High School Student
Johnny Young Bosch
He is the younger brother of Mitsuomi Takayanagi, but the two aren't on good terms. Masataka is your average high school student at first glance, but he is a surprisingly powerful martial artist. He is always a formidable fighter, but he becomes much more dangerous when he is serious or angered. He actually is easygoing and somewhat shy. However, his inner nature is perverted, even though he dislikes this part of himself. Masataka falls in love with Aya Natsume at first sight, but is disheartened when she falls in love with Souichiro Nagi instead. He has maintained a crush on her, yet is oblivious to the other girls who have a crush on him. After the incident at the bowling alley, he is greeted by some blushing girls from Toudou academy, he is seemly ignorant of their intentions. Later Madoka Mawari develops a crush on him that he is also unaware of even though it is very obvious to some of the other characters.
Aya describes him as the calm surface that gently envelops the rapids, given his typically calm nature, power, skill, and disposition for protection. At one point, Shinichiro Kurei notes that Masataka is second only to Maya in the Juken club, in terms of power and reliability in combat. Masataka seems to hold great respect for Bunshichi Tawara as Bunshichi is powerful and compassionate much like Masataka himself, yet Masataka sees Bunshichi's ability as far surpassing his own. Bunshichi states that he wants him to create his own place in this world.
Despite being largely ignored and mistreated by other characters, as the series progresses Masataka gains more and more respect from others and seems to grow in importance. There are references that he could be the key to destroying the "wheel of fate" that traps most of the cast. Aya entrusts the chip 'F' was after to Masataka viewing him as the only strong and stable member of the group available at the time and place. Sohaku Kago references that Masataka may in fact be the closest to being the "true warrior" as opposed to his brother, or any of Sohaku's own attempts to create one. Similarly Tetsuhito Kagiroi, who was intended to be the ultimate Red Feather, viewed Masataka as a worthy opponent, so much so that he thanked God for the opportunity to fight him. Bunshichi also indicates that Masataka makes better use of his martial arts than his brother, and that Masataka's fighting style is the type he'd least like to face. Later Souichiro even states that he thinks everyone but Masataka uses their various skills and powers as a turtle shell to hide their cowardice. He also comments while thinking back on their fight in the lunchroom, that his first real fight at Toudou may have been against the strongest person there. Souichiro also implies that Mitsuomi and Sohaku may be intimidated by Masataka just like he was, although Mitsuomi is by no means intimidated and wants the best for his brother. The most recent chapters have shown his immense growth from a powerful fighter to someone who might be able to fight evenly with Mistuomi. At first, he had trouble taking down even one member of the Executive Council, but a later chapter has shows him defeating the entire council, taking only nine steps from his starting position. Not only that, he only received one blow even worth mentioning.
Relationship with Mitsuomi
It's worth noting that while early on Mitsuomi and Masataka seem to hate each other (Mitsuomi insults him, beats him up, and tells him to stay away from him after he took over as head of the family), later Mitsuomi makes comments indicating that is not the case. Masataka does seem to blame his brother for what he has done to their father and the school, but after his fight with Fu Chi'en, he comes to understand his brother a little better.
Mitsuomi shows more concern for his brother as the story progresses. He did seem strangely happy that his brother had surrounded himself with good friends, after he noticed Souichiro's rage at seeing Masataka on the ground in the bowling alley. At one point he punched Noriko Shindayu Inue in the face after telling her not to touch Masataka. Many of the times Mitsuomi has acted cold it's simply a misunderstanding, for example he called the fight with Madoka a "farce" as soon as Masataka took the fight, and refused to watch. Initially it seems it's because he dislikes Masataka, in actuality it's because he knows Madoka has no chance against his brother.
It is starting to be implied Mitsuomi is hard on his brother because he wants him to be stronger and not because of the Juken club issue like it was originally indicated. Masataka's distaste for his brother is genuine however, as he blames him for all the bad things happening in the school right now.
Anime and OVAs
Story Setup Arc
Masataka is set up early as a great fighter, but is later ignored. At one point in the OVAs, Souichiro refers to him as a supporting character. Despite being a great fighter, and one of the more powerful characters, Masataka is one of the most poorly treated characters. Because his elder brother is the president of the executive council, Masataka purposely joins the opposing Juken club.
Soon after he meets Aya for the first time and falls in love with her, Masataka and Maya Natsume come across Bob Makihara and Souichiro. The two new freshmen are beating up everyone they come across in the hall, Maya and Masataka are asked by other students to take care of it. Masataka is concerned when he finds out Souichiro has just been knocked out a window and into the shower room with Aya, so he merely trips Bob and leaves. Masataka is heart broken when he discovers Aya kissing Souichiro, even though Souichiro is uninterested in Aya. Bob actually seems impressed with Masataka. He even asks Masataka who is stronger than him at Toudou Academy, however Souichiro runs in and starts a fight with Masataka before he can answer. Using nothing but a wooden chopstick, Masataka blocks Souichiro's first punch, which was intended to be a cheap shot while Masataka wasn't looking. He flowed his KI into the chopstick preventing its break, then hits Souichiro with a KI move, Hakka Soudou Shyou sending Souichiro across the room. Bob is amazed someone can make Souichiro seem so helpless in a one on one fight, as Masataka beats up on Souichiro. In an unusually arrogant comment from Masataka, he says if Souichiro can land even one hit, he wins. After what should have been a knockout blow, Aya yells at Souichiro "waking him up", as well as dishearten Masataka with a comment referring to him as a low level martial artist. Angered by this, Masataka says for the first time he actually feels like beating up Souichiro, and does another KI attack. Souichiro distracts him by using his "barrier", where he shoves the unwanted bento Aya made for him in Masataka's face. He then proceeds to punch Masataka in the stomach. Now fully enraged by his rejection by Aya, Souichiro's rude treatment of a gift from Aya, and his cheap shot, Masataka attacks Souichiro in a berserker rage. Souichiro is pushed back to the wall by the enraged Masataka who gives him a severe beating, Maya and Aya tried to stop Masataka, but they are tossed away. In the Anime, this is one of the most violent fights shown, at one point he hits Souichiro in the stomach so hard he vomits. In the end Masataka misses his finishing blow (most likely intentionally), shattering the concrete wall behind Souichiro.
Following this and their defeat at the hands of Tsutomu Ryuuzaki, Souichiro and Bob join the Juken club, and Masataka trains Bob. Shortly afterward the executive council attacks the Juken club at a bowling alley, this is the last real fight Masataka gets in the anime and OVAs. Masataka smashes the floor and tells Souichiro to go through the hole to find Maya and Aya, and he proceeds to take on 80 guys at the same time. Bob protects Chiaki, his girlfriend, but is little help in this fight. After singlehandedly defeating 80 men, and with little trouble at that, Chiaki accidentally hits him in the groin (drops his pants in the manga, he ends up zipping up on his privates in a frantic attempt to pull them back up). Now limping and leaning on Bob as he leaves, he comes across his brother Mitsuomi. Mitsuomi calls him weak for having to be carried out after fighting "only 80" people, and back hands him across the room. Another member of the executive council, Shinobu Kagurazaka, takes on Masataka from then on. Still feeling the effects of the groin pain and his brothers backhand, Masataka seems to be losing. Once he regains himself, he gains the advantage with his fight with Kagurazaka, when his brother interferes and drops him again.
Aya and the Reiki Arc
As Maya notices Reiki missing, she realizes Aya has it. As Shin Natsume had Dragon's Eyes as well and was driven insane by them, there is a huge uproar about this. Masataka was not informed about this and not knowing the significance of the Reiki any more than Aya did, he lets her stay at his place for a while.
For the remainder of the anime and OVA's he is mainly in the background training Bob, and gets little attention.
The manga is far more graphic than the anime, although this is edited out of the CMX version. The manga has a large quantity of nudity and sex related material, not present in the anime. It is also contains more blood, and shows more graphic techniques than the anime. The manga has gone far beyond where the anime left off, and Masataka gets far more attention later.
For a while Masataka's only relevance was telling Bob what to do for training, but as Bob gets better he starts having sparring sessions with Masataka. As Bob starts to lose in his fight against the sword expert, Madoka Mawari, Masataka steps up and takes the fight for him. In his first move he actually places his hand on Bob's shoulder and blasts KI through him. A good display of Masataka's skill as Bob was uninjured by this. Masataka actually gets serious in this fight, saying he is angry "for the first time in a long time". This is when it is revealed he is an anti-weapons specialist. After defeating Madoka, and her subsequent release from Sohaku's manipulation jutsu, she falls in love with Masataka although he doesn't notice.
Shortly after Aya entrusts Masataka to guard the computer chip F is after, Fu Chi'en is sent to attack the Juken club under the control of Sohaku's manipulation jutsu. Masataka protects Madoka, resulting in Fu slashing his shoulder. He attempts to counter attack, but is electrocuted. Aya rushes in to help. Masataka takes Madoka to Bunshichi's store, thinking he could help. Masataka is actually afraid of Fu's power, exactly how Mitsuomi was afraid of Shin.
Bunshichi opens the door and Masataka and Madoka collapse inside. Given his nature, Bunshichi is initially hesitant to help, so Masataka decides to do it himself, leading Madoka to worry that he might be killed. Bunshichi does actually step up to fight, but Masataka does most of the fighting. When Masataka references that he wishes he was as strong as his brother, Bunshichi smacks Fu on the head and tells him to chill out for a bit, he then lectures Masataka on how he shouldn't want to be a "cripple" like Mitsuomi. He warns Masataka that he is currently the only one outside of the "wheel of fate" and he shouldn't rush to throw himself into it. At the conclusion of his lecture, Masataka's fear goes away and he wonders if it is the same thing his brother has been fighting against for so long. Suddenly half the city blacks out and Bunshichi realizes Fu is sucking all the electricity into himself to vaporize everyone, including himself. As Bunshichi tells everyone to run Masataka rushes Fu, and hits him hard. It actually shatters the amulets in Fu's eye sockets and sends him over a building, freeing him from his mind control and stopping the attack.
Tetsuhito and Katsumi Kabuto observed the fight. While Katsumi initially doubted Masataka, Tetsuhito had faith in his skill and actually seemed impressed. Tetsuhito is grateful to Masataka for stopping Fu since his suicide attack could have killed them also. He heals Masataka and Madoka with the Dragon's Palm to show his gratitude. Fu thanks Masataka for saving him and freeing him of his mind control, however, he mentions going for revenge which leads Tetsuhito to beat him. Tetsuhito then points out him healing Masataka was showing his gratitude to God, for giving him an opponent as worthy as Masataka. Before a fight can start however Katsumi points out the fight in the city was unplanned and they don't want to have to deal with the police. Tetsuhito and Katsumi elect to leave instead.
Sohaku Arc & Tournament Arc
For a while Masataka was sitting on the curb with some others waiting to see how things turned out, as his brother and Maya went to rescue Souichiro from Sohaku. Now the tournament has finally started. The first round position. Souichiro subsequently defeats the 2nd round opponent with one Forged Iron Needle Attack. As Kagesada Sugano (almost solely referred to by his nickname: asshat in the manga or scum in the anime) attempts to claim the role of advance guard in the 3rd round, Masataka supports him by holding the others back. Masataka seems to base this faith on the grounds Kagesada has been around the captain (Maya Natsume) the longest of any of them.
Masataka's faith is placed correctly in Kagesada, as he defeats nearly the entire Jujutsu club himself. When the newly enhanced captain of the Jujutsu club arrives, Masataka notices she's fighting way different than she should be. She displays crude and brutish skill. Masataka notes she is renowned for having the most beautiful form in the school. He knows there is no way she should be fighting like that, but it doesn't seem he understands why she is. In the end the fight ends up a double KO so the Juken club wins the round.
Afterward the Juken club prepares to go home at the end of the day. Masataka hesitantly decides to go with Souichiro to eat given he has nothing better to do, yet refuses to pay. Realizing they need to eat so they will be at their peak for the tournament, yet both of them are broke, Souichiro intimidates a waiter into giving them free food. Masataka apologizes to the waiter, but he goes ahead and eats the free food anyway. Souichiro thinks back to their fight back in the lunch room, and thinks that his first real fight in the school was against the strongest person in the school. Given Masataka's modest nature he doesn't get what Souichiro means. Souichiro comments that the intimidation from fighting Masataka gave him goosebumps. He also indicates the person inside his eye (Sohaku) is even more intimidated, as he removes his eyepatch for a second. He indicates that Mitsuomi may be intimidated by Masataka also as he references that Mitsuomi is the same as him. The talk of the past has Masataka thinking back to what Bunshichi told him about not being in the wheel of fate, and he says he'll make a place for himself as he stands up. Souichiro tells him to sit down, and indicates Masataka should destroy the wheel from the outside instead. Later on, after hearing that his brother was fighting Bunshichi, Masataka storms the estate in order to stop the fight only to arrive too late. Mitsuomi, (who is still holding a seemingly dead Bunshichi) looks up to find a furious yet saddened Masataka. Masataka then asks Isuzu about the land of the dead after hearing her tell Bunshichi that they would be meeting him there. He then charges at Mitsuomi, and when the executive council tries to intervene, he proceeds to defeat every member, taking only nine steps in doing so.
Before the battle ensues it is said by Hirohiko Myouun Kabane the third god, Tsukuyomi, is to revealed with the conclusion of this fight. Tsukuyomi is said to be the embodied spirit of the moon. As Masataka slaps his brother, telling him to wake up already. He then tells Mitsuomi that he intends to stop the war and destroy the "wheel of fate". The wheel of fate can only be destroyed by the one wielding the power of the moon (this sugg
ests that Masataka is Tsukuyomi and that he can change the fate of those around him). Masataka then proceeds to state that if needed he would kill Mitsuomi. The two then begin to fight, and after a volley of devastating blows Masataka lands an elbow strike on his brother with enough force that he is blasted away, blood spewing from his mouth. Mitsuomi is stunned at his brother's progress. Souichiro becomes Susano'o, walking up to the floor where everyone is. His mere presence sends most of the people to their knees (Emi actually urinating on herself because of the amount of KI he possesses). Susano'o is about to approach the unconscious Maya when Mitsuomi steps in between, wanting to fight. Susano'o uses his earth KI to blow a hole through the roof of the building. Mitsuomi engages Susano'o in combat, but was not able to land a single blow that Susano'o felt until he used a strike to the head, which finally caught his attention. Susano'o and Mitsuomi fight, each one landing clear blows on the other and enjoying fighting each other. However, Susano'o starts to get the upper hand and is about to finish the fight when Makiko steps in to absorb some of Susano'o's KI. Makiko is slowly fading away, but before she does, she transfers her life force and Susano'o's KI into Maya, which revives her and activates her Amaterasu Dragon Gate. Masataka strikes Susano'o with his elbow, sending him flying a
nd discussing to Mitsuomi that he will change fate and end all of this. The Takayanagi family and the more-powerful members of the enforcement group attack Susano'o, no longer fearing his power. Masataka sits in the chair where Mitsuomi usually sits as the head of the Takayanagi clan, challenging Souichiro, not Susano'o to a fight. He also announces that he wants to be the strongest. He grabs a barely alive Bunshichi as they make their way out of the collapsing Takayanagi building. Soon after he see's evil Nagi. He promise's him that he will be strong and face him in battle. (It seems to be like Shin's battle with Mitsuomi.) As the election tournament soon ends he be
come's the new captain of Juken club. Masataka confesses to Aya that he is in love with her. However, she rejects him, although admitting she loves him she's still madly in love with Souichiro. In the battle versus Souichiro, Masataka is able to keep up with him in the beginning stages, but after a few attacks, he is heavily beaten (including a permanent scar across his face and his right hand and forearm being sliced by Souichiro's aura alone). However, he does not give up, landing at least one more blow full of KI which allows Aya and Maya (within Souichiro's soul) to push Reiki into Sohaku, negating his powers. He becomes the new president of the executive council and has replaced his right hand with one of Mataza's mechanical arms. The entire club thanks the now deceased Maya (who saved Souichiro from being taken over by his anger and negating his power completely) as things go back to what they once were.
Techniques & Abilities
Masataka is a practitioner of Xinyi Liuhe (心意六合, Heart and Mind Six Harmonies), the Henan Branch of Xingyiquan (形意拳), one of the three main internal styles. Information in Chapter #70 suggests that the style is actually Xingyi, as he uses the 5-element theory, normally absent in the Xinyi Liuhe version of the art. His use of Hakka Soudou Sho indicates cross-training in Baguazhang, a common practice among Xingyi practitioners. In his fight with Madoka, he is revealed to be an anti-weapons specialist. When he is described as an anti-weapons specialist, it is mentioned that Kenpo waits for an opening before it attacks, and when it was created it was always assumed the opponent would have a weapon. He also has a transformation known as Rage although he has yet to control it.
In Chapter #4 he released a bloodlust like a lump of iron, willing to kill his opponent (in this case Suichiro). A completely intense, precise combination. A strong flexible body with tremendous spiritual power. Maya tried to stop him but failed. In addition Aya tried to immobilize him but failed too. Finally he failed to strike Suichiro but he could pulverize concrete with his bare hands.
- Uraate (裏当て; lit. "Backing", CMX Translation: "Reverse Striking"): This is a fulcrum-based transference skill, an example of KI transmission that teaches one to shift the point and force of impact by striking the dead center of an object. At expert-levels, a practitioner can transmit the force of impact wherever they please, as long as a medium exists to transmit their power through. This technique forms the basis for most KI-based techniques used throughout the series.
- Ryukei Qigong Tashinkō (龍形気功鍛針功; lit. "Dragon Qi, Forged Iron Needle"): This technique is the greatest of secrets within the Takayanagi clan, passed down for generations. It is a technique which uses the fulcrum-based transference skill of Uraate to transmit the user's power through the air. This is achieved by collecting the rotational force of one's motion until it forms unto a needle, forged by their own KI. At that point, that collected atmospheric force would then be directed from the circular motion into a straight line (via punch), where it is sent barreling into the target.
- Hakka Soudou Shō (八掛双撞掌; lit. "Eight Triagrams Double Pulsating Palms", CMX translation: "Eight-Way Fracas Blast"): A move that uses the palms to transfer momentum from the fighter to opponent in one fierce action, normally yielding incredible force. In the original Japanese translation, Souichiro comically refers to it as a Kamehameha, the signature technique of Dragon Ball's Son Goku.
- Shin'irikugō Bateihōken (心意六合 • 馬蹄崩拳; lit. "Heart & Mind, Six Harmonies: Trampling Horse Fist", CMX Translation: "Cosmic Thundering Horse Hoof Death Attack"): This is a Beng Quan horse move (馬形; pinyin: mǎ xíng) throwing a punch from the drawn-arrow stance. The martial artist delivers an overhead smash, digging into the heart with wrist bent and elbow facing downward. The end result can lead to cardiac arrest from blunt trauma to the heart. Masataka was interrupted during his attempt on Souichiro. Allegedly, Japanese master Kenichi Sawai was fond of this technique.
- Shin'irikugō Taihōtenshi Tsūhaiken (心意六合 • 大鵬展翅通背拳; lit. "Heart & Mind, Six Harmonies: Giant Phoenix Spreading Wings Over Back Fist", CMX Translation: "Heart & Earth, Giant Bird Wings Through Back Fist"): This KI-based technique is fundamentally similar to the "Ryukei Qigong Tashinkō", but the martial artist transmits their KI through a solid medium (such as a tree, a concrete construct or even a living being) rather than air.
- Hakkashō Jūshichishiki Kandōka (八掛掌十七式貫銅花; lit. "Eight Binding Palms, 17th Variation Piercing Bronze Flower", CMX Translation: "Eight Binding Palms, 17th Variation Piercing Bronze Flower"): A move that can pierce iron with the softness of a flower.
- Shin'irikugō Kongōtaihō (心意六合金剛体法; lit. "Heart & Mind, Six Harmonies: Tempered Diamond Body"): A secret Chinese martial arts technique that enables the body to become as solid as diamond. It works by instantaneously concentrating the water in one's body to a certain area, since the strongest water pressure can stop even bullets. Masataka used this technique, stopping two of Emi Isuzu's anki, one with his palm and one with his forearm.
- The name Masataka means "elegant" (雅) (masa) and "filial piety" (孝) (taka).
- Masataka's surname Takayanagi means "tall, high" (高) (taka) and "willow" (柳) (yanagi).