Shinobu Iga (伊賀忍, Iga Shinobu) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.
Iga is lightweight professional boxer and the current JBC lightweight champion. His former trainer is Baron Kurita. He is the main goal for Aoki Masaru, as he holds the urge for revenge for being defeated by him, and also to obtain the belt.
When Iga first started boxing, he made only decision wins for his four matches. However, when Kurita Baron became his trainer, he began to have a string of knock outs.
When Iga entered in the lightweight Class A Tournament, he was faced against one of the favourites of the tournament, Katsutaka Imae, in the first round. Iga effortlessly defeated Imae by a knock out, resulting in an upset.
For the Class A Tournament finals, Iga's opponent was Aoki Masaru. Iga quickly showed his intentions by knocking down Aoki in the first seconds of the match. Aoki managed to get back to his feet only for Iga to nail him again. The first rounded ended with Iga's complete domination.
As the match continued Iga kept beating Aoki with ease, despite the latter's attempts to use his trademark moves. He continued pounding Aoki with no intention of finishing him off, only to make him suffer as instructed by Baron. Tomiko, who was still watching, couldn't help but cry and scream in sight of her loved one beaten so badly; Iga called her an ugly pig, much to Aoki's frustration.
Kamogawa Genji stated that Iga manipulated Aoki with hand eye feints, making him enter danger-zones without him realising it, something that doesn't happen unless there is a huge gap in their skill.
In the 7th round, Iga asked Baron if that was enough, and Baron gave the okay for him to finish Aoki off. Iga then proceeded to end the fight, knocking out Aoki and at the same time Shinoda Tomoyuki threw in the towel. With this victory, Iga completely won the Class A Tournament, subsequently became the 1st seed in JBC and earning the right for a title shot.
After the match, in the corridors of Kourakuen Hall, Iga saved Baron from Takamura Mamoru by grabbing Takamura's arm as he was about to throw a punch. In response, Takamura grabbed his hair and asked him if he was "gonna bark for Kurita" since he trained him. Before leaving, Takamura warned them that their actions weren't going to stand and that the day would come where they would whine like dogs.
When Iga enters, Ippo thought Iga looked different. It was mentioned that Iga grew out his bangs for the match, but Takamura noted that he is only calm because Baron is with him, where there's probably a lot of trust and reassurance there. Takamura thought that Baron's working the Mind Control Angle, since Baron's got a way with words. He think it's like some kind of symbiotic relationship that brings out Iga's Inner strength. Itagaki mentions a strong between trainer and his fighter, but Takamura thinks it is more like a dog, where Iga's is Baron's hunting dog or lapdog.
When lightweight JBC champion Oushima Souji entered, a lot of female fans cheer him on, and he entered the ring in a flashy manner by jumping over the ropes. He then proceeded to stand in the corner and accept flowers from various female fans that lined up to give it to him, which is a familiar site in his matches.
Baron wanted Iga to beat him up, and mentioned to Iga about the Flashy trunks (with advertisers) that he got for him, where he went around to business and begged them for him. He told them they would be sponsoring the future world champion. If he can't even handle the Japanese title, he's going to look like a fool. He told Iga (while grabbing his hair) not to screw it up for him.
The match starts with Prince attacking right from the beginning. He mentions that he doesn't waste time when romancing women or beating up men. Prince uses his speed to get away before Iga is able to hit him. Iga's coach is worried since Iga's not fast. In the 3rd Round, Prince continues to attack Iga and dodge with his speed. Even with in punching range, he dodges all the punches. The round ends, but Prince mentions that Iga's punches are powerful, where he got to be careful.
Aoki mentions that Iga's been avoiding taking serious damage. The Prince's Right have been straights with no real uppercuts, where Iga just needs to keep his guard up and watch for downward rights. If he can dodge those annoying jabs, duck in, and get close and aim for the body.
Iga finally lands a body blow, but Prince blocks it. Prince mentions that everyone tries to stop him with body blows, where he kind of used to it. Takamura mentions that if he were the Prince, Iga uses the same motion every time where he just wait for the end of is swing and then take his head clear off. Prince does that, but Iga blocks it. Iga's coach continues to worry about Iga.
In Round 6, Iga continues to throw body blows towar the Prince, but they hit his guard instead, and Prince throwing a counter that Iga blocks. As the fight progress, Prince step in gets better where getting closer to landing the counter on Iga. Iga's coach continues to worry that Iga might lose and his talent potential getting crushed.
Prince continue to follow the same pattern of Iga steps in facing down, Prince blocks the body, and throws a right as he pulls his arm back. However, ends up throwing a punch toward Prince's chin instead. Prince gets KO, and the match gets called with Iga the winner. Takamura realise that was Baron's plan, condition Prince focus on the body blows and aim for the chin when he least expects it. Baron tells Iga's coach he had nothing to worry about the training did its job.
Iga was specifically chosen to fight the OPBF lightweight champion, Mashiba Ryō. When the match began, Iga walked towards Mashiba, who was using Hitman Style. When he got in range, Iga was grazed by a Flicker Jab. Out of range, Iga stopped moving forward after learning Mashiba's unexpectedly long range. Baron, knowing that Iga's emotions are the reason for him stopping, signalled Iga for him to turn his emotions off. Iga turned his emotions off and proceeded towards Mashiba. Having walked in range, Iga braced himself and was hit multiple times by Flicker Jabs. Iga entered the Peek-a-Boo Style and began to dodge and block Mashiba's Flicker Jabs as he pressed forward. When Iga got into his own range to attack, Mashiba threw a Chopping Right that missed. Before Iga could counterattack, he was hit by an uppercut, causing him to go down.
When Iga showed pain as he began to get up, Baron signalled for his emotions to turn off. Iga got up and, when the match continued, got his guard battered by Mashiba's Flicker Jabs until his guard broke. With Iga's back to the ropes, Mashiba prepared for the final blow, however, Iga threw a weak left body blow and attempted to throw his right before Mashiba noticed and stepped back. Round one ended, and at Iga's corner, Baron denied Iga's access to water to rinse and got struck across the face by him for embarrassing him. After Iga was reminded that Baron was the reason for his success, round two began. Iga entered into the Peek-a-Boo style as he charged to Mashiba who repeatedly hit him with Flicker Jabs. When Iga got close, he initiated the Dragonfish Blow, however the Overhand was dodged. As their heads are close to each other due to their motions, Iga swung his head up while purposely headbutting him in the jaw purposely. Iga then began using fouls such as hitting with his elbows and headbutting during clinches, making Mashiba angry. When round two ended, Iga went back to his corner, where Baron was pleased that Mashiba's fuse had been lightened.
After being instructed to make Mashiba even more angry in order for Mashiba to snap and get disqualified, Iga arrived at the center of the ring as round three began. Iga began to abuse Mashiba's three weaknesses by first going into the Peek-a-Boo style and charged towards Mashiba. Iga was cleanly hit by Mashiba's Flicker Jabs multiple times until Iga got into close range and is hit by a Short Uppercut. Iga attempted to use the second weakness, the Dragonfish Blow, however the body blow was blocked by an Elbow Block, and the Overhand was countered by a short hook. Iga then used the third weakness, fouls, however the headbutt was dodged, and the elbow was parried and countered. Iga was then hit multiple times by Flicker Jabs until Iga went down and the referee stepped between them. The referee decided to end the match, as Iga was unable to continue. Defeated, Iga walked away from the ring with the Tokugawa Boxing Gym's coach, while Baron was not there with him.
|11||LOSS||10-1-0||1999-10-20||Mashiba Ryō||Tokyo, Japan||3(12) 1:56||TKO||Execution|
OPBF Lightweight Title Match
|10||WIN||10-0-0||1998||Ōshima Sōshi||Tokyo, Japan||6(10)||KO||JBC Lightweight Title Match|
Wins JBC Lightweight Title
|9||WIN||9-0-0||1997||Aoki Masaru||Tokyo, Japan||7(8)||KO||Class A Tournament Finals|
|8||WIN||8-0-0||1997||Imae Katsutaka||Tokyo, Japan||1(6)||KO||Class A Tournament Round 1|
|4||WIN||4-0-0||199?||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||4(4), 3:00||Decision|
|3||WIN||3-0-0||199?||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||4(4), 3:00||Decision|
|2||WIN||2-0-0||199?||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||4(4), 3:00||Decision|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||199?||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||4(4), 3:00||Decision||Debut Match|
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Ōshima Sōshi||JBC Lightweight Champion|
1997 - Current
Iga is a lean, well-built man of average height. He has black eyes, long and thin black eyebrows, and black hair with bangs that partially covers his forehead, which he later grows out. He has a prominent rectangular nose and narrow eyes that give him a perpetual look of boredom regardless of the situation.
Iga is shown to be stoic and near void of emotion, rarely speaking or even displaying a change in demeanour. He is characterised by his bored and lazy expression as well as an eerie amount of calmness (or airheadedness) solidified by the fact that he rarely bothers replying to his trainer during his class-A tournament match against Aoki.
It is implied both indirectly and through Takamura Mamoru that Iga is unbelievably loyal to Kurita. As seen in chapter 976, Iga protected Kurita by stopping a prepared punch from Takamura that would've landed should Iga not be there to restrain it. This loyalty is most likely conditioned from Kurita's brutal training regimes, which, as stated by Kurita, changed Iga from his 'soft' self to the immensely strong KO puncher.
Ever since he switched trainers to Baron, Iga's wins went from decision, to KO wins. Testaments of his boxing skills come during his fight against Katsutaka Imae, a former champion whom he KO'ed in matter of minutes, and in his match against Aoki Masaru, a seasonable veteran with skills equal to that of a national champion: he completely manipulated Aoki with eye and hand feints, something that never happens unless there is a huge gap in skill between boxers.
By a signal from Baron, Iga is able to completely turn his emotions off. This gives him the advantage of being able to walk towards his opponent without fear of taking hits. Even when taking hits directly to his face, his facial expression will not change. This can eventually wear out, however, with Iga able to show pain again.
- Iga's name might be a reference the historical Ninjitsu school (the Iga-ryu) and Shinobi (another word for Ninja) as the Kanji for his full name is the same as the Kanji of the aforementioned two references.