In this article, we are going to give you a thorough insight into the Hajime no Ippo anime series. You’re going to get all the necessary information, as well as a complete guide to watching the whole series, including the four anime movies that are part of the franchise. So, let’s begin with Hajime no Ippo watch order.
Hajime no Ippo is a manga created by George Morikawa that chronicles the beginnings and rise of a high school student, Ippo Makunouchi, in the world of professional boxing. The manga has been published since October 11, 1989 by Kōdansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine, and consists of 135 tankōbon as of August 2022. The manga won the 1991 Kōdansha manga award in the shōnen category.
A 76-episode anime adaptation (covering the first 30 volumes of the manga) was made by Madhouse and aired on Nippon Television between October 2000 and March 2002. A 26-episode second season named Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger was later aired between January 2009 and June 30, 2009. The third season of 25 episodes named Hajime no Ippo: Rising aired between October 2013 and March 2014. An animated film, Champion Road, and an OVA, “Mashiba vs. Kimura”, were also made in 2003, as part of the screenplay continuity of the adaptation.
Hajime no Ippo watch order by release date
In this section, we are going to bring you an overview of the Hajime no Ippo works in the proper release order:
- Hajime no Ippo, Season 1 (anime, 2000–2002)
- Hajime no Ippo: “Boxer’s Fist” (special, 2003)
- Hajime no Ippo: “Champion Road” (television film, 2003)
- Hajime no Ippo: “Mashiba vs. Kimura” (OVA, 2003)
- Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, Season 2 (anime, 2009)
- Hajime no Ippo: Rising, Season 3 (anime, 2013–2014)
In the next part of this article, we are going to tell you how you should watch the series in chronological order.
Hajime no Ippo chronological watch order
In this section, we are going to give you a chronological overview of the works in question. The good thing is that the release order coincides almost completely with the chronological order, so here we go:
Hajime no Ippo: “Boxer’s Fist” (special, 2003)
This episode recounts the beginnings of the prodigy Takamura. We see the coach meeting the future champion in the street. With just one punch the old Kamogawa knew that this man could become the best, maybe even The World Champion. The coach then makes this lazy Takamura endure crazy training, he believed that boxing was just a brute sport where all you had to do was hit, hit, and hit again.
He quickly realized that this sport required many other things, endurance, technique, and above all intelligence. After long weeks of effort, in particular, learning to simply use your left fist for hours, to run for miles and miles, to climb hills pulling the coach’s scooter, etc. Finally comes the day of Takamura’s first match.
His very first opponent, Sakura, is a young professional boxer but his meeting with Mamoru will compromise his career. Indeed, in less than a minute, Takamura realizes the purpose of the exercises that the coach made him do and that he found useless. His speed has increased tenfold, his left has improved, and his right will allow him to knock out his opponent after only a few seconds…
Hajime no Ippo, Season 1 (anime, 2000–2002)
Ippo Makunouchi, a young student, helps his mother in the family fishing shop by carrying several boxes on the boat and sees everyone off for another day of hard work. The next day at school, he is invited to see a movie with some classmates. He is happy to be invited but refuses because he has to help in the shop. He then overhears his classmates making fun of him and returns home, saddened.
On the way back, he hears behind him, his classmates: Umezawa and his minions. After mocking Ippo for “his worm stench”, they kicked him under a bridge, and started kicking him. He implies that Ippo’s mother must stink like him, causing Ippo to glare at him. The school bully showed the young man that he didn’t like it, and gave him another blow.
As they continue, a man suddenly runs past, and goes to save Ippo. Umezawa and his group attempt to attack him, but he easily dodges their blows and steals their uniform buttons in the process. This action shocked them, and they therefore decided to flee. In bad shape, the young man looked at his “savior”, and expressed a feeling of relief, and said only one word: incredible.
He subsequently fainted. When he woke up, Ippo found himself in a boxing club: Club Kamogawa. Takamura, the man who saved him, tells him that he brought him here to treat his wounds and quickly tells him to go back home, because he doesn’t like people who get hit without reacting. Sad and dejected, Makunouchi leaves crying.
Takamura, moved, caught up with him and offered him the chance to punch in a punching bag. Ippo’s first punch was very weak, but after some explanation from the professional boxer, he tried his luck again, and landed a punch, revealing his devastating strength…
Hajime no Ippo: “Mashiba vs. Kimura” (OVA, 2003)
Tatsuya Kimura finally has his championship match at the annual Carnival of Champions. Now, however, he must face the intense Junior Lightweight JBC champion in the Grim Reaper Ryō Mashiba, an opponent even Ippo struggled to defeat in the Rookie King tournament.
To win, Kimura needs the help of an opponent who lost to Mashiba in the same Rookie King tournament in the past, Ichiro Miyata. Will Miyata be ready to help when he has an upcoming OPBF featherweight title match? Can Kimura do what it takes?
Hajime no Ippo: “Champion Road” (television film, 2003)
Ippo’s first fight in defense of the featherweight belt was imminent. In doing so, Ippo and Coach Kamogawa had practiced and practiced until the day they were going to fight. Everyone had come that day, but it didn’t matter to Ippo except that he felt under pressure. While under pressure, Kazuki Sanada (former champion) and the doctor had already felt the pressure from Ippo. This took Ippo by surprise and Sanada used the Hien.
But in the end, Dankichi Hama had told Sanada of a deadly technique. Sanada stood up and dodged all of Ippo’s attacks causing Sanada to punch Ippo’s stomach. Coach Kamogawa saw what he was doing and Ippo explained what he does, and what he does is he weakens the legs a lot. But then Ippo couldn’t get up until he told Coach Kamogawa to pat his back to wake up his legs.
When Kamogawa actually slapped him on the back, Ippo then immediately got up, then went to Sanada and did the Gazelle Punch for a finish, then did the Dempsey Roll. In the role of Dempsey, he had hit him several times, but he was always on his feet. And just when Sanada was about to knock Ippo out, he froze and fell to the ground. When he fell to the ground, the referee stopped the count and Ippo successfully defended his belt.
Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, Season 2 (anime, 2009)
The first episode of season 2 begins with a look back at the final moments of the Champion Road OVA fight between Ippo and Sanada. After a hard-fought fight, Ippo emerges victorious in his first title defense. Following this, it is a familiar Ippo that we discover, helping his mother as before to run the family fishing boat rental business.
Only one thing has changed, he is now recognized as a confirmed champion, a status he finds difficult to assume. At the Kamogawa club, we find the whole fine team: coach Kamogawa, Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura. During a brief interview with his assistants Yagi and Shinoda, the coach announces the goal: he expects his boxers to reach new heights and reserves for them the most rigorous training to achieve this.
In the showers, Takamura and Aoki corner Ippo on his relationship with Kumi and advise him to take advantage of his rising notoriety to confess his feelings. Upon returning from their shower, they find Kimura getting ready to go to a practice match. And his opponent is none other than Miyata! This one, ranked No. 1 in the OBPF ranking, is preparing to face the champion.
Ippo then remembers their meeting, their record remaining at one victory, one defeat each, and the beauty they promised each other. A promise which, like a common thread, pushes them to move forward and to overcome themselves over the course of the fights in order to finally one day be able to respect it.
Kimura and Miyata begin to spar. It is clear that something is not normal. Kimura manages to put Miyata down 3 times in a row, and this is so easily done that he asks him not to hold back. Unfortunately, Miyata gives it all. But as his father explains to Kimura, he faces a physically impaired boxer. All this is due to a draconian diet, pushing his body beyond its limits.
Both agree that Miyata could express his full talent in another weight class. Miyata cuts the discussion short and tells them that in the ring he will make them swallow their words and see that, despite diminishing him physically, his diet makes his punches sharper and develops his concentration…
Hajime no Ippo: Rising, Season 3 (anime, 2013–2014)
That night, the boat sank to the sea, and Kazuo Makunouchi, determined to save everyone, sacrificed his life for his comrades. The scene then shows Kazuo’s funeral, followed by Ippo not coming to terms with his father’s death until he finds his father’s hat leading him into the harbor. At this point, Hiroko gets his boat license and starts the business.
The season begins with Ippo reliving some memories of his father, his childhood, and a promise he and his father made. Ippo and Kamogawa begin intensive training for the next title defense. Iwao Shimabukuro is shown underwater for 13 minutes, after which he talks to his trainer about Ippo and how he will drag him into the depths of the sea and destroy the Dempsey Roll.
In short, it features the Champion Carnival, where Shimabukuro and Ippo compete for the title. This is the first time that Ippo has to fight someone smaller than him and probably stronger. The fight started slowly, with both fighters being very cautious, with Ippo being the first boxer to land a hit. Soon, Shimabukuro pulls Ippo back to a corner and starts a fight in the corner.
Ippo is soon surprised when Shimabukuro uses a Gazelle Punch on Ippo. Ippo is soon overpowered and demands full hand-to-hand combat. Both boxers strike to the center of the ring, both evenly matched, ending the first round. Round two begins, and Shimabukuro is confident about dragging Ippo to the bottom of the sea.
He moves on to round five when both boxers are still even, and Ippo hits Shimabukuro with a clean uppercut and barrage, which Shimabukuro counters. Ippo’s face turns blue from cyanosis mid-fight…