His surname is Mashiba. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
Mashiba 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.
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.
When the match with Miyata began, Miyata had the upper hand at first, with Mashiba getting knocked down in the first round by a counter after getting his Flicker Jabs shoulder blocked by Miyata's southpaw Hitman Style. In the second round, Mashiba charged towards Miyata and exchanged punches in an in-fight, which he lost in multiple attempts. Seeing no way of stopping Miyata, Mashiba committed a foul by stepping on Miyata's foot, removing his opponent's footwork abilities. He then began to beat Miyata brutally and knocked him down. Miyata got back up, and the round ended. In the third round, Mashiba noticed Miyata's leg he stepped on hurts and began to use Flicker Jabs. Mashiba was then shocked that Miyata threw a body blow counter. Miyata still fought on despite taking hits, showing tenacious fighting spirit in his eyes, which even Mashiba showed fear from. When Miyata was about to throw a counter, Mashiba landed a left hook that downed and knocked out Miyata, resulting in Mashiba winning the match and progressing to the finals.
The next day, while reporter were at the Tōhō Boxing Gym, Mashiba arrived and claimed that stepping on Miyata's foot was not an accident, but on purpose, and to tell Miyata that it is good that he got hospitalised. Fujii then told Mashiba that Ippo won't let it down, as fighting Miyata was his goal. Mashiba laughed at the statement, expressing that he would not lose to someone who would go to the ring to fulfil a friendship. Later Mashiba talked with Mashiba Kumi on how winning the All Japan Rookie King Tournament would put him to the top of Japan's rankings, with the Japanese title in mind, then the world so that Kumi would have no worries on life and education. At the gym, his coach got him a fighter that is an in-fighter like Ippo to spar with, which Mashiba ultimately defeated.
When the match against Ippo began, Mashiba created distance from Ippo and got into his Hitman Style and began to hit Ippo with Flicker Jabs. Mashiba gave Ippo trouble, not letting him get close with his Flicker Jabs. however, when Ippo began swaying while using the Peek-a-Boo Style. Round one ended as Ippo came close to Mashiba. In round two, Mashiba had trouble with Ippo going to him at close range. Mashiba then took the opportunity to use the Elbow Block to block Ippo's blows. Originally believing that Ippo's fist would be destroyed from the block, the continuous hits made Mashiba's left arm go out instead, unable to be used. With this, Mashiba was hit with multiple body blows until the second round ended. In the third round, Mashiba was hit with more body blows until he had a memory about Kumi, which made him force his left arm to rise again. Mashiba then landed a left, knocking the unsuspecting Ippo down. Ippo then got back up and Mashiba was hit by multiple body blows from Ippo's hurt right fist. Mashiba desperately clinched to Ippo. However, Ippo was able to throw punches while clinched and broke out. Mashiba tried to attack, but was struck by an uppercut and was hit by multiple followups until he hit the canvas. Mashiba was unable to get up, resulting in losing the match and the tournament. While still in the ring, Mashiba tried to continue the match until he saw that Ippo's fist was bleeding.
At the dressing room, Mashiba talked with Kumi about how he will start over, as boxing makes no favours and how it is a world that draws him in.
Mashiba would later win the Class A Tournament after passing the semifinals and the finals, earning the chance to fight the JBC junior lightweight champion.
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.
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".
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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
At the Tōhō Boxing Gym, Mashiba requested to his coach for a boxer who is strong and sturdy, as he wants to test how much stronger he had gotten after moving up weight classes, and if he would be short on power, in what way he could adjust his fighting style. Having picked his opponent, Mashiba went Kōrakuen Hall for the weigh-in. He met his opponent, the JBC lightweight champion Iga Shinobu and his trainer, Kurita Baron, who told Mashiba and his coach that they would win as they know three weaknesses. The day of the match, and 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.
When Iga got back up and the match continued, Masiba threw Flicker Jabs until Iga's guard broke. Mashiba then threw a right straight. With Iga at the ropes, Mashiba prepared to land the finishing blow. However, Iga landed a weak left body blow and prepared to attack with his right before Mashiba noticed and stepped back and the first round ends. In round two, Mashiba threw Flicker Jabs at Iga's Peek-a-Boo style guard until Iga got close enough to use the Dragonfish Blow, which Mashiba successfully dodges. Mashiba was then hit by fouls consisting in headbutts and elbows, making him angry. When round three ended, Mashiba went back to the corner and began to notice Iga's true intentions and how he was using tactics similar Ippo, Kimura, and Sawamura. The referee warned Mashiba about using fouls, which he did not such thing, however, due to previous offences, he realised that they would suspect him first. When the Tōhō coach told Mashiba to be calm and box properly like a champion, Mashiba was reminded of his past where he was always suspected and not trusted. Mashiba began to believe he was alone and wanted to show Iga who he really is. However, when everyone began to cheer for Mashiba and saw mental images of Ippo, Kimura, and Sawaura behind the charging Iga, he chose to calm down in order to defeat them all and move to the world.
Mashiba used Flicker Jabs against Iga's Peek-a-Boo style, cleanly hitting him multiple times until Iga got into close range, where Mashiba immediately lands a Short Uppercut. Iga used the Dragonfish Blow that Mashiba counters by blocking the body blow with an Elbow Block, then the Overhand with a short hook. Mashiba then dodged a headbutt and parried Iga's elbow while countering him. Having conquered his three weaknesses, Mashiba began to throw Flicker Jabs at Iga's defenceless body until Iga went to the corner and the referee goes between them. With Iga downed and unable to get up, Mashiba is declared the winner. When the interviewer asked him what were the three weaknesses and if he had overcome them. Mashiba responded that they were one short. The Tōhō coach then announced that they would be relinquishing the OPBF belt and challenge the world for the next match. Mashiba then pumped a fist into the air in response to the cheers.
|?||WIN||20-2-0||1999-10-20||Iga Shinobu||Tokyo, Japan||3(12) 1:56||TKO||"EXECUTION"|
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
|20||WIN||18-2-0||1997-04-27||Aaron Domingo||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||1996-04-21||Sawamura Ryūhei||Tokyo, Japan||6(10), 1:04||DQ||"CHAOS"
7th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Lost by Disqualification
|18||WIN||17-1-0||1995||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10)||Decision||6th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence|
|17||WIN||16-1-0||1994||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||10(10)||Decision||5th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence|
|16||WIN||15-1-0||1994-02-17||Kimura Tatsuya||Tokyo, Japan||9(10), 2:30||TKO||"EXECUTION"
4th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence
|15||WIN||14-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||3rd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence|
|14||WIN||13-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||2nd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence|
|13||WIN||12-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||Decision||1st JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence|
|12||WIN||11-1-0||1993||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(10)||KO||JBC Junior Lightweight Title Match|
|11||WIN||10-1-0||1992-10||Unknown||Tokyo, Japan||?(6)||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||1991-04-20||Miyata Ichirō||Tokyo, Japan||3(4), 2:22||KO||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|5||WIN||5-0-0||1991-04-20||Kawaishi Tetsuya||Tokyo, Japan||?(4), 2:58||KO||East Japan Rookie King Second Round|
|4||WIN||4-0-0||1991-04-20||Masahiro Fujisawa||Tokyo, Japan||?(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|
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.
- "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 has fought Ippo, Miyata, Kimura, and Sawamura throughout his career, making him the most rivalled non-protagonist in the series. In sparring also, like Ippo for his upcoming match with Malcolm Gedo. He fought against Itagaki a lot 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 Ryūzaki 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.