Ryō Mashiba (間柴了, Mashiba Ryō) is a multi-weight class (currently lightweight) professional boxer affiliated with Tōhō Boxing Gym, the OPBF lightweight champion, and the older brother of Kumi Mashiba. He was the main antagonist during the events of the Rookie King tournament. His important fights are against Miyata Ichirō, Makunouchi Ippo, Kimura Tatsuya, Sawamura Ryūhei, Aaron Domingo, and Iga Shinobu.
- 1 Background
- 2 History
- 2.1 Part I
- 2.2 Part II
- 2.3 Part III
- 3 Match History
- 4 Appearance
- 5 Personality
- 6 Boxing Abilities
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
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.
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.
When Ippo visited the Mashiba family's home and was talking with Kumi about how a fight with Mashiba would go, Mashiba scared Ippo by sneaking up behind him. Mashiba continued to scare Ippo until he left the house. Mashiba then followed Ippo outside to talk to him. Mashiba told Ippo how they both have title matches coming up and that he would win, and for Ippo to do the same.
Later, the junior lightweight Champion Carnival arrived. Mashiba would later win the match and become the champion. Kumi invited Ippo to the celebration party, and when he got there Mashiba sat with him in a dark room while waiting for Kumi to come home. Mashiba was questioned about the match, but only told Ippo short answers and that he fought the champion like he did anyone else. Kumi then entered the room with party supplies. With the light on in the room, Mashiba was revealed to have had a tough seven round match after Ippo saw his beaten face.
When Kumi called Ippo, Mashiba attempted to grab the phone from Kumi until she pushed him over. Mashiba then got up and used the Flicker Jab to grab the phone from her. Mashiba talked to Ippo and called him a "pathetic loser" for getting phone calls from women after losing. After learning that Kumi and Ippo were going to the Kōrakuen Amusement Park, Mashiba went and scared Ippo in a haunted-theme attraction.
When it was time for Ippo's JBC title match against Sendō Takeshi, Ippo sent two tickets to Kumi. Mashiba then went with Kumi to watch the match where he refused to cheer. While heading to the seating area, Mashiba bumped into Kimura Tatsuya. Mashiba claimed to not know him nor any of the rankers in his weight class despite Kimura knowing Mashiba's name as Mashiba was the junior lightweight champion. This caused Kimura to get agitated and a fight between the two was about to happen until Kumi held him back as Aoki Masaru held Kimura back. Mashiba then watched the match where Ippo won and became the JBC featherweight champion.
When Mashiba was to fight against Kimura as the JBC junior lightweight champion, Ippo and Kumi's relationship was affected by it. Ippo called the Mashiba family's house to make up with Kumi, but Mashiba answered the phone instead, and gave a malicious comment about holding a grudge against the Kamogawa gym and using Kimura as a way for payback. Later when Mashiba saw his sister with Ippo, Mashiba became suspicious of Kumi telling him about his practising and told Ippo that the belt is his and will fight at full strength no matter whoever fights him. At the Tōhō gym while recalling how Tanaka and other employees wanted tickets for them to cheer for him, Mashiba got informed by his coach that the world title was looming closer as the WBC fifth ranker was open for matches, telling Mashiba to have a good win against Kimura as everything is betting on the title defence. Leaving his home, Mashiba thought about how Kumi goes through hard times and that he causes her trouble, but he wishes to become a brother she can be proud of, to keep winning and become the best brother in the world.
When it was time for his title defence against Kimura, Mashiba arrived to the ring. He told his coach that he does not need the Japanese title anymore, but will win the fight as he still has his pride, reminding the coach to not forget about the world stage. Mashiba then prepared to fight, wishing to show Kumi the world's greatest brother. When the match began, Mashiba entered his Hitman Style as Kimura charged toward him. Mashiba threw Flicker Jabs that hit Kimura until he stepped back out of range. Mashiba then noticed that despite Kimura being an out-boxer, he is in-fighting. Mashiba successfully hits the in-fighting Kimura with his Flicker Jabs and managed to push him onto the ropes, initiating his knockout pattern. However, Kimura got away from the ropes, not without visible cuts, however. Mashiba then hit Kimura with Flicker Jabs again until the first round ended. Mashiba "congratulated" Kimura for hanging on for three minutes. Kimura calmly replied that three minutes is nothing compared to the five years he had been waiting. In his corner, Mashiba thought about what Kimura told him as interesting, looking forward to make Kimura his seventh victim of boxers he forced into retirement which earned him the title of the "Reaper."
Mashiba continued hitting only with his Flicker Jabs against Kimura, who used the same charging tactic for six rounds. During the sixth round, Mashiba downed Kimura after a barrage of Flicker Jabs. The round then ended when Kimura got up. Round seven began and when Mashiba used his Flicker Jabs, Kimura appeared to have figured out the timing and managed to get into range and began an in-fight. Mashiba became unable to shake off Kimura, who kept pushing forward with body blows, getting pushed against the ropes. Mashiba then saw Kimura's courageous eyes, causing Mashiba's brain to tell his body that his eyes are dangerous as they are the same eyes that Ippo had when he fought him. Mashiba continued to get hit with body blows until the seventh round ended
The eighth round began, with Mashiba deciding to attack first with Flicker Jabs until eventually Kimura took a chance to get close to Mashiba and threw a body blow that got blocked. However, this time Kimura landed his Dragonfish Blow on the unsuspecting Mashiba, causing him to go down. When Mashiba got back up, he was hit by body blows until Mashiba guarded low and got hit with another Dragonfish blow. However, Mashiba swayed his head back to nullify the damage. Mashiba then clinched Kimura until it was broken by the referee. Mashiba launched Flicker Jabs that kept Kimura away. However with only speed and no power behind the jabs, Kimura was able to push through and land a third Dragonfish Blow. Mashiba clinched in order to stay standing until the eighth round ended.
In the ninth round, Mashiba threw a right straight that stopped Kimura's dash. Mashiba then entered Kimura's range and the two began a hitting match. When Mashiba landed a clean right, it made Kimura's knees buckle. Instead of letting him fall, Mashiba delivered a blow that sent Kimura to the ropes, After receiving a barrage of attacks, Kimura landed a punch that broke him free. Mashiba then tried to clinch, but, he was hit by a series of body blows that left his jaw open. Seeing this, Kimura proceeded to finish with a Dragonfish Blow. Despite Mashiba getting hit, he landed a cleaner hit before Kimura did, causing Kimura to fall to the ground unresponsive. Kimura, despite everyone predicting the opposite, was able to stand up again. With the match resuming, Mashiba charged in as Kimura raised his fist. As Mashiba was about to attack, the referee got in the way and stopped him. When the referee got a closer look at Kimura, he realised that Kimura is unconscious, despite standing with his fist out. The referee then signalled the end to the match, with Mashiba winning his fourth JBC title defence.
With the match over, Mashiba wondered what would happen if Kimura's fist actually reached him before the referee stopped the match. He left the ring early, skipping the interview, as he believed only shame would be brought to him if he stood in the ring as the winner.
Due to Ippo making Kumi upset, when Ryō asked for food, he was angrily hit with a magazine instead. When dinner was ready, Kumi hit him with a pillow when he told her, not wanting to get out of her room.
Mashiba followed Kumi to the Kōrakuen Hall, where she wanted to give food to Makunouchi Ippo after his weigh-in with his opponent Sawamura Ryūhei. After they met up with him, Mashiba tried to prevent Ippo and Kumi from becoming close. As they were walking, Mashiba spotted a motorcycle that he always wanted. Wanting to see if he could ride it, Kumi tried to prevent him since it was someone else's. As it was Sawamura's he approached Kumi and threw a punch at her.
Ippo partly blocked it, but Sawamura's fist still left a mark on Kumi's face. Mashiba angrily threw a punch at him, but it was dodged. Just as Mashiba was about to throw another punch, Ippo stopped him, telling him that he would be the person fighting Sawamura the next day in the ring. Sawamura was looking forward to it as he left. As Mashiba and Kumi was about to head home and Ippo asked Kumi to attend his match, since he planned to go at full strength, Mashiba told him his full strength wasn't enough, he needed to shred him into eight pieces. Mashiba mentioned to a worried Kumi that Sawamura was strong and Ippo was feeling that pressure, but Kumi disagreed.
The next day, Mashiba attended the match with Kumi. He watched as Ippo was able to overcome Sawamura's Dempsey Roll counters with his own counter that had a stop and go motion. After the match, he followed behind Kumi as she walk an injured Ippo home. He waited outside Ippo's house while she was inside until she came out later, interested in visiting their parents' grave sometime.
After Kumi was down after getting off the phone with Ippo, Mashiba asked her for food, only to be met with silence and a glare, which caused him to leave for take-out instead. While training at the Tōhō gym, he was approached by Itagaki Manabu, requesting to spar with him as Itagaki's next opponent, Makino Fumito, uses the Flicker Jab. After expressing his unwillingness to spar with him, Mashiba was talked into doing so after Itagaki claimed that Kumi takes care of him, causing Mashiba to want to spar with him before knowing how she takes care of him. Mashiba sparred for two rounds against him, ending the spar with Itagaki's face being swollen. After hearing from Itagaki that Kumi helped Ippo and Itagaki with their training, Mashiba stated his disgust to her helping Ippo, the "enemy".
After another sparring session with Itagaki, Mashiba met up and went clothes shopping with him. Afterwards, they went to the Hirosue and he heard about the time Ippo and Kumi went to the beach and nothing advanced in their relationship, which Mashiba liked. Mashiba was lectured by Itagaki for his attitude about Kumi's relationship with Ippo, suggesting for Mashiba to let Kumi make her own decisions or else she may rebel against him. Mashiba, curious as to why Itagaki was so obsessed with winning the Rookie King tournament, learned that it was to regain his loss self-confidence that Ippo took from him. Mashiba continued to spar against Itagaki for three times a week until Itagaki returned to the gym to thank him for helping. Before Itagaki left, Mashiba asked what would happen if he kept winning, as Itagaki can't challenge Ippo for the JBC title since they are in the same gym. Itagaki answered that he would wait for Ippo to relinquish the title. Later, Mashiba watched Itagaki's East Japan Rookie King Tournament semi-finals match against Makino, where Mashiba acknowledged that Makino's Hitman Style and Flicker Jabs were not merely a copycat. Mashiba watched as Itagaki defeated Makino. Mashiba stayed to watch Imai Kyōsuke match against Terai Makoto, which ended in Imai's victory.
When Miyata's fifth OPBF title defence match against Che Jounbong arrived, Mashiba followed Kumi, who was invited to watch with Ippo at the Kōrakuen Hall. While waiting for the match to begin, Mashiba was asked by Ippo when his junior lightweight title defence for the Champion Carnival was. Mashiba claimed that it is in April and that he has no opponent yet, boasting that no one wants to fight him, however, he wanted to give pay back to someone, which Ippo assumed it was him. As the announcer revealed that the winner of the match would earn the right to challenge Ippo, the crowd got excited that Miyata will get to fight Ippo. Mashiba told Ippo how the crowd thinks the match is already decided for Miyata, however, he presents the possibility of Miyata losing because if the one who is expected to lose gets his act together, he can be capable of anything, making an upset only natural. While watching the first round, Ippo disliked that Che threw a punch at Miyata when they were suppose to touch gloves at first, but Mashiba questioned what good courtesy does since when one steps into the ring, it is kill or be killed. After Miyata downed Che with a counter, Mashiba explained to Ippo how Miyata's body naturally reacted to the headbutt to full swing combination, as he already saw it once. Noticing how Che's fighting style is similar to Ippo, Mashiba commented that Miyata's side is already working on his strategy against Ippo. During the fourth round when Miyata's face was bloodied from the foul hits, Mashiba noted how Miyata isn't good at taking hits, telling Ippo that maybe him and Miyata were never destined to fight each other. After watching Miyata defeat Che by knockout in the fourth round, Mashiba noticed that Miyata wasn't fighting the way he usually does. Outside the venue, Mashiba was annoyed by Ippo tuning him out when he claimed that the outcome would be obvious if Miyata entered a slugfest with Ippo like he did with Che. When Fujii and Īmura Mari approached the group, they offered to treat them to a meal paid by the editorial department. Since Ippo and Kumi had plans of eating together, Mashiba forced Ippo to come with them.
In order to get revenge on Sawamura for hitting Kumi, he requested that his opponent for his seventh JBC junior lightweight title defence in the Champion Carnival to be Sawamura. After Sawamura accepted and the press announced it, Mashiba was told by his coach that they can't back out of it now, asking if Mashiba was okay with it. Mashiba laughed while asking his coach to confirm if it isn't against the law to kill someone in the ring. Later, Mashiba requested for Itagaki and other sparring partners to spar with him. When Itagaki arrived to the Tōhō gym, he asked Mashiba why he chose to fight Sawamura. Mashiba answered that he realised that he was lacking bloodlust since his fight with Kimura. He revealed to Itagaki his two promises he made at his parents' grave: to not rely on or believe in anyone else, and to make anyone who lays a finger on Kumi to pay dearly for it. Mashiba commenced the sparring session after his explanation. With a week before his match against Sawamura, Mashiba advised Kumi to not come and watch his match. When the weigh-in arrived, Mashiba went to the Kōrakuen Hall. Neither boxers made eye contact, however, after Sawamura expressed his dislike of the venue since it was the place where Ippo sent him to the hospital, Mashiba told the reporters that Ippo must have slacked off, since he only sent him to the hospital, declaring that he will send Sawamura to the graveyard.
The next day, Mashiba arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall for his match against Sawamura. When the match began, Mashiba and Sawamura had a high level exchange, with Mashiba using his Flicker Jabs, while Sawamura dodged while closing in on Mashiba, however, neither were able to land a clean hit. Mashiba, at the centre of the ring, sent a barrage of Flicker Jabs to Sawamura until Sawamura ducked under an attack and closed in on Mashiba, standing up to stare Mashiba down to show him that his Flicker Jabs won't work. Mashiba used his Flicker Jabs again, and when Sawamura dodged and got in close range with Mashiba, Mashiba threw a Chopping Right. Sawamura attempted to counter it, however both attacks only grazed their cheek. Both boxers continued to try and land a hit on each other, but to no avail as the first round ended. After the second round ended with neither landing a clean hit as they were evenly match just like in the first round, Mashiba told his coach while at his corner that using boxing against him will not get him anywhere
In the third round, Sawamura showed that he thought same as Mashiba did as he backhands his face when Mashiba dodged an attack. While the referee was warning Sawamura that he will get a penalty if he does an illegal blow again, Mashiba struck Sawamura's face, making the referee warn him too, however, Mashiba claimed that he never planned on winning by points anyway. The two boxers hit each other in a dual exchange before the referee could tell them to continue. Mashiba and Sawamura began a brawl, mixing intentional illegal blows with their boxing. When Mashiba was pushed to the ropes, he acknowledged how hard Sawamura's knuckles are, deeming them a weapon. Mashiba remembered how Sawamura nicked Kumi with them, becoming enraged as he downs Sawamura with a right-on-right counter. Sawamura got up as Mashiba expected since he felt Sawamura backing away from his fist upon impact. Mashiba entered his Hitman Style, throwing faster Flicker Jabs, but with a simplistic rhythm due to him getting heated up. Sawamura got hit a few times before learning the rhythm. Sawamura passed through the Flicker Jabs and hit Mashiba's face with a right and then struck his face with a knee, which downed Mashiba. The third round ended shortly after Mashiba unconsciously got up. At his corner, his coach advised him to focus on recovering and to avoid slugging it out with Sawamura.
When the fourth round began, Mashiba was swiftly countered and downed when he tried to hit Sawamura with Flicker Jabs. Still unconscious, Mashiba got up and attacked Sawamura before the referee could tell them to continue. While both boxers exchanged punches, Mashiba was hit with another counter, causing him to go down a second time. Sawamura, disappointed that Mashiba went down before he could do any real damage to him kicks Mashiba's head while he is down. The kick made Mashiba regain his consciousness and he became angry that Sawamura was looking down on him from the neutral corner. After getting up, Mashiba almost fell since he does not know how hurt his body is yet. Sawamura took the advantage, bringing Mashiba to the ropes and using a combination of high to low punches to make Mashiba guard high to leave his body open to attacks. After being hit by an uppercut and a counter, Mashiba clinched to Sawamura until the fourth round ended. Barely making it to his corner, Mashiba learned that he was kicked while he was down. His coach ordered him to not get emotional about it and to use the fifth round only for recovering.
In the fifth round, Mashiba tried to attack Sawamura at the start, but was hit by a counter instead. Mashiba fell and pushed Sawamura to the canvas. After attempting to elbow his face while on top of him, Mashiba hit Sawamura's left eye with a headbutt. Mashiba got up and received a penalty by the referee. Due to Sawamura's left eye being swollen shut after the headbutt, Mashiba began to land his Flicker Jabs easier and Sawamura kept missing his counters. When Sawamura got close to Mashiba, Mashiba went to Sawamura's left and hit him with an unsuspecting Chopping Right, downing him. Mashiba's forehead began to swell from the headbutt earlier, and the way it is swelling makes him look like a demon with a horn. When Sawamura got up, both boxers met at middle range and hit each other with multiple full powered dual exchanges until the fifth round ended. At the corner, Mashiba's coach told him to not back off if it becomes a battle of wills, as Sawamura is more damaged. Mashiba claimed that he will win because he is the stronger one.
In the sixth round, after blocking and dodging Sawamura's Bullets and hitting Sawamura with a Flicker Jab, Mashiba and Sawamura continued where they left off last round, hitting each other with dual exchanges at middle range. Since Mashiba's punch landed first in the dual exchange, Sawamura was worse off, and eventually Sawamura was unable to reach Mashiba's face after Mashiba hit him. After ducking under Sawamura's attack, Mashiba hit Sawamura with an uppercut, leaving him clinging to the ropes. Mashiba, thrilled to have his bloodlust back, rushed to Sawamura, hitting him multiple times at the ropes, intending to execute him for doing both crimes of standing in his way of him rising up with his two fists and laying a finger on Kumi. Sawamura hit Mashiba with a counter during Mashiba's barrage and began fighting back, pushing Mashiba to the centre of the ring. Mashiba and Sawamura exchanged punches until Sawamura buckled over. Mashiba attacked and put Sawamura at the ropes again, sending out many punches on his guard. When Mashiba saw an opening at the bottom of the guard, he struck Sawamura with a short uppercut. Mashiba went to throw a follow-up Chopping Right, however, Sawamura countered it, hitting Mashiba's jaw. Mashiba went down from the counter, as did Sawamura after the referee ordered him to go to the neutral corner. Both boxers got up from the double knockdown, with Mashiba driven to protect his sister and show everyone who doubted him. While the referee was deciding whether to continue the match or not, Mashiba attacked Sawamura with left and right combinations. When the referee tried to hold Mashiba back, he pushed the referee to the ground and continued beating the defenceless Sawamura until he punched him through the ropes and out of the ring. Mashiba felt glorious after silencing the crowd with his fists. However, the referee disqualified Mashiba for his actions, resulting in Mashiba losing and Sawamura becoming the new JBC junior lightweight champion. Mashiba was escorted out of the ring by his coach, who expressed his disbelief in him. Afterwards, Mashiba was suspended from boxing for a year.
At home, Mashiba complained to Kumi that his sweater got tighter after she did laundry, causing an argument between the two. Later at the Tōhō gym, Mashiba was tasked by his coach to spar against Ippo, since Ippo needed to spar with him to prepare to go against Malcolm Gedo, and Mashiba needed an in-fighter like Ippo to prepare for his OPBF title match. When the spar began, Mashiba used his Flicker Jabs to keep Ippo away. When Ippo slipped past the Flicker Jabs, Mashiba was hit by a body blow. After missing a Chopping Right, Mashiba retreated and baited Ippo to chase him in order to land a right uppercut. Mashiba became shocked as Ippo used his Dempsey Roll to chase Mashiba while dodging his Flicker Jabs. After a dual exchange against the Dempsey Roll and being hit in the face, Mashiba retaliated with a right uppercut. Mashiba acknowledged Ippo's evolution since the last time they fought, deeming Ippo's use of the Dempsey Roll a style that suits him. After the three round spar, Mashiba told his coach how even though Ippo was barely conscious, he still aimed for a dual exchange, wondering why he is so worked up. When his coach informed him that the Kamogawa gym is cautious about Gedo, Mashiba thought it was odd that the Kamogawa gym thinks there is a chance Ippo could lose, before wishing for Ippo's loss as he feels the pain from the spar.
At home, when Mashiba complained about how the show he is watching is boring and the comedians keep falling, Kumi threw a plate at him due to being stressed out when she hears anything to do with the word "slip" because of a recent interaction with Ippo. Later, when Mashiba's OPBF lightweight title match against Aaron Domingo arrived, Mashiba went to the Kōrakuen Hall. When the match began, Mashiba landed punches with his Flicker Jabs, keeping Domingo at a distance. In the middle of the fifth round, when Domingo got past the Flicker Jabs, Mashiba connected with a Chopping Right. Mashiba let his guard down since he thought he had got him, however, Domingo stayed standing and Mashiba was hit by multiple body blows. During the eighth round, Mashiba tried to get away from a barrage of body blows when he gets hit on chin by an intentional headbutt. With his face uncovered, Mashiba was hit by a left hook, causing him to slip when he tried to throw a punch. When he got up, he became angry due to the illegal blow, however, he responded to the crowd's cheers with legal boxing despite the repeated fouls done by Domingo. While escaping the ropes, Mashiba tripped over Domingo's foot due to Domingo putting his foot out on purpose, causing Mashiba to lose balance and go down from a punch he couldn't block from the loss of balance. After he got up, the eighth round ended. After the ninth round, which consisted of more of the same, Mashiba got angry when he saw Ippo comforting Kumi in the audience as the tenth round began. As Domingo got close to Mashiba after going through his Flicker Jabs, Mashiba feinted a Chopping Right to make Domingo guard above before changing it into a right uppercut, hitting Domingo and causing him to go down. The referee ended the match immediately, making Mashiba the new OPBF lightweight champion. After receiving his OPBF lightweight belt, Mashiba threw a boxing glove attempting to hit Ippo with it, however, it missed, causing the crowd to think he threw it to give it to them. When his coach claimed that the crowd wants his other glove too, Mashiba threw it to the crowd before walking away from the ring.
Mashiba arrived to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch Ippo fight in his eighth JBC featherweight title defence match against Kojima Hisato, who talked trash about his opponents, including Mashiba. Outside the venue, Mashiba and Kumi came across Saeki Takuma, Date Eiji, Okita Keigo, and Sendō. The five boxers got into an argument until they were stopped by Kumi, who screamed at them to stop. Mashiba was annoyed as he sat with Kumi due to the seat next to them having Sendō, Saeki, Date, and Okita cheering for ippo as he entered the ring. Mashiba watched as Ippo won by a one punch knockout in the first round. Okita asked Mashiba if he would go down from a punch by a boxer who is two weight classes higher like Kojima was to Ippo. Mashiba got irritated and claimed he wouldn't from someone like Kojima. As the main event began, Mashiba watched Takamura in his fourth WBC middleweight title defence match against Peter Rabbitson, where it ended in Takamura winning by a one punch knock out in the final twelfth round.
After watching Takamura and Ippo defeat Rabbitson and Kojima respectively, Mashiba went to the Mayweather Bar with Kumi, Okita, Saeki, Sendō, and Date to celebrate Takamura and Ippo's victory. When Mashiba and Sendō began to argue, Kumi and Saeki tried to calm them down as Date figured that the two are angry about Takamura's poor performance. As everyone agreed with Date, the group complained about Takamura for his performance and his panda outfit until they notice that Takamura was in the bar with them the entire time. Since Takamura heard everything they said, he acted like he was going to leave before proclaiming that he blocked the door so they couldn't leave. Date's further provocations sparked a bar fight between the group and Takamura, which ended in all five getting knocked out and Kumi having to put bandages on them.
Later at the Tōhō gym, Mashiba was angry that Kimura lost the Class A Tournament finals and explained to his coach how the only time Kimura did anything good was against him, and feels like it puts him in a bad light, wanting Kimura to win sometimes to show that what happen in their match wasn't a fluke. His coach asked him if he wanted to know the results of Aoki's Class A Tournament match since he is in the same weight class, however, Mashiba deemed himself above national level, and knew that Aoki wouldn't be doing his usual mud fighting since he is fighting a no-name rookie.
When Mashiba arrived to his home, he noticed the pot Kumi is cooking with was going to boil over. He interrupted Kumi and Ippo as they were about to kiss to inform her. As Kumi went to the kitchen, Mashiba tried to get a frightened Ippo to tell him what they were doing until Kumi came back and stopped him as dinner was ready. Mashiba had no problem with the dinner until Kumi mentioned that Ippo made it, making Mashiba spit it out and complain about it. After dinner, Mashiba noticed Ippo's injuries and asked who beat him. When Ippo revealed that it was Sendō, Mashiba questioned Ippo as to why Sendō, who he defeated twice, defeated him. While Ippo claimed that Sendō has grown stronger than he used to be, Mashiba criticised Ippo's ideology of training to make it home in one piece, as he doesn't believe that that would be something someone aiming for the world title would say, claiming that Ippo has gotten weak. After remembering his conversation with Ippo, he decided that he would go watch Ippo's match against Alfredo Gonzales.
When Ippo's match against Alfredo in his first step onto the world stage and Itagaki and Imai Kyōsuke's JBC featherweight title match for Ippo's relinquished title arrived, Mashiba went to the Kōrakuen Hall. Outside the venue, he waited for the openers with Sendō. When Īmura Mari and another reporter saw the two, Mari assumed that came to watch Ippo, as they are part of the "Makunouchi Generation", making the two agitated. Sendō asked Mashiba if Kumi is with him, as he is attracted to her, however, Mashiba exclaimed that Kumi and Ippo are something, cutting himself off as he didn't want to finish his sentence, confusing Sendō. Mari asked Mashiba and Sendō if Ippo is weaker or stronger now, which they answer that that is why they are there to find out. Mashiba entered the venue with Sendō and Mari to watch the semi-final consisting of Itagaki and Imai fighting for Ippo's vacant JBC featherweight title. Before the match began, Mashiba had a prediction that Itagaki would win, as he remembered having trouble with him during their spars and he has gotten sharper since his match against Karasawa Takuzō and Saeki. Mashiba watched as Imai defeated Itagaki by a first round knockout, making him the new JBC featherweight champion.
As the main event of the match between Ippo and Alfredo was starting, Mashiba realised that, just by looking at Alfredo as he walked to the ring, that he is strong. When the first round began, Mashiba and Mari asked Sendō of his thoughts of Ippo fighting a Mexican for the first time since he has fought Mexicans before. Sendō predicted that it won't be easy for Ippo at first. As Alfredo threw punches at Ippo's guard while Ippo was trying to advance, Mashiba noted that even though the punches are slowing Ippo's advance, the moment Alfredo misses a punch, Ippo will be all the way inside. During the third round, when Alfredo started the round with out-boxing, Sendō complained that he should in-fight, however, Mashiba pointed out that Alfredo already tried, which led to Alfredo getting hit with body blows, just like the ones that they received when they fought Ippo. Near the end of the fifth round, Mashiba acknowledged how brave Alfredo is for not running scared like most fighters did from a full swing from Ippo. During the sixth round, Mashiba noticed that Alfredo is starting to fight like a brawler with pure rage, comparing him to Sawamura. Mashiba witnessed Alfredo defeating Ippo by knockout in the seventh round.
When Mashiba got home, he told Kumi that out of all of Ippo's matches, that had the best knockout, confusing Kumi into thinking that Ippo won.
With Mashiba having a match that is before the main event of Takamura's unification title match against the WBA middleweight champion Richard Bison, Mashiba arrived to the Roigal Hotel where the weigh-in and press conference was held. Since Sendō was also there since his match is after Mashiba's, they argued after Sendō told him to rile up the crowd for him. The next day, Mashiba went to the Yokohama Arena for his match, arguing and fighting with Sendō, who he was sharing a room with in the venue, leaving Mashiba and Sendō with visible injuries before their matches started.
When Mashiba arrived to the ring for his first OPBF lightweight title defence match against Romeo, he was too tense due to brawling with Sendō, impatiently waiting for the match to start so that he could go back to the waiting room to continue his fight with Sendō. When the match began, instead of starting with his usual Hitman Style and Flicker Jab, Mashiba charged toward Romeo. Mashiba used his Chopping Right three times in a row, with Romeo dodging the first one, blocking the second one, then countering the third one by hitting Mashiba's jaw. Being momentarily stunned from the hit to the jaw, Mashiba decided to use his Flicker Jabs. Mashiba's Flicker Jabs were deflected and dodged as Romeo pressed forward until reaching close range. Mashiba used his Chopping Right, however, Romeo knocked Mashiba's fist away before it was thrown and threw a right hook that hits Mashiba's block. After missing with another Chopping Right, Mashiba was struck with a barrage of body blows. In the fifth round, Mashiba continued to get hit in the body at close range after missing a Chopping Right. Mashiba feinted a Chopping Right changing it into a right uppercut, hitting the unsuspecting Romeo. Mashiba commenced a combination of Chopping Rights and left uppercuts on the defenceless Romeo until the referee separated the two to catch Romeo. The referee ended the match without a count, resulting in Mashiba's victory.
After leaving the ring, Mashiba ran to his and Sendō's room, ignoring his coach's order to go to the doctor. Mashiba and Sendō continued to fight until Sendō left for his match. Mashiba watched Sendō's match against the Mexican featherweight champion, Jose Nargo, where Mashiba was irritated that Sendō used his Chopping Right. After watching Sendō win by knockout in the eighth round, Mashiba argued with Sendō when he returned about his use of the Chopping Right, and Sendō criticised Mashiba's uppercut. Mashiba watched Takamura fight against the WBA middleweight champion, Bison. Mashiba quickly noticed Bison was using the Hitman style and learned from Sendō and Yanaoka Kazuhiro that Thomas Hearns was famous for his Hitman style, however, Mashiba claimed that he created it himself without knowing anything about Hearns. Mashiba watched Takamura win by knockout and unite the WBC and WBA titles. Before leaving the venue, Mashiba and Sendō spotted Ippo holding Takamura's WBC and WBA belts. Mashiba and Sendō thought about trying them on until they decided that they would get their own.
At his house, Mashiba complained to Kumi about her cabbage roll dinner after she burnt it, believing that it is Ippo's fault since she was probably thinking about his upcoming return match. Mashiba mentioned that he will go watch the match, and hopes he loses. After Kumi claimed it wouldn't be good if he loses, Mashiba told her that he would let her know if he wins, however, Mashiba noticed by her expression that she might not want him to win, confusing him. The next day, Mashiba arrived to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan for Ippo's return match against Antonio Guevara and Takamura's WBC and WBA middleweight title defence against Keith Lycaon. As he waited for Ippo's match to happen and sitting with Miyata, Sendō and Fujii Minoru, Mashiba learned from Miyata that the rumours about Ippo having a new Dempsey Roll are true, and argued with Miyata and Sendō until Ippo's match began. During the third round when Ippo tripped over Antonio's right foot, Mashiba explained to Sendō, Miyata, and Fujii how due to Ippo using the orthodox stance and Antonio using southpaw stance, their feet are on the same side, making it possible to hook their legs and trip. When the fourth round began, Mashiba noted that Ippo is focusing on the Dempsey Roll too much, and that he is stuck in a rut because of his style that is based around dodging that he picked up ever since he learned the Dempsey Roll. When Ippo continued to get a down declared on him after barely getting hit, Mashiba figured that his loss against Nagumo Ryūji in a spar wasn't a fluke. As Miyata expressed his irritation that Ippo isn't getting up quick enough, Mashiba told him that Ippo isn't the same person as he once was when he got up after taking his and Sendō's punches, and Miyata should know that something is wrong with him as a fellow boxer. Mashiba watched as Ippo lost by knockout in the fourth round. As the main event of Takamura's WBA and WBC title defence match against Lycaon began, Mashiba watched, and the match ended in Takamura's victory by a one round knockout.
When Mashiba got home, he grinned as he told Kumi that Ippo lost. Mashiba questioned her as to why she isn't happy since now she can spend time with Ippo since he will retire. He also mentioned how after watching the match, it is clear that Ippo is broken.
At the Tōhō Boxing Gym, Mashiba requested to his coach for a boxer who was strong and sturdy, as he wanted 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 his 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 pumped a fist into the air in response to the cheers.
While Mashiba was working and driving the Tanaka freight truck, he pulled into Márquez to get a drink. After picking up some milk, he took it to the counter to get rung up, but the clerk was ignoring him. After he yelled at him, he realised it was Miyata. He tossed 100 yet at him, vowing to never shop there again and to keep the change. The manager yelled at him for being rude toward Miyata and wanted him to apologise, but Mashiba threatened to rip her earrings off instead. After the manager revealed that 100 yen wasn't enough to cover since there was sales tax, Miyata showed him a page of factorisation math problems and told him if he can solve the math problems, they will call it even. Mashiba gave Miyata the answers and walked away while telling him to not think he is unintelligent just because he is a boxer. Outside the store, a black cat stopped in front of him. He threatened to step on it, but changed his mind and offered it some milk. While looking at the cat, he was reminded of Sendō and his upcoming match against Alfredo, however, he did not care.
After Ippo arrived from Mexico to Japan, he gave Kumi a mask. When Mashiba came home and saw the mask, he believed that Ippo should be deported.
|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, Okita 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.
- Mashiba is implied to be at least moderately good at math, as 7 out of the 8 answers he gave when Miyata Ichirō showed him a page of factorization problems were correct. Additionally, he did all of them in his head.