Aoki Masaru (青木 勝, lit aoki masaru) is a major supporting character in Hajime no Ippo.
He is an unorthodox lightweight boxer and one of the core members of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He, along with Kimura Tatsuya, are known to have been scouted into boxing by Takamura Mamoru, an individual they swore to defeat but eventually came to admire.
His surname is Aoki. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
|Japanese Name||青木 勝|
|Nickname(s)|| "Frog Man"|
"The Brocco Man"
|Birth date||September 9, 1971|
|Occupation||Chuuka Soba chef|
|Height||171 cm (5'7")|
|Reach||171 cm (67")|
|Style||Unorthodox boxing style|
|Current Affiliation||Kamogawa Boxing Gym|
|Wins by KO||9|
|Manga Debut||Round 6|
|Anime Debut||Round 3 (The Fighting)|
|Voice Actor||Takagi Wataru|
BackgroundEditAoki has a delinquent past with long-time friend and schoolmate Kimura Tatsuya. Together they would pick fights and wreak havoc frequently until they met and attacked Takamura Mamoru in an arcade. Takamura was given a concussion by Aoki by kicking his head into an arcade screen, but Takamura retaliates with a German suplex and defeats Aoki, leading him and Kimura on a path of revenge- their goal being Takamura in the end. After several failed attempts Aoki and Kimura found their way to Kamogawa Boxing Gym where they find Takamura. There, they were introduced to boxing, and trained with a single goal of defeating Takamura in mind. Upon their winning of their individual debut matches the two realized that Takamura was no longer just their 'goal' but their inspiration and idol as well.
Ippo's Pro DebutEdit
In the anime, Aoki and Kimura watch Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata Ichirou sparring. After the end of the spar, he introduces himself to Ippo. On Ippo's first day at the gym, Aoki and Kimura attempts to train him, however they are stopped by the coach. While Ippo is training, Aoki serves Ippo and the others ramen at his restaurant. Aoki is seen watching Ippo's and Miyata's sparring match.
Makunouchi Ippo vs Oda YusukeEdit
When Yagi reveals Ippo's pro debut match is Oda Yusuke, Aoki suggests it will be an easy fight. At Chuuka Soba, Aoki serves Ippo, Takamura, and Kimura ramen, he then does fortune telling with cards, he pulled a card that shows Ippo will win. Aoki, along with the others, watch Ippo's fight with Oda, then celebrated after Ippo's first win.
Rookie King Tournament - First Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Jason OzumaEdit
Ippo celebrates his first year at the gym with Aoki, Takamura, and Kimura at the Chuuka Soba. Aoki explains how his Rookie King Tournament went. As Ippo isn't used to fighting black boxers, Aoki paints himself black, it successfully eases Ippo as they get ready to spar. Aoki, along with Takamura and Kimura, watches the match between Ippo and Jason Ozuma.
Rookie King Tournament - Second Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Kobashi KentaEdit
Aoki attends the training camp and attends Ippo's match against Kobashi Kenta.
Japanese Middleweight Title - Takamura Mamoru vs Yajima YoshiakiEdit
Aoki attends Takamura's Japanese middleweight title match against Yajima Yoshiaki. After Takamura wins the champions belt, Aoki celebrated along with everyone else.
Rookie King Tournament - Semi-final Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Hayami RyuuichiEdit
After Hayami Ryuuichi's match against Yasukawa Kazu, Aoki has a match against an unnamed opponent and wins. Aoki helps Ippo learn how to use counters for his match against Hayami. Aoki attends Ippo's match against Hayami.
Rookie King Tournament - Final Round: Makunouchi Ippo vs Mashiba RyouEdit
Aoki attends Ippo's match against Mashiba Ryou.
For the most part Aoki's fights in the series are not as major or impactive on the general storyline. However, in his most recent fight against Iga Shinobu (and his coach Kurita Baron, a former member of the Kamogawa Gym), Aoki was beaten badly and landed himself in the hospital. Given the option to retire with Kimura after their considerably lengthy careers Aoki refuses, and is determined then to stay in the lightweight class until he defeats Iga, whom he now considers his goal and rival. Takamura is then seen commenting on how stubborn both Aoki and Kimura are.
|WIN||13-8-3||Unknown||TKO||8(8)||1998||Tokyo, Japan||Comeback Match|
|LOSS||12-8-3||Iga Shinobu||KO||7(10)||1997-11||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament Final|
|WIN||12-7-3||Jackal Itou||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1997-08||Yokohama, Japan||Class-A Tournament (Round 1)|
|LOSS||11-7-3||Honsa Kreku||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1997-04-15||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|WIN||11-6-3||Padawan Yoda||KO||9(10)||1996-09-12||Tokyo, Japan||"Operation- World Domination" Semi-Final Matches|
|DRAW||10-6-3||Papaya Dachiu||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1996-03||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|DRAW||10-6-2||Papaya Dachiu||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1995-08||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|DRAW||10-6-1||Imae Katsutaka||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1995-04||Tokyo, Japan||Lightweight Title Match|
|WIN||10-6-0||Paddy Magramo||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1994||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|WIN||9-6-0||Boy Arate||TKO||3(10)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|WIN||8-6-0||Snake Thomas||KO||1(10)||1993-07-11||Tokyo, Japan||Come-back match|
|LOSS||7-6-0||Omyama||KO||8(8)||1993||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament Demi-Finals|
|LOSS||7-5-0||Jackal Itou||KO||6(8)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament Second Round|
|WIN||7-4-0||Bull Ishida||KO||?(8)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament (Round 1)|
|WIN||6-4-0||Arman Garcia||KO||7(8)||1992-04-20||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|WIN||5-4-0||Yamanaka Hiroshi||KO||?(6)||1991||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|LOSS||4-4-0||Unknown||KO||1(6)||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Opponent was a southpaw boxer|
|LOSS||4-3-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3:00||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Rookie King Tournament, First Match|
|WIN||1-0-0||Yamanaka Hiro||KO||?(4)||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Debut match|
AppearanceEditAoki has a tanned complexion with a body build that fits an orthodox lightweight in-fighter. He has curly dark brown hair in a short afro hair style with a prominent hairline. During his delinquent days, he had a more noticeable prominent hairline with shorter hair. He has dark brown eyes, large nose and pointed ears. In addition, Aoki has relatively short thick eyebrows and a wrinkle on his forehead.
At one point, Takamura cut Aoki's hair into a broccoli hair style.
Cutesy way of saying "Masaru"
|Team Aoki||Sensei||先生||see here|
|Team Aoki (occasionally)||Godfather|
|Itagaki (occasionally)||Aokimura||青木村||Amalgamation of Aoki & Kimura|
Aoki also has the alternate persona of "Brocco Man", a broccoli-themed superhero, after Takamura botched a haircut based on Papaya Dachiu, leading to advertising success for Aoki.
During his youth, Aoki was known for his troubled school life as a delinquent. He, along with long-time friend Kimura, were known to participate in countless fights and brawls with 'rival' schools. Throughout the series Aoki has shown a rather playful, immature, and mischievous personality- an attitude he reflects in his boxing matches where (due to his comparatively unexceptional boxing skills) he constantly thinks of methods to to deceive, confuse, or even ridicule opponents to a certain extent. A very long-running gag is that Aoki keeps revealing impressing talents, that sadly have no connection with boxing. Another one involves his girlfriend's friendship with Kumi that has made contacting her far more easy than Ippo could ever hope, so Aoki often helps him out. His prankster personality extends to his own teammates and is most notably reflected in his attitude towards Ippo and (at times) Takamura. Together with Kimura, he is paired into the Aokimura duo by Itagaki Manabu.
Aoki's taste in women is seen as a running joke where, in contrast to the tastes of his gym mates, Aoki places his preferences in women considered 'ugly' by everyone else. This was due to an incident where he caught his ex-girlfriend Miyuki cheating on him with another guy. Even though he may have a taste for "ugly" girls, he is able to hold a girlfriend, Tomiko, longer then any of the other guys with the exception of Ippo but it remains to be seen if he and Kumi will ultimately be together.
Fighting StyleEditDespite not being a terrible boxer overall, Aoki's boxing is largely downplayed in the series, making him pale in comparison to boxers like Takamura, Ippo, Itagaki and oftentimes, Kimura. He uses unorthodox methods to ruin his opponents' rhythm; it was stated by Kimura that no one is better at ruining a boxer's rhythm than Aoki. He is also a decent out-boxer, and able to switch from orthodox to southpaw. Lacking a finishing move or any special skills to speak of, Aoki's matches tend to end up becoming extremely messy mud fights, much to the displeasure of his audiences. Eventually, his 'Frog Punch' became a trademark and earned him the nickname 'Leap Frog' or 'Frog Man' by his audiences. It is then mentioned by characters in the series that Aoki's boxing ability can be comparable to that of a national champion's.
Because of a previous right straight from Takamura that caused him to flinch everytime he faced a right straight in the ring, Aoki's potential was held back a significant amount. This has made him easier to hit, making him lose patience and resulting in the many "mud fights" he's had throughout the years, but this was fixed by having him wear special headgear while having Takamura throw repeated right straights at him. Takamura also admits that Aoki's natural boxing ability can be greater of that of Kimura's should he overcome his weakness.
- Aoki works part-time at the Chuuka Soba restaurant where Ippo and other core characters of the series frequent after training. He wants to open a restaurant with money earned from boxing after retirement.
- According to Takamura, Aoki masturbates a lot.
- While his boxing skills are lacking, Aoki is incredibly skilled in baseball, bowling and cooking.
- After his declared 'loss' against Papaya Dachiu, Aoki's hair was cut in a broccoli style. This style quickly grew in fame with kids and generated a new popular franchise Broccoman (ブロッコマン, lit. burokkoman)
- Aoki is currently ahead of Kimura in their long race towards championship. Kimura lost his title match by KO but Aoki got a draw.
- Aoki's bad taste in women has been a recurring gag ever since first mentioned by Takamura.
- Despite his age, Aoki does not know how to swim.
- Aoki is a fan of Roberto Duran.