Fighting Spirit, otherwise known as Hajime No Ippo or Victorious Boxers on the PS2, Is a series that doesn't have the greatest dub and  the animation isn't the greatest, looking like it was done during the 90's when Tenchi Muyo and DBZ were being run on Japanese TV, however in reality it was done during the 2002-2003 season. For reference Naruto, Ghost and the shell: SAC, and Getbackers aired during that same season.You would think it would of had similar production values considering that it was a long running manga. 

While those negatives mentioned above might turn most off, its the storytelling and soundtrack that managed to captivate me completely. The dub even grows on you after awhile. The boxing scenes get you involved and excited even though you know Ippo most likely will never lose a match, they detail the opponents motivation and personal character in several episodes leading up to the fight as well as Ippo's struggle to prepare for them. So you end up liking not only Ippo but his opponent as well most of the time, at the very least you understand why his opponent is willing to put it all on the line in the first place. This is quality storytelling, folks!

The show is a series that doesn't look good if you choose to judge it by its cover but if you watch a few episodes you'll be surprised at what you find. It clocks in at 75 episodes and a movie, as well as a second series currently airing in Japan. Give this one a chance and it will hook you, pun intended. Its positives completely outweigh its negatives, its truly a rough around the edges gem.

If your remotely into sports anime or shounen style series at all, give this one a look.