Archive for shounen

Hajime no Ippo

Posted in anime with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2009 by themongomania

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.


Groove Adventure Rave

Posted in anime with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by themongomania


Groove Adventure Rave is a manga by Mashima Hiro. It’s anime counterpart shares the same name. The manga’s run lasted from 1998 to 2005 and ran for 35 volumes. The anime on the other hand stopped its run at 51 eps, way before the actual conclusion of the story.

Let’s get to the story itself –

Groove Adventure Rave (or as the manga and anime are both called in the US, Rave Master) is the story about a boy named Haru Glory who becomes the Rave Master. The Rave Master must collect all the pieces of Rave in order to unlock Star Memory to save the world. Pretty standard plot line, I know, seems like it wouldn’t be special at all right? That’s where most people would be wrong.

If you can look past the generic basic story structure of a boy on a quest to become stronger and save his friends and save the world, you will enjoy a fun quirky adventure story that leaves you always wanting more.


What upsets me most about the anime is that the story concludes on vol 12 of the manga. So the anime is missing vols 13-35. I still have not finished the story of Rave because the distributer in America is Tokyopop and the last vol they have released is vol 28. For years I have wanted to know how this story finishes and I will still have to wait over a year to find out.

One thing you will notice when you watch/read Rave is that the character designs are very over the top. There are some crazy looking people in the Rave universe. Mashima Hiro at one point was a assisstant to One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda. I can only assume that some of Oda’s design choices rubbed off.


The anime dvd’s originally came out as a dub only release from Tokyopop but was shortly canceled. Poor sales were the reason. What is unfortunate is that not a lot of people have watched Rave because it has not seen an official region 1 release. The only way to watch the anime is to watch the outdated fansubs which have poor video quality and a subpar translation to what fansubs have become years since its release.

The manga sales are another story. Rave Master is a big hit for Tokyopop, especially for teens. I find this to be unfortunate because many times, especially in Barnes and Nobles, I will not see Rave manga with all the other manga. For whatever reason, they have chosen to put Rave manga with books for teens. I understand that a bookstore wants to sell their product in the most profitable way, but I strongly feel that Rave has a strong stigma for being a children’s manga because of this.


If you enjoy any type of adventure or action story I suggest giving Rave a shot. If you have read/watched One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, or many other popular shounen manga/anime and enjoyed it, I see no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy Groove Adventure Rave. Even though I will only be able to finish the story in manga form, the anime is still worth watching. It is a shame and upsets me that it will never be done, but I will take what I can get.

Although I don’t agree with Tokyopop and other bookstores marketing of Rave to mostly children, I am happy that they chose to bring the manga here and can’t wait until it is one day complete and on my shelf.