Aoki Masaru (青木 勝, lit aoki masaru) is a 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|
|Style||Unorthodox boxing style|
|Current Affiliation||Kamogawa Boxing Gym|
|Wins by KO||7|
|Manga Debut||Round 6|
|Anime Debut||Round 3 (The Fighting)|
|Voice Actor||Takagi Wataru|
It is mentioned in a flashback episode that he 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, unhurt by their assault, retaliates and defeats Kimura, leading him and Aoki 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.
Aoki's time as a member of the Kamogawa Boxing Gym has never fully been described in detail, but he is first shown in the eyes of Makunouchi Ippo as one of the senior members of the gym. Aoki, with Kimura and Takamura, take part in the initial pranking and bullying of Ippo and then, further in the series, Hammer Nao.
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.
|LOSS||Iga Shinobu||KO||7(8)||1997-11||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament Final|
|WIN||Jackal Itou||Decision||10(10)||1997-08||Yokohama, Japan||Class-A Tournament (First Round)|
|LOSS||Honsa Kreku||Decision||10(10)||1997-04-15||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||Padawan Yoda||KO||9(10)||1996-09-12||Tokyo, Japan||"Operation- World Domination" Semi-Final Matches|
|DRAW||Papaya Dachiu||Decision||10(10)||1996-03||Tokyo, Japan|
|DRAW||Papaya Dachiu||Decision||10(10)||1995-08||Tokyo, Japan|
|DRAW||Imae Katsutaka||Decision||10(10)||1995-04||Tokyo, Japan||Lightweight Title Match|
|WIN||Paddy Magramo||Decision||10(10)||199-||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||Boy Arate||TKO||3(10)||199-||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||Snake Thomas||KO||1(10)||1993-07-11||Tokyo, Japan|
|LOSS||Jackal Itou||KO||6(6)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament Second Round|
|WIN||Bull Ishida||KO||?(6)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Class-A Tournament First Round|
|WIN||Arman Garcia||KO||7(10)||1992-04-20||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||Yamanaka Hiroshi||KO||?(?)||1991||Tokyo, Japan|
|LOSS||Unknown||KO||1(?)||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Opponent was a southpaw boxer|
|LOSS||Unknown||Decision||10(10)||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Rookie King Tournament, First Match|
|WIN||Unknown||KO||?(4)||19-||Tokyo, Japan||Debut match|
Aoki is arguably one of the more rugged-looking characters of the storyline. He has a tanned complexion with a body built like any orthodox lightweight in-fighter. His ears appear quite pointed in comparison to other characters in the series. In addition, Aoki has relatively short thick eyebrows, a large nose and prominent hairline. With his forehead exposed, the audience can see a wrinkle permanently etched on his forehead. His eyes are extremely dark brown in color.
Cutesy way of saying "Masaru"
|Team Aoki||Sensei||先生||see here|
|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.
In a flashback shown in the series, Aoki is 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 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 Makunouchi Ippo and (at times) Takamura Mamoru. Together with Kimura he is paired into the Aokimura duo by Itagaki Manabu.
Aoki's taste in women is seen as a running joke in the Hajime no Ippo series where, in contrast to the tastes of his gym mates, Aoki places his preferences in women considered 'ugly' by everyone else. This may be due to an incident where he was cruelly dumped by a beautiful girl, psychologically turning him to prefer uglier girls. 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. 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.
- 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 lost his by Double KO, which counts as a draw.