But in Kimura's case, he never once defended him as a boxer. Hell, he's never much defended anyone, and always had a front as THE *******.
But while Sendou was criticising him, and Miyata was locked in blind hope, the only time Mashiba got irritated was against them for not recognizing something was the matter. Towards Ippo, nothing but concern.
The concern is what's ooc, imo. Never seen him openly care about anybody except his sister.
Mori is Ippo. He's unable to cross the line (i.e. not let Ippo take on the world, despite 1200 chapters), he's punch-drunk (or rather author drunk, given that he's done nothing but abuse and humiliate the title character for nearly 200 chapters now, 300 if we count the Woli fight) and he's broken (inability to progress any major character's arc in any meaningful way in for hundreds of chapters; Ippo's three pacific champion fights were a waste of time and accomplished absolutely nothing).
Kenichi and his entire supporting cast are indestructible in the latter half of the series, so unequaled in strength are they that Takamura would be humbled. It backpedals on any moral dilemmas and Kenichiís last fight was so forgettable that I could not tell you the guys name. The bad guys get away cause there really isnít anyway to punish them. In a series wherein a kid uses martial arts to gain more confidence and friends, the ending ultimately reflects that it is a shallow story about becoming so strong that the rest of the world are as ants and all the big tiddy ******* want your cock.
Basically itís a shittier Dragonball. Despite what the manga tells you about Kenichiís lack of talent the little bastard is still mastering 4-5 martial arts and proving himself to be superior in some instances than solo practitioners.
So who's the most tragic character in Hajime no Ippo?
For my money, I think Date takes the prize. While Ippo never really wanted the world, and Aoki and Kimura never really expected to amount to much, Date both wanted it, bad, and nearly had it all. He was literally one heartbeat away from cutting Ricardo Martinez down, if not for the bad break of his elbow getting in the way.
Think about how many times Miyata or Ippo would have lost, if not for that one critical punch. Date HAD it. I wish he did get it, more then anything else I wish turned out different.