Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩, Hajimenoippo), also known as Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting and Fighting Spirit, is a manga by Morikawa Jouji with an anime TV adaption. It follows the story of the main character, Makunouchi Ippo, who started boxing to answer one question: "What does it mean to be strong?".
The manga began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Shonen Magazine in 1989, Issue 43, and is currently still running. Weekly Shonen Magazine goes on sale every Wednesday, each week in Japan unless there is a double issue for Holidays (Christmas, New Years, or Golden Week in late April/early May.)
In 2015, Kodansha started publishing their series in a digital issues. However, Morikawa didn't want his series included with it. So Hajime No Ippo is not included with digital Weekly Shonen Magazine, or sold digitally.
The anime series is produced by Madhouse, Nippon TV and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura. The first season with 76 episodes, Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!, ran on the Nippon Television Network from October 3, 2000 to March 26, 2002.
In April 2003, the first season was released in North America by Geneon (called Fighting Spirit). (Note - Episode 76 was not included since that was a DVD extra in Japan where it was not dubbed.) A TV film and OVA was produced in 2003 before releasing a second season, Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, in January 2009 until June 2009. The third season, Hajime no Ippo: Rising was then released in October 2013 until March 2014.
Hajime no Ippo literally means The First Step, but it is also a pun on main character Ippo's name (hajime meaning "beginning" or "first" and Ippo meaning "one step").
See also: Manga Guide
Hajime no Ippo manga has currently has 122 volumes and 1230+ chapters and counting.
The manga is currently licensed so far in three countries - South Korea, China, and France.
- South Korea - The Fighting (더 화이팅) - Korean Wiki - Licensed by Chance Comics
- China (and Hong Kong) - The Fighting ( 第一神拳) - Chinese Wiki - Licensed by Dongli
- France - Ippo - French Wiki - Licensed by Kurokawa
See also: Anime Guide
The Hajime no Ippo anime currently has three seasons, one TV film and one OVA.
- Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! (Season 1)
- Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road (TV film)
- Hajime no Ippo: Mashiba vs. Kimura (OVA)
- Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (Season 2)
- Hajime no Ippo: Rising (Season 3)
The flagship series of Weekly Shonen Magazine, Hajime no Ippo has sold over 94,000,000 copies as of 2013. Each chapter of the series is marked as Round (Round 1, Round 2, etc). In 1991, Morikawa won the 15th Kodansha Manga Award for Shonen Manga.
Weekly Shonen Magazine published the 1000th chapter of Hajime no Ippo in its Issue 1-2013. Other mangakas such as Aoyama Gosho-sensei of Detective Conan, Takehiki-Inoue of Slam Dunk, Kentaro Miura of Berserk, Takahashi Rumiko-sensei of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha gave their greetings. As of 2013, Hajime no Ippo has been collected into 105 volumes. It has surpassed Koutarou Makaritooru (ended at 51 volumes) as the longest running series in Shonen Magazine history, and is the 2nd longest running sports manga still being serialized (the first is Abu-san, which has been in serialization since 1973).
- Main Article: List of Hajime no Ippo characters