13
Mar
09

Hajime no Ippo New Challenger Ep 10

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Summary:

  Along a river bank at night,  Mari is conversing with Ippo on his match against Nao.  Ippo expresses his hesitation to fight Nao; Mari reminds him that 3000 people didn’t pay to see a Sempai and Kohai match, but Ippo still feels conflicted and Mari asks him if he knows what anKamase Inu is. Mari explains that a Kamase Inu is basically a sacrifice; a boxer who goes into the ring knowing he can’t win. On the other hand though, there are some boxers who have won under such impossible odds, in short this is who Yamada Naoichi is. Mari asks Ippo if he finds something odd about Nao’s fight record, Mari explains that’s he’s only had 8 fights and reached the Japanese title much in that time. Mari explains that since Nao was an unknown boxer, he would go through gyms in an area and fight their best boxer. Despite the power difference and the damage he gets, he would continue winning. Ippo questions why he would use such a dangerous method when he could have just trained, but Mari tells him that fighting the Makunochi Ippo he admired in a title match is the same as a world title match for Nao and will give everything he has in his match with Ippo. Ippo then sits down on the river bank and consider’s Nao’s determination.

 

  The next day at the gym, Aoki recounts his encounter with Nao to Ippo and tells him to not hold back and beat Nao down. While out doing their road work, Itagaki comments to Ippo that he wasn’t himself at practice. Ippo apologizes and asks Itagaki what his goals are; Itagaki replies that it’s to be a world-level boxer, but his specific goal is to be a boxer that keeps winning like Ippo. Later that night Ippo thinks about the goals he set for himself like Miyata and Date, and thinks how Nao made Ippo his goal. After consider the work Nao put in to get this far, Ippo resolves to answer his determination with his fists. The next day at the gym Ippo is finally serious about his trainin; the coach reminds Ippo that since Nao is an awkward fighter, the main place to be careful of is close-range and because of that he can’t use the Dempsey Roll since it requires some distance. The coach continues warning Ippo about Nao’s hook since his gym specializes in hooks (ie. Jason Ozuma). After practice, Itagaki expresses his excitment at seeing Ippo’s strength; Takamura agrees, but that’s providing that Ippo can fight at the pace. Takamura feels that Ippo can show that kind of energy at the gym, but when he sees Nao face-to-face he may not be able to fight like that. 

 

  On the way to the weigh-in, Yagi comments on how it feels strange meeting Nao as an enemy when they were the ones who told him about the Hachinohe gym when he moved. Ippo hesitantly states that the man they are meeting isn’t Yamada-kun, but the fighter Hammer Nao. At the weigh in, the press asks to get a photo of Ippo and Nao shaking hands, but instead Nao thanks Ippo for teaching him about boxing and now he’s going to take the belt. Ippo replies that they spent a lot of time at the gym together, but he never thought Nao how to take the belt; with that the two leave. On the night of the fight, the crowd outside the halls are excited about the fight and expect Ippo to get an easy win. Inside the hall, Aoki is getting ready for his fight; though he believes it’ll be an easy win since his opponent is ranked 10th in the Philippines. He even goes as far to say that he’s good against underdogs, calling himself the underdog hunter Aoki-sama. While he’s alone, Ippo thinks how Nao doesn’t resemble is old self at all and despite the changes in 2 years he has always kept Ippo as his goal. Ippo’s thoughts are interrupted when he hears a down and assumes it’s Aoki’s. Though in fact is Aoki who took a down; Aoki gets up, but his legs shake. As it looks like Aoki is about to buckle, his oppen fires a right at Aoki. Aoki ducks the punch and launches his frog punch from the position; though Itagaki is surprised it landed and Takamura surprised Aoki used it. Aoki dances around, but his opponent gets up prompting the audience to yell “Give him a “triple cross frog punch”. Meanwhile in Nao’s room, Nao’s coach is commenting on how there’s laughter upstairs and says it’ll be a sure win for Aoki. Nao asks if that’s how it is and comments that that’s the fate of Kamase Inu, frustrated saying that even he wants to win. His coach tries to comfort him telling him not to give up and that it’s fine as long as he does his best. Nao recounts what Ippo said about not teaching him to take the belt and says that Ippo was serious when he said that and starts to breaking down mentally, recounting how abnormally strong Ippo’s punches are and how he didn’t sleep last night. His coach tells him that’s normal, but didn’t think that Ippo would fight seriously against a former kohai. Nao doesn’t mind that though, and is in fact grateful for that because there would be no meaning in challanging Ippo otherwise. Nao has made it this far and wants to tell Ippo how strong he’s become with his fists; Nao apologizes and tells his coach that after this match he will retire. His coach tells him to stick his head up high and show Makunochi Ippo what he’s done in the past 2 years. Back in Ippo’s room he’s told that Aoki won his match, though the only comment made was “At least he won” and Kimura tells Ippo not to follow Aoki’s lead. Ippo says he’ll do his best  since that’s his goal for the fight with Nao.

 

  Back in Nao’s room he remembers what Ippo told him before about how he would hit the wall to alleviate his nervousness. Nao does the same, but starts hitting the wall seriously before his coach stops him before he injures his hands reminding him it’s fine as long as he does his best and he should try for a good match. On the way to the ring Nao notices his friends from his town cheering for him; on Ippo’s side they’re playing the opening song of the anime with Ippo going as his usual pace. With both fighers in the ring, the meet in the middle of the ring with the match about to start.

 

 

Opinons:

  In all honesty I’m surprised at Nao’s coach, I mean telling your fighter to do his best in the face of his goal seems a little lacking in motivation. Though Nao’s goal of defeating Ippo may be small to some, it’s still something he should do with the intention of winning.  It’s usually that small difference in motivation that means victory or defeat. If you’re going to go in the ring to fight, then by golly you gotta go with the intent to win otherwise you can’t seriously expect to win. It’s like Nao needs one of those “Self-Help” speeches that tell you not to be afraid of success. If I’m wrong on this I’ll listen to an opposing view, but to me the will to win is like the basics of any competitive event. Things like having fun, or doing your best are all good,  but you still need to have the drive to aim for victory.

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