Netflix’s Newest Sports Anime Is One Of The Greatest Of All Time

By Jason Collins | Published

Following its success with different anime and anime adaptations, Netflix really doubled down on anime content, including bringing Scavengers Reign and The Seven Deadly Sins to its platform. But those aren’t the only high-tier anime available to the streamers; its newest sports anime, Hajime no Ippo, is widely regarded as one of the greatest sports anime of all time.

A Hero’s Boxing Journey

Hajime no Ippo is actually an adaptation of a popular Japanese manga that first began its serialization in 1989 and has since become one of the longest-running manga series, with over 130 published volumes. The story follows Ippo Makunouchi, a high school student who, after being frequently bullied, is introduced to the world of boxing by a professional boxer. In a true anime fashion, Ippo discovers that he has a talent for boxing, so he embarks on a journey to become a professional boxer.

Action Is True To Form

What makes Hajime no Ippo interesting is its accurate depiction of boxing, which makes it highly praised among anime-loving boxing enthusiasts. Everything from boxing techniques and training regimens to in-ring strategies is explained in great detail, which actually makes the series educational for those who aren’t really familiar with the sport.

In fact, its depiction of boxing had a significant impact on the sports anime genre in general, as it focused more on the technical and strategic aspects of the sport without sacrificing character development and personal arcs.

Indirectly Inspired Creed III

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Considering that Hajime no Ippo was first broadcast in Japan in 2000, it had plenty of time to do great things, like gain enough exposure to make boxing more appealing to the youth and gain enough popularity and recognition to be compared to other great anime, like Slam Dunk. A good chunk of that popularity could be attributed to its realistic depiction of boxing and the boxer’s mindset, particularly among enthusiasts who appreciate detailed fighting scenes. It’s so influential that it actually inspired some elements of Creed III.

A Vast Catalog To Dive Into

Netflix added the first season of Hajime no Ippo, subtitled The Fighting, just recently, with all 76 episodes currently available at the streamers. The first 75 episodes are English dubs, but the last one is actually a DVD-only special that only features English subtitles. The original series was subsequently followed by additional seasons, subtitled New Challenger and Rising, respectively, and cumulatively added another 50 episodes to the entire show, exploring the careers and lives of its characters.

Hajime No Ippo On Netflix

It’s currently unknown whether the subsequent season will make it to Netflix or not, so those who end up watching and liking the series will have to look elsewhere for seasons two and three. In the meantime, season one of Hajime no Ippo proves that Netflix is slowly becoming a more appealing space for anime fans. Admittedly, it can’t compete with Crunchyroll, but it doesn’t have to since the former caters to broader audiences, and the latter is very specific with its demographic target.

Those interested in watching Hajime no Ippo can catch the lion’s share of the show at the world’s largest streamer.