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He is a multi-weight class (currently lightweight) 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 Ichirou, Makunouchi Ippo, Kimura Tatsuya, and Sawamura Ryuuhei.
His surname is Mashiba. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.
|Japanese Name||間柴 了|
|Nickname(s)|| "The Death God"|
"The Grim Reaper"
|Birth date||June 30, 1971|
|Family||Mashiba Kumi (younger sister)|
|Occupation|| Professional Boxer|
|Weight Class|| Featherweight|
|Height||177 cm (5'10")|
|Reach||187 cm (74")|
|Style||Unorthodox Boxing Style|
|Current Affiliation||Toho Boxing Gym|
|Rank|| 5 (WBC)|
|Wins by KO||15|
|Championships|| JBC Junior Lightweight Champion|
OPBF Lightweight Champion
|Manga Debut||Round 15|
|Anime Debut||Round 9 (The Fighting)|
|Voice Actor|| Tanaka Masahiko|
Ishii Kouji (Drama CD)
Years prior to the start of the storyline, when Mashiba was still in high school, his parents were killed 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.
He is first seen provoking Miyata (which caused a short lived rivalry) and later at the license gathering for all new rookies where he brutally attacked his opponent despite the referee's orders. Once 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.
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.
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 Eiji. 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 japanesse belt before he did.
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. He later has an encounter with Sawumura Ryuuhei (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.
After his loss to Ippo, Sawumura 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 Sawumura 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".
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.
|Yokohama Arena, Tokyo Japan||Retained OPBF Lightweight Title|
|LOSS||17-2-0||Sawamura Ryuuhei||DQ||6(10), 1:04||1996-04||Tokyo, Japan||"Chaos", Lost Japanese Junior Lightweight Title by Disqualification|
|WIN||17-1-0||Unknown||Decision||12(12), 3:00||99?||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||16-1-0||Unknown||TKO||N/A||199?||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||15-1-0||Kimura Tatsuya||TKO||9(10), 2:30||1994-02-17||Tokyo, Japan||"Execution", Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||14-1-0||Unknown||KO||N/A||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||13-1-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3:00||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||12-1-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3:00||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||11-1-0||Unknown||KO||N/A||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Retained Japanese Junior Lightweight Title|
|WIN||10-1-0||Unknown||KO||7(10), 2:12||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Japanese Junior Lightweight Title Match|
|WIN||9-1-0||Unknown||Decision||10(10), 3;00||199-||Tokyo, Japan|
|WIN||6-1-0||Unknown||KO||N/A||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Comeback Match after Loss|
|LOSS||5-1-0||Makunouchi Ippo||KO||3(6), 2:13||1991-12-24||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals|
|WIN||5-0-0||Miyata Ichirou||KO||3(4), 2:22||199-||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals|
|WIN||4-0-0||Kawaishi Tetsuya||KO||?(4)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Quarter-Finals|
|WIN||3-0-0||Fujisawa||KO||?(4)||199-||Tokyo, Japan||East Japan Rookie King Tournament Second Round|
|WIN||1-0-0||Unknown||KO||1(4), 0:25||199-||Tokyo, Japan||Pro Debut|
|Preceded by||Title||Succeeded by|
|Unknown||JBC Junior Lightweight Champion|
February, 1993 - April, 1996
|Aaron Domirego||OPBF Lightweight Champion|
Mashiba is one of the most intimidating characters in the series. His intimidation can be comical alot more times than in the past, he became more soft, he basically became friends with people around him like his coach or Itagaki, right after he earned the belt.
Because of what happened to his parents, Mashiba chooses to be unsociable 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. Even if people say they like him, he says that you do not know what they really think behind that talk.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 right. 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.
- "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
- 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 mimicks 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.