English: Fighting Spirit: Champion Road
Synonyms: The First Step - Champion Road
Japanese: はじめの一歩 -Champion Road-
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 18, 2003
Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.431 (scored by 15783 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsboxing sports
Oct 12, 2008
The character designs are pretty much the same except the resolution is of course a much higher quality than the TV series and it adds more depth to it. The main fight of course still brilliantly put together as usual, but the ending felt repetitive and makes you wonder if this could be the direction Hajime no Ippo could be going. The execution of the hien is of course awkward, but I’m sure there are boxers in real life who have the capability of pulling off some a technique with the angles and speed, just like how Muhammad Ali in his Cassius Clay days could pull off the shot gun. But I liked how Sanada’s fighting style sort of represented an anti-Ippo fighting style at a technical and brawling level. Other than that, I wanted to see how Kobashi vs Hayami would have turned out in anime form.
Not really much to add here from the TV series review except for Yamdera Koichi’s voice being lent as Sanada. If you don’t know him, he was the voice of Ryouga from Ranma ½, Kaji from Evangelion, Gyuunei from Char’s Counterattack, Togusa from Ghost in the Shell, and last and not least, Spike from Cowboy Bebop. I thought he was a very credible addition to this series and I like how he portrayed his outside personality of being an intellectual doctor very well and also portraying that aspect of his personality inside the ring. After this appearance in the manga, he has two more which played some useful parts to certain aspects. It’s a pity the anime so far has been halted which would prevent any future use of his talents. Also, the music in the series is still present and still appropriately used.
Like I said, the ending to the anime is only the beginning in the manga. As much as I don’t like him, former UFC Welterweight champion Matt Hughes once said that a champion is not defined by winning the belt, but how far he can go with it, but that saying applies very well to this product. Ippo finally only achieved one step in his career and his overall goal throughout a huge portion of the manga is to seek his rematch with Miyata. read more
Apr 9, 2008
I'm not a fan of sports anime/manga in general, but when I see something that catches my eye, I'll watch it whatever it is. Originally I was searching for Ashita no Joe, but then Hajime no Ippo caught my eye.
Story: Essentially Ippo is fighting a medical student. Everything else is.....secondary. The romance bit was tacked on, but it kind of felt alright if not a little bit out of place. But in the 90 minute movie about an hour of that is fighting. So for me, the story doesn't really matter, what mattered was the fighting. And the fighting is amazing. Since Ippo is fighting a medical student the guy knows exactly where to hit to hurt someone.....and he does. The way the fight unfolds kept me completely interested in it for the entire hour-long duration of the film. This isn't Naruto where a fight can get boring and you sort of skip through scenes, the fighting in this is intense and got my adrenaline pumping at certain moments. However there were a couple times that just bugged me a little bit, such as when Ippo just gets beaten SO hard and he's ABOUT to fall down...but doesn't. This happens two or three times in really quick succession and it's the only bad thing about the fighting.
Art: A HUGE improvement from the beginning of the anime series. The characters look a lot smoother and look more human, less squished. However, the art is still....ugly. The faces are very square, bruises are represented by lots of lines....just small little things that add up to art that doesn't really impress. The art is shown in it's worst light when it comes to females. Ippo's love interest is very....ugly. Well...not ugly so much as plain, predictable, and very boring and awkward to look at. However, I'm completely missing the point. The anime is about fighting...nothing else should really matter. The fighting is AMAZING. I don't think they reused any of their frames. They change angles constantly and watching the fighting was simply amazing.
Sound: It sounded like a fight, like a hard gritty fight....and that's all that should matter. Ever sound effect was greatly placed, everything sounded perfect. Some of the music they used was a little corny, but what can you expect from a sports anime?
Character: I don't really know what to put for character. I want to say that the character's were great, but I honestly don't know if they were. I really rooted for Ippo, he's just a really nice guy who wants to know what it is to be strong. He's really easy to emphasize with, but it also seems....too easy to emphasize with him. I mean, he's the champion of Japan......and yet he's still shy and humble and the same sort of kid that he was at the start of the anime series. I mean there's no chance of him going through all of that and still being the same kind of person that he was however many years ago. The other characters were either the love interest (who isn't really even worth mentioning, she blushes when he talks to her and secretly loves him...predictable) the coach (who does coachy things like telling him to keep fighting) or his boxing buddies (who don't really do too much).
Enjoyment: Honestly, I loved it. The parts were Ippo was not fighting kind of bored me a little bit and I didn't pay too much attention during them. But the anime is about boxing.....not about having a great storyline. And the fighting is so amazing. I've seen a lot of action scenes in anime before, but this one was so completely different from anything else I've seen. I've never rooted for anyone more, I've never really cared more about anyone winning more than Ippo. I was so drawn into this anime, and I never expected that I would.
I honestly think this anime is good for everyone. Even if you don't really enjoy action or sports themed anime this is worth checking out. If you enjoy it that's great, and if you don't enjoy it, at least you've seen something good. This has been the first sports anime I've watched, the others haven't interested me too much, but Ippo is definitely worth watching. read more
Apr 1, 2008
Jan 7, 2012
Story: 10 - If u have watched the first series before this then u should already know that it is good. everything about the story line in my opinion is just perfect. never has a series made me so emotional and this movie wasnt any different, as a matter of fact it was the most emotional point of the series. I feel like I felt more emotions in the movie then I did throughout the whole series. This is the only movie I have watched that made me feel every possible emotion in the time span of only 1 hour and a half. that is just how well done the story is. So it starts off showing the very end of his championship match which is one of my favorite parts. then it goes into showing him training as well as his celebration after the match. Everyone also ends up convincing him to tell Kumi how he feels. He finds out he has to fight the former junior featherweight champion in his first title match. He is not a push over having defended his title 5 times and then giving it up so he can move up in weight class in order to challenge Ippo for his title. In the Ippo ends up in the fight of his life.
Art: 10 - What can I say, I already loved the art because of how unique and great it is. plus the animation is so fluid and smooth and unlike a lot of animes because of all the variety in facial expressions, the smooth action sequences and angles used u can tell the creaters definately weren't lazy with there animation. This was made even more amazing with the movie since the quality was increased to the max making already awesome art and animation just look outstanding. This was especially great since they had remastered one of the best scenes from the original series putting it right at the beginning.
sound: 10 - I loved the sound effects, the music, the voice acting. pretty much everything about the sound was incredible. some of the best voice acting for an english dub. the music really makes me kinda want to by the soundtrack and the sound effects just make the fighting all the more awesome.
character: 10 - Ippo is definitely one to the most lovable characters. He has so much heart and courage and love for the sport. His willpower is outstanding and he just oozes strength. I almost feel like he could take most other shonen anime characters just based on willpower alone. from the start to the finish u just will become so attached him and he is always fighting his hardest. In this movie I think he fought his hardest yet.
enjoyment: 10 - Well I think its quite obvious already how much I have enjoyed it. Never has any anime or movie really for that matter made me so emotional, and its not even sad. It is just too amazing, a definite number one on my list.
overall: 10 - What are u doing even reading this review in the first place, u should be watching that anime right now. If u havent seen the original series yet u are missing out big time. This is by far one of the best series ever, and so far this movie tops it. read more
Mar 12, 2012
Basically, a new villain (the first challenger) is introduced. I say "villain", but it's more like "likable rival". The plot is ridiculously predictable, but has enough of "Hajime no Ippo" charm, and humor to keep the audience going, regardless.
Watch after "Hajime no Ippo" and before "New Cahllenger".