Makunouchi Ippo has been bullied his entire life. Constantly running errands and being beaten up by his classmates, Ippo has always dreamed of changing himself, but never has the passion to act upon it. One day, in the midst of yet another bullying, Ippo is saved by Takamura Mamoru, who happens to be a boxer. Ippo faints from his injuries and is brought to Takamura boxing gym to recover. As he regains consciousness, he is awed and amazed at his new surroundings in the gym, though lacks confidence to attempt anything. Takamura places a photo of Ippo’s classmate on a punching bag and forces him to punch it. It is only then that Ippo feels something stir inside him and eventually asks Takamura to train him in boxing. Thinking that Ippo does not have what it takes, Takamura gives him a task deemed impossible and gives him a one week time limit. With a sudden desire to get stronger, for himself and his hard working mother, Ippo trains relentlessly to accomplish the task within the time limit. Thus Ippo’s journey to the top of the boxing world begins.
What can I say about Hajime No Ippo other then it's a great story that gives otaku everywhere some self confidence to be strong.
The story consists of one Makanouchi Ippo, a social outcast who is picked on because he is passive, poor and smells bad because of his family fishing shop. One day Ippo is being bullied out in the open and a man jogging by scares off the kids. Ippo asks the man to teach him how to be strong and thus begins Ippo's run of determination.
The theme of this manga is "What is it like to be strong?" and pure determination and hard
work. It has very good character development showing every last spec of emotion that all the characters feel at every moment, as well as epic fights (although I do admit the fights wouldn't be like that if they were real)
There is a good bulk of training in this series and it takes up a good chunk of the series but is more then made up for when the fights roll around. And you know what? I don't mind all mind that much because that's what boxers do. Train, fight, train, fight. Very good insight on what a boxers day to day life is like.
The comedy in this manga is great. Usually in manga when there is filler people dread, but Hajime no Ippo delivers the most hilarious filler I have ever seen in my days.
All in all Hajime no Ippo is a great long running story with a mangaka that has as much stamina as his protagonist when it comes to writing. (And I'm not sure about all of you but Hajime no Ippo has motivated me to start working out more and become more active)
The reason for the submission of this review is that I thoroughly enjoy the series (so much so that I read 870 chapters in 2 weeks, whilst going to school), and that the other half caps review is trash.
First off, the premise of the story is very similar to any other shounen manga, Eyeshield 21, Naruto, etc. I could go on. However, it is unique in the fact that boxing is a blend of both the action and the sports genres - leading to none of that ridiculous superpower crap, yet not sounding completely unrealistic and solely created to
maintain interest I might add, when a new ability or move is created.
In the first few hundred chapters the story progression is relatively quick, with Ippo advancing through the Pro Test, the Rookie Tournament, Japanese Rankings, and finally the Boxing Championship.
However, past this point it is simple title matches - that is not to say the enjoyment is greatly diminished. I still enjoy it to this day, definitely one of the higher rankers of shounen manga.
The art is pretty archaic, not so much so that it is downright unattractive; but, it still maintains that aged feel of classic manga. Although it has somewhat progressed throughout its publishing the overall feel is still there. I personally don't mind it, but to say I prefer it to the the standard of modern art styles would be incorrect. Although, the actions scenes are brilliantly illustrated, utilizing in full huge swishes of wind and the like.
Character design is, again, good, but nothing amazing.
Characters, the part where this manga truly shines - Takamura is undoubtedly the most popular character; his antics make him a very likable chap. However, he is not simple comic relief. He carries an aura of idolization, with all boxers in Kamogawa Gym, save Ippo's eventual kouhai - looking up to him. This admiration is not unwarranted, Takamura's record is superhuman and he is an absolute beast in the ring.
Ippo, somewhat standard fare, the young, naíve boy unhappy with his current life experiences a contextual epiphany and suddenly desires to become 'stronger'. However, Ippo is unique in that he does not start off as a complete wimp, containing power equivalent to those several weight classes above him.
The rest of the support characters are sufficiently likable, one may find themselves sympathizing with Aoki and Kimura's plight, being overtaken by their kouhai and never being able to retrieve the Champion belt.
I also found the Itagaki puns hilarious.
Enjoyment was very high, the fights keep ones testosterone at its peak, at least with what a manga can achieve at any rate. The training is amusing, the large amounts of manliness, guts, effort flying around is enough to get one's posterior on the edge of their seat.
Overall, Hajime no Ippo is one of my favourite mangas to date, and a shining example of a good shounen sport manga.
Since the author realized that he's going to make this run as long as he lives (or as long as there's interest) it has become a formulaic, and repetitive story. It basically runs like this:
-End fight filler
-Rinse and repeat... FOREVER!
Of course there are good fights with the occasional serious Takamura title match. However, there are too many filler fights (Ippo title defense and Kamogawa gym underling matches) to keep things interesting during volume 50+. With how things are going, this manga will stretch forever.
It is likable though since I have lasted up to v60 and still going but I have found myself scanning the post
and pre-fight fillers as well as the filler matches in hopes to get to the more important matches. This basically sums up how HNI is going.
Unless the author keeps things interesting, I will simply skim through the repetitive and formulaic discussions/fights and go through the important matches.
Ever thought of reading a good sports manga which combines quality and quantity? You need something to feel and dive into? Then Hajime no Ippo is the best manga for you.
It may be that you discovered the Ippo anime and are not sure whether to start reading the manga or not because of the huge amount of chapters (1000+). Well, it's definitely worth the time. But let's review this manga as if you had no knowledge of it.
The story begins rather simple, a boy named Makunouchi Ippo is getting bullied and to grow stronger, he starts with boxing under the very strict trainer
Kamogawa Genji, an old but very experienced man.
There he meets his idol and competitor Miyata Ichiro who becomes Ippo's motivation to train harder and harder.
Sounds rather simple and you might think it'd get repetitive after over 1000 chapters, but it doesn't. The story shifts from character to character in the Kamogawa Gym and even from former challengers which become part of the ongoing story.
Where the story shines is that it combines multiple genres and subplots into one huge ongoing storyline. You have extremely hilarious comedy (most times about genitals, stupidity and later puns), dead-serious boxing matches with immense tension, drama, slice of life (combined with comedy or things to think about, so no boring stuff) and some love life, most characters are adults after all. Build-up and pacing are very well handled, you don't even notice little time skips.
Everything is connected to each other so you often see friends/former challengers appearing in the story even after their fight with the main cast either for plot or comedy purposes. So it's no "enemy appears-loses-next enemy suddenly appears" pattern, it's dealt with great story telling, build-up and characterization skills. The crazy thing is that you never know who wins which is an ongoing phrase in the story ("you never know what can happen in boxing"). It's not rare in this show to cheer for the "enemy", because they're do well written.
Now, you have to consider that this manga started it's serialization in '89, so don't expect too much in the first hundred chapters.
I have to admit, when I first encountered this show, I didn't like the art at all, but that was because I was used to the generic shonen art style which doesn't need time to adapt to.
This art is really great. You have wonderful double pages of either the park with the sky where Ippo & co. are always jogging or epic boxing matches with perfectly drawn shadows and motions; even the faces of the crowd have emotions drawn into them. You can tell from this description alone that this is drawn with a lot of passion and love. Character designs and overall world building are rather retro but it is really cool and fitting. I couldn't imagine Ippo with flat screens and smartphones.
What makes "Ippo" a relaxing read is also the pattern of the panels. It stays retro by having strict panel borders, not like most new manga where you have to find out what's actually drawn there with characters out of their already screwed up panels. So the art looks simple but is drawn with lots of love for detail. Even after 25 years of serialization it never disappoints to stay fresh.
"Ippo"'s characters are so unique in their respective way. No fight is random because we get introduction and characterization of new challengers to an extent that you sympathize with their determination to win which ends in very dramatic and breath-taking matches.
Spirit is a key point in every character in "Ippo", there are fights when someone even being unconscious keeps on fighting for his goal which speaks for the character's determination.
Some early beaten characters appear later on in the story where we get to see how their boxing career unfolds which often crosses with other former introduced characters. The characters' growth is immense as you could expect from this long running sports manga.
It really never gets boring. Between the serious fights you have light-hearted, inspirational or funny moments and even detours from boxing like cooking or baseball matches - always ending in a hilarious way or benefiting to further events. Even our beloved Ippo has a really funny and cute "love" which is often held back by a certain someone or other occurrences, but always really funny and cute. You will even cheer for Ippo to be as strong minded and confident with women as he is in the boxing ring, haha. When you're into a long exciting match you will have read 30 chapters before you even noticed. The pacing slows down remarkably during fights to thoroughly explore the way the competitors are fighting which really is necessary and a good point.
You get to learn a lot about real life boxing when some real boxing strategies or punches are being introduced which is also a huge plus. It never ceases to amaze me how well the mangaka George Morikawa combines boxing punches or strategies with each character's personality.
Overall this manga is recommendable for everyone open to read a longer project and not searching for one-shots to add to their finished manga list. You don't even need to like boxing or sports, this manga is so thrilling, inspirational and funny. Most people I know who saw the anime (yes, they're too lazy to read the manga, but I'm working on that) got the extreme urge to work out or start jogging because this manga portrays how hard work pays off over and over again.
Don't feel scared because of the huge number of chapters, see it as a blessing that you don't have to wait weekly for one chapter but instead read as much as you want for the first weeks or months until you caught up. :-)
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.
Anime openings are extremely important. They introduce the production staff, unveil the style of the animation, and set the tone for the rest of the viewing experience. Let's take a look at the Hajime no Ippo openings and how they inform the audience and set expectations.