I was a little disappointed, but not all that surprised that boxing series Fighting Spirit (originally Hajime no Ippo) didn't really catch on in the US. Aside from being a sports title, it was all about burly dudes fighting and training and sweating with hardly a single female character in sight, which is pretty much the kiss of the death in the North American anime and manga market.
But overseas and around the world, the story of timid, bullied Ippo Makunouchi growing from a shrinking violet to a fierce-yet-humble boxing champion has earned countless fans since its start in 1989. The manga will be reaching its 100th volume this coming July, one of the longest-running manga in history (for the record, this is the longest-running manga ever).
Fans willing to plunk down the cash for a full set of volumes 1-100 will receive a special set of five posters featuring important matches from the series, and will be entered in a drawing where five lucky winners will win one of the high-quality Hajime no Ippo Real Figures, featuring main character Ippo Makunouchi, his cool-headed rival Ichiro Miyata, and arrogant bear-punching world champion Mamoru Takamura.
So far, there are no details on the actual price of the hundred-volume set, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't considering getting this--I wouldn't mind having doubles of a few volumes. I know we've got a couple Hajime no Ippo/Fighting Spirit fans here--what do all of you think about this? Do you think the series deserves a second chance being licensed in North America?
Thanks to gigantor21 for the tip!