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Fighting Spirit (manga)

Fighting Spirit (はじめの一歩, Hajime no Ippo?, lit. "The First Step" in Japan) is a boxing manga and anime series created by Jōji "George" Morikawa which is serialized by Kodansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine.

The manga has been running since 1989, spans 90 tankōbon. A 76-episode anime adaption, titled Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! was produced by Madhouse, the Nippon TV Network and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura and ran on the Nippon TV Network from October 2000 to March 2002.[2] One OVA and a movie were also produced. At the end of 2003 the anime was licensed in North America by Geneon.[6] Geneon released it as Fighting Spirit. It was called Knock Out! in the Philippines.

On September 15, 2008 it was announced in Weekly Shōnen Magazine, that a second season of Hajime no Ippo would begin airing on January 6, 2009. The second season is called Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger and concluded on June 30, 2009.

See also: List of Fighting Spirit characters
Ippo Makunochi is a very shy high school student who never had the time to make friends because he was always busy helping his mother run their family-own fishing business. Because he kept to himself, a group of bullies led by Umezawa got into the habit of picking on him. On one particular day these bullies decided to give him a rather serious beating, but a middle-weight professional boxer who was passing by stopped the bullies and took the injured Ippo to the Kamogawa Gym (鴨川ボクシングジム Kamogawa Bokushingu Jimu?), owned by retired boxer Genji Kamogawa, to treat his wounds. After Ippo awoke to the sounds of boxers training, the boxer who saved him, Mamoru Takamura, tried to cheer Ippo up by letting him vent his frustrations on a sandbag. It was then that they had their first glimpse into Ippo's talent for boxing. After that incident, Ippo started his regular training and began his path in Japan's professional boxing, beginning with two spars against the talented Ichiro Miyata who is the same age as Ippo.
The story focuses heavily on character development, even during the matches something is learned about the fighters. Ippo and his friendly rivalry with Miyata is the main draw in the early part of the series. That later changes to Ippo's path towards the Japanese Featherweight Championship and eventually the world championship. Along the way we are given glimpses into the other side character's pasts, motivations, relationships to others and current boxing trials. A colorful cast of support characters and opponents as well as side stories concerning their path in the boxing world rounds out the series.

List of Hajime no Ippo chapters
Geneon distributed the Fighting Spirit series in North America on 15 DVDs with 5 episodes per disc. The first DVD was released on July 6, 2004 and the fifteenth released on December 19, 2006.[7] The DVDs included English and Spanish language tracks, as well as the original Japanese. The movie, Champion Road, has also been released in North America on DVD by Geneon. Unfortunately, plans for the second OVA, Kimura vs Mashiba, are not in the works. Disc sales of the series did not break even. The first DVD was the best selling at ~5,000 units with each DVD afterwards selling ~1,000 units. [citation needed] Many fans blame the lack of marketing and the negative appeal that a sports anime has on the mainstream audience. [original research?] As Geneon USA closed its doors at the end of 2007, the US rights of the series are in question.
Video games
There have also been some video games based on the series, first released on the PlayStation, then later the PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance, and recently to Wii, as well. Two of the games have been released in North America and in PAL territories. There was some confusion regarding the Western title Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit prior to its Western release, as this is generally assumed to be the same game as Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road, when actually it is the next title in the series, Hajime no Ippo - The Fighting! All Stars.[8] The Japanese released Victorious Road is unique amongst the titles as it includes the option to create your own boxer and control his training, diet, weight etc. The second Western title, Fighting Spirit, gives the player a choice of over 70 fighters for VS play. Each title has its own story mode which closely follows that of the manga, though obviously the storytelling is not of the same quality.
Recently, Ippo and Takamura have also appeared in the crossover video game Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen! as playable characters.
System English Title Japanese Title English Translation
N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
PlayStation 2
Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory[9]
はじめの一歩 VICTORIOUS BOXERS Hajime no Ippo: Victorious Boxers
N/A はじめの一歩2 VICTORIOUS ROAD Hajime no Ippo 2: Victorious Road[10]

Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting Spirit
はじめの一歩 ALL☆STARS Hajime no Ippo - The Fighting! All Stars[11]

Game Boy Advance
N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting![12]

Nintendo DS
N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!
Victorious Boxers: Revolution
はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Revolution Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting Revolution[13]

N/A はじめの一歩 THE FIGHTING! Portable Victorious Spirits Hajime no Ippo: THE FIGHTING! Portable Victorious Spirits [14]

Episode List
Round Episode Name Original air date [15]

1 "The First Step" October 3, 2000
2 "Fruits of Labor"
"Doryoku no seika (Results of Great Effort)" (努力の成果) October 10, 2000
3 "Tears of Joy"
"Ureshi namida (Happy Tears)" (うれし涙) October 17, 2000
4 "Shadow Boxing"
"Shadō bokushingu (Shadow Boxing)" (シャドーボクシング) October 24, 2000
5 "3 Months to Counter"
(カウンターへの3ヶ月) October 31, 2000
6 "The Opening Bell of the Rematch"
"Saisen no gongu (Gong of the Rematch)" (再戦のゴング) November 7, 2000
7 "The Destructive Force of 1 cm"
"1 cm no hakairyoku (Destructive Power of 1cm)" (1cmの破壊力) November 14, 2000
8 "Promise to Meet Again"
"Saikai no yakusoku (Promise of Another Meeting)" (再会の約束) November 21, 2000
9 "C Class License"
"C kyū raisensu (C Class License)" (C級ライセンス) November 28, 2000
10 "Debut Match!"
"Debyū sen! (Debut Fight!)" (デビュー戦!) December 5, 2000
11 "Obsession for Victory"
"Shōri no shūnen (Tenacity to Win)" (勝利への執念へ) December 12, 2000
12 "Becoming a Bully's Buddy"
"(Violent Friend Announcement)" (手荒なダチ宣言) December 19, 2000
13 "The Eastern Japan Rookie Championship Tournament Begins"
"Kaimaku, higashi nippon shinjin Ō sen (Curtain Rises, Eastern Japan Rookie-of-the-Year Fight)" (開幕、東日本新人王戦) December 26, 2000
14 "Powerful Arms! Hooks vs. Uppercut!"
(強腕!フックvsアッパー!) January 9, 2001
15 "Test of Endurance"
"Gaman kurabe (Endurance Contest)" (我慢くらべ) January 16, 2001
16 "Anticipating a Fierce Fight"
"Gekisen no yokan (Presentiment of a Fierce Fight)" (激戦の予感) January 23, 2001
17 "Ippo on the Beach"
"Ippo on za bīchi" (イッポ•オン•ザ•ビーチ) January 30, 2001
18 "Clinch"
"Kurinchi" (クリンチ) February 6, 2001
19 "Dream of a KO"
"KO no yume" (KOの夢) February 13, 2001
20 "The Threat of Shotgun"
"Shottogan no kyōi" (ショットガンの脅威) February 20, 2001
21 "The Way to Capture a Prodigy"
"Tensai kōryaku no michi (The Way of Capturing a Genius)" (天才攻略の道) February 27, 2001
22 "Forward! Forward!!"
"Mae! Mae!! (Forward! Forward!!)" (前へ!前へ!!) March 6, 2001
23 "The Other Semi-Final"
"Mō hitotsu no junkesshō (One More Semi-Final)" (もう一つの準決勝) March 13, 2001
24 "To the Promised Place..."
"Yakusoku no basho e (To the Place of Promise)" (約束の場所へ...) March 20, 2001
25 "Grudges, Sorrows & Dreams"
"Sorezore no omoi (Each Emotion)" (それぞれの想い) March 27, 2001
26 "The Battle for Distance"
"(Kyori no kōbō) Attack and Defense of Distance" (距離の攻防) April 3, 2001
27 "Death Match"
"Shitō (Struggle to the Death)" (死闘) April 10, 2001
28 "Victory or Defeat"
"Shōhai (Victory or Defeat)" (勝敗) April 17, 2001
29 "Rocky of Naniwa"
"Naniwa no Rocky (Rocky of Naniwa)" (浪速のロッキー) April 24, 2001
30 "To Enemy Ground"
"Tekichi e (To Enemy Ground)" (敵地へ) May 1, 2001
31 "Traces of Intense Battles"
"Gekitō no sokuseki (Footprints of Fierce Fighting)" (激闘の足跡) May 8, 2001
32 "Throw Your Right!"
"(Right Hits!)" (右を打て!) May 15, 2001
33 "Smash Force"
"Sumasshu no iatsu (Coercion of the Smash)" (スマッシュの威圧) May 22, 2001
34 "The Rookie King"
"Shinjin Ō (Rookie of the Year)" (新人王) May 29, 2001
35 "The Counting Journey"
"(To Go Further on the Journey)" (さらなる旅立ち) June 5, 2001
36 "The Champ and I"
"Ōja tono deai (Encounter with the King)" (王者との出会い) June 12, 2001
37 "A Thing to Strive For"
"Mezasu mono (Something to Aim At)" (目指すもの) June 19, 2001
38 "Two Rookies of the Year"
"Futari no shinjin ō (Two Rookies of the Year)" (二人の新人王) June 27, 2001
39 "Challenge in a Foreign Land"
"Ikoku de no chōsen (Challenge in a Foreign Country)" (異国での挑戦) July 4, 2001
40 "A Counter to Surpass All Counters"
"(Counter that Surpassed the Counter)" (カウンターを超えたカウンター) July 11, 2001
41 "Barf-michi's Big Fight"
"Barf-michi no tatakai (Barf-michi's Fight)" (ゲロ道の戦い) July 18, 2001
42 "Sharing a Dream"
"Yume e no kyōkan (Sympathy to Dream)" (夢への共感) July 25, 2001
43 "The Speed Star"
"THE SPEED STAR" August 1, 2001
44 "Blind Spot in the Ring"
"Ringu no shikaku (Blind spot of the Ring)" (リングの死角) August 8, 2001
45 "The White Fangs of the Wolf"
"Ōkami no shiroi kiba (White Fangs of the Wolf vega)" (狼の白い牙) August 15, 2001
46 "Be the Gazelle"
"(Become the Gazelle!)" (かもしかになれ!) August 22, 2001
47 "The Fighting Spirit Within"
"(Concealed Fighting Spirit)" (秘められた闘志) August 29, 2001
48 "The Red Wolf"
"Akai ōkami (Red Wolf)" (赤い狼) September 5, 2001
49 "The Courage to Believe"
"(Courage to Trust)" (信頼する勇気) September 19, 2001
50 "Something to Convey"
"(What I want to Say)" (伝えたいこと) September 26, 2001
51 "The Group Date"
"Gōkon (Joint party)" (合コン) October 3, 2001
52 "The Challenger"
"Chōsensha (Challenger)" (挑戦者) October 10, 2001
53 "So That I Can Be Myself"
(俺が俺であるために) October 17, 2001
54 "Fists of the Champ"
"Ōja no kobushi (Fists of the King)" (王者の拳) October 24, 2001
55 "The Japan Featherweight Title Match"
"Nippon fezākyū taitorumacchi (Japan Featherweight Title Match)" (日本フェザー級タイトルマッチ) October 31, 2001
56 "The Power that Stands in the Way"
"Tachi hadakaru chikara (The Power That Blocks the Way)" (立ちはだかる力) November 7, 2001
57 "Conclusion"
"Kecchaku (Conclusion)" (決着) November 14, 2001
58 "Heartbroken"
"Shōshin (Heartbreak)" (傷心) November 21, 2001
59 "A Determined Gaze"
"Ketsui no manazashi (A Look of Determination)" (決意のまなざし) November 28, 2001
60 "Rival"
"Raibaru (Rival)" (ライバル) December 5, 2001
61 "Comeback Anxiety"
"(Anxiety to Recovery)" (再起への不安) December 12, 2001
62 "Revival"
"(Revival)" (復活) December 19, 2001
63 "Youth of Fire"
"(Youth of Flame)" (炎の青春) December 26, 2001
64 "Hot Rod Era"
"(Enthusiastic Era)" (熱中時代) January 9, 2002
65 "The Summer of the Kamogawa Corps"
"(The Summer of the Kamogawa Corps)" (鴨川軍団の夏) January 16, 2002
66 "Mr. Takamura's Tears"
"(Takamura's Tears)" (鷹村さんの涙) January 23, 2002
67 "The Kamogawa Gym Swings Into Action"
"(The Kamogawa Gym Moves Out)" (動き出す鴨川ジム) January 30, 2002
68 "The Chief's Peril"
"(The Chairman's Crisis)" (会長の危機) February 6, 2002
69 "The Trap of the Southpaw"
"(Trap of the Southpaw)" (サウスポーの罠) February 13, 2002
70 "The Young Punk"
"(A Naughty Boy)" (ごんたくれ) February 20, 2002
71 "Time for the Showdown"
"(Moment of the Decisive Battle)" (決戦の刻) February 27, 2002
72 "Lallapallooza"
"Lallapallooza" March 6, 2002
73 "Surpass that Moment"
"(Surpass that Time)" (あの時を超えろ) March 13, 2002
74 "Mix-Up"
"()" (ミックスアップ) March 20, 2002
75 "A Step Further"
"(Into the Next Step)" (さらなる一歩を) March 27, 2002
76 "Boxer's Fist"
"()" (ボクサーの拳) March 21, 2003
The Second Series
The continuation of the series - called Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger (はじめの一歩 New Challenger) - started on January 6, 2009, on NIHON TV and ended on June 30, 2009.
Episode List
Round Episode Name Original air date
1 "The New Step"
"Arata Naru Ippo" (新たなる一歩) January 6, 2009 [4]

2 "Bloody Cross"
(Bloody cross-血の十字架-) January 13, 2009[4]

3 "To the Promised Place"
"Yakusoku no Basho e" (約束の場所へ) January 20, 2009[4]

4 "Towards the World"
"Sekai e no Taidō" (世界への胎動) January 27, 2009[4]

5 "The Strength of the World [16]"
"Sekai no Chikara" (世界の力) February 3, 2009[4]

6 "A Figure to Chase After"
"Oi Tsudukeru Senaka" (追い続ける背中) February 10, 2009[4]

7 "The Advent of the Devil"
"Akuma No Kōrin" (悪魔の降臨) February 17, 2009[4]

8 "Spirit for One Last Attack"
"Tamashii no Ichigeki" (魂の一撃) February 24, 2009[4]

9 "Qualifying for Succession"
"Uketsugu Shikaku" (受け継ぐ資格) March 3, 2009[4]

10 "Cannon Fodder"
"Kama Se Inu" (噛ませ犬) March 10, 2009[4]

11 "Ippo vs. Hammer Nao"
"Ippo v. Hamma Nao" (一歩vsハンマーナオ) March 17, 2009[4]

12 "What It Means To Be a Pro"
"Puro no Jōken" (プロの条件) March 24, 2009[4]

13 "Ippo on the Beach 2"
"Ippo on za Biichi 2" (イッポ•オン•ザ•ビーチ2) March 31, 2009[4]

14 "Two Sparring"
"Futatsu no Supaaringu" (二つのスパーリング) April 7, 2009 [4]

15 "Itagaki's Debut Match!"
"Itagaki Debyū Sen!" (板垣デビュー戦!) April 15, 2009[4]

16 "The 2 Hawks"
"2 Hane no Taka" (2羽の鷹) April 21, 2009[4]

17 "Wild Child"
"Yasei Ji" (野性児) April 28, 2009[4]

18 "Extreme Weight Control"
"Kyokugen no Genryō" (極限の減量) May 5, 2009[16]

19 "Explosive Confrontation"
"Isshokusokuhatsu" (一触即発) May 12, 2009[16]

20 "World Jr. Middle Weight Title Match"
"Sekai J. Midoru Kyū Taitorumacchi" (世界J•ミドル級タイトルマッチ) May 19, 2009[16]

21 "The Battle of the Hawks!"
"Battle of Hawk!" May 26, 2009[16]

22 "Battle Fight!"
"Kenka Battoru" (ケンカバトル) June 2, 2009[16]

23 "Supporting Hand"
"Sasaeru Te" (支える手) June 9, 2009[16]

24 "The King"
"Ou-sama" (王様) June 16, 2009[16]

25 "My Bronze Statue, Please."
"Douzou wo Douzo" (銅像をどうぞ) June 23, 2009[16]

26 "New Challenger"
(new challenger) June 30, 2009[16]

Second Season
Rikiya Koyama, the voice actor of the Mamoru Takamura character in the Hajime no Ippo boxing anime franchise, has revealed in his blog that a sequel to the Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger television series is being planned. Koyama was posting about the end of dialogue recording for the series, since the cast just finished work on the 26th and final episode. (The final episode, "New Challenger," aired in Japan on June 30.) At the end of his Friday blog entry, he wrote, "Of course, a sequel is also being planned!!"
Anime news network website
1. Fighting Spirit: Champion Road TV Special (はじめの一歩 TVスペシャル -Champion Road- Hajime no Ippo Terebi Supesharu ~Chanpion Rōdo~?)
2. Kimura Vs. Mashiba
It was reported at Otakon 2009 that the director of the first series is working on a new movie.[17]
The music for the first anime series was composed by Tsuneo Imahori, who also did the third opening theme song. Various tracks of guitars, drums, piano, horns, and combinations of the instruments were used to help accentuate the mood and action of the scenes. The soundtrack was released in Japan on two CDs, "First KO" & "Final Round". The music for the second series was composed by Yoshihisa Hirano.
Anime Theme Songs
Opening Theme Songs[2]
1. "Under Star" by Shocking Lemon (Episodes 1 - 25)
2. "Inner Light" by Shocking Lemon (Episodes 26 - 52)
3. "Tumbling Dice" by Tsuneo Imahori (Episodes 53 - 76)
4. "Hekireki" by Last Alliance (Second Series, Episode 1 - 26)[18]
Closing Theme Songs[2]
1. "Yuuzora no Kamihikouki" by Mori Naoya (Episodes 1 - 25)
2. "360°" by Mori Naoya (Episodes 26 - 52, 75)
3. "Eternal Loop" by Saber Tiger (Episodes 53 - 74,76)
4. "8 AM" by Coldrain (Second Series, Episode 1 - 26)

Thxx 4

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