Ippo: From Coward to Champion

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Day 10:  Favourite Fighter Anime

hajime no ippo

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!

Uploaded by:  MOVIECLIPS Trailers

Hajime no Ippo at Shounen Magazine (Japanese)
Hajime no Ippo Anime at NTV (Japanese)
Manny Pacquiao Official Website (English & Filipino)

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Published by Arria Cross

Blogger at fujinsei.com since 2014. Currently a webnovelist. Check out my work "His Genius is a Superstar".

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  1. Great choice. I love the first series the most among the anime adaptations of Ippo, one of the reasons is the length of the anime which allowed for more development in the story and in character interactions. Plus, it’s where we saw Ippo growing up into a fine boxer that he is now.

    I haven’t read the manga, but I think highly of the sequels as well. Those didn’t really pose any issues and I rather liked the shininess and the overall refined look.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s still one of my favourite series. Indeed, the first anime series is awesome.

      Good for you. I found the animation in the later adaptations distracting, and I was quite disappointed that it rushed over and cut a lot of scenes from the manga. The manga is still ongoing with more than a thousand chapters. I took a break reading it because it now feels a little too repetitive for me, but I still like it very much.

      Thanks for commenting. Have a wonderful holiday season! Keep on blogging. Cheers!


      1. Wow. You follow the manga? That’s quite impressive! I loved the first anime series (the whole franchise, to be fair), but not to the extent where I’d want to read the manga—the sheer amount before me is daunting! >.<

        Happy Holidays, too, arriacross! I missed seeing you on the aniblogosphere! I pray for your fast recovery! Keep on blogging, too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I do follow the manga. Actually, I like manga with a LOT of chapters because it means that I get to enjoy them longer. (¬‿¬)

        Happy Holidays! Thanks. I miss everyone here, as well. Keep on blogging. Cheers!


      3. Eeh? I happen to read a several long-running manga, but it’s not necessarily because I want to enjoy them longer.

        Sure, we had! I initially thought we weren’t going to have a proper Noche Buena, but it seems like we managed to with a humble fare. 😀 At least, I’m happy that we’re together. How’s the prep going there?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, all of us have our own reasons for reading manga. So why do you read other long-running manga?

        That’s great. The important thing is that you’re spending this holiday with your loved ones. I’ll take that anytime, rather than having a lot of food during Noche Buena. Well, I finished making the leche flan. And the parents are still cooking. Christmas Eve is in 4 hours. I know that you’re already finished there, so MERRY CHRISTMAS!


      5. I initially give them a try after hearing good things about it, but since I don’t want to drop my long-running manga, I cling onto them no matter how long it takes for me to finish them. Only a handful of those long series I’m reading are truly enjoyable for me at the moment. Merry Christmas!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m still reading (scan through pages since there’s nothing really important going on?) BLEACH just for the sake of reading it. Vagabond and REAL are really slow on the updates, but I’m really looking forward to the next chapters. Also, they’re from the mangaka of Slam Dunk, so good stuff is guaranteed. 🙂 Nisekoi is… an annoying series but oddly charming enough to keep me wanting for more.


      7. I see. I haven’t read Bleach or Naruto. I’m too obsessed with ONE PIECE. 🙂
        Someday. . . .
        Haven’t heard of Vagabond or Real before. Are they good? I tried reading Nisekoi, but I couldn’t get through it. Perhaps when my mood’s better. Haha!


      8. Vagabond and Real are both heavier and more mature in content than Slam Dunk. In particular, Vagabond starts off pretty violent. They’re slow-paced and ultra-detailed in terms of art, too, so I’m not sure if you’ll like them. 🙂 But if you want to immerse yourself in beautiful art and poetry (and story, of course) without minding the slow pacing, then these manga may just be your cup of tea. But what I love most about these manga is that, while the slow pacing allows one to absorb everything more effectively, the story tackles morality and humanity. Which means that you’ll feel the human heart when you try reading into the characters.

        Nisekoi’s story is average at best, if not inferior. I think the charm has to do with its characters–which include both the annoying and lovable groups. I don’t know. I just really can’t put a finger on which makes it so special for me.


      9. Hmmmm. Sounds interesting. I’ll put it on my to-read list. I’m currently at a shoujo phase. I’m feeling romantic, so I’ve just devoured Kimi ni Todoke, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, etc. I’ll have to wait until this phase passes before I can read heavy-themed manga like Vagabond & Real, but thanks for the recommendations.

        Other manga you’re reading?


      10. I forgot to mention that Vagabond is not a basketball manga. It’s a historical (but kind of speculative fiction) account of Miyamoto Musashi, one of the most famous samurai.

        It’s interesting that you literally have this genre phases. XD Unfortunately, I can’t adopt that kind of viewing/reading lifestyle since I’m more into seasonal shows now.

        Hmm, maybe you’ll like House of the Sun by Taamo. It’s a very nice slice of life shoujo that revolves around the theme of family. 🙂


      11. Thanks for the recommendations! I’m still in my shoujo phase, although I’m slowly veering towards slice of life & josei stuff. Hmm. I’ll check out that House of the Sun. Watched Usagi Drop lately, and I’m currently reading the manga.

        Which seasonal shows are you currently watching?


      12. No problemo 😉

        I’m currently watching Parasyte, which is really good and keeps me craving for more. I recently finished watching Amaburi (Amagi Brilliant Park), whose comedy was a mix of slapstick and a little of dark humor. It was funny and entertaining for the most part, but not an anime that everyone would like… I think, except if one is a fan of KyoAni.


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