Hajime No Ippo – Rising
Episode 2 – The Dempsey Roll Destroyed
Let’s just dive straight into the episode impression: It begins exactly where Episode 1 left off and it seems as though Ippo has been given no breathing room from Shimabukuro, he’s relentlessly pounding at Ippo’s body and our champ is really starting to feel the effects of it all. He’s brought to his knees and he seems, for all intents and purposes, broken. This scene is quite funny because Shimabukuro, once again, mentions that he’s brought Ippo to the bottom of the ocean yet he also states that he would have hoped to have gotten to this point earlier in the match meaning Ippo doesn’t plan on going down without a fight despite the fact that he can barely keep his eyes open. Shimabukuro decides to end Ippo and pushes him into a corner once again, the thing Shimabukuro doesn’t understand is that Ippo still has enough in him to fight.
Shimabukuro comes at him like he had previously done and as Ippo dodges side to side he gains momentum for the Dempsey Roll, I though this was done fantastically because he didn’t wear out the opponent and begin the Dempsey Roll like he had done before, you could see that Ippo kept in mind the fact that Shimabukuro had a way of countering the Dempsey Roll so he tried to take him off guard by coming out of a set of dodges and into the rolling pummel. It was a good idea but it seems like it just wasn’t good enough. Shimabukuro’s way of countering the Dempsey Roll? Going blow for blow with the Dempsey Roll itself! For every punch Ippo landed while doing the Roll, Shimabukuro also landed one on Ippo. Here’s why I liked the way this went down: I had originally thought he would counter Ippo by some sort of more technical means, possibly a physical counter or some sort of “rolling cross block” but it didn’t go down that way.
At first I, kind of, didn’t like the “blow-for-blow” counter to the roll but then I came to realise that Shimabukuro managed to defend himself while damaging Ippo with nothing more than just brute force, not only that but he had picked up no momentum like Ippo had done yet managed to be on par with the champ, it was actually well done. What I liked even more was the aftermath of the first bout, Shimabukuro freezes on the spot just as he’s about to land the “finishing blow” to Ippo, it seems as though countering Ippo had done more damage to himself than to his opponent and he now suffers from the same affliction as Ippo; Cyanosis. Welcom to the bottom of the ocean, Shimabukuro!
Thr round ends and another begins, Shimabukuro backs Ippo up against the ropes again but it seems like this time Ippo is slowing down more than he did before. Somehow Ippo recovers from a devastating Gazelle Punch (a heavy uppercut from real low) but his hits are nothing anymore, they’re soft, they have no power and it seems like he has no way of winning…maybe. The progression of this fight was great because, half way through, Shimabukuro states that he is not in this fight to earn the belt, he’s only in the fight to break Ippo’s might “Dempsey Roll” and to make a name for himself, Ippo starts the fight defending the belt but as it goes on you can tell now it’s just to survive. Ippo swats at Shimabukuro like a punching bag and it seems to be doing nothing, Ippo lands a hit on Shimabukuro’s left cheek and the challenger freezes, he found the perfect opening and took the chance to rock him to the core.
They go through another round of Dempsey Roll but this time Shimabukuro doesn’t come out on top. It was really uplifting and incredibly epic in this scene; Takamura, from the sidelines, states that while Shimabukuro is more powerful at the bottom of the ocean the match isn’t being held there, it’s being held in the ring where Ippo is the stronger of the two. The episode ends on Ippo’s win like it always has but with some nice symbolism; the end of Episode 1 had Shimabukuro stating “Welcome to the bottom of the ocean” and the end of episode two had Takamura stating that this isn’t the bottom of the ocean, this is a boxing ring where Makunoichi Ippo has been his whole life. I really like the symbolism in Hajime No Ippo and I can’t wait for Episode 3! Check out more Hajime No Ippo – Rising Impressions HERE.