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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar - says:

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

  17. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar Cariño brutal says:

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

  20. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar 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. Avatar steven says:

    there should be new ep coming out in july im hoping

  28. Avatar 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. Avatar 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

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

One Punch Man Season 2 – 11 [Everyone’s Dignity]

https://giant.gfycat.com/SilkyHilariousGiraffe.webm I don’t understand it JC Staff. You make it so difficult for me to like you and by extension, OPM. I want to of course, every week there are these flashes of brilliance. These moments where I think “they understand. They care. They can do it”. And then in the very same episode, you […]

Dororo – 24 [Dororo and Hyakkimaru]

Welcome one and all to the Dororo finale! It’s a difficult one, as parts of it are fantastic, while others just leave me confused. But all in all, I think I enjoyed it, and I definitely don’t regret my time with the series. So, all that said, let’s dive in. Starting off, I think Dororo […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 12 [You Look Like You’re Having Fun]

More than any other episode, this week is where Fruits Basket embraces its two opposing spectrums the clearest: it’s reverse-harem hijinks of highschool life and romance and its dark drama about the Zodiac members. By that light, we can be able to see this adaptation’s quality by this episode alone. For example, this 2019 is […]

Carole & Tuesday – 11 [With or Without You]

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets […]

Sarazanmai – 11 [I Want to Connect, so Sarazanmai]

I must admit that days after watching this finale I still can’t wrap my head around all the events happened in this episode. Sarazanmai ends in a happy tone, something I didn’t expect from Ikuhara to be honest. On the most surface level, it’s a rescue mission from Kazuki and Enta to bring Toi back. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 12 [The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps]

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in! Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and […]

One Punch Man Season 2 – 10 [The Encirciling Net of Justice]

https://www.sakugabooru.com/data/2c523ad11331508ce3e674f68b79ccf2.mp4 Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in! Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

Latest Reviews

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]