Kodansha’s K manga service announced on Tuesday that it has added George Morikawa’s iconic boxing manga, “Hajime no Ippo,” under the title “Hajime no Ippo: Fighting Spirit!” The initial offering includes the first 87 chapters, equivalent to 10 volumes of the manga, with a promise of new chapters premiering weekly.
This marks the inaugural official English release of the long-running series in the Western market.
K MANGA introduces the narrative:
“What does it feel like to possess true strength?” This is the pivotal question in the life of Ippo Makunouchi, a high-school student burdened by clumsiness and the target of relentless bullies.
However, a chance encounter with professional boxer Mamoru Takamura ignites a latent explosive power within him! Fueled by dreams of sharing the professional ranks with Takamura, Ippo embarks on his journey at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, where he seeks genuine strength both within and outside the boxing ring.
With the release of the manga’s 138th compiled volume on July 14, it has achieved a remarkable circulation of over 100 million copies. Morikawa, the creator, expressed profound gratitude to the manga’s dedicated fans and revealed that the story is only “halfway through,” earnestly requesting their continued support.
Morikawa originally launched “Hajime no Ippo” in 1989, making it his sole manga creation.
The manga’s immense popularity led to a television anime adaptation in 2000, followed by the sequel, “Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger,” in 2009 and “Hajime no Ippo Rising” in 2013. Additionally, the series spawned the “Hajime no Ippo – Champion Road” special and the “Hajime no Ippo – Mashiba vs. Kimura” original video anime in 2003.
The first season of the anime was released on DVD in North America under the title “Fighting Spirit” by Geneon Entertainment before their cessation of operations in 2007.
Discotek obtained the license for the initial anime and made it available on Blu-ray Disc. Currently, Crunchyroll offers streaming services for both the original anime adaptation and “Hajime no Ippo Rising.”
In a testament to its enduring popularity, the manga also saw its first stage play adaptation in 2020. Kodansha initiated the digital release of the manga in 2021.
Source | K MANGA’s Twitter account