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Masaru Aoki (青木勝, Aoki Masaru) is a supporting character and tritagonist in Hajime no Ippo.

He is a Lightweight professional 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.

Background

AokiKimuraPast

Aoki and Kimura in the 80s

Aoki is the oldest brother of his nine siblings and was starred in a TV show about his family called "Heartwarming Special Presents: The Hectic Life of an 11-Person Family". He was helpful to his family by cooking meals for his whole family. Aoki would later leave the family and run a ramen shop called "Chuuka Soba", making use of the natural cooking talent. The ramen shop expanded to three stores thanks to his recipes. Aoki used his money to fund his sibling's school fees and never thought twice about helping his siblings.

Aoki had 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 realised that Takamura was no longer just their 'goal' but their inspiration and idol as well.

Part I

Early Days Arc

WatchingMiyataandIppoSpar

Aoki watching the spar.

In the anime, Aoki watches Makunouchi Ippo and Miyata Ichirō's spar. After the end of the spar, he introduces himself to Ippo. On Ippo's first day at the gym, Aoki and Kimura Tatsuya attempts to train him, however they are stopped by Kamogawa Genji. While Ippo is training, Aoki serves Ippo and the others ramen at his restaurant. Before the second spar, Aoki acts as Miyata's sparring partner. When the spar rematch arrives, Aoki is seen watching Ippo's and Miyata's sparring match.

When Yagi Haruhiko reveals Ippo's pro debut match is Oda Yūsuke, Aoki suggests it will be an easy fight. At Chuuka Soba, Aoki serves Ippo and the others ramen, he then does fortune telling with cards, he pulls out a card that shows Ippo will win. Aoki acts as Ippo's sparring partner and throws up due to Ippo's Body Blows. Aoki, along with the others, watch Ippo's fight with Oda, then celebrates after Ippo's first win.

Rookie King Tournament: First Rounder Arc

WatchingTheFireworks2

Aoki watching the fireworks.

After sparring with Ippo, Kimura celebrates Ippo's first year in the Kamogawa Boxing Gym at the Chuuka Soba. Aoki explains how his Rookie King Tournament went, however he gets upset when Takamura points out how his opponent that beat him in the first match wasn't good. When Jason Ozuma is announced as Ippo's first opponent in the East Japan Rookie King Tournament, Aoki and the others believe it to not be his real name until his profile is shown to be American. As Ippo isn't used to fighting black boxers, Aoki paints himself black, it successfully eases Ippo as they get ready to spar. Aoki watches the match between Ippo and Ozuma.

Aoki attends the training camp and attends Ippo's match against Kobashi Kenta. 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: Finals Arc

AokiWinningAgainst

Aoki winning against an unknown opponent.

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. Aoki attends Ippo's match against Mashiba Ryō.

N/A

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.

Part II

Part III

Second Step Arc

Aoki appears in this arc.

Taihei Arc

Aoki appears in this arc.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
26 WIN 15-8-3 1999-03 JapanUnknown[1] Tokyo, Japan 7(8), ?:?? KO Ippo as a 2nd
25 WIN 14-8-3 1998-11 JapanUnknown[2] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 TKO N/A
24 WIN 13-8-3 1998-06 JapanUnknown[3] Tokyo, Japan 8(8), 3:00 TKO Comeback Match
23 LOSS 12-8-3 1997-11 Japan Iga Shinobu[4] Tokyo, Japan 7(10) KO Class-A Tournament Final
22 WIN 12-7-3 1997-09 JapanJackal Itou[5] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 KO Class-A Tournament First Round
21 LOSS 11-7-3 1997-04-15 Thailand Ponsa Kureck[6] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
20 WIN 11-6-3 1996-09-12 Padawan Yoda

[7]

Tokyo, Japan 9(10) KO Operation - World Domination" Semi-Final Match
19 DRAW 10-6-3 1996-03 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[8] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
18 DRAW 10-6-2 1995-08 Indonesia Papaya Dachiu[9] Yokohama, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision N/A
17 DRAW 10-6-1 1995-04 Japan Imae Katsutaka[10] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision Lightweight JBC Title Match
16 WIN 10-6-0 1994-08-20 PhilippinesPaddy Magramo[11] Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3 Decision N/A
15 WIN 9-6-0 1994 PhilippinesBoy Arate[12] Tokyo, Japan 3(10) TKO N/A
14 WIN 8-6-0 1993-07-11 ThailandSnake Thomas[13] Tokyo, Japan 1(10) KO Come-Back Match
13 LOSS 7-6-0[14] 1993-10 JapanJackal Itou[15] Tokyo, Japan 6(8), 1:18 KO Class-A Tournament Semi - Finals
12 WIN 7-5-0 1992-8 Japan Bull Ushida[16] Tokyo, Japan 6(6) KO Class-A Tournament
First Round
11 WIN 6-5-0 1992-04-20 PhilippinesArman Garcia[17] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO N/A
10 WIN 5-5-0 1991-9 Japan Unknown[18] Tokyo, Japan 10(10) KO First Match in Story
"Unknown" Opponents
1 WIN 1-0-0 1988 Japan Yamanaka Hiroshi[19] Tokyo, Japan ?(4) KO Debut Match

Appearance

Aoki

Aoki's Appearance

Aoki 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.

Personality

Aokimura

Aoki and Kimura (duo named 'Aokimura') together in the Kamogawa Gym.

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, with Aoki being the more aggressive and violent of the two. Throughout the series Aoki has shown a rather immature, mischievous and boastful personality, contrary to Kimura who is generally more laid back. Despite his often tough-looking demeanor, his overconfidence and goofy personality in and outside the ring usually earn him the frequent ridicule of other characters, and he is usually the butt of many of Takamura's pranks and attacks. Due to this, many characters, even to an extent Ippo, indirectly look down on and sympathize with Aoki and his embarrassing antics. However, he is mostly easygoing and is able to get along well with others, also usually being the one to help Ippo out with his girl-problems when around Kumi. A long-running gag is that Aoki keeps revealing impressive talents, that sadly have no connection with boxing. 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. Aoki admits that he gets nervous around beautiful women, specifically his ex-girlfriend Miyuki (who was caught cheating on Aoki with another guy), and is unable to make any further advances on them. However, surprisingly, Aoki seems to be very kind towards women and he himself prefers to judge them firsthand not by their looks, but as a person, unlike Kimura and Takamura. Even though he may have a taste for 'ugly' girls, he is able to hold a girlfriend, Tomiko, longer then any other members of the group.

Fighting Style

AokisSkill

Aoki's fighting style

Despite 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. His outlandish personality is usually reflected in his boxing matches where, due to his comparatively unexceptional boxing skills, he constantly thinks of odd techniques to deceive and confuse opponents. 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 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.

Techniques

Weaknesses

Because of a previous right straight from Takamura that caused him to flinch every time 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.

Trivia

  • 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)
  • Despite his age, Aoki does not know how to swim.
  • Aoki is a fan of boxing legend, Roberto Duran.
  • In Round 151, Morikawa lists Aoki's fight record as 14 matches - 10 wins, 4 losses, 4 KO's prior to the semi-final match for the Class A Tournament. However, in the match poster for his title match with Katsutaka Imae, Morikawa lists Aoki's record as 16 matches - 10 wins, 6 losses, 6 KO's. Even though Aoki's fought in 4 matches since Round 151. Based on Round 151 record, Aoki's current record is 27 matches - 17 wins, 7 losses, 3 draws.

Other Links

References

  1. Round 1225
  2. Round 1171
  3. Round 1138
  4. Round 973
  5. Round 912
  6. Round 818
  7. Round 743
  8. Round 670
  9. Round 526
  10. Round 364 - Match Poster - 16 Total- 10 wins - 6 losses - 6 KOs
  11. Round 347
  12. Round 235
  13. Round 210
  14. Round 151 *Note - It mentions Aoki's record is 10 wins 4 Losses 6 KO's prior to the match, making this Aoki's 15th match with a record of 10 wins 5 losses 6 KO's.
  15. Round 152
  16. Round 148
  17. Round 112
  18. Round 55
  19. Round 221