Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩, Hajime no Ippo lit. "The First Step"; in full, Hajime no Ippo: THE FIGHTING!), is a boxing manga series created by Jyoji "George" Morikawa which is serialized by Kodansha in Weekly Shonen Magazine; its anime adaptation being known in the US as Fighting Spirit.
The manga has been running since 1990 and currently spans 84 tankōbon and is currently one of the longest manga ever. A 76-episode anime adaption was produced by Madhouse, the Nippon TV Network and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura and ran on the Nippon TV Network from October 2000 to March 2002. One OVA and a movie were also produced. It was announced that the anime would be licensed in North America by Geneon at the end of 2003. Geneon released it as Fighting Spirit. It was called Knockout in the Philippines.
In 1991, the manga won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen.
The music for the anime series was composed by Tsuneo Imahori, who also did the third opening theme song. Various tracks of guitars, drums, piano, horns, and combinations of the instruments were used to help accentuate the mood and action of the scenes. The soundtrack was released in Japan on two CDs, "First KO" & "Final Round".
23 May, 2008