This is a list of the characters featured in Hajime No Ippo
. Very incomplete, so please help?
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A shy, humble boy, Ippo lost his father Kazuo at a very young age and now spends his free time helping his mother run their fishing boat business. His introverted nature naturally attracts bullies who like to beat him up.
During one of those beating-up sessions, he is saved by Mamoru Takamura, who takes him to the Kamogawa boxing gym where he also discovers his powerful punch. Turns out working your life long lifting extremely heavy stuff builds a muscle or two. Ippo joins the Kamogawa gym and begins his boxing career to find out the meaning of strength.
Ippo is truly an unwritten paper of a student, closely following what he is taught to the best of his ability. He is famous for his ridiculously powerful punching power and endurance, often giving him spectacular comeback K.O.s. His defense isn't bad either, as he uses the peek-a-boo style of Mike Tyson. Despite his shy behaviour outside the ring, he shows remarkable courage and determination inside it. He is the current Japanese featherweight champion and ranked 7th in the WBC rankings.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Was bullied at school because of his sort-of part time work as a fisherman.
- Berserk Button: Do not insult his Fire-Forged Friends. Never ever!
- To put this into perspective, this is what Ippo did to a guy (Kojima Hisato) that did exactly that and took it WAY too far! The Beginning. Middle. End. And the Aftermath. To be more precise, Ippo punched a man so hard, he doesn't even remember FIGHTING him, so yeah. Again. Do. Not. Fuck. With Ippo's Fire-Forged Friends!
- He also does not like boxers that cheat in boxing.
- A Boy And His Dog: Eventually becomes the owner of a dog, Wanpo.
- Butt Monkey
- Chick Magnet: Has three girls fighting over him.
- Covert Pervert: Was caught peeking at Takamura's porno magazines and was okay with the idea of Takamura lending him porno videos. Secretly, of course. He also jumped at Dr.Yamaguchi's "invitation". Oddly enough he rarely has any these thoughts around the girl he likes, Kumi. It's mainly just modest male urges, and even then nothing too perverted.
- Special mention goes to when a popular reporter came to visit the gym, asked to spar with him, and he allowed her to hit him for a better *cough*view*cough*.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- Determinator: While normally a required trait for his combat style, it is starting to cost him dearly in a Deconstruction after his second loss. The severe accumulated damage he has taken to his body over all his matches including his second loss are causing issues with his eye-sight and possibly other health issues that might hinder or even end his career/life.
- Disappeared Dad: His father Kazuo died when he was a child, and we don't know about his relatives aside of his mother Hiroko.
- The Dutiful Son
- Extreme Doormat. At first.
- Game-Breaking Injury: His vision and hand-eye coordination has suffered since his second loss and it remains to be seen if there are other effects from his accumulated damage.
- Gag Penis: He is very well endowed.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Wanpo.
- Humble Hero
- I Just Want to Be Badass
- Invincible Hero: He wins almost all of his fights. And always by KO. Somewhat justified as he literally can't win in any other way, due to his boxing style.
- Magnetic Hero: Earns the respect of many boxers he met.
- Mighty Glacier -> Lightning Bruiser: At the beginning, he only has his strength and endurance. He later gains incredible dashing speed, weaving ability (is able to dodge completely Shigeta's rapid fire "Shotgun" punch and Mashiba's flicker) and the Spam Attack Dempsey Roll. His nickname God of Wind derives from his ability to deal very powerful blows quite rapidly.
- Otaku: This guy probably knows more about Miyata's matches than Miyata's own father, to the point of being able to reenact the whole thing. Actually, he was the first one to figure out the reason behind Miyata cancelling his match against Ippo.
- Shrinking Violet
- Signature Move: Gazelle Punch, Liver Blow, Dempsey Roll, and the Tekken.
- Submissive Badass: Might as well be the king of this trope. He comes off as very threatening to his enemies and is able to put considerable pressure on them - that doesn't stop him from being a meek and shy person outside the ring. It's also why he never goes into the ring with the mentality of defending his title, because he dislikes thinking of himself as stronger than his opponents.
- Power of Trust: Has this going on with coach Kamogawa and his training. Much of his determination comes from the fact that he refuses to give up unless he has put everything he was taught to use. He comes back from the brink of a K.O. multiple times simply because he felt like hadn't used everything he learned yet.
- Red Baron: God of Wind.
- Took a Level in Badass
- Twice Shy: With Kumi.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: His Dempsey Roll.
Big, loud-mouthed, perverted and mean, Takamura is a jerk. He is also undefeated two-time world champion and the idol of everyone at the Kamogawa gym. Because despite his bullying behaviour, he is something of a big brother to the other boxers: he is the one that got all of them into boxing and occasionally uses his vast knowledge to give them advice. Due to his status as the golden champion, he's also their idol. As much as he looks like someone with a giant ego and nothing to back it up, Takamura is something of a Guile Hero
, rarely being defeated in anything even unrelated to boxing. He used to be a delinquent feared by everyone on the streets, until coach Kamogawa discovered him and got him into boxing, for which Takamura is very thankful. And despite his normally dirty behaviour, he is honest and serious about boxing. Despite being a natural genius, he is also a hard worker.
We first meet Takamura as he saves Ippo from bullies and takes him to the boxing gym. He has a troubled (due to his jerkass personality) but nontheless close relationship to coach Kamogawa. Kamogawa notes that he loves to see Takamura fight in the ring. Takamura is actually the disinherited middle son of the Takamura Development company. He was kicked out after starting a huge fight during one of his older brother Suguru's rugby matches. (Despite that, his sister and little brother still support him.)
Takamura gains his first title in an epic fight against Bryan Hawk, WBC Junior Middleweight Champion. He later climbs up a weight class and fights against David Eagle for the next title. Another one of his most notable feats is beating a bear in a fight
. The story even made it into the local news, which resulted in the temporary nickname Bearslayer
. It also gave him three huge scars on his chest, but those only make him look even manlier.Word of God
has it that he's the best boxer in the series. He's described in-story as the ideal boxer, combining athleticism and skill as well as intelligence and instincts. His strength and stamina are almost superhuman and his instincts border on the supernatural. Upon their first meeting, Kamogawa described him as a "diamond that didn't need to be polished", easily able to take the Japanese title at that point already. Kamogawa also believes that Takamura has completely surpassed his teachings and thus often lets him fight however he wants in the ring. He's only had real trouble in two fights so far (his two matches for the world title) and often knocks out his opponent in the first round in showy fashion
. Due to his boxing insight, he often serves as the Mr. Exposition
during matches of other people.
Ippo's senpai and Kimura's best friend. Aoki provides much of the gym's comic relief and exercises one of the world's most unusual fighting styles. A few of his signature techniques include the fan-favorite Frog Punch, double punch, an untorqued (ineffective) corkscrew punch, and the utterly ridiculous Lookaway (which has also been adopted by Takamura). In the past, he and Kimura were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Aoki's real job is at a ramen restaurant. Due to the numerous times being dumped by the pretty girls in high school, he's developed a taste for women with unattractive faces. He has fought for the Japanese lightweight championship, losing in a draw, and shares an apartment with his girlfriend, Tomiko, a friend of Kumi Mashiba whose nice personality and good body more than compensate for her less-than-stellar face. Aoki seems to be based on either former world champion Jorge Páez, or hardcore fight fan hero Emanuel Augustus for their offbeat fighting styles and records. His current record stands at 20 Matches 11-6-4 (W-L-D), with 6 KOs, and the best rank he reached is 1st in Lightweight. His signature "Look Away" technique is based on a skill former World Middleweight Champion Jake LaMotta had used in his career and his signature move the "Frog Punch" is based on real-life former world champion Koichi Wajima whose signature move was called the "Frog Jump".
Aoki is ranked 7th in JBC Lightweight rankings.
- Animal Motifs: The frog.
- Awesome but Impractical: His Frog Punch. It is an upper thrown with his entire body in order to amplify its power. It is a high-risk, high-reward move suitable for someone who lacks raw brute strength.
- The Ace: Subverted with Boxing, but played straight with everything else. Aoki is good at baseball (people from his high school team say that if he and Kimura kept playing, they would have went to Koshien), bowling, and his ramen shop is extremely successful.
- The Chew Toy: Even more unlucky than Ippo, and that's something.
- Confusion Fu: His fighting style is rather unorthodox.
- Delinquents: He and Kimura, in their Back Story.
- Signature Move: Frog Punch and Look Away.
- Team Chef: Justified, he has a part-time work in a ramen restaurant.
- Those Two Guys: With Kimura.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Played it straight in his backstory, then inverted it when he became the only Kamogawa boxer with a girlfriend - and Tomiko is a Genki Girl as well as a a borderline female Gonk.
- Weak, but Skilled: Aoki lacks the brute strenght that most of the series' boxers posses, and his stamina isn't particularly great either. He makes up for this by employing a very unorthodox fighting style, and making use of intricate tactics and mind-games during his matches. Most who see it end up thinking he's just a clown fooling around, but there's much more to it than that.
Ippo's senpai and Aoki's best friend. He is the smooth, collected type and a romantic at heart, but trains as hard as anyone. His style incorporates a fast left and faster footwork and is considered by Miyata to have "no weaknesses" yet, it also doesn't have strengths either which creates Kimura's weakness. In the OVA, which was dedicated to Kimura, he is in training for his bid for the Japanese junior lightweight championship against Ryo Mashiba, he developed a devastating vertical combination known as the Dragon Fish Blow, which Kimura learned while watching his pet fish jump up and eat his meal in front of him. Another interesting fact is that, out of all the opponents that had fought Ryo Mashiba, Kimura is the only one Ryo had feared during a match. In the past, he and Aoki were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Tatsuya's real job is at his family's flower shop. His current record stands at 24 Matches 17-5-3 (W-L-D), with 8 KOs, and the best rank he reach is 3rd in Jr. Lightweight. However, this rank was enough for him to get a title match, because the 1st & 2nd resigned from fear of Mashiba.
Kimura is ranked 7th in the JBC Jr. Lightweight rankings. After losing to Ryo Mashiba, he announced his retirement from boxing. Shortly after, unable to stay away from boxing, he returned saying he'd spell his name in katakana (タツヤ, Tatsuya) instead of kanji (達也,, Tatsuya). Kimura's character seems to be at least partially based on former world champion "Fearless" Freddie Pendleton, who had been a journeyman fighter his entire career, yet was still able to fight on even terms with some of the best in the world with his high level of skill.
The most recent addition to the roster, the charming Manabu has a prodigy's talent and was the captain of his high school's boxing team. Cheerful and a lover of bad puns (as are the rest of his family), Manabu is a fierce outboxer with extremely high speed and reflexes and whose fighting style is uncanny in its resemblance to Miyata's. His most powerful technique is a furious hail of mid-power blows known as the Hedgehog or Porcupine, which was employed in an East Japan Rookie Kings showdown with his longtime nemesis, Kyosuke Imai. Outside of boxing, Manabu is employed as an assistant at the Makounouchi family's fishing business. He has a big crush on Kumi but prefers to keep his feelings for himself because of his respect for his Idol Ippo. Itagaki's character is based on retired world champion Oscar de La Hoya for his prodigy-like natural ability and good looks, whom Itagaki has admitted to idolizing in the manga. His current record as the Rookie King of his class stands at 14 Matches 12-2-0 (W-L-D), with 10 KOs.
Itagaki is currently listed as 1st in JBC Featherweight rankings and 4th in the OPBF after winning the Class A Tournament. Itagaki is one of the speed square which consists of 3rd Saeki, 5th Karasawa, 7th Fukui.
Recently, It's been shown that Itagaki has become quite smitten for Kumi, but realizes feeling is not mutual.
Head coach and founder of the Kamogawa gym. He fought as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of the Second World War. Along with his friends, Ginpachi Nekota and Dankichi Hama, Kamogawa developed a style of fighting that both presumably became the forerunner of boxing in Japan and emphasized scientific theory in its techniques. In his prime, Kamogawa's talents included the fearsome, yet self-destructive, Tekken (Iron Fist) blow which is a left hook body blow enough to knock someone down and an unyielding spirit which has been passed onto his students. As a coach, Kamogawa's wealth of knowledge and experience has been tapped into on multiple occasions during training as well as in matches. He may seem to be a bit gruff towards his boxers, but maintains very strong relationships based on trust and spirit; i.e., he rescued Takamura from his life as a thug by introducing him to boxing. Although he rarely admits it aloud, he is extremely proud of his two best reliable straight-forward boxers, Takamura and Ippo.
During Ippo's comeback fight, Coach Kamogoawa was hospitalized due to over fatigue. Therefore not being able to teach Ippo a technique that would utilize both attacking and defending simultaneously. He was shocked during Ippo's match with Ponchai when, during the timeout after the first round, Ippo declares a Knock Out within the Second Round. Coach Kamogawa's pride was lifted up, however, when Ippo did the Dempsey Roll for the first time, not even knowing what it was called.
Ippo's matches with Volg and Sanada proved how tight the bond between the Coach and his athlete is. During Ippo's fight with Volg, Ippo made a remark to Kamogawa: "Amazing". Kamogawa thought that Ippo was referring to Volg's Power. Ippo stated "I followed everything you taught me during training and it's working.". During the end of the fight with Sanada, Ippo was sitting on the neutral corner due to the damage he sustained from the fight. Kamogawa reached out a hand to Ippo to let him up and Ippo stared in amazement at his Coach's hand, referring to it as "The hand that pushed me to exceed my limit".
Manager and Assistant Trainer of Kamogawa Boxing Gym, he also acts as a cutman during matches. Called "Yagi-chan" by his pupils, he is the one responsible for the gym's finances, equipment maintenance, promoting matches and acquiring and selling tickets. He knows a great deal about boxing himself, having been a boxer at Kamogawa Gym once.
Best known as the primary trainer of Aokimura and Itagaki.
Miyata is a very skilled outboxer specializing in counters. As a rookie, he was recognized as a genius, although his great abilities stem more from hard work than one might initially believe. He's a very cool-headed and intelligent person. Despite his somewhat cold demeanor, he has a great fighting spirit and is nicer than one might think at first.
He's Ippo's main rival but also idol, as the two constantly try to top each other and grow as boxer with the other one as their goal. He's the current reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion, which he won from Arnie Gregory. Miyata has a deep relationship with his father and trainer, who was the reason Miyata got into boxing in the first place, to prove that his fathers way of boxing isn't wrong. This is why he got into boxing much earlier than any of the other boxers, long before he could even become pro boxer.
Miyata is a Fragile Speedster
and very skilled counter-puncher. He loves high-risk, high-reward counters. He has very low punching power and a "glass jaw", which are significant weaknesses. He attempts to overcome these with technique and speed. He has a remarkably great fighting spirit, probably on par with Ippo's. Somewhat surprisingly, Word of God
says he's the third best pound-for-pound boxer in the series.
- The Ace: To a slight degree.
- Achilles' Heel: His lack of physical strength and his "glass jaw" the second is inherited from his dad.
- Bishōnen: And how.
- Chick Magnet
- Counter Attack: His main boxing philosophy passed down from his father and to make up for his weak punches. This is why his fights often start with him using his speed to run around the opponent or alternatively get pounded one-sidedly until he lands a One-Hit Kill counter.
- Cross Counter: The main user of this type of counter in the series, but usually connects as a full on counter rather than an exchange of hits.
- Dramatic Wind: His tie loves flapping.
- Determinator: Yeah, really. In fact, the "green eyes of determination" that are sometimes seen first appeared in him.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Ippo
- Fragile Speedster -> Glass Cannon: He later gains excellent counters that make his attack power much more fearsome on top of his speed, but he remains fragile, due to his weight control. To quote Kamogawa, "A blade with an incredible cutting edge is easily broken."
- Generation Xerox
- It's Personal: Towards Randy Boy Jr.
- Like Father, Like Son
- Missing Mom: His parents are divorced.
- Nerves of Steel
- Red Baron: God of Lightning.
- Signature Move: Jolt Counter.
- The Stoic: The closest it gets in the series.
- Weak, but Skilled: His physical strength and durability are pathetic. He makes up for it by being one of the most skilled boxers in the story, with excellent counters that compensate for his lack of strength.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He took up boxing to fulfill his father's shattered dreams. In a subversion, his dad and coach isn't a stage father and they get along quite well.
- When He Smiles
Nicknamed the Naniwa Tiger in his hometown where he is quite a popular figure, Takeshi Sendo is a brash and hotblooded boxer. He has an elaborate backstory, so much that he had is own gaiden
chapter focusing on his past. His mother died few after he was born, his dad was a firefighter who died while rescuing a boy during a blaze when Sendo was very little. Sendo continued to follow his father's advice by trying to help others. One day he and his friends got beaten up by bullies. Frustrated of being unable to protect them, he swore to do it by any means - and the next day, he grabbed his baseball bat and ambushed said bullies, beating them up as punishment. By high-school Sendo had become very extreme with his protection - he was leader of a gang of delinquents and quite possibly the most feared street fighter in Osaka. Despite that, he never attacked people but rather defended the weak. His absolute refusal to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear on such injustice got him into trouble quite often.
Because he's such an excellent fighter, he got rather bored since nobody could satisfy his hunger for an equal. That is when Yanaoka met him and introduced him to boxing, after resisting one of Sendo's attacks. Easily becoming East Japan Rookie King, he saw Ippo Makunouchi which made him very excited, to say the least.
Sendo has an extremely aggressive boxing style, barely ever using a proper defense and preferring to take hits if he can dish out something in return. His punching power is spectacular and on par with Ippo's. He also has excellent natural fighting insincts but lacks a bit in technique.
A retired Featherweight boxer and now trainer, Date was the two time Japanese Featherweight Champion and even fought on the world stage. He has been the only fighter to defeat Ippo
. He lost to Ricardo Martinez twice, once in the past which is how he got his scar
and the second time in an epic fight that showed his great determination.
He's a smart, technically skilled boxer with great experience. Despite the contrast to that, his boxing style is very aggressive. He is good friends with Takamura. After his second loss against Martinez, he passes on the baton to Ippo.
In front of the grave of his parents, then-highschool student Ryo Mashiba made two promises. First, he wouldn't rely on or believe in anyone else. Second, that he'd protect his little sister Kumi at all costs. Due to his tough life, Mashiba is unsociable and cynical, rarely seems to care about anyone other than his sister and has no concern for his opponents.
A highly intimidating character, Mashiba is former Japanese Junior Lightweight champion and current OPBF Lightweight champion. He's a vicious outboxer who's most notable for his use of the Flicker Jab. He has exceptional reach and is quite skilled, and not to mention he will do anything it takes to win, even cheating if necessary.
- Berserk Button: DO. NOT. TOUCH. HIS. SISTER!
- Big Brother Instinct: Follows his sister and Ippo's dates, much to Ippo's horror and general hilarity.
- Blood Knight
- Combat Pragmatist: Him stepping on Miyata's foot was genuinely accidental, but it didn't stop him from using it to his advantage. He's Genre Savvy enough to believe that, even if he explained the circumstances, no one would believe it anyway.
- Determinator: In his fight against Ippo, his left arm, which is his main weapon due to his flicker jabs, sustained severe damage to the point he couldn't move, plus he had broken at least a few ribs from all the body blows he took. He not only refused to go down, he managed to use his left arm again despite all the pain. The anime draws even more attention to this because of the dreadful crunching noises heard when he moves the arm.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door
- Knight Templar Big Brother: You hurt Kumi, you go to HELL. This caused Mashiba to pound Sawamura to a pulp in a match and consequently disqualified because the latter barely scratched the former's little sis.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Odd Friendship: With Itagaki. They even went clothes shopping and eating together.
- Parental Abandonment: His parents died when he was in highschool.
- Red Baron: Grim Reaper.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Mashiba is a Blood Knight. Kumi is a Yamato Nadeshiko.
- Signature Move: Flicker Jab, Chopping Right
- Slasher Smile: And how◊
- Sociopathic Hero
- The Comically Serious
A dark, remorseless boxer from Nagoya. Albeit quiet and cold, he is extremely violent and cruel when he fights, going as far as blatantly cheating even when he's at the advantage. He is a lonely individual and his only friends are his old teacher and Takeshi Sendo, though he treats neither with any respect or kindness. Despite his outwardly cold and stoic personality, he can lapse into fits of madness when he's at his worst. One of the most notable traits of his is that he doesn't box for success, but rather to torture and destroy his opponent. He will often prolong matches to continue beating his opponent instead of simply ending it. He experiences defeat at the hand of a very angry Ippo for his bad attitude towards boxing. Despite the hopes of his old teacher, his personality doesn't get better, though he does learn the value of hard work and develops an actual will for success. He later fights Mashiba for the Japanese Junior Lightweight title. Despite being brutally knocked out of the ring by Mashiba, he wins the title as Mashiba is disqualified. Due to the damage he suffered from the fight, he has a traffic accident, which forces him to retire from boxing. After that, his sociopathic tendencies seem to have calmed down, even showing a sense of sarcastic humour. Sawamura has a great eye for boxing, possibly equal to that of Takamura.
He has quite possibly the darkest past of all characters in the story. He stabbed his abusive father as a kid and his mother abandoned him when she first noticed his sociopathic tendencies. He was alone for pretty much his entire life, which is the reason why he shut himself off from other human contact to such a degree. This is made worse by the fact that he was extremely hated in his town and was constantly attacked by others. He already met Sendo in the past. Both renowed street fighters that never lost, Sendo fought him until Sawamuras old teacher intervened. The teacher later begs Sendo to become Sawamuras friend, as it is the loneliness that makes him so bad. Because of this, Sendo and Sawamura share a somewhat odd 'friendship'.
As bad as his personality is, he is an absolute genius as a boxer. His natural instincts are great and he's a gifted counter puncher. In fact, his sense for counters is mentioned to be even higher than that of Miyata. His athletic abilities are fairly average, but his high skill, analytical ability and talent more than makes up for it. It's easily possible that he could have won against Ippo, had he been serious about defeating him.
Dr. Kazuki Sanada
Iwao is a Japanese Featherweight boxer who challenged Ippo for the belt. Like Ippo, he is a fisherman, possesses incredible strength, and has monstrous stamina. Iwao has the distinction of being the first opponent to discover the Dempsey Roll's weakness. While Iwao ultimately lost the fight, later opponents would use the knowledge gained from the fight to produce a much more solid counter to the Dempsey Roll with much less risk to the defender.
Naomichi Yamada/Hammer Nao
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Better to lose than to in-fight: Decides he'd rather take the chance of losing by fighting at middle range than resort to the in-fighting tactics his coach recommends for surviving the round. Even Itagaki is surprised.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Determinator: Forces himself to see through Itagaki's feint through sheer force of will rather than turn to in-fighting. Also pushes himself off the mat after his first down in their fight despite his legs being all but dead. Too bad it wasn't enough to fight a man with all your powers combined.
- Fun Personified
- Lightning Bruiser: Maybe one of the best examples in this manga. Even Date has problems with his speed.
- Slipknot Ponytail. Keeps his long hair tied up when he fights, it goes loose when he loses to Ippo and Itagaki.
The longtime rival of Itagaki Manabu, Imai was the one boxer who managed to thwart Itagaki in his high-school days. They fought a total of three times in the amateur ring; each time Imai was victorious. His build, KO pattern, and even hairstyle are remarkably similar to those of Itagaki's senpai, Makunouchi Ippo. Imai is ordinarily cool and composed, bearing a poker face even in the heat of battle. Eventually, Itagaki defeats Imai in a heated battle. It seems the only people who can rouse him out of this perpetual calm are Ippo, Itagaki, and Itagaki's sister Nanako — with whom Imai is very much smitten. Imai defeated Itagaki for the vacant Japanese featherweight title.
- Bishōnen / —> Gonk
- Brilliant but Lazy: Said to have been this at the beginning.
- Big Eater: Once he stopped with the weight control, he really let go.
- Game-Breaking Injury: Being KO'd Ippo had some serious complications, so he had to retire.
- Last-Second Chance: He fights Ippo to not lose the support of his gym and the love of his girlfriend Reiko, who is the daughter of the owner He loses, but manages to stay in and recovers Reiko's love and respect.)
The opponent for Ippo's eight domestic championship title defense. Dropped two weight classes for the chance to challenge Ippo, and has a tremendous deal of confidence in the power of his punches. Is constantly trying to anger Ippo, first by calling every opponent he's fought before trash, and then by telling him his coach is a hack. Also claims to know an, as of yet undisclosed, "weakness" in Ippo's boxing, that he claims makes it impossible for him to lose their match.
- Ascended Fanboy: Quite possibly the biggest fan of Makunochi Ippo in the manga's universe (also, probably the ONLY fan of Aoki in the manga universe.) Doesn't stop him from being a complete dick to him for mysterious reasons.
- No, the reasons he's a dick to Ippo are obvious by the ens of the arc. He intends to retire from boxing after that match, regardless of the outcome, and he wants to face his idol fighting at the absolute peak of ability before retiring.
- Body Horror: His skin and bones look during the weigh-in before the fight can be considered this. Only Takamura has ever looked worse after a struggle of weight management.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a pair of scars running between the knuckles of his right hand. According to Ippo, they don't look like boxing wounds.
- Jerkass Façade: Shown to be a lighthearted guy who deeply cares about his kouhai, loves his wife and unborn child, and respects Makunochi Ippo from the bottom of his heart. Every time he crosses paths with Ippo, though, all he ever says are cutting and condescending things.
- Tempting Fate: you may have your reasons... but are you SURE you know what you're getting into by pushing all the berserk buttons of the hardest punching featherweight in all of Asia?
- Fate tempted as of chapter 939 when Ippo one shot flips him onto the floor, twice. Word of advice.... Don't push Ippo's buttons.
- Worthy Opponent: What he says when they're together aside, he considers Ippo to be this: expecting their bout to be the hardest fought he's ever had... the kind of fight he'll "have battle scars when he walks away from." Of course, he still plans on winning.
Japanese featherweight boxer. Notable for his lengthy boxing career, yet he has never been a champion. Right before his title match against then-champion Eiji Date, his son fell ill which resulted in Take halting his boxing career. This incident caused his son to be bullied because the father was a "coward" for not facing Date. Take returned to the ring to prove to his son that he's no coward...by facing Ippo
Take's fighting style is unorthodox. He fights by getting into his opponents' heads and by using techniques that limit their abilities. Take is able to figure out an opponent's weakness quickly and exploit it to the fullest. Date fears
Take, which is saying something considering how broken (read: insanely powerful) Date is. Take's appearance is that of an older man, yet he's 31 years old. His appearance—notably his half-opened eyes—is the result of a long career of taking hits to the face.
Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi (JP)
One of Ippo's first opponents, he is an American soldier stationed in the Okinawa base. He looks huge and scary, but is a great guy at heart.
Alexander Volg Zangief
Volg is a Russian boxer and was Amateur World Champion, born and raised by a single mother near to Leningrad/St. Petersburg. Subverting pretty much every common cliche associated with Russians, Volg is an extremely kind-hearted and soft-spoken person who initially got into pro boxing in order to pay for the medical assistance of his Ill Girl
mother, after his trainer discovered his amazing talent.
Volg quickly becomes friends with Ippo, but after a loss by decision against Sendo, he is forced to leave boxing and return to Russia. Much later, his mother dies of her illness and his life is filled with an emptiness he decides to fill with boxing once again. And so he makes a comeback and decides to do so in America.
Volg is an extremely talented boxer with superb skill. While he excels at outboxing and taking points, he is forced to adopt a more aggressive infighting style in Japan, in order to attract attention as a foreigner. It is heavily implied that he could be much better than he already is, if he fought in his natural style, which we have yet to see.
- Animal Motifs: The wolf.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: His entire life was akin to being a Cosmic Plaything so much that even Ippo lampshades the unfairness. He loses his beloved mother, constantly has to deal with racism in the ring, had to fight outside his natural fighting style against Ippo and Sendou leading to losses, is the victim of blatant cheating in his world title match but endures through all of it without ever whining. Now? He's the goddamn junior lightweight world champion.
- Even the Guys Want Him:The male journalists admit they could almost fall for him in a recent chapter.
- Evil Redhead: Subverted, he's a genuinely Nice Guy.
- The Dutiful Son
- Husky Russkie: Subverted again. See Evil Redhead.
- Jack of All Stats: Flirting with Lightning Bruiser.
- Missing Mom: Mrs. Volg was an Ill Girl. Guess what happened.
- No Sense of Direction: Justified Trope, as his Japanese is very rusty and he can't read the kanji on the subway signs.
- Red Baron: White Fang.
- Shrinking Violet: Mild case.
- Signature Move: White Fang
- Also adopts the Hien as well, using it to help even the playing field during his title match in America.
- And soon, the Tsubame Gaeshi.
- Super Mode: When he decides to let loose his animal instincts.
- Spell My Name with an "S": It's either Volg or Vorg, depending on the translation.
- Worthy Opponent
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Vorg had a lot of trouble breaking Mike Elliot's guard, so he purposely trained Mike to keep guarding body shots to set up a White Fang to the head. When that didn't work, Vorg stuck with the plan and kept aiming at the body. After doing this for a bit, Vorg finally went for the Tsubame Gaeshi. But when even that failed, Vorg followed up with a White Fang, finally hitting home!
Arnie is a Featherweight boxer from Australia and was the reigning OPBF champion before losing the title to Ichirou Miyata. His manager was Mr. Sakaguchi, whom he fired halfwaythrough his match with Miyata because Arine thought of boxing as more than a means to make money. Arnie is an infighter with powerful hooks; his trademark technique, Bloody Cross, is designed to deal with counter punchers.
Woli is a 17 year old Indonesian man who lives on a remote island... Together with wild monkeys. He is discovered by Miguel Zail, former trainer of Bryan Hawk. Woli is a true boxing genius, and very talented. Very, very
talented. His natural instincts are comparable to those of Takamura
of all people. And it shows, since Woli became Indonesian Featherweight Champion after only three fights
. To compare, Ippo wasn't even finished with the Japanese Rookie Tournament by then. Despite his innate talent, he has a cheerful, fun-loving and naive personality. His trainer Miguel makes it clear the he's his "last son" and that he plans to pour all of his knowledge into him and unlike with Hawk, won't rely solely on his natural abilities. Due to his one-in-a-billion talent, almost every character who has seen him predicts a great future for him.
He fights Ippo as his fourth match. It quickly seems as if Ippo is no match for him, despite Wolis inexperience. However, Ippo manages to eventually beat him due to built up damage on Woli's ribs. Neither Woli nor his trainer see the loss as something dramatic, merely a great experience for Woli, which is the only thing he lacks yet. Kamogawa makes it clear that he won't make Ippo fight Woli again, because he knows it was only his inexperience that let Ippo win the fight, and believes that Ippo won't stand a chance against a more experienced Woli.
As a prodigy of prodigies, Woli can be said to have the most potential of all Featherweight boxers. His innate fighting insticts allow him to naturally use high-level techniques without having properly trained them. For example, he throws Sendo's Smash and Mashiba's Flicker Jab simply because it was an appropriate move in the situation. His agility is top-notch as well, comparable to that of Miyata and Itagaki. He can use both outboxing and infighting and is especially dangerous in the corner, where he can easily set up counters.
Voiced by: Masashi Sugawara
The living legend, Ricardo Martinez is the undefeated, seemingly invincible Featherweight World Champion. He's a Mexican who enjoys such popularity that there's a higher chance Mexicans know him than their own president. Stoic and quiet, Martinez is rarely surprised by anything. He gave Date Eiji his first loss in a brutal T.K.O. In a sparring match against Ippo, Martinez knocks him unconcious in the first round with jabs alone and also easily counters the dempsey roll.
He has a revenge match against Date Eiji which he also wins without visible injuries. However, Date is the boxer Martinez respects the most, for his unbreakable spirit and willpower.
His boxing style is pretty much perfect. In his natural style, he combines intelligence and skill with instincts and violent power. His athletic abilities and reflexes are top-notch and he rarely if ever falls for someones trap. He has over 60 wins, almost all by K.O., and not a single loss or draw in his career. Word of God
states that he is the second best boxer in the story, only behind good old Takamura.
Easily the most detestable boxer in the story, Bryan Hawk was WBC Middleweight Champion until his defeat at the hands of Takamura. He loves to provoke and humiliate his opponents, has a contemptuous attitude towards boxing and is extremely arrogant, as well as too lazy to properly train. Despite that, he's even worse in the ring. Hawk is the epitome of the word 'wild', being almost uncontrollable even by his trainer and extremely violent in the ring, easily approaching Ax-Crazy
levels. He is beaten by Takamura in a match of epic proportions.
Hawk grew up in the slums of New York, where he survived by beating his threats with bare hands, whether they were armed or not. His trainer Miguel stumbles upon him while he's beating an already unconcious man. Shocked by the insanity in Hawks eyes, but also noticing the potential he had, Miguel invited him to a place where he could fight all he wanted and be payed for it. And a license to kill...
Like Takamura, he has unbelievable natural talent and power. He is so strong that despite rarely training, he seems invincible in the ring. Because of his violently insane personality, he is extremely dangerous and has no consideration for his opponent. Hawk is perhaps the most unorthodox boxer in the series, throwing odd punches and swaying backwards to dodge. His trainer calls his style not boxing, but simply violence. But it's the lack of skillfull boxing that makes him so dangerous, as he becomes a highly unpredictable opponent.
- A Lady on Each Arm: He loves this trope.
- Ambiguously Brown
- Ax-Crazy: Extreme emphasis on crazy.
- Blood Knight
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Brilliant but Lazy: Brilliant in boxing, not in terms of intelligence, of course.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A villainous example.
- Dark-Skinned Blond Guys Are Evil
- Depraved Bisexual: Not stated directly, but considering he gets sexual pleasure from violence...
- Determinator: Averted. He never had to fight from equal footing or worse before Takamura, and the ego shattering leads to his Villainous Breakdown.
- Dismotivation: Hawk and training? No way.
- Eagleland: Type 2
- Evil Laugh
- Good Old Fisticuffs: His style is less "boxing" and more "punching like you're still on the street."
- Gratuitous English: "GOOO TOOO HEEEEEELLLL!!"
- Technically, he's American. But Akio Ohtsuka's English is... not very good.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Initially played straight as he admittedly rarely goes into a fight with any significant training and still is a World Champion.
- Humiliation Conga: Which leads to a Villainous Breakdown
- Indy Ploy
- Interplay of Sex and Violence
- Insane Equals Violent
- Jerk Ass
- Large Ham
- Lightning Bruiser
- Not So Different: With Takamura
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He's blatantly racist against Japanese and makes it a point to humiliate them.
- Psycho for Hire: Extreme emphasis on psycho.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: MAJOR example here.
- Satisfied Street Rat
- Signature Move: Pure Violence (a series of techniques that allow Bryan to throw punches with considerable power at weird angles, and at the same time avoid the opponent's attacks completely).
- The Scrappy: In universe case.
- Sex Is Violence: Hawk needs sex to compensate for a lack of violence. He also seems to become sexually aroused by violence.
- Slasher Smile
- Smug Snake: A bit.
- Street Urchin: His backstory
- Unskilled, but Strong: Subverted in that his lack of formal boxing training gave him a different, rather than lack of, skill set which made him unpredictable.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating
- Villainous Breakdown: Takamura broke his spirit, big time. We get to see how "well" he is when David Eagle meets him long after Hawk's loss to Takamura.
The complete opposite of Bryan Hawk in both personality and boxing style, David Eagle is the WBC Middleweight Champion. Eagle is an honorable and friendly man, always looking for a greater challenge. He used to be olympic gold medalist until he went into boxing. Because of his shining attitude, Ippo says he looks like a classic super hero. He is defeated by Takamura.
Eagle is a highly orthodox fighter, best at the very basics of boxing. His technique and concentration are top-notch and his best weapon is a simple one-two. He's also rather intelligent in the ring and uses mind games against his opponent.
Another trait is his great fighting spirit, which Takamura compares to that of Ippo, even mentioning he's just like him.
- The Ace
- Cavalier Competitor
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Takamura sure did.
- Determinator: "Just like Ippo."
- Eagleland: Type 1
- Foil: He is the complete opposite of Brian Hawk in almost every imaginable way.
- Graceful Loser
- Honor Before Reason: He is unwilling to exploit Takamura's bleeding wound, which is something anyone would have done in that situation. The reason he didn't? He cared more about having a fight that would require him to give 100% than he did about simply winning, and a doctor stop wouldn't give him that.
- Knight in Shining Armor
- Lonely at the Top: He accepted Takamura's challenge, flew to Japan, and fought on enemy turf because he had never faced an opponent against whom he had to fight with everything he had, and he hoped Takamura would be the rival he'd always hoped for. His inner monologue even implies that the reason he lost their neck-and-neck fight was because he was satisfied to finally have a worthy opponent, and cared more about this than the outcome of the match, whereas Takamura never lost sight of his goal of taking Eagle's championship belt.
- Red Baron: Golden Eagle.
- The Strategist
- Worthy Opponent
Randy Boy Jr.
The son of Randy Boy, the boxer who fought Miyata's dad and inflicted him a Game-Breaking Injury
that destroyed his career. Ironically, the brain damage that Randy Sr. sustained in the same fight actually killed him some time later.
More than a decade has passed, and now Randy Jr. is a boxer in his own right. He became OPBF interim champion during Miyatas absence and naturally has a 'unison' match against him for the belt. Despite the fact that Miyata's father is indirectly responsible for his father's death
, he makes it clear that he doesn't have a grudge against Miyata.
His fighting style resembles that of his father, which he claims to be a coincidence since he rarely ever saw his father. His most distinguishing feature is the fact that he's a genius switch-hitter, able to change between normal stance and southpaw very fluidly. This creates a 'satic' that disrupts the opponents rythym, especially that of counter punchers. Because of this, he's the worst possible match-up for Miyata. He has gained the ring-name "Asura" for his ability to 'go' and 'see' everywhere in the ring.
The reigning Philippines Featherweight national champion, a crooked fighter who offers to fix his fights in exchange for prize money
. Prior to becoming a boxer, Malcolm stole money on the streets and it led to him getting shot and scarred on the shoulder. He's known as "The Magician" for his the tricks he uses inside of the ring, such as the use his long arms to block one's vision while using good his footwork to get away from his opponent. Another trick is how he throws off an opponent's depth perception by loosening the strings on his left glove so that it flings off his unclenched fist, making his reach seem even longer. After losing the fight with Ippo, Malcolm later confessed that his loss to Randy Boy, Jr. led him to give up his world aspirations and box only for the money rather than competition.
Ralph is an American Army sergeant and boxer from the Kamogawa flashback arc
. His skill as a world-class boxer was undermined by his view towards the Japanese people. He's pretty much Bryan Hawk in this regard. Ralph's second is Miguel Zail
, which is notable because he's not the bad guy readers might have expected considering he's the same second who trained Bryan
. Ralph's first challenge came during his match against Nekota
, where he resorted to using a Rabbit Punch, an illegal move. It's this move that ended Nekota's prizefighting career
, and caused Kamogawa to challenge Ralph
. In their eventual match, Ralph fell victim to the Tekken
, but it's unknown whether he died from his injuries. The punch fractured his ribs, so it's possible some vital organs were punctured
. In the end, Ralph changed his ways, and viewed the Japanese people in a more positive light thanks to Nekota
American boxer who won a silver medal in the Olympics. Mike is the current junior lightweight world champion. Contrary to what readers may have believed, his intentions for his match against Vorg Zangief
are completely noble. He simply wants a clean boxing match where the winner is determined by a battle of wits, and he would get his wish through Vorg
. He is friends with David Eagle.
Jimmy Sisfa/Scratch J
Voiced by: Ohkura Masaaki (JP)
Jimmy is the former Thai Featherweight champion. He fell victim to Ichirou Miyata's Jolt Counter, which Miyata needed to use because Jimmy wouldn't have went down otherwise. After Jimmy lost the match, he turned into a somewhat destructive boxer. In all subsequent matches, he used a more aggressive style to the point where he ended up with scars all over his face, and slurred speech. This earned him the nickname "Scratch J." Jimmy retired from boxing after his match with Ippo.
"The man ranked second in the world", Alfredo Gonzales is a Mexican boxer at the world level. Like Date Eiji, his only two losses have been against Ricardo Martinez. Despite having suffered those losses, deafeating Martinez still remains his goal and inspiration. He is the first truly international world stage opponent that Ippo faces. He appears quiet and calm, but hides a ferocious and bloodthirsty personality. His boxing style is very similar to Ricardo Martinez, in that he is a well-rounded, orthodox boxer with a high level of skill and technique, yet possessing a wilder side that focuses on brawling. Him relinquishing his orthodox style and letting go of his ferocious inner self is dubbed "Metztli Mode".
Voiced by: Yorie Terauchi (JP)
Hiroko is Ippo's widowed mother. She is a very kind and strong willed woman who cares for her son a great deal. She started running the fishing business after her husband, Kazuo, died after saving his friend Sakuma
. Though she refuses to attend any of Ippo's matches because she doesn't want to watch him get hurt, she supports his boxing wholeheartedly because she knows how much joy it has brought to his life and how it has helped him with his self-esteem. Since Kazuo's death, Ippo and Hiroko have been more or less alone in the world; so the strength of their family bond is no surprise.
Kazuo MakunouchiIppo's deceased father
. Not much is known about his past other than he was a fisherman who loved to get into fights
, and that he had a powerful punch. He died when Ippo was much younger, saving his friend Sakuma in a storm. Ippo's mother said that Kazuo was more suited to be a boxer than Ippo was. In a flashback in volume 56, Kazuo said Ippo was weak and he was going to "train" him. It is unknown what training he was planning to put Ippo through. It is through his strategy that Ippo beat Miyata (When Kazuo was to fight a stronger opponent, he would picture his opponent as a fish and all the tension would go away). He also won his match against Iwao Shimabukuro with the same strategy
We first meet Umezawa as a bully in Ippo's school who is constantly tormenting and eploiting him. However, as Ippo begins to get into boxing and grow more as a fighter, Umezawa notices the changes in him and discovers a newfound admiration for the guy he used to push around. He started to watch all of Ippo's fights and invite other delinquents to do so, as they were all boxing fans. After graduation, Umezawa decides to help Ippo by working at the Makunoichis' Fishing Shop so he could focus on his training. Currently he is easily Ippo's 1# fan and one of his best friends.
Kumi is Ryo Mashiba's sweet-natured, but hard-working and willful younger sister, and as such understands him better than anyone else. She will do almost anything to support her brother and make him happy, including going to his matches even though she doesn't like to see him get hurt. Ippo becomes infatuated with her early on, but didn't have a chance to tell her until more than a year later, when they met in an hospital as patient and nurse some months after the Ippo/Mashiba ring. They become friends and Kumi comes to like Ippo back, but their relationship tends to suffer from their friends' and relatives' constant interference, and also was somewhat strained after Ippo thought she was smitten with Dr. Sanada, until Kumi herself clarified the mistake after their match but didn't get a chance to say that Ippo was the one she really loved. Kumi tends to be modest and shy, but she will stand up for her brother and friends at a moment's notice.
Voiced by: Shoko Tsuda (JP), Helen Storm (EN)
A reporter for a boxing magazine that has been following Ippo's career since his second spar with Miyata. Occasionally he drops by with information concerning opposing fighters in upcoming matches for the Kamogawa gym members.
A 23-year-old sportswriter who works alongside Fujii at Boxing Fan Monthly. Iimura's calm indifference and sharp wit serve often to put off those who would judge her only for beauty, but she is an avid boxing fan and, though less experienced than some, an outstanding journalist. Has an interest in Ippo, but as with most of the love in the series, her love is unrequited
Miyata Sr. is the trainer of his son, Ichiro Miyata. He was a former OPBF champion who was headed for the World stage before having his jaw broken by Randy Boy Sr
, ending his career. Broken, as both a fighter and a man, Miyata Sr. began drinking heavily, causing his wife to leave him. However, he finds hope in his son, who has picked up his boxing style without having been formally trained
and becomes his trainer.
Nekota Ginpachi is a long time friend and eternal rival of Kamogawa Genji. In the past he was a natual boxer with wild instincts that even Kamogawa and Dankichi said were better than theirs but never admitting to Nekota. With fast reflexes and superb agility, Nekota was as powerful as Kamogawa and Dankichi. However, after a match with Kamogawa, Nekota found himself suffering from Punch Drunk Syndrome
. Knowing this, he still took on American soldier Ralph Anderson, who was a Welterweight world ranker before WWII. He was beating Anderson before getting hit by a rabbit punch, causing a Game-Breaking Injury
which allowed Anderson to win. Now, Nekota is a freelance boxing trainer on par or better than Kamogawa. He frequently shows up to big fights in the Japanese boxing scene as well as to support the Kamogawa gang in their biggest of fights.
A beautiful young woman who adored sunflowers. Yuki met Kamogawa and Nekota at a boxing match in the 1950s. Smitten, they offered to put her up at Kamogawa's house to protect her from American soldiers. It was soon revealed, however, that Yuki was a victim of radiation poisoning from the American bombing of Hiroshima
, and that she had come to Tokyo in hopes of living out her last days in happiness. When Nekota left Tokyo to live in the mountains, Yuki went with him; Kamogawa asked her to take care of his now-impaired best friend. Although—or perhaps because—Yuki had fallen in love with Kamogawa, she spent the rest of her life in the mountains with Nekota as per his request, dying peacefully some time later.
Voiced by: Iizuka Shouzou (JP)
Miguel is a renowned American boxing trainer with experience dating back as far as World War II. Any boxers he trains soon become champions. What separates Miguel from other trainers is that he develops...unique styles within his boxers. It's this uniqueness that allows the likes of Bryan Hawk and Woli to become champions without much effort or experience. Miguel has a history with Kamogawa, but neither men recognized each other until Woli and Ippo met at the weigh-in.
- A Father to His Men: To Woli.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: He saw Bryan Hawk for what he was, but his curiosity got the better of him and he decided to train Bryan to become a boxer, thus granting him a "licence to kill."
- He's been shown to have a Slasher Smile during the Hawk vs. Takamura match.
- Subverted when he's shown again in the Kamogawa/Nekota flashback, and again with Woli.
- Delinquent Hair: It's kind of unusual for an old man to be sporting a mohawk.
- Genre Savvy: When Takamura snaps and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of Hawk, Miguel realizes that Hawk himself, being so very similar to Takamura, must have a "hidden reserve" as well.