Hajime No Ippo – Most popular yet the most underrated?

Hajime No Ippo – Also known as “Fighting Spirit” is the Anime based on the sports boxing! Which is one of the most intense sports Anime that you will ever see. But i have noticed one thing regarding the popularity of this Anime and that thing is – “Majority of people knows it, yet only half of them have watched this Anime.” To put it in simple words all i can say that its the most popular yet the most underrated series. From my point of view these are the two most basic reason for “Why people skip this series?”

  • The plot does not sound exciting.
  • Its pretty old

As i said the above to reasons the are main reason for skipping the Anime but majority of people skip this Anime due to one single reason and that’s the very first one i.e “The plot does not sound exciting.” And there is one more reason for skipping the Anime and that is – “I don’t like boxing.”

When it comes to sports anime majority of people use the liking factor to choose which sports anime they should watch. Well guys if you’re skipping Hajime No Ippo because of any of these three above mentioned reasons then you guys are wrong. This anime motivated everyone to workout and stay fit even before One Punch Man did. Anyways as you will continue to read this review further you will know why this Anime is so awesome and why there is a need for you to watch it.

Synopsis

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 the Kamogawa 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.

(source – MyAnimeList)

Hajime No Ippo Review

As i mentioned at the start that this Anime motivates you too workout and has been doing this even before One Punch Man did but it also manages to teach one thing and that is – “Hardwork can always overcome talent. Its obvious that talent is needed but with talent alone a person can never grow, he needs hardwork.”

The story revolves around a boy named Makunouchi Ippo who is a weak willed guy and is always bullied by the high school delinquents. One day the was getting bullied like always, and he is saved by a guy named “Takamura Mamoru” who is a veteran pro boxer! Inspired by him and his desired to get stronger, Makunouchi starts his boxing carrier. However with no talent in boxing he has no choice but to fill the gap between other boxers by sheer hardwork.

Basically the above paragraph depicts the entire story of the anime but trust me as simple the plot sounds the anime is a rollercoaster ride! As you see “Ippo” growing every episode you will automatically start cheering for him. His boxing carrier is full of hurdles and when you see him overcoming those hurdles, with sheer hardwork all the emotions from your minds are washed away and all that remains in your mind is respect an admiration for the main character Ippo.

Makunouchi Ippo
Makunouchi Ippo

You start to question your own reality and eventually you start thinking “Am i doing everything to do thing, that i need to do in my life?” “Am i giving my 100%?” ¬†Trust me not every Anime manages to make you think like this!

Considering the fact that this story revolves around the life of the one single character. The anime gives enough room for character development. To explain it in more simple words the character development is similar to what it is shown in the Anime based on tennis called as “Baby steps.” So basically every time Ippo have a challenger in boxing match he starts working out and prepares that for the match. So almost every episode you get to see something new despite the story goes through same rotation cycle i.e Training – New opponent – Defeat opponent.

Mashiba Kumi
Mashiba Kumi

And some opponent will become or act as a support character to show further growth of the character and the overall story. Also the story has quite a beautiful pure and innocent romance but its not a focus point of the story yet. There is no significant development in the romance and as i said that anime provide enough room for character development but on the romantic part there is no character development at all.

Fight Scenes (Boxing Scenes)

Hajime No Ippo - Fight Scenes
Hajime No Ippo – Fight Scenes

This series is based on Boxing, so its obvious to have intense fight scenes. But seriously every match is worth watching and is capable of giving you goosebumps.

Character designs and Animation

Since Hajime No Ippo is an old Manga which is still on-going even after crossing 1000 chapters the Anime studio has kept character design similar to as it is in Manga for old series the Animation and Character designs are extremely good! And as you will watch different seasons you will see improvement in the animation!

Comedy

Hajime No Ippo has good comedy, which makes up for all the light hearted moments in the Anime and which will definitely crack you up!

Pros

Despite having the simple story, the anime has something that forces viewers to watch it till the end. Character development does play an important role but there is something in addition to that which is simply impossible to put it in words.

Cons

Not everything is perfect, the series, despite being a great one has flaws in it which can be simply overlooked as viewers are attracted by the character development, comedy, romance, emotional scenes and the intense fight scenes. One of the flaw is as i mentioned above, is the romantic progress in the Anime and Manga and the other flaw is plot progression and character development. Now you may think that according to me character development is one of the strong factor of this Anime, how can the same factor become flaw?

The character development is one of the strong factor but that character development only shows Ippo’s development as a boxer but as a human being there is no development at all to put it simply – He repeats the same mistakes again and again which becomes annoying! Also there is Sasuke-Naruto type relationship between Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata Ichiro but it certainly it doesn’t goes to the extreme annoying levels as its shown in Naruto. Regarding first season which has 77 episodes the plot progression is quite steady but from second season the pace starts to drop and the third season is quite slow!

Wrapping up

The overall series is a great which and i bet it will have a memorable place in your heart, Just like slam dunk. This is the series which forces its viewers to wish for more episodes…

Overall Anime Rating

Post Author: Kaustubh Shinde

Anime enthusiast interested in reviewing Anime, Manga, Light Novel, Live Action Drama and Movies, TV shows, Movies and Games

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