Hajime no Ippo celebrates 20 years!
In commemoration of being published for 20 years the boxing manga Hajime no Ippo will be sending volumes 1-90 to 100 schools across Japan. Having the series being 20 years old and nearly 90 volumes out, the author has found it difficult to get kids into it. So to help tackle that issue starting starting January of next year he'll be sending his manga to elementary, middle and high schools. Stating: "If they read it from the beginning I'm sure they'll get into it," he also tells those reading the manga, "If you'd like for your school to get the manga make sure you ask your teacher! If your (school's) passion for wanting it reaches us, perhaps it'll increase your chances of getting it!"
For those of you in Japan, volume 89 came out today :).
Also, if you don't know about Hajime no Ippo, here's a quick summary:
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.
Do you think your school will ever consider doing this? Actively try to get kids to read manga/comics? Why is it so accepted in Japan? Where and how can we convince our teachers that manga IS a good thing?
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