Hajime no Ippo

Hajime no Ippo (Japanese: はじめの一歩, lit. "The First Step") is a Japanese boxing manga series written and illustrated by George Morikawa. It has been serialized by Kodansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 1989 and collected into 127 tankōbon volumes as of February 2020. It follows the story of high school student Makunouchi Ippo, as he begins his career in boxing and over time obtains many titles and defeats various opponents.

Hajime no Ippo
HajimenoIppo vol1 Cover.jpg
Cover of Hajime no Ippo volume 1 as published by Kodansha
はじめの一歩
GenreAction, comedy, sports[1]
Manga
Written byGeorge Morikawa
Published byKodansha
ImprintShōnen Magazine Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runOctober 11, 1989 – present
Volumes128 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by
  • Satoshi Nishimura
  • Kenichi Kawamura (assistant)
Produced by
Written byTatsuhiko Urahata
Music byTsuneo Imahori
StudioMadhouse
Licensed by
Original networkNippon TV
Original run October 4, 2000 March 27, 2002
Episodes76 (List of episodes)
Anime television film
Champion Road
Directed bySatoshi Nishimura
Produced by
  • Hiroshi Yamashita
  • Manabu Tamura
  • Masao Maruyama
Written byKazuyuki Fudeyasu
Music byTsuneo Imahori
StudioMadhouse
Licensed by
Geneon
Original networkNippon TV
ReleasedApril 18, 2003
Runtime90 minutes
Original video animation
Mashiba vs. Kimura
Directed byHitoshi Nanba
Produced by
  • Hiroshi Yamashita
  • Manabu Tamura
  • Masao Maruyama
Written byTatsuhiko Urahata
Music byTsuneo Imahori
StudioMadhouse
Licensed by
Geneon
ReleasedSeptember 5, 2003
Runtime60 minutes
Anime television series
New Challenger
Directed byJun Shishido
Produced by
  • Toshio Nakatani
  • Manabu Tamura
Written byKazuyuki Fudeyasu
Music by
StudioMadhouse
Original networkNippon TV
Original run January 6, 2009 June 30, 2009
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Rising
Directed byJun Shishido
Produced by
  • Toshio Nakatani
  • Manabu Tamura
  • Tomohiro Shindo
Written byKazuyuki Fudeyasu
Music by
  • Yoshihisa Hirano
  • Tsuneo Imahori
Studio
Original networkNippon TV
Original run October 5, 2013 March 29, 2014
Episodes25 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

A 76-episode anime adaptation produced by Madhouse aired on Nippon TV from October 2000 to March 2002. A television film and an original video animation were released in 2003. A second series titled Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger aired from January to June 2009. A third series Hajime no Ippo: Rising aired from October 2013 to March 2014.

In North America, the first series was licensed by Geneon in 2003, which released it under the name Fighting Spirit.

As of November 2019, the manga had over 96 million copies in print, making it one of the best-selling manga series. In 1991, Hajime no Ippo won the 15th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category.

PlotEdit

Ippo Makunouchi was an extremely shy high school student, unable to make friends due to always being busy helping his mother run their family fishing charter business. Because he kept to himself, a group of bullies led by Umezawa got into the habit of picking on him. One day, when these bullies gave him a rather serious beating, a middleweight professional boxer who was passing by stopped them and took the injured Ippo to the Kamogawa Gym (鴨川ボクシングジム, Kamogawa Bokushingu Jimu), owned by retired boxer Genji Kamogawa, to treat his wounds. After Ippo awoke to the sounds of boxers training, the boxer who saved him, Mamoru Takamura, tried to cheer Ippo up by letting him vent his frustrations on a sandbag. It was then that they had their first glimpse into Ippo's talent for boxing. After that incident, Ippo gave the situation a lot of thought and decided that he would like to begin a career as a professional boxer. When he conveys this message to Mamoru Takamura, he gets verbally reprimanded: Takamura thought Ippo was taking professional boxing too lightly. However, Takamura felt that he couldn't outright refuse Ippo, especially since his feat of punching the sandbag much harder than anybody else in the gym (except for Takamura). Therefore, he challenges Ippo to catch 10 falling leaves from a tree simultaneously after a week of training, fully convinced that Ippo would fail, Takamura jogs away as he continues his roadwork.

However, after a week of tough training, involving nightly hours, Ippo manages the technique in the nick of time. He waits for the jogging Takamura to come by his usual path and surprises him by catching all 10 of the falling leaves and only doing so with his left hand. This impresses Takamura greatly, and he informs Ippo that the action required to catch all 10 leaves is called a boxing jab. Takamura invites Ippo back to the boxing gym for introductions.

When they got back to the gym, the coach, Genji Kamogawa, was not at all impressed by Makunouchi's lack of fighting spirit, and therefore, was challenged by Takamura to have a practice spar against a member of the gym. However, Kamogawa decides to give Ippo a severe challenge and tells him to spar with Miyata, who is 16, the same age as Ippo. Miyata is known as a boxing prodigy and is one of Kamogawa gym's future hopes. Takamura gets extremely worried with this prospect, as Miyata skill is way above the four-rounder pro boxer. As expected, Ippo loses by KO, but not until Miyata struggles dodging his punches and finally ends the match with his trump card: "The Counter". Coach Kamogawa decides that he has great fighting sense and spirit and decides to train him to eventually become the Japanese champion with a world ranking while Miyata became the OPBF (Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation) Champion. Both are expected to hit high in the rankings and, eventually, fight each other for the world champion's belt.

The story focuses heavily on character development—even during the matches something is learned about both fighters. Ippo has a habit of running into his opponents before matches, giving him a chance to learn more about their backgrounds and even sympathize with them. Ippo is an extremely timid and modest person who never assumes that he is strong enough. He instead draws courage from seeing the strength of his opponent and realizing that he is able to stand up to it. Ippo and his friendly rivalry with Miyata is the main draw in the early part of the series. That later changes to Ippo's path toward the Japanese Featherweight Championship and eventually the world championship. Along the way the audience is given glimpses into the other characters' pasts, motivations, relationships to others, and current boxing trials. A colorful cast of supporting characters and opponents as well as side stories concerning their paths in the boxing world rounds out the series.

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

Hajime no Ippo is written and illustrated by George Morikawa. The manga has been published in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 11, 1989,[2] The series has run in the magazine for over 30 years,[3] and reached its 1000th chapter in December 2012.[4] It became the 8th longest running manga series with over 1300 chapters released in Japan as of 2020. Kodansha has collected its individual chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on February 17, 1990.[5] 128 volumes have been published as of June 17, 2020.[6]

AnimeEdit

Hajime no Ippo has been adapted into an anime series franchise. The first 75-episode anime television series, produced by Madhouse, Nippon Television and VAP and directed by Satoshi Nishimura, aired on Nippon TV between October 4, 2000, and March 27, 2002.[7] The episodes were collected into twenty-five DVDs released by VAP from March 16, 2001 to March 21, 2003.[8][9] The last DVD includes a special episode which did not air in Japan, numbered 76.[9] A television film titled Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road aired on April 18, 2003.[10] An original video animation titled Hajime no Ippo Mashiba vs. Kimura was released on September 5, 2003.[11]

In North America, the first series was licensed by Geneon Entertainment in 2003, which released it under the name Fighting Spirit.[12] Geneon distributed Fighting Spirit on 15 DVDs with five episodes per disc. The first DVD was released on July 6, 2004 and the fifteenth released on December 19, 2006.[13][14] The DVDs included English and Spanish language tracks, as well as the original Japanese. The TV film Champion Road was released on North America on January 9, 2007.[15] There were no plans to release the OVA, Mashiba vs. Kimura. Disc sales of the series did not perform well.[16]

A second series titled Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger aired on Nippon TV from January 6 to June 30, 2009.[17][18]

In 2009, Rikiya Koyama, the voice actor of Mamoru Takamura, revealed in his blog that a sequel to the Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger television series was being planned. At the end of his blog entry, he wrote, "Of course, a sequel is also being planned!!".[18] In July 2013, it was reported in that year's 34th issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine that a third season of Hajime no Ippo would air in the fall 2013 season.[19][20] The third season, titled Hajime no Ippo: Rising, premiered October 5, 2013, and ended on March 29, 2014. It featured 25 new episodes.[21][22] Hajime no Ippo: Rising was streamed on Crunchyroll.[23]

MusicEdit

The music for the first anime series was composed by Tsuneo Imahori, who also did the third opening theme song. Tracks of guitars, drums, piano, horns, and combinations of the instruments were used to help accentuate the mood and action of the scenes. The soundtrack was released in Japan on two CDs, First KO and Final Round. The music for the second series was composed by Hideki Taniuchi. In the third series, Yoshihisa Hirano and Tsuneo Imahori are credited for the music.

Anime theme songsEdit

Opening Theme Songs
  1. "Under Star" by Shocking Lemon (Episodes 1-25)
  2. "Inner Light" by Shocking Lemon (Episodes 26-52,TV Movie)
  3. "Tumbling Dice" by Tsuneo Imahori (Episodes 53-76)
  4. "Hekireki" by Last Alliance (Second Series, Episode 1-26)[24]
  5. "Yakan Hikou" by Wasureranneyo (Third Series, Episode 1-25)
Closing Theme Songs
  1. "Yuuzora no Kamihikouki" by Mori Naoya (Episodes 1-25,TV Movie)
  2. "360°" by Mori Naoya (Episodes 26-52,75,OVA)
  3. "Eternal Loop" by Saber Tiger (Episodes 53-74, 76)
  4. "8 AM" by Coldrain (Second Series, Episode 1-26)[24]
  5. "Buchikome!!" by Shikuramen (Third Series, Episode 1-25)

Video gamesEdit

There have been some video games based on the series, first released on the PlayStation, then later the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance, and recently to Wii. Two of the games have been released in North America and in PAL territories. There was some confusion regarding the Western title Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit before its Western release. This is generally assumed to be the same game as Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road, when actually it is the next title in the series, Hajime no Ippo - The Fighting! All Stars.[25] The Japanese released Victorious Road is unique amongst the titles as it includes the option to create your own boxer and control his training, diet, weight etc. The second Western title, Fighting Spirit, gives the player a choice of over 70 fighters for VS play. Each title has its own story mode which closely follows that of the manga.

Ippo and Takamura have also appeared in the 2009 crossover video game Sunday vs Magazine: Shūketsu! Chōjō Daikessen as playable characters.

System English Title Japanese Title English Translation
PlayStation N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
PlayStation 2 Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory[26] はじめの一歩 VICTORIOUS BOXERS Hajime no Ippo: Victorious Boxers
N/A はじめの一歩2 VICTORIOUS ROAD Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road[27]
Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit はじめの一歩 ALL☆STARS Hajime no Ippo - The Fighting! All Stars[28]
Game Boy Advance N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting![29]
Nintendo DS N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
Wii Victorious Boxers: Revolution はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Revolution Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting Revolution[30]
PSP N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Portable Victorious Spirits Hajime no Ippo: THE FIGHTING! Portable Victorious Spirits[31]
PlayStation 3 N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting![32]

ReceptionEdit

The manga had of 73 million copies in print as of September 2008.[33] As of November 2019, Hajime no Ippo had over 96 million copies in print.[34] In 1991, the manga won the 15th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category.[35]

Anime Academy gave the first anime series a glowing response; all five reviewers rated it above 90%, with one referring to the series as "the cream of the crop" of the sports genre in anime, and another stating that "fighting and character development have never tangoed so well together".[36] Gia Manry of Fanboy.com listed the series as one of their "Top Ten Underrated Manga".[37] IGN listed Hajime no Ippo: Rising among the best anime series of the 2010s.[38]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Marshall, Dallas. "Fighting Spirit". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  2. ^ 創刊時からの作品リスト (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  3. ^ 森川ジョージ「はじめの一歩」30周年をインタビューとマンガで振り返る書籍発売. Natalie (in Japanese). September 18, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  4. ^ 「はじめの一歩」1000回を井上雄彦や高橋留美子らが祝福. Natalie (in Japanese). December 5, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  5. ^ はじめの一歩 (1) [Hajime no Ippo (1)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  6. ^ "はじめの一歩(128)" [The Fighting!(128)] (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  7. ^ はじめの一歩 (in Japanese). Madhouse. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  8. ^ はじめの一歩 Vol.1 (in Japanese). VAP. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  9. ^ a b はじめの一歩 Vol.25 (in Japanese). VAP. Archived from the original on August 17, 2004. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  10. ^ はじめの一歩 Champion Road (in Japanese). VAP. Retrieved January 9, 2020. 2003年4月18日にはテレビ・スペシャル「Champion Road」が金曜ロードショーにてオンエアされました。(The TV special "Champion Road" was aired on April 18, 2003)
  11. ^ はじめの一歩 間柴vs木村 (in Japanese). VAP. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  12. ^ Macdonald, Christopher (November 1, 2003). "Geneon Licenses". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  13. ^ "Fighting Spirit - (V.1) The First Step". Geneon Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  14. ^ "Fighting Spirit - (V.15) One Step Further". Geneon Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  15. ^ "Fighting Spirit - Champion Road TV Special". Geneon Entertainment. Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  16. ^ Koulikov, Mikhail (May 13, 2007). "Geneon Entertainment - Anime Central 2007". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020. During the question and answer session that concluded the panel, they mentioned that because Hajime no Ippo did not perform as well as hoped, it is not likely that Geneon will acquire the 2003 Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs. Kimura OVA.
  17. ^ Loo, Egan (November 27, 2008). "2nd Hajime no Ippo Show Named, Dated: New Challenger on January 6". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Loo, Egan (June 12, 2009). "Sequel to Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger Being Planned". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  19. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (July 19, 2013). "3rd Season of Hajime no Ippo Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  20. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (August 23, 2013). "Hajime no Ippo Rising TV Anime's Cast, Staff Announced". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  21. ^ #1(10/5放送)「最強の挑戦者」 (in Japanese). Nippon TV. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  22. ^ #25(3/29放送)「誓い」 (in Japanese). Nippon TV. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  23. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 4, 2013). "Crunchyroll to Stream Hajime no Ippo Rising Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  24. ^ a b The Official Hajime no Ippo music page on NTV's Website
  25. ^ "Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit Review". PALGN. Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
  26. ^ "PlayStation 2 - Victorious Boxers". PlayStation Underground. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  27. ^ "Hajime no Ippo". GameSpot. 2: Victorious Road for PS2| accessdate = April 4, 2007}}
  28. ^ GameSpot. "Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit for PS2". Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  29. ^ "Hajime no Ippo GAMEBOY ADVANCE". Entertainment Software Publishing. Archived from the original on March 19, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
  30. ^ "Hajime no Ippo Revolution Page". MouRa. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
  31. ^ "Hajime no Ippo Revolution Page". MouRa. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  32. ^ "Hajime no Ippo game announced for PS3". Gematsu. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  33. ^ Loo, Egan (September 15, 2008). "Hajime no Ippo Reportedly to Return to TV in January". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  34. ^ Sports Hochi 2019/11/18
  35. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  36. ^ "Hajime no Ippo Review". Anime Academy. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  37. ^ Manry, Gia (January 8, 2008). "Underrated Manga: Hajime no Ippo". Fanboy.com. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  38. ^ "The Best Anime of the Decade (2010 - 2019)". IGN. January 1, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

External linksEdit