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.


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 though Imai reminded him of a warrior. But when he fought him, it was an overwhelming defeat. They fought 3 times in high school, and each time he lost by KO. 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.


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

After Ippo defeated Nao, Itagaki attended a training camp with Takamura, Wanpo and Kimura to help him prepare for his debut match. He ran into Aoki, Tomiko, Mashiba Kumi, and Ippo while training on the beach. Nekota Ginpachi and Hachi also arrived. At night at the training camp, Itagaki followed Takamura, who was spying on a couple at the beach. When Takamura fondled Tomiko's breast, fireworks light up the beach and they realised that the couple are Aoki and Tomiko, Itagaki ran away with Kimura. 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 is too tired. He seen Ippo after hearing Wanpo's bark. He asksed Ippo to spar instead, but realized he was still resting. Ippo agreed to it as long as it not too much. Itagaki doesn't plan to hold back in it. During the spar, Itagaki shown his speed and various skills. After Ippo landed a punch, it caused Itagaki to stop moving. Itagaki saw Ippo's punches, but he was effected by Ippo's pressure and trapped in the corner. Itagaki was KD after taking a body blow. Ippo wanted to stop the spar, but Itagaki told him 10 seconds haven't past after he got up. Itagaki ended up going down 4 times in 3 Rounds. Itagaki was surprised by it, but Kimura told him when Ippo sparred Date, he was downed 6 times. Itagaki felt the pressure and the way Ippo pushed him to the ropes were all good experiences. After hearing that, Kimura was surprised since Itagaki's an outboxer, and there was no point in learning from an infighter like Ippo. Itagaki mentioned he was not intending to copy Ippo, but learn how to counter it. Itagaki talked about his past, where he was also number 2 in Inter-High. The person above him fought similar to Ippo, and he planned to move on to the Pro's after graduating. Itagaki hoped to learn from spar with Ippo in order to surpass him, where it was his turn to be number 1. At the last night of summer, everyone watched the fireworks.


Itagaki refusing to accept Imai as a friend.

When Itagaki, Kimura, and Takamura returned to Kamogawa Boxing Gym from the training camp, they found that Ippo was pressured by a newbie. Itagaki thought Aoki was joking until he saw Imai Kyōsuke. Imai greeted Itagaki, but Itagaki turned it down. Imai thought they could friendly greeting after they spent most of high school together. Imai mentioned since they haven't graduated yet, he was okay with it. He told him that he planned on going Pro, and taking the shortest distance possible in reaching Ippo's title. Itagaki believed he won't reach it since he was there, and he planned on stopping him this time. After Imai left, Itagaki talked about his past. After Ippo was asked who he thoyght would win, Ippo wasn't for sure, but he mentioned anything can happen in boxing. Itagaki known his current strength wasn't enough yet, but he planned on winning the next time he faced Imai in the ring. The next day, Itagaki found out that Takamura's World title match against Bryan Hawk was decided. Kamogawa added that his debut match was soon, and he announced Aoki and Ippo have matches planned too. Everyone continued to train for it.


Makino vs. Itagaki.

Prior to Itagaki's debut match, Ippo visited him in the lockeer room. Itagaki was pretty calm, despite learning he was going to be fighting in front of a large crowd. He headed out to enter the ring. When Itagaki name was announced a lot of women cheer for him, whilehis opponent , looked like an easy win since he already lost two fights. Shinoda Tomoyuki told Itagaki to be careful since his opponent's face looked serious. He added that he will probably rushed to get the pace from the beginning, and be sure not to show any openings. The match started, Makino charged at him and started attacking. Itagaki was able to dodge it easily, and countered attack. Makino continued to swing wildly, but he couldn't touch Itagaki. Makino's eyes shown that he was desperate.


Makino headbutting.

Makino thrown a punch, as Itagaki started to dodge, Makino head-butted him. Itagaki begun to complain to the ref for the foul, while Makino continued to attack which caused Itagaki to take a down. The ref started counting, while Itagaki complained why he was doing it since it was heading, and not a down, but the ref went on counting. The fight resumed, but Makino rushed toward Itagaki to finish him off. Itagaki dodged the punch, but Makino's elbow hit him in the face. Itagaki went down, and the ref stopped the fight. He declared Makino the winner. Itagaki disagreed with it, and complained to the ref about being clipped by his elbow, since it wasn't a punch. The crowd believed Itagaki was a sore loser and boo'ed him. Itagaki was shocked, he mentioned he can still fight, but Shinoda took him to waiting room while the crowd yelled at him for poor sportsmanship.

Ippo - Not a foul

Ippo telling Itagaki those weren't fouls.

Ippo arrived in the waiting room. Itagaki discussed the match with him, after mentionsing the fouls, Itagaki started to get angry. Ippo told Itagaki the reason why he lost was because of Makino's face. His expression said he was desperate. He had some reason that he couldn't afford to lose. After hearing that, Itagaki mentioned that fouls are fine as long as they win in a mocking voice, but Ippo told him those weren't fouls. The ref didn't stopped the fight, where it may because he decided they were simply accidents or he couldn't see them. Ippo added, that Itagaki shouldn't have taken his eyes off the fight, and he believed it was Itagaki's fault. Even if he fought a man like that, when he head butts him, he should still fight back, where anything can happen in the Pro Ring. Now angry, Itagaki ran off since Ippo wasn't on his side.

Itagaki - Sweat

Itagaki joining their roadwork.

Itagkai doesn't return to the gym for awhile after the match. Itagaki ended up following them after Takamura shaved Aoki's eyebrows. Itagaki over heard Ippo asked why Takamura started boxing. He borrowed a towel and told them to wipe their sweat on it. Takamura mentions since they are small fry, who can't imaging conquering the World, but they are friends that sweat along with him. He will take their sweat along with him to the top of the World. Itagaki asked if he could take his sweat too. Itagaki felt that he couldn't' show himself before, but with the World title match coming up, it would be a waste not to be with them. He noted that Aoki turned into a clown. Itagaki trained along side Takamura as he prepared for his World Title match. While Takamura was going threw harsh weight control, he mentioned to him that he has a "Sister Complex" as a pun. During the press conference, he also ends up holding Takamura back after Hawk hits him.

Part II

Submarine Wars Arc

Itagaki's first win

Itagaki's first win

After Itagaki defeated an unknown boxers for his first win, he celebrated it by climbing the ropes in the corner. In the waiting room, Itagaki mentioned he wasn't nervous since he was always sparring with the Japanese champion, and if it was just a 4 round fight, he not scared of anyone. In order to thank Ippo, Itagaki took Ippo to his house to celebrate. When they arrived at his house, Itagaki commented that he got into high school and college by scholarship, but he wanted to devote more time to boxing, so he quit college. He was hoping that his fists will be enough to earn some income. He thought he would be able make money from the beginning, but realised that he was naive with it. However, after winning his fight, he now had made enough to cover the All Japan Rookie King Tournament Entrance Fee, and one step closer to making it easier on his family.



Itagaki introduced his sister to Ippo, who was also a big fan. Itagaki introduced his mother too. As they are about to eat, Itagaki's Father arrived, thanked Ippo for looking after his son. At the start of dinner, they all say "Itagakimasu", a Itagaki family tradition. Over the course of the dinner, they start tell bad puns naturally, which catched Ippo off guard.

At the gym, Coach announces upcoming fights for everyone starting in early spring. Ippo's defense at champion carnival, Aoki's title match, Itagaki's Rookie King Tournament match, and Takamura's first World Title Defense. Itagaki starts training for it. He also helps Ippo prepare for his match against Shimabukuro Iwao . He watches Ippo try to level up the Dempsey Roll's power and speed by harsh training menu that even Takamura thinks is impossible, but able to complete it. At Ippo's peak exhaustion, Kamogawa tells him to stop training since he is at peak exhaustion and to only soak in a pool if he needs to do something. Itagaki visits Ippo at the pool with his sister and he sees Kumi there. Itagaki tells him that he came to encourage Ippo, but Nanako wanted to come along too. Nanako and Kumi get jealous of each other. Itagaki ask Ippo about his opponent's comment in the paper about "Under the Sea", but Ippo isn't for sure what he is talking about. Ippo feels that he might not understand, but he believes Kamogawa does. Itagaki is amazed at Ippo and Kamogawa's level of bond and trust between them.

Prior to Ippo's match, Itagaki is with Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura. They dicuss what Ippo did at the weigh in. Itagaki's not surprised that Ippo took off his clothes by accident and showing off his good since it not a rare thing for amateurs. Kimura tells him that he only says that since he never seen it. When they heard Shimabukuro wasn't phased by it and called it a python, they think his must be equals to Ippo. They proceed to watch Ippo defeat Shimabukuro in a tough match.

Comic Show Arc

Itagaki continues to train for his first match in the Rookie King Tournament, while Aoki prepares for his JBC title match with Katsutaka Imae. Itagaki discusses Aoki's opponent with Kimura. Kimura mentions the odds are 6 to 4 against Aoki, and talks about the Champion. Itagaki asks him if Aoki can win, and Kimura mentions the possiblity exists but he wonders if Aoki were to become champion, what his position in the gym would be, where Aoki would go around parading the belt all over the place. Itagaki notes that it must be complex for him, and thinks Kimura watched the champions video dozens of times to help Aoki.

Itagaki passed his weigh in for his match. After it, Itagaki eats some sugary things and soda and meets with Ippo and Kimura. Ippo warns him if he eats too much it will effect his performance tomorrow. They discuss Aoki and Imae, where Kimura notes they have a lot of similarities. Itagaki disagrees since Aoki makes people laugh, while Imai's matches are usually pretty serious. While they are talking, they notice Imae breaking up with his girlfriend. After seeing it, Kimura thinks Itagaki's right that he really is different, but once they see Imae's girlfriend looks, Itagaki admits he was wrong.

Itagaki vs unknown - 001

Itagaki struggling in First Round of Rookie King

Prior to his match, Itagaki mentions he family is there to cheer him on, where he is a little nervous. But since he dad will be there, he got to win. During the match, Itagaki looks sluggish, and he wonder if it is because he pigged out, and remembers not to do it in the future. He is able to win in the end by KO. He celebrates by doing a back flip. Takamura lectures him not to back flip when he barely won, since he was losing in points. When they enter the waiting room, they catch Aoki and Tomiko in complicated situation. Itagaki watches Aoki fight to a draw.

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 Takuzou 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 Unknown 1?-?-0 1999-11 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan  ?(8)  ?
16 WIN 14-2-0 1999-5 Unknown[1] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 Decision Ippo as 2nd
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 JapanUnknown[16] Tokyo, Japan 1(4) KO First Comeback Match
1 LOSS 0-1-0 1994-10-14 JapanMakino Fumito[17] Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 1:13 TKO Pro Debut


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)


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


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.



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.


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.



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.



  • 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.[18]
    • 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]


  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 363
  18. 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
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.