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Manabu Itagaki (板垣学, Itagaki Manabu) is a tritagonist in Hajime no Ippo, since the New Challenger Saga.

He is a featherweight professional boxer renowned for his speed and genius boxing talent. His trainer is Shinoda Tomoyuki. He, along with Makunouchi Ippo, Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru, and Kimura Tatsuya, round out the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym.

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


Background

In middle school, he was a soccer player, and when he was thinking about which high school to enter, some scouts talked to him, but team sports didn't interest him. He wanted to see how far he could go on his own power. When he first joined high school, boxing felt great since not even his senpai in the boxing club could touch him. He easily got a spot as the Tokyo Representative.

When he first met Imai Kyōsuke in the National Tournament, he was excited since he thought Imai reminded him of a warrior. But when he fought him, it was an overwhelming defeat. They fought three times in high school, and each time he lost by knockout. In order to defeat him no matter what, he skipped college and instead joined the Kamogawa Boxing Gym to be a pro, where his idol, Ippo trained.

History

Part I

Proof of Power Arc

Itagaki Appears

Itagaki arrives at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym.

Itagaki arrived at the Kamogawa Boxing Gym, hearing good sounds from Makunouchi Ippo's punches. After he made Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya mad after not knowing who they were, Yagi Haruhiko introduced Itagaki as the Inter-High National #2. Itagaki mentioned that the gym had a fighter he respects, which turned out to be Ippo, who he viewed as a senpai. In order to test Itagaki, the gym members had him follow a their usual roadwork. Itagaki couldn't keep up with Ippo, but he performed better than Aoki and Kimura, which showcased his talent.

Kamogawa gym members discuss Ippo and Hammer Nao's match

Kamogawa gym members discuss Ippo's title defence against Hammer Nao.

When they returned to the gym, Yagi showed the group Ippo's second JBC featherweight title defence opponent, Hammer Nao, which was the ring name of Yamada Naomichi. After finding out who he was, Itagaki thought it would be an easy win, not knowing the bond between the two and was confused when Ippo was tense and left the room. Later, when the match poster was plastered on the gym's exterior, it was pointed out how small Aoki's semifinal match advertisement was, leading Itagaki to think the levels were too different, making Aoki angry. Later, Ippo asked Itagaki about his goals. Itagaki answered he wants to be a boxer that can compete at world level, specifically one that continued to win like him, or like De La Hoya or Ricardo López, believing a high goal to be good, as if a goal was easy to reach, he would run out of steam after.

Itagaki, Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura watching Ippo and Yamada fight

Itagaki watching Ippo's match against Yamada.

Itagaki witnessed Ippo's training for the first time, amazed about his power to send a sandbag to a great height and was disappointed when it was revealed that Ippo would not be able to use his Dempsey Roll during the match. When the day of the match arrived, Itagaki went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched Aoki's match against Paddy Magramo and Ippo's title defence match against Yamada, which ended in Aoki and Ippo's victory, later congratulating the latter.

Battle of Hawk Arc

Ippo sparring against Itagaki

Itagaki and Ippo sparring.

Itagaki attended a training camp with Takamura, Kimura and Wanpo to help him prepare for his debut match. He ran into Ippo, Aoki, Tomiko, Mashiba Kumi, Nekota Ginpachi, and Hachi there. That night on the beach, Takamura, Kimura, and Itagaki were sneaking up on a couple. Takamura then went up to the couple and groped the woman's breast. Then as soon as one of the fireworks blast into the sky, the couple were revealed to be Aoki and Tomiko, causing Kimura and Itagaki to run away. They then followed Wanpo, who led them to a beaten Nekota and Hachi while Takamura was flailing around in the water, to their confusion. The next day, Itagaki sparred with Kimura. After the spar was over, Itagaki wanted to continue to get a better sense for pro fights, but Kimura was too tired. Itagaki then asked Ippo, who stopped by, for a spar. Ippo agreed to it, with neither holding back. During the spar, Itagaki showed his speed and skill, however, Ippo pressured him and knocked him down four times before he passed out. Itagaki deemed it a good experience, telling Kimura, who was curious, that he does not want to copy Ippo's in-fighter style, but counter it as a out-boxer in order to defeat the first placer in the amateurs who intends to go pro and has the same style as Ippo. Then, Nekota stopped by with fireworks to use at night, with Itagaki later going to the beach that night with everyone but Takamura, who decided not to go.

Everyone watching the stars

Itagaki watching the stars with everyone.

On the beach, with everyone enjoying fireworks and sparklers, the group noticed Takamura, who claimed would just go back, as he would just get in the way. After Ippo and Itagaki's sweet talk and everyone cheering for him, Takamura finally joined the party. After watching fireworks, Itagaki looked up at the stars, setting his goal to to follow the same path Ippo took in order to get back at "him". Takamura's fireworks that he set earlier for revenge start going off toward the group as they ran away.

Itagaki&Imai

Itagaki refusing to accept Imai as a friend.

When Itagaki, Kimura, and Takamura returned to Kamogawa gym from the training camp, they found that Ippo was pressured by a newcomer. Itagaki thought Aoki was joking until he saw Imai Kyōsuke. When Imai told Itagaki that he would aim at becoming pro and would take the shortest path to Ippo's title, Itagaki told him that he won't reach it as he would stop him. After Imai left without a word, Itagaki explained his past with Imai to his gym mates, knowing that his current strength was not yet enough, however he planned on winning the next time in the ring. The next day, Itagaki found out that Takamura's WBC title match against Bryan Hawk was decided. Kamogawa Genji announced that Itagaki's debut match was in October, along with Kimura's comeback match.

Itagaki's debut match against Makino

Itagaki and Makino fighting.

Itagaki arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall for his debut match against Makino Fumito. The match started, and Itagaki quickly began to dominate him in speed and technique, with Makino unable to touch him. However, in a desperate act, Makino committed a foul by headbutting him, causing Itagaki to go down after getting hit when itagaki tried to alert the referee. After the referee ignored Itagaki's complaint of him counting it as a down, Itagaki got up. Itagaki was then soon taken down when Makino hit him with an elbow, resulting in Itagaki's loss. At his changing room, Itagaki was angered and confused about the outcome of the match. Ippo entered the room, and when Itagaki tried to explain it to Ippo, Ippo told him that it wasn't a foul as the referee did not stop the fight and that it was Itagaki's fault he loss. Angry, Itagaki ran off since Ippo wasn't on his side.

While Ippo, Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura were doing roadwork, Itagaki approached them, feeling as if it would be a waste not to be there with them. Later, Itagaki acted as a sparring partner for Ippo for his third JBC featherweight title defence. Itagaki and the others became worried about Takamura's weight management and bought him bags of dried shiitake for him. While Takamura was going threw harsh weight control, he mentioned to him that he had a "Sister Complex" as a pun. After Takamura's harsh weight management, Itagaki attended the press conference, where he, Aoki, Kimura, and Ippo were tasked to be on standby to stop Takamura in case the conference does not go well. When Takamura was struck in the jaw during a pose for a picture, Takamura began to rush toward Hawk. Itagaki and the others hold him back, however, Kamogawa was the one to act as he grabbed Hawk by his collar in anger. Hawk then smacked Kamogawa in the face, causing Takamura to freeze in anger, however it ended without anyone getting hurt.

On the day of Ippo and Takamura's match, Itagaki visited Takamura and told him he will be proud to say he goes to the same gym as a world champion before leaving to watch the match. Itagaki then watched as Takamura won and became the world champion. The next week, a large package arrived at the Kamogawa gym containing a bronze bust statue of Takamura, which Aoki accidentally broke an arm off of. When Itagaki heard that Aoki was sent around Japan selling mini versions of the statue for a higher price than it was, Itagaki and the others decided to check on Aoki to see how any he sold. Upon arrival to Aoki's home, Tomiko answered instead, revealing that he went to Shinjuku. Ippo was then the one decided to go find him.

Part II

Submarine Wars Arc

Itagaki winning against Baraki

Itagaki's wins against Baraki, earning his first win.

After Itagaki defeated Baraki Haseo by knockout, winning for the first time, he excitedly climbed the ropes in the corner to do a victory pose. In the changing room, Itagaki mentioned he wasn't nervous since he was always sparring with the Japanese featherweight champion, and if it is just a four round fight, he is not scared of anyone. In order to thank Ippo, Itagaki took Ippo to his house to celebrate. When they arrived at his house, Itagaki revealed his intentions of wanting to make it easier on his family by using his fists to earn money after quitting college for boxing, and after winning his recent match, he earned enough money to cover the East Japan Rookie King Tournament entrance fee. Itagaki then introduced his sister, Nanako, who was also a big fan, along with his mother to Ippo. Once his father arrived, the Itagaki family began to eat, and over the course of the dinner, they start to tell bad puns naturally, which caught Ippo off guard.

Yagi announcing the Champion Carnival 1995

Itagaki learning about everyone's matches for early spring.

At the Kamogawa gym, Kamogawa and Yagi announced the upcoming fights for everyone starting in early spring, including Itagaki's first Rookie King tournament match. Itagaki began training, aiming for the Rookie King title. He also helped as a sparring partner for Ippo in preparation for his fourth JBC featherweight title defence match against Shimabukuro Iwao, and watched Ippo's training. At Ippo's peak exhaustion, Kamogawa ordered him to stop training since he was at peak exhaustion and to only soak in a pool if he needed to do something. Itagaki and Nanako visited Ippo at the Swimming Club to encourage him. Itagaki asked Ippo about his opponent's comment in the paper about "Under the Sea". When Ippo expressed his trust in Kamogawa that he would know the meaning, Itagaki was amazed of the level of bond and trust between them.

On the day of Ippo's match against Shimabukuro, Itagaki arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall with Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura. They discussed how Ippo accidentally fully undressed himself at the weigh-in. Itagaki then watched Ippo fight Shimabukuro, which ended in Ippo's victory.

Comic Show Arc

Itagaki winning the first round of Rookie King tournament

Itagaki winning against his opponent in the first round of the Rookie King tournament.

Itagaki continued to train for his first match in the East Japan Rookie King tournament. As Aoki prepared for his JBC lightweight title match against Katsutaka Imae, Itagaki discussed with Kimura about the chances of Aoki winning. Despite the odds being against Aoki, Itagaki felt if Aoki is confident and does his best, he could win. On the day of the weigh-in, Itagaki passed the weight check. He then left the Kōrakuen Hall to meet with Ippo and Kimura. Kimura mentioned how similar Aoki and Imae were, which Itagaki disagreed.They then saw Imae from a distance talking to his girlfriend, Sachiko. After Imae left and made her cry and run off, Itagaki changed his mind and decided they are similar due to their choices of women. The next day, Itagaki went to the Kōrakuen Hall for his first round of the Rookie King tournament. During the match, Itagaki noticed how his body felt sluggish, and wondered if it was because he ate too much. Itagaki then won the match by knockout in the fourth round. Itagaki watched Aoki's title match against Imae and got tricked by Aoki's Look Away, turning his head with the rest of the audience to see what Aoki was looking at. After Aoki's match ended in a draw and was unable to get the belt, Takamura chastised Aoki for the performance. Itagaki, Ippo, and Kimura then made Takamura go to Aoki's house to apologise for his actions. They left before doing so however, as Aoki seemed busy.

Dragon Slayer Arc

After Umezawa Masahiko retired from the Makunouchi Fishing Boat in order to pursue his own dreams, Itagaki took over his job and started receiving the same kind of work training that Ippo goes through.

A Passing Point Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Spirit of a Weed Arc

He achieved revenge on Makino Fumito, who had defeated him in his debut match with a foul, in the opening round of the East Japan Rookie Kings. At the finals, after a tough fight with Imai, Itagaki captured the East Japan Rookie King title and seemingly tapped into his true fighting potential; his speed, reflexes and timing are now said to be at genius levels.

Under Siege Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Phantom Card Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Father's Back Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Inescapable Destiny Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Chaos Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Seiken Arc

He knocked out the West Japan Rookie King, Hoshi Hiroyuki, with just a few blows, and recently defeated two of the fastest characters in the series in the Class A Tournament: Karasawa Takuzō and Saeki Takuma. Both had lost to Ippo in the past, so he made it his goal to KO both of them faster than Ippo (which he did). After winning that tournament he gained the attention of the OPBF Champion, Miyata Ichirō, as well as the number 1 ranking in Japan. At some point Eiji's baton was passed down to him by Ippo.

Scratch Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Operation World Domination Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Winner Takes All Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Red Lightning Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Second Coming of Death Arc

In the Jungle Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Chronos Arc

Blind Step Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Speed Zone Arc

After his fight with Karasawa Takuzō, Itagaki seemed to undergo a bout of insanity to the point that, without realising it, he reached out to Ippo with what seemed to be a murderous air about him. Luckily, his towel fell, and he caught himself. but for now he doesn't know what he was feeling then.

Proud Wolf Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Go to the World Arc

With Ippo relinquishing his title to take on the world, a rematch with number 2 ranking and long time rival Imai was scheduled to decide the new JBC featherweight champion. Although it was a title match, because Itagaki had conquered his goal in the Class A tournament to beat Ippo's KO times against Saeki and Karasawa, as well as because he had defeated Imai before, he went into the match extremely overconfident. With a dazzling strategy, Kyōsuke trapped Itagaki in the corner and wore him out with various body blows, eventually KOing Itagaki in the first round. Afterward, Itagaki acted like a good sportsman, but in truth he was disappointed in himself for letting down Ippo and dropping Date's baton.

Battle of the Beasts Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Seeking Heights Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

10 Months in the Making Arc

Itagaki makes an appearance in this arc.

Part III

Second Step Arc

After Ippo retired, Itagaki ended up quitting his job at the Fishing Boat in order to give Ippo space. He found a job working at his father's security company, which now comes with full benefits. Two months since then, Itagaki is attending Imai's JBC 2nd Defence. As Imai wins, the crowd wonder if there is anyone that could beat him. Itagaki thinks he can, but he remembers ever sine he lost, his standing has taken a dip, even though he beaten Imai before. When Imai is asked who he wants to fight next, he mentions Ippo, which shocks Itagaki.

After Ippo decide to help 2nd Kimura's upcoming match, he joins Aoki, Kimura, and him while doing roadwork. Kimura's in poor condition due to harsh weight control. 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.

Itagaki later on attends Kimura's match. During Hayami Ryūichi 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, Itagaki's watches Ippo's antics as a 2nd 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.

Ippo is acting as a 2nd for Aoki and his matches. Aoki wins with a KO with a Frog Punch. Then, Itagaki's match begins, after using the neck spin and a counter, the first round ends. After asking how he did, Ippo states he did it all wrong. Itagaki skillfully dodges all of his opponent's attacks. However, at the end of the round, Ippo queries why Itagaki didn't throw any punches, to which Itagaki believes it will be enough if he just throws one hit that counts. In the next round, Itagaki's opponent throws a flurry of punches to Itagaki's guard, when he sees an opening, Itagaki throws a Liver Blow.

When the round ends, Ippo states that not throwing punches will let Itagaki's opponent get into rhythm, surprising Itagaki, who thought he would get praised. In the next round, Itagaki throws a big swing that turns into an exchange that hurt Itagaki more than his opponent. Both boxers land hits on each other until Itagaki lands an uppercut that downs his opponent, but he quickly recovers. At the end of the round, Ippo asks Itagaki if that really is his boxing, shocking Itagaki. At the eighth and final round, Itagaki, flustered, throws a flurry of punches as his opponent does the same. The round ends in decision, with Itagaki as the winner. Outside Kourakuen Hall, after Ippo states to Itagaki that winning with just force isn't his style of boxing, Itagaki storms off.

Taihei Arc

After saving Teru from bullies, he takes him to Kamogawa Boxing Gym to try boxing. When Itagaki sees Teru, he starts to act a little jealous and in a bad mood (from before.) He starts asking questions about him, but Ippo tells him to be nice since he is scaring him. When Ippo has Teru draw an image of his bully like he started out boxing, Itagaki comments that they shouldn't expect anything from him, but Kimura tells Itagaki that he should judge a book by it's cover like it was with Ippo. When they see Teru's drawing, everyone is impressed by it and think he might be able to pull it off. When Teru tries hitting the image on a sandbag without moving it, everyone is disappointed in it, and Itagaki mentions that you can judge a book by its cover. Yagi tries to get Teru to sign a membership contract with them, but Teru runs away with Ippo chasing after him.

At the Chūka Soba, Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki has a conversation about how Miyata should challenge the world soon, as his ranking might get snatched up by an underdog. Aoki and Kimura don't think it will happen, but Itagaki asks them what proof do they got that shows he won't lose. Kimura and Aoki think Itagaki is still angry that Ippo was harsh on him in his fight. They mention that they don't have proof, but they don't think Miyata struggle in it.

Outside Kamogawa Boxing Gym, Itagaki notices the sounds in the gym, asking Aoki and Kimura if it's Takamura. Takamura, however, is also outside with them. Itagaki then gets excited when he sees Ippo through the window hitting mitts. Itagaki, Aoki, and Kimura believe Ippo and Kamogawa are the perfect combo, being in sync after being away for a while. Aoki is hopeful for Ippo, but Kimura believes that if Ippo takes any hits, it would cause serious problems. After the mitt punching, Kamogawa asks why Ippo came over. Ippo replies that he wanted to borrow mitts to train Taihei.

After learning that Ippo is training Taihei, Itagaki decides to check it out. He see Ippo and Taihei continue mitt training until nightfall. Ippo concludes their training and tells the fired-up Taihei not to go out fighting, as using your fists for violence is unacceptable. As Taihei leaves, Itagaki, who was listening to the conversation, tells Ippo that Taihei doesn't have any respect, and as he heard from Umezawa, that he was a bully. Itagaki suggests Ippo to wash his hands of Taihei before he gets in trouble.

During a typhoon, Takamura, Itagaki, and Kimura arrive at the Chūka Soba, where they asked what happened to Ippo. Aoki tells them that he left to turn himself in to the police. After hearing the story (that Ippo slapped Taihei), Takamura states that violence is violence, Itagaki points out that Takamura hits people in the streets and he's the world champion so he should turn himself in, which Takamura says he's a special case as he's always forgiven. Teru Okazaki and Umezawa Masahiko feel somewhat responsible for it. Takamura asks why Umezawa's face is beaten up, Umezwa replies that it was just an underling hitting him. Umezawa states he has never seen Ippo make a face like he did. Remembering that it didn't look like a face a human would make. Itagaki thinks back on how Ippo's face was described before walking away from the Chūka Soba to go after Ippo.

Outside the police station, Itagaki sees Ippo and states that Taihei lives and breathes fighting and that a slap isn't enough for him to file a police report. Ippo disagrees, saying that he did something bad and should be punished. Itagaki points out the rain has stopped, but ippo believes it is still a downpour.

Itagaki tells Ippo that it has been a week and no report has been filed, so he should relax. Ippo however, believes what he did was morally wrong and should be judged accordingly, despite being safe as no one saw it. Ippo then gets sad when he sees the tree where he always met Taihei, which Itagaki gets annoyed about and states that Ippo should think about the people in front of him. Itagaki tells Ippo that he's in a slump, because he practices like usual but he's not improving and doesn't know what happened last match. Ippo replies that it's good to be in a slump, as the only people who get in a slump, are the ones who have incredible talent. Ippo then notes that he never been in a slump, which makes Itagaki jealous.

Ippo tells Itagaki about the line that Takamura made, saying that only monsters can go over the line. Ippo states that he wasn't able to cross it before and thought he'd be able to overcome any slump, feeling as if this line is his limit. Ippo then goes back to the previous conversation, saying that he has to show significant remorse and be judged by the proper people.

Towards a Resolution Arc

Post-Towards a Resolution Arc

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
17 WIN 15-2-0 1999-11 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 Decision N/A
16 WIN 14-2-0 1999-5 Unknown[1] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 Decision N/A
15 WIN 13-2-0 1998-11 Unknown[2] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision 2nd Comeback
14 LOSS 12-2-0 1998-03-21 JapanImai Kyōsuke[3] Tokyo, Japan 1(10), 0:55 TKO "GO TO THE WORLD!"
JBC Featherweight Title Match
13 WIN 12-1-0 1997-10 JapanSaeki Takuma[4] Tokyo, Japan 4(10), 1:28 KO Class-A Tournament Finals
12 WIN 11-1-0 1997-09 JapanKarasawa Takuzō[5] Tokyo, Japan 2(10), 2:13 TKO Class-A Tournament
First Round
(Rose 6th JBC)
11 WIN 10-1-0 1997-4-24 ThailandGaonā Pachiyoso[6] Tokyo, Japan 2(10) KO
10 WIN 9-1-0 1996-09-12 Alex Harker[7] Tokyo, Japan 1(10) KO "OPERATION-WORLD DOMINATION"
9 WIN 8-1-0 1996-07 JapanHoshi Hiroyuki[8] Tokyo, Japan 1(10), 1:30 KO
8 WIN 7-1-0 1996-06 JapanUnknown[9] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision
7 WIN 6-1-0 1995-11 JapanImai Kyōsuke[10] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals
(Rose 10th JBC)
6 WIN 5-1-0 1995-09 JapanMakino Fumito[11] Tokyo, Japan 2(4) KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals
5 WIN 4-1-0 1995 JapanUnknown[12] Tokyo, Japan  ?(4) KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals
4 WIN 3-1-0 1995-06 JapanUnknown[13] Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:15 KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament 2nd Round
3 WIN 2-1-0 1995-04-13 JapanUnknown[14] Tokyo, Japan 4(4), 2:35[15] KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament First Round
2 WIN 1-1-0 1995 JapanBaraki Haseo[16] Tokyo, Japan 1(4) KO "MEMORY OF OMEGA"
Semifinals[17]
Comeback Match
1 LOSS 0-1-0 1994-10-14 JapanMakino Fumito[18] Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 1:13 TKO Pro Debut

Spars

This list does not include the numerous spars Itagaki has had with his fellow gymmates.

Amateur Matches

  • Amateur Matches: ?-?-3-? (? KO)
  • VS. Imai Kyōsuke 4R Loss by KO (Unknown)
  • VS. Imai Kyōsuke 4R Loss by KO (Unknown)
  • VS. Imai Kyōsuke 4R Loss by KO (Unknown)

Successions

Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Karasawa Takuzō East Japan Featherweight Rookie King Unknown

Appearance

Itagaki Manabu - Anime - 001

Itagaki's appearance.

Itagaki has a very toned and lean build suitable for both his weight class and fighting style. He has brown hair that stretches to the base of his neck, thin eyebrows and matching dark-coloured eyes. He seems to favour wearing headbands to keep his oversized bangs from obscuring his vision.

Personality

ItagakiManabu

Itagaki after encouragement from his gym mates, determined to defeat Imai Kyōsuke

The newest member of the Kamogawa troupe is a remarkably friendly and cheerful young man. Itagaki's open personality allows him to get along with just about anyone, including and especially the fearsome Mashiba Ryō. Beneath his disposition lies a bitterness toward rival Imai Kyōsuke (despite the latter viewing him as a friend) and the losses he experienced in the past. As opposed to Ippo, Itagaki has proven himself to be immature and overconfident of his speed and flexibility. He is rarely ever afraid of other characters.

Despite Ippo being his senpai, Itagaki often watches after him like an older brother, defending him during discussions about boxing and reassuring him when he loses confidence. He is attracted to Mashiba Kumi, though he tries to keep this a secret from Ippo and has never made a romantic advance on her out of respect for her and Ippo's relationship. He respects Ippo a great deal, but in truth, he is jealous of him and desires much of Ippo's fortune. Itagaki has made beating Ippo's KO times his primary goal. It is his unique way of challenging his idol.

Like the rest of his family, Itagaki possesses a terrible sense of humour and has the tendency to crack some lame puns. He states that this "Itagaki Family Way" is what keeps their family cheery from their poor financial situation.

Abilities

Itagaki Defeating Hoshi

Itagaki's Genius Status as he Defeats Hoshi

Itagaki Awakening Full Potential

Itagaki awakening his full potential against Karasawa Takuzou

He has an amazing boxing sense and is considered by many to be a genius of the sport. His depth perception, reflexes, and timing are all far above average. He has gone through several matches with his opponent completely unable to even touch him. He has been seen avoiding Mashiba Ryō's deadly Flicker Jabs in sparring sessions, and Mashiba claims that his speed even exceeds Miyata Ichirō's. His only weakness appears to be his small body's inability to withstand pain.

Techniques

Weaknesses

Like Miyata, Itagaki has weak punches, meaning that he doesn't have a punch that can severely injure an opponent. Although he has several KO victories in his record, he was never able to KO or even KD the fighter-type Imai Kyōsuke who was a hard-puncher. He also has a fragile body and is susceptible to body blows.

Like his genius boxer predecessor Hayami Ryūichi, he is notoriously cocky. Nearly all of his matches ended up troublesome when he decided to do something flashy or unnecessarily risky, such as experimenting with someone else's signature punch in the middle of a match. In the case of his title match with Imai, he lost because he didn't take Imai seriously, which resulted in him getting pinned down at the ring of the bell in his corner, where Imai had complete control. In the case of his Class A tournament matches, his eagerness to beat Ippo's KO times was the sole reason he had trouble at all.

It should also be noted that Itagaki sometimes has difficulties focusing during his matches, which in his case significantly decreases his performance. In the words of Shinoda: "His true strength only manifests when he's relaxed and focuses his concentration to its upper limits. That's what lets him use his true potential".

According to Mashiba, and as demonstrated during the Karasawa match, Itagaki adopts a repetitive pattern of moving forward and backward from his opponent when he becomes frustrated.

Gallery

Main Article: Itagaki Manabu/Gallery

Trivia

  • Itagaki didn't win the title of All Japan Rookie King championship because his fight with Imai Kyōsuke had left him in a bad condition for a long time, and unable to meet the deadline of the final match. However, after defeating Hoshi Hiroyuki, the boxer he should have fought for the title, many characters now consider him the All Japan Rookie King.
  • When entering the ring, he always jumps onto the corner post and shouts "Ita--gakiiin!!!", simultaneously making the pose from the anime Magnerobo Ga-Kiin. "Gaakiiin" is short for gathering energy. After sweep wins he is known to perform a backflip in his corner.
  • Although he and Imai purport to dislike each other, they still refer to each other by their first names, "Manabu" and "Kyōsuke".
  • Itagaki is based on "Sugar" Ray Leonard, one of the fastest boxers of all-time.[19]
    • His "Ali Shuffle" comes from the taunting tactic performed by former World Champion Muhammad Ali. Both Ali and Leonard were trained by the same person and were known for their speed and exceptional outboxing skills.
  • The new nickname "Chronos" that the announcer gave him during one of his recent matches, was because of his incredible speed. ("Chronos" - "Χρόνος", which means "time" or "year" in Greek), comes from the Greek Mythology, Chronos, who was imagined as the god or entity of time. As the announcer said when Itagaki jumped in the ring, "They call him Chronos, the god who rules over time itself.
  • Itagaki is probably modelled after pro boxer Manabu Fukushima from Morikawa's JB Sports Gym. They share a lot of similarities like height, birthday, same "Manabu" name, and even looks. Morikawa was a second for a few of Fukushima's matches like his world title match.[citation needed]

References

  1. Round 1226
  2. Round 1176
  3. Round 1023
  4. Round 954
  5. Round 901
  6. Round 852
  7. Round 743
  8. Round 713
  9. Round 708
  10. Round 708
  11. Round 564
  12. Round 521
  13. Round 508
  14. Round 447
  15. Round 447
  16. Round 415
  17. Round 103 Match poster was shown in the anime
  18. Round 363
  19. Ch.715, p.14

Start a Discussion Discussions about Itagaki Manabu

  • Itagaki vs Imai

    14 messages
    • Yy Imay wins buy doing fuxking fouls al the way....pushing with head and keeping the head low enougj to face the mat, his whole fucking strate...
    • Those aren't fouls dude. At worst, it's bad inside-fighting technique by Imai.
  • is itagaki insane?

    4 messages
    • He is not precisely insane he just lets his instinct carries over; so far in the series, the author has presented 2 different kinds of “fight...
    • Very interesting answer
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