Hajime No Ippo – Rising
Episode 9 – A Savage Scenario
Continue directly from what has been happening in the last few episodes of Hajime No Ippo – Rising the team are still trying to evolve the “Dempsey Roll” into something that can overcome Ryuuhei’s threats and, once again, allow Ippo to defend his title against an opponent that swears he can crush the technique. Vorg, who we saw in Episode 8, is still hanging around the Makunouchi household as he trains his days away, he’s attempting be one completely ready for his trip to America where he will begin rising the ranks of the boxing world.
He trains to the pint of exhaustion yet cannot seem to outdo Ippo despite them being on equal grounds the last time they were together, it doesn’t get him down entirely though, not until he is presented with the task of being the man to crush Ippo’s “Dempsey Roll”. The other gym junkies feel as though Vorg is the best candidate to beat down Ippo and force him into evolving his technique, they give him notes on what needs to be done and he heads back to training but he’s soon running out of time, his trip to America comes up fast.
By the time I finished the episode I realised that it is my favourite one from the series so far, despite the lack of any official match the animation was forced to rise to an incredible level to simply show the bout between Vorg and Ippo. The two fighters got into the ring for what was meant to be a quick and easy match but as soon as it had started the team knew that these two men were out for blood.
For the most part, Vorg was getting pummelled but he did hit back at Ippo with some serious force, the time came for Ippo to step into a rhythm and set up his “Dempsey Roll”, Vorg was full of fear at first but the small shred of confidence he had in him pushed him through to the “win”. Ippo began the technique and was laying into Vorg with everything he had, this went on for a bit until Vorg realised that, within a couple more hits, his guard will break and Ippo will absolutely decimate him. Knowing this Vorg put the plan into action, between beats he jumped back away from Ippo knowing that he cannot stop his motions without hurting himself and therefore stunning him.
Ippo, not being able to stop, leans in to reach for Vorg while still in the “Dempsey Roll”, Vorg throws a counter that lands a hit on Ippo’s face which not only knocked him out but proved that the “Dempsey Roll” is beatable with nothing but a single punch. I’ll skip ahead a little bit to when Ippo regains consciousness, he almost immediately begins training now that he knows he’s easily beaten. Coach gives him a little talk but doens’t entirely open up to what Ippo must do to win, the only thing he can think of is for Ippo to quickly change up his rhythm mid roll and take the opponent by surprise, though doing this will put a great deal of strain on his entire lower body and will, eventually, push him into an extremely early retirement from the sport.
Ippo continues to train as Vorg begins his leave for America, I found these last two scenes to really define the characters and to really define what the series is all about too. Vorg departs from the Makunouchi household, he says his farewell to Mrs. Makunouchi and the memories of his departed mother come rushing back to him.
He says something in Russian that we’re not alerted to straight away and asks her to repeat it back to him, he leaves and the audience is left in a bit of a daze until the next scene where he reveals what he said: “I pray for your success, my son” is what he asked her to say to him with his response being “Thank you, mother”, it was a touching moment for Volg and the audience that really put across the type of person he really is.
Ippo on the other hand continues to train while continuing to doubt himself and the “Dempsey Roll”, he thinks and thinks but can’t seem to get exactly what it is he needs to do until he stops, breaks into a “Dempsey Roll” and realises exactly what the Couch had been thinking of the whole time. Ippo switches up his rhythm part way through the roll and a sharp pain shoots through his lower body, it stiffens him up and forces him to realise exactly what he has to do and exactly what he cannot afford to do. Like I’ve been saying each week; I cannot wait for this match, the lead up is incredibly intense and I can’t imagine the fight itself to be any less intense. Check out more Hajime No Ippo – Rising Impressions HERE.