Apr 20, 2011
Danno (All reviews)
What can I say? I loved it. This is what Hajime no Ippo's all about. Boxing isn't just some uncivil sport; it's physically and mentally challenging, everyone has their own reasons for doing it, and it takes some serious dedication and guts. When I saw Mashiba's name in the title, I thought it would just be some hilarious spin-off with Kimura getting beaten up by that crazy SOB, but the story was quite intense and touching.

The animation was smooth and stuff. There were maybe a few recycled fighting sequences, but this series always does it in a tasteful way, unlike DBZ. I love that about Hajime no Ippo; you can actually see their attacks and the intensity behind them, it's not some cheap battle anime where half of the fight is explosions, smoke, and mountains crumbling whilst the other half is characters warping around, shooting energy blasts at each other, and having casual conversations mid-battle. THIS is good battle anime. The fight isn't dragged on, pointless, or dull to watch; every bit of it is meaningful and exciting. There was some small amount of 3D during the fight where the ring was kinda circling, Mashiba and Kimura were still 2D; I thought it was well done and looked really cool, and that's coming from someone who normally hates 3D in anime.

The music was fitting and knew how to make the battle even more intense.

The character development was great. Mashiba's the same fearless, anti-social psychopath as usual, but we get a look at his desires, he almost seems like he's warmed up a little at his workplace, and we see that even he can lose his confidence at times. Kimura's always been serious about boxing and has loved it, but in this OVA his attitude becomes a little more like Ippo's. He's always had his dreams, but now he's got a chance to go for it, so he becomes more determined and pushes himself to his limits.
The OVA looks back on Kimura's past a little bit, though most of it is sorta a refresher of what we learned from the series. It didn't feel like filler or anything like that to me, though, and I think it helps this OVA stand alone better so that even people who haven't watched Hajime no Ippo before can enjoy this. We also learn a little bit more about Kimura than we knew before, making you that much more attached to his character.

Whether you've seen Hajime no Ippo before or not, I'm sure you'll be able to enjoy this as long as you like intense fighting action and are not obsessed with garbage like fan service. Overall, I found this amazing and at some parts it had me almost feeling some tears coming. I was absorbed in it the entire time. It's just an hour long, so I thought there wasn't even enough time for me to dislike something. It also leaves nothing to be desired since the conclusion is satisfying and wrapped up well.