English: Fighting Spirit: New Challenger
Synonyms: Hajime no Ippo New Series, Hajime no Ippo Season II, Hajime no Ippo 2
Japanese: はじめの一歩 新シリーズ
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2009 to Jul 1, 2009
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.771 (scored by 18503 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Apr 27, 2010
In this anime you don't just have pure fight, action non-stop. NO!
You get to know each one of the characters in the series. It's like you're one part of this anime. I don't know, I've never felt it before. The "gang"...It always looked like I am part of it, laughing and sorrowing with them. Watching them get beat up and yet stand again.
I know this review sounds like shit, and there are 100% lot better reviews then this, but I'm sorry, i can't write review about this series and not get my emotions here. You know, reviews are about scores, studying all segments of series, but this anime HAS SOUL.
The characters are so vivid, and real. You have so many different people here, each one better than another, all unique in some sort of way. It blows you off. It sucks you in.
This anime shows that there is no just "brute force" in boxing. Those boxers have something that keeps them on surface, not letting them sink. And it actually shows you that this is not impossible. This is not an anime about some superhero. You can be just one of these people. With your friends, your guts, your will, will of steel. It shows you that there is nothing, NOTHING more important, NOTHING more valuable than FRIENDSHIP. It seems stupid, but that's the thing that can push you up when you feel like dying.
And you know what? Forget crap like marks. I cannot grade it. It doesn't deserve any number.
Because when you put one part of your soul in something, you cannot give it any limitations.
I started up, thinking this review is gonna be very short. But... When you are touched by something, you just cannot stop. And now i'm feeling a bit lighter, because I've shared this with you. I don't care if this was helpful or not. When this anime ended, I've lost part of my soul with it, but yet i learned something that cannot be learned in any school.
-I've learned what is the thing that makes man GREAT.
I will never forget about this one. Enjoy you guys... read more
Jul 19, 2009
Next, I felt at times the pacing was unbalanced. Sometimes things were too fast due to those omissions, sometimes things were too slow just to concentrate on certain dialogs, and there are times it was just right. But I think they did the story arcs of the Martinez and Date fight and Ippo’s fight with Hammer Nao justice. In the end, rather than cutting out some parts of the manga and having been a little reliant on some unnecessary recaps, I give the story and characters.
The resolution and the depths to the color are a step up from the first installment. The art isn’t as sketchy looking with the bodies, but the designs are captured wel. The fights are also faithful to the manga, but at times, I did feel it did cut some corners which I felt wasn’t as abused in the first season. I thought the corner cutting and still shots were abused in the final fight a bit more, but really didn’t overall negate my enjoyment of the fight (though I'll admit I've conjured better quality fights playing the games). I felt anime wise, the Hawk and Takamura fight didn’t live up to how Ippo vs Sendo 2 played out for those reason since Ippo vs Sendo 2 didn’t really abuse it, and brought it’s own distinction from the manga fight.
But the action in general is still pretty awesome and I felt the anime captured the fighting styles of some of the characters very well, especially with Itagaki and Miyata. I felt the Martinez and Date fight was breathtaking and used very excellent angles in portraying Martinez’s brutal power and crisp technique.
One of my main concerns is that I did not like the color schemes for some of the characters. I have played all of the Hajime no Ippo games on PS2, PSP, PSOne Wii, and DS (yeah, laugh and point and call me a fan boy) and I liked some of the color schemes given to the characters in the games. I thought the color schemes for some of the characters such as Arnie’s red and black trunks and Itagaki’s brownish-redish trunks were pretty cool, reflected their personalities, and overall just seemed to fit. While in New Challenger, they are both given blue color schemes and I feel blue as the color of trunks is kind of an abused and redundant color in Hajime no Ippo. I thought the red with Arnie really reflected his aggressive style and blue tends to be a cliché symbol that you’re level headed, I just thought it didn’t feel right.
Before I get into the best quality of this season, I’ll take about the most controversial and that is the music. In addition to a new director, this anime has a new composer for the background music, Deathnote’s very own Hirano Yoshihisa. With the omission of Imahori Tsuneo’s acoustics and techno, Hirano implements his more grand orchestrated and piano style though at times he will use electric guitars but I’ll get into that a little later. If I were to put the controversy of this situation in a nutshell I would say that I have seen the protests and objections to Hirano’s style and the wanting of Imahori to return gone near the levels of the Ryan Drummond fans amongst the Sonic base. I’ll admit I was taken by surprise by the new style of music. At times it works and at other times, it totally misses. I’ll agree that Hirano’s composition isn’t as good as Imahori’s nor does it live up to how he made the Deathnote soundtrack, but I always believed in the saying if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it and I felt the BGM as a whole in Hajime no Ippo was kind of done here.
The worst quality of the music was when Nekota and the Kamogawa crew were crying during the Takamura and Hawk fight and it was playing this lame piano music that felt really stupid. The best parts are his uses of electric guitar that sound more like something out of punch out. But yeah, I do want Imahori Tsuneo back, and this situation now makes me sympathize with the Ryan Drummond fan boys. However, Hekireki and 8AM, the respective opening and ending themes I really like a lot though not as good as 360, Inner Light, or Yuuzora no Kamihikouki, but I think they capture the spirit of Hajime no Ippo very well.
Now time to conclude this part with the voice acting which consists of Gundam and Metal Gear Solid alumnus alike. With the exception of Kobayashi Sanae reprising the role of Mashiba Kumi, the cast from the first season is back. And the voice actor who got me most was Sakaguchi Daisuke who debuted as Uso Evin in V Gundam as Hammer Nao. I felt without him, the character would fall apart. Despite how much his appearance changed from the last time we saw him, I always thought that he was still that insecure individual as portrayed in the original manga but thanks to Sakaguchi’s acting, it captures something beyond my expectations and made him more likable in comparison to how I saw him in the manga as more of an asshole. Now I want to talk about Kumi’s new voice actor Hirata Yuka. I thought she sounded too energetic and the pitch was too seductive for the character. I always thought of her as pretty much shy and her original seiyuu captured that. Hopefully they’ll bring her back in the next installment. Another actor I enjoyed was Sugahara Masashi as Martinez. Even though he doesn’t have many lines, he sounded very intimidating, charismatic and authoritive. In a way he felt like Ivan Drago from Rocky IV.
And I’ll admit I was surprised that Ohtsuka Akio, the voice of Batou from Ghost in the Shell, Gato from Gundam 0083, as well as Solid Snake, Solidus, and Naked Snake in the Metal Gear Solid franchise as Brian Hawk who is the anti-thesis of those characters who are disciplined and formal while Hawk is pretty much an American version of Takamura. I wasn’t sure how he’d pull it off considering my familiarity with his performances as those characters so I was paying attention to how he’d do it. But after recently re-watching Rurouni Kenshin and seeing his performance as Jin-E, I felt he could do it. I think the performance that solidified him as Hawk was when he made his speech that he wanted to impregnate all the women in Japan. He was able to bring the charisma he had as those characters as Hawk in that scene, but in a comedic, disturbing, cynical and frightening fashion all at the same time. And in another scene I felt he had to define Hawk was when he meets his trainer in the flashback and asks for his license to kill and I thought he was able to bring Hawk’s qualities to life in that as well. Still, go on Anime News Network’s or this site's section on New Challenger and you’d be surprised how these voice actors have been in both Gundam and Metal Gear Solid franchises.
Thankfully they are making another installment according to Koyama Rikiya, the voice of Takamura. At first, I was pissed as fuck about the initial announcement of 26 episodes considering how much more manga material there is to cover, so I’m pretty excited since after this installment there are more of my personal favorite fights such as Ippo vs Sawamura and Miyata vs Medgoen Dachboy. In addition to pretty much seriously serialize the series, I want Nishimura and Imahori to come back.
Feb 13, 2009
The anime still has the same feeling it use to witch is good.
It continues right where it left off from the 2 movies and even fills you in a little on the movies just in case you missed them. As one of the best story lines in all anime there is not much more I need say about the story of the second series/ season its still just as great as the first one.
Art I would give it an 8 out of 10 but since they improved noticablly from the first season I gave it a 9. ... art is kinda a prefrence thing aswell as sound
Sound the sound for the anime has always been great and well fitting for the anime they even tossed in new artist for the hole series witch means they are not slacking and just trying to give the people season after season "quality over quantity" the new sound does the anime well and fits in just as good as the old one did.
Character the development attitude and "spirit" is all still there its all still good just because its a new director or w/e does not mean they are changing the story from the manga and so far no big differences really.
Over all enjoyment since its still one of my all time favorites from season 1 to season 2 I have a hard time trying to express a real review of it.
Most people will love this anime if you can bare watching naruto bleach or any other cleshay anime like that this anime will not dissapoint
If you like the anime the manga is a little different feeling to it do to the ground not shakeing like in the sendo fight but its still good... its a really long manga so i wouldent be surprised to see a third season.
Aug 14, 2012
I'm going to start with the "enjoyment" department, because this was truly the greatest aspect of Hajime no Ippo. Yes, the story line was amazing, and yes, the characters were outstanding. But I honestly believe the pure enjoyment you can get out of this series is the strong point in hajime no Ippo. New Challenger, no, the whole Ippo series in general, is one of few animes where I can truly say I was never bored. Never. Not once. I watched it from start to finnish within two days straight. You will never, ever, EVER, get bored of this anime. From the rich comedy that will make yours sides split, to the desperate fights, you won't want to put this down, not even for a moment.
I'm not going to spend much time on the art because I didn't notice anything wrong. It got better from Hajime no Ippo to New Challenger, and to be honest I would have been dissapointed if it hadn't. Same thing with the sound. Seemed good nothing to be done here.
Of course, the characters were just awesome. You have the same characters in the first installment, yet you get more depth with some of the characters. You start to understand Takamura more, which is just awesome. Because, let's be honest, who doesn't love Takamura? He's like the bad ass of all Bad asses. You also get to see a little more dealing with Date which helps you get more emotion when he passes on "the baton" to Ippo. Seriously, the characters were just as perfect as I expected. Maybe more?
Overall... what could have been better? Funny, heartwarming, dramatic and if you squint you can see some romance happening with Ippo and Kumi. Maybe I would have liked to see Kumi and Ippo hook up, but hey, what can you do? I mean, yeah I suppose this was not a romance anime. And looking back on it, that might not have been a good idea. But yeah. I mean what can I say? Besides being what I felt was a little short, this anime was just awesome. read more
Jan 22, 2009
So a little about this anime it will continue from the previous season of ippo and will add lots of twist and turns like Takamura Mamoru will finally start to challenge the world of the middleweight champion of the world and Ippo will start to have some real challenge in defending his title of featherweight champion of JAPAN. FOR MORE INFO PLZ CONTACT ME ON MY PROFILE... read more
Mar 12, 2012
Personally, I liked the change.