12
May
09

Hajime no Ippo New Challenger ep 18

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Summary: 

Takamura’s fight posters have arrived at the gym and going by the poster it seems Ippo will be fighting Yi Yonsu, who’s a foreign boxer that’s ranked 5th,  in the semi-finals. Takamura comes, looks at the poster and comments that he can already see himself with the belt. As they’re talking about how hard the weight loss will be for the match, Takamura says that he’s decided to shave off 10kg of body hair; to which Aoki calls him an idiot for thinking he can. Takamura swings the razor at him and shaves off some of Aoki’s left eyebrow, and notice that it resembles Hawk’s eyebrow now. Aoki then decides to let Takamura shave his eyebrows to look more like Hawk’s since it might help Takamura when he spars with Aoki; unfortunately Takamura screws up and Aoki’s eyebrows becomes two dots and he looks like a Heian nobleman, which causes everyone to burst out laughing. Takamura tries to fix it, but ends up shaving off Aoki’s eyebrows completely; to which everyone laughs further. The coach comes in and tells them to knock it off, but upon seeing Aoki he immediately walks away. Aoki tries to tell him that it’s him, but the coach ends up beating him with his cane and telling them to do some road work; Aoki feels too embarrassed to go outside with his eyebrows in their current state so the coach draws some thick eyebrows on for him, and everyone laughs again. While running, Ippo tells Takamura that they were all wondering why he started boxing; though before he can say “it’s because we respect you” Aoki and Kimura hit him. Takamura replies that it’s because he wanted to prove he’s the best; though Ippo, Kimura, and Aoki are a little disappointed by the answer. Takamura throws his towel at them and yells at them to wipe their sweat, and tells them that since their friends he’ll show them a nice dream: Takamura tells them he’ll take their sweat with him to the top of the world. Itagaki, who’s behind Takamura and sulking that no one noticed him, asks if he can also use the towel and have Takamura take his sweat too.  Ippo is happy to see that Itagaki came back, and Itagaki replies that it’d be a waste to miss out on the world championship fight. Itagaki gets surprised though when he sees Aoki, since his “eyebrows” have wiped off when Aoki was wiping his sweat, and he now looks like a clown. As everyone is laughing at Aoki, Takamura comments to himself that there’s no other place for him other than in the ring and his friends. 

 

At the gym the next day, Ippo is sparring with Itagaki and Takamura is working the sand bag. Itagaki is surprised at the amount of power Takamura has despite the fact he’s in weight management; though Kimura tells him the real problem starts now. Takamura’s natural weight is 90 kilograms, which is heavy weight, and the limit for junior middle is 68 kilograms; so Takamura still has a long way to go. When Itagaki asks why Takamura is dropping so many weight classes, Aoki tells him it can’t be helped since there isn’t any competition in the heavy weight class in Japan; in other words Takamura’s ring is something they can’t even imagine. Later that night at Takamura’s place, Takamura has two heaters on all the way and his sister has prepared some soup for him. While he’s eating an apple, he tells his sister that he met with his brother Suguru and comments that he hasn’t changed. Kyouka tells him that he’s just worried about him; Takamura changes the subject and asks how Wataru is. Kyouka tells him that Wataru is really excited about his brother’s World Title match and Takamura tells him that he’ll be sure to get tickets for them. Takamura’s sister leaves after reaching her limit with the heat, but gives him a bag of dried Shitake mushrooms and tells him not lose too much saliva. When his sister leaves Takamura puts some of the shitake in his mouth and a while later Takamura takes it out of his mouth and flings it over to a pile of reconstituted mushrooms and comments that he still has a long way to go with his weight management. 

 

The next day, Takamura is out doing his road work with the coach alongside on his scooter. During a break the coach comments on how Takamura’s speed is still up despite the weight training,  and Takamura comments that he loves being in the ring and that boxing is the one thing he’s honest about. The two start talking about how they met and the coach remembers how Takamura has taken him to heights he’s never dreamed before and calls him his treasure in his mind. The coach starts apologizing to Takamura for not being able to get him to fight a match in his best weight class, but Takamura tells him he doesn’t want to see him bow his head and says he prefers to do it he has to since he’s thankful to him for getting him to start boxing. Takamura tells him he’ll just move up and conquer six weight classes and plans to keep the 6th belt, but he’ll give the first one to the coach as a Christmas present. The coach tells him he has a present for him too and gives him a bag of dried Shitake; back at the gym everyone also gives Takamura bags of dried Shitake. 

 

Takamura is continuing his training and the results of his weight training are becoming clearer as his skin is becoming more dehydrated and Takamura is getting more desperate to lose the weight as he’s only 5 kilograms away from the weight limit.  Takamura continues training some more till one night, at the peak of dehydration, he notices the soup his sister made and is severely tempted to drink it. Though before he can, he manages to get a hold of himself and pours the soup down the drain while apologizing to his sister. Takamura tries putting some dried Shitake in his mouth, but they come out dried and hard; meaning he’s out of saliva. At the gym the next day, Takamura is working the sand bag like a madman.  The coach tells him he should be resting and is about to grab him, but Takamura tells him not to touch him as he’s not sure what he’ll do. Aoki comments that Takamura must be overworked, and Itagaki decides to talk to Takamura and makes a pun using Takamura’s sister saying “Sis-Kon!” “Sis-Con”(Sister Complex). Takamura walks off, and Aoki and Kimura kick him and tell him he barely escaped with his life. Kimura comments that the weight loss this time is on a different level, and Ippo asks what the effects of weight training are; as he’s never experienced them being in the middle of his weight class. Kimura tells him hunger kicks in first and all you can think about is the food you can’t eat, then you forget about food and concentrate on liquids, thinking about colas, juice, and then all you can think about is water. Kimura tells him that at that time, your nerves become more sensitive and the enhanced sense eats away at your mind. Kimura comments that he’s never experienced any weight loss close to what Takamura’s doing so there’s no way he can understand that type of exhaustion or torture. Takamura is running at night to forget the pain of the weight management. Meanwhile at the airport Bryan Hawk has arrived with an escort of girls with him, and while he’s arrived in Japan again Takamura is at his height of pain from his weight management. Takamura kicks a table and grabs his stomach and asks why he has to experience this. He then looks at a picture of Bryan Hawk and says it’s his fault; he clenches his teeth, concentrates on the picture, and proclaims he’ll kill him.

 

Opinion:

I know this is like the second or third time they’ve gone into detail on weight management, but I like it when they do. The reason being is they do a great job on conveying how horrible and hellish it can truly be. The most amazing part to me is that they’re showing a person willing doing it and shows the mental anguish that comes with it, this series does a great job showing the ups and downs of a boxer and the way they show weight management is almost like a masterpiece in showing the human condition. I’ll play the Aoki here and compare Takamura’s weight loss with me being hungry for a day; it hurts like hell and you wanna naw on anything that looks tasty and it feels like you’ll throw up a lot. Can’t imagine the stage after that that Kimura was talking about. The point where you focus on liquids that must be the point of extreme dehydration. My favorite part this time is the end where Takamura looks like a wild animal and is concentrating on killing Bryan Hawk. I believe we’re one or two more episodes till the day of the fight, but before Takamura’s match we have Ippo’s defense match. Though that shouldn’t be more than one episode; I’ve been getting pumped for Takamura’s match that I’ve read that manga arc like 10 times this week. 

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1 Response to “Hajime no Ippo New Challenger ep 18”



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