24
Apr
09

Hajime no Ippo New Challenger ep 16

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Summary:

 

The crowd is shocked to see Takamura so dehydrated and  decrypt looking and it seems painfully obvious that Takamura failed at weight-gaining after the weigh-in. Takamura’s opponent this time is Filipino middleweight champion, Morris West; the gong sounds and Takamura staggers to the center of the ring. He comments to himself that his strength won’t come, but suddenly darts in and starts a barrage of punches. Takamura pulls a left feint and lands a clean hit with his right, but his opponent is unphased by it. Takamura continues land hits on West, but none of his blows are having an effect; it becomes apparent that Takamura’s punches are light since he doesn’t have the usual weight behind them. West smirks and takes up a guard pose and Takamura backs away as he’s aware that it’s apparent that his punches don’t have any power to them. Takamura then tries to provoke West into attacking him, but West doesn’t take the bait as he’s aware that Takamura is aiming for a counter since that’s the only method he has to get a KO. Eventually Takamura loses patience and rushes West as he feels he’s being underestimated; the rest of the round continues with Takamura rushing and West dodging. When the gong sounds Takamura returns to his corner. The coach is chewing Takamura out as he’s being re-hydrated; meanwhile in West’s corner he’s being advised to fight defensively and let Takamura self-destruct. 

 

The gong sounds and the fighters return to the center ring; Takamura continues his pattern of rushing West, with West playing defensively. This trend continues into the later rounds and Takamura looks exhausted; appearing aware that his opponent is waiting for him to just fall apart, but Takamura doesn’t want to resort to tactics as he just wants to win with sheer strength like the home run king Sadaharu. West starts taking the offensive as Takamura gets tired; Takamura comments that he can see the punches coming, but his body won’t respond. Takamura guards and takes a few hits till he’s finally able to get a chance to counter; unfortunately, it ends in a dual exchange with Takamura seeming to take more damage. West goes on the offensive, and things look grim for Takamura; Takamura clenches onto West and looks at the timer. As he’s looking out he notices someone in the crowd. It’s the World Middleweight Champion, Brian Hawk; he’s sitting there with a girl in each arm. He’s looking at Takamura smugly, and Takamura questions why he’s here. Takamura gets caught off guard as his attention is focused on Hawk; eventually Takamura gets pissed at Hawk’s smug smile and continues pondering on it while guarding. Hawk is obviously uninterested in Takamura and begins licking his girls; Takamura reaches the peak of his frustration and lands another dual exchange, though this time it’s Takamura who looks unphased. Takamura continues with this pace chanting “I don’t like it” in his head; Takamura continues landing counters on West. Eventually Takamura lands a devastating counter on West, with West spilling blood and knocked out of the ring. Takamura is declared the winner and the match is over; the crowd goes wild, but Takamura isn’t so receptive. He doesn’t even make much of a comment, saying he has no business with a guy that forgot something; referring to how Hawk came without the belt. His locker room, Takamura is back to his old self; talking with the press. Aoki and Kimura comment that Takamura’s fight was a great technique match, as Takamura only had his willpower this time; as his aura changed when he saw the Champ being all cocky. 

 

Hawk comes into the locker room; his translator says Hawk came to observe Takamura’s fight, but it won’t be of any use as Takamura wasn’t at full strength. Takamura is pleased by this response, but as Hawk whispers something to his translator; his translator’s face gets pale and says that he can’t say that. Everyone in the room yells at him to just say it; apparently Hawk came to Japan to taste the local delicacies. The crowd surprised to see that the Champ’s goal wasn’t to observe Takamura, but get horrified as the translator continues. Hawk came to taste Asian women and comments that Japanese women are particularly tasty; as Hawk licks his lips, laughs, and asks Takamura for a handshake.

 

Opinions:

Wow, they caught Hawk’s douchebaggery perfectly. His voice is a little nobler sounding than I would have imagined as Akio Ohtsuka voices him. Well the next episode is the appearance of Takamura’s family and we’re probably 3 episodes away from the actual match as episode 19’s title implies that it’s the conference episode where Hawk and Takamura answer the press’s questions. Things are moving down a steady pace, and I’m going through withdrawal waiting for the fighting to start! I’ve read the manga and I know what happens, but damn how I want to see the fight animate! I can already feel my fists tightening at the thought of all of Hawk’s upcoming smack talk scenes. Is it because he’s spewing racist smack talk? There is that, but it’s how and what he says that so blended perfectly that you can only call it a science/perfection of insults. I need to calm down; watching some TayuTama will quickly mellow me out!

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