Best Watch Order for Hajime No Ippo

A surprisingly authentic, funny, emotional journey for a budding boxing pro.

by J.R. Waugh
Hajime No Ippo, the best boxing anime, has a tricky watch order if you’re looking to stream it.

Hajime No Ippo is an important manga published by Kodansha, later adapted into a hit anime series. The name means “The First Step” and was originally released in North America as Fighting Spirit. And this doesn’t hurt the concept, either, as it follows Ippo Makunouchi’s journey from bullied child to rising boxing star, with a balance of humor and inspirational heart. It feels surprisingly authentic as a coming-of-age boxing story, similar to how Hikaru No Go tells an engaging story of a budding Go prodigy. But you’ll want to know how to watch Hajime No Ippo in order for the best possible enjoyment.

How to Watch Hajime No Ippo in Order

The strengths of Hajime No Ippo lie in a healthy blend of sports entertainment and character development, which means it’s vital to watch in order for it to even make sense as a serialized anime. The franchise released several different series chronicling Ippo’s journey and interactions with various opponents, through which he grows and maintains his strong sense of humility throughout. It’s a triumphant journey of a lonely youth who discovers their calling, yet respects how much it takes to achieve your dreams, a common thread found in many Shonen series. Read on for the viewing order:

  • Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting! (Season 1)
  • Hajime No Ippo: Boxer No Kobushi (Special)
  • Hajime No Ippo: Champion Road (Special)
  • Hajime No Ippo: Mashiba vs. Kimura (OVA)
  • Hajime No Ippo: New Challenger (Season 2)
  • Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting! – Rising – (Season 3)

As you can see, the recommended viewing order includes the television specials and original video animation (OVA) as part of the viewing experience. Watching these in order is the best way to enjoy the series, but therein lies the rub: New Challenger and Boxer No Kobushi will be the hardest ones to watch as part of this order. While you can watch seasons 1, 3, and Champion Road as well as Mashiba vs. Kimura on Crunchyroll, there’s not a reasonable, legitimate way to watch season 2 just yet without learning some Japanese, although there are plenty of fansubs available if you look hard enough.

Hajime No Ippo debuted on October 11, 1989, in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine publication before getting its first anime adaptation on October 4, 2000. It is beloved as one of the best sports-related anime ever made.

- This article was updated on November 17th, 2022

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