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Hajime no Ippo: Rising Anime Cover

Score: 8.62/10

Synopsis

Japanese Featherweight Champion Makunouchi Ippo has defended his title belt once more with the help of his devastating signature move: the Dempsey Roll. However, new challengers are rising up left and right, claiming to have an answer for the move responsible for crushing his opponents. Will Ippo be able to step up to the challenge, or will the weight of his pride destroy him before he finds out just what it means to be strong? Meanwhile, fellow Kamogawa Gym mate Aoki Masaru is just a hop, skip, and a Frog Punch away from claiming his own belt, ready to take on the Japanese Lightweight Champion! Hajime no Ippo: Rising continues Ippo's quest to become stronger, featuring the same cast of loveable dimwits from Kamogawa Gym, as they put their bodies and hearts on the line to make their way in the harsh world of professional boxing. With a will of iron, Ippo steps into the ring once again. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Hajime no Ippo:Rising continues the story presented in the previous 2 seasons. This 3rd season was just a distant shadow of what Hajime no Ippo once was.
After the first season ended the series went downhill, not in animation quallity but in the material.

Story: 6/10
I wish I could rate this a 9/10 as I did for the first season, unfortunately that will not happen and here is why.
– Why the heck is this show named “Hajime no Ippo” and not “Hajime no Everyone Else”? Ippo did not get any attention in this season, with just one single fight animated I was dissapointed to say the least. Like in the season 2 of the series, the story is not focused on Ippo’s character. Out of 26 episodes, there are around 2 showing Ippo’s only fight and about 1 more showing his training and state of mind.
– There was not one fight that I enjoyed this season, not even Takamura’s world title match against Eagle, since his opponent was a classic boxer and there was no real tension, like in the Takamura-Hawk fight.
– The story brings nothing new to the table, the same routine, Takamura getting another world champion belt, Ippo defending his title as the Featherweight Champion of Japan, Aoki and Kimura just goofing around with their fights and so on.
– The comedy and humour are as good as always but the story itself is repetitive.
– What is the greatest power/ability in Hajime no Ippo? The answer to that question is: Being a main character. After being facefucked rapidly Ippo is still fighting like nothing ever happened, the only explanation being either “he has the Japanese fighting spirit” or “those eyes are glowing green”.
– The show has gotten extremly unrealistic. A boxer can get hit by a truck 40 times and still get up if he is japanese and has “the japanese fighting spirit”. Give me a fucking break!
– Wasn’t Kumi supposed to become Ippo’s girlfriend? They spend the night in the same room, they went on multiple dates, they went to the beach togheteher, etc. It has been 3-4 years since Ippo met Kumi, did they forget about how much Ippo likes Kumi and umi likes Ippo? Well, I guess the answer is “fuck that, who remembers it”
– During the previous 2 season it was made clear that Ippo had the most destructive punches in all Japan. That creates the question: Why does a fighter that has such great power but lacks the skill or defense to become a great champion and a World Title challenger need and focuses on a predictable and risky tehnique such as the “demsey role” that aims to put even more power in his punches at the cost of possibly getting KO’d? Why does a strong fighter that constantly gets beaten up focuses on increasing his ofense and not on his dodging/defense skills? Why does it take 20 of Ippo’s strongest punches to take down his opponent? This has gotten to the point that it is annoingly stupid… I do know that the “dempsey roll” is a technique Ippo came up with after his only deafeat and that may be a reason for his passion and obsesion with it but those are not the actions of a professional boxer therefore proving Ippo does not have the mind of a professional boxer.
– The way Ippo fights, constantly getting severly injured in every fight would lead to his early retirement due to severe brain damage, fact that is stated in the anime as well, but no countermeasures are taken against it nor any side effects take form. No matter how hard Ippo get punched, the next day he will be good as new.
– After Sawamura fought dirty and commited many fouls (hitting Ippo while he was down, elbowing, etc.) and the spectators constantly booed him, when the predictable win of Ippo happened, the crowd started cheering for Sawamura, yelling “you did great Sawamura”; “come to the Hall anytime”; “we’ll have your back”; “great fight”. The writer needs to take a breath and sort his shit out before writing anything, in what world would that happen?
– In season 2, Ippo’s coach said “from now on, it’s time to challenge modern boxing itself” but nothing of that sort happened in season 3.
– Ippo dosen’t have a clear gole anymore. Ippo’s original goal was to find “what it means to be strong” then Ippo’s goal was to become the Champion and then he received from Date the duty and challenge of defeating the Featherweight World Champion, Ricardo Martinez, the superchampion with no losses and more than 64 wins by KO. Did Ippo forget about all that?
– I enjoyed the background story of Ippo’s coach, but it was not the right time for it to pe showed.

Characters: 6/10
The characters do not get any development, they still have various diffrent personalities but nothing new about them has been shown after the first/second season ended.

I am truly disappointed by Ippo’s character. Ippo has zero character development, he is the same old, easily intimidated school boy, he is the same guy as in the first season.
In the gym Ippo is all fired up but as soon as he gets in the ring he is scared of everything. Can’t he fight like a real Champion where he only gets grazed, where he performs impressive dodges and does shocking things that make his opponent back the fuck up and carefully think about his next move? No, after 3 seasons I guess it will never happen.

At one point, the bad and “evil” Sawamura punches Kumi (Ippo’s future girfriend) and Ippo does nothing but prevents Kumi’s brother form taking revenge. Yeah, a real main character Ippo has become, cowering before just about anyone.
Ippo is not a good boxer skill wise, he is just a caveman with boxing gloves, his fights and skills are not improving much, he gets hit by any no-name boxer, Ex: he gets injured by a fisherman boxer, he gets beat up by his former apprentice that has only boxed for 2 years and the list goes on. The point is that no matter who Ippo’s opponent is, Ippo is going to get badly beaten up and then he will win by a KO. Repetitive much?

Sawamura’s character, the bad guy Ippo predictably defeated seems to be taken from a cartoon. Sawamura is one-dimensional, cliched, a Japanese copycat of Brian Hawk.

The main character of the series should have been either Takamura or Myata, they are much better main character material.

Animation: 8/10
The animation has not improved much compared to the 2nd season, that being said, the animation is still great and the fight are well coreographed.

Sound: 5/10
The opening theme is horrible, I always skipped it. The ending theme is decent, the OST is average, some of the actor’s voices are irritating.

Enjoyment: 6/10
I did not enjoy this season except for part of the jokes and the animation. For the little screen time Ippo received, I have had enough of seeing Ippo struggle with every nobody boxer. His matches are getting annoingly repetitive.

Overall: 6.4/10
This show did not start out unrealistic but has gotten progressively extremly unrealistic as it has gone to the point of being stupid. I would recommend this series just for the first season.

Representing a sports anime that have over two decades of history, Hajime no Ippo Rising returns in this third installation of its previous predecessors. It only takes one ring to bring together a collective cast of colorful characters, superstars of all shapes and sizes under one goal: to make a name of themselves and earn the respect of the world. Hajime no Ippo Rising accords for a perfect example of an anime based on the foundation of its theme not only in boxing but also in exploring the dynamics of its characters. It’s their time to rise and shine. Based off the manga of the same name, George Morikawa is famously known for his work known as Hajime no Ippo. The franchise has gained international attention for its exquisite presentation of the sports genre. Focusing on Ippo Makunouchi, the series has set itself as a leading paradigm to the development of his character. Not only does he get the spotlight but the show itself also explores its other cast members under one unity – the conception of boxing and its wonders. Being the holder of the Japanese Featherweight Champion holds a variety of meaning for Ippo. Responsibility comes as an archetypical word because top contenders will come after him. It’s his goal to defend his title, night after night, week after week, and possibly years after years. Ippo has already earned the respect of his peers but always strives to continuously aim for bigger heights. To do that, he faces off against powerful adversaries that truly tests his limits in the ring. Hajime no Ippo is known to explore characters both in and outside the ring for that matters. Well-developed stories also connects the characters together and formulates their development. For Ippo, it focuses both internally and externally on his character. This is extended by the clever usage of flashbacks involving his childhood. It’s a childhood that started out as pleasant but later turned cataclysmic after one faithful event relating to his father. We can feel Ippo’s emotions and what he’s been through that has left a painful scar in his mind. Whether in or outside the ring, Ippo identifies himself as a man of integrity – someone that stands out as a great example of a hardworking individual. The third season personifies his character in a way that is relatable and inspiring. Ippo isn’t the only character of this series though. Born from Tokyo, Japan, Takamura Mamoru returns to make his dream come true – to become the WBC champion of the world and eventually conquer all the other weight classes It’s no easy task with the opponents that he faces off such as David Eagle from America. In contrast with the brash boxer that Brian Hawk showed to the world, David stands out more as a motivator with an easygoing personality. There’s a sharp turn in this presentation as Takamura faces off an opponent that is respected for his mannerisms. At the same time, we witness first hand at how much Takamura improved since his most prominent matches from the previous season. No doubt too does Ippo improve with his abilities when he takes on opponents. It’s riveting to see how characters in this show make names for themselves by going through obstacles, battling their internal obstructions, and showing the world that anything can be achieved with purpose. Even Aoki Masuru gets his highlights in the series for his efforts. While largely downplayed as a mediocre competitor in the boxing world, Aoki’s development is almost instrumental thanks to his unorthodox skills. Despite being still presented as a comic relief on most occasions, Aoki learns the strenuous effort to make a name in the boxing world. He takes on opponents that puts him at the edge of struggling. However, it’s creative in this way to see Aoki in the ring from a different light. We tend to doubt Aoki’s skills but there’s no doubt the man has the guts to perform in front of an audience at his best. At the end of the day, Aoki is one of those guys that puts on a show you won’t forget whether it’s a win, loss, or draw. Even if he’s not the greatest sports entertainer in the world, Aoki represents a character of dignity for his efforts. Action returns as a classic style that Hajime no Ippo fans should be familiar with. From the moment the bell rings all the way until the last drop of sweat hits the ring stands for an intensely pushed match of integrity. Camera angles are aimed strategically in motions that focuses on every move the characters make. At the same time, the boxers show on their face the feelings of guts, boldness, audacity, courage, power, and experience. It defines these characters as visions of the future for their skill. After all, boxing is a difficult sport to master and perfect. It may take months, years, or a lifetime of training. Some of the characters may make the sport seem like easy but their guts shows more than just punching each other in the faces. It takes skill with various moves such as Ippo’s Dempsey Roll and risks too. Does anyone think becoming a champion is possible without taking a risk? Of course not. Character relationships still stands out as dynamic despite the intense focus on its competitions. In particular, we witness several cases of Ippo’s progression with his love interest, Mashiba Kumi. Unfortunately, the both of them doesn’t hit home base and their relationship doesn’t move forward much. Despite this, it’s clear that they share a mutual connection that can be bittersweet in a tough world of boxing. The Kamogawa Crew’s relationship also stands out as a promising connection between its members. At times, they can be interpreted as rivals. Other times, its members are like a brotherhood or even a family. Being without a father after coming out of childhood years, Ippo’s relationship with the crew becomes a prominent motivation for his character. The bromance and platonic closeness with its crew members stand out as team that unites each other despite some of their clashing ideologies. On most parts, Hajime no Ippo’s story classifies itself as development but some parts can also feel slow with its fillerish progression. A few episodes seems like a snooze in the breeze with little more than a typical slice-of-life value. While this isn’t entirely a drawback, it can be staggering and tests the patience of fans who are eagerly wants to watch what’s ahead. Romance doesn’t also hit anywhere in this third season so fans can give up the dreams of their ships. Some comedy bits also becomes stale or even a banality. Yet, there is also a different side to the third season featured prominently in the latter half of the show with its flashback dynamics. In essence, Hajime no Ippo Rising shines itself at best when it focuses on its characters and story. The other parts aren’t entirely back-stab but sometimes just doesn’t work out in this installation. The artwork stands out for its original design of the characters with improved artistic values. Most of the boxers classifies and distinguishing themselves with their styles. The battle scars and wounds serves as a proof of their journey as professional boxers. At the same time, there are characters that identity themselves as icons in the industry. Female characters aren’t a prominent feature but does offer credibility with their innocence, compassionate nature, and sometimes obsessiveness with certain factors. Soundtrack offers virtue that are defined by the characters with their abilities. Each of the characters’ voice mannerisms gives an impression of who they are. The OST matches well for every move, every match, and every episode with its instrumental score. Sound effects of connecting punches are vigorous and is dynamic with the results. The OP and ED song are coordinated with a parallelism with most of the characters’ journeys as a boxer. It gives a feeling of synergy between each match. The characters embraces their beliefs while trying to climbing to that ladder of world championship. Hajime no Ippo Rising isn’t this a show about throwing a punch into someone’s face. While you will witness a lot of that, the show explores characters in paths with compelling depth in a variety of ways. It’s amazing that in just a small ring that so much can be shown. Thanks to Hajime no Ippo, fans will not just see but learn about its concepts with its innovations. It’s not just experimental but inspiring to see how characters come so far with their dreams. That’s because boxing isn’t just a sport but also an art piece. The paintbrushes are the characters and the product represents its beauty for these rising superstars.

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