75 of 75 episodes seen
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. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
So why isn't this movie hands down awesome? Why, actually, is it disappointing and substandard? Mostly because of the art, partially because of the failure at epicness, and a little because of the acting.
I'm not sure why, but the voice acting in this movie stands out to me many times... which is never a good thing. From King Kai's somewhat lackadaisical tones while the character animation is very irate and, well, animated... to Goku's ridiculously silly-sounding battle-cries, the voice acting is just downright dissonant with the animation at times. Though the acting for the new, and quite amazing, character Bills-sama is refreshingly perfect.
The art, though, is what kills this in the crib for me. Everyone looks shiny, which is fine. Kind of reminds me of GT, which isn't so fine. The real problem is that the fight scenes are filled to the brim with bad 3D animations. It is jarring. One might even say that it ruins the whole DBZ experience, it certainly ruined mine. It's reminiscent of the switch in the DBZ games from Budokai 3 to Tenkaichi. If you liked that change, then you may not find the art to be as detrimental to your experience and may gain more enjoyment out of the film.
Now, it is not to be said that there is no enjoyment to be found here. As I said before, it's a nice look at the post-Buu continuation of the world, and a heart-warming reunion with our favorite old characters the way they were meant to be. Yet the content does not quite live up to the epic name. There are no great moments, no really memorable feats, as a stand-alone film it's a bit of a letdown. read more
175 of 175 episodes seen
However, it's got other things that you might not normally find. The character relationships are well-developed and the show focuses a lot more on feelings than you might see in others of it's genre. Each character has his or her own colorful past and you can really get to know them on a personal level. Some of them have some seriously twisted baggage. The characters change, fall in love, begin to hate; it's quite the ride. The stories for these individual characters and some of their interactions might even cause you to tear up.
The art is bright and awesome, and the whole show kind of makes you want to be a member of the Fairy Tail guild, meet the characters and be in that world with them. Overall I give it an 8, mostly because it's a shonen that kept me, a grown man, interested in it. Mostly it's tailored for a younger audience, but a lot of enjoyment can be found in it by almost everyone. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
That is where the brilliance of the series truly lies. The story, the drama, the character development... rather than setting up the story for a conclusion, they set up a desired conclusion in your mind. Then deliver it.
This is a show that will feel uncomfortable. It is a show that you will hate until the very end, when you suddenly love it. read more
23 of 23 episodes seen
The writing is such that as the story progresses, you will progress along with it. You will feel emotion along with the characters, which can be quite immersive. Expect to laugh and develop fond memories during this anime as if the characters were your own circle of friends. Also expect to cry, possibly harder than you have cried in years. If there is one thing that Clannad is exceptional at, it's making people cry.
In summation, the artwork is fantastic, there is a character for everyone, and it really is a work worthy of highest regard. The the powerful empathy invoked by the brilliantly tailored story will forge a psychological pairing with the music that will last you a lifetime. "Dango Daikazoku" and "Onaji Takami E" are two of many pieces from the anime that still bring tears to my eyes. Watching this anime feels like more than watching a show, it feels like a window into your own inner feelings, and in many ways feels like going home. read more