His surname is Mashiba. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Ever since he was young, Mashiba would always misbehave. He lived a life where he always felt alone and felt like he could trust no one but himself as no one trusted him. As a school student, Mashiba was considered troublesome was asked to act properly like a student should.
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 his little sister, Mashiba Kumi would pay dearly.
After both of their parent's death, while Kumi was accepted to people's homes, they had seconds thoughts about Ryō. Mashiba also had co-workers blame things on him and the police suspecting him of violence he did not do.
Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/History/Second Part
(Volumes: 46-121 & Episodes: 105-Current)
During Makunouchi Ippo's fifth JBC featherweight title defence, Mashiba met Ippo's opponent Sawamura Ryūhei, who threw a punch at Kumi, leaving a mark on her face, after she got in front of Sawamura's motorcycle. This caused Mashiba to try and hit Sawamura back in revenge before being stopped by Ippo. Mashiba watched the match between Ippo and Sawamura where Ippo won.
Later while Mashiba was training at his gym, Itagaki Manabu and Shinoda Tomoyuki arrived looking for a spar to help prepare him for his match against Makino Fumito. Mashiba told him to leave since he doesn't know how to go easy on someone, until Itagaki told him to say hi to his sister since she help take care of him. When Mashiba heard that, he wanted to know what that meant, and told him to get in the ring. He told him, when they are done he going to tell him everything. Itagaki agreed as long as he fought him seriously. Mashiba defeated him easily and gave him a black eye, and a few other bruises on his face. At home, Mashiba told Kumi to stay away from Ippo since he was an enemy, but Kumi disagreed with him. She wanted to know who told him all this, when she noticed Mashiba face had some swelling.
A few days later, Itagaki and Shinoda arrived again for another spar. Mashiba told him to leave again, but Itagaki offered up more gossip about Ippo and Kumi when they went to the beach. Mashiba told him to get into the ring again after he heard that. A few days later, Mashiba met up with Itagaki to do some clothes shopping. Itagaki shown him a few stores that sold cheap clothes, and they went to Hirosue after words for food, where Itagaki talked about Ippo and Kumi. Itagaki told him they weren't making any progress in their relationship, which Mashiba liked since he can't accept Ippo going out with her. Itagaki asked him if he would say the same thing if the person wasn't Ippo, since he was the reason Kumi's single. Mashiba told him that he was Kumi guardian since their parent's death. Itagaki disagreed with him since he believed Kumi should make her own decision. If he tried to repress her, she might end up rebelling. Mashiba somewhat agreed. Later, he talked with Itagaki about his situation and the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, where he wanted to regain his self-confidence that was destroyed by Ippo. He wanted to have a good match, where Ippo told him that he looked like a Pro. At home, Mashiba was waiting for Kumi to arrive. When she did, Mashiba decided to be less strict with her, and not question where she was.
Before Mashiba went on to fight on the World stage, he wanted to test himself to see if he was ready. He requested his coach to find a strong lightweight challenger, in order to see if he was ready, or not. His coach arranged a match with new lightweight JBC champion, Iga Shinobu. At the weight in, Iga's trainer boasted they would win since Mashiba had three weakness. Prior to the match, Mashiba met Makunouchi Ippo with hair shaved. Ippo told him his opponent strong, and Mashiba answered him by hitting his shoulder. The match between was Iga tried to use the weakness the previous weakness that Mashiba had in his match against Ippo (Peek-a-Boo Style while trying to land a Liver blow close range), Kimura Tatsuya (Dragonfish Blow), and Sawamura Ryūhei (fouling), but Mashiba was able to keep calm and over come each of those difficulties and defeat Iga proving that he was ready to challenge the World. In the interview after the match, Ana asked about the three weakness, and if he overcame them. Mashiba told her the opponent was one short. As he left the ring, his coach announced they were relinquishing the OBPF belt in order challenge the world for their next match.
|22||WIN||20-2-0||1999-10-20||Iga Shinobu||Tokyo, Japan||3(12) 1:56||TKO||"EXECUTION"|
2nd OPBF Lightweight Title Defence Match
|21||WIN||19-2-0||1998-06-12||Romeo||Tokyo, Japan||5(12), 2:30||TKO||"Battle of the Beasts"|
1st OPBF Lightweight Title Defence Match
|20||WIN||18-2-0||1997-04-27||Aaron Domingo||Tokyo, Japan||10(12), 0:44||TKO||"The Second Coming of Death"|
Comeback Match from Suspension
OPBF Lightweight Title Match
|19||LOSS||17-2-0||1996-04-21||Sawamura Ryūhei||Tokyo, Japan||6(10), 1:04||DQ||Champion Carnival|
7th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
|18||WIN||17-1-0||1995||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10), 3:00||Decision||6th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match|
|17||WIN||16-1-0||1994||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10), 3:00||Decision||5th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match|
|16||WIN||15-1-0||1994-02-17||Kimura Tatsuya||Tokyo, Japan||9(10), 2:30||TKO||Champion Carnival|
4th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
|15||WIN||14-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||3rd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match|
|14||WIN||13-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||2nd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match|
|13||WIN||12-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10), 3:00||Decision||1st JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match|
|12||WIN||11-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||7(10), 2:12||KO||Champion Carnival|
JBC Junior Lightweight Title Match
|11||WIN||10-1-0||1992-11||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||6(6), 3:00||Decision||Class A Tournament Final|
|10||WIN||9-1-0||1992-9||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(6)||KO||Class A Tournament Semi-Final|
|9||WIN||8-1-0||1992-7||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(6)||KO||Class A Tournament First Round|
|8||WIN||7-1-0||1992-3||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(6)||KO||Comeback Match|
|7||LOSS||6-1-0||1991-12-24||Makunouchi Ippo||Tokyo, Japan||3(6), 2:13||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals|
|6||WIN||6-0-0||1991-11||Miyata Ichirō||Tokyo, Japan||3(4), 2:22||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|5||WIN||5-0-0||1991-08||Kawaishi Tetsuya||Tokyo, Japan||?(4), 2:58||KO||East Japan Rookie King Second Round|
|4||WIN||4-0-0||1991-06||Masahiro Fujisawa||Tokyo, Japan||2(4)||KO||East Japan Rookie King First Round|
|3||WIN||3-0-0||1991-01||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||1(4), 0:25||KO||N/A|
|2||WIN||2-0-0||1990-12||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||1(4), 0:25||KO||N/A|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||1990-12||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||1(4), 0:25||KO||Debut Match|
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Unknown||JBC Junior Lightweight Champion|
February, 1993 - April, 1996
|Aaron Domingo||OPBF Lightweight Champion|
April 27, 1997 - November 20, 1999
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.
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.
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 uppercut to his arsenal to deal with in-fighters. This later turned into a left uppercut.
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.
Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/Gallery
- "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
- Mashiba's surname (間柴) is spelled phonetically on the back of his boxing robe in different characters that have meanings more suited to his despotic personality.
- MA = Demonic
- SHI = Death
- BA = Tyrant
- Mashiba is based on Thomas Hearns.
- Although Mashiba mentions that he has no idea on who Thomas Hearns is when Sendō mentioned Hearns name.
- 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.
- Although not directly stated in the story, Mashiba probably faced and defeated Ryūzaki Takeshi in the Class A Tournament finals, since he went on to face the junior lightweight JBC champion in the Champion Carnival.
- Mashiba has his name printed on the OPBF title belt.
- Aoki Masaru is the only member of Kamogawa Boxing Gym that he has not been in a fight against, despite being in the same weight class - Ippo (Match and Spar), Kimura (Match), Itagaki (Spars), and Takamura (Bar Fight)
- Despite losing his JBC junior lightweight title defence in the Champion Carnival to Sawamura Ryūhei, and coming off a year suspension for the DQ, Mashiba was able to get a OPBF lightweight title match as his comeback match.