Nekota Ginpachi (猫田銀八, Nekota Ginpachi) is a recurring character in Hajime No Ippo
He is a retired Bantamweight prizefighter, rival and friend of Kamogawa Genji and Hama Dankichi. He runs a Pension Yoshio that Kamogawa Boxing Gym sometimes use for Training Camp in the mountains. He lives as a hermit in the mountains with his dog Hachi and is still very much involved with boxing by watching tapes and training Kamogawa's trainees when they visit.
Nekota, like his long time friend and eternal rival Kamogawa Genji, was a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the second world war. In the past, he was a natural boxer with wild instincts that Kamogawa and Hama Dankichi recognise as superior to their own (however, neither would admit it). After a match against Kamogawa, however, Nekota suffered from symptoms of Punch Drunk Syndrome only to overcome it shortly before his fight against Ralph Anderson. Anderson's signature move, the Rabbit Punch however, forced Nekota's Punch Drunk Syndrome symptoms to return and ultimately cost him the match as well as his career as a prizefighter.
To help Ippo prepare for his upcoming match with Sendō Takeshi, and Takamura Mamoru title defense, Kamogawa Boxing Gym decide to head to another training camp. Instead of going to the beach like in previous camps, they are heading to the Mountain around Niigata to Pension Yoshio. When they arrive they meet Nekota. Nekota mentions his policy to always live in danger. Kamogawa Genji goes up to greet him, but it turns into them throwing punches at each other.
Nekota recognices Takamura right away since he is big, he still gets sports paper and videos. He also knows Ippo, but not Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya, who he mistakes as Charlie Dognos and Rocky Lynne. As they are about to start training on the mountain, Nekota tells them to be careful of Bears in the area, but the Kamogawa crew doesn't take it to heart since they are Boxers. While they leave and Yagi Haruhiko goes fishing, Nekota helps train Takamura with the punching bag.
When the Kamogawa return, they mentioned they ran into a bear on the way back, and Nekota tells them are lucky it came out going down hill, since Bears are really fast going up hill, but not comfortable going downhill. When Ippo hears that, he wonders what they will do about roadwork tomorrow, but Nekota tells him it is fine where there is a simple way to avoid bears and he will provide it tomorrow for them. Takamura doesn't want it, and tells Nekota if he wants to prepare something, get a Nabe (Hot Pot) ready when he kills that bear, and they will have something good to eat.
The next day, Nekota gives them bells since bears get scared of the sound and dont come close to it. They head off for road work all (except Takamura) wearing the bell. On the way back, Ippo gets attacked by something, and Nekota gaves his gun (while pointing it at Takamura) to prepare to kill the bear, but only finds out it was his dog, Hachi, instead when Ippo returns.
Punch Drunk Warning
While each member of Kamogawa Gym starts their own individual training, Nekota goes around trying to help them, but ends up becoming an annoyance instead. Ippo asks him how to chop wood, since he can't get the hang of it. Nekota shows him, and he also shows Ippo his over developed back muscles. He tells Ippo it might seem primitive, but chopping wood is very effective for training, since a the list of fighters who used it to train is quite long.
Nekota mentions Ippo needs to increase his power if he wants to push back Sendo in order to use the Dempsey Roll. He also add if that's all he does, even if he wins, Ippo might break down. A power to power battle seem like a good bet now, but the lasting effect can be devastating. Ippo ask about Punch Drunks.
Nekota tells Ippo that long ago, there was a boxer who never once stepped back, no matter how many times he fell, he always got up. However, he was forced to retire from brain damage. He worked hard to be able to live a normal life again, it took 5 years, but it never complete stopped. Nekota shows Ippo his hand shaking. It's the inevitable conclusion if you do it too long, especially for types like Ippo.
Ippo tells him, even then he can't run from this, since Sendo isn't an opponent that he can beat if he runs away. Nekota thinks Ippo is truly Kamogawa's student. He tells Ippo since he has decided, he need to remember the first rule of fighting, in a hitting match, don't only use your hands. There's also a way to punch without punching. As long as Ippo remembers that, he could punch him twice as many times. Ippo asks him how, and Kamogawa tells him that Nekota was always tricky with it.
While throwing punches, Kamogawa mentions he got cornered too many times from it. Ippo asks what it is, and Kamogawa tells everyone about is a feint. Everyone doesn't believe him since everyone uses feints in boxing, but Nekota asks them how many feints do they know, and they start naming them. Takamura tells them they don't get it, and Kamogawa mentions copy of a picture is a fake, but a well made one could very well go for decades or longer never being detected because those fakes have been give a "soul". So a feint needs a "soul" or Sakki (Bloodlust).
Kamogawa notes there is nothing more frightening than a punch that you know is never coming comes. A feint with Sakki will be seen by the opponent, and even if he avoids other feints, he will fall for that one, where the opponent will treat it like a real punch. Kamogawa tells them to look at the photo on the wall, where it is a picture of Young Kamogawa and Young Nekota, which surprises everyone. Kamogawa begins to tell them about his and Nekota's past, where his first lost to Nekota was because of Sakki.
Nekota mentions that thanks to that Sakki, the final record of their 5 matches was 3 to 2 for him, but Kamogawa disagrees with him that it was actually 3 to 2 in his favor. They get into a fight about it. While they are fighting it out, Yagi mentions that it was 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw between them, but neither of them could accept the draw.
Takamura shows Ippo what Sakki looks like, where they set up a boxing ring there. After it is over, Kamogawa mentions if you train for Sakki, gaining use of it isn't something you do overnight. Nekota adds, just like animals, you must gain full control of your 5 sense, where Sakki is something born from it. They continue to training, while Nekota goes into make dinner. At night, Kamogawa and Nekota meet in the ring and talk about the old days. When Takamura hits a ring bell, they throw punches at each other knocking them out.
The final day of Training Camp, the Kamogawa Crew continue to train hard. Takamura plans to go for another 10 laps, but Yagi and Nekota can't keep up with him. Nekota mentions that Takamura's stamina is inhuman. Takamura boast that there is no longer any human on this great earth that can beat him. He tells Nekota to get ready for a bear nabe tonight, he will get the meat from Japan's greatest beast to end the camp. Nekota jokes that a bear kill, when he wold be happy with a boar. Nekota sad they they will be leaving the next day.
He notices Ippo's improved a lot at chopping wood, and tells him he won't see results in a week, it takes time. Ippo mentions he isn't able to relax with his match coming up, he feels like he should be doing more. Nekota agrees, it hard to fight a man for a second time. Ippo asks Nekota for advice since he fought coach 5 times. Nekota start to talk about it. He mentions the first to look away would lose. When you looked way from his eyes, you were admitting that you feared him is how he felt. They fought and fought, but never once glancing away from the other's eyes. Nekota feels if he had looked away he would have lost for sure.
In his last round, he landed clean right hook that landed. When he went in for the kill, he saw Kamogawa's eye were still alive and pulled back while Kamogawa threw a punch. If Nekota hadn't been looking at his eyes at that instant, he would have taken a right cross. Nekota asks where Hachi is, but learns he is with Takamura. Ippo mentions Takamura never took the bell with him.
Later that night, Takamura returns wounded with a bear claw mark on his chest. He mentions he KO'ed a bear, but they don't believe him. While he is getting bandaged, Kamogawa is yelling at him for almost ruining his boxing career. Nekota tries to calm Kamogawa down, and gives everyone what Takamura requested, Bear Nabe.
While they enjoy it, Nekota mentions the meat is fresh and perfect for replenishing their strength. After hearing it is fresh, Takamura ask it was living a while ago, and congradules Nekota. Takamura mentions the bear he caught must have been a little one, but Nekota mentions it was actually big. Takamura is surprised sinc the one he fought was pretty hard, and wonders how Nekota manages it. Nekota explains it was all a coincidence, when he was wondering the woods he found a bear stumbling, so he took his chance and shot it.
Puzzle, Takamura asks question about the bear and realise it is the one he fought and spared. He gets angry about it since he let it live with its cub near by, but Nekota tells him he wanted to eat bear. While sad, Takamura continues to eat the meal to honor it. Everyone realises Takamura might have been telling the truth about it.
The next day, Kamogawa gym guys leave and Nekota gives them some parting advice. As they leave, Nekota chases after them for a while. Later on, Nekota calls the local newspaper to tell them about Takamura's defeating a bear.
Who he rules with a left
Nekota come to Tokyo to see Takamura's 4 title defense against Itou Takaaki. While trying to get in with Hachi, he is stopped. Ippo finds hiim arguing over it, but in the end Nekota is force to leave Hachi outside. They head in side, Ippo notices Nekota is carrying a huge heavy sack, and wonders what is in it. He mentions it is something Takamura asked for, where something will happen tonight and Kourakuen Hall will tremble.
During Kimura and Aoki's matches, Nekota is sitting with Ippo and yelling out good advice that proves to be correct. Ippo is surprised at Nekota since his advice was correct. While they are talking, Mari sit down next them and Nekota wants Ippo to introduce them but Ippo doesn't know her.
Later, Ippo mentions Aoki and Kimura thought their fights would match Takamura's, but Nekota disagrees. That is when Ippo remember the sack, and Nekota starts laughing and tells him he will find out soon. Takamura's opponent enter the ring. When Takamura is about to come out, it goes dark and Takamura enters where the bear skins surprising everyone. Nekota is happy he wore it. When Takamura, takes it off, everyone see he has 3 claw marks on his chest.
During the match, Takamura calmly defeats his opponent using nothing but his left hand. Nekota mentions that Takamura be think that in the higher weightclasses, power isn't enough to climb the ladder, speed, technique, power, all must be at a very high level. He is simply going by the old proverb "He who rules with his left, rules the World!!" It is Takamura appeal to the World Stage.
After the match, Nekota and Kamogawa Gym got to Sugar Ray's to Celebrate. Nekota flirts with the ladies, and starts singing Champion with Takamura, but they both that terrible voices. He and Kamogawa continue to partying into the night.
Neko Express Delivery
fter resting from their matches, Takamura, Aoki and Kimura arrive to the gym and notice that Nekota has not left yet. Kimura is disappointed because Shinoda is not around, as he wants to do mitt hitting, but Nekota steps in and offers to help. Hesitant at first, Kimura simply throws a weak punch at a persistent Nekota, who demands more, irritating Kimura. Kimura then seriously begins sparring, and to everyone's surprise Nekota is able to keep up with him perfectly. By the time they finish, Nekota is asked by the gym members to teach them as well. Seeing this, Kamogawa says it is a good thing that he is around, given the fact that the students outnumber the trainers
After ten days of Nekota training the students at the gym, his popularity has grown beyond that of any other coach (which Takamura taunts Kamogawa about). Kamogawa says it is fine at first, but after twenty days begins to notice how everyone grows distant from him. Wondering what makes Nekota so popular, Kamogawa spies on one of his "after training-meetings" and notices how everyone seems to be having fun. He then realizes that what Nekota has been doing, is telling stories about their youth and how Kamogawa would cry over women who left him. Upset about this, Kamogawa confronts Nekota, who admits he was simply jealous of the life Kamogawa lived surrounded by young people in the city, as opposed to alone in the mountains. Kamogawa forgives him and apologizes himself for being to harsh on his friend. They are interrupted by the express delivery service (who Kamogawa jokingly said would call to send Nekota back), who Nekota called to take him back as it is the time of the year young women go to the pension. Angry again at Nekota's habits, Kamogawa threatens him once more. Meanwhile Ippo receives his ticket for Sendou's upcoming title defense.
After Ippo defeated Sendō Takeshi, a few days later Nekota attends Ippo's victory and birthday party. He gives Ippo a puppy that Hachi is a father of.
Nekota calls Kamogawa to check out this months Boxking Fan Monthly. He mentions that Hama Dankichi is back in Japan.
A few weeks Prior to Ippo's match against Sanada, Nekota invites Kamogawa and Hama to Sugar Ray's to talk about the old days.
Nekota and Hachi heads to the beach after he hears that Takamura and Kimura are having a training camp there. While there, he runs into Tomiko, Aoki, Kumi, and Aoki.
|Post WWII - "Prize Fighter"|
|?||LOSS||5-3-1||1947||Ralph Anderson||Tokyo, Japan||4(15)||KO||Regained symptoms of Punch Drunk Syndrome and retired after loss by knockout (Rabbit Punch).|
|?||DRAW||5-2-1||1947||Kamogawa Genji||Tokyo, Japan||15(15)||Decision||5th Match|
|?||WIN||5-2-0||1947||Hama Dankichi||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||3rd Match|
|?||WIN||4-2-0||194?||Kamogawa Genji||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||4th Match|
|?||WIN||3-2-0||194?||Hama Dankichi||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||2nd Match|
|?||LOSS||2-2-0||194?||Kamogawa Genji||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||3rd Match|
|?||WIN||2-1-0||194?||Hama Dankichi||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||1st Match|
|?||WIN||1-1-0||194?||Kamogawa Genji||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||
|?||LOSS||0-1-0||194?||Kamogawa Genji||Tokyo, Japan||?(15)||KO||1st Match|
Despite being muscular and physically fit in his younger years, Nekota's appearance has drastically succumbed to his old age. Now, his height has taken a plunge along with the amount of hair on his head. Nekota is shown to have tanned skin, a progressively balding head of gray hair, dark eyes and a prominent oval-shaped pink nose. A tuft of his small amount of gray hair rests on his forehead and a small beard graces his chin. Due to his age Nekota has grown a fair share of wrinkles on his forehead, upper lip and chin. However, it is shown in one episode that Nekota has extremely healthy bulging back muscles despite his age, though it is unknown if the scene was an exaggeration or otherwise.
Nekota is a cheerful old hermit who, despite having retired, still immerses himself in the world of boxing by watching tapes and helping Makunouchi Ippo and his group of gym mates train. He is shown to be competitive and vindictive, as seen during his first on-screen reunion with Kamogawa Genji in which both individuals attempt to land a punch on each other regardless of their age in order to "finish their fight". Nevertheless he remains a very supportive character for both Kamogawa and his trainees.
Nekota was known by both Kamogawa Genji and Hama Dankichi for his superb agility, strength, and overall boxing prowess. He was known for being an out boxer, but anything else about his fighting style was not elaborated on in the series.Though it should be noted that he had a much easier time fighting Ralph Anderson than his rival Kamogawa. He is known for the technique Sakki, also known as bloodlust, in which he used to defeat Kamogawa Genji in one of their matches.