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The bell for the sparring session with Miyata rings, and to everyone’s astonishment, Miyata falls to the mat first! Ippo’s fierce determination overpowers Miyata’s superior boxing skills in the first two rounds, but Miyata quickly recovers and cleverly outboxes Ippo with his lethal counters.

Chief Kamogawa advises Ippo to stop the bout, but Ippo says “I have one more thing left to do….” The resulting conclusion astounds everyone! After the match with Miyata, Ippo trains rigorously with Takamura and waits for the day of his professional debut match with Yusuke Oda.

 

Based on the best-selling sports manga in Japan, Hajime no Ippo, Fighting Spirit was animated by Madhouse (Trigun, Chobits, and Texhnolyze) and directed by Satoshi Nishimura (Trigun, Street Fighter Alpha)!

 

The second DVD contains 5 episodes:

Episode 6: The opening bell of the Rematch – Ippo is eager for his rematch against Miyata, the rematch gives him the opportunity to put his 3 months of hard training to good use. Ippo has to battle Miyata and his own fears in ring. Everyone is in for a surprise………..even Ippo.

Episode 7: The destructive force of 1 cm – Ippo is doing well against Miyata, but can he survive another round after a devastating blow? To everyone’s surprise Ippo is going toe to toe with Miyata and managing to hold his own. Can Ippo’s fighting spirit survive against Miyata’s skill?

Episode 8: Promise to meet again – Ippo’s spirits is high after his victory against Miyata, but Chief Kamogawa is worried that Ippo might be loosing his fighting spirit. To help boost it, Chief Kamogawa teamed Ippo up with Takamura……..can Ippo keep up or well he be left in Takamura’s dust.

Episode 9: C Class license – Ippo has earned an opportunity to receive his boxing license, in order to compete professionally. He seems calm and collective but the closer he gets to the certification, the more weak kneed he becomes. The exam not only consists of a sparing match, but a written test, can Ippo knock out his fears and pass the test or will he be TKO by his fears.

Episode 10: Debut Match – Ippo’s opponent for his debut match has been named, is he up for the challenge, and is he ready for the world of professional boxing? Ippo’s opponent worried about loosing is next fight has begun training at a higher level, the bout should be a good one, but who will be left standing?

The animation for the series was amazing crisp clean. Every character seemed to have unique level of detail to them. In the training and fighting scenes the animation seems to have a raw, captivating feel to it, which helps to draw the viewer in. The style of animation reminds me of Great Teacher Onizuka. The audio just plain amazing, with trilingual Audio featuring English 2.0, Japanese 2.0 and Spanish 2.0. With two English subtitle streams dialog and signs or signs only.

What are some of the additional features this disc has to offer? The extras section for this includes a blooper and outtakes section where the voice actors have a little fun with their lines. Next in the section are the previews for upcoming releases by Geneon, credits for the voice actors in the Spanish version, staff credits and finally the DVD credits. I would have to say the DVD extra’s were disappointing, due to the lack of features from this disc. I was hoping there would be additional bonus features, such as a photo gallery or character biographies. Hopefully in the next disc there will be additional features.

Fighting Spirit is a series with tons of potential, after watching the second disc and becoming more familiar with Ippo and the characters that surround him, I’ve been drawn into the story. Fighting Spirit is a raw series, showing the punishment one must endure to achieve their dreams. In the second disc, Ippo continues to persevere through the challenges thrown at him, all in the effort to develop his fighting spirit. For those that enjoy watching a gritty tough anime series, with a good sense of humor thrown in, then fight your way into your wallet and buy this disc. For those looking to watch something new that will sure to entertain, then this would be a definite good rental.

Animation: 7 / 10
Story: 8 / 10
Audio: 8 / 10
Video: 9 / 10
Extras: 6 / 10
Impact Rating: 7 / 10

Overall Rating 75%

By Matt Capranos

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