In order to fulfill their dead father's wish, the siblings, Takane Kiku and Takane Ryuji aims for the champopn title of the boxing arena. The sister, Kiku, will act as the trainer while her brother, Ryuji, will concentrate on the role of the boxer and learn the Boomerang. His battle with many rivals has led to the growth and maturity of Ryuji. The junior high boxing tournament has began and Ryuji will be fighting with his arch-rival, Kenzaki Jun. The battle begins.
Well, it’s going to be very confusing if you have not read the manga. Because the manga starts when Ryuji is 5 years old and it really builds up the rivalry and friendship he has with Jun, and how and why Ryuji got into boxing. You get little background story with the main characters so those not familiar with the manga are going to be puzzled. Putting both seasons together, the anime takes out a lot. Like the first season of the anime omits when Ryuji confronts a gang that dresses up in KISS make up. Like that wasn’t screwed up enough. Those are beginning
of some of the changes.
A lot of the characters will come across as trendy to you, but keep in mind that for its original publication, they were the originals. They were the creators of the kinds of characters you see today in your typical Shounen Jump manga. They tend to be one dimensional with their personalities. Like Ryuji is your all around I can be happy or sad when I need to. Jun is the silent and egotistical prodigy. Katori is well intended natured comic relief. Shinatora has some permanent injury and doesn’t really bitch about it. And Takeshi is the sadistic over powered being.
And other characters from the manga that are present in the anime is Napolean from team France, Skorpion from team Germany, and Black Shaft from America. And yes, the characters are very badly stereotyped. In the manga, they are worse then how they were stereotyped in G Gundam!!! In the manga, the Germans were portrayed as Nazis!!! And when I get around to reviewing season 2. You’re going to laugh at how the Americans are portrayed!!!
So yeah, if you like good fun and humor and something simple. The story of this anime is probably for you. If you want something deep and educational, yeah frickin’ right. Granted the characters are one-dimensional like I said, I still believe you can relate to them and they are captivating because they do have their reasons for why they are the way they are.
The character designs are of course very easy to recognize if you’re a fan of Saint Seiya. Maybe it’s not the best in terms of art, but still easily one of the most distinguishing because of the way it is drawn if you are at all familiar with Kurumada Masami. The diversity of the character design is decent. Like he can have ugly characters, or bishounen type of characters in a generic sense. He’s very good at drawing expressions to help bring out emotions that make you respond. But he recycles the same design over and over to his next projects. I mean, Ryuji looks almost no different from Seiya except with different color hair and clothing. Then again, they both wear red.
I say the design can still be acceptable for the right reasons just mostly because it’s recognizable and the style Masami has is just limited to him. It’s very hard to describe his overall style rather than it’s still old school. Even with his current works his design is not very updated. Like with Morikawa Jyoji’s Hajime no Ippo, another boxing manga, when you see the art of its initial publication to how it is now after nearly 20 years, you see a huge evolution and change in the art style. While with Masami, he’s been doing manga much longer than Morikawa and it’s still the same. Sometimes when you see the current mangas of Ringu ni kakero 2, you wonder if it was at all made back in the 1980s. But for the anime, the art is still faithful to the manga but yet the colors and resolution and the animation itself brings it up to today’s way or doing things.
I am a big fan of old school, but I sometimes believe that artists should evolve their style to modern day standards.
OK, I think I went on too long with that part of the review, now time to talk about the animation, the flow, the fights. OK, the fights themselves are not your typical boxing matches. Not as technical as Hajime no Ippo’s, and not really the kind of street fights you see in Ashita no Joe. You are literally getting fireballs and wind attacks and everything you can think of. I say for its time, it was very original, and hell, like I said, this was the original, but exposing this to modern day audiences is just going to turn them off. A huge majority of western hardcore anime audiences do not tend to respond well to the sports genre from what I’ve seen first hand on websites and forums, and I think this just feuls the hate. I mean, you think it’s safe for the referee and judges at ring side to throw a punch that makes a hurricane? C’mon, what are they thinking? It’s just you wanna say WTF to yourself when you see this anime when you see the fights. I thought it was something different in comparison to Hajime no Ippo and Ashita no Joe was why I tolerated it, and the fact I also happen to be a Saint Seiya fan does help. Of course a certain portion of the attacks will be similar to some you will see in Saint Seiya. Like Jun’s Galacta Magnum will influence Seiya’s Pegasus Ryuu seiken. So, I guess because of this manga’s attacks, we can have animes like Naruto, DBZ, Yuu Yuu Hakusho and Prince of Tennis.
The seiyuu cast is top notch. Top favorites such as Koyasu Takehito and Midorikawa Hikaru happened to have been casted. Koyasu Takehito plays Black Shaft, who is supposed to be your 1970s jive talking African American boxer. That’s quite a role to give him. And Midorikawa Hikaru plays the Jr. Champion of Germany, Skorpion, who is referred to as Furher. Morita Masakazu, the voice of Ichigo in Bleach plays the main character Ryuji, and was also the new voice of Seiya in Saint Seiya. Another hit actor Okiayu Ryotaro, who has played Yuu in Marmalade Boy, Trieze in Gundam Wing, Tezuka in Prince of Tennis, and Andy in Gundam SEED plays Ryuji’s rival Jun. And Ryuji’s sister Kiku is played by Tanaka Rie, who plays Chii in Chobits and Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED.
The cast each do their own great job of portraying the characers. Midorikawa as Skorpion is very great at portraying him as quiet, cold and calculating. Koyasu Takehito as a jive talking black guy is quite bizarre. But he plays people in the past who have upbeat personalities in a Japanese sense, so I guess he was the best choice to play Shaft. Morita as Ryuji does an excellent job of bringing out his well rounded personality. And Okiayu as Jun was apporpirate for Jun’s personality who you can say is sub consciously a narcassit. And Tanaka Rie as Kiku is very different from her high pitched sounding roles as Chii and Lacus. This time, she sounds tougher and much deeper to where she’s not
The music I thought was another high point to this anime. The opening and ending themes are very high intense and upbeat and it helps you get into it. They both tell stories of going through hardships and how the hard work you’re putting yourself into pays off. The guitars are just excellent and really addictive. The songs were specifically meant for this anime, and not for the sake of like promoting a hit song from your favorite jrock band or jpop singer which is what I liked about it and Saint Seiya in the past with their iconic songs were like that. So because of my personally biasness of my favorite seiyuus and how I enjoyed this anime.
Having watched Hajime no Ippo and having liked it very much got me really into this kind of sports-anime, but unfortunatelly RnK1 was a huge let down for me 'cos instead being realistic it mixed DBZ and Hajime no Ippo and for me and this just didn't work for me at all.
You might say, that RnK1 is like a parody of HnI because both have the same maintheme,boxing, but while HnI concentrates on realisim, RnK1 likes to mix effects from series like DBZ to it. One good example would be the main character's ultra punch called the "Boomerang Hook". Everytime when he uses it, he
shouts the name of it and then we see this flashy animation where his fist lauches a boomerang made of light which can cut things, for example punchingbags made filled with sand. Later on it's cutting effect is explained by air.
So if you're looking for a real sports-anime, I'd suggest that you stay away from this one. On the other hand, if you happened to like DBZ and like to believe that normal people can hit 3 punches per 0.1sec and that when somebody punches, flashes of light and immence wawes of air are created from nothing, then you might want to take a look at this serie. Instead of being a sports-anime, I like to consider RnK1 and it's second season as comedy(because like you could quess, these DBZ-effects just keep on coming one after another in season 2)
The story is pretty straight forward.
A young man wanting to be the best at something. Nothing particularly unique.
But it's still very fun to watch. Especially if you like sports anime.
There really aren't that many good sport shows with boxing.
I'd say something which I really noticed and which really made me like the show was the pacing. Unlike most other shounen sport or fight shows this anime is only 12 episodes long(not counting the sequel, which is also 12)and because if this does not waste time but keeps things moving.
I know that I often find myself bored out of my mind watching a fighter train
for 20 episodes on end, but this show just keeps on going without wasting the viewers precious time on boring re-hashed training methods. So if you want a good fight show that won't take a life time to wade through this show is what you're looking for.
An 8 on story.
Despite the show being made in 2004 the character designs look like something much older. Which for me, as a fan of the old things, is very nice. It's like seeing your favorite old series, but the animation is good! I loved the art, it's fun and looks old but is smooth. A huge treat for any oldies fan.
A 10 on art from me.
The sound effects are quite good. Which is very helpful to the show as it's a boxing show. You want those punches to make a good sound.
The music is not generally spectacular, but it has moments where it really works incredibly well and draws you into the mood of the scene.
I also like the intro very well.
A 7 on sound/music.
The show has an ensemble type cast like most sports animes.
The main character who is hard working, the mains's supporter, the smart, calm, rival/friend, the comic relief, the pretty boy, the slightly mysteries cool guy, and a few other characters which fade in and out and lots of 'villains'.
At first I wasn't really impressed with any of the characters, but after a little bit of time, and seeing the characters develop, I fell in love with them. And it's not often that I (at least) like all of the characters in a show.
Even though the show is so short they manage to put a lot of character development into it(and more in the second season)but as I said earlier, they don't waste time.
A 10 on character.
I loved this show to death. I rarely wish that a show had been longer but I did with this one. Though I think they did very well in stopping it and only making a short second season. If you go too long you ruin something.(It spoils >.<)
So it leaves you wanting more but in a good way.
It has very satisfying fights and lots of fun moments.
A 10 on enjoyment. ^^
As I've said, this show would be liked I think by any sports anime fan.
I highly recommend it. A 10 overall.
I will mention that the ending is such that you have to watch the second series if you want closer, so please be aware of that.
how to start this one.... the summery kinda hard to explain like stated in other reviews it starts at random from the manga,
I think it was also stated that this anime was like Dragon Ball Z boxing and that is very true its very over the top so if your expecting some thing like hajime no ippo go some where els.
this is an anime you really have to be in the right mood to watch or just watch it at the right time, basically dont go watch a masterpiece like hajime no ippo, or berserk exc... and then go watch this.
your going to be confused most likely if you dont go read the manga "I dident"
art - its pretty bad for the time it came out, (every thing went HD by 2002) most manga adaptations manage to make thinks look a lot more smooth even if character design isnt up to date because of the time the manga came out, normally there are things that can make up for that like story.
sound- mediocre the sounds fit but at the same time sempt out of place explosions in a boxing ring just seem strange *if you take hajime no ippo for example they add sound effects that fit the dull sounds of being hit by a boxing glove and then they amp it up just enough to where its just barley below being over the top its done well.*
characters - in this area it was sub par they did have some ok character building, I wouldent look to far into that because the anime takes its self to serious and thats the basis of where the character building comes from
Enjoyment - for me personally I did not like it at all it was a bad time for me to watch this anime, i'd just got done with a great anime and went to this. the hole anime felt awkward. as a general basis not just because i'd finished a good anime previously,
over all 3/10 poor they could have done a much better job with this one I recomend you stay away from this series all together or at least test out the manga for a wile b 4 you go any where near it.
on another note if your looking for a good action anime or action drama shounen Dont waste your time with this one move on to some thing good with more fluent action exc.. in it like gungrave or kurokami or some thing.
ill be looking into Ashita no Joe once its done being sub'd by saizen
Put on those boxing gloves, and step into the ring. We're going to take a look at some of the most intense and enjoyable boxing anime and manga in existence. Are you tough enough to handle these knock-out titles?