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Every Hajime no Ippo anime & movie, how to watch them in order

Hajime no Ippo Season 3 banner

Hajime no Ippo is one of the longest-running active sports manga so naturally, it’s been adapted to anime, but watching it in order can be troublesome.

People adore sports manga, and no decade is complete without a sports series making its mark on anime and manga. From Slam Dunk to Haikyuu, sports manga resonate with many folks, especially when they star underdog protagonists. Hajime no Ippo stands out for not just making its mark on pop culture but still running after three decades of publication.

With the series now airing on streaming services alongside Baki Hanma, a new generation of fans will discover the series. But just like with Baki Hanma, figuring out how to approach the series is awkward due to the various names and distributors.

Full Hajime no Ippo watch order

Watching Hajime no Ippo in order is a process that covers both anime series and movies. This is a bit tricky due to the odd naming system of the franchise and how major story events are set aside for cinematic adaptations. The story itself is easy to get into when approached properly.

Here is every Hajime no Ippo anime adaptation, and the correct order to watch them:

  • Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting (series)
  • Hajime no Ippo: Mashiba vs Kimura – Execution (OVA)
  • Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road (TV special)
  • Hajime no Ippo New Challenger (series)
  • Hajime no Ippo Rising (series)

Every Hajime no Ippo anime adaptation so far

The Hajime no Ippo manga started in 1989 and has been broken up into several anime series Those adaptations didn’t begin until the turn of the century. In October 2000, on the manga’s 11th anniversary, it finally got its first animated series run. Here’s every single series, OVA, and TV special of Hajime no Ippo in chronological order:

Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting (2000)

Every season and movie afterward is technically just an extension of this 2000s show. The first season, titled “Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting,” covers the manga from its first chapter all the way to 268.

The story follows Ippo Makonouchi, an introverted high-school boy bullied by his schoolmates. He takes these insults in stride and focuses on helping his mother in their fishing boat business.

After a beating from the bullies, Ippo is rescued by Mamoru Takamura, a monster of a man who happens to be a professional boxer. Annoyed at Ippo’s weakness, Takamura brings him to the Kamogawa Gym to toughen him up. To the shock of the entire gym, Ippo throws a punch so hard it sends the bag flying. Thus begins Ippo’s journey to becoming a professional boxer. 

Hajime no Ippo: Mashiba vs Kimura – Execution (2003)

The second Hajime no Ippo anime adaptation is an OVA that covers chapters 270 to 289 of the manga, which is known among fans as the “Execution Arc.” Instead of Ippo, the arc follows fellow gym regular Tatsuya Kimura, a jack-of-all-trades journeyman. Kimura faces his strongest foe yet in the “Grim Reaper” Ryo Mashiba.

For fans, the OVA is a surprising change of pace after following Ippo for so long. Still, it’s fascinating to see how the mind of a more experienced and tactical boxer works versus Ippo’s gutsy style. 

Hajime No Ippo Champion Road

Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road (2003)

The TV Special Champion Road adapts chapters 290 to 314 of the manga. Fans return to the story of Makonouchi Ippo, who is now in pursuit of the featherweight championship. While Ippo has faced many tough foes in his climb to the top, the competition gets much stiffer over time.

Given the stakes of the arc, choosing to turn the event into a TV special makes perfect sense. This is Ippo’s first true “pay-per-view” match against the highly skilled Kazuki Sanada. Sanada is a boxer with hopes to become a doctor, which ironically makes him a genius at breaking down the human body. 

Hajime no Ippo New Challenger (2009)

Six years after the first season, New Challenger picks up right where Champion Road ends. The story adapts chapters 315 to 420 of the manga. Unlike the previous season, the story follows the career matches of Ippo’s contemporaries instead of just Ippo himself.

The arc covers Ichiro Miyata’s match against the “Bloody Cross” Arnie Gregory, Eiji Date’s retirement match against WBA featherweight champion Ricardo Martinez, and Mamoru Takamura’s match against the psychopathic Bryan Hawk.

Hajime No Ippo Rising

Hajime no Ippo Rising (2013)

The most recent season of the anime, Hajime no Ippo Rising, covers the chapter from 421 all the way to 558. Notably, the last three episodes of the season cover cut content from New Challenger, which explains why they take place further in the past than the rest of the season.

The season covers Masaru Aoki’s title match against Imae Katsutaka, Ippo’s two championship matches against Iwao Shimabukuro and Ryuhei Sawamura, and Takamura’s middleweight world title match against David Eagle.

There are no Hajime no Ippo anime announced after Rising. The manga is distributed by Kodansha in English, so fans in some regions can read it through their distribution services if they can’t wait to see what happens. The manga is well past 1,400 chapters at this point, meaning the anime hasn’t even covered half of the action yet.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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