Kozue Matsumoto is a fictional character from the Baki the Grappler anime and manga series. She’s a young girl who attends the same school as Baki Hanma. Kinuyo Matsumoto, Kozue’s mother, is Baki’s landlord, and the two families live next door to one another. Kozue’s father was killed in an Underground arena fight.
Who Is Kozue Matsumoto?
Kozue is often a calm and bashful young lady. She was depicted similarly but seemed more lively in the first anime season. She is a kind, compassionate young woman who cares deeply for Baki but denies it when pressed. She disapproves of his violent lifestyle as an Underground fighter and has begged him on multiple occasions to quit.
Kozue Matsumoto is a strong and determined woman who has faced many challenges in her life. Despite her initial disapproval, she recognizes Baki’s determination and eventually falls in love with him. Baki confesses his feelings for Kozue after his first tournament play, and she becomes his love interest in “Search for Our Strongest Hero.”
The emotional connection between Kozue and Baki is strong, but it gradually changes over time due to Mohammad Alai Jr., a boxer, who begins to interfere with their relationship.
Although Kozue gives off the impression of having a timid and soft nature, she is not afraid to take a stand. Kozue sternly confronts Kaoru Hanayama, one of the strongest fighters in the series, and reprimands him for disrespecting their relationship when Hanayama approaches Baki. At the same time, the two are fighting and question their relationship as a hindrance to Baki’s progress.
Kozue blames men for prioritizing battling and competition to the point where the women in their lives are entirely disregarded. Kozue can display incredible bravery when trying to encourage or support Baki during one of his many conflicts. Just before Baki’s encounter with Ryuukou Yanagi, she expresses a desire to assist in combat. Despite not being aware of the degree of risk and talent Yanagi possesses, Baki benefits from her bravery in the long run.
Kozue observes that throughout the fight, they frequently pause to talk. She calls them out on it, but the reason is that they are attempting to prolong the battle since they are up against the only person on Earth who is capable of unleashing their full potential.
Kozue Matsumoto is a young woman with dark hair and eyes. She often braids her hair and decides to draw her fringe to the side during the first season. Kozue also starts wearing a ponytail instead of braids in her hair. She lets her hair down more frequently in later chapters.
She has a slender build with curves in all the right places. Her skin is smooth and unblemished, with a healthy glow. Her hair is dark and shiny, and her eyes are piercing and expressive. In general, she looks like someone who takes good care of herself.
She typically wears everyday clothes that are relatively plain and unassuming. Most often, she can be seen wearing her school uniform – a dark outfit for the first two seasons of the anime and a white t-shirt for the third season.
Even though Kozue doesn’t call attention to herself with her clothing choices, she is pretty shapely and has a rather petite frame. She’s slightly shorter than Baki Hanma, who is less than 170 cm tall. So, Kozue must be around 160 cm tall, which is the average height for a Japanese girl her age. Overall, she has a very feminine appearance.
Kozue Matsumoto is first seen when Baki returns after winning the Shinshinkai Karate competition. It is revealed that she lives next door to Baki and that he rents from her mother. Kozue feeds Baki’s dog, Musashi, when he is not at home.
Kozue often sends Baki meals from his mother, and she remarks that it has been a while since he attended school. Kozue begins to worry about Baki at this point. Baki tells his mother he is still only training, and he brushes off any comments about going to school.
Kozue asks Baki about his continued intense training while they are traveling to school. He responds that his goal is to hold the title of the strongest man on Earth. When Takayama, the school boxing champion, enters and interrupts them, Kozue does not take it seriously. Later, Kozue observes a scenario in which Baki drives away from school in an elegant vehicle. Kozue is unaware of the kind of life Baki is leading at this time.
She was kidnapped and taken hostage by school bullies just before Baki battles Mount Toba. Mai, a classmate of hers, reports the incident to the police, but nothing is done about it. When Mai explains the situation to him, Baki acts. Kozue and the school bullies are located by Baki, who then knocks them out and frees Kozue. Only the anime series features this theme, and the manga never deals with it.
Kozue enjoys her time with Baki, and she’s very proud of him. She also likes spending time with Musashi, whom she often calls “cute” or “fluffy.” In the anime series, Kozue is shown to have a crush on Baki. However, nothing comes of it since Baki is only interested in becoming stronger.
After defeating Kureha Shinogi in combat, Baki leaves the Underground Arena and knocks on Kozue’s door very early in the morning. He asks her to temporarily look after Musashi while he takes a short trip for a few days. Kozue agrees despite being astonished. In the anime version, Baki doesn’t knock on her door since Kozue is waiting for the young warrior outside and petting Musashi.
Kozue makes a brief appearance in the Son of Ogre series after Baki’s fight with Pickle. She walks Baki to school while reminiscing about Baki’s fight with Ali Jr. In the final battle between Baki and Yuujiro. Yuujiro approves of her being Baki’s lover and is grateful to her for making him strong.
Maximum Tournament Chronicle
Baki finds Kozue staring at him as he prepares to board the vehicle that will transport him to the Underground Arena before the Maximum Tournament. Kozue asks him what he’s doing, and Baki tells her that he will fight in the tournament. She’s shocked by this and asks if he’s sure he wants to do this. Baki assures her he’s very confident in his abilities and explains that he’s been training for this tournament for a long time.
Kozue is still skeptical, but Baki convinces her to come with him by telling her he’ll show her his secret training ground. When they both enter the Tokyo Dome and descend to the sixth story, Kozue is startled. The shocked girl eventually notices a locker room full of martial artists, and the unfazed Baki explains to her that they are his adversaries. After discovering that he is the Underground Arena champion, Kozue overhears him speaking with some of his old rivals, including Koushou Shinogi and Mount Toba.
After Baki wins his first duel in the competition by defeating Andreas Regan, Kozue stops him in the hallway and inquires about why everyone engages in it. Kozue reveals to him that she finds it difficult to comprehend why people would purposefully damage each other in the ring.
Baki explains to her that since every man has dreamed of having the greatest strength in the world at some point in his life, some people are still striving to fulfill their aspirations. Kozue tries to comprehend Baki, but she can’t help but find his “dream” disturbing.
Kozue observes the battles that occur in the arena later in the competition. Kozue also meets Baki’s father, Yuujirou Hanma, for the first time during the match. Kozue unintentionally overhears Jack Hammer and Alexander Gallen speaking at some point in the corridor. She becomes pretty terrified and concerned about Baki’s safety as a result. She wraps herself around his neck and gives him a sobbing embrace out of concern for him.
Abilities and Skills
It is important to remember that Kozue gave Baki a lot of strength and served as a fantastic source of inspiration for him at various points throughout the series. In the incident where Yanagi poisoned Baki, she was hunched over him, sobbing in terror for her beloved. Baki was half-conscious and lying on the ground. When she cried over Baki, her tears reacted with the poison to heal him.
It can be argued that her intensely tender affection for Baki significantly impacts his health. Even Yuujirou Hanma once acknowledged that he thought Kozue was extraordinary and that she would give Baki even more strength. In conclusion, Kozue lacks superhuman skills that she could utilize alone, but she can provide her loved one with a lot of power.
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