About the Anime

The One Pound Gospel is Rumiko Takahashi's only serial to have a single animated release. This lack of animated support has often led the series to be overlooked by newer fans, who have only discovered it through the 2008 drama.

OPG Enters the Ring

The manga of One Pound Gospel was adapted into a 50 minute OAV in 1988. Directed by famed anime director Osamu Dezaki under his alias Saki Makura. With Dezaki at the helm, the pedigree of the OVA was never in question. Dezaki had previously worked as the director of famed boxing anime Ashita no Joe, and was attracted to Takahashi's manga.

"I liked the relationship between the boxer and the nun. I just happened to be asked to direct that, but I was under contractual obligations back then and couldn't use my real name. So I used a pen name. I liked those kinds of uplifting Rumiko Takahashi worlds."

The story chronicles Kosaku Hatanaka's meeting with Sister Angela and his subsequent battle with Jiro Amakusa. The anime was been released by Viz Video on VHS, in a subtitled-only edition in 1995. This release has been out of print for many years.

Drama with the "Dorama"

With the One Pound Gospel manga getting attention in Japan upon the conclusion of the series in 2007 interest in a new adaptation soon became evident. In a unique twist, it was announced that the series would hit the airwaves not as an anime, but as a live action drama series much like 2006's Maison Ikkoku special.

Some fans expressed misgivings when it was revealed that pop idol Kazuya Kamenoshi, known for his singing voice and not for his boxing skills, would play the role of Kosaku. When the series debuted, fans learned that the adaptation played rather fast and loose with Takahashi's original manga. For instance, Mukoda is a woman with a teenage son, there is no Mother Abbess character, and Angela is an orphan to name just a few of the early revelations. The cast featured many original characters created specifically for the drama and omitted most of Kosaku's unique opponents.

An Introduction to One Pound Gospel
About the AnimeTelevision SeriesFilms
Cultural Notes