Ippo is a high school student who works almost full time at his family's fishing store. In school, gossips are spread about him being a loner, and afterschool, he gets picked on for smelling like sand worms. An unlikely character comes along in Takamaru, who saves Ippo by giving him medical treatment at his boxing gym. In order to toughen the poor kid up, he lets him punch one of the sandbags. What surprised Takamura the most is how strong his punch his. Ippo explains it's because of the hard labour he faces everyday at his work. Takamaru lends Ippo some tapes about boxing. Over the next couple of days, Ippo becomes intrigued with boxing, and asks Takamaru if he could box. The professional boxer was quite offended that someone who doesn't stick up for themselves would dare enter the realm of boxing. He accepts his offer anyways, though only on the condition that he's able to perform the task he's given. That's catching 10 falling leaves from a tree using jabs.
One reason why I dig for classic animes more than newer ones is that it's easier and quicker to like, and they often times have wonderful starts. Newer animes fail at starting strong, and are often times, really slow, but Hajime no Ippo had a strong and powerful start. Only Naruto's first episode can compare when regarding recent anime. In fact, Naruto and Ippo are sort of facing the same problems; both of them are not particularly liked for specific reasons. Ippo isn't really hated; just that he's a product of society gossip. His mother is all alone, working at this fishing shop, and Ippo does his best to help her, yet people make fun of him for it. It just really tingles the heart, how society can be so cruel to someone. The scene when he gets beat up really does a better job of playing around with your emotions. You just want Ippo to kick their asses, but it went against his nature.
The second half of this episode presented sort of a solution to Ippo's problems. He's a wuss that doesn't even defend his mom when she gets made fun of, and continues to bow to the bullies. Such a coincidence that a boxer, a professional one at that, comes by, and takes Ippo to the boxing gym. What I also liked about this episode is how it was plotted. All of these things are connected with one another that leads into one road. Ippo has potential in boxing because of the labour he endures when working, but because of that, he gets bullied upon. A boxer comes by and treats him, and takes him to the boxing gym because they have medical aid. It's just those types of moments that makes you want to yell out "awesome!"moreless