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Title: Hajime no Ippo
Genres: Boxing, Sports
Author: Jyoji Morikawa
Artist: Jyoji Morikawa
Publication: Weekly Shonen Magazine
Start Date: 17 February, 1990
End Date: Still running
Number of chapters at review: 810
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 810
General Overview: Ippo Makunouchi, a strong but shy high schooler, often gets beat up by bullies. One day he is saved by a professional middle weight boxer and, as a result, becomes inspired to take up boxing and learn the meaning of true strength.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Art: 8 Hajime no Ippo is centered on boxing, so similarly, the art is also centered on the fights. Morikawa has probably perfected the drawing of boxing to a degree I doubt anyone could do it better. All the fights are very stylistic, and very exciting. Character art has steadily transitioned through the series such that at the beginning everything was somewhat rounder (faces, noses, eyes), but at this point it resembles what one might be more accustomed to seeing in other current mangas (sharper noses, longer faces, taller characters). Backgrounds tend to be training areas, gyms, the occasional forests and beaches, but this does not detract from the series at all. The main event, so to speak, is the boxing.
Plot: 7 Hajime no Ippo has somewhat of a simple plot, following Ippo and his gym mates as they train for upcoming matches and discover new strategies and techniques, culminating in exciting boxing matches (it should be noted that the spectacular fights are longer than the training sequences). Because arcs are limited to single matches, reader gratification tends to come more quickly due to shorter, non-drawn out story arcs.
Characters: 9 The main characters in Hajime no Ippo (members of the Kamogawa gym, assorted rivals) are all very memorable, each receiving their own development and fighting styles. This is where much of the comedy comes in as well, as the actions of certain characters are downright hilarious.
Theme: The themes in Hajime no Ippo are fairly typical of shounen manga: unending determination, hard work, triumphing over adversity. I'm not going to grade it as you yourself can determine how fond you are of such themes.
Originality: 7 I haven't seen any other boxing mangas, but the whole train, fight, rest, repeat sequence has been used before.
Edit: Apparently there is another boxing themed manga named 'Ashita no Joe', whose titular character Joe Yabuki served as the inspiration for the character Sendou Takeshi in 'Hajime no Ippo'. According to Wikipedia, "'Ashita no Joe' is a critically acclaimed boxing manga created by Tetsuya Chiba and Asao Takamori in 1968 that was later adapted into an anime series and movie." Perhaps someone could post a review? Thanks to Ramen4ever for the tip.
Overall: 9 With a prolific 18 years of publication, Hajime no Ippo is simply one of the, if not the best sports manga. Without resorting to melodrama teetering over the brink of stupidity (I'm looking at you Prince of Tennis), this is a series that will get you very emotionally invested into its characters. If you have not done so yet, get off your ass and read Hajime no Ippo, because there is no excuse for missing out on one of the most exceedingly enjoyable mangas out there.
Spoiler: Manga's images taken from earlier chapters to avoid spoiler, generally the art improves show
Added manga images. ~ Luckas
Last edited by Luckas; May 31, 2008 at 03:54 PM.
I'm not the biggest sports manga fan. I never read things like ping pong, real , ... But for all I know (katsu, pot, eyeshield , captain tsubasa, ... and that's it), it's definitively a good one. The only major default is the plot, pretty poor if you ask me but I think that every sports manga is poor at this level. It's all about training,match,training.
The comedy aspect is good but not as good as in ES21. But where HNI makes the difference is in the character's area. Mashiba, takamura, aoki, naniwa rocky, manubu, ...
I agree with the review (and I'm also not a big fan of POT).
One of the reasons I stopped reading Prince of Tennis was because of the foolish and unrealistic techniques used and I love HNI because of it's focus on realistic boxing. No crazy unbelievable moves, though the Gedoh arc (really the only bad one (and it was horrible) in the series). Not to mention this is one of the funniest mangas out there. I disagree with zelllogan that HNI is not as good in the comedy aspect as ES21. ES21 is funny at the sacrifice of the realism of football (though that may be necessary in Japan where football is unknown). HNI has a great balance between boxing, and their hilarious, sometimes thoughtful lives. When Aoki goes through weight management problems, it is a hilarious laughing out loud problem, but is still grounded in real issues for boxers.
Anyway great review. I agree that it is probably the best sports manga out there. The mangaka does a great job of keeping a balanced story.
Good review. If you don't mind I'll send you a pm for spelling mistakes here and there.
One thing I really liked about HnI is that the anime stayed true to the manga. I recommend this series to anyone, even if they're not interested in sports. HnI somehow manages to blend the typical quest for moves and abilities that is all too come in sports and martial arts series, with a generous serving of character development and interaction.
The boxing is really amazing in HNI but for hilarious moments, well it's a little scato and the manga isn't about funny moments all the time. It doesn't need it because the characters are great and the boxing is just amazing (I don't like boxing at all, I never watched a complete game in my live, I find it boring after 3 minutes, ... but I can read 3 volumes of HNI in a row). Matchs like sawamura vs mashiba, sendo vs ippo, hawk vs takamura, ... are just speechless (my favorite being sawamura vs mashiba).Quote:
I like takamura a lot but ... he's nowhere as funny as Hiruma from ES21, same thing for others characters. ES21 is almost all about fun, it's just natural that it's funnier.
Saying that HNI is funnier than ES21, it's almost ,for me, like saying that naruto is funnier than One piece.
But , well , everyone have not the same definition of hilarious. I respect your opinion.
Last edited by zelllogan; May 13, 2008 at 01:11 PM.
And I respect yours. You are right that HNI is not as focused on the comedy as ES. I guess I was just thinking that I had more laugh out loud moments reading HNI than ES.
yeah, it does seem interesting and i know the anime, but OMG!! 83+ volumes!! that`s crazy, when am i supposed to read all that??
good review, btw, i completely agree with it...
Anyhow, this is really a great manga. I've started to look at the boxing from the another point of view. Humor part is flawless, but is a really vulgar though; so I definitely wouldn't recommend it to the girls ^^'
less than two weeks?! It took me one week to read Slam dunk, but 83 Volumes in two weeks!
^ I got through it in a month, and enjoyed almost every second of it. Even among the best series, few have gripped me so...completely. That's how kickass HnI is.
I'll probably do my own review at some point. Not sure when, though, but I will--it's my favorite series.
And Luckas, I think you should put up a broader range of images. The art improves dramatically just in the first 10 volumes, and continues to grow and improve to this day. It looks nothing like that anymore, and has gone through several artistic "phases" between then and now. A selection from a wider range of Volumes would be better IMO.
The images are chosen to avoid spoilers, then if you can find better ones I'll be happy to put them ~ Luckas
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Thanks Added images in the review. ~ Luckas
Last edited by Luckas; May 31, 2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
It has a plot. Ippo dreams to be strong, and being at the top "World Champion" could answer his question, or not. Not just a simple train, fight, rest rinse and repeat.
please help me . . . .
where can i download ippo manga? per volume please.
Really, one of the best sports manga. And there is one more theme. FATE! I guess Ippo will never "see/meet" his "lover" like planned, they are just not fated (don't want to spoil it for others, but ppl who read it will know).
Another interesting theme/concept that it touches is the affect of the 2 Japanese boxers. One who kinds of awaken ppl, while the other is like god, helps/changes them. I don't know how to put it in words yet. It's like what happened to Jimmy and Mashiba. Boxer 1 just changed them in a bad way (Jimmy turned really aggressive, while Mashiba became more desperate/evil after the fight), then boxer 2 comes in and "saves" them. I really don't know if it was intentional or not, or I am just thinking too much @@
Last edited by BoXs; February 06, 2009 at 12:14 AM.