The Post-War Arc (戦後編, Sengo-hen) is the twenty-first story arc in the series, the seventh in the New Challenger Saga, and the last in both the saga and the first part of the story, closing the first part of the series in the manga.
Taking place in post-World War II Tokyo, Japan, Kamogawa Genji and Nekota Ginpachi tells Makunouchi Ippo and Aoki Masaru a story of their younger selves, and Hama Dankichi in their last days as post-World War II prizefighters, but two encounters alter their destinies. One is with an American boxer, and the other is with a woman.
Post-World War II Era - Prizefighting and Boxing
While Kamogawa and Nekota are at the Pension Yoshio, they were visited by Makunouchi Ippo and Aoki Masaru, asking for Kamogawa tot go back to the gym as Takamura was causing trouble and spent money on statues of himself. Kamogawa decided to leave Takamura be. Ippo and Aoki then asked about a picture of a woman that they have, which Kamogawa answers that he came to visit the deceased woman named Yuki after promising to inform her when a boxer he taught got the world title. Ippo and Aoki then became interested in Kamogawa and Nekota's past as prizefighters after World War II. They then decided to tell Ippo and Aoki their past. Two years after the war while Japan was reconstructing after the war, Kamogawa, Nekota, and Hama Dankichi were prizefighters and close friends. Kamogawa and Nekota witnessed Dankichi being easily beaten by an American solider named Ralph Anderson in a match. When Anderson had his cornermen throw items on the ground for the Japanese to pick up, they were enraged of the Americans looking down on the Japanese. Kamogawa and Nekota then spotted Yuki, who did not pick anything up as she believed she would be throwing away her Japanese pride.
Later that night while talking about the differences of prizefighting and boxing, Kamogawa and Nekota came across Yuki again when she was being chased by Anderson and his cornermen. With Kamogawa and Nekota protecting her, Miguel Zale translated for Anderson, wanting them to hand over the women as he believed that Japan's only entertainment is fighting men and devouring women. Angry, Kamogawa and Nekota attempted to beat Anderson, however, they were outclassed by his counters. Satisfied by the confrontation, Anderson left, and Miguel warned the Japanese that while Anderson does not represent the entirety of America, they should not seek vengeance as their prizefighting and his boxing are two very different things. Yuki then apologises for having them get hurt for protecting her. Yuki introduced herself and Kamogawa invites her to stay at his home after learning that she does not have a place to stay, with Nekota also tagging along. While there, she expresses her love of sunflowers and cooks for the two prizefighters as they train and fight, while Anderson fights and continues to look down on the Japanese. One day, when Kamogawa and Nekota return home to eat, Nekota starts showing signs of a sickness as he chokes on his food and drops a glass of water due to his hand going numb and shaking. Kamogawa then finds out that Yuki is from Hiroshima after she throws up blood due to radiation poisoning. She reveals to him that she moved to Tokyo wanting hope and energy, and seeing Kamogawa and Nekota fight gave her courage to live. Kamogawa allows her to stay at his home forever to let her enjoy the time she has left.
Fighting With Strength Left to Spare - Nekota Ginpachi VS. Ralph Anderson
Later, Nekota returns home, gifting Yuki a dress and giving Kamogawa money to stop him from calling him a freeloader. Curious as to how he made money without fighting, Nekota reveals that he is a rickshaw driver. However, Nekota contently tips the rickshaw over during rides, gifts Yuki the same dress, and his hands keeps falling asleep, making him think something is wrong with him. After sparring with Kamogawa and avoiding all of his punches, he believes it is just temporary, and if he gives it time, he can go back to normal. Nekota then takes Yuki on a ride around Tokyo on his rickshaw. While riding, they come across Anderson beating another Japanese. When Yuki expresses her dislike of Anderson's fights, Nekota, not wanting to see Yuki looking down, asks if she wants to see a fight with strength left to spare, deciding that he will fight Anderson. Kamogawa and Dankichi discuss about Anderson, with Kamogawa not wanting to fight a battle he knows he would lose due to Anderson's weight class, noting how Japan's prizefighting will soon evolve into boxing with weight classes dividing further and new rules. However, they agree that Nekota would have the best chance against Anderson, though Kamogawa adds that taking punches from a larger sized man would break a person.
Nekota's symptoms get worse, but continues to hide it from Kamogawa and Yuki. When the sunflowers begin to wilt near Kamogawa home as Summer comes close to ending, Yuki hopes that she will be able to see them next year. Kamogawa mentions how it would make Nekota sad, as his feelings toward her are obvious, but Yuki stops him, asking if he noticed her feelings. As Kamogawa does roadwork, angered at himself as he does not want to betray the feelings of his best friend, Nekota returns home and reveals to Yuki that he will fight Anderson the next day, asking her to come watch and be with him at his home place after he wins as it would help her body through the radiation poisoning. The next day, as the match between Anderson and Nekota at the Kōdan Gymnasium is about to start, Nekota has trouble getting his bandages on his fist, but becomes stable enough when he arrives to the ring, wishing for Yuki to come watch the match. Elsewhere, Yuki tells Kamogawa that Nekota is fighting Anderson. Kamogawa shrugs it off until he learns about Nekota's strange actions as of late, concluding that he is Punch Drunk. Worried about his best friend, Kamogawa and Yuki rides to the Kōdan Gymnasium to stop him from any further injuries. When they arrive, they are shocked to see Anderson downed by Nekota on the third round. When Anderson gets back up, Nekota dodges his attacks while landing his own until the third round ends.
While Anderson wishes to not let the stars and stripes be tarnished no matter what, Nekota is glad to see Yuki watching him. When Nekota's cornerman, Dankichi, tells Nekota to get ready, he discovers that Nekota was sleeping, which Kamogawa recognises drifting in and out of drowsiness as a key sign of being Punch Drunk. When the fourth round begins, Nekota immediately is in the advantage, leading Anderson to drop his boxer's pride and commit a foul by using the Rabbit Punch. Nekota is hit on the back of his neck and goes down. Worried about Nekota, as hits to the back of the head can cause brain damage, and can damage Nekota's already damaged body further, Kamogawa advises Nekota to quit. Nekota gets back up, wanting to end the match decisively so he can move to the mountains so that Kamogawa does not find out the reason he is Punch Drunk was because he fought a fair fight with him and plans to have Yuki move in with him along with a big white dog. Anderson proceeds to brutally beat a helpless Nekota until Kamogawa forces the match to stop by moving between the two, then holds Nekota out of the ring. As Anderson boasts about how no one in Japan can defeat him and mocks the Japanese, Kamogawa lets him know that his fists are willing to fight him.
Kamogawa and Dankichi takes Nekota to the Stone Hospital, where it is revealed that Nekota is in serious condition and that his damages will remain for the rest of his life. Kamogawa realises that he is the cause of Nekota being Punch Drunk, and wishes to dispel Nekota's regrets when he wakes up.
Fists of Iron - Kamogawa Genji VS. Ralph Anderson
Kamogawa begins training for his match against Ralph. One of his training methods for body blows consists of punching a tree log into a hill with only his fists and gloves which puzzles Dankichi as to why he is going through such reckless training. Kamogawa informs Dankichi that he does not have Nekota's speed or natural instincts, so he has to use a single punch to finish Anderson. As Nekota's body blows were notable, Anderson begins training his body to be as hard as rock in case someone in Japan is as good as Nekota. On the day of the match, Dankichi goes to the place Kamogawa was training at to get him, however, Kamogawa was gone and the log he was punching was pushed all the way into the hill, making Dankichi believe Kamogawa's fists were born from an iron will, as if his fists were fists of iron. At the Stone Hospital, Kamogawa informs Yuki about him going to his match, requesting for her to stay at Nekota's side forever. When the match is about to begin, Kamogawa requests to Dankichi a smack on the face to boost his spirits up. When both fighters in the ring, the match begins with Anderson feeling as if Kamogawa is insulting him as he chooses to not beat him in speed, but go into a hitting match. Kamogawa goes toward Anderson and lands a punch on Anderson's block. The punch leaves a print of a fist on Anderson's blocking arm.
Nekota asks Yuki to take him to the Kōdan Gymnasium where Kamogawa is fighting to help him. When Miguel gave Anderson advice to avoid Kamogawa's body blows, Anderson begins to take the advantage from Kamogawa, who goes down many times after being outclassed in range. After the sixth round, Miguel advises for Anderson to use the Chopping Right to finish the match. In Kamogawa's corner when Nekota and Yuki arrives, Kamogawa realises the reason he is fighting is to not lose to them, as they continue struggling with their bodies, not knowing what could happen to them. Nekota then hits Kamogawa with the little strength he has, which fires him up as he never felt such a painful punch before. Before round seven begins, Nekota wants Kamogawa to take Anderson's right. Kamogawa, despite getting hit by powerful punches, stays standing and never backs down, using his iron will and courage. When their distance closes in, Anderson throws his Chopping Right, which hits Kamogawa's face. Thanks to taking Nekota's punch earlier, he stays standing and notices that when he uses the Chopping Right, Anderson's side is left open. Anderson then hits Kamogawa with another Chopping Right that almost causes Kamogawa to fall until Nekota requested for him not to fall. Anderson admits that Kamogawa is strong and throws another Chopping Right that hits, however, it slips on the blood on Kamogawa's face. Kamogawa then hits Anderson with a left body blow that does a great amount of damage on his ribs and breaks Kamogawa's left fist. Anderson blocks his face, thinking that Kamogawa is about to hit it with his right. However, Kamogawa uses his right to hit Anderson's body, causing him to go down. With both of Kamogawa's fists broken and Anderson unable to get up, the match ends with Kamogawa's victory.
Anderson is carried out in a stretcher due to his ribs piercing his internal organs as Miguel holds Kamogawa's hand up in victory. Miguel is surprised how Kamogawa broke his fists even before the match, and thinks that while the Japanese boxing community is underdeveloped, the man who inherits Kamogawa's blood will take boxing to a new level. Later, Nekota and Yuki gets on the train at the train station to leave for the mountains. Before it takes off, Nekota mentions to Yuki that it is her choice if she stays with him or not. Yuki walks out of the train to talk to Kamogawa, who expresses that he will devote his life to fighting. He then reminds her of what she said before about how flowers wither and leaves seeds, that will grow up in the future, claiming that he will sow the seeds and teach others what he and Nekota learned and report back to her when the one who inherits his fist takes the world championship. As the train leaves, Nekota screams out to Kamogawa, wishing to settle the score with him one day.
Back in the present, Ippo and Aoki are moved by the story, which Kamogawa wants to be kept secret from the other gym members. Kamogawa believes the promise is only half fulfilled, as Takamura was already born with fists of a fighter, which Nekota adds that Kamogawa only passed half of what he passed. Ippo goes to pray to Yuki as Nekota wishes for Yuki to remember Ippo, as he possesses the promised fists, while not sure what kind of flower Ippo will bloom into. When Aoki prays, Nekota mentions that she can forget about him. Kamogawa, Ippo, and Aoki then leaves the Pension Yoshio to head back to Tokyo, with Kamogawa wanting to come back to report when the rest of his promise is fulfilled.
- The anime changed the placement of this arc. In the manga, this arc was after the Battle of Hawk Arc and followed by the Submarine Wars Arc. In the anime, it took place in the third season after the A Passing Point Arc.
- The anime adaption of this arc was directed by Satoshi Nishimura, the director of the first season of the series.
- The anime adaption of this arc was produced mainly as a tribute to voice actors Kenji Utsumi for his Kamogawa Genji role, Ichirō Nagai for his Nekota Ginpachi role and everyone who loved this series.
|After the War Arc|
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