(Technically spoilers for Hajime no Ippo ep 30-something, but if you haven’t seen the show, it shouldn’t matter much)
Funeral and No Name were marathoning Hajime no Ippo for the past few days. I popped in randomly, catching about 8 eps between episodes 20 and 40 or so. Hajime no Ippo is an instantly lovable show chock full of great moments and memorable fights. Naturally, in true shounen spirit, every fight has revelations for the characters and epic moments of glory. I’d like to mention the most powerful among those I saw.
In this episode, Ippo is in the middle of a fierce fight against Sidou, a man known as “Rocky” to the adoring fans of his hometown. Before the fight, we have learned that Sidou uses the same fighting style as Ippo, which is to get in close and deliver powerful blows. In contrast to the previous person Ippo fought, Sidou is a great guy fighting so that he can buy nice things for the underprivileged children of his hometown. He loves fighting and has been itching to take on Ippo. (It should also be noted he looks exactly like Kazuma from S-Cry-Ed.)
The fight starts off furiously and both fighters take blow after blow of each others quick, powerful shots. Sidou is notably more powerful than Ippo and the match seems to be in his favor for a good while. Ippo had at this point not yet lost to an opponent, and Sidou was definitely worthy, so I thought this may be about time for Ippo to finally loose.
The intense fight rages on and on until both fighters are weak. Ippo summons all of his strength and delivers an incredible blow to Sidou’s temple. There is a moment of silence before Sidou, seemingly unaffected by the hit, starts beating this living shit out of Ippo. He gets Ippo against the rope and just keeps whaling on him. The bell sounds, but no one hears it and the beatdown continues. Finally the referee hears the bell and pulls Sidou away. Both fighters return to their corners.
Back in his corner, Ippo isn’t sure if he can keep fighting after his powerful blow has no effect. His coach thinks they may have to throw in the towel. However, that’s when the match ends.
As it would turn out, Sidou had already long since fallen unconscious. After the blow to the temple, Sidou had effectively been KO’d, but his body, powered purely by the enthusiasm of his hometown crowd’s cheering and his total dedication, had continued to fight on.
There is confusion among the crowd, and even Ippo can barely believe that he’s really won when he was just getting beaten so badly. The referee announces Sidou’s unconsciousness. It sinks in to the crowd that their cheers had driven him to fight on beyond defeat. Moved by his spirit in their name, the crowd cheers “ROCKY! ROCKY!” and “You will always be our Rocky!” as he his carried away on a stretcher.
This scene was moving in hos the crowd and Sidou could inspire one another so much, and Sidou’s sheer spirit that drove him ever onward. He definitely deserves the respect of his fans and they, with so much spirit, deserve a fighter as great as him.