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Ryō Mashiba (間柴了, Mashiba Ryō) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo. During the events of the Rookie King tournament, he was the main antagonist.

He is a Multi-Weight Class (currently lightweight) professional boxer affiliated with Tōhō Boxing Gym, the OPBF lightweight champion, and the older brother of Mashiba Kumi.

His important fights are against Miyata Ichirō, Makunouchi Ippo, Kimura Tatsuya, Sawamura Ryūhei, Aaron Domingo, and Iga Shinobu.

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

Background

PastMashiba

Mashiba and Kumi at their parent's grave.

When Mashiba was still in high school, his parents died in an accident and he swore two things on their graves: that he would never rely on anyone but himself and that anyone who harmed Kumi would pay dearly.

Part I

Early Days Arc

Mashiba at Pro Test

Mashiba during his pro test.

After Takamura Mamoru's fight with Hirano Kazuhiko, Fujii Minoru introduced Mashiba to Miyata Ichirō and Makunouchi Ippo. Mashiba proceeded to provoke Miyata.

At the license gathering for all new rookies, he brutally attacked his opponent with Flicker Jabs. The referee tried to stop him, but Mashiba pushed him away and continued punching his opponent until the bell rang. After Ippo successfully passed his own test, Mashiba attempted to scare him off their weight class, only for Ippo to reply that he is not leaving.

Rookie King Tournament: Finals Arc

MashibavsMiyata

Mashiba dealing the final hit on Miyata.

At the East Japan Rookie King Tournament's semi-finals, Miyata was his opponent. Initially Miyata appeared to have the upper hand, but Mashiba committed a foul by stepping on Miyata's foot to hold him still; subsequently he beat Miyata brutally. Miyata still fought on, showing tenacious spirit which even Mashiba showed fear from, but ultimately Miyata couldn't fight properly with one foot and he lost.

Ippo, who felt despair due to becoming unable to meet Miyata in the East Rookie King finals, ran into Mashiba afterwards. Mashiba was glad Miyata was sent to the hospital, which only made Ippo angrier.

Upon Ippo and Mashiba meeting in the East Rookie King finals Mashiba landed pretty decent blows and had Ippo on the ropes, but Ippo showed a determination (similar to Miyata) that Mashiba felt fear from and Ippo ultimately won.

Heartbroken Arc

He was later stated to have moved up to the junior lightweight weight class (which Kimura grieved over, saying he didn't want to fight a monster like him). Around the time Mashiba was about to challenge for his championship, Ippo challenged Date Eiji. He asked Kumi not to come knowing how bloody the fight would have been and Ippo later saw him brutally beaten but ultimately wins the belt. Whereas Ippo didn't. So although losing to Ippo, he won the Japanese belt before he did.

Execution Arc

Kimura vs Mashiba Fight Poster

Kimura vs. Mashiba
fight poster

Kimura finally readies himself to have a match with Mashiba for the belt. After showing tremendous tenacity and relentless skill (a side not usually seen from Kimura) he nearly beats Mashiba, even saying he can see the belt in his hands. But ultimately Mashiba shows severe desperation and wins a very tough bout, even saying it's the toughest he's been through.

Part II

Dragon Slayer Arc

He has an encounter with Sawamura Ryūhei (whom Ippo was about to fight in the next two days) and he knicks Kumi with his fist for touching his bike and Mashiba retaliates by swinging a punch at him and gets into his hitman stance before Ippo said he would take care of him.

Spirit of a Weed Arc

Mashiba spars with Itagaki Manabu to help prepare him for his match with Makino Fumito.

Veteran Card Arc

Mashiba follows Kumi to Miyata Ichirō's match against Che Jounbong with Ippo.

Chaos Arc

Mashiba facing off Sawamura

Mashiba Facing Off Sawamura

Mashiba vs Sawamura Fight poster

Mashiba VS. Sawamura Fight poster

After his loss to Ippo, Sawamura moves up to Jr.Lightweight to challenge Mashiba for the JBC championship. Sparks fly as they both commit foul after foul and blood flies everywhere. It could easily be the bloodiest fight in the series. It ends with Mashiba punching Sawamura out of the ring and giving him a concussion with a foul. Even though Sawamura was the one KO'd, Mashiba lost the belt because he attacked before the referee gave the okay. The match was appropriately titled "Chaos".

Winner Takes All Arc

Ippo landing a punch on Mashiba's head

Ippo landing a punch on Mashiba's head

Ippo needs sparring partner with a long reach to help him prepare for his upcoming match with Malcolm Gedo and his magic punch. Mashiba also needs a sparring partner that can fight close range to help him prepare for his upcoming OPBF title match against Aaron Domingo. Seems like a perfect match for them to spar with each other, but will their past history in the Rookie King Tournament factor into it.

In The Jungle Arc

Mashiba vs Domingo - Fight Poster

Mashiba vs Domingo Fight Poster

In his return match he faced the champion of the Lightweight Division. While his signature Flicker Jab enabled him to dominate the early rounds of the fight, his opponents resilience and use of several fouls saw him advance past Mashiba's reach to deliver major damage and downs to Mashiba by the eighth round. Critically wounded and frustrated at his opponents constant fouling, Mashiba invokes his typically aggressive nature and in the 10th round is able to finally KO his opponent with an new extension of his chopping right. With this he won the OPBF Lightweight belt. He now has a fan club called the Death Society. He is ranked 5th in the world.

Blind Step Arc

Mashiba follows Kumi to Ippo's match against Kojima Hisato. Prior to the match, Mashiba almost gets into a fight against Sendō Takeshi.

Speed Zone Arc

After Takamura Mamoru's awful match against Peter Rabbitson, Mashiba (with Kumi following) gets invited to the Mayweather Bar by Date Eiji along with Okita Keigo, Saeki Takuma, and Sendō Takeshi to celebrate Takamura's and Ippo's wins. After a few drinks, Date and Sendo get into a disagreement about him defeating Ricardo Martinez. Mashiba adds his thoughts about it, which makes the the atmosphere more tense. Kumi tries to play peacemaker between them, since she is worried there would be trouble if she didn't come along. Mashiba and Sendo start to get into it, while Saeki tries to help her calm things down.

Date (while drinking) asks them why they are angry, but then adds he knows it is because of Takamura. He criticises Takamura's match and his poor performance in it. Date thinks Sendo might be disappointed with it after coming from Osaka for it. Sendo agrees. Okita, Saeki, Mashiba and Kumi decided to complain about Takamura in order to lighten the mood. After Mashiba mentions Takamura's Panda outfit, Kumi is about to agree with him when she noticed it at the bar. They then all notice Takamura sitting there with it.

Takamura gets up to start to leave, but he decides to block the exit instead. Date continues to increase the tension by criticising Takamura, which scares Mashiba, Sendo, Okita, and Mashiba. Mashiba tells Kumi to go out the back exit while he tries to buy time. Kumi tries to get them to stop and not fight, but (drunk) Date tells her to either back them up or be quiet. Date asks Takamura that if he think he can fight with this group (Date, Mashiba, Sendo, Saeki, and Okita) and not expect to come out of it in one piece. They charge at him and end up getting into a bar fight. They end up losing, and Kumi putting bandages on them after the fight.

Proud Wolf Arc

Ippo drops off extra fish that he received from the customers to Kumi. Kumi asks Ippo to stay and help her prepare and cook the fish. Mashiba arrives outside complaining something stinks. Ippo and Kumi are sitting down while waiting for the food to cook. Kumi asks if Ippo will eat it with her, and Ippo agrees. While they wait, Kumi offers to replace Ippo's bandage since it is pretty dirty. They come close to kissing, but the mood is ruined when Mashiba when he mentions the pot is about to boil over. Kumi runs toward it, while Ippo starts climbing the wall.

While Kumi is away, Mashiba asks Ippo how far they got. While Ippo is trying to explain they were in the kitchen make food, Mashiba misheard him thinking he said they were making kids. Mashiba continues to bully Ippo, and Kumi ends up throwing the ladle at him to get him to stop. They eat dinner together, when Mashiba hears Ippo helped make it, he says the food tastes bad, which makes Kumi angry. Mashiba continues to complain about it while he leaves the table, but Kumi thins it tasted pretty good.

While he is leaving, Mashiba asks Ippo who beat him up. Ippo mentions Sendo. Mashiba asks Ippo that he beat Sendo twice, but he let Sendo beat the crap out of him? Ippo disagrees since he thinks Sendo is stronger than he used to be, where he thinks he is lucky he beat him in the first place. Mashiba asks him he trains to make it home in one piece right (or something similar)? Kumi doesn't think there is nothing wrong with that.

Ippo mentions he has his mother waiting home for him after matches, where he is prepared for it, but he would still rather come home safely so she doesn't worry as much. Even if he is covered in bandages and bruises, he wants to be able to walk home using his own two feet. Mashiba asks is that the kinda of things a guy aiming for the World title should say? Ippo and Kumi doesn't see anything wrong with it, but Mashiba adds it is no wonder he got his ass kicked, where he thinks Ippo has gotten weak. When Ippo leaves, Kumi starts hitting Mashiba for ruining the mood.

Mashiba later attends Ippo's match against Alfredo Gonzales.

Battle of the Beasts Arc

Prior to the match, Mashiba got into a fight with Sendō Takeshi since they are sharing the same waiting room. When Mashiba comes out and takes off his robe, people are surprised to see bruises on his face. Mashiba is worked up wanting to go back to the waiting room to continue his fight with Sendo.

Normally Mashiba starts a match with Flicker jabs, but this time he starts by charging toward Romeo, he isn't surprised by it. Mashiba throws a chopping right, but Romeo dodges it and runs away. Mashiba catch up to him and throws another chopping right (like a hammer) and hits Romeo. Romeo continues to run away (despite being an infighter.) When Mashiba throws another chopping right, Romeo counters with a punch aimed at Mashiba's jaw. After taking that punch, Mashiba starts to use the Hitman Style and throws flicker jabs at Romeo. Romeo starts deflecting the punches and pressing forward.

Kimura Tatsuya (in the audience) notices that Mashiba's Flickers aren't as sharp as usual, where Mashiba must be hurt causing them to be weaker. Romeo reaches close range, and Mashiba throws another chopping right, but Romeo deflects it (and comments that Mashiba's long arm won't help him in close range.) Romeo throws a punch but is blocked. Mashiba tries another chopping right, but Romeo continues to dodge it after seeing it too many times. Romeo start to go after Mashiba's body

In the 5th Round, Romeo continues to in fight and going after Mashiba's body. Mashiba continues to throw chopping rights. However, when Romeo is waiting for it to come, Mashiba throws an uppercut instead which sends him reeling instead. Romeo is now daze, and Mashiba throws a chopping right which lands. Romeo starts to fall, but Mashiba throws a left uppercut to keep him standing over and over again.

He keeps on rotating to between left uppercut and chopping right over and over again before the ref moves into break it up and grabs Romeo as he falls. Mashiba is declared the winner. By focusing on the Chopping Right through out the match, Romeo never saw the uppercut. (Note it is sort of a similar strategy to Kimura's Dragon Fish Blow, where Kimura focuses on the body for a while then throws an over head punch catching the opponent off guard.)

10 Months in the Making Arc

Mashiba attended Ippo's match against Antonio Guevara.

Part III

Post-Taihei Arc

Having picked his opponent, Mashiba heads to Kourakuen Hall for his match against JBC lightweight champion Iga Shinobu. Outside the hall, he met Ippo, who told him that his opponent is strong. Mashiba responded by nudging Ippo's shoulder with his own, which Ippo took as that was the reason he chose Iga. When Mashiba and Iga arrived to the ring and the match began, Mashiba got into the Hitman Style immediately. When Iga walked within range, Mashiba threw out Flicker Jabs, however, he did not get a clean hit. When Baron told Iga to lose his emotions, Iga did just that and walked towards Mashiba again with no fear. Mashiba reacted accordingly and threw Flicker Jabs when Iga got into range. 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, Mashiba landed an uppercut that caused Iga to go down.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
? Unknown  ?-2-0 1999-10-20 JapanIga Shinobu[1] Tokyo, Japan ?(12) "Execution"
OPBF Lightweight Title Defence Match
21 WIN 19-2-0 1998-06-12 Philippines Romeo[2] Tokyo, Japan 5(12), 2:30 TKO "Battle of Beasts"
1st OPBF Lightweight Title Defence
20 WIN 18-2-0 1997-04-27 Thailand Aaron Domingo[3] Tokyo, Japan 10(12), 0:44 KO "The Second Coming of Death"
Comeback Match From Suspension
OPBF Lightweight Title Match
19 LOSS 17-2-0[4] 1996-04-21 Japan Sawamura Ryūhei[5] Tokyo, Japan 6(10), 1:04 DQ "Chaos"

7th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence[6] Lost by Disqualification

18 WIN 17-1-0 1995 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 10(10) Decision 6th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
17 WIN 16-1-0 1994 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 10(10) Decision 5th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
16 WIN 15-1-0[7] 1994-02-17 JapanKimura Tatsuya[8] Tokyo, Japan 9(10), 2:30 TKO "Execution"

4th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence

15 WIN 14-1-0 1993 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO 3rd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
14 WIN 13-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO 2nd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
13 WIN 12-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) Decision 1st JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
12 WIN 11-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO JBC Junior Lightweight Title Match
11 WIN 10-1-0 1992-10 Japan Unknown[9] Tokyo, Japan ?(6) Decision Class A Tournament Final
10 WIN 9-1-0 1992-9 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Class A Tournament Semi-Final
9 WIN 8-1-0 1992-7 Japan Unknown[10] Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Class A Tournament First Round
8 WIN 7-1-0 1992-3 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Comeback Match
(Junior Lightweight)
7 LOSS 6-1-0 1991-12-24 Japan Makunouchi Ippo[11] Tokyo, Japan 3(6), 2:13 KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals
6 WIN 6-0-0 1991-04-20 Japan Miyata Ichirō[12] Tokyo, Japan 3(4), 2:22 KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals
5 WIN 5-0-0 1991-04-20 Japan Kawaishi Tetsuya[13] Tokyo, Japan  ?(4), 2:58 KO East Japan Rookie King Second Round
4 WIN 4-0-0 1991-04-20 Japan Masahiro Fujisawa[14] Tokyo, Japan  ?(4) KO East Japan Rookie King First Round
3 WIN 3-0-0 1991-01 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO N/A
2 WIN 2-0-0 1990-12 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO N/A
1 WIN 1-0-0 1990-12 Japan Unknown[15] Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO Debut Match

Spars

Successions

Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Unknown JBC Junior Lightweight Champion
February, 1993 - April, 1996
Sawamura Ryūhei
Aaron Domirego OPBF Lightweight Champion
1997
Incumbent

Appearance

Mashiba

Mashiba's appearance.

Mashiba had short black hair before growing it into shoulder length hair that is tousled at the top and bangs hanging close to his eyes, thick bushy eyebrows, and visible cheekbones. His appearance is intimidating to Ippo, and is called the "reaper" due to his appearance, notably his long arms that, when swinging, has the resemblance of a scythe. Mashiba is said to have the best physique in lightweight division by Ippo.

Personality

Ippo v74 c693 p022

Mashiba's killer instincts coming back against Sawamura.

Mashiba is one of the most intimidating characters in the series, appearing markedly more hostile and unsociable than most other characters. His intimidating demeanour is usually used for comical effect, as other characters, notably Ippo, are terrified of him. All of this is in complete contrast in character to his sister, Kumi, who is portrayed as light-hearted and sweet. Despite still being very stoic, brash and rude, he seems to have mellowed out later in the series, appearing more often in social gatherings with fellow boxers (though he usually ends up provoking/arguing with them).

One of few characters, aside from his sister, that Mashiba can notably get along well with is Itagaki Manabu, who's carefree and naive personality even seems to be able to hold some influence on the former. Additionally, he, despite never outwardly admitting to it, has somewhat come to respect Kimura Tatsuya after almost losing a very close match against him, with Mashiba constantly getting angered whenever witnessing him lose/draw a match (mainly out of embarrassment to almost losing to him) and even internally wishing for Kimura to win in one of his matches.

Because of what happened to his parents, Mashiba chooses to be distant and cynical, rarely associating with anyone but his sister, which has often resulted in him being fired from jobs. He does seem to be resentful of the world at large, but he is legitimately drawn to boxing, believing it to be fair.

Mashiba is usually seen to be one of the meddlers in Ippo's relationship with Kumi, being protective to the point of overbearing. He has slackened somewhat but does still keep an eye on them if the mood strikes him. In cases revolving her love life and with Ippo present, they usually have rather comical quarrels (making him one of the few characters to actually anger Kumi to a degree). He also does not tell Kumi when his matches are, perhaps knowing that she dislikes boxing anyway and even warned her not to come to the match with Sawamura as he knew that it would most likely turn into a bloodbath.

He is a rather deadly boxer, having earned his nickname, "Shinigami" (God of Death), because many of his opponents retired after facing him.

Surprisingly, Mashiba fears and respects Takamura. This is seen in the bar fight when Mashiba outwardly sweats when confronted with an enraged Takamura (even though it was a five-on-one fight alongside Sendō, Date, Fujii and Saeki). His fear proves to be well-founded when the outcome shows the five of them utterly defeated.

Abilities

Hitman Style

Mashiba's Hitman Style.

Mashiba uses an offensive Hitman Style developed by Thomas Hearns, and his style is also modelled after the same. Mashiba's height and reach allows him to have a fast and very quick Flicker Jab that is almost impossible to get past. The jab has become so sharp over the course of the series it is now compared to a reaper's scythe, and can even have a whiplash effect on the skin if thrown at maximum range. Besides the flicker jabs Mashiba also uses long hooks with both arms and right straights. Most of his techniques are long range.

His typical KO pattern involves using the flicker to corner and weaken the opponent and then slam in a Chopping Right to their jaw. If pressured into medium to close-range fights he knows to use his arms to deflect most attacks with ease, often via elbow blocks. During his one year suspension, Mashiba added a right high uppercut to his arsenal to deal with In Fighters.

Techniques

Weaknesses

Mashiba's Hitman Style is also his greatest weakness since he has to drop his left guard, which gives his opponent a chance to drive a major attack on his left side. Also, due to Mashiba's height he suffers against close range fighters, such as Ippo. One of the major ways to take down Mashiba would also be to attack his jaw, as seen when Ippo and Miyata managed to give him a down with one attack straight to his jaw, but they would have to attack his body a couple of times to make it come down lower. He uses the elbow block to deal with strong punches, but continued attacks can render his left arm damaged and he would lose his Flicker jabs.

Generally speaking, Mashiba is poor at taking hits. He shows fear towards opponents with strong fighting spirit, such as Ippo and Kimura, though Mashiba himself possesses formidable spirit born of desperation.

Originally, Mashiba had to deal with severe weight control, but he has since moved from the Featherweight class to the Junior Lightweight class, to his natural Lightweight class.

Gallery

Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/Gallery

Quotes

  • "I will never rely on anyone, and anyone who harms my little sister will pay." - Oaths he took before his parents' graves (paraphrased)
  • "As long as I exist, you'll never make it to the top of the Featherweight class." - Episode 9, Mashiba's very first line in the anime and to Ippo

Trivia

  • Mashiba has fought Ippo, Miyata, Kimura, and Sawamura throughout his career, making him the most rivaled non-protagonist in the series. In sparring also, like Ippo for his upcoming match with Malcolm Gedo. He fought against Itagaki alot of times, basically Itagaki becoming his main sparring partner.
  • He is also the most active multi-weight class boxer in the series since he has fought in the featherweights, junior lightweights, and lightweights (which is more weight classes than Takamura has fought in as of Volume 111). This also mimics Thomas Hearns, who was the first five-division world champion.
  • Mashiba has a hard time finding opponents. Even though, Ippo and him took the boxing exam at the same time, Mashiba has less matches on his fighting record. Despite the fact that he was suspended for one year after fighting Sawamura Ryūhei.
  • Chances are Mashiba defeated Ryuuzaki Takeshi in the Class A Tournament finals, even though Morikawa doesn't show it, since he won the Class A Tournament and fought the JBC JR Lightweight Champion for the Champion Carnival.
  • Despite losing the JBC Junior Lightweight Title to Sawamura Ryūhei, Mashiba was able to fight in the OPBF Title Match as his comeback match.

References

  1. Round 1253
  2. Round 1082
  3. Round 853
  4. Match Poster - Fight Record 18 Total - 17 Wins, 13 KO, 1 Loss
  5. Round 678
  6. Note: Ippo mentions Mashiba's defended 6 times prior to match
  7. Match Poster Fight Record - 15 Total - 14 Wins, 12 KO, 1 Loss
  8. Round 78
  9. Ryuuzaki Takeshi - The person who beat Kimura
  10. Round 148 - Kimura mentions Mashiba winning
  11. Round 78
  12. Round 66
  13. Round 37 - Name shown on Rookie King Tournament Paper
  14. Round 37 - Name shown on Rookie King Tournament Paper
  15. Round 16