Kodansha’s K Manga online library has announced that this extremely popular boxing manga, Hajime no ippo just arrived on its website. Currently, the series has only published 10 volumes, but K Manga promises to release new chapters every week. With any luck, readers will finally get to see the full story of Ippo Makunouchi in official English.
Hajime no Ippo is easily one of the most recognizable sports stories to come out of Japan and has given fans an ongoing manga series spanning over a hundred volumes, along with an anime adaptation equally long. Despite its influence, it only officially became available in the West and in English with K Manga releases.
The first 10 episodes of Hajime no Ippo are available in English for the first time
K Drama has its own official synopsis for the drama:
What does it feel like to be strong? That’s the question on the mind of Ippo Makunouchi, a clumsy and often bullied high school student. But when he comes across professional boxer Mamoru Takamura, it’s not long before the explosives in his fist are released! Dreaming of joining Takamura in the professional ranks, Ippo joins him at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym—and there his quest for true strength begins, in and out of the ring!
The official news was released on September 26 via K Manga’s official X Account, which proudly announced that they are currently hosting the first 87 chapters of Hajime no Ippo, with the subtitle “ Fighting spirit!” to match the original localized title from the anime. This is equivalent to the first ten volumes of the series which has reached 138 volumes and is still counting; Author Joji Morikawa himself confirmed that the story is only half completed. What’s surprising is that despite being published since 1989 and even having an anime adaptation released and localized in the early 2000s, this manga has only now been localized in English. .
Hajime no Ippo is a highly influential Shonen manga
Suffice it to say that this is a big boon for Kodansha and K Manga. Hajime no Ippo is an extremely important manga series, one of the most famous combining sports and fighting. Morikawa showed how many of the conventions of the shounen genre – training stages, special techniques and sideline commentators – also lend themselves well to sporting events. Boxing may be “mediocre” but all it takes is a little exaggeration to make it as exciting as any Naruto fight. Combined with excellent character development and a large, recognizable cast, it’s no surprise that Ippo now has 100 million copies in circulation.
The weekly updates are a good sign that K Manga fully intends to cater to a new Western audience despite being years behind Japanese readers. Even if the English chapters lag behind, readers will still find new storylines in the end. While many fans follow the anime, the last episode of Madhouse was in 2014, meaning the manga has nearly a decade’s worth of additional material. Anyway, the internet now has an official source for more Ippo Makunouchi. This year is the ideal time to choose Hajime no ippo again, because now the story can be followed from beginning to end.
Source: K Manga (X account)