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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

AokiKimuraPast

Aoki and Kimura in the 80s

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 "Chuuka 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.

Aoki had a delinquent past with long-time friend and schoolmate Kimura Tatsuya. Together they would pick fights and wreak havoc frequently until they 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 retaliates with a German suplex 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.

Part I

Early Days Arc

WatchingMiyataandIppoSpar

Aoki watching the spar.

In the anime, Aoki watched Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata Ichirō's spar. After the spar, he introduced himself to Ippo. On Ippo's first day at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Aoki and Kimura Tatsuya attempted to train him, but was stopped by Kamogawa Genji. While Ippo was training, Aoki served Ippo and the others ramen at his restaurant. Before the second spar, Aoki acted as Miyata's sparring partner. When the spar rematch arrived, Aoki watched the spar between Ippo and Miyata.

When Yagi Haruhiko revealed Ippo's pro debut match to be Oda Yūsuke, Aoki suggested it would be an easy fight. At Chuuka Soba, Aoki served Ippo and the others ramen, he then did fortune telling with cards, he pulled out a card that showed Ippo would win. Aoki was Ippo's sparring partner for training against Oda. Aoki watched Ippo's fight against Oda and celebrated after Ippo's first win.

Rookie King Tournament: First Rounder Arc

WatchingTheFireworks2

Aoki watching the fireworks.

After sparring with Ippo, Aoki celebrated Ippo's first year in the Kamogawa Boxing Gym at the Chuuka Soba. Aoki explained how his Rookie King Tournament went, however he got upset when Takamura pointed out how his opponent who beat him in the first match wasn't good. When Jason Ozuma was announced as Ippo's first opponent in the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, Aoki and the others believed it to not be his real name until his profile was shown to be American. As Ippo was not used to fighting black boxers, Aoki painted himself black, which successfully eased Ippo as they got ready to spar. Aoki watched the match between Ippo and Ozuma.

With Ippo being fired up from watching Miyata's match, Aoki and Kimura sparred with him. When Takamura saw Ippo's flare up, thinking about a girl, Aoki warned him that he would not go up in the world thinking only about girls. He explained to Ippo that he had girl troubles before. After watching a tape of Hayami Ryūichi fighting, Aoki told Ippo that he wanted to help him defeat Hayami by doing roadwork and sparring with him.

Aoki attended the training camp. On the final night at the training camp, Aoki wished to get a Japanese title belt as he watched fireworks. When he and the others got back to the gym, Yagi showed everyone the poster of Takamura's match against the Japanese middleweight champion and Ippo's match against Kobashi Kenta.

Aoki attended Ippo's match against Kobashi, and Takamura's Japanese middleweight title match against Yajima Yoshiaki. When Takamura went down, Aoki and the other's cheers helped Takamura stand up. After Ippo's win and Takamura wins the champions belt, Aoki celebrated along with everyone.

Rookie King Tournament: Finals Arc

AokiWinningAgainst

Aoki winning against an unknown opponent.

After Hayami's match against Yasukawa Kazu, Aoki had a match against his opponent and won. Aoki helped Ippo learn how to use counters for his match against Hayami. Aoki attended Ippo's match against Hayami. Aoki later attended Ippo's match against Mashiba Ryō.

All Japan Rookie King Tournament: Rocky of Naniwa Arc

Two Rookie Kings Arc

Class A Tournament: Speed Star Arc

Class A Tournament: Red Wolf Arc

Heartbroken Arc

Road Back Arc

Mountain Training Arc

Lallapallooza Arc

Execution Arc

First Step Arc

Bloody Cross Arc

Revenge Arc

Proof of Power Arc

Battle of Hawk Arc

Part II

Submarine Wars Arc

Comic Show Arc

Dragon Slayer Arc

A Passing Point Arc

The Spirit of a Weed Arc

Siege Card Arc

Phantom Card Arc

Veteran Card Arc

Chaos Arc

Seiken Arc

Scratch Arc

Winner Takes All Arc

Red Lightning Arc

In The Jungle Arc

Blind Step Arc

Speed Zone Arc

Proud Wolf Arc

Go to the World Arc

Battle of the Beasts Arc

Unseen Heights Arc

10 Months in the Making Arc

Part III

Second Step Arc

After Ippo decided to help as a second for Kimura's upcoming match, he joins Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki while doing roadwork. Aoki and Itagaki believe that since they are still active, it will probably be tough for Ippo to keep up with them. So they decide to leave Kimura to Ippo, so they can step on the gas. Except, they find out that Ippo is already in front of them again asking about how the coach is doing. Aoki mentions to Ippo that Kamogawa went to Nekota's place to get some rest, and they don't know when he will be back. They continue to discuss with Ippo about Kimura's opponent, while Ippo keep running back and forth between themselves.

Aoki later on attends Kimura's match. During Hayami's match before it, Itagaki asks Aoki about Hayami's current ranking, but he surprised to find out he isn't ranked. After he learns about Hayami's fight record, he is shocked that Hayami is still boxing. After Hayami loses his match, Aoki watches Ippo's antics as a second for Kimura's match. Kimura was able to win his match with Ippo's help. After the match, Takamura, Aoki and Itagaki goes karaoke as Ippo and Kimura head home. With Ippo as his second, Aoki has a match that ends with a KO after using the Frog Punch.

Taihei Arc

AokiandTomikoVisit

Aoki and Tomiko visits the Márquez.

After saving Teru from some bullies, Ippo takes him to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym to try boxing. Aoki was impressed of Teru's drawing skill when Teru draws a picture to put on the sandbag, but ends up disappointed when he punches the sandbag. Later, Aoki and Tomiko stops by the Márquez. When they come up to the counter, Aoki asks if the reason why Miyata's last match was bad, was because of weight management or because of a certain someone's retirement, Miyata avoids the question. As Aoki leaves, he claims Miyata shouldn't wait any longer and move up to the next stage.

When Ippo visits the gym, he began mitt practising with Kamogawa. Outside, Aoki, along with the rest of the Kamogawa group watches. Aoki believes Ippo and Kamogawa were the perfect combo. Aoki is hopeful for Ippo to come back, but Kimura believes that if Ippo takes any hits, it would cause serious problems.

After Ippo is in shock for hitting Taihei, Umezawa carries him to the Chuuka Soba. Aoki tries to comfort Ippo, suggesting to forget about the situation, as he didn't hit Taihei with a closed fist and only fainted. Ippo announces he will turn himself in, as he is a former Japanese champion who lashed out on a high school student. When Takamura, Itagaki, and Kimura arrive at the Chuuka Soba, Aoki tells them that he left to turn himself in to the police. After hearing from Teru on how Taihei used to get into fights because of his older brother, Aoki and Takamura believe that Taihei's problems are his brother's fault. Teru worries about Ippo getting a criminal record, but Kimura states that Ippo's fists are full of justice and that whatever happens, nothing will change the bond that he and the gym members have with him.

At the gym, while talking about the situation with Ippo and Taihei, Takamura comes to a conclusion that the real villain is Taihei's older brother and prepares to show off his "Special 7-Years Killing: 100 Shots" that he will use on him. A bald Ippo comes into the gym and asks for Kamogawa in order to say his apologises.

When Taihei, along with Kintarō Kaneda, joins the gym under Ippo's training, Aoki notices Taihei. Kimura reveals to Ippo that Taihei is Aoki's little brother. After Aoki and Taihei is remembered from a TV show called "Heartwarming Special Presents: The Hectic Life of an 11-Person Family", Aoki and Taihei argue about their family's struggle when Aoki left them. Aoki tells Taihei how he never thought twice about helping him and the other siblings. Takamura, after finding out that Aoki is the older brother, uses the "Special 7-Years Killing: 100 Shots" on him as punishment for making Taihei get into fights.

Post-Taihei Arc

At the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Kimura asked how Aoki felt about Taihei becoming a boxer. He replied that he will just have to watch over him.

Later, Aoki and Kimura attended Mashiba Ryō's OPBF title defence against Iga Shinobu. Aoki wished that Iga would lose in order for him to not get a world ranking. Aoki explained to Kimura that the reason Mashiba chose Iga, was because of Mashiba's black stars on his record, Kimura and Sawamura.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
26 WIN 15-8-3 1999-03 JapanUnknown[1] Tokyo, Japan 7(8), ?:?? KO Ippo was his second
25 WIN 14-8-3 1998-11 JapanUnknown[2] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 TKO N/A
24 WIN 13-8-3 1998-06 JapanUnknown[3] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 TKO Comeback Match
23 LOSS 12-8-3 1997-11 Japan Iga Shinobu[4] Tokyo, Japan 7(10) KO Class-A Tournament Final
22 WIN 12-7-3 1997-09 JapanJackal Itou[5] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 KO Class-A Tournament First Round
21 LOSS 11-7-3 1997-04-15 Thailand Ponsa Kureck[6] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
20 WIN 11-6-3 1996-09-12 Padawan Yoda

[7]

Tokyo, Japan 9(10) KO Operation - World Domination" Semi-Final Match
19 DRAW 10-6-3 1996-03 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[8] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
18 DRAW 10-6-2 1995-08 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[9] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
17 DRAW 10-6-1 1995-04 Japan Imae Katsutaka[10] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision Lightweight JBC Title Match
16 WIN 10-6-0 1994-08-20 PhilippinesPaddy Magramo[11] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3 Decision N/A
15 WIN 9-6-0 1994 PhilippinesBoy Arate[12] Tokyo, Japan 3(10) TKO N/A
14 WIN 8-6-0 1993-07-11 ThailandSnake Thomas[13] Tokyo, Japan 1(10) KO Come-Back Match
13 LOSS 7-6-0[14] 1993-10 JapanJackal Itou[15] Tokyo, Japan 6(8), 1:18 KO Class-A Tournament Semi - Finals
12 WIN 7-5-0 1992-8 Japan Bull Ushida[16] Tokyo, Japan 6(6) KO Class-A Tournament
First Round
11 WIN 6-5-0 1992-04-20 PhilippinesArman Garcia[17] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO N/A
10 WIN 5-5-0 1991-9 Japan Unknown[18] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO First Match in Story
"Unknown" Opponents
1 WIN 1-0-0 1988 Japan Yamanaka Hiroshi[19] Tokyo, Japan ?(4) KO Debut Match

Appearance

Aoki

Aoki's 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 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.

Fighting Style

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.

Trivia

  • On top of being a skilled boxer, Aoki is incredibly skilled in baseball, bowling and cooking. However, he does not know how to swim.
  • Aoki is a fan of Roberto Durán.
  • 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.

Other Links

References

  1. Round 1225
  2. Round 1171
  3. Round 1138
  4. Round 973
  5. Round 912
  6. Round 818
  7. Round 743
  8. Round 670
  9. Round 526
  10. Round 364 - Match Poster - 16 Total- 10 wins - 6 losses - 6 KOs
  11. Round 347
  12. Round 235
  13. Round 210
  14. 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.
  15. Round 152
  16. Round 148
  17. Round 112
  18. Round 55
  19. Round 221