Seeing that the new season of Hajime no Ippo is airing in a few days, I will take it upon myself to talk about the greatness that is Hajime no ippo. This manga is one of the most long running manga still in print, in fact as of this post it has 835 chapters. There are 84 collected volumes of the manga, and has been written since 1989.
That’s a whole lot!
From 2000-2002 an anime adaptation was created. It was 75 episodes long, followed by a dvd release episode, a movie and an ova that continues from where the anime left off.
Now that I got some background information out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this, what the hell is Hajime no Ippo? This is the story of Makunouchi Ippo, average high school student –
who one day meets a boxer by the name of Takamura.
Ippo proves that he has a love for boxing and starts training in the same gym to find the true meaning of being strong.
I have to say that this is not only one of the best sports anime I’ve ever seen, but one of the best anime period. The author does an amazing job at properly fleshing out all of the characters in the story. Nobody is introduced into the story for absolutely no reason. There are no characters that are meaningless and just hang around just to have more characters. Ippo is also one of the funniest anime I’ve ever seen. It’s characters are so well mixed and the humor is so well written. There have actually been very few times in anime I have laughed harder than during this series.
When it all comes down to it, Ippo is the story of a group of boxers that all want to achieve the dream of being a champion. Some achieve it, while others still dream. My favorite aspect of the storytelling in Hajime no Ippo is that even though you are supposed to root for the boxers in the main gym that the main characters are in, the author doesn’t villainize their opponents. You know the backstory of each boxer and what is going on in their lives, what is pushing them forward, and why they want to win. I truly believe that this is what sets Ippo above the rest; just because someone is an opponent, that doesn’t mean that they have the be the most evil person in the world.
Hajime no Ippo is a rewarding anime that not that many people I have come in contact with know about/have seen. I’m glad that because of the new season, there is a renewed interest in the series. To newcomers looking for a story that is well crafted, funny, emotional, and leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat each episode, look into it. You shouldn’t be disappointed.
Here is a link to the 1st opening to get a feel for the show.