Story – 10/10
Hajime no Ippo is a sports/boxing anime. The story itself is very captivating and exciting. In addition, there is plenty of comedy to go around and also lots of great boxing stories/matches. It is quite realistic and displays the hard work of the cast to overcome many of the obstacles that present themselves in the story. Further, there is very few filler (if any) episodes; thus, the story flows rather smoothly from one to the next.
Animation – 9/10
Instead of comparing and grading the animation with the standards today, I am going to compare it with a popular anime at or around the time of its release (2000). Great Teacher Onizuka (1999) is a very similar inspiring anime that was released prior to Hajime no Ippo. Ippo’s animation is actually fairly good in its time. It does the job well and the character designs grow on you as you watch the series.
Characters – 10/10
Hajime no Ippo features a great cast of Makunochi, Kimura, Takamura, Aoki, and a few others. Each character is developed quite well throughout the series, thus creating lots of great personalities to embellish the setting with. I felt compassion and sympathy with the characters as they dealt with hardships, which is a testament to how unforgettable these characters will be.
Sound – 9/10
I found the OP and ED quite good to pump you up for the boxing battles. The Trigun-like similarity works well here as the scenes were also quite intense (especially the matches and training). Voice acting is top notch and did its job quite well.
Enjoyment – 10/10
I was never bored and went through 76 episodes in a flash (around 2 weeks). I highly enjoyed this boxing anime even though I am not a boxer. I do watch boxing sometimes, but I found myself throwing a jab or two while watching this show. So in addition to be a great show in itself, I also learned a little bit about the sport. I highly recommend this show for people looking for an inspiring anime who doesn’t mind boxing/sports. This show is a classic and one of my favorite shows of all time.
Average Series Rating – 9.6/10 – Classic