- "I just can't get used to it, no matter how many fights I've done. Every time I go into a match, I want to run away from the pressure."
— Wakatsuki confiding in Furumi Heihachi
Wakatsuki Takeshi (若槻 武士, Wakatsuki Takeshi; "Takeshi Wakatsuki"), also known as the Wild Tiger (猛虎, Mōko), is the affiliated fighter of Furumi Pharmaceuticals; he represented the company during the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. Wakatsuki is the longest-serving active affiliated Kengan fighter and has the highest win record of all affiliated fighters.
Wakatsuki is a powerfully imposing individual with dense well-defined musculature. He has short blonde hair, thick blonde facial hair on his chin, dark eyebrows, a chiselled cheek structure and discerning eyes. Wakatsuki tends to wear tight-fitting tops that accentuate his already muscular frame, as well as simple pants and footwear to finish off his outfits.
After his battle with Julius Reinhold, the right side of Wakatsuki's was left shaved, and remained that way for the rest of the Kengan Annihilation tournament. His hair has since returned to its original state since then.
He is usually quiet and is easy to befriend. Outside of battle he is levelheaded, making observations some people wouldn't notice, but in battle, this begins to slip; even then, he is not entirely without reason. This was shown during his battle with Julius, where he took all of Julius's blows, then defeated him with a vicious kick to the head, after he deduced he couldn't win through body strikes. He values strength above most other things, though he is also humble and modest, and honestly admits to being nervous when entering a fight. Despite his calm-and-collected personality, Wakatsuki is surprisingly sloppy.
Wakatsuki was different from the moment he was born, having a birth weight of 12,150g, due to his body's abnormally high muscle density. However, he was unable to live a normal life because of his condition, and lived inside Furumi Pharmaceuticals' secret laboratory until the age of 7, when his future employer Furumi Heihachi helped him learn to regulate his strength by encouraging him to punch him as hard as he could. As a child, he sent five Judo club members to the hospital after they picked a fight with him, without taking a single scratch himself.
Wakatsuki has had the longest career out of any Kengan Association fighter, winning a total of 306 matches and earning over three trillion yen for Furumi Pharmaceuticals prior to the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. However, he has lost twice: once to Hatsumi Sen and once to Kanoh Agito. His loss to Kanoh 8 years ago resulted in an injured ankle which never completely healed, and remains quite literally his Achilles' heel to this day. Ever since then, Wakatsuki has been waiting for a chance to get his revenge against Kanoh.
Later, during Ohma's fight with Sekibayashi Jun, Wakatsuki explained to Imai Cosmo about what effects Ohma's transformative technique had. With Ohma defeating Sekibayashi, Wakatsuki was then surprised by Chairman Katahara's appearance and declaration of an Annihilation Tournament.
Onboard the S.S. Kengan, both he and Imai were confronted by assassins sent to defeat them and take their places as company representatives. Showing no restraint, he defeated the one that challenged him in a single strike, cratering the wall behind the strike. He then told Cosmo that he didn't know how to hold back.
Before his fight with Murobuchi Gozo, Furumi Heihachi found him with headphones in and assuming he was listening to music. Telling his employer that there was no music playing, Wakatsuki revealed that it helped him focus his nerves. Representing Furumi Pharmaceuticals, Wakatsuki fought against Murobuchi Gozo and from the offset, he pulled no punches, opening the fight with a full-powered hit meant to defeat Murobuchi in a single strike. However, Murobuchi endured it and struck back with a furious rush, though his attacks proved ineffective as Wakatsuki easily blocked all of them. He then took Murobuchi's final strike and countered with a straight right that hurled Murobuchi across the entire arena, twisting his chest inwards from the force. After the fight, when Akiyama Kaede congratulated him for overwhelming his opponent, he replied that Murobuchi was strong enough to make his hairs stand on end, but that he was stronger, and that's all there was to it.
Wakatsuki fought Julius Reinhold in the second round. Their first strike at each other shook the entire arena but, despite closely matching Julius in a battle of full-powered punches, he was put on the back foot due to Julius' impressive durability. As a result, Wakatsuki used Blast Core, which caused Julius to be more cautious and keep his distance. However, Julius noticed Blast Core's weakness and countered Wakatsuki's next Blast Core with a bear hug. Despite breaking free of the bear hug, Julius inflicted a particularly savage chain of attacks upon Wakatsuki, including dragging his face across the arena wall. With Julius dominating, Wakatsuki feinted with Blast Core to distract Julius before knocking him out with a vicious kick to the head. After the fight, in spite of his severe injuries, Wakatsuki reflected that the biggest loss was that the other fighters, including Kanoh Agito, had seen his Blast Core, making it ineffective as an ace in the hole.
Wakatsuki fought Muteba Gizenga in the third round. Opening the fight with a blow that cracked the arena floor, he used the moment to strike while Muteba was off balance though Muteba danced around him. Wakatsuki then attempted to grapple Muteba, which was completely unexpected for him, but it failed to work on Muteba. Switching back to what he did best, Wakatsuki rushed Muteba but was struck with a near-fatal hit to the neck. However, he purposefully took this gambit in order to determine Muteba's position before successfully striking him with Blast Core, sending Muteba smashing into the wall and crushing his right arm in the process. With Muteba weighing up the situation, he promptly forfeited the match for fear of even greater damage.
Prior to the semi-final match, Wakatsuki encountered Ohma in the corridors and the two determined that they'd settle who progressed to the finals their own way, regardless of what their employers were doing. When their fight finally began, Wakatsuki immediately attacked Ohma with a relentless rush and quickly took the advantage, knocking Ohma away. As Wakatsuki struck again, Ohma countered with Demonsbane, but because he performed it imperfectly, the damage was only enough to knock back and stun Wakatsuki. Returning to his feet, Wakatsuki resumed his relentless rushing attack, severely damaging Ohma with his fierce blows. Seeking to end the match, Wakatsuki feinted with a left punch but struck with a full-powered right punch. However, Ohma successfully countered with Demonsbane, sending Wakatsuki destructively hurtling away. Despite receiving heavy damage, Wakatsuki tried to continue fighting but was eventually defeated by Ohma. After the match, he told Furumi that he'd make sure he'd make him chairman next time.
Recovering from his loss, Wakatsuki watched the finals of the tournament with other fighters in the stands behind the commentators.
The day of the competition, he and the other representatives left for the tournament. While on the plane to the competition he confronted Akoya Seishu over Murobuchi Gozo's temporary retreat from Kengan matches due to Akoya's brutal beating. Akoya then swore to "execute justice upon Wakatsuki one day".
Power & Abilities
Wakatsuki has an abnormally high muscle density, 52 times higher than average, and weighs almost 200kg for his size, allowing him to deal extremely powerful blows. As a child, it allowed him to fight opponents much larger than himself. Wakatsuki Takeshi is one of the strongest fighters in the Kengan matches, having defeated countless opponents with big names.
His right straight punch is his strongest weapon; an example of its power is when he struck Murobuchi with it, the man's body was highly damaged as a result. Sekibayashi commented that one of Wakatsuki's normal punches equates to a knockout strike.
While he originally fought with pure brute strength, after being defeated by Kanoh Agito, he began working more on the technical aspect as well. In addition to improving on the Rokushin Kaikan karate he had been practicing, Wakatsuki added two "aces in the hole" in order to take revenge on Agito. These two "aces in the hole" are: his Blast Core and grappling. Having secretly trained for eight years, Wakatsuki gained techniques on par with career grapplers. Despite this, Muteba noted that based on technique alone, Wakatsuki's grappling skill is still a level below top-class at best, but in combination with his insane strength he is just barely top-class. Since Wakatsuki is superhumanly strong, karate is usually enough to win a fight, but when he is in a situation that prevents him from using it at its maximum, he incorporates Blast Core and/or grappling to be able to fight more easily.
Despite valuing his physical strength the most, he is not a typical brute force user, being a very tactical person who can create and implement strategies and counterattack right in the middle of a match.
Blast Core (爆芯, Bakushin)Kanoh Agito. This is a powerful punch which involves compressing all of his muscles to a single point in the centre of his body and then unleashing it; the form of this technique bears a striking resemblance to the no-motion reverse punch of traditional karate. While powerful, this technique places a lot of strain on his damaged right ankle, which keeps him from throwing it many times in succession. In addition, its range is shorter than a normal right straight punch. Wakatsuki has also shown to use this technique as a way to break Julius's bearhug by compressing his muscles which allowed him to explode his way out of the hold.
Wakatsuki performed this kick against Ohma, the strength behind it heavily damaging his legs.
Notes & Trivia
- His abnormal muscle density is said to be due to the extremely rare condition known as "Superman Syndrome". In reality "Superman syndrome" is a relatively common genetic condition that does not affect muscle growth or density. Sandrovich most likely used the extremely rare genetic mutation known as .
- Wakatsuki, Akiyama Sakura and Sekibayashi often hang out together.
- Wakatsuki is modelled after World War II-era bodybuilder Wakaki Takemaru.
- Despite being a student of Rokushin Kaikan karate, he was formally expelled for taking part in underground matches. However, Wakatsuki still maintains a mentorship relation with his sensei Ao Kenji.
- He enjoys drinking at home.
- In Chapter 216, Sekibayashi Jun mentions five powerful opponents Wakatsuki has defeated but gives no specific names; three of these figures are believed to reference real-life martial artists, with the bottom right figure representing Rickson Gracie, the figure in the middle of the top row representing Georges St-Pierre, and the top right figure representing Oyama Masutatsu.