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YMMV: Hajime No Ippo
  • Arc Fatigue: The match between Ippo and Woli is 30 chapters long, not counting Woli's introduction, and a good half of it is Ippo getting one-sidedly demolished by his opponent. Now try to read it one chapter a week (the publication rhythm in the Shonen Magazine). And suffer.
  • Ass Pull: There's a few fights that end like this, but the absolute worst offender is Miyata during his fight against Randy Boy Jr. Miyata comes up with not only a brand new counter on the spot, but it was after his ribs were broken, his stamina entirely spent, and spent a few rounds of getting pounded on. It's a unique counter he came up with on his own, and surpasses what his Father could do in his prime.
    • Ass Pull comes from Miyata's victory over ridiculous circumstances. The perfect counter had been a part of his storyline for ages, and really didn't come from nowhere.
    • In the Takamura vs. Eagle fight, Takamura is apparently able to close a bleeding eye cut with sheer will. A wound which bleeding Kamogawa couldn't stop. A wound that would've stopped the match right then and there. He then goes on to win the match while being completely blind.
    • Particularly bad in the fight with Woli. Somehow, all those tap goals Ippo was shooting for(literally drawn as him tapping Woli with a little puff of air) somehow all turn into a Tekken Punch that went COMPLETELY UNNOTICED and Woli is drawn as being magically held down by an Ippo spirit. Of course, this is combined with Ippo's usual invincibility to knockdowns, even after taking 50+ head punches that he himself called 'extremely sharp' - on top of this, his right eye is also COMPLETELY swollen shut and affects his vision... oh wait, no it doesn't, he still sees perfectly fine and has no issues at all. He then goes on to win, because we can't have Ippo losing, can we? Even his finally punch is an Ass Pull, because he swings his arm to parry Woli's hit, then the artist draws Ippo rearing back with his left... and then he somehow throws a right cross counter that Woli cannot dodge instead. Literally one of the worst Marty Stu examples for Ippo in the entire series.
  • Cry for the Devil - Mashiba is a fearsome boxer in the ring, shown as someone who would do anything to win. He gains infamy by stepping on Ichiro Miyata's foot to win in one of his very first fights. When he becomes the Junior Lightweight champion, he is nicknamed The Executioner due to his mercilessness in the ring. There's also the fact that Mashiba practically raised his sister Kumi ever since their parents died in an accident, so only she and one of his bosses know how hard Mashiba has worked to take care of her. The scene where this softer side of his' was shown as quite the Tear Jerker in the anime.
    • In the manga, Sawamura is also depicted as merciless and uncaring. In fact, he and Mashiba later meet in one of the dirtiest fights in the manga. It is later revealed that he had a violent childhood and was rejected by almost everyone while growing up.
  • Foe Yay: Ippo and Miyata. Ippo looks up to Miyata and knows virtually all his fight records and details. Poor Kumi has never inspired such devotion. Lampshaded by Ippo's gymmates, who often joke that Ippo is "gay for Miyata."
    • The fact that Ippo never retorts anything when other characters talk about his "lover", his "boyfriend" or how he "fell for him" doesn't help either
    • Some Yaoi Fangirls also consider this applicable to Ippo and Volg, who become good friends outside the ring. When Volg had to go back to Russia after losing two fights in a row, Ippo rushes to the airport to see him before he leaves. Volg gives his boxing gloves to Ippo, while Ippo cries as Volg is walking away. Then, later on, they live together for a few days, while Ippo helps set him up for his comeback in America, and they act almost like life long friends with each other. It's so bad for Volg he knows he has to leave soon or he'll never want to leave.
  • Game Breaker: Heartbreak Shot. Here you have a punch that basically stops time for the opponent. It's no wonder Date was undefeated during his reign as champion.
  • Iron Woobie: Volg. His backstory is just sad, and he struggles with his boxing career. In the latest chapters, he was only given his title shot on short notice, but he took it because he feels it's the only chance he has at making it big. Currently, it doesn't look hopeful, but hopefully he'll pull through in the end.
    • Sure enough, after probably one of the most uphill battles in the series, where it takes multiple rounds for Volg to land just one punch with any serious meat to it, he narrowly and decisively comes out victorious over Mike Elliot, just as everyone else had given up on him winning.
      • ...Except in Chapter 1004, the victory might be short-lived thanks to a corrupt ref.
      • Despite this interference, Volg manages to fight his way through to victory. That is what it means to be made of iron!
  • Jerkass Woobie: Sawamura. Kawabe certainly sees him as this.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Miguel Zail is a light version of this. He shows great analytical ability as well as genre savvyness during matches. He's not infallible or omniscient, but quick to catch up on the quirks of his boxers opponents. Kamogawa even calls him "sly dog" because of it.
  • Marty Stu: Takamura. His goal is to become the world champion across six different weight classes, and has so far breezed through two titles, while defending them with ease. This means that he is able to easily defeat world class opponents while being disadvantaged in that he has to keep his weight five weight classes lower than where he would be at his strongest. He managed to defeat the Philippine champion despite blotching his weight control so badly that he looked like a zombie. It's ironic that Morikawa spends so much effort portraying Ippo's steady climb in the boxing world and showing the effort it takes to compete at a world class level, while Takamura walks his way through two world championship titles. He even defeated a bear. Word of God outright stated that Takamura is the strongest boxer in the series. Keep in mind that this is even compared to the 68-0-0 undefeated "super champion" Ricardo Martinez.
  • Periphery Demographic: This is a show where half the characters are big, muscly dudes. YOU DO THE MATH!
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Two video games were released for PlayStation 2 in 2003 and 2005, the second being for the 15th anniversary of the series. Saying they were mediocre is speaking highly of them. The character designs are all but unrecognisable. The Nintendo Wii adaptation that came out in 2008 does little better.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Usually inverted when Japan cheers for Takamura as Takamura's portrayed as the villain in fights. However, it's played straight in his fight against Peter Rabbitson. After 10 long rounds of Takamura swinging and missing and Peter Rabbitson dodging and avoiding without even trying to attack, the crowd gets fed up and starts to cheer for Rabbitson instead of Takamura, despite the fact that Takamura's loss means there will be no longer be an international champion from Japan. Of course, in the end Rabbitson ends up losing by an Ass Pull by Takamura.
  • Signature Scene - The scene where Ippo defeats Sendou with the Dempsey Roll has become so iconic that any work that has a Shout Out to Ippo will include an attack just like his Dempsey Roll. Street Fighter IV's Dudley uses a Dempsey Roll shot for shot like Ippo's, as well as Tekken's Steve Fox. Both based entirely on that scene.
  • Squick - Everyone's reaction to Takamura groping Aoki's girlfriend Tomiko while she and Aoki were making out on the beach. Takamura does apologize, but his apology is, well...
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Mashiba growing a horn-like bump? Hell yes! Malcolm Gedo's face also looks a lot like a skull when he is smiling in the ring

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