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Hajime no Ippo

Hajime no Ippo
Original title: はじめの一歩
Alternative Titles: Fighting Spirit
Hajime no Ippo. The Fighting!
HnI
Ippo
Demographics: Shounen
Chapters at MH: 182
Releases at MH: 0
Publishing Status: Ongoing
Writer(s): MORIKAWA Jyoji
Artist(s): MORIKAWA Jyoji
Serialized in: Weekly Shounen Magazine
Published by: Kodansha
Year: 1989
Official Site:
Popularity: 417 favorites
Translators: 11 (Click here to view)
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Score 4.6 of 5.0 - 174 votes

Summary and Preview

Throughout his childhood, Makunouchi Ippo has always been picked on by his fellow classmates. Long hours helping his mother run their family business, a fishing boat store, has left him without the time to make friends and so he remains an introverted loner, doomed to be beaten day in and day out. Although he hates being bullied, he hates himself even more for not being able to fight back against his tormentors.

"What is it like to be strong?" he asks himself as he stares at his clenched fist. "I want to be strong." His encounter with Takamura Mamoru, a professional boxer, leads to the discovery of a dynamite punch that opens up the doorway to a whole new world where that dream can become a reality. At the Kamogawa Gym, Ippo now trains with the aspirations of becoming a professional boxer and discovering what it means to be strong. [mangaupdates]

Tags

Action, Comedy, Shounen, Slice of Life, Sports

Reviews
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Review by NaruJunky
One of the mangas that I'm currently reading.

I wouldn't say that it's one of the best out there.

The plot is plain. Ippo dreams of becoming the world champion in boxing.
and all of the manga is surrounded by boxing. I'd give the plot a 4 out of 10.

The comedy part is quite mediocre as well. In the hundreds of chapters I've read I don't remember that many good jokes or funny moments. The humor is plain simple trying hard to make you laugh. 5 out of 10.

The art is not one of the best either. In the beginning all the characters look the same. but the art seems to get much better after a hundred or so chapters.
I'd give it a 6 out of 10.

If you ask me what kept me reading so far the answer would be in the theme.
the theme that we all love about some unpopular boy but kind in his heart becoming a recognizable person through hard work and determination.

Overall I give it 6 out of 10.

Not being one of my favorite manga's but definitely being worth a read.
This manga is one that I read when other mangas are taking a week off. Permalink " "
Review by Leo Seta
I'm writing this because, well, this manga deserves a good review.

I'll start with the cons. Morikawa's art will not appeal to everyone. His way of drawing faces has little variation and he can't draw girls. However, his ability to convey action, speed, the weight behind blows and muscle structure is very good... and seeing as this manga spends nearly all of it's time inside of a boxing ring, the art works for it's intended audience. It will still put some people off though.

Secondly, there is little in Ippo to appeal to those who aren't sports/action fans. It's humour is well centered in being... well, "toilet-based" (not saying that's a bad thing, but it does divide some people) and there is no real romance (over 800 chapters and the main relationship is developing at a snail's pace... a very old snail's pace).

However, if you are into sports/action manga, then there are few that can come as highly regarded as Ippo. The storyline is simple, (a bullied schoolboy starts boxing to discover what it means to be "strong", meets a rival, and begins his journey to the top of the boxing world) but it's well executed and doesn't try to be something that it's not. The characters are all likeable and although some tick the normal cliche boxes, they still manage to stand out and worm a place into your heart (Ippo's lack of self confidence comes off as believable rather than annoying for example).

The fights are, of course, the manga's strongest point, and Morikawa has managed to create some iconic ones over the course of Ippo. They often combine a tense atmosphere with solid pacing and you can truly feel the impact of some of the punches (the final blows of the second fight between Ippo/Sendo, or the ending to the Takamura/Hawk bout for example). Nearly all of the fighter's techniques are those of famous boxers and, while given that extra super-human manga edge, will still put a smile on most boxing fans faces.

Overall, Ippo deserves an 8/10. It has it's flaws and doesn't have the appeal to pull those from outside of it's targeted audience into reading it. However, if you're looking for a good coming-of-age fighting manga then Ippo is for you. The fights are all enjoyable and it's still going strong after 800 chapters, which says something by itself! Permalink " "

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