|Ironfist Chinmi (鉄拳チンミ Tekken Chinmi?) is a Japanese manga series written by Takeshi Maekawa. It was published by Kodansha in Monthly Shōnen Magazine from 1983 to 1997 and collected in 35 tankōbon volumes. It is centered around the story of a boy called Chinmi who learns Kung Fu through the staple manga method of fighting progressively more challenging foes. The first 12 volumes were published in English in the UK by Bloomsbury. The series was adapted as an anime television series in 1988, which was dubbed in English in the early 90’s as Kung Fu Boy and into Arabic as MadressaT El Kung Fu” (Kung Fu School). The latter is considered to be one of the most popular anime in the Arabic speaking countries. In Indonesia, the series known as Kungfu Boy.
In 1987, the manga won the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen. It was followed by a sequel series, Shin Tekken Chinmi (“New Ironfist Chimni”).
Chinmi is a boy who was helping his sister in restaurant business. He has a certain talent in martial arts, and used to play with his pet monkey named Goku (named after the Monkey King Sun Wukong) in the forests, causing him to develop great agility. He is prophesized to become a master of martial arts, under the Dairin Temple. After defeating people who harasses his sister’s restaurant, an old martial artist from the Dairin Temple (usually referred as ‘Old Man’) witnessed his talent and arranged him to depart into Dairin Temple. From there, Chinmi learned Martial Arts, especially Kung Fu. It spans from the first to the sixth volume.
Starting from the sixth volume, Chinmi starts learning weapon-based Martial arts, mainly using long rods. He gained a friendly rival, Xu Fang. Chinmi’s rod training saga ends at the 8th volume, which continues with the next saga about training with the revered Master You Sen. Chinmi later learned one of his signature moves, also fought against a foreign boxer Dick Stainer, one of the opponents that could possibly defeat him (although the result was draw), but later Master You Sen died, and Chinmi prompted to go on a journey to master his skills.
The journey spans in many volumes, but starting on the 23rd volume, Chinmi was forced to return to Dairin Temple after the temple was desecrated by a former apprentice of You Sen, the ruthless prodigal Oudow. Chinmi tasted true defeat for the first time against Oudow, but later the Old Man told him the secrets of Dairin Temple’s forbidden move: the Thunder God Fist, one that could almost instantly kill the victim. Due to Dairin’s no-killing policy, Chinmi hesitated to use it even to Oudow, but he used it anyway, crippling Oudow and prompted Chinmi to leave the temple, thinking that he violated the rules of not killing his opponents. Fortunately for him, he found out that Oudow actually survived and as a result softened his attitude, enabling Chinmi to truly return to the Temple. He is later promoted into a Kung Fu teacher.
As a teacher, Chinmi garnered a group of students, but the most notorious and rebellious was Gundi, though he later becomes enchanted with Chinmi’s bravery and virtue to actually be more tolerant with his friends. After reacquainting with his students, Chinmi was thrust into the next saga where he fought the Wind Wolves army of horsemen (Fictional race based on the nomadic Mongolian and Manchurian tribes), who set their sights on Gundi’s hometown. His deeds were noticed by the main general of Chinese army and invited him to meet the Emperor himself.
Chinmi attended to his sister’s wedding before heading to the capital. It turns out that the Emperor invites him to participate in a tournament of martial arts. Chinmi was reunited with Xu Fang, but it turns out that he was brainwashed by an assassin who plotted to use him to kill the Emperor. Chinmi also befriended Dan Dan, a youth experts in martial arts solely based on kicking, and he helped him restore Xu Fang’s mind and foiling the assassin’s plot to kill the Emperor. Chinmi ended up as the champion and returned to the Dairin Temple. The first series of the manga ended there.
Shin Tekken Chinmi
In the 1st saga, Chimni is targeted by the ruler’s personnel consisting of an army, a vicious captain and a general. Chinmi engaged the captain throughout the whole saga and had a final duel with him in volume 8. After defeating the captain, he was to engage against the general which was a much tougher foe to defeat compared to the inferior captain. Fortunately, thanks to Chinmi’s agility and quick reflexes, he managed to defeat the general resulting in him falling out of the castle walls.
The princess was worried that the general might still be alive, hence, she brought a group of men to hunt the general down and kill him. Once the general was discovered, they rallied up and attempted to engage him. The general committed suicide as he did not want people to know that he was defeated by enemies weaker than him and died under his own technique. This saga ends at book 13.
The 2nd saga depicts him of infiltrating the naval base as a spy for the emperor. The emperor has suspected that there were men with other motives and to overthrow the current admiral in order to gain authority in the navy. Chinmi, Dan Dan and Xu Fang were sent to act as spies for the emperor. This saga spans from volume 14 – 20.
Ironfist Chinmi Legends
A more recent title, “Ironfist Chinmi Legends” continues Chinmi’s story in a new arc, where he along with one of his students are involved in an incident where a princess (different from the one in the first saga of “New Ironfist Chinmi”) was kidnapped by bandits.