Everyone has their reason to fight. Whether its for a family member for a memory for making ends meet or just for loving the sport. Story and characters: This series is powerful. Its inspirational. No its way beyond inspirational. Each episode will give you a surge of motivation to just do anything. To be active in any way and as a personal case it made me start practicing sports again. This is the kind of series youd want to show to your kids but its not one bit an anime just for children. Hajime no Ippo is no ordinary anime about sports. Its about sports passion and determination. About struggles persistence pushing beyond limits fear courage and overcoming obstacles. It isnt like anything I have ever watched in the sports genre let it be an animated series or a nonanimated one. It truly is the authentic meaning of a masterpiece. Its by no means whatsoever a short anime. But every single episode of the series has importance none of them are empty fillers. Hajime no Ippo shows the true meaning and struggles of being a sportsperson. It shows both the dark and bright side of boxing. I have always been a huge fan of boxing but never once considered watching it in an anime series. What grabbed my attention was the fact that Hajime no Ippo is one of the most highest rated anime series ever which made me extremely curious and eager to give it a try. How can someone possibly make such a long anime series when its just about boxing? Is it episodic? Is it full of fillers? What about this anime makes it so special? I started the anime with the intention to watch only the first episode so I can avoid it and move on I was completely sure I wouldnt manage to even finish it. And hell if it didnt prove me wrong. From the very first episode you get engulfed into the anime. The main character is an abnormally pathetic weak naive character. The moment you lay eyes on him you know youll be in for one hell of a character development. Hes someone you can definitely root for and cannot help but love. The passion he has for boxing is shown in every single episode. But its not him exclusively. This is where the anime truly shines. It will take almost every character you get introduced to and fill them with life persistence and determination. It will suck out all the possibilities of the characters coming off as shallow or one dimensional. Ippo surely was the main character of the anime but trust me when I say youll find yourself in a continuous state of confusion wanting both parties to win not fully wanting Ippo to win. Moreover you get to see how a match is viewed by many people. Everything is thoroughly explained in a very interesting and engaging way. There is a huge amount of detailed accurate information about the world of boxing. Youll get to see the importance of rivals and competitors. And how they can motivate you way more than your supporters can. Sometimes even more than your own self. Youll go out of the series understanding at the very least what boxers go through if you did not manage to catch the basics. George Morikawa made sure to constantly show us the struggles they go through what goes through their minds and how they manage to get up no matter how many times they fall down. The anime is a direct punch to the moronic idiots who say boxing is all violence and brutality with no thoughts. Moreover the anime showed me something I have ALWAYS failed to see in drama/comedy anime. The comedy wait for it comes at the RIGHT time No jokes Combining drama with comedy is not an easy task. Most if not all of the drama/comedy series I have seen so far make a huge sloppy awkward cringeworthy mess of the two combined genres. It would always end up with supposedly funny scenes coming in the worst timing plausible detaching you from the dramatic scene and leaving you very uncomfortable. Morikawa does not once commit this huge mistake. And if pulled off such as this case it can be a mesmerising series. The dialogues are very wellwritten and executed. The anime simplifies the basics of boxing whilst showing the complexity of being a boxer. Art and music: I should mention one of the strongest if not even the strongest part of the anime. Now I wont say it was flawless or even near flawless there is a lot of lazy work and a huge amount of repeated scenes. But what made it special is how well presented the facial expressions of the characters are. I have never seen such a powerfully drawn and animated characters their facial expressions are extremely expressive and very well suited Im not exaggerating when I say its much much more powerful than in nonanimated series. The fighting scenes repetitive ones excluded are very VERY well done. The alternation between spectators cornermen the two fighters and the commentators adds a superb amount of suspense. At some points I felt that I was in Ippos place being out of breath with heavy shoulders. The voice acting couldnt have been any more flawless and the right background music came at the right time but it needed more music. Sure there were things that annoyed me about the anime but they were all minor and can be overlooked. The repetitive scenes and glossed over Miyata annoyed me most. It was very surprising to know that Miyatas teammates gave up so easily on him when Ippo showed as were shown that Miyata has been with them since he was a preteen. My other minor problems are mostly personal/what I preferred. I was looking forward for an anime about a very ordinary guy that gets beaten and loses a lot and then starts climbing to the top. But Ippo trained with a very talented coach and was around the best fighters. As for his inexperience how he gets beaten to a bloody pulp in every fight makes up for the fact that he can beat those who exceed him in experience. He learns rapidly in his extensive training and in the fights in the hardest way possible. Overall: 10/10 My enjoyment level exceeded its limit. The anime made me happy sad angry but most of all it ruined my nerves. The average match takes about two episodes which is equivalent to 40 minutes. And the big matches take about 3 episodes thats a whole ongoing hour of extreme tension. The final match had me holding my breath till the very end I literally had to take fast deep breaths after it was all done. Dont get fooled by the idea of a single small match getting extended to 23 episodes you wont feel a tiny bit bored through any minute of it. Its beyond impossible for me to rewatch anything even if its a year after but somehow some way Ive started rewatching the series even before finishing it. Worthy of being my first ever 10/10 rated series.