Recaps for Hajime No Ippo

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Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #23 Anime Review

The happy trio continues their makeshift family life in a pair of abandoned buses, but their happiness is soon to end. Nekota begins to feel numbness in his right hand, while Yuki begins to exhibit the harsh symptoms of radiation poisoning, revealing herself as a refugee from Hiroshima. Nekota’s body continues to deteriorate, his nerves and memory suffering from past injuries he’s received to the head. At the same time, he’s falling in love with Yuki, doing everything he can to help provide for her and impress her. Kamogawa can’t help but notice, the situation becoming more bittersweet as he struggles with his own feelings towards Yuki. As the sunflowers begin to wilt in the late Summer, Yuki wonders if she’ll make it long enough to see them bloom again the next year. Kamogawa continues to train, but feels that he can never truly match Nekota’s anamalistic fighting spirit, developed from living up in the mountainous regions of the country. And Nekota begins to worry that his condition might be more permanent than he wants to admit to himself, as his headaches and numbness continue to tear apart his body and make it difficult to earn a living on the side. In one last push, he arranges a match between himself and the American soldier and boxer who humiliated him in the alley that night, and promises to make that his final fight. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #22 Anime Review

As Coach Kamogawa and his long-time friend and fellow boxing trainer Nekota admire Takamura’s two championship belts, Ippo and Aoki ask them about a set of old photographs they’ve set on the table next to them. The photos are of the two old men in their younger days, just after the end of the Second World War. Yuki, the woman pictured with them now gone from the world, was witness to a promise made long ago. In the two years after the war, Japan underwent a massive reconstruction, even as its people suffered from poverty and hunger. Kamogawa and Nekota were two young men who made a small living putting on boxing matches along with many of their peers. One day during a local exhibition match, one of their friends faced and was defeated by a tall, blond American fighter who, to add insult to injury, threw candy to the crowd which people were willing to pick up off the ground. The only person who resisted was Yuki, who would not compromise her pride as a Japanese person. The two young men can’t help but admire the technique of American boxers, who can afford to put effort into managing their health and developing advanced fighting moves like counter-punches. Through their mix of admiration and frustration, though, the two also can’t forget the pure words of the young woman they met earlier, and hope that they’ll see her again. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #21 Anime Review

As the match begins to edge into its final stages, the battle between Takamura and Eagle becomes one of wills rather than skill. When the doctor attempts to end the match on account of the boxers’ injuries, both men rally against the call and whip the audience into a frenzy. The fight will go on, but both men run the risk of severing the muscle in their eyelid and having it become completely useless. They trade more punches until the cuts flare up again… but this time Takamura’s other eye is swelled shut and he’s left with very little visibility. It’s all that he can do to drag Eagle down with him as he falls, resulting in a rare double-knockdown. As the referee’s count begins, it will be a contest of willpower to see which man can make it to his feet. As they struggle to their feet, it’s clear that there’s only one final push left in either of them. Eagle comes out swinging and appears to be the favorite to survive. Takamura is lacking the majority of his field of vision, and all he can see to orient himself is his opponent’s golden shoes. It’s then that his training kicks in, and as he envisions his hours in the gym practicing with his coach in training mitts, he somehow manages to hit the mark. Again. And again. Until through a blur of fists swinging through the open air are stopped by the coach himself who tells Takamura of his victory against all odds. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #20 Anime Review

An enraged Takamura begins to take wild swings at David Eagle, whose textbook-perfect form has irritated him from the get-go. It seems as if Takamura doesn’t have any sort of strategy and rather falls back on his unchecked, fiery emotions. Fortunately his experience shows as his large swings demonstrate their purpose; David Eagle finds himself cornered, up against the ropes with Takamura’s incredible strength driving his deadly fists. Takamura easily gains the upper hand and sends Eagle reeling. Having never had a true rival in his life, Eagle is both exhilarated and dumbstruck. In less than an instant, though, the situation takes a turn. Takamura receives a cut on his eyelid that partially blinds him for the remainder of the round. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #19 Anime Review

Ippo runs off to take a bathroom break during the down time between matches, and while he’s on his way back he meets Miyata in the hallway. Miyata has some misgivings about the upcoming match, based on his own gut feelings about Takamura’s health. He suspects that Takamura might have a detached retina and be attempting to hide it. Ippo is stunned, especially since such a thing is a major health emergency that, left untreated, could completely end Takamura’s career. As Takamura marches to the ring decked out in his hawk-themed gear, Ippo keeps a close eye on him. As the match begins, the difference between Takamura’s and David Eagle’s styles emerge quickly. Takamura is like a predator, wild and unrelenting, while Eagle holds back and calculates his next move. It seems as if Takamura has the upper hand early on as his brawling style chips away at Eagle’s defense, but it turns out to be an illusion – Takamura finds himself unexpectedly against the ropes as Eagle puts pressure on him in more subtle ways. As the second round gets underway, it becomes more clear that Eagle’s defensive focus and conservative tactics are all very purposeful. At this point, he seems to have Takamura’s pace down flat. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #18 Anime Review

Miyata Ichirou takes the platform as the defending Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation Featherweight Champion. His challenger is a Thai fighter named Medgoen Dachboy, who just happens to be managed by a certain Mr. Sakaguchi. Mr. Sakaguchi has nursed a personal vendetta towards Miyata since the young boxer defeated his prized fighter, Arnie Gregory. Being an overly-ambitious manager with shifty motives to begin with, Sakaguchi is simply using Medgoen as a pawn in his game against Miyata, promising to provide money for medical care to Medgoen’s daughter in exchange for simply lasting all ten rounds. The Thai boxer, having hones his skills in the brutal Muy Thai martial arts, readily holds his own against Miyata’s initial barrage, "turtling" to focus solely on defense. But as Miyata begins to chip away at Medgoen’s defenses, he feels emotion welling up inside and begins to experience the urge to fight back and actually participate in the match rather than act as the pawn for a corrupt manager. Finally he lashes out, actually drawing Miyata’s blood and raising the tension throughout the stadium. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #17 Anime Review

The press conference prior to Takamura’s big fight becomes tense when the Japanese champion refuses to shake hands with his American competitor. Already in fighting mode, Takamura has little time to play nicely and David Eagle can already sense the man’s will to fight. But it’s Aoki and Kimura who have more to worry about, since losses on their end might spell doom for their perceived cool demeanor. In their dressing room the two wait nervously for their fights to come. When Kimura’s turn arrives, he finds himself overwhelmed by the size of the crowd – there are fifteen thousand people filling the huge arena, and he suddenly feels gripped by nervousness and performance anxiety. It doesn’t help that Eleki, his opponent, is a particularly mean-looking guy who, at the sound of the gong, barely gives Kimura time to breathe before letting loose with a barrage of killer punches. Kimura feels entirely outclassed and resigns himself to a loss until he lands a chance body blow and discovers Eleki’s weakness – his torso is very vulnerable. Since it’s so far into the fight, though, Kimura barely manages to eke out a draw. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #16 Anime Review

The competitive fishing hasn’t yet wound down, though with Takamura and Yagi-san pitting themselves against one-another they form a very shaky stalemate that gets them banned from the public fishing hole pretty quickly. This is just as well since it’s high time Takamura started his training for the upcoming championship match against David "Golden" Eagle, a popular and well-known Middleweight champion from the United States (and friend to Bryan Hawk). Aoki and Kimura are assigned their rivals as well – Aoki an Indonesian champion and Kimura a Filipino champion, both of whom have the most ridiculous haircuts they’ve ever seen. Noticing an opportunity, Takamura ups the stakes; If Aoki and Kimura lose their matches, they have to get their hair cut to match the victors. Obviously all three of them start their training in earnest soon afterward. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #15 Anime Review

The members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym are in between matches, which means that they all get the opportunity to slip away for a while to have some fun. Ippo, who’s still in recovery, heads up a fishing trip utilizing his family’s boat-rental service. Rather than keep things relaxing, Yagi proposes a contest – try to catch the most fish, and the team with the fewest goes without dinner. The ever-competitive Takamura thinks that this is a great idea, until he and the coach find their team at a stark disadvantage. As it turns out, Yagi is a highly-skilled hobbyist fisherman, and the team of Aoki and Kimura is experiencing a spate of incredible beginner’s luck, leaving Takamura and the Coach high and dry. After their fun and games, things turn more serious – it’s time to talk about the upcoming matches for several of the members, the main event of which is Takamura’s attempt at conquering the Middleweight world title (the second step on his quest to conquer every weight class in boxing, naturally). Both Aoki and Kimura will have a "semi-semifinal" match, but the biggest surprise is that Miyata is making his big return and will be participating as well. READ MORE...

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #14 Anime Review

At Dr. Yamaguchi’s office post-match, Ippo is forced to face the facts; if he continues to rely primarily on the Dempsey roll for his victories, his career could very well be cut short. And if he ever wants to face Miyata again, he needs to come up with an alternate plan for training himself to victory. As he hobbles down the street on crutches, Umezawa pulls up and offers Ippo a ride, along with some news – he’s quitting his job at the Makunouchi boat rental in order to pursue his dream of becoming a manga artist. According to their pact, Umezawa wants Ippo to be the first to read his completed first manga, but what he doesn’t expect is for the other members of Kamogawa Gym show up to offer their opinions on it as well. Unfortunately, a fight breaks out over the manuscript and it’s damaged, but Umezawa isn’t upset – the fact that so many people were fighting over the manga and foaming at the mouth to read each new page solidifies his desire to enter a contest for new authors. Ippo stays up all night to help fix the torn pages, and marvels at Umezawa’s work ethic. READ MORE...