First, let me say that I\'m not a fan of boxing. In fact, I pretty much hate the sport. Honestly, who likes seeing people getting their head beat in every day?
With that being said, this series is brilliantly done. There\'s comedy, romance, and plenty, plenty, plenty of plot. Follow Ippo as he grows as a person and as a professional boxer. You\'ll laugh, and you\'ll probably cry here or there. The fact that I don\'t even like boxing never came in to play. You\'ll probably find yourself doing some jabs here and there while watching the show too. It\'s that captivating.
The supporting characters are awesome.
Takamura, Kimura and Aoki are all equally hilarious. Each has a distinct personality that make them all very lovable. They also support Ippo as he meets his trials of boxing and life.
Definitely give this series a try. You won\'t be disappointed with the 76 episodes. In fact, you\'ll probably end up reading the manga because you don\'t want it to stop!
"What? 76 episodes of… boxing? 76 episodes set in a small square ring? Yeah, right."
I had no idea.
What makes this anime special is undoubtedly the characters. How each character is so likeable, so original, and so fully developed that you end up understanding, caring, and rooting for them in the end. How even the ones that only last an episode, even Ippo's opponents can be given such plausible and staggering backstories that you might actually find yourself siding against the main hero for a match or two. And how these characters are just so serious with their lives
that you really feel it, and you end up believing that such a world could actually exist out there.
You know you love an anime when it drives you to shout, to hold your breath, and to jump right out of your seat. You know you love an anime when the thrill makes your spine tingle so much that you actively root and cheer and punch the air in victory as if you were right there ringside. You know you love it when you marathon through 15 episodes one night, and wake the next morning only to continue watching. And even after 76 episodes and two bonuses, you can't let go. They've already wrapped you up in that world, those characters, their lives, their ambitions, and suddenly… suddenly you're expected to just leave?
You know you love an anime when you're showing it to a friend and you somehow end up watching the entire thing again with him/her. And you still shout, you still laugh, you still find yourself out of your seat punching the air the second, the third, the sixth time you've seen it.
And you can't stop smiling. Because you get to live in their world again.
Hajime no ippo based on boxing manga written and illustrated by George Morikawa. A 75 episode anime adaptation titled Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! was produced by Madhouse, Nippon Television and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura and ran on the Nippon Television Network from October 2000 to March 2002
The story itself has two main parts. Part one which Ippo is chasing the eastern feather weight championship and part two which Ippo decides to continue his career as a boxer. In the first arc which is the best arc, the story processing and the character development are done in absolute best way that a show can
offer. For example after the main character Ippo join up the Kamogawa gym, you'll surprised how amazing Ippo and his new friends overcome the consecutive challenges with each and every one of these challenges is tougher than the previous and most of 'em are deadly which can simply destroy Ippo’s dream. After watching this anime you won’t believe how just 75-episodes could really change your life.
Well, Hajime-no Ippo is not like any typical anime but this show has a well organized story, realistic settings even if you guys don’t like sports anime, don’t worry about this because Hajime is nothing like any ordinary sport anime you might think, don’t you fool by the cover or by the main story because the whole thing is deeper than that. in my entire life I never witness something like these fantastic drama-story which barely I hold my tears back. also not only this anime has the most poignant drama ever but also you'll experience the most cheerful excitement ever. actually I never felt like this since my last (Death Note), and who cares about death-note anymore, at least Hajime-no Ippo make sense
However, Hajime no Ippo isn’t just a solid straight punch into your heart, furthermore there are lots of relieving moments (both romantic and comedy) almost in every episode which you’ll never forget. Simply, this Hajime no Ippo is the best example of how successful anime was in that period of time.
Ippo is a weird little poor guy bullied everyday at the school. He is different (strange) and not popular. most of time he is busy helping his mother with the family business and that is the main reason he couldn’t make friends in the class. Ippo is weak (not physically but mentally). Ippo suffered dealing with life mates (classmates) and because of his natural condition no one in the class respect him furthermore they always make fun of him, humiliating him and more. Still that is not the biggest problem because physical pain is nothing comparing to the pain in someone’s heart. Ippo realize that something must change and for the sake of that change everything is sacrificeable. One day Ippo caught up by a professional boxer being bullied, the man help out Ippo, soon as that moment Ippo recognize that this is the best opportunity for the change. It’s never too late to become strong, at least same as that boxer but he is not sure if he got what it takes to gain that much power or even if he can stand for his own self. Ippo knows what kind a situation and how much hardworking he must offer to restore things back to normal. Finally Ippo join to a boxing gym after lot of hard work, patient and most importance a will to overcome his weaknesses because of his natural talent but also with his ultimate desire.
Back to Ippo’s life before he join-up the gym he used to help the family business carrying weighs for customers and his ordinary school life where he has been kicked at most of the days, as he not realizes that but it was lot of help for him and because of that he don’t have to start the whole training process from the scratch rather more he can take the strongest knockouts in the ring same as he bear it in the school and that’s something great, because usual people would collapse at the same circumstances but Ippo overcome the whole thing and start a new life. After a while Ippo manages a pro boxer license and that is just the first step. Finally Ippo is going to compete in official matches which only the best will survive. The feather weight Rookie championship chart finally announced and Information comes at Kamogawa gym about Ippo’s opponents and their fight strategies, techniques furthermore their background. Ippo have to train more than he often. while these feather weight matches are on the line/ more important he should figure out how to stop (block) his opponents inventing new strategies and sometimes depending on his fight spirit, at the same time he should keep his mind clear and relax and win each and every match in this championship
Characters; the most faithful characters
Each and every character in these Hajime has an amazing background story and a big reason that keeps him fighting, risking their lives in order to achieve their –selfish- dreams. Hajime no Ippo’s characters are not like any other ordinary characters, they are ultimate super characters. The story itself is processing the character development. So, the more you understand these characters the more you’ll enjoy. Here are some examples:
Ippo Makunouchi: He lives with his mother, Hiroko, and helps with the family charter boat fishing business. Ippo used to get bullied and picked on by others in his school. Dreams: (What it means to be strong?) the only question that Ippo has in his mind and he will fight until that question answered.
Ichiro Miyata: he is very skilled outboxer with a cool demeanor that specializes in counter punches. He uses the same boxing style that his father used. Dreams: Miyata decided to take on his father’s style of boxing to prove its worth on the world stage
Ryo Mashiba (psycho boy): known as Shinigami -God of Death-, he is a very quiet and scary, also, he is one of the strongest boxers in the whole Tournament. His parents died in a car accident. Dreams: he box for prize money all to support his beloved younger sister, Kumi. (so on)
Simply, each and every character in this anime is an anther living example of how great they accomplish this masterpiece anime.
Well, the whole story settled in few backgrounds and that is for sure a brilliant way to produce such a wonderful art at same time it’s economic for both the creator and the audience. While the producer reduce his work for not drawing so many backgrounds the audience themselves will find it so easy, not confusing and comfortable taking the whole time thinking and relating the actions of these characters and how the whole story processes, not worrying about any other details. Also Hajime no Ippo has one of the best character drawings in the entire anime universe.
Well, I’ not the guy who can give you a certain description about this but all I can say is “it was great”, whatever it was piano or other instruments it was really awesome specially the emotional track which takes you a deep journey inside yourself keeping you excited all the time. However, the music of this Hajime no Ippo series were used to accentuate the mood and the fight spirit of the characters.
Three straight opening themes and other three closing themes, and my favourite is the first opening which I’ still listening to it right now... (Ryuusei no ai ga kimi ni...isshun no hikari okuterru...yeeeeeeah!)
Opening Theme Songs (Under Star/Episodes 1-25 ,Inner Light/Episodes 26-52 by Shocking Lemon, Tumbling Dice /Episodes 53-76 by Tsuneo Imahori).Ending Theme Songs (Yuuzora no Kamihikouki/Episodes 1-25 by Mori Naoya, "360°"/ Episodes 26-52 by Mori Naoya, Eternal Loop/ Episodes 53-75 by Saber Tiger)
The first 28 episodes were the greatest episodes that I’ve seen in years while the rest of the episodes were wonderful and awesome too. However, the most important thing about this anime that I’ve enjoyed so much is that each and every episode has its own story and something new is learned about both fighters. Probably after every episode you’ll go crazy throwing punches around here and there and maybe in the worst case you’ll end up as professional boxer but who cares just go enjoy and don’t forget to cheer up Ippo all the way (Rebound! Nice shot! Rebound! Nice shot! Rebound! Nice shot! Rebound! Nice shot! Rebound! Nice shot! ….. Rebound! Nice shot!)
Episode list 75/75
Use this episode list as an open reference to remind or understand your watched episodes
Round 001=The First Step
Ippo Makunouchi is a busy boy who works with his mother while he attends school, so he has no time to hang out with friends. One day, as Ippo is walking home Umezawa and two other bullies from the school catch him up. They start beating him up and make fun of him and his mother. Suddenly, a jogger walks by and scares the bullies. Ippo seeks out the jogger, Mamoru Takamura, who is a middle-weight professional boxer, and begs him to train him in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional boxer. To test him, Takamura kicks a tree and catches many leaves in his hand, using his lightning-fast jabs. He tells Ippo that if he can do the same, he will train him
Round 002=Fruits of Labor
Ippo has only one weak to catch at least ten leaves and he have to somehow manage time in order to accomplish that. After lot of training and hard work he finally figured out how to increase the speed of his jabs, but also caught all 10 leaves in his left hand. Takamura then assigns Ippo to work out his muscles, body and running speed for one month. Once done, Takamura takes Ippo to the gym to test out his skills. His first test was to spar with a rookie, the same age as Ippo, Ichiro Miyata.
Round 003=Tears of Joy
Ippo can’t keep up with Miyata but he keeps absorbing Miyata's punches. Suddenly, Miyata hits Ippo's chin, causing his brain to move back. After that Ippo can’t stand up and his legs are shaking while mr.ref keeps counting down. After while Ippo somehow manages to stand back but unfortunately lost to Miyata's superior skills. However, the owner of the gym, Genji Kamogawa, was impressed by Ippo's determination and decides to train him every day in the gym.
Round 004=Shadow Boxing
Ippo finally begins his training in the gym. First, Kamogawa himself, helps Ippo to focus on his jabs and practice the shadow boxing technique. However, as he watches Miyata sparring, he starts to finally understand how to shadow box
Round 005= 3 Months to Counter
in order to prepare for a rematch with Miyata Ippo begins training with coach Kamogawa. Also, he learns about Miyata's father, who was a former professional boxer who believes in skill surpassing power. However, in his final match, he lost and realized that that power surpasses skill. Since then, Miyata is trying to prove that his father's way of boxing is correct.
Round 006= The Opening Bell of the Rematch
Ippo is finally ready for his rematch with Miyata with Takamura as referee, the rematch begins. Finally Ippo manages to knockout Miyata. First round completes with each one knocking each other once, taking their audience's breath away.
Round 007= The Destructive Force of 1 cm
Ippo gets knocked down again, he struggles to stand back. Once he gets up, Ippo continues with his assault. Miyata changes strategies in order to slow down Ippo's movements. After a few more hits Ippo manages to counter an aggressive uppercut grazing Miyata's chin. Finally Miyata fall to his knees, losing due to a K.O. Ippo feel so proud about it.
Round 008= Promise to Meet Again
With Miyata nowhere to be found, Ippo seems distracted in his training, so Kamogawa sends him to train with Takamura. Ippo experiences all the hardship his mentor endures since he prepares for a championship match. Takamura easily defeats his opponent due to his training and diet. Outside, Ippo meets Miyata, who informs him that he is quitting Kamogawa's Gym not because he embarrassed by his lost due that match but in order to meet Ippo in the ring as professional boxers. (Due to boxing rules, bros from same gym aren’t allowed to compete against each in the ring)
Round 009= C Class License
Six months after he began his training in Kamogawa gym Ippo finally applies to get his featherweight boxing license. He is about to learn the name of his opponent in his debut match
Round 010= Debut Match!
Ippo is running out of luck because his opponent is Yosuke Oda. for Oda, Keiko, his girlfriend, decides to break up with him if he loses this match. The day finally arrives and both Ippo and Oda get into the ring with cheering fans all around them.
Round 011= Obsession for Victory
The four round match finally begins also Miyata arrives to watch the match. Each fighter delivers harsh blow after harsh blow, with their teams shouting advice. However, Oda's hook actually cuts Ippo's left side of the face around his eye. The doctor warns him that if he bleeds again, he will lose with a technical K.O. Unwilling to let that happen, Ippo goes all out to take knockout Oda and he successfully takes him out with his most powerful jabs.
Round 012= Becoming a Bully's Buddy
Ippo's second match is against Yoshio Fujigawa. However, Umezawa and his two friends actually go to Ippo's match to cheer him on. After working on a new guarding technique, Ippo seems to be on top. However, his opponent starts to play dirty by cheating. Yoshio is using his forehead as weapon against Ippo But, Ippo's determination allows him to fight back and break his opponent's guard with a mighty uppercut. The next day, Umezawa decides to become Ippo's friend and tells everyone about Ippo's mighty victory.
Round 013= The Eastern Japan Rookie Championship Tournament Begins
The Rookie Championship is about to begin. Ippo's first opponent is an American soldier, Jason Ozma, who is based in Japan. To prepare for the match, Ippo trains with Takamura while practicing to dodge hooks and uppercuts. Ozma, on the other hand, trains fighting for the people he came to know in the Japanese gym where he was based.
Round 014= Powerful Arms! Hooks vs. Uppercut!
Ippo and Ozma begin their match. Both of them give powerful blows, each surprising one another. Each boxer tries to think of a strategy to take out the other, until Ozma knocks Ippo down. After a brief moment, he gets up and each counter with a punch to each other's face
Round 015= Test of Endurance
The match continues between Ippo and Ozma, with each fighter dropping one crushing blow after another. Ozma manages to knock Ippo down, and it looked like he was down for the count. However, Ippo managed to get up and continue the assault. Somehow Ippo wins his first tournament match after huge uppercut to Ozma's chest
Round 016= Anticipating a Fierce Fight
Ippo and Takamura, along with a girl that Ippo has a crush on, sees Miyata's match. Miyata completely lowered his opponent's guard and quickly took him out. Later, after meeting the girl at a bakery where she worked, Ippo received a call from Takamura about a training camp for preparation for his next match.
Round 017= Ippo on the Beach
Ippo, Takamura and their two friends from the gym, Aoki and Kimura go to training camp, which also involves fun at the beach. Ippo also learns about movement with his feet from Takamura, which happened to be Ippo's weakness.
Round 018= Clinch
Ippo’s next opponent is Kobashi. Unfortunately, Kobashi isn’t very strong boxer even he can’t throw powerful punches. Also he seems little bit scary about Ippo’s heavy punches and that’s the reason he has been doing lot of research working on his new technique to survive at the upcoming match. Whatever, the match finally begins. Kobashi is doing great job and he completely exhaust Ippo in the first round
Round 019= Dream of a KO
The match continues between Ippo and Kobashi, while Ippo trying insistently to score a K.O. punch Kobashi manages to score points in the first three rounds by clinching than throwing tricky short jabs. At the final round Ippo realize that he should knockout Kobashi or he will lose the match. However, after Kobashi suddenly drop a strong punch that almost knocked Ippo he switch strategy and decide to win by a K.O. punch Leaving his guard down, Ippo capture the chance and knock Kobashi after long struggling. Now, it’s the time for the main event title match between Takamura and Yoshiaki
Round 020= The Threat of Shotgun
The title match continuous between Takamura and Yoshiaki while Ippo cheering up for Takamura. However Mr.Takamura amazingly win the match just within 90 seconds. Ippo next opponent is Hayami and he is incredibly too strong and fast.
Round 021= The Way to Capture a Prodigy
Miyata visit kamogawa gym congratulating Takamura for his title championship at same time he meets Ippo and inform him not to fallback; “don’t worry about Hayami if I were you I would counter every punch he throws with a counter punch” Miyata says. After a month of training, Ippo figured out new strategy to counter Hayami’s speedup punches. Finally, the match between Ippo and Hayami started
Round 022= Forward! Forward!!
The match continues between Ippo and Hayami and both of them are trying hard not to lose this one. Hayami is keeping Ippo in distance depending on his shotgun (very fast successive punches ) avoiding Ippo’s monster punch but while doing that Ippo realize that the shotgun isn’t powerful enough to keep him away. However, Ippo knockout Hayami and make his way to finals.
Round 023= The Other Semi-Final
After Ippo make it to finals, he should take some rest but he just can’t sit around doing nothing so he decide to go jogging, in his way he stopover in a fast food restaurant where his beloved girl Kumi work talking with her about some boxing issues. However the other semifinal match between Moshiba and Miyata started. After aggressive fight in the first round Moshiba knock Miyata out using a dirty trick by stepping Miyata’s toes. Can Miyata stand back!
Round 024= To the Promised Place...
Miyata is seriously injured his foot but he decides to keep the fight continuous. Moshiba ‘’the psycho boy’’ won’t let the chance pass and completely he takes Miyata out after long straggling Miyata knocked out and he can’t keep his promise with Ippo
Round 025= Grudges, Sorrows & Dreams
(The best episode so far)
Ippo find out that his beloved girl’s brother is Moshiba and they lost their two parents is a car accident. Mashiba needs to win this final match in order to size his dream about becoming rich and take care of his little sister. Meanwhile, all Ippo thinking is how to avenge his friend Miyata
Round 026= The Battle for Distance
After a month of hard training both Moshiba and Ippo are ready for their next matches and they will accept nothing but the championship. The Tournament final match launched between Ippo and Moshiba. While both of them trying to get rid of other Ippo throws a fatal knockout and surprised Moshiba saved by the bell ring. However, the second round started and again Ippo throw another deadly punch blocked by Moshiba’s elbow.
Round 027= Death Match
The match continuous between Ippo and Moshiba and both fighters are trying hard to dominate each. However, Ippo keeps throwing his right again and again blocked by Mosiba’s left elbow. Both fighters are seriously injured. Mashiba can’t move his left hand which causes a gap in his guard. Ippo takes the chance and aim for Moshiba’s chin but Mashiba is way too strong. Finally, Mashiba manages to throw a knockout with his left and take Ippo dawn
Round 028= Victory or Defeat
After long suffering Ippo somehow manages to stand back again attacking Moshiba straight away but Moshiba isn’t such a lousy challenger. However, after long aggressive fight Ippo throw a knockout punch hits Moshiba’s chin. Ippo wins the eastern Japan’s tournament champion. Later on, Ippo goes to school and it’s already the last semester but he got no plans for the future except boxing.
Round 029= Rocky of Naniwa
Because his fist injuries from the last match Ippo can’t fight in next Japan’s tournament. Meanwhile, western Japan’s tournament champion Mr. Sendo come all the way to Tokyo to make sure that Ippo is going to fight in next tournament.
Round 030= To Enemy Ground
Ippo can’t step back a challenge especially when this challenge is from the rookie champion so he visits a doctor advices him to strength his shoulders. After a very hard training both young heroes are ready to settle this in the ring. However, it seems that Ippo can’t punch with his right.
Round 031= Traces of Intense Battles
A summary episode
Round 032= Throw Your Right!
After taking a medicine drug to reduce the pain in his right fist Ippo is finally ready to fight again. Sendo is all the way excited and match has been already started. Sendo throw a deadly right (smash) hitting ippo’s face
Round 033= Smash Force
The match continues which both fighters are doing their best to take down each other. Ippo has the advantage of the close range exchange punches while Sendo is doing his best to keep a distance so he can throw explosive powerful smashes. However, after aggressive fight Ippo knockout Sendo by a huge counter punch. After a long struggling Sendo somehow manages to stand and the deadly match continues.
Round 034= The Rookie King
At the end of 3th round and after a long running violent fight Ippo throws a straight punch hitting Sendo’s temple. The 4th round was about to start Sendo remained in his corner unconscious loses the fight by TKO (technical KO). Ippo is the winner of all-Japan rookie of the year; however Ippo was left feeling that the battle hadn't been fully resolved.
Round 035= The Counting Journey
Finally Ippo graduates from the high school at the same time he is the rookie of the year and everybody in the school feeling so proud about him. Later on, Ippo met Miyata on the road. Miyata tells Ippo that he is going outside Japan to improve his skills to decrease the gap between them. Later on, lots of new trainers registered in Komogawa gym but after a while they all give it up except Michi Yamada a 16 years old high school boy and the biggest fan of Ippo.
Round 036= The Champ and I
Ippo is going to spar with the champion Eiji Date himself
Round 037= A Thing to Strive For
In order to raise his rank and fight against Eiji Date, Ippo is going to fight against Shigeta Akira a former Rookie King and this fight won’t be easy since Akira is left handed boxer (In reality he is a right-handed boxer which causes his attacks to be much stronger than they seem)
Round 038= Two Rookies of the Year
After a wonderful fight which both boxers do their best to win Ippo knock Akira down obviously challenging Eiji for a fight. Eiji accepted the challenge.
Round 039= Challenge in a Foreign Land
In order to gain more strength and reduce the gap between him and Ippo, Miyata went to Thailand. After lots of hard work and training to strength his counter punches he is finally ready to fight in the ring with Thailand’s light weight champion Jimmy.
Round 040= A Counter to Surpass All Counters
Miyata’s fists are light, he can’t throw a strong enough punch to knockout his opponents the reason which he always depends on his counter Punches. Anyways, the match between Jimmy and Miyata started. Jimmy knockout Miyata twice and after a long struggling Miyata stand back. He throws a powerful counter knocking out Jimmy.
Round 041=Barf-michi's Big Fight
The new trainee Michi successfully pass the pro boxing test all thanks to Ippo’s help. Later on, Ippo’s mother collapse from hard work exhausting.
Round 042= Sharing a Dream
In order to save the family business and help out his mother Ippo decided to quit boxing. Later on, Umezawa help out Ippo.
Round 043= The Speed Star
In order to prepare for Eiji Date the champion, Ippo gets ready for his next match against Saeki the Speed Star. He has incredibly quick fists and feet even Date couldn't touch him when they sparred
Round 044= Blind Spot in the Ring
Soon as the match started Saeki taking advantage of his super speed cornered Ippo damaging Ippo’s right eye which creates a blind spot. Saeki attacked Ippo several times from his blind spot Ippo manages to throw a knockout punch toward his blind spot hitting Saeki.
Round 045= The White Fangs of the Wolf
Ippo’s next opponent is Alexander Volg a strong boxer from Russia dominate the Japanese ring by his White Fang (fast and powerful chopping right). Later on, Gero-michi leaves and has to move away with his mother. A little unforgettable party held for him
Round 046= Be the Gazelle
Ippo train hard for his next match of against Volg. For that sake, he has to learn Kamogawa’s secret weapon, the Gazelle punch (an uppercut using the strength of the legs for additional power)
Round 047= The Fighting Spirit Within
Ippo met vorg at the train-station. After a short chat, Volg tells Ippo, in order to save his mother after she becomes seriously ill, he can’t lose this match not any other match.
Round 048= The Red Wolf
The match between Ippo and volg started. Each fighter throws harsh punch after harsh punch while using their maximum abilities to knockout each.
Round 049= The Courage to Believe
The match between Volg and Ippo continue. After an aggressive match Volg knockout Ippo but Ippo somehow manages to stand back hitting Volg with an amazing gazelle punch.
Round 050= Something to Convey
After a long wonderful match, Ippo somehow knockout Volg by a crashing counter punch.
Round 051= The Group Date
Ippo and his friends are going out for a date/ Ippo is down for Kumi
Round 052= The Challenger
Another summary episode
Round 053= So That I Can Be Myself
Eiji Date is an old classic badass boxer until he loses the world title in Mexico by TKO. After that he quit boxing but all thanks to his wife he is back. Now he is Japan’s feather weight champion
Round 054= Fists of the Champ
Amazingly, Takamura successfully defense his title
Round 055= The Japan Featherweight Title Match
The final match of the feather weight championship started between Ippo and Date.
Round 056= The Power that Stands in the Way
The match between Ippo and the champ continuous, Ippo aggressively attack the champion hitting him countless times but all of his punches are useless against Date (because of Date swinging his head all the way reducing the destructive power of the punch)
Round 057= Conclusion
After a long aggressive match Ippo can’t move anymore. Date wins the fight after Kamogawa himself throw the towel announcing the end of the match for Ippo
Round 058= Heartbroken
It is the first official match that Ippo has been defeated but it was a big loss/fuss, he is not feeling good about it
Round 059= A Determined Gaze
After Date Waiver of Title in order to give the chance for the younger boxers the title match started between Sendou Takeshi and Volg Zangief
Round 060= Rival
Sendou wins the match
Round 061= Comeback Anxiety
After Kamogawa suddenly collapse, Ippo trains himself alone with the new technique (Dempsey roll)
Round 062= Revival
Ippo win his comeback match with his new Dempsey roll.
Round 063= Youth of Fire
The crazy background of both Aoki and Kimura before they join Kamogawa gym is shown.
Round 064= Hot Rod Era
This episode involves both Aoki and Kimura life after they join up Kamogawa gym until they become real boxers all thanks to Takamura who was once like them.
Round 065= The Summer of the Kamogawa Corps/ Round 066= Mr. Takamura's Tears
Ippo and the others go to training camp in the mountains while Takamura knockout a bear/ later on, they eat the bear together as a dinner.
Round 067= The Kamogawa Gym Swings Into Action/ Round 068= The Chief's Peril
Everyone in kamogawa gym scores a win, now it’s all up-to Ippo to defeat Sando.
Round 069= The Trap of the Southpaw
After a long tricky match Sendo successfully defend his title against Shigeta Akira challenging Ippo Makunouchi for a fight/ which gladly Ippo accept it
Round 070= The Young Punk
Ippo dating Kumi again while Sendo’s street fighting background shown.
Round 071= Time for the Showdown
The title match between Sendo and Ippo started. In the first round using Dempsey roll Ippo score a knockout against Sendo
Round 072= Lallapallooza
The title match between Ippo and Sendo continue and it’s like Lallapallooza (hard punch sound like an earthquake)
Round 073= Surpass that Moment
The most aggressive fight so far which every technique and every bit of strength has been used. Each one of the fighters scores 2knockout against other while both of ‘em can’t even move their legs the 4th round completed…
Round 074= Mix-Up
5th round begins however, Sendo throw high-powered shots knocking out Ippo. Somehow Ippo manage to stand back.
Round 075= A Step Further
After a holy shit fight –like millions of Gladiators- in the 7-th round Ippo defeats Sendo using a quick mix of both Gazelle punch and Dempsey roll becoming the Japanese Featherweight Champion/ everybody is crying except Ryo Mashiba
Short Tips to Watch Hajime no Ippo
Watching order for the Hajime no Ippo series is
(1. Hajime no Ippo
2. Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road
3. Hajime no Ippo: Mashiba vs. Kimura
4.Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger
5. Hajime no Ippo: Rising)
Take your time watching this wonderful anime
Sound: Sub: 9/10 Dub: 8/10
High quality Hajime no Ippo is available in every anime-website and almost translated to every language (so, what you’re waiting for)/ catch this masterpiece soon as possible.
The anime makes use of every character it introduces and develops them very convincingly and you can really connect to them. Such as Ippo in gaining more confidence and motivation, Takamura in wanting to become a champion and a hero, and Miyata wanting to prove that his father’s boxing style is the best. The characters all have back-stories of why they became fighters but they still live lives in certain ways you can still relate to them and they all have every day issues as real boxers would have such as Takamura’s weight control. As for the pacing, yes, the anime is long and the
manga is 10 times longer, but still evenly paced and I feel the intention after getting to a certain point is that Morikawa-sensei wants to tell a life story in the same way Araki-sensei does with Jojo and you really start to feel that and you really feel the character’s grow and there are times you can emotionally react or care what could happen to that character.
The art style is very faithful to that of the style of the manga, except I felt that the bodies looked blockier and more massive than they needed to be in comparison to it. Plus, the venues such as Kourakuen Hall and the surrounding environments are well accurately represented because I’ve been there before on a number of occasions and fought in a judo tournament there so I thought that was pretty cool. I really love the training sequences with Ippo and he comes up with crazy methods and is an animal. The only real life athlete I can think of that compares to Ippo’s training ethic and regime is UFC fighter Sean Sherk.
And now lets get down to the heart and soul of this anime, and that is the fights. As someone who can’t stand the trendy over the top repetitive action you see in some animes today, this is definitely a liberation. This anime proves you don’t need fire balls or bullet time or any of that trendy bullshit to make a great fight. This is an anime that truly accurately portrays the technique, excitement, and intensity of the real sport of boxing by implementing all these real life moves and fighting styles. 1st example is Ippo. He is based on a prime Mike Tyson who uses the peek a boo stance, worked the body, and had an effective jab once he got on the inside. Sendo Takeshi is based on Razor Ruddock with his smash punch which is a mix between a hook and an uppercut. And Mashiba is based on Thomas Hearns where he uses his freakish reach to use a crazy jabbing system. And Hayami, you think his shotgun is unrealistic? Before Ali got suspended, he had incredible speed, 10x faster than the Ali who came back who was still pretty fast. There’s a video of Ali out there where he landed 15 punches in 3 seconds. And you know the old saying of how styles make fights? Well, that saying is applied very well in this anime and applies it very well and is just poetry in motion.
The dub seriously sucks. Takamura sounds like Adam Carolla. Ippo just doesn’t fit. Miyata sounds like a chain smoker. And the sound quality and the overall execution is just as bad as GTO’s dub where it sounded like they hired 5 voice actors. Avoid the dub at all cost. But once again, time to give you more info on the seiyuu cast. It’s very interesting to note that the voice of Kaoru from Prince of Tennis, Kiyasu Kohei plays Ippo himself. Despite that deep and hissing voice is the nerdy and assuming Ippo. And one of my personal favorites Tomokazu Seki plays my favorite character Miyata. He does a great job of being that lone wolf kind of character and knows how to keep his cool. And I truly felt that Takagi Wataru, the voice of Onizuka from GTO was born to play Aoki. And Onosaka Masaya the voice of Momoshiro in Prince of Tennis and Vash the Stampede from Trigun was also born to play Sendo. If anything, this is an anime that is truly meant to be watched in Japanese.
The music is also pretty awesome and a quality you can’t deny which you can’t get in manga obviously. The opening themes Under Star and Inner Light have a heavy intense feel to it where you can really emotionally react to the clips in the opening theme and to the scenes whenever presented as a background song in the anime itself. And I like how the ending themes 360 and Yuuzora no Kamihikouki gives a different kind of emotional reaction where it’s more about relating to the characters and the hardships they go through, but yet there’s this huge reward waiting for them at the end.
The only significant flaw I would say is that they ended this anime where the excitement truly begins in the manga. I say Ippo conquering Japan is just only the beginning because after that, the other characters get more focused and the development gets deeper and the fights get better. But overall, this anime has excellent themes in finding something you’re good at, and sticking to it and always keep believing. The good news is, you really don’t have to be a boxing fan or have any knowledge of boxing to really get into this anime. This anime will probably do it for you. After awhile, you start saying to yourself, how would Ippo do against Manny Pacquiao, or how would Takamura do against Roy Jones, Jr. So it really sparks interest in that kind of way from what I’ve experienced. Also, this anime truly accurately represents the Japanese feel of boxing itself. If you ever watch Japanese fighters, they are very exciting to watch. They love to go at it and fight with every last ounce of breath. I really have no experience competing in actual boxing since I’m more of a traditional martial arts kind of guy, but I only took up boxing for awhile just to improve my hands and when you’re training, you just got that tempting feeling to do the moves from the series and even train like Ippo because the things he does, you can go out and try for yourself for real since you can’t fly or shoot fire balls. I say that alone is magically captivating. If you want an anime free of virtually every stereotype and cliché, this one is for you.
Hajime no Ippo (Fighting Spirit) is a fantastic Shounen, Sports, Comedy, Action anime produced by one of the greatest studios ever (Madhouse). Even though it doesn’t tell the entire story, the story it does tell is truly amazing, with all its manliness.
It’s about your classic teenage underdog (Ippo Makunoichi) who’s pretty shy and gets bullied and looked down upon, by some of his peers. Then one fateful day he comes across a boxing gym, with a great pro boxer, and soon attains the desire to become a boxer. Sure this set-up sounds very typical for a shounen sports drama but I personally enjoyed this story
about the underdog overcoming continual obstacles. This formula does get pretty repetitive after a while but the flow during and between matches; helps set the steady pace of the developing story. Shame it had to end though.
Ippo is the character that this entire series revolves around and that is good because he’s a very likable character for the average viewer. It is easy for some viewers including myself to relate to his desire to be reborn and what’s more is that viewers can watch him develop and struggle to achieve his goal. What’s also great is that plenty of time is spent introducing and giving some back-story behind Ippo’s opponent, before the match, which makes things more interesting when his opponent also has a valid reason to win. Furthermore there are quite a few supporting characters to enjoy as well, because some are just truly hilarious.
The quality of the animation may be dated but thanks to Madhouse’s expert animators, it suits this anime adaptation perfectly. There’s even quite a fair bit of detail put into the surroundings. Sure the character designs are very unappealing but what matters in this manly show is the actual boxing, which is animated perfectly. The characters move fluidly but sadly there are quite a few corners cut, especially when it comes to recycling scenes.
The quality of the sound is awesome; above all when it comes to the fighting with powerful SFX for the punches and a thumping soundtrack to go with it. There are also quite a few mellow tunes to go with the everyday goings on but some of them are inferior compared to others.
Overall Hajime no Ippo is a highly entertaining anime series that is able to capture the pure essence of boxing, with some truly memorable bouts. Even though the whole “overcome any obstacle with hard work” thing is getting a bit played out in the shounen genre, it still proved to be an effective plot device in this series. Some may be daunted by the sheer length of this series (76 episodes); nevertheless if you the type of person who enjoys this type of combat shounen anime, then without a doubt you’ll enjoy the experience.
Hajime no Ippo is widely considered one the greatest if not the greatest sports anime ever made! The manga has been running since the 1980s, but it has managed to avoid feeling too stale or repetitive. Everyone simply can't get enough of this series! I will now try to explain what makes Hajime no Ippo so special to so many.
Hajime no Ippo (which I will now refer to as HNI) starts off using the generic sports movie formula. It is about a troubled kid named Ippo, who is always getting bullied and is considered a loser and outcast at school. He comes from a poor
fishing family and smells like fish bait. One day he is getting his ass kicked by a group of bullies, when a boxing champ happens to pass by and save Ippo by chasing off the bullies. Inevitably, he becomes the wise mentor figure for Ippo and Ippo must train to become stronger and stand up for himself. HNI starts as basically the love child of The Karate Kid from 1984 and the Rocky series. However, HNI does FAR more than just rip off old movies that people have a nostalgic soft spot for. HNI actually has developed characters with realistic motivations. The fights are fun and the mangaka actually knows enough about boxing to make the series rather educational. Although the characters do still use "finishing moves" straight out of Street Fighter, so it doesn't try to be too serious or hyper-realistic.
The only odd and confusing part of the writer's extensive boxing knowledge that he absolutely showers the viewer with is his raging boner for Jack Dempsey. Seriously? The guy that defended his title from a bunch of bums, was in the pocket of the Mafia, and refused to fight black boxers because he was too afraid he would get his ass kicked? THAT is your hero Mr. Morikawa? What about Robinson? Ali? Louis? Armstrong? Fuck Jack Dempsey! I like Wladimir Klitschko more than Dempsey! Wladimir may fight bum opponents and has a "glass jaw" but at least he doesn't shit his pants in terror when a black man enters the room! Wladimir would happily fight any of the past great heavyweights and even though he would get his ass whooped, he would have the fucking balls to fight because he isn't a pretentious coward! Ok, rant over.
HNI manages to find a rare middle ground in anime. It isn't a cutesy "moe" that overflows with established anime tropes and cliche's. However, HNI isn't DESPERATELY trying to win at the prestigious Cannes film festival and doesn't have a following of insufferable snobs that mostly don't even like it, but they say they do because they think it makes them sound smart. Unlike some other anime series I can think of. You know the ones. HNI manages to appeal to everyone from the basic casual to the seasoned elitist. It uses time honored story telling techniques, but also shows some innovation, fun, and heart. It is an all around good series and one that everyone should check out!
Bonus section: SPOILERS AHEAD!
One flaw that the series has that I find hilarious is that the writer unintentionally makes Ippo one of the greatest assholes in anime history! In order to make Ippo's opponents well balanced and not generic "heels", the writer gives almost all of them far nobler reasons to compete than Ippo. Ippo just loves to fight, but he will be fighting against someone trying to win money for a needed operation or to save an orphanage! Even though Ippo cares only about the fighting and not the money, Ippo still never shares a red CENT of his prize money or endorsement money with any of the people that desperately need it. He let his good friend's mother DIE of preventable illness because he blew thousands of dollars on a party. What a fucking prick! Ippo is so cold he even gives Johan Liebert the chills! In Yugioh, Yugi gives the money from Duelist Kingdom to Joey so his sister can have an operation. Ippo would have laughed in Joey's face and spent the money at a strip club! Can you think of another anime hero that would be that selfish? Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho is SUPPOSED to be a selfish asshole and even he would have given up the money if Kuwabara needed it. Even anti-heroes are nicer than Ippo. Lucy from Elfen Lied has committed MASS MURDER against innocent civilians, but if she wasn't in a blind rage and was in her rational state of mind, she would give up all the money in the world for a close friend in need, because she has a warmer heart than Ippo and is a better human being! At least we get to see Alexander knock Ippo the FUCK out in season 2. Ippo deserved every bit of that and much more!
It's a name that sets it mark after you finish watching it.
A friend of mine recommended this anime and I just couldn't understand what would be so great... about boxing. And even more so how it could stay interesting for 75 episodes. I decided to give it a go after seeing such positive reviews and the scores this anime was given and I must say this was one of the best animes I have seen. There are few animes where you end up actually physically rooting for the main character, but even so I often found myself screaming at the screen and throwing
punches in the air because it was just that captivating.
The story is set around Makunouchi Ippo, a typical highschooler. He lives together with his Mom and help her with their Fishing Shop. He is bullied at school for not being able to join others since he has to help his Mom with the shop everyday.
I found the story to be very captivating. It had a great plot and each episode ended with a cliffhanger leaving you wanting for more. The story is simple yet brilliantly made. Many other sport animes are easy to see through and you can almost predict what will happen next, and although that happens at certain points they know exactely when to turn the tables.
The show switches easily from being about an intense Boxing Match to a hilarious turn of events usually ending up with Ippo getting toyed around with by his friends.
The way characters are drawn is not the usual way but it's something you get used to quickly. Frankly, I'm not sure if I would've liked it any other way now that I think of it.
Fights are well-animated, punches move fluently and often really gives the impression of how fast or strong of a punch it was. The animation overall is good, but fights are rather expectional.
I am a huge fan of sound so this quickly becomes an important feature for me. The opening and ending were both great, the opening always set the mood for the upcoming fight and got your blood pumping even though the fight hadn't even started.
The songs used in the background are well made and definitely gives you the right feeling to it. This anime is very good just through it's story and art but without the sound there would've been something missing. On a sidenote: I felt the music used in the first season to be better than the ones in the 2nd and 3rd, although some tracks reappear in the 3rd anime (Hajime no Ippo: Rising)
Now this, this is what separates this anime from the rest. Every single character is well made and given a proper background. Some may argue that not all characters were wellrounded but I believe each and every one had their strengths and weaknesses - and the anime made sure you got to see both sides. Every single character was likeable in it's own way, and none was like the other - they all had their own little twist.
This is something I rarely see: many boxers Ippo faced in the ring were actually given a proper background. Some even were so touching that you actually started having split thoughts about the fight, even rooting against the MC which is something I rarely see.
Something I find very important for animes, especially long ones like this one is the character development. And I just have to say, it was absolutely amazing. A little spoiler alert on this part but it was so good that he became one of my favourite characters: Out of the three guys that bullied Ippo, one was the obvious leader, Umezawa Masahiko. He is a huge fan of boxing, and when he finds out Ippo gets a Pro Boxer license he actually starts becoming friends with Ippo. As he continues with his career Umezawa eventually becomes his greatest fan and supports him in every fight. In the end he helps out Ippo with the fishing shop so that he has the chance to get the Featherwight World Championship belt. For me, the change Umezawa kun went through was absolutely amazing. It was well made and I couldn't help myself from starting to like him after a while - in the end he became one of my all time favourite characters.
This anime was wonderful to watch, to the eye and to the heart. It was amazing to watch the intense fights and you couldn't help yourself but to cheer on Ippo when he was fighting.
I think everyone would enjoy this anime greatly. It's a well-rounded anime but it has some unique differences to it that makes it stand out among the many others. I have absolutely no interest in sports whatsoever, and I loved the anime anyhow - so don't hesitate to watch it. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up finishing the whole series in just two days, and as soon as I was done I kept going with the second season and now I'm watching the currently airing third season - It was that good.
If you are not into the laid back style that Hajime no Ippo has this anime can be differently interpreted by some, but for the majority this will be an amazing find.
This anime is for everyone, it's a great anime that leaves you sitting at the edge of your chair wanting more episodes. 24 minutes ends up feeling like 5 and you've suddenly watched 10 episodes in one go.
Thanks for reading my giant wall of text, hope it gave you an idea what this anime can offer!
This is probably the best sports anime I've seen (and I've seen a bunch of them). It isn't gorgeous visually and it isn't original and it isn't unpredictable... and I don't even like boxing. But it's still really really entertaining to watch anyway. And doesn't that say something?
Yeah, yeah, it's got the standard "work hard, have confidence/courage and you'll overcome each seemingly-impossible hurdle one by one" type feel that a lot of anime does (see everything from DBZ, Naruto, Bleach, and to practically every sports anime out there...). And I'm sure there's people out there who are going to find the
repetitive struggle-struggle-comeback pattern annoying...
But if you like that sort of thing anyway (and don't we all sometimes?), this is definitely worth checking out. Hajime's your prototypical earnest, hardworking, blue collar good guy who's trying to make himself better and, despite a serious lack of confidence, he's pretty likeable.
What I really liked though was the chemistry and the interaction between the characters: the gruff, old cutman; the cocky champion; the teasing senpais; the thugs turned sidekicks... they all just made me laugh. They were over the top, leaned towards the ribald sometimes and semi-abusive, but it comes off as really charming... especially since you really got the feeling that Hajime really needed/wanted those sort of familiar, no-holds-barred friendships. They tease each other and torment each other and it creates this really nice sense of playfulness that's underscored by a strong sense of loyalty and affection.
So, if you'd be interested in a good underdog story with a side dish of male bonding... look no further, Hajime no Ippo's just what you need. =)
Fantastic, Excellent, Superb! - Do not judge by its cover or genre. 10/10!
My review will be kept spoiler free.
Okay, so I know what most of you are probably thinking, "an Anime about Boxing/Sports?! Ugh! Not for me". This would be an extremely bad judgement and you'd miss out on one of the greater Anime's of our time. Whether you are or are not a sports fan, this shouldn't be missed.
I myself am definitely NOT a sports fan, I am however a fight fan, in the respect of video games. For me, Boxing has always been a questionable sport. Its a sport where we as
people have allowed each other, to beat each other to an inch of our lives, its almost hilarious that as people we are happy with this, for me... This serves as a borderline between Sport and straight up violence, albeit very technical violence. So I was able to allow this to slide into my Anime viewings and have not looked back!
Hajime no Ippo, a story about a young male Makanouchi Ippo who turns a bad scenario into an un-imaginable dream. The story of Hajime no Ippo is simple, its not the kind of story that needs a lot of thought, it's not hiding the fact that it is predictable or isn't completely unique, it definitely has elements of the shounen genre, BUT! For me it differed greatly from some of the more "childish" shounen out there... This isn't a flaw in the least, then you've got your classic love stories, drama and comedy. For the most part, the story is very, very relatable to the movie Rocky and its sequels, If you are a fan of said movie then this is a no brainer to watch this series. If however you haven't seen Rocky or perhaps didn't like it that much, this is still going to be a great watch. Its the kind of story that will have you on the edge of your seat, it will leave you amped up and treating it as a real life event, you might even find yourself cheering out loudly (as was the case for myself). You will find yourself rooting for our protagonist but at the same time isn't going to make his opponents feel like useless side cast who all deserve to be defeated, in fact the show has an amazing way of actually making you feel like the opponents have equal rights to reap glory and you might even feel sympathy towards them, this serves to create a love-hate relationship with them which is rather spectacular.
The Art for Hajime no Ippo could be a draw back for many as it is very 90's and perhaps even a little earlier, its very "shouneny", however after a short while the art style becomes something that you'll appreciate and serves to highlight the ruggedness that comes with Boxing.
The Music/Sound of Hajime no Ippo is actually rather excellent, particularly the first two Openings/Titles of the show. Victory themes play out perfectly and help raise the mood, punches, blocks, impacts are all well recreated and leave a lasting impression. Towards the end of the Anime, the music was a PERFECT accompaniment to the given outcome. All voice actors are perfectly matched for their roles and are totally believable.
Characters are definitely the shows major attribute. All the characters are well developed and are unique from one another, whether they are friends or foes. Ippo the star of the show has now earned a spot in my favourite characters ever. The side cast are definitely not in the shadows, Takamura Mamoru is a deuteragonist, he certainly had me in stitches with all his antics, however his insights in the art of boxing are second to none and he KNOWS THIS VERY WELL! This is exactly what drives his ego through the roof and its hilarious to watch. Ippo and the members of Kamogawa Boxing Gym's coach (Kamogawa Genji) is a definite homage to the coach of Rocky Balboa from the movies, however in my eyes is way more well structured and thought out. I could talk forever about the cast, but take it from me, this is the highlight of the show.
Overall the enjoyment of the show is extremely high, I found myself watching this show is large chunks not wanting to stop watching, but due to fatigue and having to go to say... I dunno, Sleep? Would be the only times I stopped. Fights are action packed, you may even shed a tear of joy! Emotions run wild in ways that I never thought imaginable from a genre that I may have missed, from Insights to the boxers feelings during fights to arduous training régimes everything is great! Needless to say, Hajime no Ippo deserves its top spot... Highly recommended.
Ippo Makunouchi... the most evil villain who ever lived.
This anime is perfect. If not perfect, then damn near close. It's easy to be skeptical, sounds ridiculous, I know. Over 70 episodes and still gets straight tens? Well believe it, it's real. The sounds and music are epic, memorable, and perfectly on point. The art mixed with the sounds gives real weight to the punches. The characters are nearly all unforgettable and unique. Lastly, the story is so well put together and balanced that I frequently reminisce about the first episode, decide to watch it, and the next thing I know I've re-watched the whole series.
Everyone should know what Hajime no Ippo is all about by now. That said, this is my fourth time watching it, and I have developed a bit of a different take on the series. Prepare for a plot summary review of Hajime no Ippo: the story of the rise of the greatest villain in anime history.
This is the story of Ippo Makunouchi, a second year high school student who has been bullied for his entire life. Downtrodden to the point where his biggest wish is to know what it feels like to be strong. Then one day he finds his chance when he is introduced to the world of boxing.
He starts off his career strong, by breaking the spirit of a kid who has been training his entire life. Ippo comes in as a complete amateur and wallops him. Defeats him, ultimately surpasses him, and forces him out of the country. Effectively starting a lifelong rivalry that he isn't even fully aware of. Watch Ippo as he moves on to bigger and better things, destroying boxers one by one. Crushing the actual dreams of others so that he may further his dream of being strong and having fun boxing.
Watch as a humble soldier comes to Tokyo to win money to repay his impoverished Japanese second family for all they have done for him, only to be trounced by Ippo and sent back with nothing. Marvel at Ippo's tenacity as he wins the Eastern Rookie Tournament by destroying a man's only hope of making a decent living and paying for his sister's college tuition after their parent's died in a terrible accident, then prepare for your heart to be set aflutter when Ippo later decides he wants to bang that opponent's aforementioned sister. See the exciting clash of the East and West Rookie Champions as Ippo travels all the way to Osaka to flatten the region's hero and make little children cry. Cheer for Ippo as he faces down and ultimately defeats his toughest opponent yet, a Russian national who detests violence but fights against all odds so that he may afford to nurse his sick mother back to health. All of these fights are just stepping stones, though. Merely checkpoints along the road to his ultimate goal: Facing a man who lost his dreams, his unborn child, and the respect of his wife... in an attempt to take away his title belt and, with it, his pride.
All because it fills him with joy. All because for him, it is fun. He has found that it is what he wants to do in his life more than anything else. And because he feels like the crushed dreams of the people he has defeated are now carried in his fists, making him stronger.
Ippo Makunouchi is nice gentle kid who always get bullied because he smells like fish from working at his family’s fishing boat rental business, with no father at home Ippo tries his to help his mom. One day a middleweight boxer saves Ippo from the bullies and takes him to Kamogawa boxing gym where he realizes that all the manual labor he did made him stronger than he thought. With this Ippo sets his goal on becoming a professional boxer.
The fight scenes are amazing, they are filled with good strategy and have intense drama that keep you at the edge of your seat.
The show is
very funny with lighthearted gags that repeat throughout the show.
The show doesn't just focus on Ippo which great because it gives you a chance view the life of the fighters in the gym and gives them all a chance to shine.
The animation and art style work perfectly for this show.
125 episodes of pure amazement.
Sadly they only ever adapted 1/2 of the manga if you want check out the manga after all 3 seasons start at chapter 557.
With the rise of all the hype of sports anime in the recent years (Kuroko no Basket, Haikyuu, and Diamond no Ace) many people look pass Hajime no Ippo. So any sports anime fan I'd highly recommend you watch Hajime no Ippo and check out the manga after. It's roughly about 125 episodes( +/- a few episodes) with amazing action, quality drama, giggly comedy, and even a little bit of romance. Even if you aren't a sport anime fan I'd still recommend this. It always great to see how hard work and dedication will take you places. Hajime no Ippo is the definition of a underdog story and it just an amazing ride to see.
The story of this show is about a typical guy by the name of Ippo that works for his only living parent, his mother, in the fishing shop that they own to help since she's becoming old and his father died out at sea when he was very young. One day, while being bullied, he was saved by his future-senpai, Takamura, and began to walk down the road of being a famous boxer. I'm not going to go into a whole lot detail about the storyline, because there's a LOT of things taking place. But, you know what? That's just
fine! Even great! Nothing in the storyline conflict with one another and that's even better, because it's rare for a show to be able to do anything like that and still be enjoyable without a hint of annoyance. The story-line contains a whole bunch of comedy that will force you to fall out of your chair because you're laughing too hard. It helps that this isn't a 90's-00's-10's anime tv series because they would have taken out a lot of things out of this show, like the shower scenes which are f---ing HILARIOUS! They're like THE best scenes in the entire show hands down. The romance in here isn't very much forced, and you can play around with the characters if you're into Fanfiction and still make sense out of it. Especially when it comes to Ippo loving one girl in the show but his obsession with Ichirou is so hilarious that it makes the watcher wonder if he's bi or something- heck! Even the characters themselves poke fun at Ippo for that probability! Plus, the rest of the show is very realistic, with a good amount of blood and injuries, and to add to that they use REAL boxing moves rather than make up things out of thin air.
~Art~ 7.5 (?)
I don't mind the art, considering WHEN this show was first made, along with the manga, so there's no real complaining here. It's more the art style later on in the other sessions that seem out of place because they don't show the real time period that the story line is taking place in.
The music is very good, both the intro and ending. Just doesn't have that 'Wow!' factor to it. Still worth checking it out if you are into anime opening/ending.
This. Show's. Characters. Are. AWESOME! My God! You never see such perfect and hilarious characters as the ones in this show. You see the struggles that they go through each and every day, especially before the match, and it makes you can actually feel the pressure that's placed upon them and makes you wonder what exactly are the boxers in the real world are really like with their diet and such. For example, there was this one episode where Ippo stayed over Takamura's place, and for the first time he watched as his friend truly struggle with being a boxer: Starvation. The thing is, is that Takamura does that just so that he can stay under the limit weight that is placed upon his class. What's even sadder is the fact that Takamura doesn't show any signs until Ippo 'falls asleep' and you can only watch with pain and sadness in your seat as he curls up in a ball in starvation and literally is shaking! Ichirou is another character that you see struggling A LOT in this show and want him to succeed. The main source for the struggle is that he and Ippo made a vow that they'll meet in the ring and fight in the future, when both are at their best. Problem is, is that they have to be in the same weight class to be able to do that, which leads to another problem: Ichirou isn't a featherweight anymore and that's where Ippo is. In fact, his father keeps on pushing him to move up to the light weight class so that he doesn't starve himself, but Ichirou just refuses. Ippo, Aoki and Kimura struggle as well in their own way, which is hard to explain and you'll need to see it to understand. These characters will also make you roar in laughter so loud that you'll wake up the dead. Aoki's taste in women is hilarious. Kimura's way of looking at things is a fresh air and hilarious. If you look inside the dictionary at the word 'hilarious', Takamura's name is in there and in complete capitalization! This guy is like the God of comedy! Ippo himself is just fun to watch, especially since he's trying to fit in with the world one way or another, either that in romance, boxing or ordinary life- for example, there was this one episode where he finally graduates and three of his classmates come up to him, announcing that he has a whole herd of fans wanting to take pictures with him. Ippo is shocked and embarrassed but agrees. The funny part comes when he sees that his fans are huge bad boys and the look on his face is just too much to bare. The other characters, the minor ones, are also fun to watch and a fresh air of their own, because they actually belong inside the show and don't feel like they should be somewhere else. In fact, you might come to like some of the 'bad' guys, like the guy that used to bully Ippo when they were in high school but later on become the best of friends. He even writes a manga about Ippo's journey! For example, there's a scene where the whole crew (Takamura, Aoki, Kimura and Ippo) are acting like critics when they read the manga and their interaction is very original and fun to watch. Although, you'll come to dislike or even hate a few of the characters, such as Takamura's family for disowning him for getting into a fight or even the boxers themselves that our main characters are going up against.
Do I really need to explain how much I enjoyed this show after you've read the other categories? The show is fun, I promise you that you won't be disappointed.
I recently stumbled across Hajime no Ippo while looking for a good sports anime not too long ago. It was either Ippo or Slam Dunk, and not trying to put down Slam Dunk, (because I haven't seen it yet) but boy am I glad I went with Hajime no Ippo. I will first tell you what you may already know from reading around, but you do not, by any means, have to be a fan of sports to enjoy this anime. It blows you away at every chance it gets. Seriously, some of the fights were so explosive, I could hardly sit still at some
points. I felt like I had to get up and do something epic. As if I could? This anime had me glued to the screen from the very beginning.
The story is simple. Ippo Makunouchi is a boy who has been bullied his entire life and for some rhyme or reason, never felt the need to do anything about it. One day, he meets Takamura Mamoru, a top-notch boxer with a pompadour who saves him from a group of bullies. Ippo is surprised at how strong Takamura is and realizes something. He wants to be like that. In fact, he will do anything to be like that. The story of Hajime no Ippo takes you on an inspiring journey of someone wanting to be reborn. What is strength? What does it mean to be strong? This is a story of pushing ones ideas of these notions to it's very limits.
The characters are one of the high points in this anime. The supporting characters all have about as much depth to them as Ippo himself. You will be surprised by how many people actually stick around and support Ippo. His lighthearted nature tends to gather many people around him and the bonds he builds with his friends and family was very touching to see. The romance was a bit lacking in my opinion, but when everything finally came winding down, I felt it all ended up coming together nicely. I'm sure the romance probably continues in the next seasons as well as in the manga, so I don't really see it as something hindering the show. The romance is still very enjoyable to see, from what it does show you.
The music. Throughout watching anime, I think this may be one of the best soundtracks I have heard in a long time. The training scenes and the fights as well have some amazing, motivating background music. I didn't really notice it as something "truly great" until after I finished the show and looked up the entire soundtrack. I honestly couldn't imagine a better soundtrack for this show. Tracks like "Arayashiki" "Spread Ivy" and "Weight of my Pride" along with the openings and endings, kept me constantly pumped up for what was going on. It also does a great job of setting the tone for the drama that's in the story as well.
The epicness just keeps on coming, The plot is always advancing and the characters never stop developing. You want to see these characters accomplish their goals. The best thing about this anime was the fights (because they are so insanely awesome), but also, Ippo's transformation. He slowly gets stronger, smarter and more talented as the story comes along. He starts gaining confidence and aims for higher and higher goals. His character was very inspirational to me and in a way, pushes me a little bit to believe more in myself and what I want to gain from life. Just what kind of boundaries do I have? Are any of us really bound with limitations in this world?
Overall, Hajime no Ippo was some of the most fun I've ever had while watching anime. Trust me, It will not disappoint. If you want to see something epic and possibly inspirational to you as well, give this anime a try. 10/10
“There’s nothing to be scared of, because your penis is of heavyweight class.” – Takamura Mamoru
Oops, sorry, wrong quote.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. – Winston Churchill
The English name for Hajime no Ippo is Fighting Spirit, and that’s what the show is about: Fighting spirit and the courage to keep on going. Hajime no Ippo was the first anime I discovered when I finally knew what anime was. It set a standard for the sports genre (which is in my opinion criminally underrated) in character development and pure enjoyment. This is my review.
Hajime no Ippo follows a quiet teen named Ippo whose life just consists of going to school and helping his mother out with their fishing business. One day he’s beaten senseless by fellow school mates but is saved by a passer-by who happens to be a pro boxer. Ippo passes out and wakes up in a boxing gym to which he is tended to by the pro. He becomes fascinated with the sport and decides to become a pro boxer in order to become stronger. When I finished the first episode I thought the story was going to be “The Karate Kid with boxing”. Thankfully I was way off. Hajime no Ippo is about a boy’s goal to become stronger and his road towards the Lightweight championship. The story is really simple but enjoyable. It may not be original but the execution is well done. You don’t need to understand or even enjoy boxing to enjoy Hajime. This is because the story is a nice set up for intense boxing action. Do you really need to understand the rules if you can just sit back and watch two guys pummel each other? The matches were superhuman and intense. The story contains some history on the sport which is a lot more interesting than dull. The story itself contained a lot of funny comedy bits, some drama which was well written and even a bit of romance.
The best thing about a good sports anime is the characters. Hajime no Ippo is no exception. Ippo is a very likeable lead who the viewer wants to see succeed. His ambition and courage brings a smile to your face because you can’t help but to just love the guy. But Ippo isn’t the only character I loved. Every other major character is well written and you’ll be bound to have at least one favourite that’s from the supporting cast. Fellow boxers in the show have devoted their lives to boxing and have their own reasons for fighting. Most of their causes are noble and a lot of times you’ll feel bad for when one of them loses a match. In between matches you don’t feel anxious or impatient to get to the next one because it’s actually enjoying to see what everyone’s lives are like and how they all rest up and train before and after matches. I laughed and cried with these characters, and they were definitely the best part of the show.
The sound of Hajime no Ippo is a mixed bag because the first OP gets you pumped for what’s about to follow and the ED closes the episode off nicely. After that the songs became terrible. Especially the OP’s and I usually just skipped past them (something I never did with the first). The voice acting was fantastic, especially with Ippo and Takamura although the other seiyuus did a fantastic job with their respective characters as well. The sound effects for the boxing was awesome. You’d get a chill down your spine when you hear bones break or blood splat. If the sound effects for the boxing wasn’t so fantastic I wouldn’t have enjoyed the matches so much.
The art of Hajime really stands out because it has its own style. The character outlines are really thick black lines and it reminded me of Ashita no Joe but with less exaggerated features and a less retro style. The backgrounds were all right. Honestly I never really paid attention to it because my focus stayed on the characters. The animation used during boxing matches were very fluid and the action was really easy to follow.
Honestly, I really enjoyed Hajime. The boxing matches had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, I loved all the characters and the adored the art. The only thing that disappointed me was the sound. Please don’t be put off by the length of the anime. Those 76 episodes will fly by really quickly, and that probably won’t even be enough.
Hajime no Ippo was great. It was a fun watch and if I wasn’t so skinny I would have taken up the sport as a hobby. Be sure to check it out.
Have you wonder what to watch next?
I have, I been ignoring this anime for so long, you can say that I`m not really a type person who can enjoy boxing and how can a anime be so joyful when there just in a ring? I was an idiot, you must watch this anime because I wasted my whole life ignoring it and there are 76 episode and you think it weird, but you will get hooked on it without a doubt and the character is so likeable (even if some of them are rival) it so originally and you can tell the character
are fully develop and you end up getting attached to them and I`m not even half down and I am not the type of person to review but this one need to be said and don`t waste your time looking for another anime and you guy know the feel were you get excited and scream and jump around even if it late at night, because that what i been doing last night (everyone was already asleep) i was scream and laughing and squeal and i couldn`t control myself and this anime are full of excitement and I even wasted some of my data just to watch one episode when we were outside and don`t ignored this masterpiece and WATCH WATCH IT! and you know you love this anime when you decide to give it a review seriously I`m a girl and I`m very much into this and I even told my brother about it more than once ( I think tenth times) you know you love the anime and when you imagine yourself being in their world and cheer for them and you know you love the anime when you said that your boy has grown! and you can`t help yourself
I got hook on the first episode not even half way on it and I think it was around 8;45pm to 4;45am(well I keep rewinding haha because I love to do that) and I told myself just one more episode but you can see what happen, I watch more than I wanted and do I reject this? and no way and it was worth it and after I write this review and I will be continuing without and I can`t wait to add to my finish watch list soon and this one of my most favorite anime now and it not like other anime you see and every character is being used not only the main one and this will rock your world!
Don`t waste any more time
watch this anime
This anime is old but i will get you in the feels
it really is a must
Have you ever watched an Anime where watching each episode made you so excited that you couldn't help but jump around like a maniac? Yeah, Hajime no Ippo did that to me. Don't think I've ever been filled with so much energy as I have with this.
Story(9/10): Our main character, 16 year old Makunouchi Ippo has been bullied for as long as he can remember. One day while he was getting beat up by his high school bullies, comes along a boxer called Takamura, who saves him from the bullies. Takamura then proceeds to take him to the gym where he trains, and from here
on out begins Ippo's glorious journey in the field of boxing.
What I really liked about the story was that the passage of time is realistic, no timeleaps or anything. We see Ippo's determination in getting better through countless hours of running, practising in the gym, shadow boxing and sparring, which is his daily routine. From first spar match to him getting his boxing license and then finally becoming a pro boxer, we get to see him grow as a boxer right before our eyes.
Art(9/10): The art for its time is pretty damn good. Sure, the faces sometimes look odd, and sometimes the hand and movement animation seem plastic, but those are just small little things.
The Animation shines during a fight. You can feel the impact of each blow as they land on target, gradual sweating throughout the matches, realistic wounds and so on. The newer seasons clean up the Animation by quite a bit, but the general feel stays the same as from this season.
Sound(9/10): I have no complaints in the sound department. Various sound effects from punching, blocking and running are done to near perfection. The voice actors also did a splendid job in giving a soul to each of the characters. As for the OPs and EDs, they're mostly good.
My favourites being ''Under Star'' and ''Yuuzora no Kamihikouki''.
Characters(10/10): The main reason why I love this Anime so much. Each and every single character has great backstory behind them and you can't help but root for them. Each fight being tougher than the last, it's hard not to cheer for Ippo when he perseveres.
My favourite character other than Ippo is definitely Takamura. He's brash, arrogant, a pervert. But damn, he's a genius in the ring. There wasn't a single moment where I wasn't astounded by his brute strength in the ring. Aside from him, I love Aoki and Kimura a lot too. They're Ippo's senior but they're good in their own right. They also provide for the comedic relief in the Anime, especially Aoki(can't beat the Frog Punch!). Ippo's coach, Kamogawa, who is the owner of the gym deserves special mention as well. He's a veteran and highly likable, and makes sure everyone does their training regularly. Finally, each opponent of Ippo are really likable. My favourite being Sendo and Vorg. His fights with both of them are the best of the whole series.
Enjoyment(10/10): I haven't enjoyed an Anime this much in long, long time. I honestly can't really find faults in it. Right from the get go, it caught hold of me by the collar and never let to. I was subjected to a roller coaster ride of emotions and great action. In short, I LOVE IT!
Overall(10/10): If you haven't watched this Anime already, then WATCH IT! This Anime is so good, that it'll be a shame if you haven't watched it. Definitely one of the best Anime I have ever seen and honestly, in the Sports genre, I doubt anything can top it.
I'll just mention this for the sake of mentioning this, but I also include the 76th episode, which was a special and has a separate entry for it on MAL, as part of this review. That episode is Takamura's backstory and is basically what you would expect. It doesn't really affect the review in either way, so I won't be talking about it, but the reason I'm mentioning it is because it's a canon (From my understanding, nothing Ippo got released is filler) and you should watch it too, don't assume that it's an anime special where they wanted to throw an extra story that
never happened. I generally assume so with most, hence I'm saying this.
Anyway, onto the review itself.
Hajime no Ippo a good choice for anyone who enjoys any sort of fighting anime or sports anime. But before I start praising it, I want to start off by criticizing a few aspects of the series. First of all I have to start off by saying the series story by itself, is usually very predictable. There are very few matches where I couldn't accurately predict who was gonna win due to the writing style and something that also helped in realizing the direction in which a fight is heading was (especially in the middle point of the series) the soundtrack of the series. You see, the series has indeed a really good OST. It does a great job at setting the mood, it sounds awesome, and so on and so forth, but it isn't really diversified and you will learn, rather fast, what each song means once it's played. You will immediately know what to expect as soon as whichever song they decide to play under which situation what direction some of the fights will head eventually. They eventually manage to diversify and mix up some situations so this effect caused by the song didn't happen with me anymore.
Anyway, as I was saying, the fight (results) are usually predictable and the writing often gives away who's gonna win. However, despite this problem, Ippo managed to have some of the best goddamn fucking fights I've seen in any anime series. Not only are the fights really well explained, from the point of how they trained and what is happening, but even if you do know what to expect, the way the fights are build showcases the results of the training and the motivation and mentality of the boxers in a way not many other series can in their best days. Often one random fight in Ippo will be a lot more entertaining than any random fight from any other anime. And the reason I brought this up, is that if the results were more varied and the series was build up a bit differently, the development of these incredibly well done fights would've been done that many times better.
Other aspects from the series I didn't really like was often the humor, althought it did amuse me, was very old fashioned. With characters getting violent and punching/hitting with a cane the cause to relieve the situation etc. Things like that. It's not that Ippo is not humorous, but rather to me at least, certain techniques used to create humor feel sorta dated for today.
This is kinda my only criticism I can give the series as far as writing goes. Anything else I can criticize is that the art often reuses some frames (which I assume it was due to the budget) and some female character designs could've used some work. Early on, most of the female characters I've seen had some really weird coloring, as for instance, the absolute same color was used for their eyes and hair and often their clothing only made that only more noticeable. The animation effort put into the guys was definitely far higher than that of the women. Otherwise the animation is often decent and the fights look especially good. Apart of that it is also dated since it was animated a long time ago.
Anyway, Ippo does two things especially well: The development of the characters where the characters motivation and everything about them is developed in a way that makes you surprised at how much depth there is to them. Even the most unbearable assholes in the series have a relatable side to them. I didn't hate one single character and I understood their perspective and there were times where I simply rooted against Ippo not because I hated him as a main character or anything like that, but rather because he had way less to lose than his opponent. Which makes it even more unfortunate that I could predict so many outcomes. It is not often when I would be satisfied in a story for either side to win, but here, almost every single time, I wouldn't mind any of the characters winning over the other because they all have an understandable reason and are putting a lot of effort into what they are doing. It is a series with no villain, just very competitive people that do their best to succeed in an activity they love. Which is very hard to do right.
And the second aspect of the series that has done incredibly well is the fights. As I've said before, the fights are really well detailed as to what the boxers are experiencing, how they trained and so on and so forth. You will understand the fights not only on the side on how they work mechanically and what is happening, but also through what is going inside their heads, what are their motivations, and why they choose to fight the way they are, why they get up after a down and so on. The reason most people have enjoyed Hajime no Ippo isn't because it's about boxing. It's because they see understand what is happening inside, to a physical and mental level. The fights put the best aspects of boxing and the best aspects of the characters as well as their worst to create something truly entertaining.
If you enjoy good fights and good characterization, you will enjoy Ippo. It is definitely a really good series that I would recommend to a lot of people. ts flaws can only get better with time and I certainly don't see any of the aspects I've given not improving in the future. If you enjoy watching any kind of fighting anime, Ippo is definitely something special.
Edit: This edit took place after I finished Rising, since it was the last season at the time. Hopefully there will be more. Anyway, assuming anyone is gonna read this edit, I'd like to add some information on how Hajime no Ippo, the series, develops later on, based on what I already said about it and what changes for the first series.
I'll list things in a simple manner for what changes for the series:
• Things become slightly less predictable. (The result of the fight, that is. You will still have a fairly good idea in who's favor the fight will end before the fight starts if you pay attention to the series and you're accustomed to this type of storytelling)
• The OST in Rising is diversified and they mix things from every season, but, the second season, "New Challenger", doesn't have a particularly noteworthy OST. While the OST does its job of setting the mood, in New Challenger, the OST doesn't convey the same level of energy and the same type of mood as Ippo did previously. However in Rising the OST is diversified with a lot of shit, surprisingly so.
• The humor starts being more personality driven based on what we've learned about the character and doesn't feel like the characters get violent just for the sake of them amusing us anymore and the jokes are more diversified.
• The animation improves tremendously.
• The development of the new characters will not feel as important as it used to. While this might sound as something really negative, I'll go a bit more indepth. The characters will be build up in order to match their opponents and to develop the already established characters, rather than introduce more people into the mix. While there's still always some chance of some payoff from these characters later on as Ippo tends to do, these characters are often build up to represent some facet of someone's personality, giving the already established characters more depth. New characters will still come that will be developed tremenduously just like before, it's just that now that the cast of the series was build up, the opponents are build to complement them, rather than stand on their own.
• The fights won't be mostly Ippo anymore as the Kamogawa gym and other side characters will get their chance to get in the spotlight too. As a matter of fact, Ippo gets a comparatively smaller number of fights comparative to the total amount of fights that aren't his own.
Hajime no Ippo is a series that was very inspiring to me.
The plot begins with a regular, average high school student that's just trying to get through with life and school while trying to help out his mom with their family-owned business. Almost everyday, punks in school always bullies him after school. That changed one day when a pro-boxer came and saved him from receiving more punches and kicks from these punks. From that, Ippo (the main character) strives to become a pro-boxer just like that guy. He suddenly becomes motivated to be a boxer in the future. Throughout this series, he constantly trains and
do 'roadwork' in order to maintain his physical strength and stamina. Every now and then, a boxer from a different gym (or a different country) arrives and challenges Ippo to a match. So all those 'roadwork' really does help out alot. The story is great, which fulfills what I think a sports anime should be in the first place. It basically explains how anyone can achieve their goals by working hard to get it.
The art on this one was also different from the typical anime that I've seen. The world on Hajime no Ippo rotates around the boxing gym where Ippo and the crew trains, his house where their family-owned business is also located, and the boxing ring itself. The thing that I can say right off the bat are the FIGHTS themselves. How awesome was it when I see smoke coming out behind the back of the boxer that just got owned by a gut punch? VERY. It's like watching an atomic bomb go off several times, but this time behind someone's back. Seeing their faces get pounded is also something, and you might start thinking that I'm a sadist (hey it's boxing, that's what it's about). Every fight on this show was really exciting to watch, and the animators also did a great job putting detailed environments. Hajime no Ippo have that old-school feel to it where the city is one that's just any other one, except that it has the boxing gym and the stadium where all hell breaks loose. Another thing that really caught my attention was the huge setting sun behind Ippo, which shows how determined this guy is on becoming what he wants to be, a better boxer.
The three opening songs on this series were all great, and somewhat hilarious too. Understar always makes me laugh for some reason. Inner light, on the other hand, is really one that's inspiring. That's what I listen to everytime I do my own 'roadwork' running around the neighborhood. 'Tumbling Dice' was also great, even though it didn't really have lyrics accompanying it. The ending music were also great. I have to say that they were also good ones. Now, with the voice actors... Ippo's voice is really something. His verbal stutters every now and then is really funny. It's like he's always unsure about what he's doing. The voice acting really did a nice job in Hajime no Ippo. Kohei did a very nice job with Ippo's voice, that's for sure. Takamura's voice along with the rest of the crew were also good, and had the humor in them. Even the drumroll that separates the first half of the show to the last half was something that's worth mentioning. Those electric guitar parts where Ippo's pumped up about the next fight are also great. The sound effects comes just at the right time.
And then there are the characters... Hajime no Ippo is composed of people that varies in personalities. Maybe all animes have those also, but this series really emphasizes on each one's character. Mashiba is this scary-looking guy that always seem to scare Ippo in every way and every time he thinks about him. There's Takamura and his over-confidence about himself that makes him the 'boss' of the gym. Ippo himself portrays an average guy that leads a simple life. His funny actions and wimpy attitude changes drastically ones he's on the ring. His true strength really shows in that ring, while outside, he's a very humble person. He doesn't show off like other people would (Takamura, yea you!). All of the characters in this series are really memorable. One just can't forget about them.
With all the excitement that this show offers makes the enjoyment of watching it over the top. After each fight, I would anticipate to see the next fight even before a new challenger (notice the pun for the new season here hehe) appears again. Even when the crew is not fighting, just doing roadwork, it's really fun to watch. It really motivated me to run myself. I usually enjoy playing basketball at the park, but when I watched and finished this show, I even started to have fun running as well. Seeing my little sister doing jump ropes, I borrowed it from her so I can try it out too. Hajime no Ippo really made me like new stuff that I would just ignore in the past. That jump rope is an example.
In the end, this show is really worth watching. 76 episodes seemed long at first when I started it, but all 76, movie, and an OVA went by as if it was just a 12-episode show. It makes me wanting more. The new season is out, so I have something to be busy over again. Hajime no Ippo is something I would recommend to sports enthusiasts, as well as people that are into action animes. This show will surely deliver punches that will make you stand up just so you can also cheer for Ippo as he tries to climb to the top!
There are plenty of stories about a young man finding some sort of passion and following it to some sort of logical conclusion, and Hajime no Ippo chooses not to stray from that basic idea very far. Luckily for original creator Morikawa George, not straying far from this premise seems to be the recipe for a successful comic that has lasted more than 1000 chapters week after week since its original Shounen Magazine publishing in 1989. This adaptation by Madhouse and director Nishimura Satoshi is longer than your usual TV anime run, at 75 episodes, but it doesn't quite cover the incredible length of Nishimura's
original comic. Instead, it opts for a sort complete story in itself, covering protagonist Makunouchi Ippo's career from its inception until his eventual championship.
This works in the show's favor since, despite its length, not much time is wasted. The story progresses in a rather linear fashion from one fight to another, introducing Ippo's opponents one at a time and moving Ippo himself steadily up the ranks of a young boxer. However, since very little of the show is not about Ippo himself, the routine does become a bit stale quickly. By the second or third fight, it is already apparent what the formula Morikawa George is using consists of. Ippo's next enemy is stronger than his last, and he must somehow adapt to this, typically by learning some new technique. And when the fight itself comes, it all boils down to Ippo winning through his sheer tenacity - no matter what his opponents throw at him, he just doesn't give up, and you just know the spectators will feel the need to comment on his never ending stamina between every single round. In all truth, while simple, this is both tiring and unsatisfying, especially since Ippo's opponents are almost always significantly more interesting and endearing than Ippo himself.
The narrative wants me to root for the hard working underdog Ippo, but it usually turns out that I want his opponent to win. This is because Ippo's enemies are fleshed out enough for the viewer to understand how they've trained for this day and what is at stake for them. These are typically much more convincing arguments for their victory than Ippo's, who is new to the boxing world and is on the losing side of the fight until it eventually comes down to, once again, Ippo simply lasting longer than his opponent despite an overwhelming disadvantage. In particular, I found myself rooting for the Russian boxer Alexander Volg Zangief. The emotional weight of his fights and career was more powerful than anything Ippo ever managed to achieve.
Ippo's romantic life is also given some focus, but it seems more like an afterthought. His romantic interest, Kumi Mashiba, is your typical ideal domestic housewife and devoted fan. Her relationship with Ippo begins with a quick meeting at a flower shop very early in the show and, despite their insistent tendency to meet frequently, it never really progresses very far.
Regardless of Ippo's boring fights, there are moments of interesting boxing action. Specifically, the writing and choreography of the fights seem to become levels better when Ippo is not one of the participants. This shows in two places in the show - a short arc about Ichiro Miyata training in Mexico, and the subplot about Takamura Mamoru earning and defending his title. In both of these the viewer finds more complex characters and detailed, well-thought out fights that capitalize on everything their respective subplots have to offer. If only there was more of these sorts of fights and less of Ippo winning not because he deserves it but because he has to win somehow for the plot to progress.
The animation is a real highlight of the show, at least during the fights. The camera feels loose and free, not restrained by the cheap but easy to animate single angles that usually plague TV anime. The boxers' movements are accentuated by wind effects like they are kicking up dust every time they move, but it is used tastefully so that it only adds to the experience, something that can only be done reasonably in animation. Successful hits look painful, damage to the boxers accumulates as the fights go on. However, outside of fights, the animation becomes par for the course, though still not bad for an early 2000s TV anime. Madhouse pulled off a show that looks ahead of its time. The sounds are of similar quality, always tasteful and adding nicely to the experience.
Hajime no Ippo has moments of brilliance, and it is rarely so extreme that it is unbelievable, but it is weighed down a great deal by a shallow and boring protagonist and a formualic progression.
The Short Version:
(+)The show doesn’t feel like its 75 episodes long.
(+)The fight are AWESOME!
(+)(Almost)Everything happens for a reason.
(-)The soundtrack gets repeated a lot.
(-)The art is a little bit dated.
The Story (8/10): The story starts out as a classic coming-of-age journey of a young man who is bullied at school, and upon being saved by a boxer decides that he too wants to become a boxer. This is where the story threw me off a bit, because instead of taking revenge out on the people who bullied him, the
main character whole heartedly focuses his being on becoming an absolute beast of a boxer. After this we follow the MC throughout his professional career and all of the quite frankly awesome boxing matches that come with it, and the fights that happen in the last third are on an entirely different level of awesome. As someone who has seen and fought in a couple of boxing matches, if actual matches were this intense I’d watch it a lot more, and I would’ve also never stepped into the ring.
The Characters (7/10): The characters of this show I feel are the base standard for a sports anime, you have the really experience character who inspires the protagonist, the protagonist who is willing to work his arse off to get to the top, the old-timer trainer whose experience comes in handy on multiple occasions, and the comedy relief character(s).
Ippo Makunouchi: One hell of a natural fighter and apparently has a massive dong.
Takamura Mamoru: The one who saved/inspired Ippo and apparently has a devastating punch. As in all of them.
Aoki Masaru & Tatsuya Kimura: These guys are the comedy relief and I only remember one of their fights.
Genji Kamogawa: The old-timer who teaches Ippo ‘how-to-box-like-a-badass’ and can hit Takamura like it’s nothing.
Another thing about Ippo as a character that I can link back into the story section, instead of taking up boxing for revenge he takes it up to figure out what ‘strength’ is. I think that speaks to how unique his being is within the action sports genre or even bullied protagonists in general.
The Art & Sound (7/10) & (6/10): Considering this show first aired in 2000 the art looks a bit dated, but then again I’m talking about an anime that’s 15 years old. That fact doesn’t take away from the point that the art is all there when it counts, and when it counts would be the fight scene and HOLY SHIT the art just amplifies the fights vibe to the same vibe that you probably felt with One Punch Man, just a lot of screaming and losing your shit.
The sound, in terms of OST, its nothing remarkable but it definitely sounds very different however no one part of the soundtrack jumped out at me. A couple of the OP’s on the other hand were very good in my opinion and the voice acting by everyone was at their best, when the characters are throwing their entire being behind one punch, it really sounds like they are. The ED’s however slipped entirely under my radar.
What do you think of this anime?
Buying it, if I can find it.
Would you recommend this show?
Yes. As long as your cool with maybe losing your voice because it’s so intense.