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Masaru Aoki (青木勝, Aoki Masaru) is a supporting character and tritagonist in Hajime no Ippo.

He is a lightweight professional boxer and one of the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He, along with Kimura Tatsuya, are known to have been scouted into boxing by Takamura Mamoru, an individual they swore to defeat but eventually came to admire.

His surname is Aoki. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.


Background

Aoki Family

The Aoki family.

Aoki is the oldest brother of his nine siblings and was starred in a TV show about his family called "Heartwarming Special Presents: The Hectic Life of an 11-Person Family". He was helpful to his family by cooking meals for his whole family. Aoki would be forced to leave the family because his dad got very sick and ending up running a ramen shop called "Chūka Soba", making use of the natural cooking talent. The ramen shop expanded to three stores thanks to his recipes. Aoki used his money to fund his sibling's school fees and never thought twice about helping his siblings.

Hot Rod Era Arc

Aoki and Kimura in the 80s.

Aoki had a delinquent past with long-time friend and schoolmate Kimura Tatsuya.[2] Together they would pick fights and wreak havoc frequently until he met and attacked Takamura Mamoru in an arcade. Takamura was given a concussion by Aoki by kicking his head into an arcade screen, but Takamura retaliated and defeats Aoki, leading him and Kimura on a path of revenge- their goal being Takamura in the end. After several failed attempts Aoki and Kimura found their way to Kamogawa Boxing Gym where they find Takamura. There, they were introduced to boxing, and trained with a single goal of defeating Takamura in mind. Upon their winning of their individual debut matches the two realised that Takamura was no longer just their 'goal' but their inspiration and idol as well.

Sometime after a KO loss, Aoki was told by Kimura that he loss because of his weak jaw.[3] Aoki then began wondering what he can use against another's jaw. A frog then jumped on his hand, which Aoki noted how, just like him, frogs can not fly. However, if it tried hard enough, maybe it would grow wings. He then thought of the Frog Punch, which gave him confidence and used it in his next match.[4]

History

Part I

Main Article: Aoki Masaru/History/First Part
(Volumes: 1-46 & Episodes: 1-104)

Part II

Main Article: Aoki Masaru/History/Second Part
(Volumes: 46-121 & Episodes: 105-Current)

Part III

Main Article: Aoki Masaru/History/Third Part
(Volumes: 121-Current)

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
29 WIN 19-7-3 1999-11 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 7(10) KO Main Event
28 WIN 18-7-3 1999-03 JapanUnknown[5] Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO N/A
27 WIN 17-7-3 1998-11 JapanUnknown[6] Tokyo, Japan  ?(10) TKO N/A
26 WIN 16-7-3 1998-06 JapanUnknown[7] Tokyo, Japan 8(10) TKO Come-Back Match
25 LOSS 15-7-3 1997-11 Japan Iga Shinobu[8] Tokyo, Japan 7(8) KO Class-A Tournament Final
24 WIN 15-6-3 1997-09 JapanJackal Itō[9] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 KO Class-A Tournament First Round
23 LOSS 14-6-3 1997-04-15 Thailand Ponsa Kureck[10] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
22 WIN 14-5-3 1996-09-12 Padawan Yoda

[11]

Tokyo, Japan 9(10) KO "OPERATION WORLD DOMINATION"
Semi-Final Match
21 DRAW 13-5-3 1996-03 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[12] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
20 DRAW 13-5-2 1995-08 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[13] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
19 DRAW 13-5-1 1995-04 Japan Imae Katsutaka[14] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision "BOXING MARTIAL ARTS"
JBC Lightweight Title Match
18 WIN 13-5-0 1994-08-20 PhilippinesPaddy Magramo[15] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision "PROOF OF POWER"
Semi-Final Match
17 WIN 12-5-0 1993-08-30 PhilippinesBoy Allade[16] Tokyo, Japan 3(10) TKO "SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN!?"
Semi-Final Match
16 WIN 11-5-0 1993-07-11 IndonesiaSnake Thomas[17] Tokyo, Japan 1(10) KO "THE ROAD BACK"
Semi-Final Match
Come-Back Match
15 LOSS 10-5-0[18] 1992-09 JapanJackal Itō[19] Tokyo, Japan 6(8), 1:18 KO Class-A Tournament Semi-Finals Match
14 WIN 10-4-0 1992-07 Japan Bull Ushida[20] Tokyo, Japan 6(6) KO Class-A Tournament
First Round
13 WIN 9-4-0 1992-04-20 PhilippinesArman Garcia[21] Tokyo, Japan 7(10) KO "FLIGHT"
12 WIN 8-4-0 1991-9 Japan Unknown[22] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO First Match Shown
? LOSS  ?-?-0 19XX Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 1(?), 0:30 KO Loss against a South paw opponent
Unknown Opponents
2/3 LOSS 1/2-1-0 198X Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(4) N/A First loss on his 2nd or 3rd match[23]
1 WIN 1-0-0 1988 Japan Yamanaka Hiroshi[24] Tokyo, Japan ?(4) KO Pro Debut Match

Appearance

Aoki has a tanned complexion with a body build that fits an orthodox lightweight in-fighter. He has curly dark brown hair in a short afro hair style with a prominent hairline. During his delinquent days, he had a more noticeable prominent hairline with shorter hair. He has dark brown eyes, large nose and pointed ears. In addition, Aoki has relatively short thick eyebrows and a wrinkle on his forehead.

After Aoki's draw against Papaya Dachiu, due to a promise, Takamura cut Aoki's hair into a broccoli-style.

Personality

Aokimura

Aoki and Kimura (duo named 'Aokimura') together in the Kamogawa Gym.

During his youth, Aoki was known for his troubled school life as a delinquent. He, along with long-time friend Kimura, were known to participate in countless fights and brawls with 'rival' schools, with Aoki being the more aggressive and violent of the two. Throughout the series Aoki has shown a rather immature, mischievous and boastful personality, contrary to Kimura who is generally more laid back. Despite his often tough-looking demeanor, his overconfidence and goofy personality in and outside the ring usually earn him the frequent ridicule of other characters, and he is usually the butt of many of Takamura's pranks and attacks. Due to this, many characters, even to an extent Ippo, indirectly look down on and sympathize with Aoki and his embarrassing antics. However, he is mostly easygoing and is able to get along well with others, also usually being the one to help Ippo out with his girl-problems when around Mashiba Kumi. A long-running gag is that Aoki keeps revealing impressive talents, that sadly have no connection with boxing. His prankster personality extends to his own teammates and is most notably reflected in his attitude towards Ippo and (at times) Takamura. Together with Kimura, he is paired into the Aokimura duo by Itagaki Manabu.

Aoki's taste in women is seen as a running joke where, in contrast to the tastes of his gym mates, Aoki places his preferences in women considered 'ugly' by everyone else. Aoki admits that he gets nervous around beautiful women, specifically his ex-girlfriend Miyuki (who was caught cheating on Aoki with another guy), and is unable to make any further advances on them. However, surprisingly, Aoki seems to be very kind towards women and he himself prefers to judge them firsthand not by their looks, but as a person, unlike Kimura and Takamura. Even though he may have a taste for 'ugly' girls, he is able to hold a girlfriend, Tomiko, longer then any other members of the group.

Boxing Abilities

AokisSkill

Aoki's fighting style.

Despite not being a terrible boxer overall, Aoki's boxing is largely downplayed in the series, making him pale in comparison to boxers like Takamura, Ippo, Itagaki and oftentimes, Kimura. His outlandish personality is usually reflected in his boxing matches where, due to his comparatively unexceptional boxing skills, he constantly thinks of odd techniques to deceive and confuse opponents. He uses unorthodox methods to ruin his opponents' rhythm; it was stated by Kimura that no one is better at ruining a boxer's rhythm than Aoki. He is also a decent out-boxer, and able to switch from orthodox to southpaw. Lacking any special skills to speak of, Aoki's matches tend to end up becoming extremely messy mud fights, much to the displeasure of his audiences. Eventually, his 'Frog Punch' became a trademark and earned him the nickname 'Leap Frog' or 'Frog Man' by his audiences. It is then mentioned by characters in the series that Aoki's boxing ability can be comparable to that of a national champion's.

Techniques

Weaknesses

Because of a previous right straight from Takamura that caused him to flinch every time he faced a right straight in the ring, Aoki's potential was held back a significant amount. This has made him easier to hit, making him lose patience and resulting in the many "mud fights" he's had throughout the years, but this was fixed by having him wear special headgear while having Takamura throw repeated right straights at him. Takamura also admits that Aoki's natural boxing ability can be greater of that of Kimura's should he overcome his weakness. Aoki also has a weak jaw.[25]

Gallery

Quotes


  • "I really was in love. She was a good woman, so she made me happy. My pride and joy, but then it hit me, she's really cute...and I was always nervous about it that someday she' leave me..." - (About Miyuki, in Round 218.
  • "Just one punch's enough! I wanna give that smug fce of his one good shot...I'll challenge him hundreds of times if I have to.." - (About Takamura), in Round 219.
  • "You need to stop thinking of people only based on their faces. If you're stuck on the cover, you'll never see what's inside. " - To Kimura after first win, in Round 222.
  • "The one I admire has gone somewhere that I can never reach, and my kouhai has passed me by. I wanna catch up. I don't care about fame, I want to be something in the World that I love. I want to leave a mark on history!!" - Aoki thinking about his Title match against Imae in Round 442.
  • "Seems like you didn't study enough, you really think I would fight in a title match without a new present for you?" - To Imae, after the weight-in in Round 444.
  • "This new technique is an attack to your instinct, it's impossible to defend." - About his Look Away in Round 446.
  • "...You're throwing away your goddess of victory!? I'll show you the strength of a man with someone to look over them.." - Round 446, while talking to Imae in the bathroom.
  • "You hang in there because of what you've built for yourself! After all that hard work, what's the point in just giving up..!? If having no talent makes it okay to give up, then what was the point in ever trying...!? " - Round 946 , to Kojima Hisato.

Trivia

Aoki - Baseball Stats

Aoki has ERA of 0.70 and Batting Average of 0.857.

  • "Aoki" (青木) means the shrub, aucuba japonica. Furthermore, "ao" (青) means "blue" or "green", while "ki" (木) means "tree".
    • "Masaru" (勝) means victory.
  • On top of being a skilled boxer, Aoki is incredibly skilled in baseball, bowling and cooking. However, he does not know how to swim.
  • In Round 948, Aoki's baseball stats was listed, where Aoki has a ERA (Earned Run Average) of 0.70 and a batting average of 0.857.
    • It should be noted that any ERA under 1.00 is rarely seen in baseball. Usually only pitcher with a low number of innings pitched, or a relief pitcher having a great year. Only 3 pitchers have been under a 1.00 for their careers, where all were at the turn of the century in the 1900's.
    • Normally a batting average higher than .400 is nearly impossible usually only with players with a limited at bats. Ted Williams was the last player to post a .400 batting average in a season in 1941.
  • Aoki is a fan of Roberto Durán, having a poster of him in his room[26], as well as mentioning him a couple of times throughout the story.
    • This indirectly makes Aoki a fan of Takamura, as Takamura is based on Roberto Durán.[27]
  • In Round 151, Morikawa listed Aoki's fight record as 14 matches - 10 wins, 4 losses, 4 KO's prior to the semi-final match for the Class A Tournament. However, in the match poster for his title match with Katsutaka Imae, Morikawa listed Aoki's record as 16 matches - 10 wins, 6 losses, 6 KO's. Even though Aoki's fought in 4 matches since Round 151. Based on Round 151 record, Aoki's current record is 27 matches - 17 wins, 7 losses, 3 draws.

References

  1. Chapter 635, page 13
  2. Chapter 216, page 3
  3. Round 453, page 14
  4. Round 453, page 15, 19-20
  5. Round 1225
  6. Round 1171
  7. Round 1138
  8. Round 973
  9. Round 912
  10. Round 818
  11. Round 743
  12. Round 670
  13. Round 526
  14. Round 364 - Match Poster - 16 Total- 10 wins - 6 losses - 6 KOs
  15. Round 347
  16. Round 235
  17. Round 210
  18. Round 151 *Note - It mentions Aoki's record is 10 wins 4 Losses 6 KO's prior to the match, making this Aoki's 15th match with a record of 10 wins 5 losses 6 KO's.
  19. Round 152
  20. Round 148
  21. Round 112
  22. Round 55
  23. Round 857
  24. Round 221
  25. Hajime no Ippo Round 453, page 14
  26. Hajime no Ippo Chapter 111, page 5
  27. Hajime no Ippo Bunkobon Volume 5 Kamogawa's Diary
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