Hajime No Ippo's original series has been a long-awaited anime for fans of the boxing franchise here in North America, following the dream of Ippo as he discovers the "sweet science" while making his way up the ladder of heavyweights in Japan and beyond. Though Crunchyroll, the streaming service that will make the original anime series available starting next Wednesday, had one of the newer series of the boxing franchise in its catalog for quite some time, this will mark the first time that North American audiences will have easy access to the entirety of Ippo's first anime journey.
For those who might not be familiar with this legendary series, here is the official description for the anime:
"Ippo Makunouchi's gentle spirit and lack of confidence make him an easy target for the bullies at his high school. Rescued from a beating by Takamura, a professional boxer, Ippo aspires to learn the art of boxing and attempts to join the Kamogawa Boxing Club. But, to find his fighter's spirit, Ippo must first spar with Miyata, an extraordinarily talented and skilled boxer. Can Ippo even survive the first round?"
First appearing in 2000 thanks to the legendary studio, Madhouse, Hajime No Ippo is easily thought of by many as the biggest boxing anime around, contending with the other sports anime for supremacy such as Slam Dunk and Haikyuu to name a few. The series itself wasn't akin to Megalobox, which incorporates science fiction technology into the art of boxing, but certainly had an anime style that was incorporated into the battles of Ippo who discovers his love of boxing early on in the series.
The latest anime series, Hajime No Ippo: Rising, debuted in 2013 and had 25 episodes to its name, giving the franchise a fresh upgrade in terms of animation while continuing to follow Ippo's journey to becoming the best boxer in the world. The manga, which began in 1989, continues to this day, following the young boxer as he learns new skills and takes on more difficult opponents with each match.
Hajime No Ippo is definitely an anime worth watching, even if you aren't particularly a fan of boxing, as it incorporates a style that puts it above many other sports anime out on the market today.
Will you be binging Hajime No Ippo when it arrives on Crunchyroll next week? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of sports anime.