractures Wolf's jaw so badly that he has to retire.]]
* GentleGiant: Nishi post CharacterDevelopment.
* [[spoiler: GoOutWithASmile: Joe [[http://blog.exolimpo.com/2010/03/ashita-no-joe-pelicula-y-dorama.html has a gentle smile on his lips]] as he passes away after his last fight.]]
* [[spoiler: TheHeroDies]]
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: Joe, after accidentally causing Rikishi's death in their fight.]]
* HeroicRROD: [[spoiler: Joe's death at the end is from the exhaustion of his last match.]]
** Similarly, [[spoiler: Rikishi's death is from the brain damage that Joe accidentally dealed to him with a too-well-placed cross counter in the sixth round, which kicks in ''[[DeusAngstMachina right after the fight is over]]''.]]
* HotBlooded: Joe Yabuki
* IdenticalStranger: Freelance journalist Kiyoshi Suga looks confusingly like Joe's first rival Rikiishi, albeit with more handsome features.
* JapaneseDelinquents: Joe, Nishi and Rikishi. In fact, all of them met in a juvenile prison.
* JapanesePronouns: Joe was the first ''shounen'' hero to use the manly and aggressive ''ore'' pronoun, rather than the boyish and "non-threatening" ''boku''. Ater him, ''shounen'' main dudes started to use ''ore'' too.
* {{Jerkass}}: Joe, through and through. His JerkAss tendencies rise to the point where you have to wonder why Nishi continues to put up with him. After the Juvenile prison arc, he is more of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
** Nishi himself used to be quite the asshole.
* TheLancer: Nishi becomes this to Joe after his CharacterDevelopment.
* LanternJawOfJustice: Rikiishi has this.
* LockedIntoStrangeness: [[spoiler:Jose's hair turns gray once he beats Joe in the finale.]]
* MoralGuardians: They claimed that the manga was "teaching young children to be rebellious and anti-social towards Japanese family values" back when it first came out. They soon changed their mind, however.
** Not only in Japan, actually. When the anime was aired in Spain in TheEighties, people complained about exactly the same thing.
* MyGreatestFailure: Danpei Tange became a drunkard after the boxer who he spent years training for the championship threw the fight for money.
* NiceHat: Joe's newsboy cap, and Danpei's fedora.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Not so much as stupidity as an act: [[spoiler:Carlos Rivera purposely struggled against his first Japanese opponents because no matter what country he goes to, nobody is willing to fight him once they see how powerful he is.]]
* TheOjou: Joe's love interest, Youko Shiraki, is a girl from a rich and well-known family. Lampshaded by Danpei, who refers to her as "ojousan" ("young lady") rather than by name.
* PeekABangs: Joe's hair always cover one eye.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Joe's initial reaction to Danpei's pleas to train him in boxing. Eventually, Joe gives in.
* TheRival: Rikiishi, for the majority of the series.
** PrivilegedRival: Unlike Joe, he already had experience in professional boxing before they met and has the financial support of the Shiraki family.
* SayMyName: The original one. "JOE!!!"
* [[spoiler: SelfMadeOrphan: Asian-Pacific Champion Yong-bi Kim once killed a man over a misunderstanding. He then realized that said man was his father. The incident scarred him so much that he was left with a phobia of blood.]]
* StockShoutOut: The final shot of the series, [[spoiler:a slumped-over Joe, passing away with a smile on his face at the end of his final match]], is culturally ingrained enough to be called to in all forms of Japanese media.
* TakeThatAudience: Part of the manga can easily be seen as a take that aimed at boxing audiences who want to see bloody slugfests and K.O's and dont care how dangerous and damaging these kinds of fights are to the boxers, or about the technical and strategic aspects of the sport. This is even explicitly brought up during one fight when the audience starts to complain that the fighters arent at eachothers throat every second, and justify it with that "they paid for a ticket".
* TitleDrop: Multiple times in the anime.
* TrainingFromHell: The training regimen Danpei puts Joe and Nishi through is brutal even by pro athlete standards, and especially difficult for Nishi, as he needs to drop and maintain a certain weight to qualify for Middleweight, even though he's a natural Heavyweight.
** Even Danpei's training is a cakewalk compared to what Riikishi puts himself through to reach bantamweight so he can fight Joe, including dehydrating himself to the point of delirium and locking himself up at night to keep himself from drinking any water. [[spoiler: The dangerous training ends up damaging his body to the point where his fight against Joe kills him]]
* WhamLine: [[spoiler:"I'm in love...with ''you'', Yabuki!"]]
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: [[spoiler: Yong-bi Kim, due to having accidentally killed his dad, is very scared of blood.]]
* WorthyOpponent: Rikiishi and Joe seem to see each other as this.
* {{Yakuza}}: What [[spoiler: Wolf Kanigushi]] turns to, after his boxing career ends. It doesn't end well.
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