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FSW List 76: Top 8 Hajime no Ippo Fights

What do you do, when everyone is blue...and punching each other.

What do you do, when everyone is blue…and punching each other.

So, there’s this show. Hajime no Ippo. And it’s about struggle and friendship and humor and self worth. And you know what else it’s about?

Boxing. That sport that involves people punching eachother a lot. So naturally, you’d expect there to be some hardcore matches in the series. This is a list of the top fights in a series filled with great fights. Fists will fly, tears and blood will be shed, and you will shout many “OOOOOOH!”s as you watch. As I list the fights, I’ll also go into some small detail of the arc of episodes that leads up to the fight, since in some of these cases, the lead in adds an extra level of depth to the matches themselves.

Note, this is from the series as a whole, so that includes the first and second TV anime, the TV movie and the OVA. Oh, and of course, SPOILERS WILL ABOUND IN THIS LIST.

That being said, let’s get started! READY! BOX!

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FSW: Anime Theater: Hajime no Ippo pt. 1

Ippo will punch your expectations in the FACE...and then apologize profusely. He's THAT kind of guy...

Ippo will punch your expectations in the FACE…and then apologize profusely. He’s THAT kind of guy…

  • Title: Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting (aka “Fighting Spirit” in its US release)
  • Year: 2000
  • American Distribution: Geneon put out the entire series under the “Fighting Spirit” title, dubbed and all, and most volumes are easily found on Amazon or similar sites. Prices range from 10-20 bucks per 4-episode volume.

Anime is wonderful for a variety of reasons. It’s fun, challenging, surprising, silly, deep, creative, horrifying, mind blowing and very, very varied. Animation here in the US is wonderful and varied as well, this is true, but in Japan, the art form is used to tell stories not just aimed at kids or adults, but of all genres and depths. The anime industry is as wide as the film industry, at the very least, and twice as creative.

So sometimes, when you’re watching the cosmic beast being fought by the young warrior with daddy issues, or the metaphysically challenging ending of a space opera-style show, or seeing a buff dude get punched through a mountain, you forget anime, and by extension, manga’s, talent for simply telling a story. For like all media, any show or story is only as good as the people making it.

And nowhere is this more exemplified than in Hajime no Ippo, George Morikawa’s masterclass in well-rounded, yet accessible and fun storytelling, set to the very terrestrial sport of boxing. A masterclass in great character design, interesting plots and how one uses such a broad, creative artform to tell a constrained, character-based story. Continue reading