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Wiki Ippo

Tatsuya Kimura (木村達也, Kimura Tatsuya) is a tritagonist in Hajime no Ippo.

He is a junior lightweight veteran professional boxer. He, along with Makunouchi Ippo, Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru and Itagaki Manabu, round up the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym.

Contents

Background

Kimura and Aoki in the 80s.

Kimura became a delinquent because he was bullied by an older boy, and when his father went to confront the boy's father, he was pressured and ended up apologising, this made Kimura lose all respect for his father, becoming more violent in both his house and outside, and decided to quit high school without his parents knowing. Kimura and Aoki Masaru were best friends since kindergarten. During high school, the duo were playing baseball in the Little League. In a summer tournament, they won against Kiyota and Kuwahara, taking what was most precious to them due to a bet: dirt from the Koshien Stadium and throwing it off a bridge.[2] Kimura and Aoki left baseball as they thought it was too easy due to not having any competition at the time.[3] They began brawling and causing trouble with students from rival schools, namely North High, which eventually led to their expulsion.[4] Kimura was the most affected by this because he was worried he had disappointed his mother. One day the pair attacked North High's Takamura Mamoru and lost miserably.

Seeing Takamura's strength as a boxer, they decided to join the Kamogawa gym to try and become strong too. Despite losing to him in every spar, they continued boxing until they had earned their pro licenses and stepped into the ring. Upon their winning of their individual debut matches the two realised that Takamura was no longer just their 'goal' but their inspiration and idol as well.

History

Part I

Early Days Arc

Kimura watching Ippo and Miyata spar.

In the anime, Kimura watched Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata Ichirō's spar. After the spar, he introduced himself to Ippo. On Ippo's first day at the gym, Kimura and Aoki Masaru attempted to train him, however they were stopped by Kamogawa Genji. Ippo, not knowing what Shadow Boxing was, asked Kimura for advice, he then demonstrated shadow boxing. Kimura watched the second spar between Ippo and Miyata.

When Yagi Haruhiko announced Ippo's pro debut match opponent was Oda Yūsuke, Kimura remembered him, as Oda started around the same time as him. Kimura went to the Chūka Soba to celebrate Ippo's debut match and talked about how Oda would be easy to defeat. Kimura was Ippo's sparring partner for training against Oda. Kimura watched Ippo's fight with Oda, then celebrated after Ippo's first win.

Rookie King Tournament: First Rounder Arc

Kimura watching the fireworks.

After sparring with Ippo, Kimura celebrated Ippo's first year in the Kamogawa Boxing Gym at the Chūka Soba. When Jason Ozuma was announced as Ippo's first opponent in the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, Kimura and the others believed it to not be his real name until his profile was shown to be American. Kimura watched Ippo's fight against Ozuma.

With Ippo being fired up from watching Miyata's match, Kimura and Aoki sparred against him. After the spar, Kimura noted how he has gotten stronger since his fight against Ozuma. Kimura along with the others, watched Kobashi Kenta and Hayami Ryūichi's matches on tape.

Kimura attended the training camp. There, Kimura trained himself and helped Ippo with his training by sparring and throwing tennis balls for Ippo to catch. On the final night at the training camp, Kimura wished to get a Japanese title belt as he watched fireworks. When he and the others got back to the gym, Yagi showed everyone the poster of Takamura Mamoru's match against the Japanese middleweight champion and Ippo's match against Kobashi Kenta. With Ippo's match being before Takamura's, Kimura began helping Ippo by sparring with him. After the spar, Kimura informed Ippo that his back feet was catching up better.

Kimura attended Ippo's match and Takamura's match against JBC middleweight champion, Yajima Yoshiaki. When Takamura went down, Kimura and the other's cheers helped Takamura stand up. After Ippo's win and Takamura wins the champions belt, Kimura celebrated along with everyone.

Rookie King Tournament: Finals Arc

Kimura went to the Chūka Soba along with Ippo and Takamura to talk about Aoki's match. Kimura commented how Aoki is always nervous before a match, making him mess up on easy matches. Kimura then laughed when Aoki became depressed after Ippo felt better because Hayami's match was before Aoki's. Kimura watched Hayami's match against Yasukawa Kazuhito and Aoki's match.

Kimura betting on Hayami.

At the Chūka Soba, Kimura showed Takamura a magazine that covered the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, with Ippo's section being the smallest. Takamura, claiming that Ippo was the Manbaken, Kimura thought otherwise, making Takamura decide to set a bet. Kimura chose Hayami, Takamura chose Miyata, and Aoki was forced to go with Ippo. Aoki, along with Takamura and Kimura visited Ippo's home, where, despite having a fever, Ippo trained with Aoki. Kimura attended the match between Ippo and Hayami, with the match ending in Ippo's win.

Kimura watched a tape recording of Miyata's match against Mashiba Ryō, which Miyata lost and Mashiba fouled. When Kimura and Aoki returned to the gym, they were thrilled to see Ippo hitting a sandbag and seemingly not bothered by the outcome of the match. However, it was revealed that he was hitting the sandbag for too long, breaking his fists and unable to use the for a week by Kamogawa. Kimura was informed by Takamura that a girl that Ippo liked was actually Mashiba's sister, prompting Kimura to tease Ippo about it the next day and made fun of him for thinking he was to protagonist of grief. Fujii Minoru then arrived, revealing the Mashiba family's history. When Kamogawa allowed Ippo to use his fists, he had Kimura and Aoki spar with him. During the spar, Kimura was knocked down by a body blow. Before the match between Ippo and Mashiba, Kimura wished to Ippo good luck. Kimura then watched the match, which ended in Ippo winning.

Rocky of Naniwa Arc

Kimura meets Sendō.

When someone entered the gym looking for Ippo, who later appeared, Kimura asked Ippo if he knew that "annoying guy". When the man introduced himself as the West Japan Rookie King, Sendō Takeshi, Kimura remembered him as he appeared in boxing magazines before as the number one Kansai hope. When Sendō accidentally revealed that he can use the Smash, Kimura was surprised. Kimura informed Sendō that he is asking for the impossible after Sendō kept asking to fight Ippo despite his fist injury.

The next day, after Kamogawa left for Thailand tog get boxers for Takamura to fight, Takamura became fired up and wanted to spar. Eventually, Sendō decided to spar despite Takamura being six classes higher. Kimura then witnessed the spar where Sendō used the Smash before getting knocked out. After Sendō woke up, Kimura drove him and Ippo, using Aoki's vehicle, to the airport for Osaka. When Sendō told Ippo that he would be waiting for him at Osaka, Kimura noted that Sendō had not given up on the match. When Kimura heard about Ippo's female doctor, Yamaguchi Tomoko from Aoki, he teased Ippo about it with Aoki and Takamura.

Kimura celebrating Ippo's win.

Kimura later watched videos of Sendō fighting, which would sometimes cut to adult scenes thanks to Takamura. Two days before Ippo's match against Sendō, Kimura arrived to the Ishino Boxing Gym in Osaka along with the rest of the Kamogawa gym. Kimura watched as Ippo sparred with lightweight class Komori, which ended early due to Ippo being unable to hit with his right. When Takamura gave Ippo advice, Kimura downplayed it, causing him to take a punch to the body by Takamura, realising that Takamura was actually serious. Kimura wanted to apologise to Takamura until he found an adult magazine that Takamura bookmarked where a female in Osaka wanted the reader to call her. When the day of the match arrived, Kimura went to the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium and watched Ippo fight Sendō, where Ippo would later win, becoming the Rookie King. Kimura attended Ippo's celebration party at the Plum Village, which ended early due to Takamura knocking out Kamogawa.

Two Rookie Kings Arc

Kimura fighting Shinji.

The Kamogawa gym had a promotional event coming up starring Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura having a match on the same day at the Kōrakuen Hall. Because of this, a big group of newcomers joined the gym. This caused Takamura to test them by making them partake in the roadwork the gym members do, which Kimura also partook. At the end, only one remained in the end, Yamada Naomichi, later nicknamed "Geromichi" due to him throwing up on Ippo after the roadwork and also was a fan of Ippo. Kimura and Aoki then sparred each other to prepare for their upcoming match. When Kimura's match against the seventh ranker in the JBC, Kanzaki Shinji began, Kimura fought him until end of the tenth round, where he won by points in a decision.

One month later, after Ippo sparred against the JBC featherweight champion Date Eiji and came back to the gym, Kimura showed him an article that Date would be going for the world stage after two or three title defences. Later, Kimura watched Ippo's match against the fifth ranker in the JBC, Okita Keigo, which ended in Ippo's win.

Speed Star Arc

Kimura greeting Kumiko.

Due to a new boxing boom, a television station visited the Kamogawa gym in order to capture how the youth put their hopes in boxing. The interviewer was the idol, Kumiko Morita. After the event, the television crew left the gym. When the event got shown on television where Kimura and the others got interviewed, Kimura noticed that Ippo sent a challenge to the champion Date over a national broadcast. He also witnessed seeing the interview at the Otowa Boxing Gym where Russian boxer Alexander Volg Zangief claimed to want Date's belt. When Yamada left the gym for his Pro Test, Kimura went along with him to the Kōrakuen Hall. When Yamada won the Pro Test match, Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura "lectured" two people that were making comments about Yamada while he was fighting.

When Kimura came back to the gym, Kamogawa and Yagi announced the entry list for the Class A Tournament where Kimura became shattered when he discovered Mashiba moved up to his junior lightweight class and signed up for the tournament. Takamura then invited Kimura to go to the annual training camp to prepare for the tournament. At the training camp, due to Ippo's mother's illness, Ippo could not go to the training camp nor has he visited the gym in a week, making Kimura and the others to speculate that Ippo may be retiring. When Kimura and the others returned to the gym, they were surprised to see Ippo there and that he was not retiring.

Kimura winning the first round of the tournament.

While Ippo was training to go against Saeki Takuma, he asked Kimura what the worst opponent for an out-boxer was, which Kimura answered that it is an opponent that is faster and has better footwork than the out-boxer. When Ippo demonstrated his out-boxing footwork, Kimura asked if Ippo could throw punches during the footwork and claimed that if he could notice that, Saeki could surely as well. On the day of the first round of the Class A Tournament, Kimura had his match against Nishimura Hiroshi. The match ended and went to a decision on the sixth round, with Kimura winning by points, progressing to the next round of the tournament. With Kimura, Aoki, and Ippo having won their matches, they went to the Gaiant Echo karaoke with Takamura to celebrate. There, Takamura decided to sing the song "Champion". Kimura was shocked when he saw Hayami in the video as the song played. Kimura then joined to sing the song with Takamura and the others.

White Fang Arc

After leaving the karaoke, Kimura explained how Ippo's liver blow worked to Yamada after he expressed how he admired the technique. When Kimura and the others had to leave the karaoke entrance due to Ippo accidentally breaking the sign for the building, Yamada left the group after thanking them for everything. At Takamura's home, Takamura revealed that Yamada would be moving away from Tokyo in two days. Kimura suggested to do a farewell party customary of the gym for retiring boxers. The next day, Kimura went to the basement of the Kamogawa gym for the farewell party along with Ippo, Takamura, and Aoki. When Yamada arrived to the basement, Kimura, Aoki and Takamura fought him in a spar. After Yamada lost in all three spars, Kimura commented how he had to get serious due to Yamada's good punches. After the farewell party, Kimura saw Yamada as he left the gym to leave Tokyo. Later on while training, Kimura and Aoki realised just how close Ippo was to surpass them, which motivated them to keep on training to obtain the JBC titles as well. The next day at the gym, Ippo, wanting to do something other than encouraging the duo, sparred with them while mimicking their upcoming opponents fighting style.

Kimura losing to Ryūzaki.

When the day of the Class A Tournament semi-finals arrived and after Aoki lost his match, Kimura's match against Ryūzaki Takeshi began. Both fighters displayed highly technical skills, with neither of them landing a decisive blow. They took distance and resume, with Kimura being at a disadvantage in skill. Unable to finish the fight by knockout, the fight was declared a draw. Due to the Class A Tournament requiring an extra round to occur if there is a draw, Kimura and Ryūzaki had to fight an extra round. Kimura was determined to give it his all, however two minutes into the extra round, he was unable to keep up and got knocked out, losing the match and the tournament. After the match, Kimura and Aoki were visited by Ippo and Takamura in the locker room. Kimura and Aoki acted as if the lost did not bother them before encouraging Ippo to win as they leave. Later that night, despite their act, Aoki and Kimura were upset about the way their matches went, and spent the night reflecting on the events.

Kimura, Takamura, and Aoki visited Ippo at the Swimming Club where they find him doing squats in the water. Kimuea and Aoki attempt the training, but were unable to keep up with the resistance from the water after a few minutes. They were surprised that Ippo had been doing it for a week, blindly trusting Kamogawa without knowing what the actual move was. Kimura then saw the technique that Ippo was training for called the Gazelle Punch. As Kimura witnessed Ippo going through the harsh stamina training sessions set by Kamogawa and showing signs of being overworked, he wondered if Kamogawa was losing himself due to his personal feud with Ruslan Ramuda. Later, Kimura requested for Ippo to succeed in the Class A Tournament where he failed. Kimura later attended Ippo's match against Volg, where Ippo would later win.

Challenge for the Throne Arc

Kimura with Reiko after the bowling competition.

Kimura, along with Aoki and Takamura checked on Ippo at the Kawai Hospital. After greeting him as he just woke up, they proceed to take his urine, as they had done for the past three. Disturbed by this, Ippo went to the bathroom to do it himself, while the trio set up a group date with Reiko. After five days at the hospital, Ippo was released and was invited to a group date. When Ippo arrived at the spot, Ippo initially refused at first until Kimura used Kumi to force Ippo to go with them. The four boxers then had a bowling competition where the first place winner would be able to pick first for the woman they wanted to go out with. In the end, Kimura picked Reiko.

The next day at the gym Kimura was in a good mood while training. Kimura explained to Ippo that Reiko told him that she was going to cheer for him in his next match. Kimura then asked Ippo how it went with Kumi, and Ippo told him that they were interrupted by Mashiba's arrival. When Takamura arrived, Kimura was surprised to hear he went home early. In order to make fun of Aoki, Takamura, who was rejected by his date, had Ippo call him assuming he was depressed about being rejected as well. To their surprise, it was Tomiko who picked up the phone, leaving the Kimura and the others in shock. Later, Kimura attended a training camp at Izu with Ippo, Aoki, and Takamura to prepare for their upcoming matches.

For Takamura's Champion Carnival title defence against Tamaki Atsushi, Kimura cheered for him. After Takamura won, Kimura stayed to watch Mashiba's title match. That night, Kimura called Ippo to let him know that Mashiba was now the new junior lightweight JBC champion. Kimura sparred with Ippo in order to prepare him for his title match against Date. Later, Kimura watched Ippo fight against Date, where Ippo ended up losing the match. After the match, Kimura and Aoki asked Takamura to consider Ippo's feelings on his first loss, instead of rubbing it in. When Takamura met Ippo, he congratulated him, surprising everyone. But immediately after, used their reactions as an excuse to humiliate Ippo, and Kamogawa kicked him out of the room.

Road Back Arc

A week after Ippo had not come to the gym so that his injuries could heal, Kimura and Aoki felt like the environment around the gym changed as it felt like they were compelled to work while he is there. That night, when Kimura, Takamura, and Aoki walked to Takamura's house and noticed Ippo still watching the video of his loss against Date, Takamura decided that they should kill some time at a game centre, not wanting to go to the "haunted room". Later, when Ippo came back to the gym, he heard from Fujii that, due to Volg's second loss in a row, the Otowa gym was cutting ties with Volg, with him getting sent back to Russia the same day. Kimura believed that if he was Japanese he would had gotten another chance, but he was an import boxer. With Ippo disappointed by the event, Takamura handed Ippo money for a taxi to the Narita Terminal 1, making Kimura admit Takamura has a good side until it was discovered he took the money out of Aoki's wallet.

Kimura and Aoki informing Ippo about their comeback matches.

Later, Kimura and Aoki informed to Ippo that Yagi flew back to Japan after getting three opponents for the trio's comeback matches. Takamura then wondered who was going to be the main event, with Ippo wanting to let Kimura or Aoki be the main event, the two began arguing over it. Takamura then decided to settle the match order by drawing straws. After the three drew straws, Aoki was decided to be the main event, while Kimura is the opening act. Aoki excitedly called Tomiko about it (annoying Kimura), however, as she told everyone at the hospital about it, Kamogawa entered the gym and revealed the actual order being Aoki as the opener, Kimura second, and Ippo as the main event.

Kimura told Takamura and Ippo that he is fired up because Reiko told him that she would bring a friend and come support him. Aoki then entered the gym after telling Tomiko that he was in fact not the main event. Kimura and the others were then shocked when Aoki revealed the frog-themed robe that she made for him. Aoki then ran off laughing when everyone lied and said that it looked good on him. Later, while Ippo partook in Kamogawa's mitt training session, Kamogawa collapsed to the mat when he caught one of Ippo's punches with his mitt. Kimura went to the Kawai Hospital, where Kamogawa was taken. The doctor informed everyone that he fell because of overwork and to let him rest for two to three days. Takamura began pranking the gym members in Kamogawa's absence. Kimura becae angry when Takamura drew on the match posters which Kimura was trying to give one to Reiko. When Kamogawa came back to the gym after being released from the hospital, Kimura was overjoyed as Takamura was unable to continue his antics.

Kimura winning against Pone.

When the day of his comeback match arrived, Kimura walked to the ring and noticed Reiko cheering. However, he then saw Reiko grabbing her boyfriends arm, crushing Kimura's spirit. His match against Pone Morocotte then began. Kimura eventually won by knockout after going down two times. Kimura

Hot Rod Era Arc

Aoki and Kimura talking about their past.

Due to seeing Reiko with another man, Kimura became depressed and caught a fever. He was then visited by Ippo, Takamura, and Aoki. Kimura attempted to hold back his feelings, telling them that he was over her, letting Takamura keep his photos of her. When Ippo fed his fish his aspirin, making it faint, Kimura screamed Reiko's name in agony, revealing to the three that he was not over her. Kimura began hitting Aoki, asking why he came until Ippo showed them a photo of their delinquent past, noting that they seemed to get along with each other in the photos, wanting to know their past. Kimura and Aoki then told Ippo their past as delinquents up to when they won their debut matches. After telling Ippo their story, Takamura teased the two by offering them to hit him, causing Kimura and Aoki to retaliate and hit Ippo for starting it until Ippo pointed out that the fish, Reiko, was back up and moving again, relieving Kimura as he looked into the tank in joy.

Mountain Training Arc

Kamogawa gym arrives at the Pension Yoshio.

When Kimura learned that the Naniwa Boxing Commission agreed to let Ippo fight Sendō two months after Sendō's second title defence, Kimura noted Sendō having a title defence every two months, theorising that he may get worn out due to the high-pace schedule. Kamogawa then announced a training camp for the gym, making Kimura excited as Kamogawa warned that it will be hard. When it was time to leave for the training camp, Kimura and the others got ready for the beach. However, Kimura was disheartened to learn that the gym would be going to the mountains where Kamogawa's friend is letting him use his pension. Upon arrival to the Pension Yoshio, Kamogawa's friend and rival, Nekota Ginpachi greeted everyone, knowing Ippo and Takamura while mistaking Kimura and Aoki as non-Japanese boxers. Shinoda Tomoyuki then took Kimura, Aoki, and Ippo to do roadwork in the woods after Nekota warned them of bears. As Kimura underestimated how hard it was to run in the woods, everyone noticed a bear behind them, resulting in Kimura and the others to run back to the house in fear. When Kimura mentioned running into a bear, Nekota offered something to keep bears away the next day.

The next day, Kimura wore a bell as a bear repellent and did roadwork with Ippo, Aoki, and Takamura. As Kimura, Aoki, and Ippo believe the bell to be keeping the bears away, Ippo was attacked by a bear, causing Kimura and Aoki to rush back to the house to inform the others. However, as they explain what happened, Ippo ran out of the woods with the "bear", which was actually Nekota's dog Hachi. Kamogawa announced to everyone that they would be staying at the pension for a week and had Shinoda train Kimura and Aoki. The duo began their training exercises, with their main exercise being doing squats in the river. When Kimura was done with his training and went back to the house, Ippo told him that he heard of a way of punching without punching, which Kimura thought was hard to believe. Later, Kimura listened as Kamogawa explained to everyone about Sakki, a feint with soul, and showed them pictures of him and Nekota in their boxing days. When Takamura decided to show Ippo the Sakki in a spar, Kimura watched as Takamura sparred with Ippo. After the spar, Kimura continued training for the day.

On the final day of the training camp, Aoki continued to train by doing squats in the river. That night, as Takamura had not come back yet, Ippo wondered if Takamura could defeat a bear if he ran into one, however Kimura deemed it impossible. When an injured Takamura returned and claimed to had knocked out a bear, Kimura and the others did not believe him. Kimura's thoughts changed however when Nekota brought out bear nabe and Takamura began crying when the bear that Nekota killed matched the description of the bear Takamura knocked out and let live. The next morning, with the Kamogawa gym members about to leave to go back to Tokyo, Kimura said his goodbyes to Nekota. When Kimura returned to the gym and a boxer named Shigeta Akira requested to spar against Ippo to gain some confidence, leaving Kimura wondering how someone could gain confidence sparring with Ippo. Later at the gym, Fujii accidentally revealed that Takamura would be having a world match, shocking Kimura, who then listened as Kamogawa explained that it would be a junior middleweight world ranked match that, if Takamura were to win, he would be a contender to the world title.

Kimura meeting Mari.

Fujii then introduced Kimura and Aoki to sports writer Iimura Mari. Kimura was quickly irritated when she asked for him to act naturally and to not give her special treatment because of her gender. When Fujii and Mari left the gym, Kimura and Aoki were shocked that a woman came into the gym and Takamura ignored her, deducing that it was about the world match announcement. Later while Aoki, Kimura, Ippo, and Takamura were doing roadwork, Kimura and Aoki hoped for knockouts for their matches. Takamura claimed that when his match begins, everyone will forget about everything that happened, making the duo irritated.

Kimura winning against Nefuma.

When the day of the matches arrived, Kimura fought against Nefuma Ozca. In the fifth round, Kimura fought aggressively and cornered Nefuma after a counter. He then proceeded to hit Nefuma in the corner until the referee stepped in between them and ended the match resulting in Kimura's win. Kimura then watched Aoki's match and Takamura's title defence where Takamura wore a bear skin to the ring and defeated his opponent with only his left. Kimura then celebrated with everyone at the Sugar Ray.

Later, Kimura returned to the gym and wanted to do mitt training with Shinoda, however he was not in the gym. Nekota then appeared with mitts, wanting Kimura to hit them. Kimura, worried about Nekota's age, lightly hit the mitts two times before walking away. Kimura was then drawn by Nekota to hit them more, which Kimura then became tired unexpectedly, resulting in others wanting to train with Nekota. Eventually, Nekota left by a delivery truck service back to the mountains, with Kimura saying his farewells.

Lallapallooza Arc

Kimura encountering Mashiba.

A month and a half before Ippo's title match against Sendō, Fujii visited the Kamogawa gym after Ippo's five knockout streak during his spars. Kimura asked where Mari was, as he remembered her being interested in Ippo. He then discovered that she went to Osaka for research. When the match poster for the match was put on the gym's windows, Aoki expressed how would be satisied with just one title match, then got angered when Takamura acted like he did not know Aoki and Kimura did not have title matches in the five years they had been boxing. Kimura attended Ippo's match against Sendo. While there, he ran into Mashiba Kumi, and accidentally bumped in Mashiba Ryō. Mashiba mentioned he does not know who Kimura is, which annoys Kimura due to the fact that they are in the same weight class. As they are about to get into a fight over it, Aoki approached and separated them with the help of Kumi. Aoki complemented Kimura on his bravery, but Kimura thanked Aoki for saving him from getting beaten up.

Kimura watching Ippo's title match against Sendō.

Kimura then watched the title match, and during round two, he began stomping his feet with the audience, cheering for Ippo. After Ippo won the match on the seventh round and became the JBC featherweight champion, Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura took Ippo to his home. A few days later, he went to the Sugar Ray to celebrate Ippo's victory and birthday party.

Execution Arc

Kimura meets with Miyata for a request.

Kamogawa informed Kimura that he will be fighting Mashiba for the upcoming Champion Carnival for the junior lightweight JBC title. Kimura knew no one in the gym could help him train for Mashiba, so he decided to ask Miyata for help. Kimura explained the situation to Miyata, but he declined to help, as he told him he is not one to help without reason. Kimura exclaimed that he does not want to run away. and when they encountered a group of people who were the type Kimura used to be, Kimura explained how much he loves boxing, and the reasons why he wants the belt. Miyata then agreed to help, if Kimura helped him with training for the OPBF champion, who is an out-boxer like Kimura.

Kimura arrived to train with Miyata at Kawahara Boxing Gym, and is greeted by Miyata's father, who told him to be careful when sparring. When he entered, Kimura witnessed Miyata shadow boxing, and was mesmerised by the featherweight's speed and technique. As they get ready to spar, Miyata told Kimura that there is no way he can seal or nullify Mashiba's ability to throw the Flicker Jab, since it is only a jab. Miyata claimed that even if Kimura could, he still would not be able to defeat him, as he has one major weakness. During their spar, Kimura was able to predict Miyata's moves, and landed some significant punches, however, despite not being an in-fighter, Miyata kept pressing forward while being hit, until he was within range and hitting Kimura. The spar ended with Kimura being knocked out. Miyata then revealed Kimura's weakness to him: that he has no strengths and no knock out patterns.

After a week of getting defeated in spars against Miyata, who used in-fighting, at his home, Kimura began thinking about his weakness. Kimura then began to feed his fish, Reiko. As he held a fly over Reiko, it jumped up and bit it out of his hand. Later, Kimura watched some video tapes of Mashiba's spars with Miyata. Kimura realised the difference between him and Mashiba and struggled to find Mashiba's weakness. Kimura remembered what out-boxers hate the most, in-fighters rushing forward, realising that that was the reason for Miyata using in-fighting. After that, he decided to start pressing forward for the remaining of his training. Two weeks and a half in, Ippo, Takamura, and Aoki arrived outside of the Kawahara gym and witnessed Miyata clearly dominating the match, but they also noticed Kimura was using the Crouching Style and in-fighting.

Kimura training for his Dragonfish Blow.

Kimura eventually got close to Miyata's chest, however, realised that once in range, he had no weapons to attack with. He then fed his fish, Reiko, when he saw her jumping, he had an idea. At the Kawahara gym, Kimura arrived after his absence and got Miyata into the ring to spar with him. Kimura attempted the move he had been practising, but misses. However, Miyata told him if he polished the move, Mashiba would be unable to remain standing. Kimura informed them that he would not be returning, as all he has to do is polish the move.

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura was unfazed about the poster for his match that implied he would be defeated. Kimura explained to Aoki, Takamura, and Ippo that he has a new technique called, the "Dragonfish Blow". Intending to demonstrate the move, Kimura sparred with Aoki. As Aoki predicted from witnessing his training, Kimura went for a body blow with his left that hit Aoki's guard. However, as Aoki had his eyes on Kimura's left, Kimura followed up with a right Overhand that cleanly landed.

The day of Kimura's title match arrived. Before leaving Kōrakuen Hall, he confused his parents when he claimed he may one day take over the business. In his waiting room, Kimura had asked for everyone to come in after being alone for five minutes. With the time up, they go in to encourage him, with Kimura claiming to win. However, Kimura informed them that if he loses, he would retire.

Kimura being hit by Flicker Jabs.

When Kimura and Mashiba entered the ring, Kimura was unaffected by Mashiba's look, as all he could focus on is the belt. When the match began, Kimura charged toward Mashiba, who instantly entered his Hitman Style, throwing Flicker Jabs that hit Kimura until he stepped back out of range. Out of options, Kimura went for in-fighting, but was unsuccessful. He was then cornered by the flicker Jabs, and Mashiba initiated his usual knockout pattern. Kimura managed to escape, but the damage from the jabs becomes visible. Kimura continued pushing towards Mashiba, getting hit in the process until round one 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, Kimura claimed that everything is part of the plan, as he never expected to take down Mashiba in the first round, and he will keep in-fighting for as long as he needs to.

Kimura then continued the same tactic while getting hit by Flicker Jabs until round six. In round six, Kimura's appearance began to change after the damage. Before the ending of the round, Kimura was finally knocked down by Mashiba. Before the count reached ten, Kimura got back up and resisted the beating until the round ended. 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. Kimura kept pushing forward with Mashiba unable to shake him off or stop the body blows until Kimura put him against the ropes. Full of determination, Kimura began to glare at Mashiba with courage. This caused Mashiba's brain to tell his body that his eyes are dangerous. Kimura began using body blows as a distraction to set up his Dragonfish Blow until the seventh round ended

Kimura landing the Dragonfish Blow.

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 an unsuspecting Mashiba, causing him to go down. When Mashiba managed to get back up, Kimura proceeded to go for body blows until Mashiba guarded low. With Mashiba focused on the body blows, Kimura landed another Dragonfish blow. However, Mashiba swayed his head back to nullify the damage. Mashiba 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.

Kimura and Mashiba final exchange.

In the ninth round, knowing that a fourth Dragonfish Blow will end the fight, Kimura dashed in. Mashiba threw a 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 foreseeing this, Kimura threw a series of body blows that left Mashiba's jaw open. Seeing this, Kimura proceeded to finish with a Dragonfish Blow as he saw a vision of him grabbing the champion's belt. Despite hitting Mashiba, Mashiba landed a cleaner hit before Kimura did.

As his consciousness faded away, Kimura fell 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. The referee then signalled the end to the match, with Kimura losing the match.

With the match over, Kimura, who was still standing with a fighting pose and unconscious in the ring, woke up and began to realise that the match is over. Realising he has lost, Kimura became upset as his team walked him out of the ring. In his waiting room, Kimura was ambushed by many reporters. Kamogawa wanted them out, however, Kimura requested them to come in. When they asked for his opinion on a rematch, Kimura revealed to them that he will never fight again. After getting dressed, Kimura bid the Kōrakuen Hall farewell.

Kimura thinking back on his loss.

Two days after the match, Kimura was still reflecting on the events. The members at the Kamogawa gym became depressed over Kimura's retirement. Outside the gym, Kimura, who was standing outside of the gym heard how Ippo's mother named his dog "Wanpo" in katakana before leaving, as he does not feel like facing them at the moment. Kimura began wondering what he will do after living a life that was focused solely on boxing for five years. He then began thinking of what would have happened if he had reached three more centimetres. After having second thoughts about retiring, he returned to the gym. Listening outside the gym, Kimura overheard Takamura claiming that there is no way he could take it back after publicly announcing it the way he did. Knowing that Takamura is right, Kimura once again planned to let go of boxing, but when he saw Wanpo, he gets an idea. Hearing Wanpo, the group came outside and finds Kimura. He informed them that the boxer called Kimura Tatsuya (木村達也) retired. However, he would be changing his name to katakana and start over again as Kimura Tatsuya (木村タツヤ).

First Step Arc

Kimura sparring to show the Hien to Ippo.

As a thank you to Ippo, Kimura gave Ippo and Kumi tickets to Hayami Ryūichi and Kobashi Kenta's junior featherweight JBC title match. With Ippo's first title defence for the Champion Carnival being Sanada Kazuki, Ippo learned that Sanada's special techniques were called "Hien" and "Tsubame Gaeshi". After Gotō explained the Kawasaki Ki-61, the gym members deduced the Hien as a technique that counters both in-fighters and out-boxers. Kamogawa confirmed their suspicions, and, after explaining the move to Kimura, Kimura and Ippo go into the ring so that Kimura could show Ippo the Hien. After Kimura showed the Hien a few times, not being able to use it anymore due to the stress it puts on his wrist, he theorised that it shuts out out-boxers due to not being able to counter the rapid changes that happen to do the Hien.

Kimura losing to Ippo in an arm wrestling match.

Later at the gym, Kimura, Takamura, and Aoki learned that Sanada is a heir to an important hospital, and a man popular with the nurses who will be cheering for him. After that, they discussed how if Ippo loses, he may lose his belt as well as Kumi, due to her going for the doctor, to which he replied that they are not even dating. Upset about Ippo's submissive attitude, Takamura told him to confess his feelings for her. With no options left, Ippo agreed, but on one condition: Ippo must beat Aoki, Kimura and Gotō (given the fact that Takamura is heavier) in arm wrestling, if he loses he has to confess. Kimura began the arm wrestling match as Ippo's first opponent, knowing he could not beat Ippo, but hoped to at least tire him out so that Aoki could finish him. His plan failed however, as Ippo easily defeated him. After Aoki lost, Takamura knocked out Gotō so that he could become Ippo's third opponent. Ippo lost in the end, resulting in Ippo being forced to call Kumi, who answered and agreed to go out with him. Kimura then went to Takamura's home to hear the tape recorder which was given to Ippo to record the confession. After hearing it, Kimura and Aoki walked an emotionless Ippo home as they believed that Kumi broke up with him after listening to the record. The next day, Kimura and Aoki told Ippo, who was hitting a sandbag, if he used that energy to seduce Kumi, resulting them in getting hit by Takamura, who scolded them as he claimed that Ippo lost the one thing he held dear and only has boxing now.

Kimura continued sparring with Ippo for him to counter the Hien by knocking Kimura's left away and stepping in. Later, Kimura watched Ippo's title defence against Sanada, which resulted in Ippo's victory. After the match, Ippo went asleep and began snoring immediately in his changing room, making everyone worried. When Sanada checked on him, he concluded that Ippo was fine, relieving everyone.

Bloody Cross Arc

Kimura downing Miyata in a spar.

When Miyata was training for his OPBF title match against featherweight champion Arnie Gregory, Kimura helped him by sparring him as a way of thanking him for helping him out with his fight against Mashiba. After Kimura knocked Miyata down three times in one sparring match, Kimura told him to not hold back, however, Miyata claimed to be serious. Miyata's father then ended the spar, not wanting further injuries before the match. He then explained to Kimura the situation regarding Miyata's weight management. Kimura asked the father why his son won't go up to the lightweight class, however, he remembered the rivalry between Ippo and Miyata. Miyata then interrupted the conversation, claiming that there was no reason to worry, asking Kimura to not tell anyone about it; especially Ippo.

Kimura watching Miyata fight Gregory.

When Fujii told the Kamogawa gym members details from Gregory's public spar session and about the "Bloody Cross" from his manager, Mr. Sakaguchi, Kimura expressed his concern on how the manager is already looking for the next opponent. Later, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched as Miyata fought the OPBF champion, Gregory. the match ended in Miyata's victory, becoming the OPBF featherweight champion.

Revenge Arc

Kimura watching Ricardo and Date's match.

When Date was to fight the WBA featherweight champion Ricardo Martinez, Kimura recognised Ricardo as the only world's super champion and realised that it was Date's last chance to go for his only black star due to his age. When the day of the match arrived, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan and watched the semifinals where Okita won his match and the main event of Ricardo's 18th WBA featherweight title defence against Date. The match ended in Ricardo's victory and Date was sent to the hospital in a stretcher. At the Kamogawa gym, while discussing the WBA title match with the others, Kimura was relieved to hear from Fujii that Date had no brain damage from the match.

Proof of Power Arc

Kimura meets Itagaki.

After learning about Date's baton pass to Ippo, Kimura later went to the Kamogawa gym and When the new gym member Itagaki Manabu arrived, he immediately clashed with Kimura and Aoki who were upset about Itagaki's arrogance of not knowing the two. Yagi then introduced Itagaki as an elite amateur ranked second. Itagaki then revealed his reason for joining, which was because he respected the champion of his own division; Ippo, who he viewed as a senpai.

Kamogawa gym members discuss Ippo's title defence against Hammer Nao.

As a customary of the gym, the gym members took Itagaki on their usual roadwork. To their surprise, Itagaki surpassed Aoki and Kimura while struggling to catch up to Ippo. After looking at Itagaki running behind Ippo, Kimura was reminded of Yamada Naomichi, and believed that Ippo has something that draws others to him, thinking that he had already took Date's place. When the group returned, Kamogawa and Yagi showed footage of Ippo's second JBC featherweight title defence opponent, Hammer Nao. Kimura and the others were shocked when they realised that Hammer Nao was Yamada, who has a different appearance. Kimura theorised that Yamada wanted to test his power due to his goal being to catch up to Ippo.

Kimura meeting Yamada for the first time in two years.

Later, after learning that Yamada had arrived to Tokyo from Mari, Kimura and Aoki went to the Nerima Boxing Club and witnessed him defeating three sparring partners with body blows that made them throw up. When Yamada went outside, Kimura and Aoki greeted him. With a cold attitude, Yamada asked if they are there to gather information, to which the duo replied that they only wanted to wish him good luck. Kimura and Aoki continued their attempt to have a lighthearted conversation with their former kōhai, however, Yamada only provoked them with taunts and requested for them to inform Ippo that he will be seriously coming for his belt. Kimura later sparred with Ippo during his training against Yamada.

When the day of the match arrived, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched Aoki's match against Paddy Magramo and Ippo's title defence match against Yamada, which ended in Aoki and Ippo's victory.

Battle of Hawk Arc

Kimura and Itagaki sparring.

To prepare for his upcoming comeback match, Kimura went with Takamura, Itagaki, and Wanpo to the beach for a training camp. There, they met Ippo, Aoki, Kumi, Tomiko, Nekota, and Hachi who happened to arrive as well. That night on the beach, Takamura, Kimura, and Itagaki were sneaking up on a couple. Takamura then went up to the couple and groped the woman's breast. Then as soon as one of the fireworks blast into the sky, the couple were revealed to be Aoki and Tomiko, causing Kimura and Itagaki to run away. They then followed Wanpo, who led them to a beaten Nekota and Hachi while Takamura was flailing around in the water, to their confusion. The next day, Kimura sparred with Itagaki, causing Kimura to get tired. Kimura watched as Itagaki sparred with ippo. Then, Nekota stopped by with fireworks to use at night, with Kimura later going to the beach that night with everyone but Takamura, who decided not to go.

Aoki watching the stars with everyone.

On the beach, with everyone enjoying fireworks and sparklers, the group noticed Takamura, who claimed would just go back, as he would just get in the way. After Ippo and Itagaki's sweet talk and everyone cheering for him, Takamura finally joined the party. After watching fireworks, Kimura looked up at the stars, setting his goal to get the JBC title. Takamura's fireworks that he set earlier for revenge start going off toward the group as they ran away.

Later Takamura, Kimura, and Itagaki returned to the gym where they find out Ippo was pressured by Imai Kyōsuke. It turned out that Imai was Itagaki's high school rival, with Itagaki then explaining his history to his gym mates. Kimura mentioned that he should see Imai in the East Japan Rookie King Tournament to get his revenge. That night, Takamura's WBC junior middleweight title match was announced. Hearing the news, Ippo arrived to the Chūka Soba and was surprised to see everyone was down. It was then explained that the champion's manager scheduled the match for December, knowing that Takamura would not have a chance to recover in his match in October.

Kimura and Arman fighting.

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura learned that his comeback match is in October along with Itagaki's debut match and Takamura's pre-title match. When Fujii entered the gym to give details about the champion Bryan Hawk, Kimura explained more about him to Ippo, expressing his disgruntle about Hawk's looking down on the sport. Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall for his comeback match against Arman Alegria. When his match began, the match went to the tenth round after Kimura was only swinging wildly. As they were even in points, Kimura did not want to win by points and began to use his Dragonfish Blow, but it missed. Kimura threw big swings that miss until the round ended. The match then resulted in a hometown decision win for Kimura. Kimura then watched Takamura's junior middlweight pre-title match where he won.

Kimura meeting the Takamura siblings.

In Takamura's changing room, Hawk arrived to see Takamura. Hawk's visit eventually led Takamura to rush toward him in anger. Kimura, Ippo, and Aoki attempted to hold him back, however, they were overpowered and the punch lands on Hawk's opened hand, Hawk then left after claiming it was a handshake. Later, after being shown tapes of Hawk having two ring out victories, Aoki and Kimura got into an argument as to who would win between Takamura and Hawk until they were stopped by Ippo, who told them to believe in Takamura, reminded them that meeting Takamura was like meeting boxing itself. The three then decide to meet Takamura to ask him why he began boxing. When they arrive at his home, they instead meet Takamura's sister, Kyōka and little brother, Wataru. They were then informed from Kyōka and Wataru of Takamura's status with the family and his past.

The next day, Ippo, Aoki, and Kimura was doing roadwork with Takamura and asked him why he started boxing. Takamura answered that he did it to prove that he is the best. Itagaki then approached them to join their training after his absence. Kimura and the others became worried about Takamura's weight management and bought him bags of dried shittake for him. After Takamura's harsh weight management, Kimura attended the press conference, where he, Aoki, Ippo, and Itagaki were tasked to be on standby to stop Takamura in case the conference does not go well. When Takamura was struck in the jaw during a pose for a picture, Takamura began to rush toward Hawk. Kimura and the others hold him back, however, Kamogawa was the one to act as he grabbed Hawk by his collar in anger. Hawk then smacked Kamogawa in the face, causing Takamura to freeze in anger, however it ended without anyone getting hurt.

On the day of Ippo and Takamura's match, Kimura visited Takamura and told him he is not worried at all before leaving to watch the match. Kimura then watched as Takamura won and became the world champion. The next week, a large package arrived at the Kamogawa gym containing a bronze bust statue of Takamura, which Aoki accidentally broke an arm off of. When Kimura heard that Aoki was sent around Japan selling mini versions of the statue for a higher price than it was, Kimura and the others decided to check on Aoki to see how any he sold. Upon arrival to Aoki's home, Tomiko answered instead, revealing that he went to Shinjuku. Kimura then tasked Ippo to go find Aoki.

Part II

Submarine Wars Arc

Kimura learning about everyone's matches for early spring.

Kimura attended Itagaki's second match at the Kōrakuen Hall where Itagaki had his first victory in his career against Baraki Haseo. Later, Kamogawa and Yagi announced the upcoming matches for the gym members in early spring, with Ippo, Takamura, Aoki, and Itagaki having matches. With Ippo's fourth JBC featherweight title defence being first, Kimura helped Ippo by being a sparring partner. During which, Kimura could not connect his punches and was thrown out of the ring by a Dempsey Roll. Later, Kamogawa and Yagi showed a recording of Ippo's opponent, Shimabukuro Iwao, and the gym members realise that he is shorter than and same type of in-fighter as Ippo.

On the day of Ippo's match against Shimabukuro, Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall with Aoki, Itagaki, and Takamura. They discussed how Ippo accidentally fully undressed himself at the weigh-in. Kimura then watched Ippo fight Shimabukuro, which ended in Ippo's victory. In the changing room after the match, Kimura learned how Ippo used his "ultimate punch" that led to the Dempsey Roll after Ippo became relaxed in the ring.

Comic Show Arc

Kimura riding on his motorcycle with Aoki.

When Aoki's JBC lightweight title match against Katsutaka Imae was drawing close, Kimura believed he has a possibility of winning with a 6-4 disadvantage, but was worried about his position of the gym if Aoki becomes champion. That night, Kimura rode on his motorcycle to the Chūka Soba and invited Aoki to ride with him for old times sake. Afterwards, Aoki talked to Kimura about the difference between them and Ippo and Takamura, and requested for Kimura to call him "sir" if he becomes champion, which made Kimura angry. On a newspaper article, a headline had Imae claim that he would "crush the frog". Thinking that Aoki may not be able to use his Frog Punch, Kimura and his other gym mates try to help Aoki learn a technique he can mix with the Frog Punch, however, they stopped when Aoki ran away as he thought he was being made fun of.

On the day of the weigh-in for Aoki's title match and Itagaki's first match of the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, Kimura talked with Itagaki and Ippo afterwards about how similar Aoki is to Imae. They then saw Imae from a distance talking to his girlfriend, Sachiko. After Imae left and made her cry and run off, Kimura confirmed his suspension after seeing her face, making Aoki and Imae have the same choices of women. The next day, Kimura watched Itagaki's Rookie King tournament match, where he won by knockout and Aoki's title match against Imae. Kimura, like the rest of the audience, was fooled by Aoki's Look Away, looking in the direction Aoki was looking. The match then ended in a draw after the ten rounds were over, resulting in Imae keeping the belt. In the changing room, Takamura chastised Aoki about the result of the match. Kimura, Ippo, and Itagaki then brought Takamura to Aoki's house to apologise for his rude remarks to Aoki. However, they leave when they realise Aoki is busy and not retiring after overhearing Aoki and Tomiko talking.

Dragon Slayer Arc

Kimura watching videos of Sawamura's matches.

While Kimura and his other gym mates wondered if Aoki was going to retire since he hasn't been to the gym for a while since his loss against Imae, Aoki returned and introduced the two that kept him from retiring: Akamatsu Isamu and Kizakura Hiroshi, also known as Team Aoki. When Kimura and Itagaki saw Isamu and Hiroshi lazing around at the gym, they took them to do roadwork. As Isamu and Hiroshi were having trouble running, they revealed how hard their past was, leading Kimura to suggest for them to look up to Takamura, however, they only like the scent of Aoki because he wins without trying. Later, Kimura attended Takamura's press conference with his first WBC junior middleweight title defence opponent, Larry Bernard, where he announced his relinquishment of his junior middleweight belt to move on with his six weight class conquest up to the heavyweight class while vowing to not take a single hit against Bernard to prove he's ready. The next day, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch the match, which, despite breaking his no-hit promise, Takamura won. Later, since Ippo needed help reviewing his fifth JBC featherweight title defence opponent, Sawamura Ryūhei, Kimura was one of the gym members to be called to Takamura's home to try and help Ippo. The event ended when Takamura got angry due to the large number of people in his room

Kimura asking Volg for help.

With Ippo trying to come up with a tactic to beat counter punchers with the Dempsey Roll as counters are the Dempsey Roll's weakness, Kimura was asked to help since he has counters like Sawamura. When Kimura tried to counter the Dempsey Roll in a spar, he backed away due to the pressure of the technique. When Itagaki learned the mystery to the cause of anxiety when going against the Dempsey Roll, he told Kimura and Aoki that it causes anxiety due to Ippo coming from the opponent's blind spots to attack. While the group decided to have Kimura counter the Dempsey Roll with the newfound knowledge, they saw Volg at the gym and decided to ask him. While Volg was reluctant at first, he decided to spar against Ippo. Kimura watched as Volg successfully pulled off a Dempsey Roll counter, knocking Ippo out. When Ippo's match against Sawamura arrived, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch the match, which ended in Ippo's victory. After the match, Kimura was relieved to hear from Yamaguchi Tomoko that Ippo did not have any career ending injuries.

A Passing Point Arc

Kimura and Aoki teamed up in a fishing competition.

When umezawa was thinking of retiring from the Makunouchi Fishing Boat to pursue his dream of being a mangaka, Itagaki was called to give him opinions on Umezawa's finished manga by Ippo. Itagaki called Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura to give their opinions as well. As the group read it, Takamura fought Aoki over it, causing him to accidentally rip some pages in half. The group left Ippo and Umezawa and ran away due to the shame, though Kimura and Aoki apologised the next day. When Kamogawa used the prize money from the Sawamura match to take everyone fishing at the Makunouchi Fishing Boat, it turned into a fishing competition, with teams of two consisting of Takamura and Kamogawa, Aoki and Kimura, and Yagi and Shinoda. When it began, Kimura and Aoki were able to catch fish, though getting beaten by Yagi and Shinoda. Takamura and Kamogawa were having trouble catching fish, leading an angry Takamura to stomp his feet as he tried to fish, shaking the boat and making Aoki go off board. When Takamura thought he got one, he reeled up an Aoki instead. When they ran out of fishing spots, they returned and gave the caught fish to Makunouchi Hiroko for her to cook. After everyone gathered, Kamogawa revealed to everyone about the upcoming matches scheduled for them, with Kimura having a match.

When Imai Kyōsuke arrived to the Kamogawa gym to spar with Ippo a second time, Kimura watched the spar. Later, Kimura went to the Makunouchi Fishing Boat and watched a video of one of the WBC middleweight champion David Eagle's matches, surprised at Eagle's strength. When Takamura got back from a training camp, he challenged Yagi to a fishing competition. Kimura, Itagaki, Ippo, and Aoki went to the fishing hole to cheer on Takamura, however, when they got there, there was a sign that permitted "Takamura's" and "Yagi's" from entering. They rush back to the gym and were shocked to learn that the fishing match ended in a draw after Takamura went into the water and grabbed three fish. Yagi revealed to Kimura that he would be fighting against the Philippines champion Eleki Battery. Along with Aoki, Kimura and Takamura made a bet that if Kimura doesn't win against Eleki, he would receive the same haircut as him.

Kimura later watched Itagaki win the quarter-finals of the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. After watching the match, Aoki made a deal between him and Takamura that if he beats Yagi in fishing, that Takamura's haircut deal would be off. Kimura went to the fishing hole to check on Aoki, however, he wondered what happened when he saw a "no Aoki's allowed" sign. Later, Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura went to a training camp. After returning, Kimura went to the Yokohama Arena, attending Takamura's weigh-in with Eagle before going to his own with Eleki.

The next day, Kimura and Aoki were nervous in their waiting room at the Yokohama Arena, getting scared when Ippo and Itagaki loudly greeted them. After Aoki asked Ippo how he dealt with fighting in a large crowd as a semi-final for Takamura's last title match, Kimura and Aoki felt better. Kimura and Aoki went to Takamura's room and was encouraged to win and was reminded about the haircut promise, further firing their desire to win.

Kimura fighting Eleki.

When the match began, Kimura was still trying to get used to fighting in a big crowd as he tried to get away from Eleki, however, Eleki was able to keep up. Within a minute of the first round, Kimura got knocked down. After getting up, Kimura used footwork and clinches to get away from Eleki to recover. Later into the fight Kimura was shocked when he downed Eleki after barely hitting his body. Kimura was able to down Eleki a second time, however, the match ended after the ten rounds were up, and the decision ended in a draw. Kimura wished Aoki good luck as he returned to the dressing room.

Kimura in the ring as Takamura celebrates his win as the new middleweight WBC champion.

When he got back to the audience seats, he was shocked to see Papaya Dachiu's Coconut Punch knocking Aoki down. Kimura continued to watch as Aoki's match ended in a draw. Kimura watched the semi-finals, consisting of Miyata's fourth featherweight OPBF title defence against Medgoen Dachboy, which ended in Miyata's victory. Afterwards, Kimura went to Takamura's dressing room and encouraged him as he left for the title match. Kimura watched Takamura's WBC middleweight title match against Eagle. After the match ended in Takamura's victory, Kimura went to the ring and celebrated with Takamura and his gym mates. After the match, Kimura followed everyone as they went to Takamura's house to make sure he went to sleep. Kimura and the others were thrown out as Takamura was unable to sleep with everyone watching.

Spirit of a Weed Arc

Kimura's Eleki hairstyle.

Returning to the gym three days later, Kimura reminded Aoki about Takamura's promise between the two that if they did not win, they would receive the same hairstyle as their opponents. When Takamura arrived and got ready to cut Kimura and Aoki's hair, Kimura already cut his hair in a way that Eleki's lightning bolt pattern is only on one side of his head and convinced Takamura that while they did not win, they did not lose as well, so their promise should be "half" kept. Kimura helped Takamura cut Aoki's hair by holding Aoki until he was finished. While watching Itagaki train for the East Japan Rookie King Tournament semi-finals, Kimura revealed to Ippo that Itagaki's reason for being tense was due to his match with his rival Imai, who destroyed his confidence, being two matches away.

Later, while discussing Itagaki's opponent in the semi-finals, Makino Fumito having Flicker Jabs, Kimura watched in disgust as Aoki's new "Broccoman" trademark has become famous enough to attract a crowd of children asking for an autograph. When Fujii arrived to talk about the East Japan Rookie King tournament, Takamura had himself, Ippo, Aoki, and Kimura bet on who would win, with Kimura betting on Imai. At the Chūka Soba, as Ippo, Kimura, and Takamura discussed whether Itagaki would win against at least Makino, Kimura was fine with Makino losing since he bet on Imai. Later, Kimura sparred with Itagaki and was amazed by Itagaki's speed, calling his barrage of punches like a porcupine. When Itagaki's East Japan Rookie King tournament semi-finals against Makino arrived, Kimura watched the match which ended in Itagaki's victory. Kimura watched Imai's semi-finals against Terai Makoto, which ended in Imai's victory.

Later at the gym, Kimura and Ippo watched in disgust as Takamura and Aoki have a fight over who is more popular.

Under Siege Arc

With Ippo's sixth JBC featherweight title defence match being against the seventh ranker Karasawa Takuzō, Kimura and Aoki were worried about Ippo during his intense training and Kimura noted how champions lose their matches against lower ranked boxers at times even though they were supposed to easily win. As Aoki's Broccoman boom continued, Kimura informed Aoki that Takamura has gone missing and hasn't called anyone after he left the Kamogawa gym due to Aoki and Takamura's popularity argument.

After getting a call from Takamura about being attacked by a gang of monkeys, Kimura informed his gym mates and found out that they also received a phone call from Takamura as well, which Kimura thought his stories were unbelievable. Kimura received another call from Takamura about how he came to Nagoya to eat some tenmushu, however, since Kimura was busy working at the Kimura Gardening, he had to hang up. Later, as Ippo was worried about Takamura after he abruptly hung up, Kimura was positive he would show up soon since Takamura was last heard from Kyushu, meaning the only way to travel is back up.

Kimura watching Ippo fight Karasawa.

When Takamura showed up at the Makunouchi Fishing Boat, Kimura and Aoki went to see him. Noticing that Takamura was sulking because they hung up on him, Kimura and Aoki decided to ask Takamura to tell them his story about his trip. They leave Ippo's home to let him concentrate on his match, not before Kimura and Aoki tries out Takamura's pickled squid he got as a souvenir. The next day, Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch Ippo's sixth JBC featherweight title defence match being against Karasawa. During the second round, Kimura noticed that Ippo is moving slower than usual, wondering why he is being cautious. When Takamura suggested to look at Ippo's feet, Kimura noticed that Ippo distorts Karasawa's circular motion by simply stepping forward, trapping Karasawa at the corner. After Ippo won by knockout in the second round, Kimura and Itagaki admit that they would have thrown the same left as Karasawa did and get defeated if they were in the same situation as an out-boxer. Outside the venue, as Ippo talked about his Dempsey Roll, Kimura suggested that Ippo could use the Dempsey Roll as a feint, as the fact that the Dempsey Roll is in Ippo's arsenal, it creates pressure even if he doesn't use it.

Phantom Card Arc

At the Kamogawa gym, since Aoki was angry at Takamura for feeding him the pickled squid that made him sick and was tired of Takamura's actions, he tried to split the gym into two factions, with Takamura being alone and the rest of the gym on Aoki's side. Kimura and the rest of the gym went to Takamura's side after Yagi and Shinoda revealed to everyone about how Broccoman's popularity has severely gone down due to recent reports of Aoki leaving the Kōrakuen Hall while covered in faeces. Later, Kimura watched Itagaki's spar against Ippo as his last spar until his match against Imai for the East Japan Rookie King Tournament finals. On the day before Itagaki and Imai's match, Kimura, Ippo, Aoki, and Takamura discussed about it, where Kimura criticised Ippo for giving Itagaki advice to go head on against Imai, thinking that he should use his feet and stick to his usual style.

Kimura celebrating Itagaki's East Rookie King Tournament victory.

The next day, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch the East Japan Rookie King Tournament finals between Itagaki and Imai. Kimura told Itagaki to settle his old grudge with Imai once and for all. At the audience area, as Itagaki was taking awhile to go to the ring, Kimura suggested to Ippo and Aoki that Itagaki must be lost, wondering if he should use his feet or to in-fight. After the match ended in Itagaki's decision victory, Kimura celebrated with everyone in the ring, lifting the East Japan Rookie King in the air. Kimura went with everyone to Itagaki's room in the venue before he was taken to the hospital.

Father's Back Arc

When Kimura, Aoki, and Takamura made fun of Yagi's pun of "Ima no isu, Naisu" ("今のイス、ナ~イス") that was used in Itagaki's match against Imai, the three were forced by Yagi to do three sets of hitting the sandbag for ten minutes. Kimura watched as Itagaki returned to the gym from the hospital with Ippo, who was nervously driving and hit Aoki. Later, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch Ippo's seventh JBC title defence match against Take Keīchi. Before the match began, Kimura predicted that Ippo would have no problem against Take. Kimura watched as Ippo defeated Take by knockout in the sixth round. Afterwards, Kimura expressed how he gets depressed when he sees a younger boxer defeat a veteran.

Chaos Arc

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura learned from Yagi that the opponent he will be fighting next as an opener to Takamura's first WBC middleweight title defence would be a rematch against Eleki. With Kimura knowing that Kimura's weakness was that he has a weak body, he was positive that he would win. When Ippo returned to the gym after watching Miyata's fifth OPBF featherweight title defence against Che Jounbong, Kamogawa informed everyone that Miyata injured both fists during his match against Che, causing the match between Ippo and him to be postponed.

Kimura fighting Eleki.

When the day of his match against Eleki arrived, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan. In his waiting room, Kimura was excited over hearing the news that Mashiba and Sawamura would be fighting each other in the Champion Carnival, possibly making at least one of them damaged, with another challenger damaging them even more, resulting in an easy title match for Kimura. Kimura went to the ring for his match and immediately noticed that Eleki's body has become more muscular than when he last fought him. Kimura's attack to Eleki's body lead him to confirm that he has overcame his weakness, much to Kimura's dismay. Kimura continued to aim for Eleki's body and was dragged to Eleki's pacing, letting Eleki hit him with a counter, causing Kimura to go down in the first round. In the seventh round, Kimura's body blows were revealed to be a set up for his Dragonfish Blow. making Eleki focus on guarding low so that Kimura could hit him with the overhand of his technique. The Dragonfish Blow caused Eleki to go down, however, Eleki stood back up. The match continued and Kimura and Eleki lasted until the match ended, where it ended in a draw. Kimura went back to his gym mates to watch Ishii Yūta challenge for the world bantamweight title, which ended in Yūta's loss and Takamura's first WBC middleweight title defence match against Richard Fox which ended in Takamura's victory.

Later, when Aoki read a Monthly Boxing Fan magazine to everyone on Ippo's comment being that he doesn't know who would win between Mashiba and Sawamura, it resulted in Kimura and Aoki criticising Ippo. Kimura and Aoki discussed who would win between Mashiba and Sawamura, which Kimura predicted that Mashiba would win. As they notice Itagaki coming back from sparring with Mashiba for five days, Kimura and the rest of the gym was shocked that Itagaki's face had hardly a scratch. Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch Mashiba's seventh JBC junior lightweight title defence match against Sawamura. When the first round began, Kimura was shocked to see Sawamura use the Dragonfish Blow. Kimura watched as the match ended with Mashiba getting disqualified in the sixth round after knocking Sawamura out of the ring while the referee paused the match. At the gym, Kimura found out that Sawamura got in a high speed motorcycle accident while he was going home and was taken to the hospital.

Seiken Arc

Kimura playing baseball.

After Ippo got off the phone with Sendō, Kimura learned that Sawamura retired. While Kimura thought the match was moving, he also was overjoyed that Sawamura retired and Mashiba is no longer champion, which made Ippo upset at him. Five days later, Ippo hasn't talked to Kimura. Aoki suggested for Kimura to make up with him, but Kimura did not know how. When Kimura's father informed him that due to players from his local shopping district's baseball game dropping out, spots were needed to be filled for the local team. Kimura decided to get Ippo, along with Aoki, Itagaki, and Takamura to fill the spots. Kimura and Aoki recognised Kiyota and Kuwahara on the enemy team, who they have faced before. Despite Ippo, Takamura, and Itagaki doing poorly in the game, Kimura's team won in the end. Afterwards, Kimura mentioned to Ippo and Itagaki that there is no telling how long the Kamogawa group will last due to sudden retirement like in Sawamura's case, and that he may be the first to go, but he will still be able to look back on the good times and be glad that he chose his path at the Kamogawa gym.

Later, Kimura watched Itagaki's match, where he won by decision and became an eight rounder in order to be able to fight Hoshi Hiroyuki. Due to Itagaki's poor performance, Kimura and Aoki suspect that it is Itagaki's fate to become a mud wrestling fight like them as the three's chief trainer is Shinoda. When Kimura and Aoki deem Shinoda a "Trainer from Hell" and the "Master of the Sludge Match Shinoda", they went running as Shinoda arrived. When Aoki was teasing Itagaki about beating him in a spar, Ippo claimed he didn't have to do that. Kimura explained the teasing was because if Itagaki won his match against Hoshi, he would surpass him and Aoki in the "gym's internal ranking system." Leaving the gym, Kimura discussed with Aoki how Itagaki seems to be in a slump, which they assume that it is because he beat Imai and no longer has a goal. Kimura and Aoki theorise that Ippo may quit boxing if he defeats Miyata.

When Itagaki's match against Hoshi arrived, Kimura went to the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. At first Kimura and Aoki were going to root for Hoshi so that Itagaki wouldn't surpass them in the gym's internal rankings, however, when they found out from Yagi that Shinoda was going to resign if Itagaki loses the match due to Kimura and Aoki's remarks toward him, they decided to cheer instead. Kimura watched as Itagaki wins against Hoshi by knockout in the first round. After seeing Itagaki's victory, Kimura deemed it the debut match of Itagaki the genius.

Scratch Arc

Kimura about to eat in the ramen roulette.

When Aoki was making his call on getting his revenge on Takamura for his antics, Kimura tried to suggest him not to, since it is safer to play his pranks off. Aoki decided to get his revenge as Kimura learned that Takamura was called to the Chūka Soba after it closes by Aoki. When Kimura, along with Takamura, Itagaki, and Ipo arrived, Aoki claimed to want everyone to try some new ramen with a sparrows nest in it, though unbeknown to them that it was only the bird faeces inside of the nest in Takamura's. However, before the four ate, they switched bowls to their liking. Kimura received a phone call and had to leave, giving his bowl to Aoki.

When Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki learned that the match between Ippo and Miyata was put off, Itagaki got his friend Suzuki from the Kawahara gym to go to the Chūka Soba, where Aoki offered Suzuki ramen if he answered why the match was put off for Miyata to take on the OPBF title match. However, Suzuki did not know why Miyata did so. Later, Kimura witnessed Kamogawa kicking Ippo out of the gym due to Ippo losing all motivation to continue hitting the mitts after Miyata cancelled his match with him. With Ippo absence from the gym, Kimura and Itagaki argued about whether Ippo will quit and take over his family business or not before also getting in a fight with Aoki after he was wanted Kimura and Itagaki to follow him and run to clear their heads.

Kimura went with Aoki, Itagaki, and Takamura to their training camp. After returning from the training camp, they noticed a match poster featuring Ippo and were excited to see Ippo in the gym. They learned from Ippo and Yagi that he is going to fight the Thai featherweight champion Jimmy Sisphar. When Ippo's match against Sisphar arrived, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch the match with Takamura, Aoki, and Itagaki. Kimura watched as Ippo wins the match by knockout in the fourth round. Outside the venue, Kimura and Aoki discussed what would have happened if Ippo fought Miyata instead of Sisphar, though Takamura stopped their predictions as he saw no way of them getting their answer due to the two not having a fight between each other in the foreseeable future.

Operation World Domination Arc

Kimura defeating Gehon.

Kimura sparred with Aoki in preparations of their matches as he complained about the summer heat. After Takamura came back from a trip, he showed everyone at the gym his new Beetle's Uppercut that he planned to use in his upcoming match, demonstrating the technique on Aoki. Later, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan for his match against Michael Gehon. Kimura defeated Gehon by knockout in the fifth round. Afterwards, he watched Takamura's second WBC title defence match against Rickey Mouse, which ended in Takamura's victory by a one round knockout. In the venue's changing room, Kimura took a group photo with his gym mates.

Later, Kimura was shocked that he did not move up in the monthly JBC rankings despite his knockout win. As Shinoda was unsure that Kimura would even move up in the next month's rankings due to his recent opponent not being a Japanese ranker, Kimura wished for a higher ranked opponent after Shinoda suggested to do so. Later, Kimura learned from Yagi that Miyata's next opponent Randy Boy Junior is the son of the boxer that Miyata's father was defeated by. Later, Kimura, Ippo, and Itagaki were surprised to see Isamu and Hiroshi hitting the sandbags, learning from Aoki how Isamu and Hiroshi were geniuses at school, but simply wanting to practise boxing for fun.

A freelance trainer named Kurita Baron entered the gym claiming to be sent to the gym to look after things while Kamogawa was away. Inspired by Baron's words on how they are unpolished gems, Baron put Kimura, Ippo, Aoki, and Itagaki through harsh training. Baron left when Takamura arrived and it was revealed how Baron was just trying to steal Ippo to increase his poor representation. Angered about being tricked, Kimura and Aoki went to chase Baron down. They catch him and beat him. After learning that Baron's reason of quitting boxing at the Kamogawa gym was because Takamura was his only sparring partner, Kimura and Aoki felt sympathy towards him. As Baron walked away, he revealed that he was lying about them being unpolished gems and that he would get his revenge when he comes back, causing Kimura and Aoki to angrily chase after him.

Winner Takes All Arc

When Yagi got off the phone with the police to pick up Kamogawa at the police station, Kimura and his gym mates tried to run with Yagi to go see Kamogawa, however, they was told by Shinoda to return to the gym. Kimura stayed with his gym mates overnight until Kamogawa returned. When Fukui Kyōsuke came to the gym to request a spar with Ippo, Kimura watched the spar, which ended in Ippo knocking Fukui out in the first round. When Ippo's next opponent, the Philippines featherweight champion Malcolm Gedo arrived to the Kamogawa gym, Kimura peeked into the office where a heated conversation took place between Kamogawa and Gedo about Gedo only caring about the money and doesn't know anything about Ippo, and it was decided that the winner would be rewarded two million yen.

When the day of Ippo's match against Gedo arrived, Kimura was asked to loan Ippo money to help him gather an extra 500,000 yen to give Gedo if Gedo beats him. Kimura gathered 150,000 out of his register at his flower shop to give him, making Kimura a thief if Ippo loses. Kimura watched the match with Itagaki, Aoki, and Takamura. During round six, Ippo was having trouble and when Takamura mentioned that Kimura and Aoki would be thieves if Ippo loses due to them taking money from their jobs to give to Ippo for his bet, the four Kamogawa gym members tried to find a hint to tell Kamogawa to help Ippo. After Aoki figured out the hint with keywords "range," "swell," "shake," Kimura learned from Aoki how the strings on Gedo's glove were loosened to increase the range by a few centimetres. Kimura watched as the match ended in Ippo's victory by knockout in the eighth round.

Red Lightning Arc

Kimura learning that he will enter the Class A Tournament.

Two days later, after Kimura did roadwork with Itagaki, they went to the Chūka Soba after Aoki had to close early due to popular demand. Aoki showed them Isamu and Hiroshi's report chart about their boxing skills, including Ippo's. As Kimura and Itagaki were upset about their rating, they saw Aoki's rating was so high that it goes over the paper's border, they claimed that it would be impossible for Aoki, making Aoki depressed. At the gym, Aoki vowed to prove to Itagaki and Kimura that he is not just about ramen, by becoming champion. However, after realising that he is ranked seventh, Kimura's also ranked seventh, and Itagaki is ranked eighth, Kimura and Aoki wanted to move up to avoid Itagaki surpassing them in the gym's internal ranking system. Shinoda revealed a way for them to go up in the rankings by taking the Class A Tournament, which Kimura accepted.

When Fujii entered the gym, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki asked him to draw a graph about their abilities. After seeing their graph, with Kimura's being more circular, and hearing Fujii explain how a big circular rock like Takamura would stay in the pro circuit by not falling through a square filter, Kimura was advised to train by Shinoda to make his smaller rock bigger. When Team Itagaki joined the gym and then shortly quit, Kimura and Aoki informed Itagaki that they quit and made fun of him for trying to rise in the gym's internal ranking by using them. While Itagaki, Ippo, and Shinoda left for the Otowa gym so that Itagaki could spar with Randy, Kimura and Aoki sparred each other while hoping that Itagaki would lose so that he won't go up in the internal ranking at the gym.

At the Kamogawa gym, after Kimura watched Takamura defeat three boxers at the same time in a spar to one up Miyata's two on one spar, Kimura learned that he and Aoki would be openers for Takamura's third WBC middleweight title defence against Ronald Duck in April, along with Miyata facing Randy in the semi-final. To prepare for his match, Kimura sparred with Ippo. After sparring with Ippo, Kimura and his gym mates notice Takamura was not sweating due to the cold weather, making Takamura irritable. Just as Kimura and Aoki warned to not get close to Takamura, they got close to him and was attacked after they claimed that they go through the same troubles as him. When Sendō came to the gym, he revealed his "beat-down list", which Miyata was one of the names on it for him to spar against to help him train to fight Mexicans. Ippo decided to take him to the Kawahara gym for Miyata and Sendō to help each other before being stopped by Kamogawa and have Itagaki take Sendō instead. Due to Kamogawa not wanting to let Ippo go see the spar, Ippo became depressed until his depression annoyed the others at the gym, making them order him to go around and buy them outlandish items, with Kimura ordering for him to get him an "Arowana Cola" as a hint for him to watch the spar.

A week later, while Kimura theorised with his gym mates about how Miyata's spars against Sendō went, Sendō arrived and confirmed that Miyata was not using his footwork, assuming his weight control was the reason. A dried up Takamura then arrived, revealing how, thanks to Ippo bringing the drink he requested a week ago, his weight control was easy. Takamura was going to bring some of the drinks to Miyata before being stopped by Ippo, who accidentally pulled Takamura's pants down, making Takamura have an urge to defecate on the floor, with Kimura and Aoki having to clean it up. On the day of the weigh-in at the Kōrakuen Hall, Kimura went and passed his weight check. He went with the gym to the De La Hoya to recover his energy.

Kimura fighting Rex.

The next day, Kimura went to the Yokohama Arena and after giving his regards to Miyata in his waiting room, Kimura went to the ring for his match against Sim Rex. When the match began, Kimura was on the defensive for the first four rounds in order to make Rex tire out in the later rounds. In round five, however, their heads collided, causing a doctor stoppage due to the bleeding. Due to the doctor stoppage, the match went into a decision, which resulted in Kimura's loss. Kimura watched Miyata's match against Randy and Takamura's match against Duck on TV, which ended in Miyata and Takamura's victory.

Second Coming of Death Arc

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura and Aoki were annoyed as Takamura sang a song to them about them losing. Aoki tried to punch Takamura for it, however, he got scared and ran off, with Kimura following him out. Later, Kimura watched Itagaki spar with someone from another gym and Ippo in preparation for his next match. Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched Itagaki's match against Kaonar Pachiyoso which ended in Itagaki's victory, along with Mashiba's OPBF lightweight title match against champion Aaron Domingo, which ended in Mashiba's victory, becoming the OPBF lightweight champion.

In the Jungle Arc

After sparring with Aoki at the gym, Kimura listened as Kamogawa announced before going on a trip that he, Aoki, and Itagaki have matches in the Class A Tournament in two months, along with Ippo fighting the Indonesian featherweight champion who fought and won only three fights by knockout. Kimura watched the video that the Indonesian champion's side sent with everyone, where they only see nature shots without any sign of the champion. The next day, Kimura found out that Ippo saw the champion in the video leading a pack of monkeys. Later, Kimura and Aoki had mixed feelings about their first opponent in the Class A Tournament, since they are fighting the same person who made them lose the tournament last time, with Kimura facing Ryūzaki Takeshi. They tried to make Itagaki nervous since he was excited to face against Karasawa in the first round of the tournament and possibly Saeki in the semi-finals if he wins. Kimura became fired up when Shinoda mentioned that this is his chance to get revenge and show that he has changed. After sparring with Itagaki, Kimura went to the shower with him and Ippo, discussing how they should raise the gym's reputation by winning the Class A Tournament.

Later, Kimura and Aoki attempted to follow Ippo and Itagaki's roadwork before dropping from exhaustion. Kimura and Aoki continued to train and follow Ippo and Itagaki, while Takamura showed up and outran everyone. While watching Ippo and Kamogawa prepare for his match, Kimura discussed with his gym mates how Volg sent a warning by a phone call to Ippo after Volg sparred with the Indonesian champion, which they believe Ippo should be cautious of his opponent.

On the day of Ippo's match against the Indonesian featherweight champion Wally, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch the match with Aoki, Itagaki, and Takamura. During the match, as Ippo had trouble against Wally, Kimura and Aoki thought that hard work won't win against talent no matter how hard one works, however, after Ippo defeated Wally by knockout in the eighth round, Takamura beat Kimura and Aoki after they claimed that genius types like Takamura are afraid of seeing the results of hard work. Seeing Ippo win, Kimura was motivated to win the Class A Tournament.

Chronos Arc

Kimura winning against Takeshi.

After being interviewed by Fujii, Itagaki wanted to know what Kimura's comment about the Class A Tournament was. Kimura revealed that he wanted to steadily stack the odds in his favour and not worry about a goal in the far future, rather working on the objectives in front of him first and that he wants to train to be always on the move by using his footwork. Later, Kimura gave Itagaki trouble in a spar for the first round of the Class A Tournament. On the day of the first round of the Class A Tournament, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall for his match against Takeshi. In his waiting room, Kimura watched Itagaki's match against Karasawa, which ended in Itagaki's victory by knockout in the second round. When Kimura's match against Takeshi began, Kimura fought until the end of the final sixth round, where Kimura won by decision. Kimura watched the match of who Aoki would face in the Class A Tournament finals between former JBC lightweight champion Imae and Iga Shinobu. Kimura watched in shock as Imae was effortlessly beaten in the first round by Iga. Kimura and his gym mates also noticed that Iga's trainer is Baron, realising that Baron is coming for Aoki for revenge after he chased and beat him previously.

Blind Step Arc

Kimura and Chie at the Nermina Park.

While being celebrated for his win by his shopping district, Kimura noticed that Chie was down, which Kimura learned from her mother that her father is still in the hospital. Kimura offered Chie to go somewhere fun with him. Kimura invited Aoki, Ippo, and Itagaki to his house to celebrate their victories. After talking about women and Aoki thinking Kimura is a lolicon due to him having an anime figure from a magical girl series, Kimura revealed that he has a girlfriend and gave Aoki, Ippo, and Itagaki extra tickets to an amusement park that he was taking his girlfriend to. Kimura took Chie to the Nermina Park and received a phone call from Aoki, who asked to reveal his girlfriend to everyone at the park, since everyone is there. Kimura was near the group, and not knowing they're there, he told Aoki that he is at the park and would show his girlfriend another time. As Aoki and the others saw Kimura with a little girl, Aoki called the cops and had Kimura arrested. Since Chie's mother explained to the authorities that Kimura took Chie to the park since she was sad, Kimura was allowed to leave the police station. Kimura was walked home with Ippo and Itagaki as he vented about Aoki and expressed how he needs to answer the hopes of his shopping district. At the gym, Kimura tried to attack Aoki for getting him in trouble until Aoki calmed him down by offering him a date with one out of three of Tomiko's friends after the Class A Tournament.

At the gym, Kimura learned that before the Class A Tournament finals, Takamura, who was away on a trip, was having a fourth WBC middleweight title defence and Ippo was having an eighth JBC featherweight title defence against Kojima Hisato. Learning that he is a former lightweight ranker, Kimura assumed that he wants to win with his overwhelming strength from a higher class to a lower class. While doing roadwork with his gym mates, Kimura mentioned to Ippo how Kojima is looking down on him. Watching Ippo do collision training, Kimura explained to Aoki and Itagaki how Ippo's training his stamina in preparation for the physical differences between him and Kojima, and that his neck is being trained to thicken in order to absorb punches. Kimura went to the Roigal Hotel to hold Takamura's belongings where Ippo's weigh-in and Takamura's weigh-in and press conference were being held.

The next day, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch Ippo and Takamura's matches. Kimura wished Ippo good luck as he left for his eighth JBC featherweight title defence match against Kojima. Kimura watched as Ippo defeated Kojima by a one round knockout.

Speed Zone Arc

Kimura then watched Takamura's fourth WBC middleweight title defence against Peter Rabbitson, which ended in Takamura's victory in the twelfth round by knockout.

Kimura helping Aoki get over his trauma.

After Aoki went with Mari to see Kojima, he informed Kimura and the others that Kojima retired. Preparing for the Class A Tournament finals, Kimura and Aoki sparred under Shinoda's watch. Later, when Takamura informed Aoki about a weakness he found where Aoki closes his eyes before getting hit, making him get hit more, Kimura, Takamura, and Itagaki made fun of him until Ippo arrived and stopped them. Ippo had Aoki recover his suppressed memory so he could find a way to get over his trauma by using Tomiko's hypnosis. When Aoki revealed it was Takamura's fault, the gym members came up with a plan for Aoki to overcome his fear of Takamura to cure his trauma that affected his boxing. Kimura, Ippo, and Itagaki held Aoki while Takamura threw rights at Aoki's face with protective gear on his head until Aoki was able to keep his eyes open and describe the type of punch Takamura threw, curing his trauma. The night before the Class A Tournament finals, Kimura reflected on how he may be reaching his limits as a junior lightweight since he has become more tired of the later rounds, thinking that he may retire if he loses.

Kimura fighting his opponent in the Class A Tournament finals.

The next day, Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall for his Class A Tournament finals. Before his match, Kimura and Aoki watched Itagaki's match against Saeki, which ended in Itagaki's victory in the fourth round by knockout. Kimura arrived to the ring for his match, and, after surviving to the end of the match, Kimura lost the tournament by decision. Kimura apologised to Aoki before Aoki went to face against Iga. Kimura watched Aoki's match against Iga, which ended in Aoki's loss by knockout in the seventh round.

Kimura went to the Kawai Hospital where Aoki was being kept due to his injuries from fighting Iga, relieved that Aoki is stable. Kimura was unsure on whether to quit or not, and decided to let Aoki decide. However, when Kimura visited and asked Aoki at the hospital, Aoki wanted Kimura to decide whether they retire or not. After arguing, Aoki revealed that he will keep boxing in order to defeat Iga when he becomes champion, which Kimura also decided to stay for another chance at the title.

Later, Kimura and the other gym members overheard Kamogawa and Yagi discussing moving Ippo onto the world stage. They burst into Kamogawa's office to hear that Ippo would fight the second in the world, Alfredo Gonzales, to gain the attention of Ricardo Martinez's management.

Proud Wolf Arc

When Volg's junior lightweight IBF title match against Mike Elliot was coming up soon, Sendō entered the Kamogawa gym to watch the match and Kimura and Aoki tried to throw him out when he remembered them as the ones who lost the Class A Tournament. Later, when Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki returned to the Kamogawa gym after having watched Volg win and become the IBF junior lightweight champion, they find Ippo in the gym's ring passed out after he sparred with Sendō. After they patched Ippo up, they went to Kamogawa's office and learned that Ippo's JBC featherweight title has been relinquished and that Itagaki would be fighting for it in his next match while Ippo focuses on the world title.

Go to the World Arc

With Ippo's opponent, Alfredo being a boxer type, Kimura was chosen to be his sparring partner. As it seemed that Itagaki just learned the opponent he will fight for the JBC featherweight is a fighter type, Kimura and Aoki were surprised that Itagaki didn't know who his opponent was, which Ippo revealed it would be the second ranked Imai, his rival. As Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki discussed with Ippo about his plan against Alfredo and wondered if he could win, Takamura entered the gym and concluded that he can. Takamura explained how he noticed the headline of the recent Monthly Boxing Fan reading "Makunouchi's cocked and ready". Kimura, along with Takamura and Aoki made fun of the headline, annoying Ippo. Later, Kimura watched Ippo train with Kamogawa's method of going against Alfredo's left that is similar to Ricardo's by using a extendable and bendable stick with a boxing glove. After sparring with Ippo, Kimura mentioned to Aoki how Ippo's angles have changed back to before Ippo learned the Dempsey Roll, thinking that he must be trying to go back to the basics.

Kimura watching as Ippo loses to Alfredo.

When Ippo and Itagaki's match arrived, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched Itagaki's JBC featherweight title match against Imai, which ended in Itagaki's loss. Kimura and Aoki went with Itagaki to the doctor and stayed with him as they watched Ippo fight Alfredo. Kimura watched as Ippo lost by knockout in the seventh round. Kimura and Aoki took Ippo and Itagaki to Ippo's home after their loss.

Battle of the Beasts Arc

The next day, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki frantically went to find Ippo after he left the house since he might run into Takamura, who may make fun of Ippo. When they find Ippo, Takamura was already nearby. The three were relieved when Takamura didn't make Ippo upset. They were surprised when Kumi showed up and was the one who rubbed Ippo's loss in by showing him the paper of his loss, making him realise he did lose. Later, when Ippo returned to the gym, Kimura learned that Takamura has a unification match against the WBA middleweight champion as the main event, with a world flyweight title match, Sendō's match, and Mashiba's match before it.

When the event arrived, Kimura went to the Yokohama Arena to watch the matches. While Takamura was sleeping while waiting for his match, Kimura noticed Mashiba and Sendō having an argument in their waiting room. Kimura went to the audience seats to watch the first match consisting of Mashiba's first OPBF lightweight title defence match against Romeo, where it ended in Mashiba's victory by knockout in the fifth round. Kimura watched Sendō's match against Jose Nargo, which ended in Sendō's victory by knockout in the eighth round. After watching Sendō's match, Ippo asked Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki if they make excuses when they lose. They confirm that they do, with Kimura's excuse being that he lost his stamina in the last round of his previous match, knowing that if he were able to keep moving, he would have won the close decision.

After Kimura watched Tsuchiya lose the world flyweight title match, he, Aoki, Ippo, and Itagaki go to Takamura's ringside as Takamura arrived to the ring to fight Richard Bison. During the second round, Takamura asked everyone what he can do. Kimura answered that he can win, however,Takamura was looking for a different answer and got irritated. Kimura watched as Takamura won, making Takamura both the WBA and WBC middleweight champion. Afterwards, Kimura and Aoki helped Takamura out of the venue.

Goals to Reach Arc

Kimura at Takamura's WBA and WBC unification victory parade.

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura found out that Takamura was rewarded the people's honour award, however, it was retracted after Takamura caused a scene while naked. Later while doing roadwork with Itagaki, Ippo, and Aoki, a discussion arose about how far could they go, with Kimura stating that he is just sticking around and if he sees an opportunity to get a champion belt, he'll take it. Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki discuss Ippo having the right tools to become a world champion, but his mindset of being inhuman seems impossible, not knowing what it would take to change his core. Later, during a "parade" for Takamura's win against Bison, Kimura had to leave the vehicle that was driven by Ippo after Takamura attacked Aoki and Ippo left the car to check on him, leaving the vehicle to get wrecked.

When Fujii entered the Kamogawa gym, Kimura listened to Fujii's explanation about the shape of one's fists, and when Kimura clenched his fist, he noticed that it looked halfway between Ippo flat fist and Itagaki's pointed fist. When Aoki showed his round and soft fist, Kimura and Itagaki made fun him. Kimura was surprised when Shinoda entered the gym and heard how Fujii and him were boxers once.

Later, Kamogawa, Yagi, and Shinoda informed Kimura and Aoki that they have ranked matches before Iga's JBC lightweight title match. When Aoki revealed that he has a new upgrade for one of his techniques, Kimura watched him spar with Ippo to showcase it, knocking Ippo down with his Bell Horn.

Kimura's comeback match ending in a draw.

When Kimura's match arrived, he went to the Kōrakuen Hall. When the match began, Kimura knocked his opponent down with a counter in the first round. When his opponent got up, Kimura got into a close exchange, which he was winning until the first round ended. Kimura proceeded to have the advantage over his opponent with lefts and rights, until the later half, where Kimura became exhausted and pulled his opponent down with him by clinching. When the match ended, the decision resulted in a draw. Kimura watched Aoki's match in his room at the venue, where it ended in Aoki's victory by knockout. Kimura went to the audience seats with Ippo, Itagaki, Takamura, and Aoki to watch Iga's JBC lightweight title match against the champion, Ōshima Sōshi, where it ended in Iga's victory by knockout in the sixth round, making Iga the new JBC lightweight champion. Afterwards, Kimura and Aoki was getting into an argument until Kimura suggested that the two of them could possibly take on Iga in a two-on-one, which Aoki agreed with.

Seeking Heights Arc

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura watched Ippo spar with Matsuura, where Ippo showed his Dempsey Roll with a new vertical movement. While shadowboxing, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki were watching Ippo train his new Dempsey Roll with Kamogawa, frightened at how the technique now comes at many angles. Later, Kimura watched Ippo spar against Nagumo Ryūji, which ended after Ippo was easily downed and Kamogawa stopped the spar. When Ippo was banned from the gym for one month by Kamogawa and having learned that Ippo went bowling, Kimura went with Takamura, Aoki, and Itagaki to the Funa Bowl to watch him and, if he gets a score lower than 100, then they would know he is punch drunk, as he has been suspected for it. When they see Ippo get a gutter ball and haven't hit any pins as seen on the score board, they became worried. They soon noticed that Ippo is wearing weights on his wrists and ankles while bowling. Later, Kimura went to the Funa Bowl, where the Kamogawa gym commenced a bowling tournament.

An exhausted Kimura fighting his opponent.

After a month of Ippo being banned from the gym, Kimura and his gym mates welcomed him from the rooftop as Ippo walked to the gym. As Ippo entered the gym, Kamogawa had him do two tests before his return can be accepted. After he passed both tests Kimura and his gym mates celebrated. When Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki were doing roadwork and Ippo joined the first time since his return, they were surprised to see him run faster than them. Later, Kimura and Aoki watched Nagumo's WBA junior lightweight title match on the gym's television, which ended in Nagumo's loss. Later, while Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki were doing roadwork for their upcoming matches, they find Ippo, who hoped that they would win. When their matches arrived, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall. In the match, Kimura went all out in the early rounds, beating on his opponent until the fifth round, where he became exhausted. The match ended ina decision, which resulted in a draw. Afterwards, Kimura was walked home by Ippo. As Ippo was trying to make him feel better, Kimura mentioned how Takamura and Miyata have it worse when it comes to weight management, and that he just has lost sight of a goal, planning to hang on until he can find one. Before going home, Kimura noted that there is something that one who doesn't put all their effort into something shouldn't do: get in the way of others who look straight ahead and making progress.

10 Months in the Making Arc

When Ippo's come-back match opponent, Antonio Guevara was revealed to be a southpaw, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki watched as three southpaws leave the gym injured, making them think that they don't have to worry about Ippo, but Takamura, who is having troubles with his weight management. After watching Ippo get scolded by Kamogawa and hears that he wants to get scolded more, Kimura and Aoki told Takamura about it at his house, resulting in them getting a heater placed on their heads. Later, Kimura watched Takamura defeat his opponents in a public spar.

When Ippo's come-back match against Antonio and Takamura's WBC and WBA middleweight title defence match against Keith Lycaon arrived, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch the matches. Kimura watched as Ippo lost to Antonio in the fourth round by knockout and Takamura wins his match by knockout in the first round.

Later, after Ippo announced his retirement to Kamogawa and Yagi, Ippo told his gym mates goodbye, including Kimura. On the rooftop, Kimura mentioned to Itagaki that he thought he was the first one going to retire, and that he doesn't know why Ippo retired. When Takamura was asked what he said to Ippo when he passed him, Takamura revealed to Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki that he asked Ippo if he scored any treasure in his adventure, to which Ippo replied that there are too many to hold.

Part III

Second Step Arc

Kimura counters his opponent.

Two months after Ippo retired, Ippo decided to help as a second for the Kamogawa gym, making him Kimura's second in his upcoming match. Ippo joined Kimura, who was struggling with his weight management, Aoki, and Itagaki while doing roadwork. When Kimura's match arrived, he went to the Kōrakuen Hall and watched Hayami's match on the monitor, where Hayami lost by knockout. When Kimura's match began, he was able to knock his opponent down in the first round with a counter and had the advantage over his opponent until the end of the first round. After the second round, Kimura grew tired of Ippo and Shinoda's mistakes, thinking that they think that his match is a joke to them. Kimura proceeded to have a mud match until round seven, where Ippo gave Kimura advice about his opponent's left hook having a tell. An exhausted Kimura saw an opening for a counter as his opponent was about to throw a left hook, the counter hit his opponent in the face, which caused him to go down, resulting in Kimura winning the match. After boasting about his counter, Kimura and Ippo went home. While going home, Kimura asked Ippo if he is okay with being a second.

Later, Kimura went to the Kōrakuen Hall to watch Aoki and Itagki's matches, where Aoki won by knockout and Itagaki won by decision. Afterwards, when Ippo scolded Itagki because of his performance, causing him to run away, Kimura explained how Ippo shouldn't nag Itagaki after he won. Later, after Ippo saved Teru Okazaki from some bullies, Ippo took him to the Kamogawa gym to try boxing. Kimura believed to not judge him by appearance, remembering Ippo was the same. However, when it turned out that Teru had a weak punch, Kimura and Aoki picked on Ippo, scaring Teru away.

Taihei Arc

Kimura visiting Miyata at the Márquez.

At the Chūka Soba, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki discussed about Miyata's eighth OPBF featherweight title defence match and how Miyata should move up to the world. The day after Miyata's match, Kimura went to the Márquez, where Miyata works at. Kimura asked Miyata why he works at a part-time job when he has the potential of becoming a world champion, then became shocked when he heard the ridiculously high wage he was receiving. Kimura told Miyata before leaving, to not let his talent go to waste and to not disappoint the people who have high expectations of him.

When Ippo visited the gym to get boxing gloves and mitts, he saw Kamogawa. Ippo and Kamogawa then had a mitt practise session that Kimura, along with the other gym members watched in amazement. While Aoki was hopeful for Ippo to come back, Kimura noted that if Ippo takes any hits, it would cause serious problems.

When Kimura, Itagaki, and Takamura arrived to the Chūka Soba after finding out that something happened to Ippo, Aoki informed them that he left to turn himself in to the police. Kimura listened to Teru explain how Taihei, the person who Ippo smacked on the face and is turning himself in for, used to get into fights because of his older brother. Kimura claimed that Ippo's fist is full of justice and that no matter what happens to him, the bond he shares with him and the gym members will never change.

Kimura and Aoki recognising Taihei.

At the Kamogawa gym, while Kimura and the others were talking about the situation with Ippo and Taihei, Takamura came to a conclusion that the real villain is Taihei's older brother and prepared to show off his "Special 7-Years Killing: 100 Shots" that he will use on him. Kimura and his gym mates were shocked when A bald Ippo entered the gym and asked for Kamogawa in order to say his apologises. For Ippo to atone for what he has done, Taihei, along with Kintarō Kaneda, joined the gym and Kamogawa had them be under Ippo's training. Kimura noticed Taihei as Aoki's younger brother, Aoki Taihei, which Kimura also revealed to Ippo.

At the Kamogawa gym's rooftop, Kimura asked how Aoki felt about Taihei becoming a boxer, to which Aoki replied that he will just have to watch over him.

Towards a Resolution Arc

Kimura and Aoki attended Mashiba's second OPBF lightweight title defence match against Iga at the Kōrakuen Hall. After Aoki explained to Kimura that the reason Mashiba chose Iga, was because of Mashiba's black stars on his record: Kimura and Sawamura, who downed him despite that he was in a more suitable weight class, they realise that Mashiba wants to use Iga as a hurdle to prove that he can go to the world level. Knowing that Baron claimed that Mashiba has three weaknesses, Aoki asked Kimura if he noticed anything when he fought him, however, Kimura believed that Baron was bluffing. As Kimura watched the match, he was surprised about Baron's cruelty towards Iga and that Iga used Ippo's Peek-a-Boo Style, his own Dragonfish Blow, and that he fouled like Sawamura. After Mashiba conquered the three weaknesses and the match ended in Mashiba's victory in the third round by knockout, his coach announced his relinquishment of his OPBF title and moving up to the world, and Mashiba claimed that Iga and Baron were one weakness short, Kimura and Aoki wondered what the fourth weakness was.

Outside the venue, Ippo caught up to Kimura and Aoki and suggested that Mashiba was talking about Miyata's counter being the fourth weakness and that he found out the reason he lost. Kimura wanted to let Ippo think about the reason he lost alone, and took Aoki, Taihei, and Kintarō to the Kemuri Izakaya. Kimura, Aoki, Taihei, and Kintarō discussed Mashiba and Iga's match, with Kimura explaining to Taihei that since it was just an OPBF title defence, Iga still keeps his JBC title even though he lost. Kimura revealed to Taihei and Kintarō that Ippo defeated Mashiba once, shocking both of them. Kimura and Aoki explained to Taihei and Kintarō what they think Ippo was going to say about why he lost and what a retired boxer thinks after thinking back on his losses.

When Takamura's WBC and WBA middleweight title defence match against Michael Goat arrived, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch it. Worried at first about Goat's lefts, Takamura won by knockout in the second round, announcing afterwards that he is moving up to the super middleweight class next.

Sendō in Mexico Arc

Kimura undergoing Ippo's Numbering System training.

As Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki overlook Ippo training his students, Kimura mentioned to Itagaki how Aoki is worried about Taihei boxing due to the injuries that come with it, however, Aoki claimed he can entrust it to Ippo with it comes to injuries. They became curious as to why Ippo keeps calling out "1" to his students. They ask Ippo at the gym, which Ippo in turn showed them a notepad with numbers assigned to basic punches. Shinoda revealed that it is a Numbering System which requires an unshakeable teacher-student bond for a quicker reaction time and faster combinations. Kimura and Aoki tested it to confirm the faster reaction time due to it being quicker to call out a number rather than the whole name of the technique. Kimura, Aoki, Itagaki, Taihei, and Kintarō enter the gym's ring for Ippo to test them to see if they can respond to his number calls in time. During the session, Ippo only called out "1", which is the left jab, making them angry and ask for a different number. Ippo, however, ended up calling out "1" again, making everyone quit.

Later, when Aoki alerted his gym mates that Sendō was in the newspaper, Kimura saw him posed with the Scamaras Brothers in Mexico.

Importance of the Support Role Arc

While doing roadwork, Kimura learned from Ippo that he is going to take Taihei and Kintarō to Date's gym where a sparring tournament was being held for boxers that haven't made their debut. While in the ring training, Kimura was shocked to see Sendō entering the gym unannounced. When Ippo and Sendō were being loud on the gym's rooftop, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki checked up on them, where they see that the arm of the Takamura statue came off. After the head also fell off and leaving Aoki on the rooftop to fix the arm and head, Kimura went to see Sendō off. The next day, Takamura came back from his trip and Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki inform him that the three of them have matches before Sendō and Alfredo's match.

Preparing for his match, Kimura had trouble with his weight management, even with following Ippo's orders. Kimura was helped by Ippo throughout his weight management process by going to a sauna and eventually resorting to shaving the hair off of Kimura's whole body and head to make the weight, with Ippo also shaving his own hair. When the weigh-in arrived, Kimura was still over the limit for the first check and barely passed the second check with Ippo's help. After being shocked that his head and body has been shaved, Kimura went to the Donaire with the gym members, where Ippo revealed a strategy for the match that would make him go all out in the early rounds due to Kimura's low stamina. Ippo's strategy consisted of a repeated barrage of Dragonfish Blows.

Kimura trapping Junpei to the ropes..

The next day, Kimura arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall for his match against Yoshimoto Junpei. After being advised to chase Junpei to the ropes and pin him with a barrage of Dragonfish Blows, Kimura was able to do just that at the beginning of the first round. Kimura began his strategy by making Junpei guard his head by throwing multiple one-twos, however, Kimura was pushed back after Junpei knocked his fist away and attacked, getting away from the ropes. Kimura trapped Junpei at the corner after using an in-fighter's strategy of leading him there by moving in a zigzag pattern. Kimura struck Junpei at the corner with a barrage of Dragonfish Blows, not letting him escape until the end of the first round. Since Kimura went all out in the first round, he became exhausted. At the corner, Ippo revived him by dumping ice in his boxing trunks and Kimura was told that he just needs one hit to knock him down.

Kimura defeating Junpei.

In the second round, after Shinoda incorrectly shouted to use the "Fish Dragon Blow," Kimura was annoyed that he can't remember the name of his finishing blow. Kimura was approached by Junpei and was struck in the face. Kimura prepared to use the Dragonfish Blow, however, he accidentally threw out his right overhand first, stopping midway. With Junpei guarding his face, Kimura pulled his right overhand back and launched a body blow, which knocked Junpei down. With Junpei unable to continue, the match resulted in Kimura's knockout victory.

Kimura went with Aoki and Itagaki to the Kemuri Izakaya for a group self-reflection until Takamura arrived and made fun of them. As Kimura, Itagaki, and Aoki wondered what would happen if Ippo returned to the ring after Kimura noticed Ippo's muscles were not that of a retired fighter and his knowledge is better than when he was active, Takamura stopped their conversation, presenting them the fact that Ippo will not return to the ring unless something forces him to face the obligations he has to bear, adding that it is pointless to think that "something" will come.

Ippo in Mexico Arc

Kimura's wig falling off, revealing a Kappa hairstyle.

At the Kamogawa gym's rooftop, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki tried to ask Takamura what the "something" required for Ippo to return is that he mentioned, however, Takamura claimed it didn't matter and suggested for them to be worried about what will happen to Ippo as he travelled to Mexico to see Sendō and Alfredo fight, joking that he may get into trouble. Later at the Kamogawa gym after Sendō and Ricardo won their matches in Mexico, Kimura and Itagaki were amazed of Sendō's strength while Aoki asked for them to not spoil him since he hasn't watched it yet. Kimura asked Takamura about what he thinks on his rival for the pound-for-pound best, Ricardo. Takamura changed the subject by wanting to know why Kimura has wavy brown hair when Kimura's head was just shaved. Takamura knocked off Kimura's wig, leaving him shocked to see that under his wig, Kimura has hair resembling that of a Kappa. Kimura explained that the roots and follicles of his hair are malnourished, making his hair grow unevenly, which is why he is wearing a wig. As Takamura claimed that Kimura's hair is too weird, Kimura lifted up his wig asking if he means his Kappa hairstyle, causing Takamura to hold back his laughter. Kimura insisted that they can laugh if they want, but Takamura believed that laughing at him would be laughing at himself as he knows about harsh weight management by experience, so he can not laugh at him, and so he declared that if anyone laughs at Kimura, they would have to pay one million yen or get deported. Ippo soon arrived from Mexico at the rooftop with them and gave everyone wrestling masks that he got from Mexico as a souvenir, with Kimura getting a Kappa mask. When Kimura took off his Kappa wrestling mask, his wig came off along with it, showing his Kappa hairstyle which matches the mask, causing everyone to laugh as Kimura shouted for everyone to pay up.

Keith Dragon Arc

Kimura learning about Dragon.

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura was mitt practising with Shinoda until his wig fell off, revealing his Kappa hairstyle, making Shinoda laugh and Kimura accidentally hitting Shinoda in the face. Kimura and Shinoda were told to get out of the ring by Takamura if they are trying to be comedians as he is mitt practising with Kamogawa. When Ippo noticed how Takamura did not join in when Kimura and Shinoda were fooling around, Kimura and Aoki revealed to Ippo that Takamura is going to challenge the WBC super middleweight title. Yagi revealed to everyone that it will take place in Japan and gave Ippo the champion's profile, which was in English. Kimura learned from Ippo and Itagaki translating the profile to Japanese that the champion's name is Keith Dragon, along with learning about Dragon's boxing information. With Kimura and the other gym members talking about Dragon and his good relationship with the goddess of fortune, Kimura and Aoki believed that one can not succeed with just luck, as it comes down to skill in boxing. Hearing that, Takamura asked them who are the certain people that will never be able to become a world champion. Since they did not know the answer, Takamura pointed to Aoki, claiming that it is him. However, Takamura explained how anyone can be a world champion, even Aoki, but they have to try and challenge for it first.

Later at the Kamogawa gym, Takamura informed his gym mates of the bad omens he had at the Yamaguchi Chiropractic. With one of the bad omens being that a crow defecated on his head, Kimura insisted that it was just a bad accident. Later, at the Kamogawa gym's rooftop, after Itagaki told Kimura and Aoki how Ippo reacted when he mentioned how Takamura's luck may have reached it's limit, they became shocked as Ippo shows them his collection of objects of good luck that he got to put in the lucky corners of the gym to purify the evil around them. Kimura suggested to believe in Takamura's strength, however, Ippo wanted to do what ever he can to ease the anxiety, as that is one of his responsibilities as one of the gym's staff. Kimura began helping his gym mates grab the objects to place around the gym. Later, Kimura learned from Ippo while doing roadwork, that Takamura saved a boy from getting hit by an incoming vehicle by going out into the road to grab him, then jumping on the vehicle's hood to avoid getting hit and landed safely.

Kimura praying for Takamura's victory against Dragon.

Later at the Kamogawa gym, while Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki were talking about how Ippo's occult obsession is only hurting himself and that it won't matter in the match, Kintarō pointed out how sports players pray to God or have superstitions, believing that they should at least try if it could help any. Kimura thought that if both sides prayed, it would cancel each other out. As Kintarō and Taihei wonder if they suggest that there is no God, Kamogawa told the group that it is irrelevant whether there is a God or not, as one only has their own two fists in the ring to believe in and that good luck and miracles will only appear when they believe in their fists and never betray them. The next day, the typhoon that was supposed to delay Dragon's arrival passed over, which he thought was strange. Kimura, along with Aoki and Itagaki decided to go to the shrine to pray for Takamura's victory over Dragon, who seemingly made the typhoon pass for his expected arrival. When Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki arrived to the shrine, Ippo wondered why they came since they looked down on praying, however, they revealed that they have changed their minds when Dragon seemed to have caused the weather to bend for him, so they can only rely on God now. The four continuously prayed, throwing their coins in the slots.

On the Kamogawa gym's rooftop, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki watched as Ippo left with Yagi to the Otakugon to face against Dragon in mahjong, surprised to find out that Yagi was a professional mahjong player and was called the "King of the Underworld". Kimura thought it was believable, as Yagi is excellent at almost anything besides boxing. When Itagaki wondered why Ippo is being brought with Yagi, Kimura and Aoki explained that Ippo is his bodyguard since Yagi is so good that other players try to start a fight because they think he is cheating. On the night before Takamura's match against Dragon, Kimura, Ippo, and the rest of the Kamogawa gym boxers went to the Chūka Soba after Takamura told Ippo, Taihei, and Kintarō to meet him there. However, Takamura was late. When Taihei and Kintarō mentioned how they don't want Takamura to lose against someone who plays around with mahjong, Kimura noted how Dragon has been practising as the match loomed closer, criticising the belief that boxers have to quit their hobbies when a match is nearby, pointing out how frightening it is that someone like Dragon is able to switch his stress on and off easily. As everyone got worried, Kimura found out from Ippo that Takamura even prayed at a shrine. Kimura asked Ippo if he gave Takamura a voodoo doll. After Kimura and everyone else became worried about Takamura when Ippo found the voodoo doll he was supposed to give to Takamura for good luck, everyone became unimpressed of Takamura as he showed up looking in bad shape, claiming that Yamaguchi Tomoko threw him out again.

Kimura watching Takamura's match against Dragon.

The next day, Kimura went to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan to watch Takamura's WBC super middleweight title match against Dragon. He sat with Aoki, Itagaki, and Miyata as the match was about to begin. After watching the first round, Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki decided to keep an eye on Takamura after Miyata claimed that there is something odd about Takamura. During the second round after Takamura caused Dragon to have a slip declared on him, Miyata figured that he was just over worrying about Takamura and noted how he is showing his great potential instead of a reason to worry about him going up another weight class, which Kimura added how his weight control seemed like he was forcing himself in a cage too small for him, but now he can use his full power. During the third round when Takamura began taking multiple hits from left hooks and stumbled, Kimura and Aoki thought that Takamura's right leg must be injured, however, Itagaki pointed out that Dragon is a southpaw, making the left hooks more damaging. Kimura cheered as Takamura wins in the fourth round, becoming the WBC super middleweight champion. As Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki discuss how Takamura was getting hit by wide left swings until he suddenly countered one, Miyata revealed a suspicion that he had about Takamura not being able to see out of his right eye, however, upon observation of how Takamura pulled off the counter near the end, he felt as if he has an answer to his suspicion that he can see out of it, relieving the Kamogawa gym boxers. Kimura, Aoki, and Itagaki arrive to Takamura's room in the venue to cheer for him on his victory, however, they were shocked to find out that Takamura was being carried home by Ippo.

Post-Keith Dragon Arc

At the Kamogawa gym, Kimura and Itagaki told Ippo how he, Aoki, and Itagaki watched Takamura's world title match with Miyata, who's back looked lonely. When Yagi entered the gym, Kimura was shocked as he revealed that he had another mahjong match with Dragon, where, after Dragon was thrown off by Robo and Matsu, Yagi won.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
28 WIN 17-6-5 1999-11 Japan.pngYoshimoto Junpei[5] Tokyo, Japan 2(8) TKO Opening Match
27 WIN 16-6-5 1999-03 Japan.pngUnknown[6] Tokyo, Japan 7(?) TKO N/A
26 DRAW 15-6-5 1998-11 Japan.pngUnknown[7] Tokyo, Japan ?(?), 3:00 Decision Semi-Final Match
25 DRAW 15-6-4 1998 Japan.pngUnknown[8] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 Decision Come-Back Match
24 LOSS 15-6-3 1997-11 Japan.pngUnknown (Former Champion)[9] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 Decision Class-A Tournament
Final
23 WIN 15-5-3 1997-02 Japan.pngRyūzaki Takeshi[10] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision Class-A Tournament
First Round
22 LOSS 14-5-3 1997-04-15 Philippines.png Sim Rex[11] Yokohama, Japan 5(10) Decision "WORLD CONQUEST PROCLAMATION"
Opener
Doctor Stop
21 WIN 14-4-3 1996-09-12 Michael Gehon

[12]

Tokyo, Japan 5(10) KO "OPERATION WORLD DOMINATION"
Semi-Final Match
20 DRAW 13-4-3 1996-03 Philippines.png Eleki Battery[13] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision Opener
19 DRAW 13-4-2 1995-08-27 Philippines.png Eleki Battery[14] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision "A PASSING POINT"
Opener
18 WIN 13-4-1 1994-10-14 Philippines.png Arman Alegria[15] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision "APOCALYPSE NOW"
Semi-Final Match
17 LOSS 12-4-1 1994-02-17 Japan.png Mashiba Ryō[16] Tokyo, Japan 9(10), 2:30 TKO "EXECUTION"
Junior Lightweight Title Match
16 WIN 12-3-1 1993-08-30 Philippines.png Nefuma Ozca[17] Tokyo, Japan 5(10), 1:25 TKO "Something Will Happen!?"
Semi-Final Match
15 WIN 11-3-1 1993-07-11 Thailand.png Pone Morocotte[18] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO "THE ROAD BACK"
Semi-Final Match
14 LOSS 10-3-1 1992-09 Japan.png Ryūzaki Takeshi[19] Tokyo, Japan 1(1), 1:18 KO Class-A Tournament (Extra Round)
14 DRAW 10-3-1 1992-09 Japan.png Ryūzaki Takeshi[20] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision Class-A Tournament Second Round
13 WIN 10-3-0 1992-07 Japan.png Nishimura Hiroshi[21] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision Class-A Tournament
First Round
12 WIN 9-3-0 1992-04-20 Japan.png Kanzaki Shinji[22] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision "FLIGHT"
"Unknown" Opponents
2/3 LOSS 1/2-1-0 198X Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(4) N/A First loss on his 2nd or 3rd match[23]
1 WIN 1-0-0 1988 Japan.png Hotta Junichi[24] Tokyo, Japan 2(4) TKO Pro Debut Match

Appearance

Kimura's appearance.

Kimura has fair skin with a muscular build. He has black hair in a flat top hairstyle and bangs going over his forehead, along with black coloured eyes and long, thin eyebrows. It is noted by Itagaki that Kimura is moderately handsome.

When Kimura was preparing to fight Yoshimoto Junpei, the hair on his head and elsewhere on his body was shaved cleaned by Ippo, to help him shave off some of his weight.[25]

His training outfit is either a green jumpsuit or a blue t-shirt with pants

During his delinquent days, he had a pompadour hairstyle and wore gold shades with green lens.

Personality

Kimura is a smart boxer with a good eye. He lives with his parents and helps them run their flower shop, but makes most of his living from his fights. He has been known to come up with his own original training methods, such as shadow boxing to music. He also tends to speak more politely and can often narrowly avoid Takamura's pranks through guile, and shifting the brunt of the blame on to Aoki.

He and Aoki are best friends and are sometimes referred to as Aokimura (青木村). He tends to be less hard on Ippo than the others and more willing to assist in his training, although he does still tease him occasionally. While Takamura and Aoki often show concern for Ippo, Kimura is the closest of the three of them to being an ideal senpai. He is not above being petty or jealous and gloating. An example would be when he refused to stop celebrating Mashiba's suspension and Sawamura's retirement (as it meant he had less obstacles for the belt), despite Ippo's protests.

Kimura's pathetic love life and constant lack of a girlfriend is a recurring joke in the series, and he even named his pet fish Reiko after a girl who broke his heart.

Like Aoki, he is also highly skilled at baseball, particularly as batter, but as the two of them became delinquents, they lost interest in the sport and abandoned it.

He originally wrote his given name in kanji as 達也, but switched to katakana as タツヤ after returning from a brief retirement.

Boxing Abilities

Kimura, like Aoki, possesses a boxing ability that is largely downplayed for much of the series (albeit not quite as badly), with Kimura himself being defined as a jack of all trades, possessing a solid, all-around style with a firm grasp on the basics. Miyata stated that as a boxer, Kimura had no weaknesses (despite also not having any outstanding strengths) and Miyata's father said that although he was only ranked third before his fight with Mashiba, his talent surpassed that ranking.

Although renowned for having typically lukewarm boxing abilities compared to other characters in the series, Kimura has occasionally showcased bouts of talent, courage and willpower far beyond he is usually known for in his fights, specifically in his match against Mashiba; the latter himself later admitted that Kimura was his strongest challenger at the time.

As a fast out-boxer, Kimura is often asked to be a sparring partner for Ippo and one time for Miyata, though Kimura benefited more from Miyata's sparring.

Techniques

Weaknesses

In the lead-up to Kimura's fight against Mashiba, Miyata identifies Kimura's biggest flaw: as a well-rounded fighter he has no specific weaknesses, but he also has no strengths. Kimura comes to the same realization when he manages to slip pass Miyata's jabs, but realizes he has no plan of attack with the distance closed. Notably, his lack of a Sunday punch makes it difficult for him to intimidate his opponents.

While Kimura does come up with the Dragonfish Blow, he still does not have an emphasis on particular strengths, unlike Ippo's in-fighting or Miyata's counters.

Gallery

Main Article: Kimura Tatsuya/Gallery

Trivia

  • Kimura, along with Aoki, appeared earlier in the anime than in the manga.

Quotes

  • (To Mashiba) "Three minutes? Three minutes is less than nothing because I've hung on for five years!"[26]
  • (About boxing) "...Boxing is a path I chose for myself, and it's something that I definitely don't regret. But accidents happen and the possibility that you'll be forced to retire is very real. Even if you're living the dream, it can end rather abruptly, but if I think back to times like these, I think I'll still be able to smile and remember that we had good times. That I'm glad I have chosen this path to walk. That I'm glad it was at the Kamogawa gym!"[27]

References

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