Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩, lit. "The First Step") is a Japanese boxing manga series written and illustrated by George Morikawa. It has been serialized by Kodansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 1989 and collected in over 123 tankōbon to date. It follows the story of high school student Makunouchi Ippo, as he begins his career in boxing and over time obtains many titles and defeats various opponents. A 76-episode anime adaptation titled Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! was produced by Madhouse, Nippon Television and VAP, directed by Satoshi Nishimura and ran on the Nippon Television Network from October 2000 to March 2002. A TV film and an OVA were also produced. On September 15, 2008 it was announced in Weekly Shōnen Magazine that a second season of Hajime no Ippo would begin airing on January 6, 2009. The second season is called Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger and concluded on June 30, 2009. At the end of 2003, the first season of the anime was licensed in North America by Geneon, which released it under the name Fighting Spirit.