List of Hajime no Ippo characters

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This is a list of the fictional characters that appear in the manga and anime series Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩?), also known as Fighting Spirit. Characters are grouped by the boxing gym they are a member of.

Kamogawa Gym[edit]

Ippo Makunouchi[edit]

Ippo Makunouchi (幕之内 一歩 Makunouchi Ippo?), voiced by Kōhei Kiyasu (Japanese) and Steve Cannon (English), is the main protagonist of the series with an aggressive fighting style based on Mike Tyson. His boldness as a boxer is juxtaposed with his shy and amiable personality outside the ring. He lives with his mother, Hiroko Makunouchi, and helps with the family charter boat fishing business—a job which has developed his lower body well enough to become an effective boxer. When he was young, Ippo used to get bullied and picked on by others in his school. As fate would have it, Takamura came upon Ippo as he was getting a beating from a couple of bullies and decided to help him. Takamura saw something in Ippo and introduced him to the world of boxing. After seeing a video of Tyson, Ippo becomes inspired to take up boxing to feel reborn with strength and asks Takamura to get him into Kamogawa Gym. Immediately after arriving at Kamogawa Gym he impresses Takamura and Kamogawa with his explosive punching power and guts in the ring. Like he has with Takamura, Kamogawa personally takes on Ippo as his pupil and starts him on the path to being a pro boxer. Since then, Takamura has treated Ippo like a younger brother and has taken him under his wing.

Ippo is described as an in-fighter (though, he resembles more of a boxer-puncher) and is well known for his comeback KO victories, his Peek-a-Boo style defense and his heavy blows which include three signature punches: a rib-cracking Liver blow, Gazelle punch (an uppercut variant), and the Dempsey roll, modeled after punches used by Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, and Jack Dempsey respectively. He stands at 164 cm (5'5") tall with a 165 cm (5'5") reach and has consistently weighed 126 pounds (57 kg). His natural talents include stamina, balance and enough punching power to turn around a match instantly; combined with his superb fighting spirit, these assets lead to his comebacks victories and have allowed him to overcome any technical shortcomings. His destructive Dempsey roll technique has been a particular focus in the story and has continued to evolve through the series: in the match with Sawamura, he added a rapid stop-and-start to prevent it from being countered, and against Jimmy Sisfa, he incorporated an uppercut to the rotation, but Makunouchi needs to continue to develop his lower body to use these without risking further injury. He temporarily stopped using the Dempsey roll in order to refine his basics and become a more complete boxer. His nickname is the God of Wind, coined after the force of his powerful blows. In addition, his intense training has allowed him to mimic some fighters' specialities with a degree of success such as Sendo's smash attacks or Jimmy Sisfa's jolt attacks during their matches.

Makunouchi Ippo, the main character of the anime and manga, is said to be modeled after Mike Tyson. It was stated by Takamura in the manga that Mike Tyson was also bullied when he was still small and, even though he has an image of cold hearted man, when he was small he had a kind heart. Whenever he was bullied he ran home crying to tend to his pigeons. When, one day, a pigeon that he was bringing up got killed, Tyson charged into the scene of the crime and went completely berserk. That was the first time he realized his dynamite punch.

During his fight with Sendo, Ippo showed the Dempsey Roll's perfect form. Since the Dempsey Roll could not be used if the opponent won't back down, Ippo utilized all three of his techniques. Starting with the liver blow, which damaged Sendo's right ribs, Ippo then used a feint with his own version of "Sakki"(killing intent), called "Courage", making Sendo raise his guard. Ippo then followed up with the Gazelle punch (an uppercut using the strength of the legs for additional power), which made Sendo's jaw fly up and stunned him for a few seconds. Taking the opportunity of Sendo being stunned, Ippo then revved up his Dempsey Roll which hit Sendo a couple of times before knocking him out. Ippo used the same pattern of attack on his first title defense with Sanada but due to the damage that he sustained his attack stopped after a couple of hits.

Hajime no Ippo has covered each of Makunouchi's fights, starting with his introduction to the boxing world and winning the All Japan Rookie Kings tournament in a talented rookie Featherweight class (it has produced a four national champions and two OPBF Champions so far). The story continues with his ascension to becoming the Japanese Featherweight Champion, a title he has defended eight times. He's now begun his journey towards the world stage by challenging other national title holders in the OPBF. His current record as a professional boxer is 26 matches, 24 wins and 2 losses with all 24 victories by KO, and he holds the seventh ranking in the WBC. His only losses are to Eiji Date in his first attempt to challenge for the Japanese Featherweight title and Alfredo Gonzales, ranked #2 in the World. Date would go on to challenge Ricardo Martinez for the world title but the injuries he sustained in his title bout forced him to retire and pass the baton to Ippo. Ippo's most recent fight was with Alfredo Gonzales for the #2 spot in the WBC World Rankings. While Gonzales dominated most of the fight, Ippo was able to knock him down and caused Gonzales to begrudgingly accept Ippo's stregth. Gonzales won the fight after being luckily saved from a second knockdown by the ropes and caused massive damage to Ippo in his final attack. After this second loss, Ippo and now holds a record of 24 wins, 2 losses and 24 knockouts. His objective is to defeat the current WBA Featherweight Champion Ricardo Martinez. In that respect, he decides to vacate his Japanese Championship in order to focus exclusively on the World Championship.

Mamoru Takamura[edit]

Mamoru Takamura (鷹村 守 Takamura Mamoru?), voiced by Rikiya Koyama (Japanese) and Eddie Frierson (English), is an undefeated two-time World Champion boxer for the Kamogawa gym. The other fighters there look up to him and feed off of his energy, and he's their unspoken emotional leader. Like a big brother, he teases them without tact and facetiously bullies them constantly, but he also gives them advice and helps them to become better boxers. Takamura also has an insatiable appetite for women, which is only overshadowed by his obsession for victory. At one point, he single-handedly knocks out an adult bear while sustaining gashes on his arm, and more notably on his chest. The weakened bear is eventually shot and killed by Nekota, and Takamura was dubbed "The Bear Slayer". Sometimes he honors the moniker by wearing the Bear pelt, bearing his scars proudly.

During one of his title defense fights, (He was advised by Coach Kamogawa beforehand that he will soon be contending for the world as WBC is eyeing him already) Takamura defeated his challenger using only his left hand. Starting from left jabs that evolved to left Straights. Proving the old adage "He who rules with his left rules the World" as stated by Mr. Nekota. This is Takamura's appeal to the world. The boxing commentator stated further that Takamura has proven that "Japan is too small for him".

He originally was a delinquent who often got into fights. Because of his strength, he usually left his victims with serious injuries. He was disowned by his family due to a brawl he initiated with some fans who were booing his older brother in a rugby match. By the time the brawl was over, at least twenty people were injured. After the incident, Takamura continues to street fight until he meets Coach Kamogawa. After weeks of training, and without a single sparring session, Takamura defeats his first opponent twenty-five seconds into the first round. He works his way to becoming the JBC Middleweight Champion, and then moves on to defeat Bryan Hawk to become the WBC Junior Middleweight Champion, and then beats David Eagle for the WBC Middleweight Championship (which makes him the only current World Champion from Japan). His current aspiration is to conquer the next four classes up through heavyweight, but first he must win his upcoming fight for a Super Middleweight Championship.

Morikawa described Takamura as by far the best pound for pound fighter in the series. He's the ideal blend of both athleticism and technique, and intelligence and instincts. Morikawa often uses Takamura's keen insight to break down what is happening during a fight. Even before he started boxing, his strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes were already world class and he easily could have become a national champion. But despite his prodigious natural talent, his determination to achieve greatness has pushed himself to work tirelessly at his craft, and he suffered through painful weight control without complaint to reach the world stage. His character resembles former Middleweight Champions Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roy Jones Jr. for his versatile repertoire of punches, his ability to box and brawl at any range, and his uncanny physical gifts. He is the former Japanese Middleweight Champion, the former WBC Junior Middleweight Champion, and the reigning WBC Middleweight Champion. Takamura currently holds a record of 22-0, with all twenty-two wins coming by knockout.

Others[edit]

Masaru Aoki (青木 勝 Aoki Masaru?)

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.
Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Jim Taggert (English)

Tatsuya Kimura (木村 達也 Kimura Tatsuya?)

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.
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Grant George (English)

Manabu Itagaki (板垣学 Itagaki Manabu?)

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 hybrid boxer 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 Sugar Ray Leonard for his prodigy-like natural ability and good looks, whom Itagaki is said to be like in the manga. His current record as the Rookie King of his class stands at 11 Matches 11-1 (W-L-D), with 9 KOs.
Itagaki is currently listed as 3rd in JBC Featherweight and 5th in OPBF Featherweight rankings, also Itagaki is one of the speed square which consists of former 3rd and 5th seed, but now retired Saeki, Karasawa, and Fukui. He is currently aiming for Ippo's vacated Japanese Championship as Ippo seeks to aim for the world championship.
Recently, it's been shown that Itagaki has become quite smitten for Kumi, but he realizes the feelings aren't mutual.
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), Unknown (English)
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 Kamogawa 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".
Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (2000-2009), Shōzō Iizuka (2013-2014), Mamoru Miyano (young) (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
The manager of Kamogawa Gym and a part-time trainer. Friendly and knowledgeable, "Yagi-chan" (as his pupils affectionately call him) is also in charge of securing match posters, selling tickets, and anything else involving the gym's finances. He knows a great deal about boxing himself, having been a boxer at Kamogawa Gym once. Additionally, although Yagi was not a skilled boxer nor a good second member, but he is a master fisherman who can outfish anyone.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima (Japanese), Paul St. Peter (English)
One of the trainers at the Kamogawa Gym. Because he oversees the training of some of Kamogawa boxers, he is normally a second to some of them during their matches; in fact, he knows Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki even better than the Coach does. Because of Aoki & Kimura's reputation for "mud slinging" matches, they would sometimes jokingly blame Shinoda for improperly training them and calling him the "Trainer From Hell". Shinoda almost resigned when he felt that he might not be able to draw out Itagaki's full potential.
Voiced by: Seiji Sasaki

Kawahara Gym[edit]

Ichirō Miyata[edit]

Ichirō Miyata (宮田 一郎 Miyata Ichirō?)

Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Jason Palmer (English)
Makunouchi's idol and foil, Miyata is a very skilled outboxer with a cool demeanor that specializes in counter punches. Considered by many to be a boxing prodigy, he uses the same boxing style that his father used. After his father was forced to retire, Miyata decided to take on his style of boxing to prove its worth on the world stage. He begins at Kamogawa Gym, where he eventually meets Ippo and has a pair of spars with him. The first is a Miyata victory, but one where he's pushed unexpectedly hard by Ippo who had no fighting experience. He loses in their second spar and later transfers to Kawahara Gym in hopes of one day facing Ippo in an official match. At first, Miyata looked down on Ippo after he was embarrassed in their first spar, but grew respect for him over the next few months and now has developed a friendly rivalry.
Miyata was a highly touted rookie and enjoyed early success in East Japan Rookie Championship until he was defeated by Ryo Mashiba who stepped on his foot and sprained his ankle. After recovering and graduating high school, he tells Ippo that he's going on a tour through Thailand and Korea to improve his skills until he closes the gap between them. Miyata has trained all across the Pacific and eventually returns to the mainstream boxing scene as the main contender to the OPBF featherweight title. Together with the Jolt Counter, an effective full-body counter punch, Miyata KO'd Australian boxer Arnie Gregory to become the current regional champion. He has defended his title five times, all by KO, boosting him up to the fifth ranked Featherweight in the WBC. Most recently, Miyata defeated Randy Boy Jr., the OPBF interim champion who was crowned during Miyata's absence due to broken fists.
Unfortunately Miyata's 172 cm (5'8") tall frame is better suited for the Junior Lightweight or Lightweight class than Featherweight class; due to that, he tends to fight one match per month to keep his weight below the 126 lb featherweight limit. Despite the drain on his power and stamina, he endures without complaint for two reasons: the first is the hope of facing his rival Makunouchi, and the second is a tactical decision to achieve a "dry out", the effect of enhancing the body's senses and focus through strenuous weight management. In stark contrast to Makunouchi, Miyata has brilliant speed, technique and boxing intelligence, but he has a glass jaw like his father and lacks durability, power and stamina. To compensate, he uses high-risk, high-reward counters that require both great courage and precision. This means his style is more aggressive and more "soulful" than the typical outboxer who use hit-and-run methods like Itagaki. His speed and style have earned him the nickname "God of Thunder" or "Lightning God" and his punches are often referred to as the "Prince's Blade" for their sharpness. Miyata seems partially based on former world champions Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for his phenomenal skill, speed, and counter punching ability, though Morikawa has said in interviews that he also based Miyata on his personal friend, Naoto Takahashi, a former Japan and OPBF champion.
Miyata currently holds a record of 23-1-1 with 21 Knockouts and is the reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion. Writer Morikawa described him as the third best pound for pound fighter in his Hajime no Ippo universe, behind only Mamoru Takamura and Ricardo Martinez.
Suzuki is a veteran boxer in-fighter specialist who was ranked 2nd in Featherweight at the time Ippo entered the Class A tournament; he challenged Date Eiji in the title match and lost by TKO in the first round, also he lost in the Class A tournament Semi-Final against Volg Zangief very badly after which he retires due to his age.
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka
Ichiro Miyata's father and coach, and the one who passed on to him the love of boxing. He is a former a Japan and OPBF champion and considered a world contender when he was in his prime. When Ichiro was a very young boy, Miyata lost his seventh OPBF title defense to Randy "Raccoon" Boy, father of Randy Boy Jr., in a fight where both fighters suffered severe career ending injuries (Boy would go on to challenge the world title, but wasn't the same and died soon after). Miyata himself shattered his jaw in the last round despite leading in the score cards, so he chose to retire despite having the chance to make a comeback. As a witness of his father's fall from grace, Ichiro decided to take on his style and become the best with it. Also during his reign as the champion of Japan, he defeated Sendo's trainer, Yanaoka.
Voiced by: Toru Ohkawa
Miyata's manager.

Naniwa Gym[edit]

Takeshi Sendō[edit]

Takeshi Sendō (千堂 武士 Sendō Takeshi?), Voiced by: Masaya Onosaka (Japanese), Doug Erholtz (English), is an aggressive mid-range fighter, and his specialty punch is the "Smash", Deadly Smash and Ultra Low Smash which was popularized and created by Donovan Ruddock. He resides in the Naniwa Ward of Osaka, where his is known as "Rocky" and the "Naniwa Tiger." His "Rocky" nickname was influenced by his power boxing style similar to that of Rocky Marciano, the only heavyweight champion in history to retire undefeated. In a recent interview with Shōnen Magazine, Hajime no Ippo's manga artist, Jyoji Morikawa said that Hidekazu Akai was also one of his models for Sendo. Like Sendo, Akai was from Osaka and was nicknamed the Naniwa Rocky.

Sendo's mother died after childbirth, so he spent his first years with his father and paternal grandmother, raised under the motto "you should protect those around you". When he was around five years old, his firefighter father died while rescuing a boy about the same age as Sendo during a blaze. Sendo, proud of his father's sacrifice, continued to follow his advice by trying to help others. He started by helping people from bullies, but eventually became very violent with his "justice". By high school, Sendo had already become one of the most feared street fighters and gang leaders in Osaka, but not attacking people, rather defending the weak.

One day, he beat up several boxers from Naniwa boxing gym, and met his coach, Yamaoka. He soon became interested in boxing, going on to win the Western Japan Rookie Championship. As a result he was slated to fight Ippo who defeated Ryo Mashiba to become the Eastern Rookie King Champion, during the All Rookie King Japan Tournament. However during the fight with Mashiba, Ippo injured his right hand and as a result decided to skip the fight with Sendo. After finding out Sendo literally goes out of his way to make Ippo change his mind and after seeing his determination to want to fight him so badly akin to his desire to want to fight Miyata, Ippo decides to go on with the match despite his handicap. In the end Sendo loses the fight by TKO, however despite this Ippo was left feeling that the battle hadn't been fully resolved, since he was clearly losing the fight and was barely able to walk when the 4th round was about to start but Sendo remained in his corner unconscious due to a punch that Ippo connected to his temple.

Sendo has held the Japanese featherweight following a questionable win over Volg Zangief (that even Sendo himself didn't accept gladly) to decide who would take the Featherweight Championship vacated after Eiji Date retired, defending it twice by KO. Ultimately not only would he lose the title to Ippo in their rematch but as a result of Ippo's devastating punches, he was shelved due to Ippo cracking his ribs with body blows and Liver blows. Despite their Rivalry, and Sendo's desire to avenge his losses, he has become good friends with Ippo as the series has progressed.

Following his recent comeback, Sendo holds a record of 17-2-0, with 16 KOs and is the former JBC Featherweight Champion. After his last victory against a Mexican boxer, Sendou is ranked WBC #23 and declared his ambition to defeat the WBA champion, Ricardo Martinez. Recently, Jyoji Morikawa released a 48 page one-shot manga focusing on Sendo before his time as a fighter. Sendo is based on legendary heavyweight world champion Rocky Marciano, whom Sendo admits he admires most, for his fearless style and passion for infighting.

Others[edit]

Voiced by: Naoki Tatsuta: A still young ex-boxer who works as a coach in the Naniwa gym. As a boxer, he was able to achieve being the number one contender of the Japanese title, but was unable to defeat the champion which is later revealed to have been Miyata's father. When Sendo attacked him and some rookie boxers, Yanaoka was the only one who could resist Sendo's attacks and could even see his weak spots as a fighter. Thanks to him, Sendo joined the Naniwa gym.

Toho Gym[edit]

Known by ringnames such as the "Executioner" or "Shinigami (God of Death)" by those who watch his matches, Mashiba is one of the most intimidating boxers in the series. His greatest natural strength lies in his height of 177 cm and an incredible 187 cm reach. He effectively combines that inhuman reach with the Detroit version of the Hitman stance that was used by American boxer Thomas Hearns, who ruled 5 classes of boxing weights with this style, to create a devastating whiplike technique known as the Flicker Jab to eat away at his opponent's guard and resolve. Those fortunate and/or skilled enough to make it through his barrier-like Flicker still have to deal with his power-packed Chopping Right, which cuts down those who would deal damage up-close. Recently Mashiba has incorporated a devastating right uppercut into his repertoire, presumably to overcome his weakness to infighting.
After beating Miyata in the Rookie King Tournament semifinal (he even resorted to stepping on Miyata's foot to keep him close), he lost to Ippo in the final match. He later moves to Junior Lightweight Division where he reigns as Champion (defending the belt against Kimura in a very close match, amongst others) before losing to Sawamura by disqualification in one of the dirtiest, bloodiest matches ever seen in the series, due to Sawamura's dirty boxing and Mashiba's grudge against him. In that one match alone, almost all the fouls that could be committed were committed (by both fighters). In the end, although he manages to knocked Sawamura out (and out of the ring), Mashiba is ultimately deemed the loser by the referee for fouling. He is nearly off his year-long suspension and, according to his coach, is planning a title match for the OPBF Junior Lightweight Division.
Outside of the ring, Mashiba is a very quiet, if also very unnerving and scary figure who is spurred on to earn wages and box for prize money all to support both himself and his beloved younger sister, Kumi, orphaned after their parents died in a tragic accident many years ago; because of all his pain and the humiliation coming from others, Mashiba has developed a big resentment against the rest of the world, which only started to wear down after losing to Ippo; with time, he comes to not really mind the relationship Ippo has with Kumi (though he still keeps an eye on them whenever he can, watching for Kumi) and goes to his fights on occasion; he even entrusts Ippo to take revenge on Sawamura, who gave Kumi a cut on her cheek. After returning from a one-year suspension, Mashiba successfully moved closer to his natural weight by going to the Lightweight division, where he won the OPBF Lightweight Title in a grueling fight that ended in a come-from-behind knockout victory for Mashiba. He is currently ranked fifth in the world after taking the OPBF title.
As the reigning OPBF Lightweight Champion, Mashiba currently holds a record of 18-2-0, with 14 KOs and is the former JBC Jr. Lightweight Champion. His belt was lost to Ryuhei Sawamura, due to a disqualification on part of Mashiba's brutal attitude during the fight. Mashiba is based on former six-division world champion Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, for his exceptional height, reach, and use of the flicker jab.
Voiced by: Masahiko Tanaka

Otowa Gym[edit]

Known by the nickname "The Prodigy" he was a prodigy outboxer with incredibly fast punches, he is known for his "Shotgun", a barrage of fast punches intended to down his opponent quickly and decisively. Although he was a former Inter-High Champ, he lost to Ippo in the last second of the first round of the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. He later moves down to the Junior Featherweight Division where he becomes the JBC Jr. Featherweight Champion. Hayami's character is based on retired world champion Joe Calzaghe for his "Shotgun". After his loss to Kenta Kobashi for the Junior Featherweight championship, he retires from boxing due to his weak chin, seriously damaged in the fight with a one-two combination from Kobashi. He's an incredibly handsome fellow, very popular outside of boxing as a model and teenage idol, and has a legion of female followers who always cheer for him whether he wins or loses.
Voiced by: Kōji Tsujitani
(See Foreign boxers)
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.

He recently claimed the Japanese Featherweight Championship belt after a rematch with Itagaki, a title he has yet to defend.

Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura

Kinoshita Gym[edit]

Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera

Hachinohe Gym[edit]

An African-American soldier stationed in Japan at Misawa Air Base, near Hachinohe, Osma proves a difficult opponent for Ippo in the first round of the Rookie King Tournament. While fearsome in fights, Osma's usual personality is almost unnervingly polite and outgoing. He boxes in order to earn money for his gym, his coach and his training partners, whom he treats like his own family. Osma wields an explosive hook equal even to, if not better than, Takamura's.
Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi
A bashful young man who first joined the Kamogawa Gym as Ippo's follower. His initial nickname was "Geromichi" (a Japanese pun based on the fact that he threw up after every part of training). While in public he is awkward and uncomfortable, Naomichi puts everything into his training for his hope for strength and self-confidence. Having had to move away due to his widow mother's work, Naomichi now boxes for a different gym under the alias "Hammer Nao." His specialty, a solar-plexus blow, was created when he challenged his former senpai and current Japanese featherweight champion, Ippo Makounouchi. Although he appears to front a cold personality as "Hammer Nao", he remains a very kind person at heart. He is also blessed with a very good singing voice. Yamada currently holds a record of 8-1-0 with 5 knockouts and is known to fight anywhere between Featherweight and his natural weight class of Junior Welterweight.
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese), Tony Oliver (English)

Karil Gym[edit]

Voiced by: Shinichirō Miki (Japanese)

Nakadai Gym[edit]

Date gave up boxing after that in order to settle down with his wife Aiko (a woman from a rich family who sacrificed a lot to be with him, and who just had a miscarriage at that time) and raise a family. But Date was a born boxer -- he found he could not contain his combative nature for long, and after Aiko told him that she wanted their son Yuuji to see his dad fight, he picked his career back up to the top. Date is strong in every way, but his greatest weapon is the Heartbreak Shot, a corkscrew blow to the heart that immobilizes the opponent. He is the sole boxer to have defeated Ippo in the ring, making Kamogawa throw the towel.
After this fateful match, Date went after the WBA title -- a rematch with Ricardo Martinez, who was making his 18th title defense -- but lost by K.O. in the 10th round. The injuries he received in this fight included broken hands and a fractured jaw, and seriously limited Date's chances of making a return to the ring. He has, however, passed on his dream to Ippo. Currently, he trains other boxers at the Nakadai Gym. Morikawa Jouji stated in an interview that Date was modeled after former OPBF Champion Ozaki Fujio.
At the time of his retirement, Date held a record of 23-2-0 with 17 KO's. He was the former OPBF Featherweight Champion as well as a two-time JBC Featherweight Champion and has twice been the #1 contender to Ricardo Martinez's WBA Featherweight Title.

Nihon Gym[edit]

Other boxers[edit]

Japanese boxers[edit]

Foreign boxers[edit]

Volg keeps a good friendship with Makunouchi and briefly returns to Japan to get his old boxing gloves from Ippo, who he ends up helping for his match with Sawamura. He decides to make a comeback in America, where he's currently training with Dankichi Hama and is now the IBF Junior Lightweight Champion. Since training with Hama, Volg has picked up Hama's 'Hien' technique and successfully combined it with his existing 'White Fang' into a new three-punch combination which has the potential to break through an opponents closed guard.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese) Dave Wittenberg (English)

Other characters[edit]

Animals[edit]