How does it feel to be strong? This is the question that Ippo Makunouchi has wondered his entire life. Throughout his childhood, Ippo has been picked and bullied on. Not being able to hang out with his fellow classmates because he is too busy helping his mother run a fish boat store has made Ippo into a shy loner. Although Ippo hates being bullied, he hates himself even more because he does not know how to fight back. However, Ippo's world changes when he encounters Takamura Mamoru, a professional boxer.

Hajime no Ippo, created by Morikawa Jyoji in 1990, is one of best all around series I have seen, despite it being in the sports genre. The "root for the underdog" routine is taken to another level in this series. Not only will you be at the edge of your seat, you will also be laughing hysterically through most of the series. The characters are so great in Hajime no Ippo, I believe it has raised the bar for not just sport series (perhaps previously held by Slam Dunk!) but for every anime series! In fact, Hajime no Ippo is still so popular that the manga has been going on strong for almost a decade and a half! It now nears its 70th volume, which is something rarely ever seen!

Ippo's journey from a wimp to a strong boxer is a relatively straight forward one. After Ippo's encounter with Takamura, he is given advice on how to throw a strong punch. Ippo, perhaps even suprising himself, tears his right fist apart with a devastating blow to a sand bag. Takamura, along with everyone watching this spectacle, is in shock by Ippo's performance. Takamura soon discovers that Ippo actually has a very strong foundation, which is probably caused by lifting heavy objects at his family-run fishing business. Takamura, not one to invest much interest in some kid that might have just been lucky, simply gives advice and a tape to Ippo. The tape is of Mike Tyson, who was also picked on when he was a child, but then transformed into the heavy weight champion of the world. Ippo, now with lots of motivation, wants to become a boxer more then ever!

Ippo's transformation into a boxer begins with many tests that Takamura administers. Whether it be from quickly grasping leaves to a spar with a much more talented boxer, Ippo does not back away. Instead, Ippo meets each challenge head on with lots of motivation because now Ippo might find the answers to what he is looking for. And that is, of course, what is it to be strong? This is perhaps a simple question, but to Ippo it has much more meaning to it. Ippo is taken under the wing of the Kamogawa Gym, the gym where Takamura trains. And so begins Ippo Makunouchi's boxing career, and the start of one amazing anime series.

Until I create all the pages, there will be gaps and missing portal pages that transport people to certain pages. So until I make those, I will use this little area on the bottom to create the links of working pages.

First Fight, Second Fight, Manga