Fighting Spirit: CHAMPION ROAD

Director: Akira Nishimura

Rating: 9.5

Ippo is back in his first full length film! Now the new Japan featherweight champion, Ippo now trains to defend his title against Kazuki Sanada and is mysterious swallow uppercut.  Starting right after the fight with Takeshi Sendo for the championship belt, Ippo finds himself finally able to rest up. Unfortunately, a title defense is soon set up with the infamous Dr. Sanada, whose special move is unknown even to Kamogawa (Ippo’s Coach and personal trainer). More than the belt is on the line in this fight, as Kamogawa faces an old friend and an old grudge. This man happens to be Sanada’s trainer, and is out for blood! Ippo’s only chance is to become more powerful and make sure Sanada doesn’t take the belt. All the favorite characters make an appearance from the Kamogawa gym, including Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura. They’ll either help Ippo in his new challenge or drive him insane! You’ll laugh, you’ll love, you’ll tense up with every punch. It’s everything the Fighting Spirit series has been known for and much much more.

So my opinion on this movie…is that it’s perfect. It’s prettier, having smoother and crisper animation than the series itself had. The characters are all there and some old opponents even make cameos, and thankfully all voiced by the same actors. It has the same feel the series did, but made into a full length film. It’s all anyone can really ask for. You get to see Ippo’s relationship step up another notch, and also the arm wrestling scene which is one of the most hilarious scenes I have yet to see. The most popular thing about the movie is the Dempsey Roll that Ippo uses in his fights. It’s caught on so much farther than I could have imagined and just this scene alone has attracted hundreds to the anime:

Sure it’s exaggerated…but man is it awesome to watch.

If that scene alone doesn’t make your jaw drop then I don’t know what will. I’d recommend, HAVE recommended this anime to every anime fan I have known. I haven’t heard any complaints so far, and with the new second season and 3rd season on the way there’s plenty to watch! Take a breath, put on the gloves, and let’s get to watching this anime! You won’t regret it.

by Marcio Guastavino



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