28
May
09

Hajime no Ippo New Challenger ep 21

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Summary:

 

The Battle of Hawk begins, and Takamura and Hawk are sizing each other up. The coach is thinking that Takamura should use the first round to observe the champion and get a grasp on his fighting style; he’s also concerned about the champion’s second Miguel Zail. Hawk suddenly takes a slouched stance and begins swaying back and forth; Takamura does a fast step-in with a left straight punch, but Hawk dodges it though he trips a little maneuvering around it. Upon closer inspection though, it seems like Takamura was able to graze Hawk’s forehead and he’s bleeding a little. Takamura starts chasing Hawk with a barrage of jabs, though Hawk is blocking all of them; Takamura eventually gets Hawk to the ropes. Takamura almost lands a hit, but Hawk dodges and Takamura ends up slamming his fist into the corner post; Hawk is holding onto the ropes at this point, and Tamura goes in to take advantage of the situation. However, Hawk manages to land a huge blow on Takamura and escapes to the side; everyone is dumbfounded by Hawk’s move as no one expected him to able to throw a punch in that position. Takamura tries to punch Hawk again, but Hawk bends back and punches Takamura from below. Hawk starts rushing Takamura and starts beating on him, but Takamura is able to stop the last punch Hawk throws and counterattacks. Hawk however bends back and hits Takamura from below again; Takamura gets desperate and starts throwing punches at Hawk, but Hawk dodges them all and lands a hit straight to Takamura’s face and pounds him into the corner.

 

Takamura loses consciousness for a brief moment while Hawk preps his finishing blow; luckily Takamura comes to in time to narrowly evade the blow. Takamura comments to himself that it would’ve been over if he took that punch, and Hawk is just smirking at him obviously toying with Takamura. The crowd screams for Takamura to run out from the corner, but Takamura decides not to run away and plans to stay in the corner and go for an exchange. Hawk comments that Takamura has some guts, but Takamura slams his left into Hawk’s face telling him not to look down on him. Hawk is a little shook up and spits out some blood; Takamura proceeds to aim for Hawk’s face now that he’s blown his guard open, but Hawk blocks it. Takamura comments that Hawk has some good reflexes, and lands a body blow on him; Takamura’s counterattack commences. Hawk’s second comments that Takamura’s power, technique, and boxing sense are good, but he can’t beat Hawk using boxing. Hawk then lands a blow on Takamura from below and begins a barrage while bent back. Hawk’s second comments that all punches in boxing can be put into easily predictable categories, but Hawk’s aren’t like that; in fact Hawk’s punch isn’t boxing, it’s simply violence. 

 

Hawk slams Takamura unconscious into the corner again, but the gong sounds. Hawk doesn’t pay any heed to it and advances towards Takamura, and the referee grabs a hold him to stop him; fortunately Hawk stops just right in front of Takamura, and as Takamura comes to, he finds Hawk’s face in front of him with his tongue sticking out at him. While both fighters are in their corner, the crowd comments on how bad the situation is for Takamura and Hawk’s unreal strength. Date comments that Hawk’s boxing is like street fighting in the ring; he’s just purely strong. Sendou comments on how Hawk’s winning with pure strength, but Miyata is irritated at the idea of street fighting in a boxing match since modern boxing is the evolution of street fighting. Date tells him that this isn’t an ordinary fight; dodging and attacking are both present, it’s like street fight plus. In the corner, Takamura is telling the coach he’ll go on as he has been in the next round; the coach tries to raise Takamura’s spirits, but in his mind he’s blown away by Hawk’s boxing. He believed that attack and defense couldn’t be done simultaneously, but the champion has done it; the coach slowly loses confidence in him as his experience is quickly becoming nothing in front of Hawk’s boxing. 

 

In Hawk’s corner, Hawk’s commenting on how silent it is in Takamura’s corner; his coach asks him his opinion on Takamura, and Hawk replies that he’s the best yet. Hawk’s coach believes it’d be best if Kamogawa gave up, since Hawk is unbeatable.  Hawk’s coach tells him not to play with his opponent for too long and finish up soon; Hawk asks if it’s ok finish off Takamura then. In the Kamogawa gym cheering corner, Aoki and Kimura are shocked at how badly Takamura is beaten in the first round, but Nekota tries to get them all to cheer. As Takamura is getting ready to get back in the ring, the coach decides to do what he can and slaps Takamura on the back like he did for Ippo in the Sanada fight. Ippo recognizes the slap, and feels motivated as it helped out a lot in the Sanada fight, but Takamura responds with strangling the coach since it hurt so much. 

 

The second round starts; the coach comments that if Takamura doesn’t become champion, it’s his fault for not teaching him what he needed to know. Takamura starts off the round by increasing his speed and encircling Hawk; Takamura thinks to himself that there isn’t anything the coach hasn’t taught him and he’ll prove his boxing is the best in the world. Hawk thinks it’s useless for Takamura to use his legs since it’ll all be over for him this round. Takamura thinks about the basics while upping his speed while encircling Hawk; he remembers to start off using his legs, then use his opponent as the pivot point while going left to encircle him, but forgets what to do after that and stops moving entirely. Hawk uses this opportunity to catch Takamura and starts rushing him; Takamura is caught on the ropes and Hawk goes in for the kill. Takamura is able to counter with his left and starts a barrage of jabs at Hawk’s face, as he recounts all the training he’s done in the past; especially training his left. He comments it was all for the sake of this, and Takamura starts encircling Hawk again and starts pummeling him. Sendouu and Miyata are surprised at Takamura’s speed, especially since he’s moving much faster than most boxers at the lower weight classes. 

 

Takamura continues landing his lefts on Hawk, but Hawk eventually pushes back against Takamura’s left and Takamura remembers how the coach trained his lefts to give his right a chance to land; sure enough, Takamura finally lands his right straight into Hawk’s face and Takamura starts increasing his speed yet again and tries taking Hawk into “Speed Hell”. Unfortunately Hawk could move faster and proceeds to increase speed faster that Takamura’s and knocks Takamura down. As the referee is counting, Takamura gets up and is furious and starts arguing with the ref since he believes he just lost balance. The coach tells him that’s considered a down and yells at Takamura to calm down. Takamura is shocked now at being downed, and Miyata comments that the mental shock from being downed should be high.

 

 

Opinion:

The actually fighting started this episode, and it did not disappoint! They covered about 4 and a half chapters and it was packed with action; personally I’m surprised that Takamura got any chance to counterattack at all this episode. I figured he’d be completely dominated this episode; though technically he is being dominated, it’s just that he has a glimmer of hope left. There’s still 12-13 chapters of the fight left, and if they go at this pace the fight should be over in 3-4 more episodes; so maybe around episode 25 the fight’ll be over. If I remember correctly the real counterattack should start somewhere next episode. Like all great action series, even if you know how the fight ends; the actual fight is still entertaining. That’s the calling card of a great action series, and Hajime no Ippo certainly is that. I felt pumped all over again like when I first read the chapters of the fight; in fact probably more so, since the music starts overtaking you and you just lose yourself in what’s going on despite knowing the outcome. I’m definitely looking forward to next week!

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