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Ippo Makunouchi (幕之内一歩 lit. makunouchi ippo) is the eponymous protagonist of Hajime no Ippo.

He is a retired Featherweight professional boxer from the Kamogawa Boxing Gym and the former JBC Featherweight Champion. He originally started boxing to try and answer one simple question: "What does it mean to be strong?" Since then he has formed a rivalry with Miyata Ichirō, a brotherly bond with Takamura Mamoru, and a deep trust for his coach, Kamogawa, whom he now aims to become a world champion for to honor the coach's teachings.

His surname is Makunouchi. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.

Makunouchi Ippo
Makunouchi Ippo
Biography
Native Name 幕之内 一歩
Nickname(s) "The Wind God"
Gender Male
Birth date November 23, 1973
Homeland Japan Tokyo, Japan
Family Hiroko (Mother)
Kazuo (Father, Deceased)
Wanpo (Pet)
Occupation Makunouchi Fishing Boat Worker
Trainer
Professional Boxer (retired)
Boxer Info
Weight Class Featherweight
Height 165.1 cm (5'5")
Reach 165.1 cm (65 in)
Style In-Fighter
Stance Peek-a-Boo Style
South-paw (once)
Brawling Style (once)
Previous Affiliation(s) Kamogawa Boxing Gym
Previous Trainer(s) Kamogawa Genji
Date(s) Retired First Time: February 1993
Second Time: January 1999
Boxing Record
Total fights 26
Wins 23
Wins by KO 23
Losses 3
Draws 0
Championships Eastern Japan Rookie King
All Japan Rookie King
JBC Featherweight Championship
Appearances
Manga Debut Round 1
Anime Debut Round 1 (S1 - 01)
Voice Actor Kiyasu Kouhei
Sachi Kokuryu (Young)
Miki Shinichirou (Drama CD)

Background

Young Ippo

Ippo as a young boy

Ippo was raised by his mother, Makunouchi Hiroko for the majority of his childhood because Ippo's father, Makunouchi Kazuo died early in his childhood when his boat crashed in a storm. During the time when his father was missing out in the sea, Ippo went everyday to the shore to wait for his return. He believed his father's words that upon his return he will never leave Ippo and Hiroko again.

Although his father never returned, Ippo was able to satisfy himself that his father fulfilled his promise by finding the cap his father wore. After his father died, Ippo grew up assisting his mother with the family fishing boat business. During his school days, when ever something happened at school, he would come home, hiding his feelings by saying that he was okay.

History

First Part

(Volumes: 1-46 & Episodes: 1-104)

It all started that day when Ippo was stopped being bullied every day and going home crying, when he was sixteen. Being saved from the bullies by Takamura, he was brought in to the Kamogawa Boxing Gym and was accepted after sparring Miyata in which he lost but showed potential. He had a rematch spar again and Ippo this time won succesfully. Coach Kamogawa took him by his wing as his one and only to be teached student. He took the professional test and passed, and he debuted, winning and advancing after 2 matches for the the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. Winning against all the opponents given, that some remained rivals throughout the story, up to the finals which was against Mashiba Ryou. It as also a promise to meet in the pro ring with Miyata again, in which that did not happen. Ippo continued his road to become champion since there are ways they could face each other there again. He then faced the West's Rookie King, The Naniwa Tiger in the All Japan Rookie King Tournament and became victorious.

He met Kumi in the process, the sister of a rival, and as time passed they started growing feelings for each other and as well his brotherly bond with Takamura, Kimura and Aoki grew. Ippo had another goal blinking inside him, the strong national champion. As a chance to face the champion, Ippo went through the Class A Tournament, facing the "Speed Star" Saeki and the "Red Wolf" Volg, in which both he was succesful. After winning the tournament, Ippo faced the champion, Date Eiji. In the Title Match Ippo, however, lost and temporarily retired.

As the dark feelings cleared, Ippo came back stronger with a new move that his body allowed to have, the Dempsey Roll winning his comeback match and went back and faced the champion once again, this time being "The Naniwa Tiger" Sendou, a rival long awaited to be fought again. Ippo wins the difficult match succesfully and finally becomes the National Champion. Kumi and Ippo's feelings for each other remain unseen, even after some hard times such as him winning over her brother, and his match with Kimura, they still continued having this outline relationship, although none expressing their feelings yet. Ippo in the meantime begins defending his title, 3 times before more challengers find ways to break the Dempsey Roll.

Second Part

(Volumes: 46-121 & Episodes: 105 to Current)

Upon defending the National Championship succesfully up to 8 times, defeating those who sought to destroy the Dempsey Roll and improving heavily while being the champion, he then takes a detour to fight some of the unique Asian National Champions in order to get a World Ranking, as well as OPBF ranking, in order to fight Miyata. They had unique boxing styles, showing him the world is vast with many different types of boxers. Ippo had a difficult time dealing with them, especially with the genius Wally whom might just be a future World Champion. He defeats them succesfully each with a lesson for himself and improves drastically once again as a fighter and gains plenty of more experience. Rivals also progress with him, by their own road to glory.

As the match with Miyata doesn't happen due to certain events, he pushes forward to the world, and he gets matched with the 2nd ranked in the World, Alfredo Gonzales. Takamura suspects that Ippo has grown weaker. The day of the match happens, and he fails to deliver, but it was nowhere near easy for both, Ippo did great damage to the world ranker. Sometime after, his love interest Kumi tells him it is better to stop boxing, but Ippo promises her the next time he loses he will retire.

That causes a lot of thoughts of him being broken. Takamura tells him there is a line that he must cross in order to advance to the rest of the world. He witnesses it first hand with the beast matches of his rivals and Takamura, trying to understand what he means really. About 10 Months later his comeback match happens with Antonio Guevarra, and loses once again shockingly by only the 4th round after all the hard work he went through with his coach. He knew all along that something was wrong with him. He decides to retire upon the promise of Kumi.

Match History

 No. Result Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
26 LOSS 23-3-0 Philippines Antonio Guevarra KO 4(10), 2:45 1999-01 Tokyo, Japan "10 MONTHS IN THE MAKING"
Comeback Match:
The Wind God's Failed Revival
25 LOSS 23-2-0 Mexico Alfredo Gonzales TKO 7(10), 1:17 1998-03-21 Tokyo, Japan "GO TO THE WORLD!"
WBA Featherweight Title
Eliminator
24 WIN 23-1-0 Japan Kojima Hisato TKO 1(10), 2:07 1997-10-25 Tokyo, Japan "OPERATION WORLD DOMINATION II"
Semi-Final
JBC Featherweight Title
8th Defence
Retained JBC Featherweight Title
Relinquishes Title
23 WIN 22-1-0 Indonesia Wally TKO 8(10), 1:35 1997-07-15 Tokyo, Japan "IN THE JUNGLE"
"Survival Match of Asian Champions"
22 WIN 21-1-0 Philippines Malcolm Gedo TKO 8(10), 2:37 1997-02-15 Tokyo, Japan "WINNER TAKES ALL!!"
"Survival Match of Asian Champions"
21 WIN 20-1-0 Thailand Jimmy Sisphar KO 4(10), 2:30 1996-08-01 Tokyo, Japan "SCRATCH"
"Survival Match of Asian Champions"
20 WIN 19-1-0 Japan Take Keīchi KO 6(10), 1:00 1996-01-25 Tokyo, Japan "The Challenge for the 7th Defence"
Retained JBC Featherweight Title
19 WIN 18-1-0 Japan Karasawa Takuzou TKO 2(10), 2:15 1995-10-03 Tokyo, Japan "The Challenge for the 6th Defence"
Retained JBC Featherweight Title
18 WIN 17-1-0 Japan Sawamura Ryūhei TKO 7(10), 1:15 1995-06-15 Tokyo, Japan "DRAGON SLAYER"
5th Title Defence
Retained JBC Featherweight Title
17 WIN 16-1-0 Japan Shimabukuro Iwao KO 7(10), 2:15 1995-03-21 Tokyo, Japan "Submarine Wars" 4th Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title
16 WIN 15-1-0 South Korea Yi Yonsu TKO 1(10), 0:32 1994-12-20 Tokyo, Japan "Battle of Hawk" Semi-Final Match, 3rd Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title
15 WIN 14-1-0 JapanYamada Naomichi KO 2(10), 2:42 1994-08-20 Tokyo, Japan "Proof of Power" 2nd Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title
14 WIN 13-1-0 Japan Sanada Kazuki TKO 5(10), 2:33 1994-04 Tokyo, Japan "First Step" 1st Title Defense, Retained JBC Featherweight Title
13 WIN 12-1-0 Japan Sendō Takeshi KO 7(10), 1:34 1993-11-20 Tokyo, Japan "Lallapallooza" JBC Featherweight Title Match, Attained JBC Featherweight Title
12 WIN 11-1-0 Thailand Ponchai Chuwatana TKO 2(10), 2:00 1993-07-11 Tokyo, Japan "The Road Back", Comeback Match
11 LOSS 10-1-0 Japan Date Eiji TKO 5(10), 2:32 1993-02 Tokyo, Japan JBC Featherweight Title Match
10 WIN 10-0-0 Russia Alexander Volg Zangief KO 5(8), 1:21 1992-10 Tokyo, Japan "The Lone Wolf" Class-A Tournament Finals, Rose to Rank #1 Contender
9 WIN 9-0-0 Japan Saeki Takuma KO 4(6), 2:12 1992-07 Tokyo, Japan "Speed Star" Class-A Tournament Round 1
8 WIN 8-0-0 Japan Okita Keigo KO 1(10), 2:58 1992-06 Tokyo, Japan Rose to JBC Featherweight Contender Rank #5
7 WIN 7-0-0 Japan Sendō Takeshi RTD/TKO 3(6), 3:00 1992-02 Osaka, Japan All Japan Rookie King Tournament;
Became All Japan Rookie King
JBC Featherweight Contender Rank #10
6 WIN 6-0-0 Japan Mashiba Ryō KO 3(6), 2:13 1991-12-24 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals;
Became Rookie King Champion of the East
5 WIN 5-0-0 Japan Hayami Ryūichi TKO 1(4), 2:59 1991-11 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals
4 WIN 4-0-0 Japan Kobashi Kenta KO 4(4), 2:58 1991-08 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals
3 WIN 3-0-0 EUA Jason Ozuma TKO 2(4), 2:52 1991-06 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament First Round
2 WIN 2-0-0 Japan Fujiwara Yoshio KO 1(4), 2:50 1991-02 Tokyo, Japan Decider - Enter the Rookie King Tournament
1 WIN 1-0-0 Japan Oda Yūsuke TKO 3(4), 2:35 1991-01-03 Tokyo, Japan Pro Debut

Spars

This list does not include the numerous spars Ippo has had with his fellow gymmates.

Notable Matches

Successions

Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Sendō Takeshi JBC Featherweight Champion
November 20, 1993-1997
Imai Kyōsuke
Okita Keigo All Japan Featherweight Rookie King Shigeta Akira
Okita Keigo East Japan Featherweight Rookie King Shigeta Akira

Relationships

Throughout the story, he has met a lot of different people, with half of them being rivals during his time as a professional boxer.

Appearance

Striking a resemblance to his father, he has black, shaggy hair and thick eyebrows. His body, while being in the featherweight division, is stressed as extremely muscular. In terms of skin tone, Ippo is tanned. His eye color is dark brown in the manga, and a mix of green and yellow in the anime. It should be noted that Ippo has a larger than average penis, a quality apparently not uncommon amongst featherweights as Sendou has one as well, according to Takamura.

Personality

As a child, Ippo was a very shy, kind and obedient boy who was also very strong-willed and stubborn. He carries most of these personality traits as he got older. He is usually a kind and reserved person who dislikes fighting, and because of that he had been bullied since grade school. He would also come home after school, holding back his tears and try to convince his mother that everything was alright after being bullied.

Despite his strength and courage, Ippo still behaves rather meek out of the ring and often humbles himself around his rivals. For example, even though he has defeated both Mashiba and Sendou, he fears Mashiba and tries to avoid discussing a second rematch with Sendou whenever he is around. He also continued to be intimidated by Umezawa, his former bully, long after he began boxing. He has a great deal of respect for his gymmate Takamura and former Japanese Featherweight Champion Date and he was completely shocked when World Featherweight Champion Ricardo requested a spar with him.

His dream is to one day face Miyata in the pro ring, and the two of them view each other as eternal rivals. They both also influence each other to keep on boxing. Despite these feelings towards each other, they appear to also view each other as friends and Ippo even refers to Miyata as "Miyata-kun". Because Ippo tends to know a lot about Miyata, people tend to call him a Miyata Otaku, while his gym mates jokingly imply that he must be "gay for Miyata". Miyata is a person Ippo will never forget. At the same time, Ippo aims to become equal to Takamura in terms of strength.

Kamogawa puts him through strict training and the two of them have a strong teacher-student bond. Ippo trusts Kamogawa and has faith in his teachings, while Kamogawa believes that Ippo may be the one who will eventually realise his World Championship dream. Takamura has said that Kamogawa seems more like Ippo's father than his coach, and because Ippo's father died when he was young he begins to view Kamogawa in that way. When Ippo decided to be a second, he wanted to raise boxers alongside Kamogawa, as he believed he left a bad taste in his mouth when he retired.

IppoOneTrack

Ippo in despair

Ippo can also be fixated on a certain thing, specifically the Diagonal Dempsey Roll, being so single-minded that he gets overheated, frustrated and loses his boxing style.

Ippo is quite friendly, and many of his rivals have become friends of his, most notably are Miyata, Sendou, Date, Sanada, Volg, and Kobashi, whom all still keep in touch with him from time to time. He is well liked by his gymmates, especially Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura. Even though he still has the personality of a young boy, he still manages to serve as a good senpai for his kouhai Itagaki.

When it comes to love, Ippo is definitely a late bloomer, he is naive, pure-hearted, and awkward. He is in love with Kumi whom he dates frequently, and she feels the same for him, but because of the silent pressure of Kumi's older brother Ryou, the "attacks" of reporter Iimura and Nanako, and the meddling of Takamura and the others, their relationship has yet to progress much. The one time Ippo confessed to her, Kumi had fallen asleep after drinking too much alcohol, and unfortunately didn't hear it.

Ippoangryface

An angry Ippo

Because of his personality, Ippo is seldom seen as being angry before a fight, even if his opponent insults him or his boxing skills. However, it has been shown on rare occasions that he is capable of displaying anger whenever an opponent says or hurts someone close to him, or does something to look down on the sport of boxing, which he loves. Such occasions have been when he saw Sawamura intentionally commit fouls in his previous matches, despite having the upperhand, and then later on when he struck Kumi with a sharp jab, cutting her face. Another occasion when his opponent, Kojima, insulted his previous opponents, both in person and publicly in a magazine, and also insulting Kamogawa's teaching methods as they were fault. This resulted in Ippo displaying a new attitude, even going so far as to calmly state to Takamura, when asked if he would have any problems, that "this won't take long", referring to the match. Ippo's anger side also shows when he sees someone getting bullied, confronting the bullies.

Boxing Abilities

Ippo's damaging power

Ippo's tremendous power damages his unprotected hand.

As an In Fighter, having one of the best punches in Japan, he has any noteworthy milestones such as fighting in the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, winning in the A Class Boxer Tournament, and once crowned as the Featherweight JBC champion with an impressive KO rate of 100%. His punching power, durability, and fighting spirit are considered to be his greatest attributes; each is unparalleled in Japan. His punching power in particular is said to be among the world's best, with the implication that Ippo's punches are comparable to World Champion Ricardo Martinez. His style has had vast improvements throughout the series, and now consist of sways, liver blows, and a Sunday Punch: the Dempsey Roll. His strong flurry of blows have earned him the title Wind God. He is the number one In-Fighter in Japan.

Gallery

Quotes

  • "What does it mean to be strong?" - Signature quote
  • "How can he still retaliate? ...Is he invulnerable?" - Jason Ozuma, while fighting Ippo in Episode 15
  • "M-my legs are completely swollen. But I'll press on. I'm going to overcome my weakness!" - Episode 17, while training at the Training Camp
  • "The reason we train so hard in the first place is so we can make it home in one piece." - Round 1011, to Kumi while over at her and Mashiba Ryou's place
  • "This isu is naisu!" - Chapter 1221

Trivia

References

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