From the Archives: Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! Review

 2025 Title Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
Episodes  75
Released  October, 2000
Genre(s)  Sports, Drama, Comedy
Studio  Madhouse
Reviewer  Chris

NB: This is a review that has been ported over from the old blog for posterity purposes. The original publish date of this review was 27th April, 2013. The writing style and depth of detail may have changed a lot since this time, and a revisit is always possible.

This is one of the few anime’s that i find myself watching scenes from again and again, the sound assets in combination with the animation make this show a thrill to watch, and you can feel the punches as a result. I would definitely recommend watching this with a good set of speakers, and the volume up a decent amount. When a punch lands, it is a punch thrown by someone hell bent on breaking a face.

If you want to see an example, I will link one, please be warned though this can be considered spoiler, watch at your own risk: click here.

Did someone get the number of that truck?

Now, lets delve into the story a bit, being a 75 episode series there is a lot of character development (and back muscle development), I will give you a bit of an introduction.

The story focuses on an upcoming boxer named Ippo Makunouchi, from his very first punch all the way to his title debut. He is joined by fellow senior boxers Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura. As well as various others. The head coach and founder of the Kamogawa Gym is Genji Kamogawa.

Ippo was always the subject of bullying at school, and one day in particular he was getting beaten up under a bridge, when Takamura appears, swiftly deals with the bullys, and takes the unconscious ippo back to the Kamogawa Gym. Upon waking up ippo takes a good look at his surroundings, and is in awe of what he sees, professional boxers beating the crap out of sandbags.

Takamura proceeds to put a picture of the school bullys onto one of these bags and tells Ippo to throw a punch. His first of many. Although he has a long way to go, Takamura has set Ippo on the path of a professional boxer. A professional face breaking boxer.

Its fine, you weren’t that pretty anyway.

The show does a really good job of showing what it is really like being a professional boxer, the gruelling training, the unbelievably strict diets, and the physical strain of putting your body through so much.

There is a lot of comedy as well, as it cant all be action, these scenes break up the flow and give you something else to watch, before another round of punches, its not the best comedy around, but I feel it was a necessary addition to keep things interesting over such a long watch.
If i was to complain about one thing it would probably be the pacing, there are some parts that seem to drag on for a while, and the freaking flashbacks didn’t help matters, a single fight can span several episodes, on the other hand though I guess this adds a lot of tension when the blows finally connect.
Gomu gomu no….
Once again, one of my favourite shows, the intro song will forever be stuck in my head, and I will keep re-watching the scenes that highlight ippo’s face breaking skills, but lets not forget that liver blow, the rib shattering liver blow.
I’ll stop there, otherwise I’ll go on all night. Add it to your watch list if it even interests you a little bit, you won’t be disappointed.

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