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Hajime no Ippo
by Kaioh on August 24th, 2006, 9:28pm

Rating - 9.2 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 5 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 4 out of 5
Enjoyment - 5 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

Click here for series information

Makunouchi Ippo was always picked on in school, even in Highschool. Until a fateful day he encountered a Boxer, who helped him. Ippo was shocked at the strength of the boxer, and wondered if he, too, could change himself, and what it meant to be strong. Thus begins his long road into the boxing world.

The plot is a general plot encountered in most sports shounen manga. However, the author brings his unique wit, with his extensive knowledge of the sport to this manga to make it very enjoyable.

The characters in this story are all hilarious. Some are not as unique as others, however they all have they're own unique stories going on, and they're all intertwined very well. Each character brings something unique to the plot, whether it be Ippo's sense of loyalty to his coach, and not wanting to let him down, or Takamura's sense of his own strength.

Each character's own unique backstory comes into play at some point or another, and only helps to bring the characters greatness out. Morikawa-sensei takes great pride in his characters, and he shows it with the level of detail put into each characters strengths and weaknesses.

Drawing Style
The drawing style, at first, takes awhile to get used to. In the beginning its not as defined as it gets later on, as Morikawa-sensei is just starting out. Keep in mind that he started this in the late 80's, so the drawing style clearly reflects the era.

The drawings of the action scenes take precedence over most of the other art. The action scenes move fluidly and vividly almost as if they're playing out like a finely directed film. The only drawback to the main portion of the art is that in the manga only a few years have passed, even though in the real world over a decade has passed, so the characters still wear fashion statements from then. This can make it hard for some people to enjoy as they may be thinking "What the hell is he wearing that for? He looks stupid". This is something that doesn't necessarily take away from the enjoyment of the manga, however it can be hard for some to accept.

Regardless of that fact, Morikawa-sensei still gets credit for keeping the manga's continuity in tact, even after 76 volumes.

The most enjoyable thing about this manga is that once you start reading, its very hard to stop, even to take a break. When I started reading, I felt compelled to continue until I could find a point in the manga where the story took a break from the main plot for a quick breather, and that is where I felt myself pausing to stop. When I started, I read the first eight volumes straight. It took most of my day, but I couldn't stop. I was enjoying it far too much to stop.

This level of enjoyment is something I have felt with other series, such as One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and others. However, with Hajime no Ippo, it was almost unexpected. I hadn't considered the fact that I would enjoy it so completely. Everything from the story, to the characters, to the jokes, and sometimes even the art, I enjoyed it as a whole, aswell as separately.

I stated in an earlier comment in regards to Hajime no Ippo, that if I where to make a list of must-read manga for any new otaku, or make a list for THE BEST manga, that this would be on both lists, and I stick to that. This manga is something I feel any manga fan should look into. It'll almost certainly have something you can enjoy.

Hajime no Ippo has reached just over 76 volumes, and has no end in site. As far as I know, Morikawa-sensei has no other works currently, however, I feel he should be proud to say that his single work has been going well over 15 years. That kind of success is rare in manga, and I think it only serves to prove how good this series is. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone reading this. If you've not checked out even the first few volumes of this manga, you're missing out on a great experience.
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No Subject by Makyxed on November 11th, 2010, 5:04am Rating: 5

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