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Ryou Mashiba (間柴 了, lit. Mashiba Ryō) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo. During the events of the Rookie King tournament, he was the main antagonist.

He is a multi-weight class (currently lightweight) professional boxer affiliated with Toho Boxing Gym, the current OPBF Lightweight champion, and the older brother of Mashiba Kumi. His main fights in the series are against Miyata Ichirō, Makunouchi Ippo, Kimura Tatsuya, and Sawamura Ryūhei.

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

Background

PastMashiba

Mashiba and Kumi at their parent's grave.

When Mashiba was still in high school, his parents died in an accident and he swore two things on their graves: that he would never rely on anyone but himself and that anyone who harmed Kumi would pay dearly.

History

MashibaProTest

Mashiba during his certification exam.

Early Days

After Takamura's fight with Hirano, Mashiba goes up to Miyata and provokes him. At the license gathering for all new rookies, he brutally attacks his opponent with flicker jabs, the referee tries to stop him, but Mashiba pushes him away and continues punching his opponent until the bell rings. After Ippo successfully passed his own test, Mashiba attempted to scare him off their weight class, only for Ippo to reply that he is not leaving.

Rookie King Tournament Arc - Mashiba Ryō VS. Makunouchi Ippo

At the East Japan Rookie King Tournament's semi-finals, Miyata was his opponent. Initially Miyata appeared to have the upper hand, but Mashiba committed a foul by stepping on Miyata's foot to hold him still; subsequently he beat Miyata brutally. Miyata still fought on, showing tenacious spirit which even Mashiba showed fear from, but ultimately Miyata couldn't fight properly with one foot and he lost.

Ippo, who felt despair due to becoming unable to meet Miyata in the east rookie king finals, ran into Mashiba afterward. Mashiba was glad Miyata was sent to the hospital, which only made Ippo angrier.

Upon Ippo and Mashiba meeting in the east rookie king finals Mashiba landed pretty decent blows and had Ippo on the ropes, but Ippo showed a determination (similar to Miyata) that Mashiba felt fear from and Ippo ultimately won.

Heartbroken Arc - Makunouchi Ippo vs Date Eiji

He was later stated to have moved up to the Jr. Lightweights (which Kimura grieved over, saying he didn't want to fight a monster like him). Around the time Mashiba was about to challenge for his championship, Ippo challenged Date. He asked Kumi not to come knowing how bloody the fight would have been and Ippo later sees him brutally beaten but ultimately wins the belt. Whereas Ippo didn't. So although losing to Ippo, he won the Japanese belt before he did.

Execution Arc - Mashiba Ryou vs Kimura Tatsuya

Kimura vs Mashiba Fight Poster

Kimura vs Mashiba
Fight Poster

Kimura finally readies himself to have a match with Mashiba for the belt. After showing tremendous tenacity and relentless skill (a side not usually seen from Kimura) he nearly beats Mashiba, even saying he can see the belt in his hands. But ultimately Mashiba shows severe desperation and wins a very tough bout, even saying it's the toughest he's been through.

Dragon Slayer Arc - Makunouchi Ippo vs Sawamura Ryūhei

He has an encounter with Sawamura (whom Ippo was about to fight in the next two days) and he knicks Kumi with his fist for touching his bike and Mashiba retaliates by swinging a punch at him and gets into his hitman stance before Ippo said he would take care of him.

Chaos Arc - Mashiba Ryou vs Sawamura Ryuuhei

Mashiba facing off Sawamura

Mashiba Facing Off Sawamura

Mashiba vs Sawamura Fight poster

Mashiba VS. Sawamura Fight poster

After his loss to Ippo, Sawamura moves up to Jr.Lightweight to challenge Mashiba for the JBC Championship. Sparks fly as they both commit foul after foul and blood flies everywhere. It could easily be the bloodiest fight in the series. It ends with Mashiba punching Sawamura out of the ring and giving him a concussion with a foul. Even though Sawamura was the one KO'd, Mashiba lost the belt because he attacked before the referee gave the okay. The match was appropriately titled "Chaos".


Winner Takes All Arc - Makunouchi Ippo VS. Malcolm Gedo

Ippo landing a punch on Mashiba's head

Ippo landing a punch on Mashiba's head

Ippo needs sparring partner with a long reach to help him prepare for his upcoming match with Malcolm Gedo and his magic punch. Mashiba also needs a sparring partner that can fight close range to help him prepare for his upcoming OPBF title match against Aaron Domingo. Seems like a perfect match for them to spar with each other, but will their past history in the Rookie King Tournament factor into it. Does Mashiba still hold a grudge from losing to Ippo? How much has Ippo and Mashiba improved since their Rookie Days?


In The Jungle Arc - Mashiba Ryō vs Aaron Domingo

Mashiba vs Domingo - Fight Poster

Mashiba vs Domingo Fight Poster

In his return match he faced the champion of the Lightweight Division. While his signature Flicker Jab enabled him to dominate the early rounds of the fight, his opponents resilience and use of several fouls saw him advance past Mashiba's reach to deliver major damage and downs to Mashiba by the eighth round. Critically wounded and frustrated at his opponents constant fouling, Mashiba invokes his typically aggressive nature and in the 10th round is able to finally KO his opponent with an new extension of his chopping right. With this he won the OPBF Lightweight belt. He now has a fan club called the Death Society. He is ranked 5th in the world.

Battle of the Beasts Arc - Mashiba Ryō VS. Romeo

Match History

 No. Result Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
21 WIN 19-2-0 Philippines Romeo TKO 5(10), 2:30 1998-06-12 Yokohama, Tokyo, Japan "Battle of Beasts"
1st OPBF Lightweight Title Defense
20 WIN 18-2-0 Thailand Aaron Domingo KO 10(12), 0:44 1997-04-27 Tokyo, Japan "Survival Matches of Asian Champions"
Comeback Match From Suspension
OPBF Lightweight Title Match
19 LOSS 17-2-0 Japan Sawamura Ryūhei DQ 6(10), 1:04 1996-04 Tokyo, Japan "Chaos"
9th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
Lost JBC Junior Lightweight Title by Disqualification
18 WIN 17-1-0 Unknown Decision 10(10), 3:00 1995 Tokyo, Japan 8th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
17 WIN 15-1-0 Unknown TKO  ?(10) 1994 Tokyo, Japan 6th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
16 WIN 14-1-0 Japan Kimura Tatsuya Decision 9(10), 2:30 1994-02-17 Tokyo, Japan "Execution"
5th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
15 WIN 13-1-0 Unknown KO  ?(10) 1994 Tokyo, Japan 4th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
14 WIN 12-1-0 Unknown Decision 10(10), 3:00 1993 Tokyo, Japan 3rd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
13 WIN 11-1-0 Unknown TKO 10(10), 3:00 1993 Tokyo, Japan 2nd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
12 WIN 10-1-0 Unknown TKO 2(10), 2:00 1993 Tokyo, Japan 1st JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defense
18 WIN 9-1-0 Japan Unknown KO 7(10), 2:12 1993 Tokyo, Japan JBC Junior Lightweight Title Match
10 WIN 8-1-0 Japan Unknown Decision 10(10), 3:00 1992 Tokyo, Japan N/A
9 WIN 7-1-0 Japan Unknown TKO  ?(10) 1992 Tokyo, Japan N/A
8 WIN 6-1-0 Japan Unknown TKO  ?(6) 1992 Tokyo, Japan N/A
7 WIN 5-1-0 Japan Unknown TKO  ?(6) 1992 Tokyo, Japan Comeback Match
6 LOSS 4-1-0 Japan Makunouchi Ippo KO 3(6), 2:13 1991-12-24 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals
5 WIN 4-0-0 Japan Miyata Ichirō KO 3(4), 2:22 1991 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals
4 WIN 3-0-0 Japan Kawaishi Tetsuya KO  ?(4), 2:58 1991 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals
3 WIN 2-0-0 Japan Fujisawa KO 2(4) 1991 Tokyo, Japan East Japan Rookie King Tournament Round 2
2 WIN 1-0-0 Japan Unknown KO 2(4) 1991 Tokyo, Japan Tournament After Pro Debut
1 WIN 1-0-0 Japan Unknown KO 1(4), 0:25 1990-12 Tokyo, Japan Pro Debut

Successions

Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Unknown JBC Junior Lightweight Champion
February, 1993 - April, 1996
Sawamura Ryūhei
Aaron Domirego OPBF Lightweight Champion
1997
Incumbent

Personality

Ippo v74 c693 p022

Mashiba's killer instincts coming back against Sawamura.

Mashiba is one of the most intimidating characters in the series, appearing markedly more hostile and unsociable than most other characters. His intimidating demeanor is usually used for comical effect, as other characters, notably Ippo, are terrified of him. All of this is in complete contrast in character to his sister, Kumi, who is portrayed as light-hearted and sweet. Despite still being very stoic, brash and rude, he seems to have mellowed out later in the series, appearing more often in social gatherings with fellow boxers (though he usually ends up provoking/arguing with them).

One of few characters, aside from his sister, that Mashiba can notably get along well with is Itagaki Manabu, who's carefree and naive personality even seems to be able to hold some influence on the former. Additionally, he, despite never outwardly admitting to it, has somewhat come to respect Kimura Tatsuya after almost losing a very close match against him, with Mashiba constantly getting angered whenever witnessing him lose/draw a match (mainly out of embarrassment to almost losing to him) and even internally wishing for Kimura to win in one of his matches.

Because of what happened to his parents, Mashiba chooses to be distant and cynical, rarely associating with anyone but his sister, which has often resulted in him being fired from jobs. He does seem to be resentful of the world at large, but he is legitimately drawn to boxing, believing it to be fair.

Mashiba is usually seen to be one of the meddlers in Ippo's relationship with Kumi, being protective to the point of overbearing. He has slackened somewhat but does still keep an eye on them if the mood strikes him. In cases revolving her love life and with Ippo present, they usually have rather comical quarrels (making him one of the few characters to actually anger Kumi to a degree). He also does not tell Kumi when his matches are, perhaps knowing that she dislikes boxing anyway and even warned her not to come to the match with Sawamura as he knew that it would most likely turn into a bloodbath.

He is a rather deadly boxer, having earned his nickname, "Shinigami" (God of Death), because many of his opponents retired after facing him.

Appearance

Ippo's sparring partner, Mashiba

Mashiba is an intimidating person. His most notable features are his arms that are extremely long like a scythe. He also has long hair, bushy eyebrows and a long face. Mashiba is said to have the best physique in lightweight division by ippo in his title match for OPBF Championship.

Fighting Style

Wild Fight

Mashiba landing his chopping right against Sawamura.

Mashiba is one of the few characters who uses the offensive Hitman Style developed by Thomas Hearns, and his style is also modeled after the same. Mashiba's height and reach allows him to have a fast and very quick flicker jab that is almost impossible to get past. The jab has become so sharp over the course of the series it is now compared to a reaper's scythe, and can even have a whiplash effect on the skin if thrown at maximum range. Besides the flicker jabs Mashiba also uses long hooks with both arms and right straights. Most of his techniques are long range.

His typical KO pattern involves using the flicker to corner and weaken the opponent and then slam in a chopping right to their jaw. If pressured into medium to close-range fights he knows to use his arms to deflect most attacks with ease, often via elbow blocks. During his one year suspension, Mashiba added a right high uppercut to his arsenal to deal with In Fighters.

Techniques

Weaknesses

Mashiba's Hitman Style is also his greatest weakness since he has to drop his left guard, which gives his opponent a chance to drive a major attack on his left side. Also, due to Mashiba's height he suffers against close range fighters, such as Ippo. One of the major ways to take down Mashiba would also be to attack his jaw, as seen when Ippo and Miyata managed to give him a down with one attack straight to his jaw, but they would have to attack his body a couple of times to make it come down lower. He uses the elbow block to deal with strong punches, but continued attacks can render his left arm damaged and he would lose his Flicker jabs.

Generally speaking, Mashiba is poor at taking hits. He shows fear towards opponents with strong fighting spirit, such as Makunouchi and Kimura Tatsuya, though Mashiba himself possesses formidable spirit born of desperation.

Originally, Mashiba had to deal with severe weight control, but he has since moved from the Featherweight class to the Junior Lightweight class, to his natural Lightweight class.

Gallery

Quotes

  • "I will never rely on anyone, and anyone who harms my little sister will pay." - Oaths he took before his parents' graves (paraphrased)
  • "As long as I exist, you'll never make it to the top of the Featherweight class." - Episode 9, Mashiba's very first line in the anime and to Ippo

Trivia

  • Mashiba has fought Ippo, Miyata, Kimura, and Sawamura throughout his career, making him the most rivaled non-protagonist in the series. In sparring also, like Ippo for his upcoming match with Malcolm Gedo. He fought against Itagaki alot of times, basically Itagaki becoming his main sparring partner.
  • He is also the most active multi-weight class boxer in the series since he has fought in the featherweights, junior lightweights, and lightweights (which is more weight classes than Takamura has fought in as of Volume 111). This also mimics Thomas Hearns, who was the first five-division world champion.
  • Mashiba's hair is very short in the manga at the start, but same thing is sort of in the anime too just a little longer, and later his hair has grown in both.