Remember how I say that when you get to the end of the first anime series, it’s truly the beginning? This oav is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. It finally further gives the other characters deeper opportunities to develop and to be taken seriously. Especially in the case of Kimura who’s primary function has always been comic relief. It’s nice that the oav of course centers around on Kimura and you only view Ippo from a 3rd hand perspective which I thought was an interesting twist since he’s the main character. You really get to see how much boxing really means to
Kimura and you really see him work hard for this opportunity to defy the odds. Aoki who is also primarily used for comic relief is also taken seriously and you truly start to care for these two crazy guys. You really feel how Aoki treasures his friendship with Kimura, and that he’s with him all the way. Also as a Miyata fan boy, I also appreciated how this anime makes great use for him in this oav and I thought it was really cool he could use the hitman style like Mashiba as well.
Well, what I can say about the quality of the resolution and character design of this anime I already said in my review of Championship Road, which you can watch so I’ll leave this portion to the review to the execution of the fights. The sparring sessions Miyata and Kimura have are intense and it creates a sense of anticipation of how Kimura will do come the time the bell rings. The Detroit Hitman Style may come across as unrealistic to those who may not be familiar with boxing, when in fact it’s based on a style used by Thomas Hearns, who has fought in many of boxing’s greatest bouts in the 1980s against Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Marvin Hagler. If you look up his fights, then you’ll see how freakish his speed and reach really is. The fights are still intense and you can truly feel the passion these fighters have as they come closer to either victory or defeat. The overall quality of this fight is probably on the level of the Rocky Balboa and Mason Dixon fight.
Fujiwara Keiji, the voice of Shingo from Initial D, Eledore from Gundam 08th MS team, and Reno from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children who voices Kimura brings a whole new stand out quality to his character thanks to the opportunities that this oav centers around him. Fujiwara always tends to play smart-ass characters but he plays Kimura in a way where you can finally take him seriously as if he were real. Same with Takagi Wataru, the voice of Garoad from Gundam X, Onizuka from GTO, and Tobi from Naruto Shippuden as Aoki is given these kinds of opportunities as well as a main supporting character. So you’re getting a truly dedicated kind of acting that is required for this particular story arc.
The music specifically Inner Light, the 2nd opening theme song, is once again in use as well as the soundtrack from the TV series. No new additions is made which may be a bad point for some people, but I felt the current soundtrack was sufficient enough.
This oav is a true representation of what Hajime no Ippo is all about. An excellent story, a wonderful cast of characters you can feel for and relate to, and an intense soundtrack. All I can say is I’m glad there’s going to be a season 2 and I can’t wait for it and I’m sure if you watch this, then this will pump you.
What can I say? I loved it. This is what Hajime no Ippo's all about. Boxing isn't just some uncivil sport; it's physically and mentally challenging, everyone has their own reasons for doing it, and it takes some serious dedication and guts. When I saw Mashiba's name in the title, I thought it would just be some hilarious spin-off with Kimura getting beaten up by that crazy SOB, but the story was quite intense and touching.
The animation was smooth and stuff. There were maybe a few recycled fighting sequences, but this series always does it in a tasteful way, unlike DBZ. I love that about
Hajime no Ippo; you can actually see their attacks and the intensity behind them, it's not some cheap battle anime where half of the fight is explosions, smoke, and mountains crumbling whilst the other half is characters warping around, shooting energy blasts at each other, and having casual conversations mid-battle. THIS is good battle anime. The fight isn't dragged on, pointless, or dull to watch; every bit of it is meaningful and exciting. There was some small amount of 3D during the fight where the ring was kinda circling, Mashiba and Kimura were still 2D; I thought it was well done and looked really cool, and that's coming from someone who normally hates 3D in anime.
The music was fitting and knew how to make the battle even more intense.
The character development was great. Mashiba's the same fearless, anti-social psychopath as usual, but we get a look at his desires, he almost seems like he's warmed up a little at his workplace, and we see that even he can lose his confidence at times. Kimura's always been serious about boxing and has loved it, but in this OVA his attitude becomes a little more like Ippo's. He's always had his dreams, but now he's got a chance to go for it, so he becomes more determined and pushes himself to his limits.
The OVA looks back on Kimura's past a little bit, though most of it is sorta a refresher of what we learned from the series. It didn't feel like filler or anything like that to me, though, and I think it helps this OVA stand alone better so that even people who haven't watched Hajime no Ippo before can enjoy this. We also learn a little bit more about Kimura than we knew before, making you that much more attached to his character.
Whether you've seen Hajime no Ippo before or not, I'm sure you'll be able to enjoy this as long as you like intense fighting action and are not obsessed with garbage like fan service. Overall, I found this amazing and at some parts it had me almost feeling some tears coming. I was absorbed in it the entire time. It's just an hour long, so I thought there wasn't even enough time for me to dislike something. It also leaves nothing to be desired since the conclusion is satisfying and wrapped up well.
Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs. Kimura
Approx. 60 minuets
Age Rating: 12+ (Violence, Blood, Mild Profanity)
Genres: Sports (Boxing)
Story - 7/10 - Good
The story is really nothing to write home about, it really just serves as a device to get to the fighting scenes. The movie is about 40% plot, and 60% action, so it will not fail to disappoint. The story has some good twists and turns and will keep you on edge the entire time, and is generally captivating for a sports anime.
Art - 9/10 - Great
Very detailed art, I was impressed. Each individual character is detailed very nicely, and the all the muscles and
battle damage on the boxers is done very realistically and is convincing. The environments are lush and colorful, and serve their purpose well. Considering this is a pre-2005 anime, I would say the art is wonderful.
Sound - ??/??
I have no sound on my computer, which is where I watched it. Sorry.
Character - 8/10 - Very Good
The characters, for the most part, are well developed, and seeing how this is really an extension of the original series, the expected audience already knows all the characters, so little explanation is given, but the explanation that is given is quality. Each character has their own fighting style and things that motivate them, and each of them are unique.
Enjoyment - 10/10 - Outstanding
I really enjoyed this movie. I have not seen the original series, but if the series is like this movie is, I will definitely watch it. This is entertaining from the beginning to the end, and when it ends, you will be begging for more. Thank goodness there is a sequel.
Overall - 9/10 - Great
This is a classic. Go out and watch it right now - you won't be disappointed.
1. It's been done well despite being a single OVA. Sometimes some scenes looks better than the first season anime.
2. The match animation is equivalent to a "big match" done in the first season of the anime. Gotta love the exaggerated wind effects and high speed punches. That Kimura vs. Miyata fight scene is really satisfying.
1. The OVA gave the side characters (Kimura and Aoki) focuses on development that otherwise couldn't been done in the main anime as it usually focuses on Ippo, his rivals, Takamura, etc.
2. Takamura and his bullying antics has been a good source of humor for the series.
3. A little
background story for Kimura.
4. Besides that nothing really special.
So if you've enjoyed all the good things in the first season you should definitely give this OVA a go.