Hobby is something one does for leisure and entertainment while passion is something one cannot live without. Full devotion towards a certain goal or achievement is the essence of passion and such is the narrative of Hajime no Ippo, the road to success.
The road to success is tough. Self-doubt and uncertainty are only a few of many struggles one must face on his journey. Ippo is no stranger to this. Bullied all his life, unable to develop friendships and also just, really wimpy. But this all changes when he meets a boxer and finds his passion and love for boxing.
There are certainly quite a few anime that fall into the “sport” or “action” anime category, however, while they go for the cool factor or even enter the supernatural realm, they fundamentally lack character depth. Hajime no Ippo manages to go deeper, displaying how passion and concentration can change one’s outlook on life with a more content and cheerful eyes, how an individual can go from having absolutely zero friends to having worthwhile and meaningful friends, and how he can realise he’s capable of much more than he once thought possible.
So much care is taken into every character that fights in the ring. It is not just Ippo that is trying to become number one in the professional world. Everyone has trained for their own goals and motivations. Whether it is to make money or a promise they made to a loved one, they have given it their all for a moment to shine in the ring. It all culminates in the stadium where the one that has not only trained harder, but also has the spirit and drive to rise above and beyond that will ultimately attain victory.
Hajime no Ippo is a beautiful anime about the journey to becoming the best version of yourself. There are many lessons in this anime that are sure to be of some value to anyone that’s watching.