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Takeshi Manganji is the leader of the Manganji Dreams and the main rival of Kouya Marino. He is a former member of the Tobita Club and one of the teammates to Kouya's older brother, Yuhya Marino. Takeshi comes from a wealthy family that runs their own company known as the Manganji Group. Takeshi’s Crush Gear is Gaiki, and was previously known to use Gougetsu.

AppearanceEdit

Takeshi is shown to have black hair and brown eyes. His hair is spiked upwards at the back and a few strands of hair protudes from his forehead (the number of hair strands ranges from four to six, and more rarely, three or seven). His usual outfit consists of a red jacket with several badges on it, and one of them has the word "GEAR" on the jacket's left sleeve. He also has a sleeveless black shirt (this is revealed near the end of the movie), dark blue slacks, gray socks and a pair of brown shoes.

Takeshi's younger self (four years ago) is seen wearing a white shirt with short red sleeves, black pants and a pair of green and white sneakers. He was occasionally seen wearing a red tuxedo, notably when he joined the Tobita Club and during his birthday party in the movie.

PersonalityEdit

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Takeshi's set-up position

In terms of Gear Fighting, Takeshi is often seen to be calm and confident during battles. He often resorts to destroying his opponent's Gears by using his special attack King of the Dragon Fighters (except for Kouya, who manages to avoid and survive the attack a few times) but never gets disqualified despite it being frowned upon. He also shows several signs of passion when pitting against a truly skilled Gear Fighter such as Kouya.

Takeshi's cold attitude is shown on several occasions throughout the series. An instance of this is his refusal to extend the time for Kyousuke to return from the Black Forest before the World Cup semifinal match against Kuroudo. Takeshi is also shown to be manipulative, which is revealed when Kyousuke finds out that his actual intentions for bringing him to the Manganji Laboratory is so that Takeshi could steal Garuda Eagle's data. However, it is discovered near the end of the series that Takeshi is emotionally disturbed by Yuhya's death and has been hiding his true feelings.

Takeshi is also seen to possess a generous nature towards the Tobita Club and Kouya in several circumstances. This is shown when he offers to give money to the Tobita Club during its time of crisis. Takeshi's concern for Kouya's wellbeing is also revealed when Kouya almost falls from the roof of the Manganji building after their battle.

Plot Edit

Involvement in the Tobita ClubEdit

Younger Takeshi

The younger Takeshi

Takeshi's interest in Gear Fighting began when he first came across the Tobita Clubhouse while riding with his bodyguard, Kurosaki. Inside, Takeshi saw a Gear Fighter who was practising Crush Gear. He introduced himself as Yuhya, Takeshi befriended Yuhya and eventually joined the Tobita Club alongside Alex Borg and Shingo Nagidori. With the help of his newfound friends Takeshi grew into a talented Gear Fighter; they even supported him when he was defeated during his World Cup match. Seeing how far he had come in his first year, Yuhya requested Takeshi's help in training his younger brother, Kouya after the World Cup.

On another occasion in the movie, Takeshi celebrated his birthday party where he was having a Gear Fight with his friend, Jake Groundstein. The former expressed his joy in Gear Fighting, in which his words somehow inspired Jake to become Gear Emperor later on.

On the day of the World Cup finals, an unfortunate accident occurred which led to the tragic death of Yuhya. As a result from the incident, Takeshi was forced to take charge of training all the members of the Tobita Club alone. This prompted him to suppress his true feelings and become a cold hearted boy who showed no signs of weakness. Over the next four years, Takeshi's skills as a Gear Fighter continued to grow and he eventually became the top player in the Tobita Club.

The Fall of the Tobita ClubEdit

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Kouya encounters Takeshi and the rest of the former club members

Four years after Yuhya's death, Takeshi and Lilika were left in charge of selecting new team members for the Tobita Club. Kouya (Yuhya's younger brother) is scheduled to fight for a place in the club but he shows up an hour late. Takeshi decides to make an example of Kouya so he challenges him to last just one minute in a Gear Fight. To everyone's amazement, Kouya ends up defeating Takeshi and becomes a member of the Tobita Club.

However, Lilika soon realizes that Takeshi purposely let Kouya win so that he could quit and form a club of his own. This leads to the resignation of almost every member, pushing the Tobita Club to the verge of closing down. After learning what actually happened, Kouya confronts Takeshi and begs him to return. Takeshi eventually reveals to Kouya that the Tobita Club no longer holds any meaning to him since it is still controlled by Yuhya's reputation. He even insults Kouya's ability of becoming a Gear Fighter.

Formation of the Manganji ClubEdit

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Takeshi and Kouya's rooftop battle

On the night of the Manganji Club's opening ceremony, an exhibition match is scheduled to take place between Takeshi and Bernard Stellan, a French Champion until Kouya appears and challenges Takeshi to a match. The latter accepts and they make their way to the Crush Gear ring located at the top of the Manganji Hills. As their battle begins Takeshi notices that Kouya is using Yuhya's Crush Gear, Garuda Eagle. For most of the match Kouya manages to hold his own against Takeshi, but their battle ends in an inevitable draw. As Takeshi leaves the ring via helicopter, he tells Kouya that he had his chance and they will face each other again in a tournament.

Manganji Cup arcEdit

Some time later, the Manganji Group hosts their own Crush Gear tournament known as the Manganji Cup where many major Gear Fighters are in attendance. However, the opening event is soon interrupted by the unexpected appearance of the Tobita Club who uses the Burning Octopus team's invitation to participate in the tournament. After a brief argument with the Manganji Club members, the Tobita Club are offered an ultimatum - they are allowed to compete in an exhibition game against a second string team of Takeshi's known as the Mighty Gears.

The final round of the exhibition match is supposed to be Kouya facing off against Satoru Todoroki after the first three matches sees the defeat of Jirou, Kuroudo and Kyousuke at the hands of the Mighty Gears. But Takeshi intervenes, stating that the Tobita Club had already lost every match and that it would be unnecessary for Kouya to compete. He then reveals the true intentions of the tournament by stating that the Manganji Group had invested 80 billion yen in a decade-long secret project to build a powerful Crush Gear known as Gaiki.

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Gaiki, dubbed as "The Perfect Gear" during its debut

Unphased by the announcement of Gaiki, Kouya challenges Takeshi to a Gear Fight. Takeshi asks Kouya if he is willing to risk destroying Garuda Eagle just to face him; nonetheless, Kouya accepts the possibility and the two begin their match. The first round of the match seems close until Takeshi shows Gaiki's special features. It turns out that Gaiki is a unique Crush Gear fitted with VT Chassis that can shift the battery box forward in order to gain a huge boost of speed. Takeshi uses this feature to win the first round easily. Throughout the second match, Kouya holds his own but Takeshi defeats him after Gaiki reveals its second feature (its spin ratio is boosted by sliding its chassis to the back) and deals massive damage to Garuda Eagle.

Hokkaido arcEdit

Soon after the Manganji Cup, Takeshi invites Kyousuke to accompany him to the Manganji Group's research laboratory in Hokkaido. Takeshi tells Kyousuke that some of the best Gear Masters are already working for him, and that he owes it to himself to join the Manganji Group. He also gives Kyousuke a flight ticket in case the Gear Master is ready.

Takeshi is seen competing in Hokkaido Cup, an open Crush Gear tournament where he (temporarily) recruits Kyousuke into his dream team. The former is pitted against the local Gear Fighter, Daisuke Sasaki from Team Ice Fang in the tournament's finals. Takeshi makes short work of Sasaki by using Gaiki's VT Chassis and the King of the Dragon Fighters technique which ultimately destroy Sasaki's Gear, Shining Dagger.

Manganji lab

The Manganji Group's research facility

After the Hokkaido Cup, Takeshi notices that several Tobita Club members are in attendance. Later, Takeshi brings Kyousuke to the Manganji Laboratory and gives him a tour where the former introduces several other Gear Masters and the facility's virtual battle arena to him. Takeshi offers Kyousuke if he wishes to test his skills in the simulator, to which the Gear Master accepts and begins a virtual match. As Kyousuke is struggling with his virtual battle, Takeshi secretly obtains the data for Garuda Eagle through the assistance of the laboratory chief who sets the simulator to the topmost difficulty and downloads the said data from Kyousuke's Gear case.

The next day, Takeshi and the laboratory chief find a weakness in Garuda Eagle. Kyousuke eventually finds out on their possession of Garuda Eagle data after he returns to his room; during the argument between the Kyousuke and the chief, Takeshi reveals that they have tried to deal with the Gear Master's temper before he orders the latter to leave the facility. In a rogue effort by Kyousuke, Kouya and Kaoru, the Garuda Eagle data is eventually deleted from the master computer. After discovering what had happened to the data, Takeshi fires the chief as he could not accept the chief's explanation.

Buthokan Cup arcEdit

Takeshi is next seen during the Buthokan Cup finals in support of the Mighty Gears. Before the finals Takeshi informs his team that the lineup he has selected to take on the Tobita Club will be the same as when they first faced off. Although his plan faces opposition from the Mighty Gears members, Takeshi still wants to go on with the lineup and warns them on the Tobita Club's strength.

Asia Cup arcEdit

Takeshi team

The Manganji Dream Team

The Manganji Dreams is one of the teams that participate in the Asia Cup along with other Asian teams such as the Tobita Club, the Four Stars Team and Team Griffon. Takeshi's reputation in the Crush Gear world make him and his dream team the odds on favorite to win. They manage to win preliminary rounds and the semifinals with relative ease thanks to Gaiki's King of the Dragon Fighters and the mastery of the VT Chassis, although the said factors have raised concerns to some (the tournament host silently questions the legality of Gaiki's special attack, while Mitsuki thinks that the Manganji Dreams will easily win the tournament and the World Cup if the VT Chassis blueprint is not leaked).

Takeshi is confronted by the Tobita Club outside the arena after his semifinal match. In an act of arrogance, he tells them to do their best if they hope to make it to the finals. After Takeshi finds out from Kurosaki about the location of the server that hosted a certain blueprint, he recommends Kouya to watch the South American Cup finals for an interesting match. Later in Chinatown, Takeshi and his bodyguard arrive at an abandoned apartment where the server is located in room 402. However, they are interrupted by an unexpected (and embarassing) arrival of Kyousuke and Lan Fang into the room. Takeshi has expected that the two are eavesdropping, and despite agreeing on Kyousuke's statement on the Gear God outsmarting the Manganji Group, Takeshi seems unable to comprehend why someone would post such blueprints online. During the broadcast of the South American Cup finals, the latter reveals that U-YA had managed to use Shining Sword Breaker for every game competed in the South America Cup and had won 50 matches in row, much to Kyousuke's disbelief.

After a long and grueling tournament, two teams earn the right to compete for the Asia Cup finals - the Manganji Dreams and the Tobita Club - but only one would emerge victorious. The time had finally come for the long expected rematch Kouya and Takeshi had been waiting for. They would battle each other not only to decide the new Asia Cup champion, but also to determine who was truly better as a Gear Fighter. In the first round Kouya attempts to quickly defeat Takeshi using his Shining Sword Breaker. However Takeshi manages to dodge it using Gaiki's VT Chassis spin at the right moment. After that Garuda Phoenix seems helpless against Gaiki, but Kouya manages to keep his Gear in the ring long enough for the round to end.

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Takeshi's victory at the Asia Cup

As the final round begins Kouya realizes something in Takeshi's eyes. He sees the confidence to win which is shown within Yuhya in every one of his battles. This spurs Kouya to battle Takeshi with everything he had. The two seems evenly matched and their skills as Gear Fighters push both players beyond their own limits. This prompts Takeshi to use the full force of King of the Dragon Fighters against Kouya's Shining Sword Breaker, causing the arena to literally shine from the raw power displayed by the two Gears. Takeshi evetually manages to defeat Kouya and is now crowned the new Asia Cup champion.

The manga's rendition of the Asia Cup finals, however, is different from the anime in terms of the outcome and the qualification for the World Cup. During the said match, Takeshi uses Vanishing Counter against Kouya, but the latter eventually manages to bypass his attack. In the third round Gaiki casts the Dragon's Revival, a powerful special attack that results from Takeshi's intensive training in which he suffered from a serious wrist injury. Although Takeshi becomes the Asia Cup champion, his wrist bone is completely fractured after the match. As a result, the usage of Dragon's Revival is banned by the GFA and he withdraws from participating in the World Cup. Kouya, who wins the second place in the Asia Cup, is qualified for the World Cup instead.

Post-Asia Cup arcEdit

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The Tobita Club attend Takeshi's party

After his successful victory at the Asia Cup, Takeshi decides to host a congratulatory party for the Manganji Dreams. Several winners and runners up from regional championships are in attendance, such as the Tobita Club and the North American champion Brad Fincher. In the midst of the party Brad and Jirou get into a heated dispute when Brad chooses to call Jirou's close friend, Taki a third class Gear Fighter. An inevitable Gear Fight soon takes place between the two talented youngsters. Using his Crush Gear, Stealth Jiraiya, Brad quickly gains the upper hand over Raging Bull. In the end Jirou's skills are easily overwhelmed by Brad's ninja-based fighting style.

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Takeshi in the movie

In the movie, Takeshi is one of the targets of Gear Emperor due to his and Kouya's achievements as the winner and the runner up of the Asia Cup respectively. On the day of the two's confrontation with Gear Emperor, Takeshi is jetskiing at the sea when a gear-shaped platform appears beneath him and the sailboat that places his sidekicks and his bodyguards. They are brought into the GENIUS Fortress where Takeshi and Kouya are challenged to have a battle against Gear Emperor. It is at this moment that Takeshi recognizes Gear Emperor as his old friend, Jake. Together with Kouya, Takeshi has no choice but to accept Jake's challenge after seeing Momita and Gomano being held captive along with the rest of the Tobita Club.

During the two-on-one Gear Fight, Takeshi works together with Kouya in defeating Caesarvern, the world's first Crush Gear that is created. Jake reminds Takeshi on what happened during the latter's birthday party and reveals how Takeshi's words inspired him to become who he is. Regretting over his own words that was uttered years ago, Takeshi launches King of the Dragon Fighters against Caesarvern, but his attack is blocked and only manages to remove the moving obstacles out of the ring. Nonetheless, Takeshi helps Kouya in defeating Jake by having Gaiki throw out Garuda Phoenix so that Kouya can equip his Gear's front weapon to Goldblade.

World Cup arcEdit

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Takeshi and other World Cup contestants

Several weeks later Takeshi arrives in Sydney for the first stage of the World Cup. At the convention centre he overhears an argument going on between Brad, Gavin Connelhammer and members of the Tobita Club. Takeshi acknowledges Lilika's skills as the club's deputy owner, stating that the Tobita Club never would have made it to the World Cup without her. Unable to take credit for her team's accomplishments, Lilika states that their fighting spirit and hard work is what helped them get to where they are. As he leaves, Kouya reminds Takeshi that they still have one more fight to decide who is the better Gear Fighter.

First stage Edit

At the opening ceremony of the World Cup, the new head of the GFA Gina Firestone announces a new format for the first stage. Players from each team will battle in a two on two tag team style match due to the overcrowded amount of contestants.

During the first stage matches Takeshi teams up with fellow teammate Dan Midou to take on Team Great Rocky. His victory is assumed to be short as his team won both matches before Kouya and Jirou's match had even begun. At their post-fight press conference Takeshi acknowledges his team's skill, stating that the strength of the Shinomiya twins is that they are identical twins and that they are perfectly in sync with one another.

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Takeshi's reaction to U-YA's real identity

As the first stage of the World Cup progresses Takeshi keeps tabs on other competitors, but some more than others. His fascination with the mysterious Gear Fighter known as U-YA is finally brought to light during the Block A match, where Quo Vadis takes on the Native Spirits team. As the match begins U-YA throws off his hooded cloak only to reveal a boy no one recognized. Desperately seeking answers Takeshi asks his bodyguard to contact their Sao Paulo office to find out more information on U-YA. A few days later Takeshi receives a report with detailed information on the mysterious Gear Fighter. He then informs Kurosaki that they would be leaving for Sydney. It was there that Takeshi confronts the one person he knew he could trust, his former team manager Lilika. He shows her the report and they both agree that Kouya could never find out the truth behind the boy named Carlos Williams.

The next day Takeshi and his team make their way to the Sydney Airport to depart for San Francisco where the second stage of the World Cup would take place. As they arrive Takeshi spots Kouya (who had just missed his flight after a quick trip to the bathroom) talking to a flight attendant. Unable to help him she states that all the flights are completely booked. Realizing how much trouble he is in, Takeshi allows Kouya to accompany him in the Manganji Group's personal jet. As they make their way to San Francisco, Takeshi notices that Kouya had injured himself in his last match. Kouya thanks Takeshi for helping him; he also takes it upon himself to ask Takeshi if he knew anything about U-YA. Unable to break the promise he made to Lilika, Takeshi lies, stating he did not know anything. After they arrive at the San Francisco Airport, Takeshi tells Kouya that he is looking forward to their next match and that he would see him in the ring.

Second stage Edit

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Takeshi saves Kouya from being disqualified

During the second stage Takeshi attends a match between Dan and U-YA. After a seemingly short round, U-YA leaves the Data Magician's Crush Gear in pieces as he easily defeated him using the Shining Sword Breaker technique. However U-YA's victory is quickly interrupted by the appearance of a furious Kouya (who has discovered the true identity of U-YA as Carlos). Blaming Carlos for the death of his brother, a fight breaks out between the two, but it is quickly subdued by Takeshi. Carlos infuriates Kouya even more by claiming that he is the true Yuhya. The argument is eventually broken up by Quo Vadis' coach Takaya Tobita, who promises that Kouya would get his chance to face Carlos in the next stage of the World Cup.

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Eddie gives Takeshi the evidence

The World Cup proves to be getting even better as it sees several great battles such as Jirou's fight against Brad and Kyousuke's long awaited battle with Kuroudo. But the battle between Kouya and Ma Liang seems mediocre at best. During the first two rounds both Kouya and Ma Liang do not even seem to try. However both Gear Fighters seems to find their feet and put on a great final match. After an exciting battle Kouya eventually rises to the occasion and defeats Ma Liang. However, the Four Stars coach Ming Wu (who blackmailed Kouya into losing his match against Ma Liang) is not impressed with Kouya's victory so much so that he accuses Kouya of competing in a Gear Pancratum match. When he confronts Gina he requests that Kouya and his whole team should be disqualified. However Ming Wu's evidence is replaced with several photos of pandas. The real copy is taken by Eddie who is under orders by Takeshi. The latter eventually takes the evidence to Gina who asks him if he was trying to protect Kouya from being disqualified. Takeshi states that he thought it could be useful to him. He then asks her if he could meet her brother Sean Firestone in person. As he leaves, Gina asks why Takeshi wished to meet her brother. Takeshi responds that her brother fits the same description as the legendary Gear Master, "the Gear God". Takeshi departs for Germany to take place in the next stage leaving the evidence with Gina (who ends up deleting it).

Third stage Edit

As the World Cup progresses many reporters and fans flocks to the Frankfurt Airport to welcome the remaining finalists. Shortly after their arrival, the World Cup finalists make their way to an old castle where the third stage match-ups would be decided. For his quarterfinal match Takeshi is pitted against Francis Ledger. Francis' skills are proven during the match as he manages to dodge Takeshi's signature move. However Takeshi quickly recovers and eventually defeats Francis, sealing his place in the semifinals.

As the quarterfinals progresses Takeshi is approached by his semifinal opponent Kuroudo. However Takeshi wins by default after Kyosuke came a minute late with repaired Shooting Phantom as he ignores pleas on both teams for time extension. Most likely the reason he still was destined to face Kouya.

Final stage Edit

Takeshi was eventually defeated by Kouya Marino in the finals.

Trivia Edit

  • In an interview with the series producer Naotake Furusato, he described the surname "Manganji" as having an image of wealth. He jokingly added that Japanese people are suckers for names that end in "ji”. [1]
  • Takeshi shares his given name with another character from Crush Gear Nitro; however, the two characters have different backgrounds and personalities.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Interview Side B." Sunrise Inc. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.

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