I don’t even have to think twice about my answer for this challenge. Without a doubt, Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩) by Morikawa George (森川 ジョージ) is my favourite fighter anime. Growing up in a Filipino household, I can’t help but feel excited whenever Filipino boxing legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao fights. I even mark my calendar, and look forward to his fights like long-awaited holidays. I usually appear reserved and composed, but I cheer like a deranged banshee whenever Pacquiao fights. I don’t know much about the technicalities of boxing, but I admire Pacquiao, so I think that it’s only natural that I like Hajime no Ippo, a boxing manga & anime.
The manga is great but the anime, particularly the first one, is awesome. I like its gritty animation, emphasizing the blood and sweat, which I think is a very important element in the story. The later anime adaptations are more colourful, polished, and. . .hmm. . .shinier. I’m serious, it’s shiny. Go watch it! I’m not very impressed with this “shiny” adaptation because it decreases the story’s impact. I want to see dirt, sweat, bruises, and blood!
What I really admire in this story is actually witnessing the protagonist’s journey from being a weak coward into a renowned champion. Makunouchi Ippo is not a prodigy, unlike many protagonists from other sports manga. Ippo trains hard to become what he is. In fact, I think that the story focuses more on the training than on the actual fights. The latest anime adaptations vastly decreases the training time compared to the manga, which is a big disappointment.
Ippo doesn’t have big flashy talents, other than his willingness to train which results in him being often called a training maniac. Others may say that his knock-out punches are his talent, but I think that this is a result of his hard-work on training his body. Even before he was a boxer, his body has become strong and tough working on his family’s fishing store.
Hajime no Ippo is one of my favourite series of all time. The fights are awesome, and its shameless comedy is quite charming. Of course, it’s by no means free of flaws. More often than not, I feel annoyed whenever Ippo is beaten into a hopeless pulp, and then suddenly turns the situation around and win. Yeah, yeah. It’s a theme in the series, but still. . .I want more variety, you know. Nevertheless, I always enjoy this series. I prefer the manga over the anime because I’m just unimpressed with the latest anime adaptations. But like I said before, the first anime adaptation is awesome. I can just watch it again and again.
So what’s your favourite fighter anime?
Because I can’t help myself, I just want to share this Pacquiao video. Cheers!
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