Awesome Series: 12. Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (Boys into Men! – Shonen Week!)

First off, why New Challenger? Just because I like the song a tiny tiny bit more then the original Ippo themes. That is it.  Also I know Ippo did not run in Weekly Shonen Jump but in Weekly Shonen Magazine, that still counts in the rules of Shonen Week. The main reason I am doing Hajime no Ippo, or Fighting Spirt now is becasue it shares something with YuYu Hakusho. They both started in the same year, that same year also happens to be the year I was born; 1990. Why am I bringing this up at all? ! Why does it matter what year a sereis started? Well for Ippo in particular, is because the series started one day after I was born (It started on February 17th.) The series started in Japan, and the time difference bettween Japan and here is 13 hours and I was born at night. Which means Hajime no Ippo and I were born in the same 24 hour span. I think that is kind of cool.

I honestaly have not seen a great deal of Hajime no Ippo, maybe ten or so episodes of the original seires. I did really like what I have seen and heard about it (I have a friend who was really into it for a while). I will get around to it one day because I do really love a lot of sports anime. Heck, Eyeshield 21 may be my favourite manga. On a side note, I wish the manga or New Challenger would get licensed here but I 100% understand why it does not. It makes me sad that fans here in North America wont give sports shows a try just because they are “sports shows”. Let me tell you something kids! Sports anime and manga are as “shonen” as it gets. Most of the time they are much more well written and have better characters then things like Naruto, Bleach or D. Gray Man. Now I am not slamming those things. I am saying that if you like those kinds of things there is NO reason you would not like stuff like Ippo or Eyeshied. Because just like in things like Naruto, the story is not about being a ninja it is about the characters with a ninja theme. Hajime no Ippo is the same it is about characters with a boxing theme. Instead of throwing fire balls they throw punches in a ring.

MADHouse really looks like the put their best efforts into Ippo be it the older series or New Challenger. I like that they did not change the character designs to try and make it more “Shonen-ie” as it were. Though as far as I know stuff like Ippo is very popular in Japan, I just wish it was here too  I really want to see more stuff like Ippo come out of Japan in the future. Yes we did just get Cross Game (though not shonen it is very, very good) but I want to see the next sports show that is over the top like Eyeshield and has awesome animation like Ippo. I know I will love that series when it comes. I’ll be waiting Japan! I will be waiting! Everyone start spreading the word about how awesome sports anime can be! People will listen one day, if they want to see true shonen, true boys turning into men material they will watch stuff like Hajime no Ippo!

Awesome Theme: 6. GTO

GTO or Great Teacher Onizuka is one of those anime that I remember loving very much as I watched it. Now I don’t really remember too much from it aside from some gags and plot points. My opinions on what is funny and what makes a good show has changed a lot since I was in high school, the time when I saw GTO. One of the reasons I remember GTO fondly is because I have a friend whom in high school, his dream was to become GTB (Great Teacher Ben). I may not remember all of what happened in GTO but when I think about it I get really positive feelings and memories and inset that the greatest achievement of all storytelling in general? I think GTO as a character is awesome, maybe not very original but still awesome in how he is handled. A super badass who does what he wants when he wants and has a heart of gold but is also super broke, down on his luck and no one respects him. I respect you fictional teacher Onizuka. This song is pretty sweet too. I believe it is the first L’Arc-en-Ciel song to come up on this list so far, one of their best I think. There is also something about the video really striking to me and really melds well with me  aesthetically. I think it might be the way the animation flows and the camera movies. I want to get around to watching it again one day, maybe in a year or two. Eikichi Onizuka much like Koji Kabuto, will never die.

PS: one of the funniest things about GTO is that the kid that always got picked on and stuff had a t-shirt that he had all the time and it said “LOSER” on it. It always made me giggle.