The First Step
Episode 1 The First Step
Name Information
Kanji: 最初のステップ
Romaji: Saisho no suteppu
Episode Information
Season: First (The Fighting)
Episode in Season: 1
Episode in Series: 1
Manga Chapters: Round 1 (p. 1-44)
Duration: 24:05
Episode Chronology
←N/A Fruits of Labor

The First Step is the first episode of the Hajime no Ippo anime, and it is the episode starting the series. It was released in October 3rd, 2000.


Ippo, helping his mother out with the family store, carries several boxes onto the boat and sees everyone off. The next day at school, he is invited to see a movie with some classmates. He is happy to be invited but declines because he has to help with the store. He then overhears his classmates making fun of him on their way out and heads home saddened. He only gets as far as a nearby bridge when he runs into Umezawa and his goons. They begin to beat on Ippo for "making the school stink of worms" and take him under the bridge. He implies that Ippo's mother must stink too, causing Ippo to glare at him. But when Umezawa glares back Ippo back down, infuriating Umezawa more for never showing any backbone.

As they continue, Takamura suddenly passes by during his road work and saves Ippo. Umezawa and his group try to attack him but he easily dodges their blows and steals their uniform buttons, scaring them away. Ippo passes out from the pain after only being able to say "Incredible".

When he awakens, Ippo finds himself in the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. Takamura informs him that he brought him here to treat his wounds and then promptly tells him to get lost, saying that as much as he dislikes bullys, he finds people who don't stand up for themselves downright pathetic. As Ippo begins to leave sniffling, Takamura reluctantly decides to let him take his anger out on the punching bag. At first Ippo's punch seems average, but after a pointer from Takamura he proves to have a devastating punch.

Takamura takes Ippo to the back room to treat his now scrapped knuckles and realizes that he is more muscular than he seems, which Ippo attributes to years of working for the family trade. He tries to convince Ippo to try fighting back if Umezawa ever bothers him again, but Ippo is afraid that that won't solve anything. Takamura then asks Ippo if he'd prefer it if things stayed the same. He gives him some boxing tapes before heading off to continue his road work, telling Ippo to return them whenever.

Ippo returns home and helps his mother load the boat, carrying several iceboxes at once. Before she leaves, his mother tells him to leave the work to her and be a high school student. He laments not standing up for his mother earlier and then goes inside to watch the tapes. Impressed, Ippo begins to ask himself what it means to be strong. As the days go on, Ippo begins to watch boxing and starts reading boxing magazines. In one magazine, he finds an article about Takamura's Rookie King victory.

After a few days, Ippo waits at the bridge for Takamura to give him the tapes back, mentioning the magazine article he found. As Takamura brags, Ippo asks if he should give boxing a try. Takamura is initially amused, believing that Ippo wants to just try the exercises and diets. But when Ippo clarifies that he wants to become a pro-boxer, Takamura gets angry at the idea of a weakling like him impulsively deciding to become a boxer. Ippo then says that he has thought seriously about this and wants to become a boxer no matter what. He then asks Takamura "What does it mean to be strong?".

Takamura then walks up to a nearby tree and kicks it, causing leaves to fall from the branches. He then catches several of them with his hands before they hit the ground and promises to teach Ippo boxing if he can catch 10 in one week.


Characters IntroducedEdit

Characters (Appeared Once)Edit

Techniques IntroducedEdit

  • None

Locations IntroducedEdit


Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit

  • The opening scene of Ippo helping out at the store is original to the anime.
  • When Ippo first punches the punching bag, Takamura kicks him in the groin instead of repeatedly in the side.
  • In the manga, Takamura gives Ippo tapes of Mike Tyson.
  • The scenes of Ippo watching boxing and reading boxing magazines are original to the anime.
  • Coach Kamogawa and Yagi are not in Takamura's photo in the manga.

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