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Ippo Makunouchi (幕之内 一歩)Date of birth: November 23, 1973
Boxing style: Infighter, Peek-a-Boo
Height: 5'5" (164 cm)
Reach: 65" (165 cm)
Weight: 124 lbs.
Weight class: Featherweight
Gym affiliation: Kamogawa Gym
Specialty: Liver Blow, Gazelle Punch, Dempsey Roll
Ippo Makunouchi is the main protagonist of the series. He lives with his mother, Hiroko Makunouchi, and helps with the family charter boat fishing business. Ippo is a classic power in-boxer and is well known for his Peek-a-Boo style of boxing and hard punches which include three signature punches: a rib-cracking liver blow, Gazelle punch (an uppercut variant), and the Dempsey roll technique. His signature punches appear to be modelled after Mike Tyson, Floyd Patterson and Jack Dempsey respectively.
Ippo is bullied throughout most of his school life. After being rescued by Takamura, he ends up being brought to Kamogawa Gym, where he displays an explosive punching power. After seeing a video of Mike Tyson, he becomes inspired to take up boxing to feel reborn with strength. He soon proves himself to Takamura and Kamogawa, and starts on the path to being a pro boxer.
His Pro-Debut Match was against Oda Yusuke, He was largely regarded as a lazy and unmotivated boxer, but when his girlfriend threatened to break up with him, he committed himself to training. From the first time the boxers met, there was tension between them, as a misunderstanding led Oda to believe Ippo made fun of him. On the actual fight, Ippo seemed to have the advantage from the beginning of the match, but was saved by his coach from losing the fight due to a cut. Ippo managed a comeback by knocking Oda out with a series of jabs, thus winning the fight.
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.