Boxing gyms all over the world are filled to the brim with prospective boxers and hopeful pros. Sportsbooks, both online and offline cover the latest fights extensively, and offer a ton of bonuses and promotions regarding the sport. Punters can visit bookmakers online and place a bet on all their favorite fighters. Better yet, websites like novibet.ie double as casinos, where you can play slots, many of which are inspired by anime, sports, or boxing.
Considering boxing’s popularity, the sport has inspired many artists and storytellers. From Hemingway’s boxing stories to the Rocky films, boxing has had a significant impact on popular culture. And this goes beyond American pop culture. In Japan, boxing manga and anime are hugely popular. So, let us go over the best boxing anime in the history of the genre.
Ashita no Joe
In 1968 the first issue of Ashita no Joe (English: Tomorrow’s Joe/Joe of Tomorrow) hit the pages of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Written by Asao Takamori and illustrated by Tetsuya Chiba, the story follows Joe Yabuki, a delinquent and a vagrant who becomes a professional boxer.
The story was incredibly popular with students and the working class in Japan. And for good reason. Joe’s story is tragic. A young man with nowhere to go and nothing to aspire to, he becomes drawn to boxing as a way to express aggression.
Despite growing as the story progresses, Joe can never run away from his mistakes, which makes for an incredibly tragic story, featuring one of manga’s first Byronic heroes. It is worth checking out by anyone looking to get into boxing or manga.
Hajime no Ippo
From the gritty realism of Ashita no Joe, we move to the optimistic idealism of Hajime no Ippo. Written and illustrated by George Morikawa, the Hajime no Ippo manga has been running consistently since the late 80s all the way to this day. With over 1400 chapters, it is one of the longest running manga in Weekly Shonen Jump.
In 2000, the first anime adaptation was released. The story follows Ippo Makunouchi, who decides to become a professional boxer. He joins his local gym, and follows the tutelage of prodigy Mamoru Takamura. The story follows Ippo’s rise to fame, as he becomes a world-class boxer.
Ring ni Kakero
Ryuuji and Kiku are the children of a famous Japanese boxer. Ryuuji has inherited his immense strength and talent, while Kiku has inherited her father’s skill as a coach. Together, they train to become the number one duo in Japan.
Ring ni Kakero was serialized between 1977 and 1981. However, the anime was released in 2003 and ran for 4 seasons. Divided into two parts, the first part sees the sibling duo compete in a youth boxing competition, while the second part follows their struggles to live up to their father’s expectations. While not as influential as Ashita no Joe or Hajime no Ippo, the series is quite entertaining. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of boxing.