Hajime no Ippo Logo

Hajime no Ippo's logo.

Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩, Hajime no Ippo), also known as Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! and Fighting Spirit, is a manga by Morikawa Jouji with an anime TV adaptation. It follows the story of the main character, Makunouchi Ippo, who started boxing to answer one question: "What does it mean to be strong?".

Hajime no Ippo literally means "The First Step", but it is also a pun on main character Makunouchi Ippo's name (Hajime meaning "beginning" or "first" and Ippo meaning "one step").


See also: Manga Guide

The Hajime no Ippo manga currently has 128 volumes and 1300+ chapters and counting.

The manga began serialisation in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1989, Issue 43, and is currently still running. Weekly Shonen Magazine goes on sale every Wednesday, each week in Japan unless there is a double issue for holidays (Christmas, New Years, or Golden Week in late April/early May.) Each chapter of the series is marked as Round.

In 2012, Morikawa released volume 100 of Hajime no Ippo. a website was set up to help promote the event. Only 23 years after he started the series. In Issue 1 of Weekly Shōnen Magazine of 2013 (published on December 5th, 2012), Morikawa reached Round 1000 in volume 104. Friends and fellow mangaka of Morikawa helped celebrate the occasion. Morikawa did a few autograph signings, where he displayed some of his work.

In 2015, Kodansha started publishing their various magazines in a digital issues. However, Morikawa didn't want his series to be included with it. So Hajime no Ippo was not included with digital Weekly Shonen Magazine released online, or digital volumes sold.

Hajime No Ippo - The Glorius Stage

Hajime No Ippo - The Glorius Stage

In 2019, Hajime no Ippo celebrated its 30th year of serialisation. To honour the occasion, a series of books called Best Bout of Hajime no Ippo! were published based on the favourite matches and spars in the series.

Hajime no Ippo took part of an exhibit, Sports x Manga, that combines sports manga and technology to help promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics from 7/13/2019 to 9/29/19.[1] It was just one of a hundred different sports manga series involved with the event, where it had interactive exhibits. The Hajime no Ippo exhibit offers a person the chance to catch ten leaves with jabs.

It was revealed in the issue 36-37 of Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 2019 that George Morikawa's Hajime no Ippo boxing manga was inspiring its first stage play, Hajime no Ippo: The Glorious Stage!! in January 2020.[2] The play featured the beginning of the manga.

From November 16, 2019 to December 1, 2019, an original art exhibition was set to be held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hajime no Ippo serialisation in Seibu Shibuya Branch Movida Building 6F in the Special Venue.[3] The Ohara art exhibition showed raw manuscripts of Hajime no Ippo and colour original drawings.

Hajime no Ippo reached its 1300th chapter on May 27, 2020 in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine's 26th issue. In celebration, a "Wonderful Present Campaign" was held, where buyers of the issue would take part in a lottery to win prizes consisting of Quo Cards and Clear Files of Hajime no Ippo illustrations. A total of 150 people can win, with a lucky 100 people winning a set of two Quo Cards of the Weekly Shōnen Magazine's 26th issue cover and colour double page of Round 1300.[4]

Hajime no Ippo Manga Around the World
Country Name Licensed By Cover
China The Fighting (第一神拳) Dongli
Chinese Cover 59
France Ippo, La Rage De Vaincre Kurokawa
French Cover 01
South Korea The Fighting (더 화이팅) Chance Comics
Korean Cover 100
Thailand ก้าวแรกสู่สังเวียน Vibulkij Comics
Thailand cover 109


See also: Anime Guide

The anime series is produced by Madhouse, Nippon TV and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura. The first season with 76 episodes, Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting!, ran on the Nippon Television Network from October 3, 2000 to March 26, 2002.

In April 2003, the first season was released in North America by Geneon (called Fighting Spirit). (Note - Episode 76 was not included since that was a DVD extra in Japan where it was not dubbed.) A TV film and OVA was produced in 2003 before releasing a second season, Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger, in January 2009 until June 2009. The third season, Hajime no Ippo: Rising was then released in October 2013 until March 2014.

The Hajime no Ippo anime currently has three seasons, one TV film and one OVA.


The flagship series of Weekly Shonen Magazine, Hajime no Ippo has sold over 96 million copies as of 2020. It reached 96 million in August 2019.[5] In 1991, Morikawa won the 15th Kodansha Manga Award for Shōnen Manga.

Weekly Shōnen Magazine published the 1000th chapter of Hajime no Ippo in its Issue 1-2013. Other mangakas such as Aoyama Gosho of Detective Conan, Takehiki-Inoue of Slam Dunk, Kentaro Miura of Berserk, Takahashi Rumiko of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha gave their greetings. It surpassed Koutarou Makaritooru (ended at 51 volumes) as the longest running series in Shōnen Magazine history, and is the 2nd longest running sports manga still being serialised (the first is Abu-san, which has been in serialisation since 1973).


Main Article: List of Hajime no Ippo characters
Hajime no Ippo Characters
Kamogawa Boxing Gym Friends of Ippo Rivals

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