''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''. MasamiKurumada, author of SaintSeiya, has also stated that he actually created his first famous 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 NeoGeo game ''VideoGame/LegendOfSuccessJoe'', ''Ashita no Joe: Masseki ni Moe Agare!'' for the GameBoyAdvance, and VideoGame/SundayVSMagazineShuuketsuChoujouDaikessen for {{PSP}}.
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!! This manga contains examples of:
* 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 respect in some way, despite being his opponents.
* {{Badass}}: Joe, Rikishi
* BadassGrandpa: Danpei of course.
* 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.
* {{Defictionalization}}: When the two characters who died in the ring did so, both had [[ViewersInMourning real-life funerals held for them by fans]]. ''That is how popular the manga was.''
* [[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: [[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
* 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 Mendoza 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.]]
* TheObiWan: Danpei.
* 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 Ryuhi Kin 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.
* TitleDrop: Multiple times in the anime.
* WhyDiditHaveToBeSnakes: [[spoiler: Ryuhi Kin, 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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