Hajime No Ippo has some of the most well written and introduced side characters I’ve ever seen in an anime. Side characters are difficult to implement perfectly however Ippo comes close by creating a lovable cast and having interesting antagonists (not villains) which have brilliant traits and backstories, making them interesting enough to be worth mentioning. These characters often fall under shounen tropes however their differences and backstories often make up for it, in a similar way to the villains of Berserk. The way the interesting villains of Berserk was structured is the same this will be structured, so let’s get into the side characters from the opening arc, the first rookie tournament and lead up. This will ultimately lead up to the final post about Ippo himself.
Ippo’s mum is a caring mother and works very hard for Ippo. She starts the series off by getting Ippo to help him despite her reluctance. Whilst she appreciates the help she is clearly worried for her son and wants him to lead a life which isn’t just working for her. She’s happy that Ippo wants to lead a new life and takes the responsibility off him because she can tell something’s changed.
She also quite visibly hates boxing, refusing to see Ippo play. This is because she doesn’t like the violence. She overcomes this conflict anyway by seeing Ippo’s passion she knows there’s no way she can stop him. She also gives him advice like thinking of his opponent as a fish and doing kind acts like letting him leave for his training camp.
Takemura and the Bullies
Thankfully these guys don’t have any sappy stories about why they beat people up. They’re just brash, big and enjoy fighting. They come across as mean spirited bullies initially but come to like Ippo once they learn how good of a boxer he is.
These guys are funny and the way they go to Ippo’s matches and cheer for him shows a progression of both their nature and Ippos prowess in the boxing ring.
Takamura is a boxer who’s advanced to be japans world champion and shows what Ippo aspires to become and what he hopes to achieve in the future. He’s insanely fun yet the attitude he has towards the others makes him shine brilliantly.
There is a moment where Ippo goes to his house to eat a meal. Whilst Ippo has an extremely filling dish all Takamura has is a tomato and Ippo asks if he’s not hungry for more. Takamura goes on to say that dieting is easy for a pro heavy weight yet behind the scenes this is clearly not true. Being able to put on this brilliant comedic face whilst suffering from your life style choices behind the scenes shows how manly he really is, not that his humour isn’t genuine but the fact that he can make others feel better and motivated whilst suffering greatly is pretty cool.
He does the same thing after his championship match, he fakes being well so that the others won’t be disheartened. People might look down on his nature of keeping everything bottled up but he’s manly enough to handle it and is motivated enough to become the very best that he thinks it’s worth it at the end of the day.
That’s all the characters for today, I want to keep these short so people don’t skip over everything and accidently ignore some brilliant character! This is also to test the waters, I don’t want to commit to a full series if nobody even likes this one!