Posted by psgels on 1 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



When I first learned about Hajime no Ippo, I wasn’t that eager to check it out. Heck, I had no interest in sports, and it’s one of those shows that has a premise that you just can’t explain without making it sound like some sort of Dragonball Z knock-off:

“So yeah this show is about a guy and he trains to become a boxer and then they fight and he gets beaten and beaten and then he manages to find his inner strength to win from his opponents!!1!1!1″.

It’s true that this show is formulaic, but it’s also SO INCREDIBLY ADDICTIVE. The sheer intensity of the boxing matches is nearly unrivalled, and the only way you can really get an idea of how incredibly good this show is is by watching it yourself. This series knows exactly how to pull the right strings during the boxing matches, and even though most boxing matches take up multiple episodes, they just keep you glued to the screen and only make you want more.

New Challenger forms an excellent introduction to the franchise for those who find the 75 episodes of the first season a bit too much of a commitment. It’s an excellent standalone series to watch. I myself watched nothing of the first series and yet I was perfectly able to follow it; some of the references to the first season that it made were perfectly explained for those new to the franchise, and the characters were already strong enough to carry the show on their own.

What’s also interesting about this new season is that while you might expect this show to be mostly about the titular Makunouchi Ippo, it’s actually one of those series that doesn’t have a clear main character. Instead, we get a bunch of arcs that each focus on a different character, and Ippo only plays the central role in one of them (that arc, by the way, also was arguably the weakest of the bunch; the thing with Ippo is that he’s by no means a bad character, but he is one of the least interesting members of the cast). Especially the Brian Hawk-arc was absolutely epic.

So yeah, Hajime no Ippo stands out in its simplicity; for every arc you know exactly what you’re going to get: an incredibly intense boxing match with sympathetic and strong characters and awesome graphics. And it never gets old. It’s the perfect series for if you want to blow off some steam.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

29 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    I know it’s INCREDIBLY addictive!!! I for one didn’t also liked the premise but then I watched season 1 and I was like…ok yeah let’s watch 10 more episodes!! It’s so epic in a weird way…

  2. tisb0b says:

    So they’ve finally managed to animate just under half of the manga up to around the chapter 400 mark and its currently up to chapter 858 and still kicking. I’m hoping they continue to animate this awesome series as some of the best fights are yet to come.

  3. Howling-kun says:

    psgels, you’ll probably enjoy the first season more since due to being longer, it is more focused on Ippo and his character development, at the same time allowing other characters to have major fights, specially some side-characters who haven’t nearly shown up in the second season and a greater exploring of the show’s setting. Also it is of general opinion this season’s soundtrack did poorly next to the first’s, it is too Death Note-ish.
    That aside, I’m able to say NC was as good as S1, but everyone should definetly watch it to see what the hype is really about, why it stands as the best sports anime ever.

  4. headachebaby says:

    PSGELS,

    You have to watch season 1 to say that Ippo’s character is not weak. This season focused more on other characters rather than Ippo. This anime is truly addictive and I went back and rewatch season 1 several times. No anime has been like that for me. If I rewatch it and still enjoy every episode, then it’s my #1 anime. This anime is enjoyable and it keeps you laughing and on the edge of your seat when you’re watching Ippo fight. I say take some time and enjoy season 1…you’ll love it.

  5. Julian says:

    Agreed with headachebaby, though the S2 gives summaries about S1, that doesn’t really show how much Ippo has evolved from S1 to S2. though S1’s story is mainly about Ippo (and his rival).

  6. doed says:

    There is imo no other anime that has such detailed explanations about its own theme and character development. Granted you have to watch s1 to fully understand that. #1 anime for me too.

  7. Thank you very much for the review of Hajime no Ippo. :)

  8. headachebaby says:

    Well, I posted my 1st comment before I finished watching episode 26 and now I’ve got to say that it’s not over yet. The magna is still going on and episode 26 is just starting Ippo’s new training. Damn…can’t wait for another season and watch Ippo fight Miyata. Miyata was Ippo’s 1st opponent and the rivalry between them hasn’t stop.

    I was SO HAPPY they created a second season after the first season ended YEARS ago. I hope MADHOUSE doesn’t wait for YEARS to make a 3rd season. It’s crazy how other animes that shouldn’t be coming out with new seasons still come out…it’s like “please end it already.”

    Hajime no Ippo is a GREAT ANIME and you don’t have to be a sports or boxing fan to enjoy it. I hope that the creators feel they owe it to the fans to continue what they have started…really, it’s a great anime and worth continuing.

  9. ajay says:

    hey guys i just finished the last episode of new challenger and wanted to know if thats the end or they gonna have another season…..i really hope so this anime is tooo good

    p.s. if anyone know if there i s gonna be another season please email me

  10. edward says:

    i got interested in this anime about a week ago after reading your review on the series. but i dont like watching sequels cause i like starting from the begining.

    so i watched the first series to see what it was like and was suprised. i havent seen a anime this good in a long time. i have finished all 76 eps and am on ep 9 of NC. and i feel its much better watching NC as a continuance. so to anyone interested in checking this series out i sugest starting from the begining. both series are staggering good and ths fights are incredible. my only complaint is the music. the music in the first series especially the music that starts when ippo makes a nockout is incredible. the music in NC isnt quite as good. apart from that both series are excellent.

    the series has alot of heart and spirit with fully fleshed out characters. and watching NC after having seen the first series is so much beter cause of the nowledge and backstory of the first series makes the stories and fights in NC all the more epic and emotional. def a series id recomend to anyone.

  11. I’ve been waiting for already 2 weeks for that episode to be launched… from the beginning of hajime no ippo until this latest series. It is very very entertaining. Much more than that of Hayden Kho, Katrina Halili, and Maricar Reyes.

  12. Robbie says:

    nice review, I don’t want to add anything as this anime is just epic, absolutely love it, has anybody got any news on new challenger episode 27 being released? i went away on holiday for 2 week just after ep 26 was released and expected there to be two more available when i got back….but the usual site i use is only up to episode 26!!! any help please?

  13. gibbitup says:

    Reply to Robbie. I think that episode was the final episode for the season. I couldn’t find the episode either and I just checked a site that put Hajime no Ippo new challenger as final episode, so i’m guessing it was the last for the season. Plus if you read some of the other comments they all say that their hoping for a new season so i’m pretty sure

  14. k3rtz says:

    the 2nd season took like 3-4 years to be released.. i watch the 1st season while i was still 13-14 yrs old so i really hope they make the 3rd one in a flash cause my HUNGER for HNI is still unsatisfied!!

  15. pudding says:

    One of the voice actors of Hajime no Ippo confirmed that a 3rd season would definitly be comming and was already planned.

    And not only is the anime really good, the manga’s really nice aswell.

  16. - says:

    i wan to noe when is the 3rd season coming out

  17. David says:

    I feel that you gave this anime a fair review. I personally think its a 10/10 myself. The hard thing about this anime is finding actual English based sites that are just for the anime. the only one i’ve found so far is Hajime No Ippo Episodes

  18. Fannar Cray says:

    i have to disagree with the review and say this shows are 10 OUT of 10. Myself im from iceland and have watch’d these show’s for quite the time now 3 time’s 1’rst season and 2 time’s the 2’ond season. I cant wait for the 3’rd season and would be delighted to know when it comes out.

    I train Kick Box & Muay Thai, BJJ and though i dont train boxing these shows are such an insperation to me. So i talked to the guys that train with me i was a little bit scared at first to tell them hey guys im watching anime because okey some off em are a little round on the edge’s and well some just to cool, but they gave it a shot and fucking loved them and just couldn’t stop talking about them to me and asking me about more and i gave them NC and they loved that to espcially Takamura vs. Brian Hawk and the hard working training and wheight control.

    i know my english itsnt the best and my spelling english :$ but anyways thanks for everything Fannar Thor

  19. Cariño brutal says:

    best anime! Did became a boxer coz of this show hahaha!

  20. dan says:

    I mean, saying Ippo’s arc wasnt that the best makes sense since he doesnt really continue on the storyline from the first season immediatelly. I would really suggest watching the first season, at least his introduction to boxing. It has the most epic fights in the whole series.

  21. ZeroAnime says:

    Why does such good anime end like this? It’s just like school rumble! I want to watch more of it. I mean of ippo and of school rumble. I WANT TO SEE MORE OF THIS ANIME!

  22. Sasuke 34 says:

    Hajime no Ippo is incredibly addictive!!! and the suspence keeps me at the edge of my seat!, but I do think the show revolves around Ippo and the people he meets

  23. Sasuke 34 says:

    reply to Robbie.I looked it up and I think it should come out on July 27 but I’m not to sure but I’ll keep looking

  24. Sasuke 34 says:

    reply to Robbie.I looked it up and I think it should come out on July 27 but I’m not to sure so I’ll keep looking

  25. steven says:

    i love the that there are no fillers the first season show came out 10 years ago then nc came out i just hate fillers:(

  26. steven says:

    nc it came out a few mouths ago to me filers kill animes i rather have animes do what the anime is doing

  27. steven says:

    there should be new ep coming out in july im hoping

  28. StunnaOnFlyRims says:

    Around the 23-25th episodes it just gets sorta comical.

    Spoiler:
    Before the fights were reasonably drawn out but the last one is just… insanely stupid. This fight completely broke away from practicality with Takamura. I can see being knocked out 2 or 3 times but this just disappointed me with how dramatically unrealistic it was. Dehydrated, underweight, sleep deprived, knocked out several times, after going for 3 rounds further then his limit AFTER taking at least 2 rounds of straight devastating hits. Im sorry but this is a shame.

    Spoiler End

    The rest of the series is pretty good though. would be 90/100 except for that one part. Not to mention the animation style changed and its more carton-like. Over all I would say miles above any current 2011 anime but honestly 85% when put together with the amazing 1st season.

  29. kakashi7 says:

    This anime is amazing not just for the story line and great ut value but what makes it so great is the charecter developement. Ippo has to be one of the most dynamic characters of any anime hes not a total boyscout like goku or rediculously over convident screaming “Beleive it ” like naruto, he the average socially awkward teen aged nice kid that everyone picks on, who wishes he had the strength to pretect his self or atleast talk to the girl he likes ( i know his charecter is not completely beleivable like how he can be so nice to the same people that who treated him like crap but even that shows how strong be is because anyone whos ever lived knows it takes alot of strength to forgive). But thats what makes the show so addictive seeing not only his skills evovle but him as a person from a challenger to a champion carving out his destiny with his own fist and holding on to the beleive that maybe we could do the same…. MAN I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS NEW SEASON! :)

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:27 PM)
    @Swa For sure, I expect my low expectations to sink even lower now that Nintendo’s already announcing a new game system.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:21 PM)
    @swa Just my gamepad that’s busted to hell, decided to just get a new one.
    @Vonter Nope, didn’t pick Star Fox up after seeing some reviews. I’ve forgotten about the franchise entirely since that Star Fox 64 remake.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:50 PM)
    Not getting Mother 3 with GBA emulator will be disappointing to me considering the trend they have had over the passed two years of re-releasing games of that series by E3.
  • swa
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:24 PM)
    Meh… Can you really be disappointed with anything Wii U related anymore?
    I am waiting for my Fortisimo Edition to arrive, and I will enjoy it no matter what, even if I have to hypnotise myself to do it.
    PS: I’m quite positive you could even get a whole new Wii U for 150, after all I got mine new for 200 more than 3 years ago.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:20 PM)
    Have you tried Star Fox Zero. That one demands the gamepad. Although IMO more because of the gyroscope than the dual screen. I mainly swap screens according to my needs.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:46 AM)
    How pissed off will I be when I purchase Mirage Sessions and it turns out to relegate the gamepad screen to some map like so many other WiiU titles. It already seems like it’s incompatible with offscreen play, so that’s not a good sign.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:35 AM)
    Looking at my bill to fix my WiiU gamepad, total comes out to $150 at a local game shop…This is why having an overly high-tech glorified remote controller with a thousand things that can break is such a shit idea.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:26 AM)
    @Spike Good point, wordpress already has good plugins like wp-recaptcha that I’m pretty familiar with and it does seem to work well. In the past I’ve had to deal with spambots that could retrieve emails from sites and it took a while to figure out how to tinker with javascript to get that shit sorted out over the course of a month. With this site I’m just a writer hence I cannot install entirely new plugins, hence I was looking for alternatives on my end.
  • Spike
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:31 AM)
    Most decent Spambots have IP and MAC address spoofing, you will never be able to ban them effectively. Board needs a string re-CAPTCHA to prevent bots posting all together.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:04 AM)
    @Aidan Can you somehow give me the ability to ban devices, apart from IP addresses? I get a message every few hours telling me I’ve got a message from that fucking spambot in the Primerose review, whose IP address changes with each new comment and every time I ban one.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Bungou Stray Dogs 08a

Bungou Stray Dogs – 08

I have to say more than anything this is Bungou Stray Dogs’ special episode, in a sense that in one hand, the show produces one of its most brilliance ever, but on the other hand, there are still many shortcomings along with the greatness, producing an episode that mostly entertainment but uneven. The introduction of […]

Joker Game - 08 1

Joker Game – 08

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this […]

Flying witch 07b

Flying witch – 07

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 08 1

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver - 07 4

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

1

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 07d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game - 07 3

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Latest Reviews

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular in their mainland and some parts of Asian countries. With the success of Kung Fu Panda (half-produced by China) and its power on movies industry (China IS the main market for feature films now), it is worth it to take a look on this current trend and see how they are different from anime.
While my fellow bloggers are the ones who more specialize in Games and Manga, I will be the one who cover World Animation (by that I mean anything animated other than anime and American big studio animation – they got way too much coverage already). Like majority of you guys I am not from China, my Chinese is as good as my Japanese (which is to say NONE), so this is actually goddamn difficult to look for titles, and the information I could find are sacred here on top of that find a suitable sub for it, most of them does not even have an English name, thus the title and the synopsis that I give you here are just a rough translation. So behold. This is our very first attempt to cover the animation of china.

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 1: Computer Animated Wuxia shows

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular […]

asagao to kase-san

K-Off’s Ongoing Manga Recommendations (embedded links)

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience. 1. […]

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your […]

kQtrlYU

Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei video game review- 35/100 (avoid it like the plague)

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 […]

413420_20160420220647_1

DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair Video Game Review – 90/100

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that […]