|10-17-2008, 10:22 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Warabi-shi, Saitama-ken, Japan
Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs Kimura
Hajime no Ippo - Mashiba vs Kimura
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YouTube - GrapplerJMo Anime Review Hajime no Ippo Mashiba vs Kimura
Story and Characters
It is the season for champions of Japan to defend their title against the number one contender. However, in the case of the feared and vicious Jr. Lightweight champion Mashiba Ryo, both the top two fighters turn the offer down and number three has stepped up to the plate. And who is our next contender? Ippo’s gym mate, Kimura Tatsuya. Kimura is aware that Mashiba is a dangerous fighter and knows what’s at stake. For the time being, Kimura seeks the help of Ippo’s rival, and the current number one contender for the OPBF title, devastating counter specialist, Miyata Ichiro. Miyata is a little hesitant at first but decides to train with Kimura saying his style is like the current champion. As a condition, Miyata then shows that he is also capable of using Mashiba’s vicious hitman style. Kimura has all the tools to be a perfect boxer, but he lacks a special move that will allow him to claim the title. Throughout his training Kimura will now learn to prepare for what could be the final fight of his career.
Remember how I say that when you get to the end of the first anime series, it’s truly the beginning? This oav is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. It finally further gives the other characters deeper opportunities to develop and to be taken seriously. Especially in the case of Kimura who’s primary function has always been comic relief. It’s nice that the oav of course centers around on Kimura and you only view Ippo from a 3rd hand perspective which I thought was an interesting twist since he’s the main character. You really get to see how much boxing really means to Kimura and you really see him work hard for this opportunity to defy the odds. Aoki who is also primarily used for comic relief is also taken seriously and you truly start to care for these two crazy guys. You really feel how Aoki treasures his friendship with Kimura, and that he’s with him all the way. Also as a Miyata fan boy, I also appreciated how this anime makes great use for him in this oav and I thought it was really cool he could use the hitman style like Mashiba as well. Anyway, that’s all I can say except I give the story and characters for this oav, a 9/10.
Art and Animation
Well, what I can say about the quality of the resolution and character design of this anime I already said in my review of Championship Road, which you can watch so I’ll leave this portion to the review to the execution of the fights. The sparring sessions Miyata and Kimura have are intense and it creates a sense of anticipation of how Kimura will do come the time the bell rings. The Detroit Hitman Style may come across as unrealistic to those who may not be familiar with boxing, when in fact it’s based on a style used by Thomas Hearns, who has fought in many of boxing’s greatest bouts in the 1980s against Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Marvin Hagler. If you look up his fights, then you’ll see how freakish his speed and reach really is. The fights are still intense and you can truly feel the passion these fighters have as they come closer to either victory or defeat. The overall quality of this fight is probably on the level of the Rocky Balboa and Mason Dixon fight which is why I give the art and animation a 9.5/10.
Music and Voice Acting
Fujiwara Keiji, the voice of Shingo from Initial D, Eledore from Gundam 08th MS team, and Reno from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children who voices Kimura brings a whole new stand out quality to his character thanks to the opportunities that this oav centers around him. Fujiwara always tends to play smart-ass characters but he plays Kimura in a way where you can finally take him seriously as if he were real. Same with Takagi Wataru, the voice of Garoad from Gundam X, Onizuka from GTO, and Tobi from Naruto Shippuden as Aoki is given these kinds of opportunities as well as a main supporting character. So you’re getting a truly dedicated kind of acting that is required for this particular story arc.
The music specifically Inner Light, the 2nd opening theme song, is once again in use as well as the soundtrack from the TV series. No new additions is made which may be a bad point for some people, but I felt the current soundtrack was sufficient enough to give the music and voice acting, another 9.5/10.
This oav is a true representation of what Hajime no Ippo is all about. An excellent story, a wonderful cast of characters you can feel for and relate to, and an intense soundtrack. All I can say is I’m glad there’s going to be a season 2 and I can’t wait for it and I’m sure if you watch this, then this will pump you, until then, I give this oav a 9.25/10.
Be sure to check out: www.youtube.com/hajimenojmo and his top 50 anime at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngwg5N5APw
Last edited by rockenroll4life; 10-28-2008 at 03:43 PM.