Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yaoi Vibe-Hajime no Ippo


This is an anime purely for adrenaline junkies, although it does have its good moment that got me quite hooked ever since my fiance got hooked into it and introduced it to me. Purely blood, adrenaline, action, a little drama in between, and humour-driven, it's an anime that has potential in starting a cult ever since the manga came out in 1990s and still ongoing, btw.

Story

Ippo Makunochi is a very shy high school student who never had the time to make friends because he was always busy helping his mother run their family-own fishing business. Because he kept to himself, a group of bullies led by Umezawa got into the habit of picking on him. On one particular day these bullies decided to give him a rather serious beating, but a middle-weight professional boxer who was passing by stopped the bullies and took the injured Ippo to the Kamogawa Gym (鴨川ボクシングジム Kamogawa Bokushingu Jimu?), owned by retired boxer Genji Kamogawa, to treat his wounds. After Ippo awoke to the sounds of boxers training, the boxer who saved him, Mamoru Takamura, tried to cheer Ippo up by letting him vent his frustrations on a sandbag. It was then that they had their first glimpse into Ippo's talent for boxing. After that incident, Ippo started his regular training and began his path in Japan's professional boxing, beginning with two spars against the talented Ichiro Miyata who is the same age as Ippo.

The story focuses heavily on character development, even during the matches something is learned about the fighters. Ippo and his friendly rivalry with Miyata is the main draw in the early part of the series. That later changes to Ippo's path towards the Japanese Featherweight Championship and eventually the world championship. Along the way we are given glimpses into the other side character's pasts, motivations, relationships to others and current boxing trials. A colorful cast of support characters and opponents as well as side stories concerning their path in the boxing world rounds out the series.

Kamogawa Gym

Ippo Makunouchi

Ippo Makunouchi (幕之内 一歩 Makunouchi Ippo?), voiced by Kōhei Kiyasu (Japanese) and Steve Staley (English), is the main protagonist of the series. He lives with his mother, Hiroko Makunouchi, and helps with the family charter boat fishing business. When he was young, Ippo used to get bullied and picked on by others in his school. As fate would have it, Takamura came upon Ippo as he was getting a beating from a couple of bullies and decided to help him. Takamura saw something in Ippo and introduced him to the world of boxing. After seeing a video of Mike Tyson, Ippo becomes inspired to take up boxing to feel reborn with strength, as a sort of therapy and asks Takamura to get him into Kamogawa Gym. Immediately after arriving at Kamogawa Gym he impresses Takamura and Kamogawa with his explosive punching power and guts in the ring. Like he has with Takamura, Kamogawa personally takes on Ippo as his pupil and starts him on the path to being a pro boxer. Since then, Takamura has treated Ippo like a younger brother and has taken him under his wing.

Ippo is a classic in-fighter and is well known for his Peek-a-Boo style of boxing and hard punches including three signature punches: a rib-cracking Liver blow, Gazelle punch (an uppercut variant), and the Dempsey roll technique. During his match with Sawamura, he modified the Dempsey roll to prevent it from being countered. He also modified the Dempsey roll into a "smash" version when he fought against Jimmy Sisfa, a.k.a. "Scratch J". His signature punches are modeled after Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson, and Jack Dempsey respectively. Although he is not a technical boxer, Makunouchi makes up for it with his superb fighting spirit. His nickname is the God of Wind, coined after the force of his powerful blows. Ippo is based on Mike Tyson.His only loss is to Eiji Date who was at the time the Japanese Champion he went on to fight Ricardo Martinez but the injuries he sustained lead Date to retire and pass the baton to Ippo.

Ippo's current record as a professional boxer with 22 matches is 21–1–0 (W-L-D), with 21 KOs, he is the reigning JBC Featherweight Champion, having defended his Japanese title 7 times, and holds a single digit ranking in the WBC.

Mamoru Takamura

Mamoru Takamura (鷹村 守 Takamura Mamoru?), voiced by Rikiya Koyama (Japanese) and Eddie Frierson (English), is a strong boxer that has never lost a match. He has an incredible athletic ability that manifests through his strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes. Takamura also has an insatiable appetite for women, which is only overshadowed by his obsession for victory. At one point, he single-handedly knocks out an adult bear while sustaining gashes on his arm, and more notably on his chest. The weakened bear is eventually killed, and he is dubbed "The Bear Slayer". He honors the moniker by wearing the Bear pelt, baring his scars proudly.

He originally was a delinquent that often got into fights. Because of his strength, he often left his victims with serious injuries. He was disowned by his family due to a brawl initiated by himself which happened during a rugby match where his older brother was competing and fans booed. By the time the brawl was over, at least 20 people were injured. After the incident, Takamura continues to fight until he meets Coach Kamogawa. After weeks of training, and without a single sparring session, Takamura defeats his first opponent 25 seconds into the first round. He works his way to becoming the JBC Middleweight Champion, and then moves on to become the WBC Junior Middleweight Champion, and then the WBC Middleweight Champion (which makes him the only current World Champion from Japan). His current aspiration is to conquer the next 4 classes up through heavyweight, but first he must win his upcoming fight for a Super Middleweight Championship. Takamura's character resembles former Middleweight Champions Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Roy Jones Jr. for his versatile repertoire of punches, his ability to box and brawl at any range, and his uncanny physical giftedness.

As a two-time World Champion and former Japanese Middleweight Champion, Takamura is the former WBC Jr. Middleweight Champion, and the reigning WBC Middleweight Champion. Takamura currently holds a record of 21-0 with all 21 wins coming by knockout.

Others

Masaru Aoki (青木 勝 Aoki Masaru?)

Ippo's senpai and Kimura's best friend. Aoki provides much of the gym's comic relief and exercises one of the world's most unusual fighting styles. A few of his signature techniques include the fan-favorite Frog Punch, double punch, an untorqued (ineffective) corkscrew punch, and the utterly ridiculous Lookaway (which has also been adopted by Takamura). In the past, he and Kimura were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Aoki's real job is at a ramen restaurant. Due to the numerous times being dumped by the pretty girls in high school, he's developed a taste for women with unattractive faces. He has fought for the Japanese lightweight championship and shares an apartment with his girlfriend, Tomiko, a friend of Kumi Mashiba whose nice personality and good body more than compensate for her less-than-stellar face. Aoki seems to be based on either former world champion Jorge Paez, or hardcore fight fan hero Emanuel Augustus for their offbeat fighting styles and records. His current record stands at 20 Matches 10-6-4 (W-L-D), with 6 KOs, and the best rank he reached is 1st in Lightweight. His signature "Look Away" technique is based on a skill former World Middleweight Champion Jake LaMotta had used in his career.
Aoki is ranked 7th in JBC Lightweight rankings.
Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Jim Taggert (English)

Tatsuya Kimura (木村 達也 Kimura Tatsuya?)

Ippo's senpai and Aoki's best friend. He is the smooth, collected type and a romantic at heart, but trains as hard as anyone. His style incorporates a fast left and faster footwork and is considered by Miyata to have "no weaknesses" yet, it also doesn't have strengths either which creates Kimura's weakness. In the OVA, which was dedicated to Kimura, he is in training for his bid for the Japanese junior lightweight championship against Ryo Mashiba, he developed a devastating vertical combination known as the Dragon Fish Blow, which Kimura learned while watching his pet fish jumped up and eat his meal in front of him. Another interesting fact is that, out of all the opponents that had fought Ryo Mashiba, Kimura is the only one Ryo had feared during a match. In the past, he and Aoki were the toughest high-school thugs around, but now Tatsuya's real job is at his family's flower shop. His current record stands at 24 Matches 16-5-3 (W-L-D), with 8 KOs, and the best rank he reach is 3rd in Jr. Lightweight, because the 1st & 2nd resigned from fear of Mashiba.
Kimura is ranked 7th in the JBC Jr. Lightweight rankings. After losing to Ryo Mashiba, he announced his retirement from boxing. Shortly after, unable to stay away from boxing, he returned saying he'd spell his name in katakana (タツヤ, Tatsuya) instead of kanji (達也,, Tatsuya). Kimura's character seems to be at least partially based on former world champion "Fearless" Freddie Pendleton, who had been a journeyman fighter his entire career, yet was still able to fight on even terms with some of the best in the world with his high level of skill.
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara (Japanese), Grant George (English)

Manabu Itagaki (板垣学 Itagaki Manabu?)

The most recent addition to the roster, the charming Manabu has a prodigy's talent and was the captain of his high school's boxing team. Cheerful and a lover of bad puns (as are the rest of his family), Manabu is a fierce outboxer with extremely high speed and reflexes and whose fighting style is uncanny in its resemblance to Miyata's. His most powerful technique is a furious hail of mid-power blows known as the Hedgehog or Porcupine, which was employed in an East Japan Rookie Kings showdown with his longtime nemesis, Kyosuke Imai. Outside of boxing, Manabu is employed as an assistant at the Makounouchi family's fishing business. Itagaki's character is based on former world champion Oscar de La Hoya for his prodigy-like natural ability and good looks, whom Itagaki has admitted to idolizing in the manga. His current record as the Rookie King of his class stands at 11 Matches 10-1-0 (W-L-D), with 8 KOs.
Itagaki is currently listed as 8th in JBC Featherweight rankings, also Itagaki is one of the speed square which consists of 3rd Saeki, 5th Karasawa, 7th Fukui.
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
  • Genji Kamogawa (鴨川 源二 Kamogawa Genji?)
Head coach and founder of the Kamogawa gym. He fought as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of the Second World War. Along with his friends, Ginpachi Nekota and Dankichi Hama, Kamogawa developed a style of fighting that both presumably became the forerunner of boxing in Japan and emphasized scientific theory in its techniques. In his prime, Kamogawa's talents included the fearsome, yet self-destructive, Tekken (Iron Fist) blow which is a left hook body blow enough to knock someone down and an unyielding spirit which has been passed onto his students. As a coach, Kamogawa's wealth of knowledge and experience has been tapped into on multiple occasions during training as well as in matches. He may seem to be a bit gruff towards his boxers, but maintains very strong relationships based on trust and spirit; i.e., he rescued Takamura from his life as a thug by introducing him to boxing. Although he rarely admits it aloud, he is extremely proud of his two best reliable straight-forward boxers, Takamura and Ippo.
Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
  • Haruhiko Yagi (八木 晴彦 Yagi Haruhiko?)
The manager of Kamogawa Gym and a part-time trainer. Friendly and knowledgeable, "Yagi-chan" (as his pupils affectionately call him) is also in charge of securing match posters, selling tickets, and anything else involving the gym's finances. He knows a great deal about boxing himself, having been a boxer at Kamogawa Gym once. Additionally, although Yagi was not a skilled boxer nor a good second member, but he is a master fisherman who can outfish anyone.
Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima
  • Tomoyuki Shinoda (Shinoda Tomoyuki)
One of the trainers at the Kamogawa Gym. Because he oversees the training of some of Kamogawa boxers, he is normally a second to some of them during their matches; in fact, he knows Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki even better than the Coach does. Because of Aoki & Kimura's reputation for "mud slinging" matches, they would sometimes jokingly blame Shinoda for improperly training them and calling him the "Trainer From Hell". Shinoda almost resigned when he felt that he might not be able to draw out Itagaki's full potential.
Voiced by: Seiji Sasaki

Kawahara Gym

Ichiro Miyata

Ichiro Miyata (宮田 一郎 Miyata Ichiro?)

Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki
Miyata a very skilled outboxer that specializes in counter punches. Considered by many to be a boxing prodigy, he uses the boxing style that his father used. After his father is forced to retire, Miyata decides to take on his style of boxing to prove its worth, and to go above and beyond him. He begins at Kamogawa Gym, but after losing to Ippo, he later transfers to Kawahara Gym in hopes of one day facing Ippo in an official match. Miyata himself looked down on Ippo a little at first, but after he helped Ippo to buy new boots for their first match, he started to respect him more, developing a friendly rivalry.
Miyata originally starts to rise very rapidly in the Eastern Championship, until he is defeated by Ryo Mashiba. After physically recovering and graduating high school, he visits Ippo and tells him that he's going in a tour through Thailand and Korea to improve his skills and then fight him. Miyata has trained all across the Pacific and eventually returns to the mainstream boxing scene as the main contender to the OPBF featherweight title. Together with the Jolt Counter, a deadly full-body powered counter blow enough to knock someone out cold, Miyata KOs Australian boxer Arnie Gregory to become the current regional champion. He has defended his title five times, all by KO, boosting him up to the rank of WBC #5 Featherweight. Miyata currently defeated Randy Boy Junior, the OPBF interim champion who was crowned during Miyata's absence due to broken fists. Successor of the style that defeated his father. His ring name is the God of Thunder due to his quick speed,and his powerful counters.
Unfortunately Miyata's body structure is not suited for Feather Weight Class but for the Junior Light weight & light weight class, due to that he needs to fight a single match per month to keep his weight at 126 Lbs, the limit of the feather weight class. Furthermore he has a glass jaw that is a severe weakness for him. Miyata seems partially based on former world champion Sugar Ray Leonard for his phenomenal skill, speed, and counter punching ability, though Morikawa has said in interviews that he also based Miyata on his personal friend, Naoto Takahashi, a former Japan and OPBF champion.
Miyata currently holds a record of 23-1-1 with 21 Knockouts and is the reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion.
  • Suzuki Toshio (鈴木?)
Suzuki is a veteran boxer in-fighter specialist ranked 2nd in Featherweight, he challenged Date Eiji in the title match and lost by TKO in the first round, also he lost in the Class A tournament Semi-Final against Volg very badly after which he retires due to his age.
  • Miyata's Father
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka
Ichiro Miyata's father and coach, and the one who passed on to him the love of boxing. Formerly a Japan and OPBF champion in his prime, when Ichiro was a very young boy he lost soundly to Raccoon Boy and had his jaw fractured in the last round of his seventh title defense despite leading in the score cards, so he chose to retire despite having the chance to make a comeback. As a witness of his father's fall from grace, Ichiro decided to take on his style and become the best with it. Also during his reign as the champion of Japan, he defeated Sendo's trainer, Yanaoka.
  • Kida (木田?)
Voiced by: Toru Ohkawa
Miyata's manager.

Naniwa Gym

Takeshi Sendo

Takeshi Sendo (千堂 武士 Sendō Takeshi?), voiced by Masaya Onosaka, is an aggressive mid-range fighter, and his specialty punch is the "Smash", Deadly Smash and Ultra Low Smash which was popularized and created by Donovan Ruddock. He resides in the Naniwa Ward of Osaka, where his is known as "Rocky" and the "Naniwa Tiger." His "Rocky" nickname was influenced by his power boxing style similar to that of Rocky Marciano, the only heavyweight champion in history to retire undefeated. In a recent interview with Shounen Magazine, Hajime no Ippo's manga-ka, Jyoji Morikawa said that Hidekazu Akai was also one of his models for Sendo. Like Sendo, Akai was from Osaka and was nicknamed the Naniwa Rocky.

Sendo's mother died after childbirth, so he spent his first years with his father and paternal grandmother, raised under the motto "you should protect those around you". When he was around five years old, his firefighter father died while rescuing a boy about the same age as Sendo during a blaze. Sendo, proud of his father's sacrifice, continued to follow his advice by trying to help others. He started by helping people from bullies, but eventually became very violent with his "justice". By high school, Sendo had already become one of the most feared street fighters and gang leaders in Osaka, but not attacking people, rather defending the weak.

One day, he beat up several boxers from Naniwa boxing gym, and met his coach, Yamaoka. He soon became interested in boxing, going on to win the Western Japan Rookie Championship. As a result he was slated to fight Ippo who defeated Ryo Mashiba to become the Eastern Rookie King Champion, during the All Rookie King Japan Tournament. However during the fight with Mashiba, Ippo injured his right hand and as a result decided to skip the fight with Sendo. After finding out Sendo literally goes out of his way to make Ippo change his mind and after seeing his determination to want to fight him so badly akin to his desire to want to fight Miyata, Ippo decides to go on with the match despite his handicap. In the end Sendo loses the fight by TKO, however despite this Ippo was left feeling that the battle hadn't been fully resolved, since he was clearly losing the fight and was barely able to walk when the 4th round was about to start but Sendo remained in his corner unconscious due to a punch that Ippo connected to his temple.

Sendo has held the Japanese featherweight following a questionable win over Volg Zangief (that even Sendo himself didn't accept gladly) to decide who would take the Featherweight Championship vacated after Eiji Date retired, defending it twice by KO. Ultimately not only would he lose the title to Ippo in their rematch but as a result of Ippo's devastating punches, he was shelved due to Ippo cracking his ribs with body blows and Liver blows.

Following his recent comeback, Sendo holds a record of 17-2-0, with 16 KOs and is the former JBC Featherweight Champion. After his last victory against a Mexican boxer, Sendou is ranked WBC #23 and declared his ambition to defeat the WBA champion, Ricardo Martinez. Recently, Jyoji Morikawa released a 48 page one-shot manga focusing on Sendo before his time as a fighter. Sendo is based on legendary heavyweight world champion Rocky Marciano, whom Sendo admits he admires most, for his fearless style and passion for infighting.

Others

  • Hiroyuki Hoshi (星 洋行 Hoshi Hiroyuki?): Sendo's Kouhai and equally as brash, though he is more polite towards Sendo. He joined the Naniwa Gym out of his admiration of Sendo and like Sendo, he was the West Japan Rookie King. Prior to boxing, Hoshi practiced Karate and would challenge other martial arts schools. He showed up at the gym one day and Sendo took his challenge. Sendo was the first man to stay standing from Hoshi's trademark move, the Ichigeki, a basic power punch from Karate thrown from the side of your body. Upon meeting with Ippo, he stated his plan of challenging Ippo right after he beat Itagaki for the Rookie King title, but he was unsuccessful and Itagaki won the match easily with his superior speed and reflexes.
  • Yanaoka (柳岡?)
Voiced by: Naoki Tatsuta: A still young ex-boxer who works as a coach in the Naniwa gym. As a boxer, he was able to achieve being the number one contender of the Japanese title, but was unable to defeat the champion which is later revealed to have been Miyata's father. When Sendo attacked him and some rookie boxers, Yanaoka was the only one who could resist Sendo's attacks and could even see his weak spots as a fighter. Thanks to him, Sendo joined the Naniwa gym.

Toho Gym

  • Ryo Mashiba (間柴 了 Mashiba Ryō?)
Known by ringnames such as the "Executioner" or "Shinigami (God of Death)" by those who watch his matches, Mashiba is one of the most intimidating boxers in the series. He effectively combines an inhuman reach and the offensive Detroit version of the Hitman stance that was used by the American boxer Thomas Hearns, who ruled 5 classes of boxing weights with this style, to create a devastating whiplike technique known as the Flicker Jab to eat away at his opponent's guard and resolve. Those fortunate and/or skilled enough to make it through his barrier-like Flicker still have to deal with his power-packed Chopping Right, which cuts down those who would deal damage up-close. Recently Mashiba has incorporated a devastating right uppercut into his repertoire, presumably to overcome his weakness to infighting.
After beating Miyata in the Rookie King Tournament semifinal (he even resorted to stepping on Miyata's foot to keep him close), he lost to Ippo in the final match. He later moves to Junior Lightweight Division where he reigns as Champion (defending the belt against Kimura in a very close match, amongst others) before losing to Sawamura by disqualification in one of the dirtiest, bloodiest matches ever seen in the series, due to Sawamura's dirty boxing and Mashiba's grudge against him. In that one match alone, almost all the fouls that could be committed were committed (by both fighters). In the end, although he manages to knocked Sawamura out (and out of the ring), Mashiba is ultimately deemed the loser by the referee for fouling. He is nearly off his year-long suspension and, according to his coach, is planning a title match for the OPBF Junior Lightweight Division.
Outside of the ring, Mashiba is a very quiet, if also very unnerving and scary figure who is spurred on to earn wages and box for prize money all to support both himself and his beloved younger sister, Kumi, orphaned after their parents died in a tragic accident many years ago; because of all his pain and the humiliation coming from others, Mashiba has developed a big resentment against the rest of the world, which only started to wear down after losing to Ippo; with time, he comes to not really mind the relationship Ippo has with Kumi (though he still keeps an eye on them whenever he can, watching for Kumi) and goes to his fights on occasion; he even entrusts Ippo to take revenge on Sawamura, who gave Kumi a cut on her cheek. After returning from a one year suspension, Mashiba successfully moved closer to his natural weight by going to the Lightweight division, where he won the OPBF Lightweight Title in a grueling fight that ended in a come-from-behind knockout victory for Mashiba.
As the reigning OPBF Lightweight Champion, Mashiba currently holds a record of 18-2-0, with 14 KOs and is the former JBC Jr. Lightweight Champion. His belt was lost to Ryuhei Sawamura, due to a disqualification on part of Mashiba's brutal attitude during the fight. Mashiba is based on former six-division world champion Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, for his exceptional height, reach, and use of the flicker jab.
Voiced by: Masahiko Tanaka

Otowa Gym

  • Ryuichi Hayami (速水 龍一 Hayami Ryū'ichi?)
A prodigy outboxer with incredibly fast punches, he is known for his "Shotgun", a barrage of fast punches intended to down his opponent quickly and decisively. Although he was a former Inter-High Champ, he lost to Ippo in the last second of the first round of the East Japan Rookie King Tournament. He later moves down to the Junior Featherweight Division where he becomes the JBC Jr. Featherweight Champion. After his loss to Kenta Kobashi for the Junior Featherweight championship, he retires from boxing due to his weak chin, seriously damaged in the fight with a one-two combination from Kobashi. He's an incredibly handsome fellow, very popular outside of boxing as a model and teenage idol, and has a legion of female followers who always cheer for him whether he wins or loses.
Voiced by: Kōji Tsujitani
  • Alexander Volg Zangief
The World Amateur Champion is a handsome boxer from Russia who excels at outboxing and taking points, but adopts a vicious infighting style when he moves to Japan (Ippo notices how depressed he looks after this happens). Raised by a single mother in a small town near to St. Petersburg, Volg originally takes up boxing in order to provide medical assistance for his seriously ill mom (who coincidentally looks a lot like Hiroko Makunouchi, but with longer and reddish hair), but after consecutive losses to both Ippo and Sendou, he is forced to leave the Otawa Gym and return to Russia, staying by his mother's side until her death. Besides his incredible outboxing technique, Volg's greatest weapon is a vertical combination called "White Fang"( a short, quick left uppercut, followed by an incredibly fast and powerful chopping right). Volg later returns to Japan to get his old boxing gloves from Ippo before he goes to America, and ends up helping Ippo train for his upcoming match against Sawamura Ryuhei. Currently Volg is in America fighting at the world stage and, under the training of Dankichi Hama, is the 1st ranked WBA Jr. Lightweight fighter. His personality is very humble and polite, though he's a very good boxer, Volg admits that he doesn't really like boxing as it hurts other people but only does it so he can help his ill mother back home but finally comes to realize he has passion for boxing. There was also a running gag at the beginning, related to his rusty Japanese. When Ippo met Volg when he couldn't read kanji in the subway, and few minutes after their first conversation he got in trouble with other native Japanese people for the very same reason.
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa
  • Kyosuke Imai (今井 京介 Imai Kyosuke?)
The longtime rival of Itagaki Manabu, Imai was the one boxer who managed to thwart Itagaki in his high-school days. They fought a total of three times in the amateur ring; each time Imai was victorious. His build, KO pattern, and even hairstyle are remarkably similar to those of Itagaki's senpai, Makunouchi Ippo. Imai is ordinarily cool and composed, bearing a poker face even in the heat of battle. Eventually, Itagaki defeats Imai in a heated battle. It seems the only people who can rouse him out of this perpetual calm are Ippo, Itagaki, and Itagaki's sister Nanako -- with whom Imai is very much smitten.
Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura

Kinoshita Gym

  • Kazuki Sanada (真田 一機 Sanada Kazuki?): Handsome and highly intelligent, Sanada's full-time job is as a doctor at the same hospital in which Kumi works. Before moving up to the Featherweight division, he had a very successful reign as the JBC Jr. Featherweight Champion, defending the title five times. He is the pupil of Genji Kamogawa's old nemesis, Hama Dankichi, and in a fight, he uses his immense knowledge of human physical capabilities to predict his opponents' moves. His specialties include two of Dankichi's inventions: the "Hien" (飛燕?) -- named after a model of highly maneuverable Japanese fight plane, it's an unpredictable left jab known in English as the Swallow -- and the "Tsubame Gaeshi", a piercing double uppercut known in English as the Swallow's Return. After his failed attempt to obtain the Featherweight Championship from Ippo, he retires from boxing to continue his work as a doctor. Sanada's character is fairly reminiscent of mid-1980s boxer "The Fighting Physician" Dr. Terry Christle, who had been the Irish national Middleweight champion and chief sparring partner of Marvelous Marvin Hagler during his training for his super fight against Sugar Ray Leonard. Christle had earned his Ph.D at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, but before embarking on a medical career had wanted to give boxing a try, ultimately retiring in 1987. At the time of his retirement, Sanada held a record of 13-2-1 with 9 knockouts
Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera
  • Takuzo Karasawa (唐沢 拓三 Karasawa Takuzō?): Sanada's kōhai (後輩?). After Sanada's retirement from boxing, Karasawa wanted to bring glory back to their gym, and so challenged Ippo for the featherweight championship title. He planned to use his lightning-fast feet to evade the champion's punches and counter the Dempsey Roll, but was mercilessly KO'ed in the second round due to Ippo's choice to seal the Dempsey Roll and focus on a back-to-the-basics approach on boxing.

Hachinohe Gym

  • Jason Osma (ジェイソン・尾妻 Jeison Ozuma?), United States Army
An African-American soldier stationed in Japan at Misawa Air Base, near Hachinohe, Osma proves a difficult opponent for Ippo in the first round of the Rookie King Tournament. While fearsome in fights, Osma's usual personality is almost unnervingly polite and outgoing. He boxes in order to earn money for his gym, his coach and his training partners, whom he treats like his own family. Osma wields an explosive hook equal even to, if not better than, Takamura's. After fighting Ippo in the Rookie King first round he retired.
Voiced by: Masahiro Kobayashi
  • Naomichi Yamada (山田 直道 Yamada Naomichi?)
A bashful young man who first joined the Kamogawa Gym as Ippo's follower. His initial nickname was "Geromichi" (a Japanese pun based on the fact that he threw up after every part of training). While in public he is awkward and uncomfortable, Naomichi puts everything into his training for his hope for strength and self-confidence. Having had to move away due to his widow mother's work, Naomichi now boxes for a different gym under the alias "Hammer Nao." His speciality, a solar-plexus blow, was his main weapon when he challenged his former senpai and current Japanese featherweight champion, Ippo Makounouchi. Although he appears to front a cold personality as "Hammer Nao", he remains a very kind person at heart. He is also blessed with a very good singing voice. Yamada currently holds a record of 8-1-0 with 5 knockouts and is known to fight anywhere between Featherweight and his natural weight class of Junior Welterweight.
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi

Karil Gym

  • Ryuhei Sawamura (沢村 竜平 Sawamura Ryuhei?): A boxer from Nagoya, Sawamura was introduced to boxing by a high school teacher who constantly tried to keep him out of trouble. As a child, he was abandoned by his mother after he attacked her abusive boyfriend with a knife. Sawamura's lust for violence carried over into his boxing career as well, and he shows no remorse for his almost criminal behavior. Nicknamed the "Owari Dragon", Sawamura is very lax about rules in the ring, and will perform illegal moves even if he has an advantage over the other boxer. His specialties include counterpunches and a deadly, twisting jab called the Bullet. He was involved in a car accident the night he won the fight against Ryo Mashiba to become the JBC Jr. Lightweight Champion and retired as champion having 14 fights with a record of 11-3-0 (W-L-D) with 5 KO. According to Sendo, Sawamura has become a trainer in Nagoya.

Nakadai Gym

  • Eiji Date (伊達 英二 Date Eiji?): At an age swiftly approaching thirty, Date is an old-timer for a boxer, but is nevertheless the man that Ippo looks up to. Years ago, he lost his World Title Match to the champion, Ricardo Martinez, who was defending his title for the 2nd time. He was knocked out in the 2nd round, and among other injuries, got a scar on the bridge of his then-fractured nose.
Date gave up boxing after that in order to settle down with his wife Aiko (a woman from a rich family who sacrificed a lot to be with him, and who just had a miscarriage at that time) and raise a family. But Date was a born boxer -- he found he could not contain his combative nature for long, and after Aiko told him that she wanted their son Yuuji to see his dad fight, he picked his career back up to the top. Date is strong in every way, but his greatest weapon is the Heartbreak Shot, a corkscrew blow to the heart that immobilizes the opponent. He is the sole boxer to have defeated Ippo in the ring, making Kamogawa throw the towel.
After this fateful match, Date went after the WBA title -- a rematch with Ricardo Martinez, who was making his 18th title defense -- but lost by K.O. in the 10th round. The injuries he received in this fight included broken hands and a fractured jaw, and seriously limited Date's chances of making a return to the ring. He has, however, passed on his dream to Ippo. Currently, he trains other boxers at the Nakadai Gym. Morikawa Jouji stated in an interview that Date was modeled after former OPBF Champion Ozaki Fujio.
At the time of his retirement, Date held a record of 23-2-0 with 17 KO's. He was the former OPBF Featherweight Champion as well as a two-time JBC Featherweight Champion and has twice been the #1 contender to Ricardo Martinez's WBA Featherweight Title.
Voiced by: Masaki Aizawa
  • Keigo Okita (沖田 佳吾 Okita Keigo?): A boxer at Nakadai Gym who preceded Ippo as the Rookie of the Year. Okita, an exceedingly serious young man, idolizes Eiji Date to the point of mimicking his style and special techniques. Date's favor of the relatively inexperienced Makunouchi Ippo inflamed Okita's jealousy, and he challenged Ippo to a match. Though confident that his special "corkscrew blow", a punch copied from Date, would carry him through the fight, Okita was soundly defeated by Ippo in the first round. Later, he was seen as one of Date's assistants during his fight with Ippo. It is also shown that he lost to Shimabukuro Iwao before Iwao's Japanese title match with Ippo.
Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata

Other boxers

Japanese boxers

  • Yusuke Oda (小田 祐介 Oda Yusuke?): A handsome boxer with an admittedly unimpressive record of 3-3-0 (3KOs), Oda is Makunouchi Ippo's first opponent in the professional ring. Oda boasts a crushing right straight that easily knocked out his first few opponents; but it was soon revealed, to Coach Mikami's dismay, that he hated to train. Instead, Oda often chose to spend time with his girlfriend -- the coach's daughter, Reiko. Later, when he risked losing both Reiko's favor (she had heard how others mocked Oda for losing his fighting will) and the Nishikawa gym's support, Oda threw himself into training and regained the spirit of a boxer. Though he did lose to Ippo, due to the return of his old love for boxing he kept both Reiko's love and the trust of Coach Mikami. Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna
  • Yoshio Fujiwara (藤原 義男 Fujiwara Yoshio?): Fujiwara, an arrogant boxer with a body like a Mack truck and a forehead of stone, is Ippo's second opponent. When he realizes that Ippo is too much for him, he resorts to illegal headbutting to stun the young fighter. Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki
  • Takuma Saeki (冴木 卓麻 Saeki Takuma?): Another amateur boxer turned pro, he was considered an Olympic hopeful while he attended the Toyou College of Athletics. The cheerful, confident Saeki is a skilled outboxer, nicknamed the "Speed Star" for his incredibly quick fists and feet; even Date couldn't touch him when they sparred. Saeki likes to dazzle his opponents with his fast footwork, then blindside them with volleys of punches. He has recently made a reappearance and will be competing in the upcoming Class-A tournament along with Takuzo Karasawa and even Ippo's kouhai Itagaki.Voiced by: Kiyoyuki Yanada
  • Kenta Kobashi (小橋 健太 Kobashi Kenta?): Kobashi stands as one of the lower key boxers, having entered boxing in the same class and year as Ippo. While both are openly shy and mellow in temperament, Kobashi does not share Ippo's skill as a boxer and resorts to duller tactics to attain victory in the ring. He trains at the Ohtaki Gym. In matches, he is known to throw together simple jabs, footwork, and clinching in a defensive style designed to win on points. Lacking destructive power in his punches, Kobashi has focused on less aggressive boxing and even utilizes a strong cross-arm block to hold superior attackers at bay. He almost defeated Ippo by taking points in the Rookie King Tournament, but was KO´d in the last minute. He is a former JBC Jr. Featherweight Champion, (having defeated Ryuichi Hayami and ending his career), but has since retired without defending once to become a trainer. Incidentally, this is the name of real-life professional wrestler Kenta Kobashi; however the kanji for his real name is the same while the kanji for his ring name can be seen in the article on the wrestler (as well as the two being shown on the Japanese version thereof). Voiced by: Taiki Matsuno
  • Iwao Shimabukuro (島袋 岩男 Shimabukuro Iwao?): Known as the "Ryūkyū Warrior", Shimabukuro hails from a small fishing village in Okinawa and trains at the Okinawa Seaside Gym. Though even shorter than Ippo, his body is like a steel fortress, bulky and cabled with muscle; and his strong lungs enable him to fight without having to breathe for many minutes. He longs to fight with Ippo in a great battle between men of the sea. He was the first challenger to successfully and seriously exploit one of the Dempsey Roll's weaknesses.
  • Keiichi Take (武 恵一 Take Keiichi?): A crafty, veteran boxer in his early thirties, from the Sameichi Gym in the Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyuushuu. He was ranked the 1st seed in the Featherweight Division when Date was the Champion his first time around. Take had challenged Date for the Championship back then, but had to pull out of the fight to look after his son, Hide, who had become seriously ill. After Hide had recovered, he was bullied because others thought his father was a coward for not fighting Date. Take then returned to the boxing world to fight for his son and had risen to the 1st seed again to challenge Ippo for the Championship. He's also the first southpaw boxer Ippo fights in a professional match. He could be considered a master manipulator and has a boxing style like Aoki. Ippo is able to KO him just 1 minute into the 6th round of Ippo's 7th title defence match.

Foreign boxers

  • Jimmy Sisfer: The reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion of Thailand. Also known as Scratch J, is a boxer from Thailand who was previously a Muay Thai champion, he has a very powerful right hook. He was the first boxer defeated by Miyata's Jolt Counter, while he was training in Thailand, as part of his travel to gain more experience. Sisfer comes back later in the series with his face full of scars and his speech slurred as Thailand's Featherweight champion to fight Ippo. In the fight, he reveals a devastating new blow that has the destructive power of a Jolt, without actually being a counter, named the Tornado Jolt. However, he loses by KO when Ippo uses a variation of the Dempsey Roll that uses an uppercut/smash instead of a hook. Jimmy Sisfer currently holds a record of 38-8 with all 38 wins by knockout and is based on former Junior Bantamweight champion Khaosai Galaxy who had defened his world title 19 times.Voiced by: Masaaki Ōkura
  • Ponchai Chuwatana: A boxer from Thailand, he is the first to fight Ippo in his comeback after his loss to Eiji Date. Little is known about him, leading Ippo to be nervous before their match. He was also the first boxer knocked down by Ippo's new weapon, the Dempsey Roll.
  • Arnie Gregory: The former OPBF Featherweight Champion. An Australian boxer nicknamed "The Crocodile", his punches, especially hooks, are very powerful. He also uses a technique against counterpunchers called Bloody Cross. He was the OPBF Champion but lost his title to Miyata. He was KO´d by Miyata's Jolt Counter when Miyata was almost done. He fired his manager, Mr Sakaguchi, before the end of his match with Miyata because of Sakaguchi thinking of boxing as nothing more than a way of making money and thus failing to understand the feelings of the fighters. Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda
  • Ricardo Martinez: The longtime reigning WBA Featherweight Champion, Martinez is considered the only active Super Champion in the world. Having made quick work of Date and sixty other unlucky opponents, Martinez is undefeated and seemingly invincible, as he demonstrated to Ippo in a one-sided sparring match. His strength, speed, ability, and reflexes are almost otherworldly. Martinez is also touted to have "the world's best jab", a jab with no shoulder movement and a very powerful snap. Though he rarely deigns to speak to his opponents, Martinez respects boxers who manage to last more than a round or two against him. The boxer he respects most is Date, as Date pushed him further than anyone else ever had in their rematch. Even so, Martinez's face was not even swollen up from their rematch, whereas Date's injuries were so bad that he had to retire. Martinez currently holds a record of 68-0 with 64 KO's. Martinez's style, demeanor, and career is based on retired world champion Ricardo Lopez, who defended the WBC strawweight title 22 times and is the third champion history to retire undefeated. Voiced by: Masashi Sugawara
  • Bryan Hawk: The former WBC Junior Middleweight Champion. A fighter of enormous build, Hawk is detested throughout Japan for his contemptuous attitude towards boxing, often bringing his personal entourage of "Hawk Girls" along to matches and other events. Raised in the toughest parts of New York, Hawk survived with his incredible talent for hand-to-hand violence. He uses unorthodox punches that are very hard to predict, in words of his own coach, Hawk's fighting style is not boxing, it's simply violence. He apparently derives even some degree of sexual pleasure from this violence. He loses the WBC Title to Takamura and retires from boxing due to the injuries received in the match. Like many boxers in the show before he boxed he was a street fighter. He grew up in the most dangerous parts of New York and fought until he was discovered by Miguel Zale, who ran a boxing gym. Bryan Hawk resembles former WBC Junior Middleweight Champion Ricardo Mayorga (who is often referred to as "The craziest man in boxing"), who is infamous for his hatred of training, wild swinging awkward punches, talent that had stemmed from a violent background, and borderline psychotic attitude. Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka
  • David Eagle: The former WBC Middleweight Champion, and a fighter the complete opposite of Bryan Hawk in terms of both personality and fighting style. An orthodox hard puncher, he climbed undefeated to the top after only 17 matches, with 15 wins by way of knockout. His level of basic techniques is high and has great concentration due to his vast Olympic and amateur experience, where he was also undefeated. Eagle's greatest weapon is a highly polished one-two, which Takamura even admits is of the highest class in terms of power and delivery, as well as a great fighting spirit, that Takamura recognizes as one as great as Ippo's (The exact words were: "You know, Ippo? This guy looks just like you"). Eagle is pleasant and easygoing outside the ring, and shows excellent sportsmanship inside it. He loses his belt to Takamura.
  • Randy Boy Jr.: The former OPBF Interim Featherweight Champion who holds a victory over The OPBF Featherweight Champion of The Philippines and fellow countryman, Malcolm Gedoh. He is the son of the boxer that caused Miyata Ichiro's father's retirement from boxing. During his father's career, he was known as Raccoon Boy. This is one of the primary reasons why Miyata decided to break his promise to Ippo by turning down their promised match for the sole purpose to fight Randy Boy Jr., who happens to have the same fighting style his father used. He is known as a "Switch Hitter", a boxer who switches stance, from orthodox to southpaw during a match. His style has also given him the ring name, Asura, because of his ability to "go" and "see" anywhere in the ring. His switching is said nullify outboxers and counters, because it creates a "static" that disrupts the rhythm and timing of outboxers. He's aiming to defeat Ricardo Martinez to become World Champion. It is revealed before his fight with Ichiro Miyata that his father died of brain damage he sustained after the fight with Miyata's father when he continued to box in a world title bout. He was beaten by Miyata after an intense fight which angered his manager to the point of nullifying their contract.
  • Papaya Dachiu: The lightweight champion of Indonesia who is noticed for his particularly odd looking hairstyle. He fights using a lot of tricks, just like Aoki. His specialty punch is a tremendously powerful right straight called the Coconut Punch. He strengthens his right arm for his rematch with Aoki, making his Coconut Punch even more powerful. Papaya's weakness is a critical lack of stamina, which Aoki exploits in both of his fights with Papaya. Aoki has fought Papaya twice, with both matches ending in a draw.
  • Eleki Battery: The junior lightweight champion of the Philippines, Eleki also boasts an odd hairstyle with a lightning bolt shaved on top of his head. He is a skilled outboxer like Kimura. Eleki's weakness was his exceptionally weak body. He toughened up his body for his rematch with Kimura. Kimura has fought Eleki twice, with both matches ending in a draw.
  • Malcolm Gedoh: The reigning OPBF Featherweight Champion of The Philippines. A crooked fighter who offers to fix his fights in exchange for prize money. Prior to becoming a boxer, Malcolm stole money on the streets and it led to him getting shot and scarred on the shoulder. He is also known as "The Magician" for his the tricks he uses inside of the ring. One of these tricks is to use his long arms to block one's vision and then use his footwork to get away from his opponent, which messes with their depth perception. He fights with the strings on his left glove loosened so that he can throw a jab with an unclenched fist, making his reach seem longer due to the glove trying to fly off of his fist. He has managed to take Ippo to Round 8, which is further than any other opponent has taken Ippo. He was Ippo's last opponent, losing the fight after he is hit by a flurry of hooks and a powerful uppercut which sends him off his feet. After the fight with Ippo, Malcolm later confessed that he lost to Randy Boy, Jr. at one point in his career which led him to box only for the money no matter the conditions.
  • Woli: The currently reigning Indonesian national champion, he became the champion in just his third fight and his record is 3-0 with 3 KOs. His trainer is Miguel Zail, the one who discovered Bryan Hawk. Before doing, boxing, he was just and island man who went along with the monkeys, therefore gaining superb speed and agility with Vorg-san barely seeing him move from the corner in a sparring match. He is now fighting Ippo.

Other characters

  • Kazuo Makunouchi: Ippo's deceased father. Not much is known about his past other than he was a fisherman who loved to get into fights, and that he had a powerful punch. He died when Ippo was much younger, saving his friend Sakuma in a storm. Ippo's mother said that Kazuo was more suited to be a boxer than Ippo was. In a flashback in volume 56, Kazuo said Ippo was weak and he was going to "train" him. It is unknown what training he was planning to put Ippo through. It is through his strategy that Ippo beat Miyata (When Kazuo was to fight a stronger opponent, he would picture his opponent as a fish and all the tension would go away). He also won his match against Iwao Shimabukuro with the same strategy.
  • Hiroko Makunouchi (幕之内 寛子 Makunouchi Hiroko?): Hiroko is Ippo's widowed mother. She is a very kind and strong willed woman who cares for her son a great deal. She started running the fishing business after her husband, Kazuo, died after saving his friend Sakuma. Though she refuses to attend any of Ippo's matches because she doesn't want to watch him get hurt, she supports his boxing wholeheartedly because she knows how much joy it has brought to his life and how it has helped him with his self-esteem. Since Kazuo's death, Ippo and Hiroko have been more or less alone in the world; so the strength of their family bond is no surprise. Voiced by: Yorie Terauchi
  • Kumi Mashiba (間柴 久美 Mashiba Kumi?): Kumi is Ryo Mashiba's sweet-natured, but hard-working and willful younger sister, and as such understands him better than anyone else. She will do almost anything to support her brother and make him happy, including going to his matches even though she doesn't like to see him get hurt. Ippo becomes infatuated with her early on, but didn't have a chance to tell her until more than a year later, when they met in an hospital as patient and nurse some months after the Ippo/Mashiba ring. They become friends and Kumi comes to like Ippo back, but their relationship tends to suffer from their friends' and relatives' constant interference, and also was somewhat strained after Ippo thought she was smitten with Dr. Sanada, until Kumi herself clarified the mistake after their match but didn't get a chance to say that Ippo was the one she really loved. Kumi tends to be modest and shy, but she will stand up for her brother and friends at a moment's notice. Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi, Yuka Hirata (New Challenger).
  • Ginpachi Nekota (猫田 銀八 Nekota Ginpachi?): Making his home a lonely shack up in the mountain forests, Nekota is Kamogawa's best friend of over fifty years. Occasionally, Kamogawa will visit him in the mountains, once taking Ippo and the others there to train for upcoming fights. While a meddling old geezer who tends to overstay his welcome, he is nonetheless loyal, good-hearted and trustworthy to the boys at the Kamogawa Gym. Nekota proved a far greater technical boxer than even Kamogawa; but as a result of their constant spars, he developed the beginning stages of punch-drunk syndrome. Despite this condition, Nekota took it upon himself to challenge an arrogant American military officer, Ralph Anderson, in a boxing match to boost Japanese morale. Though Nekota had the upper hand, Anderson won by throwing an illegal rabbit punch, which resulted in permanent mid-brain damage. Voiced by: Ichirou Nagai
  • Yuki (ユキ?)- A beautiful young woman who adored sunflowers. Yuki met Kamogawa and Nekota at a boxing match in the 1950s. Smitten, they offered to put her up at Kamogawa's house to protect her from American soldiers. It was soon revealed, however, that Yuki was a victim of radiation poisoning from the American bombing of Hiroshima, and that she had come to Tokyo in hopes of living out her last days in happiness. When Nekota left Tokyo to live in the mountains, Yuki went with him; Kamogawa asked her to take care of his now-impaired best friend. Although -- or perhaps because -- Yuki had fallen in love with Kamogawa, she spent the rest of her life in the mountains with Nekota as per his request, dying peacefully some time later.
  • Dankichi Hama (浜 団吉 Hama Dankichi?): A former friend and rival of Kamogawa and Nekota. In his younger days, Hama boxed along with the two, but never managed to reach their level, partially due to his unusually fragile jaw. Nevertheless, he is a brilliant tactician who, since having left Japan for Mexico, is renowned for his successful training of several champions, including Sanada Kazuki. Hama still harbors deep feelings of rivalry towards Kamogawa, and strives to one day train a boxer that can defeat Makunouchi or Takamura. He is currently the trainer of Alexander Volg Zangief in America. Voiced by: Seizou Katou
  • Masahiko Umezawa (梅沢 正彦 Umezawa Masahiko?): A classmate of Ippo's, Umezawa was the leader of a group of students who would regularly bully him. Together with his two flunkies, he made a habit of beating Ippo up, until the day that Takamura stopped him. After an initial failure to confront the fledgling boxer, Umezawa soon began to cheer Ippo on in his matches, and eventually took a job at the Makunouchi family fishing business to help out when Ippo's mother became ill. His ultimate goal, however, is to become a manga artist, and he eventually left his job to pursue it. In spite of all they went through in high school, the two are now the best of friends. Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono
  • Minoru Fujii (藤井 稔 Fujii Minoru?): A reporter for a boxing magazine that has been following Ippo's career since his fights with Miyata. Occasionally he drops by with information concerning opposing fighters in upcoming matches for the Kamogawa gym members. Voiced by: Kenichi Ono
  • Mari Iimura (飯村 真理 Iimura Mari?): A 23-year-old sportswriter who works alongside Fujii. Iimura's calm indifference and sharp wit serve often to put off those who would judge her only for beauty, but she is an avid boxing fan and, though less experienced than some, an outstanding journalist. Voiced by: Emi Shinohara
  • Nanako Itagaki (板垣 菜々子 Itagaki Nanako?): Manabu Itagaki's younger sister. A flirtatious "genki" girl, Nanako is 16 years old and extremely interested in boys, harboring a particular taste for fighting men. She develops a crush on Ippo shortly after Itagaki introduces them, and finds herself competing with Kumi and Iimura for his attention.
  • Yamaguchi-sensei (山口先生?): A young female doctor whom Ippo asks for help after his match with Ryo Mashiba, since he sustained a serious injury during the fight but still wished to stay true to his promise to face Sendou. She develops a training menu to allow him to train and fight without causing excessive strain on his damaged bones. Yamaguchi is a very attractive woman with a beautiful and well-developed body, which at times distracts Ippo's friends (especially Takamura) from practice; but when her skills are needed, her efficiency and professional manner are admirable. Yamaguchi is also an expert in judo. Voiced by: Yuko Kobayashi
  • Mr. Sakaguchi: A boxing promoter for the OPBF. He has a personal vendetta against Miyata for defeating his champion client Arnie Gregory. He is currently promoting Randy Boy Jr. as part of his revenge. He is short, high strung, and greatly resembles an Asian Don King. His nationality is unknown, but he can speak fluent English. Even his own boxers seem to dislike him as shown by Arnie firing him and Randy constantly ignoring him or telling him off. After Randy's loss to Ichiro Miyata, Sakaguchi nullified their contract. Shortly after Takamura's title defense the same night he accidentally struck Sakaguchi (who he thought was responsible for his less than stellar defense) and Sakaguchi has since stated that he will never return to Japan. Mr. Sakaguchi possesses some of the same mannerisms, personality traits, and even haircut as promoter Don King. Voiced by: Minoru Inaba

Animals

  • Hachi (ハチ?, lit. eight): Hachi is Nekota's pet dog. He is a very friendly dog that goes wherever Nekota does. Nekota even snuck him into Korakuen Hall for Ippo's title fight against Sendo.
  • Wanpo (ワンポ?, One-po): Wanpo is one of Hachi's sons. Nekota gave him to Ippo soon after Ippo won the Japanese Featherweight Championship. His name is a combination of English and Japanese to form a pun on Ippo's name, which literally means "one step". One pronounced using Japanese syllables is Wan (ワン One?). Voiced by: Wataru Takagi
  • Mountain Bear: While training at Nekota's place in the mountains, the Kamogawa troop were told to be wary of bears. When Takamura was out jogging once, he encountered a bear that he was able to KO after a life threatening fight. He lets the bear go once he sees that it has two bear cubs following it. Nekota then later came upon the bear in its weakened state and shoots it to make a bear meat nabe that Takamura said he wanted to try, though Takamura was outraged when he found out. However, he decides to eat all the bear meat out of respect for the animal.
  • Reiko (れいこ?): An arowana fish that Kimura keeps in his room. The fish is apparently named after the girl Kimura liked when he went on the group date with the girls from the hospital. Unfortunately for Kimura, she did not return the feelings. It was the jumping this fish would perform when fed that led Kimura to develop his "Dragon Fish Blow" he used in his title fight against Mashiba Ryou.
Courtesy of Wikipedia coz of my laziness

Yaoi vibe: 5/10
Not much yaoi vibe is felt there actually, except the ones that I strongly get between Ippo and Miyata, and the slight hint between Ippo and Alexander, especially the part where they were about to part in the airport and he wanted to say something to Ippo but decided against it and left it at that (My fiance sighed in relief when he didn't say what I was hoping to say. LOL!). The rest of the characters are practically hetero, especially Takamura who is a womanizer and Aoki who has a fetish for ugly women and currently dating one. Kimura does spark my interest in a possibility with Aoki, although it could be unrequited love at his part, but other than that, it's all boxing, boxing, comedy and more boxing.

Existing yaoi pairings (that I'm getting the vibe for):
Ippo/Miyata
Ippo/Date
Aoki/Kimura (probably one-sided)

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