Posted on | April 27, 2011 | No Comments
Hajime no Ippo is one of those hidden gems that you’d expect to be more popular considering how addicting this series is. Now on my first re-watch of this anime, I intend to dedicate one post to each episode and recapture all the fun and action in this series. Although this anime stays true to the basics of shounen formula, it remains highly entertaining in its execution with fast pacing and ample character development.
The first episode introduces the main protagonist, Ippo, who comes across as a rather timid and weak person. He doesn’t have much of a social life as he’s constantly helping his mother out with their family business, a fishing boat rental service, and is frequently bullied by a trio of students led by Umezawa. During one such case when Ippo is taking a beating, Takamura stops by to help him out and introduces Ippo to the world of boxing. Ippo shows a knack for punching and he decides, after some serious consideration, that he wants to become a professional boxer. Takamura doesn’t think he has a suitable mentality for the sport and attempts to discourage Ippo by setting a seemingly impossible prerequisite for learning boxing: to be able to grasp ten falling leaves in one session.
It’s interesting that while Ippo doesn’t seem to show much backbone against Umezawa, he has a surprising amount of determination in his desire to change himself, which actually takes quite a bit of courage to do so. Ippo’s meekness seems to be more a product of having been bullied and coping with it alone rather than it being something inherent in his personality.