I think I can now remember why it’s been such a big gap: I’m not exactly a sports fan so watching a lot of episodes that would essentially be watching a sports event takes a lot to get me interested. Same with anything related to the nuts and bolts of sports training.
Now, to give Hajime no Ippo credit, it did keep me interested for pretty much the entire run. There were only two time where this show failed for me: the flashback episodes and the general love story between Ippo and Kumi. This makes it sound that this show had poorly constructed characters, which isn’t true at all.
The thing that keeps you watching is Ippo himself. He starts out as a nobody who is bullied at school and he turns to the world of boxing to both gain confidence and find his purpose. He is your typical shy, clumsy and endearing underdog who finds out that he is a natural at boxing.
It feels like it could be a little by the numbers since it is obvious that Ippo will be the champion by the end of the series. However, there are enough diversions along the way, including a rather devastating loss and a boxing match with a bear, that meant I kept watching this show rather than giving it up… unlike One Piece which managed to turn me off very quickly.
I guess that the mix of the characters and the sense of humour was enough to keep me going. Also, I feel that I have learned an awful lot about boxing. However, 75 episodes is a lot to binge on any show let alone one about a subject that you don’t exactly have a lot of interest in.
At the end of the day I honestly did think that Hajime no Ippo was a good show, but I probably should have interspersed this with another lighter anime or at least something completely different like Aria or Space Brothers. I don’t know what I’ll be watching next but I know that I’ll need a break from sports anime for a little while.