Battle 7 "Ryozanpaku Dojo"
Muay Thai Death God of the Martial Arts Underworld
Apachai Hopachai is known as the Muay Thai "God of Death" and Muay Thai master at the Ryozanpaku. He is also shown to have been trained in Muay Boran And Muay Thai, though practices it at night only for the sake of upholding the traditional of the fighting style, and even tries not to show it to Kenichi to protect him because it is very dangerous.
He is extremely tall and powerfully built, has light dark skin, short spiky silver hair, and is usually seen wearing a yellow tank top and red shorts and a mongkol around his head with bandages wrapped around his hands and feet.
As a child, his appearance was much less muscular, but his hair was slightly longer and more wild and his overall outfit from now is virtually the same.
Despite his lethal skill's, Apachai has a very childlike nature, which is why he is good with kids and animals (he also happens to have the unique ability to communicate with animals). He also looks out for any people he deems his friends, such as the child traffickers he was bodyguarding. He always looks out for Kenichi, and hammers nails into voodoo dolls (a "spell" that Shigure teaches him to bring good luck) whenever he feels something bad will happen to Kenichi. He's also very poor with doing chores which usually leaves what he works on (such as cooking or cleaning) to a complete disaster and he even admitted he sucks at chores. However, after some "secret training" he was working on with Kensei, he's finally learned how to at least do laundry, as Miu noted all the clothes he cleaned are perfect.
Apachai is shown to have looked up to Agaard Jum Sai as an older brother. He has also mentioned several times that he has trouble understanding Japanese which may be another reason why he never holds back despite how much everyone tells him to, though this may extend to languages in general when he is told by Agaard to hold back or that he has not seen the terrifying effects of it until he started to teach Kenichi. He does not like to ride airplanes and, like Kenichi, states how scary something is such as mutering "planes are scary!".
He also is friends with Kenichi's younger sister Honoka, playing Othello with her, displaying an upset mood whenever she is upset, and, strangest of all, will even follow her commands. He usually does whatever kind of game she wants and often is seen playing them with Shigure.
When Apachai talks he frequently says "Apa", sometimes even yelling out "Apapapapa... (pronounced A papapa pa)" whilst fighting or training, often a source of humor in the series. He also answers the phone with "We have your child hostage." rather than a normal "Hello", presumably because of his past in working with child traffickers. Apachai is also a big eater, especially of hamburgers, voraciously gulping down large amounts of food and will occasionally steal some from Sakaki. This stems from his past when he had his dinner taken away by his boss whenever he broke his training equipment.
Though Apachai is childish, rather thoughtless and naive, he has proven countless times to be very kindhearted, selfless, brave and very peaceful and loving. He loves the minor things of life and has a love of animals, as they always tend to gather around him due to his peaceful nature. Even children love Apachai and so does he, as he enjoys playing with them and they enjoy hanging around the children.
Apachai Hopachai is a remarkably powerful fighter with monstrous strength, even when he tries to hold back. Having mastered Muay Thai and ancient Muay Boran from his younger days, Apachai has great skills in the arts. Even against other master class opponents, Apachai doesn't need to use his full strength and can take out several without using much effort. When fighting full-out, he has repeatedly been held back by his companions as he quickly overwhelms them to the point they could die as when he trains with Kenichi on numerous occasions he ended up leaving the boy half-dead on more than one occasion. Though he's a Dou fighter, Apachai has been able to keep himself calm in battle and once he fights all out his Ki is monstrously powerful that so much it caused Kenichi and even the normally calm Kokin to become scared by his and Agaards Ki against each other. His skills are so great that against Yami member Agaard he was able to win and even survive the hole in his torso and able to defeat the Bantou Master with his wound, which is a testament to his skills.
- Innate Talent: From a young age, Apachai showed tremendous physical prowess and natural talent for combat. Even as a small child, he was able easily defeat several adult men without even a scratch. His natural aptitude for combat continued to show its brilliance as he continued to grow, quickly becoming highly proficient in Muay Thai and Muay Boran. Apachai is also shown to be able to quickly learn skills he truly sets his mind to, such as becoming good at Othello in wanting to beat Honoka. In doing so, he can easily defeat most of Ryozanpaku's master and only narrowly lost to the immensely intelligent Akisame.
- Immense Strength: Even when only a child, Apachai possessed tremendous physical strength. Whenever practicing on trees and such, he would always end up smashing them. From a stationary position, Apachai can jump several feet into the air and across several city blocks. When confronted by the prospect of riding on an airplane, Apachai can cling to a steel pole with enough force that even Sakaki and Akisame together were incapable of prying him off. Unfortunately, when it comes to anything remotely combat related, Apachai lacks the ability to hold back, and often nearly kills Kenichi (in one incident from when he first trained him, Kenichi had to be revived with CPR due to cardiac arrest from an attack by Apachai). The reason for this is because Apachai has been fighting life or death battles in the ring since he was very young, making deadly strikes a reflex for him. At a young age, he was able to send people flying, and on one occasion, a car flying. Over time however while training Kenichi, Apachai devotion to teaching Kenichi Muay Thai and protecting him has gradually given him control over how much strength he exerts, now rarely even knocking out Kenichi. Even his former mentor Agaard acknowledged Apachai's new control. Apachai has insane leg strength, he was able to easily leap several hundred meters into the air, he can also kick stone statues extremely high into the air and punch through the floor just by stepping down on it.
- Immense Endurance: Befitting his large figure, Apachai has a high amount of endurance, such as taking several blows from Kei Retsumin and recieved little damage. Even when he was dealt a fatal blow from Agaard with having a hole in his torso, he was able to revive himself and defeat the Bantou Master with the injury and was able to survive thanks to Akisame arriving and saving him, though it should be noted that had Akisame not arrived to treat him, Apachai would have died from the blood loss.
- Immense Speed: Apachai has regularly shown remarkable speed that defies his bulky built. He is able to launch a huge barrage of strikes in seconds, ultimately allowing him to pulverize stone into dust. He can also close a considerable amount of distance in an instant, giving the appearance that he teleported to untrained eyes. When he is child, He had already have the speed that is stated as 'Able to match with train.' by a young child.
- Animal communication: Apachai's innocent and childlike demenor has given him the ability to get along with animals in a harmonious manner, birds will land in his hands and other animals will come right up to him to be petted, even dangerous ones such as tigers are as tame as house cats with him. He has shown that he can talk to the animals as easily as people several times, and that he can understand them as easy as humans.
- Fear of flying: Apachai has a crippling fear of flying, leaving him unable to travel quickly by plane.
- Childlike Innocence: Apachai can be extremly gullible at times, and is apparently unaware of the illegal activities he has taken part in over the years, such examples are him answering the phone with threats, and protecting a slavery ring without any idea of what it was. This can lead him to be easily manipulated.
- Difficulty Restraining Strength: Since an early age Apachai has been taught never to hold back any strength during a fight, so has difficulty when told to do so later. Often damaging property and severly injuring people when trying to restrain them or simply spar with them. At the peak of this problem he literally killed Kenichi during their first sparing session. This problem was somewhat overcome when he was told to treat his disciple as he does children when he looks after them. It has been repeatedly shown throughout the series that Apachai subconciously holds back his strength under two conditions: the first condition is against children and the second is against animals. Over the course of his time training Kenichi, Apachai has gotten slightly better at holding himself back, to the point that during his fight with Agaard, he stated that he has finally learned how to hold back, to which Agaard stated that now that he can hold back he has become even more stronger.
- Kao Loi (เข่าลอย): Apachai grabs his opponent by the head before delivering a powerful knee strike to their face while bringing the opponents head down. The first technique he teaches to Kenichi.
- Ti Lan: A powerful low kick to back of the opponent's leg, if done correctly it can completely devistate the opponent, even cripple them. This technique works well against fighters who rely on their upper body, like boxers. This technique was taught to Kenichi by Apachai, and was used in his first fight against Takeda Ikki.
- Sork Klub (ศอกกลับ): A technique in which you draw in an opponent's punch and spin your entire body to lay an elbow strike to the person's head.
- Ti Sok Klub (ตีศอกกลับ): A spinning elbow strike that can be rapidly used in conjunction to punches and, as a result, it can be difficult to dodge or block. A variaton of Ti Sok, also taught to Kenichi, which is a normal elbow strike.
- Apapunch: A very powerful punch similar to his Chai Kick but not as powerful. Taught the basics by Agaard and he continued to refine this technique. This attack is powerful enough to send a grown man flying several metres through a concrete wall.
- Chai Kick: His signature techniqe. It is a vertical kick that is similar to his normal kick, but delivered with enough force that he can completely blow apart a stone jizo into dust. Taught the basics by Agaard and he continued to refine this technique.
- Tang Guard Muay (ตั้งการ์ดมวย) : Is the main stand for Muay Thai Fighting.
- Hopachai Tenako (Hopachai Knee Kick): Apachai strikes his knee upward and sends his opponents flying from a knee kick.
- Chai Shot: Apachai uses a powerful kick to propel his target several meters away from him.
- Narok Ginali Ren Nam (นรกกินรีเล่นน้ำ): Apachai grabs and places the opponents head under one of his arm and unleashes multiple blows at the opponent using his heel.
- Ba Quan Sabad Na: A continuous blow of elbow strikes downward.
- Chai Kick Strong: A more powerful version of the Chai Kick. This version is powerful enough to completely wipe out an entire platoon of soldiers in one shot.
- Bolisud Look Mai (ลูกไม้บริสุทธิ์): A secret technique that is more dangerous than any other Muay Boran or Muay Thai technique. It was passed on to Agaard and Apachai.
As a child, Apachai is brought by a crime boss to another crime boss and tested for his strength by the latter, easily breaking the cane sent flying at him and taking out the crime boss and his bodyguards. This earns a scolding from his own crime boss. Soon after, Apachai is bought off the crime boss by Agaard, and goes to live in the Romtyphoon gym for the next few years.
Over the years, Apachai demonstrates his ability with animals, even finding a "cat" (which is actually a tiger cub) and treating it as his pet. His inability to hold back is also demonstated by him razing an entire field of banana trees and knocking out his enemies in the underground ring with single clean hits, quickly becoming a fighter of his own level and making it difficult for people to match him up with others. He also makes a promise with Agaard that both of them will rise to the top of the Muay Thai world, and cheers on Agaard in the final round despite knowing that he will be sent to another gym if Agaard wins the match.
A few years later, after Agaard has left the Underground Muay Thai world to find a "world of true martial arts," Apachai has raised his skill in Muay Thai to the point where he blocks a robber's elbow attack with only his pinky. During this time it is also shown that the tiger cub he found has grown into an adult, named "Meo", though Apachai still thinks is just a very big cat. It is also noted that Agaard's promise to feed Apachai still takes effect, as the members of the Romtyphoon gym still put Apachai's appetite above their own based on Agaard's last request. After Apachai returns to his gym, Agaard assaults him to test his strength, becomes disappointed in Apachai's delayed training, and tells Apachai to join "Yami". This prompts Apachai to set out on his own journey to find his own way.
He also has a history with Michael Schtilvay, as during their battle, Michael refers to Apachai as the "gentle-hearted Shinigami", showing how glad he is to be able to fight with him again, and likewise Apachai refers to him as a "really bad Shinigami".
Apachai goes on his journey, but quickly starves and does not have access to much food. He eats the hamburger that Hexford drops for him and pays him back with his services as a bodyguard. However, he remains unaware of the true nature of his employers, and starts a fight with the invading elder, who matches him strike for strike and continues to fight while dodging bullets. Apachai becomes disillusioned with the child traffickers when he realizes their true nature and takes out his employers, frees the children, and brings the treasure from the ship to finance the poor village. He follows the elder and Miu until they return home to Ryozanpaku, after which he becomes a part of the extended family of masters.
As an adult, Apachai trains with Kenichi on mulitiple occasions, often knocking him out unintentionally and making Kenichi fear him for his lack of ability to hold back. Being saddened by this fact, Apachai learns how to hold back his strength through his own training with the elder and manages to teach Kenichi the Kao Loi. Apachai still has not refined the ability to hold back though, and occasionally still knocks out Kenichi when he enters his fighting mode. With Kenichi's help, Apachai eventually learns to hold back his strength.
Around this time, Apachai would become good friends with Honoka, Kenichi's little sister and they would have a lot of fun together, Shigure would also join the fun and Honoka would teach them some things they were unaware of.
He later watched Kenichi's fight against Ryuto and cheered with pride when he copied his fighting style.
After Ragnarok is defeated, the masters deal with Yami and Apachai tells the Elder that he knows one of the members in Yami, (speaking of Agaard) vowing to sacrifice his life for Kenichi should the need arise. Druing the D of D tournament, Apachai and the other masters help take down the high powered masters and arrest them.
In Kenichi flashback during his fight with Tirawit Kōkin, he had seen Apachai practicing Muay Boran at night. The disciple was injured by involve his practice. This incident bring out the introduction of Muay Boran. After seeing Kenichi almost killed by Kokin and Akisame saves him, Apachai is greatly relieved. After Kenichi and Shigure come back from their trip together, Apachai lifts Kenichi in the air commenting how his limbs are all in tact, depressing Shigure. Apachai would later accompany Kensei on Kenichi's and Miu's school camp trip and keep all of Boris's men from killing the students and later play with the other students afterwards.
When Renka called Kenichi asking for his help in a situation she was in, Apachai secretly (albeit poorly) followed Kenichi to assist him. Apachai suddenly attacked Kenichi when he felt a killing intent and assaulted an innocent person, but the innocent person was actually an assassin from the Black Tiger, White Dragon Alliance. Kenichi and Apachai made it to the Ma Restaurant only to find out Renka had exaggerated about the Three Headed Dragon Team being extremely injured. Once they arrive, Apachai saves them from Retsumin Kei. Kei put his bird that was in a cage, Pisuke, on his head to fight Apachai to kill the traitors. Kenichi noticed that Apachai was holding back not for the Three Headed Dragon, but because he doesn’t want to hurt Pisuke. Kenichi had Renka guide him to the bird cage without getting hit by the masters’ attack trails. Kenichi eventually reached Kei’s back and climbed on his back, but Kei was moving so fast that Kenichi was having a tough time keeping his grip. Kei attacked everyone else when they went to help Kenichi, but they all survived by Apachai gripping his arms and Kenichi rescued Pisuke. Kei was about to Apachai with his full power, but Apachai defeated Kei with his full power. Kei was taken away by some Black Tiger men after his defeat. Apachai had the Three Dragon Team look after it, since he is in a middle of a war against Yami.
Much later when Agaard makes his move after Kenichi and his freinds run into one of his bases. As Apachai goes to Okinawa to fight against Agaard and Kenichi fights Kokin (though he was forced to go due to his fear of planes). As they fight, Apachai remembers his childhood with Agaard and the two continue to acknowledge each others disciples. During his fight with Agaard, Apachai becomes critically injured by a punch that pierced the left side of his stomach, though he manages to strike an additional blow before he fell, injuring Agaard to the point where the latter falls as well and is unable to move for the next 48 hours. It has been confirmed by
both Agaard and the Bantou master that he was dead, though both of them were heavily injured when they
tried to confirm this and he becomes "revived" by his resolution to protect Kenichi and strikes a fissure in the ground to fight the Bantou master. Despite his mortal wound, Apachai defeats the Bantou master in singlepunch, launching him out of the building. Happy that Kenichi is safe, Apachai feels the rest of his strength leave him. While Apachai submits to his wounds, feeling his time is up, Akisame and Kensei arrive, and quickly begin surgery to save him.
Though Apachai is disallowed solid foods due to his injuries, he nonetheless eats a Manjuu in the fridge. Shortly after, he and the other masters evacuate Ryozanpaku just as pro-Yami police show up to detain them. They later return and Apachai is almost healed of all his wounds. He gets back in the habit of training, though his wounds have yet to have fully healed.
Following the discovery of a Yami base, Apachai and the other masters head out to the base with Kenichi and the rest of the Shinpaku Alliance. However, they have the youngsters stay for their safety. They arrive fighting Ogata's men and Apachai states they're all quite strong and they all split up to find Ogata. He later regroups with the others noting that he was never in the castle. He returns home and greatly surprised Miu revealing he's learned how to do laundry and did all the clothes right, much to her surprise and happines as he states he did "secret training" with Kensei to clean clothes and tells her hell do her chores so she can go to the amusement park with Kenichi, much to her happiness.
At night, Apachai listens to the elders story about Tanaka's past and is shocked to discover of Ogata also responsible for murdering Tanaka's wife and unborn child.
After the battle between the Shinpaku Alliance and Yomi, the masters begin to worry about how kenichi was effected by Tanaka's death at the hands of Ogata, but Kenichi returns ready to begin his training, which surprises them all. Later, after hearing of the Hachiou Executioner Blade, Shigure came up with a plan calling it the "Shigure-chan Special". Apachai acompanies her along with Miu and Kenichi to help gather sand and later meet Kagero to get dirt and Apachai is seen watching her forge metal and later joins Sai in making the metal for the requirments. A week later, after the elder leaves on a trip and has yet to return likely due to a strong opponent, Apachai and the others are visited by Inspector Honmaki and are shocked to hear how he and the entire police must guard Yami at a governmental institution. Regardless, he and the other masters are all determined to put them away in Big Lock. The next day, as all the masters prepare for their battle against yami and the government, the other masters decide to leave Shigure with Kenichi and Miu in case the armed members of yami decide to move. Kenichi begins to complain about how reckless their actions are, to which they say that as martial artists they have to stand by their beliefs to the very end, with Sakaki even saying that one day Kenichi would be standing side by side with them. They then arrive in the heart of the city, awaited by a battalion of police officers protecting the building that the one shadow nine fists are currently in.
After Inspector Honmaki steps in on their behalf to stop his men from shooting at them, Apachai is shocked seeing Honmaki shot by one of his own men and treats him the best he can, but he was wearing a bullet proof vest. After Sakaki convinces them to move aside and do what's right, they stand down (and Akisame knocks out the one who shot Honmaki). He and the others arrive at the top of the building the Yami masters are at and surround them. Upon seeing Agaard, he says his name as Agaard says nothing back. He and the other masters then form together in breath and sync, something Mikumo notes is perfectly done. He then lets out a large amount of ki as he and the others prepare to fight the Yami masters.
Just as Apachai and the others prepare to fight, he notes something is off in their killing intent. When Honmaki arrives to inform them of the armed division at the bay of Tokyo, Apachai realizes it was all a diversion. While in the conference room, the monitor comes on as Apachai notices Shigure on their at the docks with Kenichi and Miu. While Sakaki wants to fight Saiga, Apachai tells him they need to save Shigure as he and the other masters run to her aid. However, they were too late and Shigure was captured.
Much later, as Snippers are targeting the masters, Kensei keeps them occupied with cutouts as Apachai knocks the other snippers out.
Later he is seen with Akisame Koetsuji, Shio Sakaki, Kensei Ma, Kagero Sai, James Shiba, and Danki Kugatachi preparing to rescue Shigure Kosaka. They all engage battle with the military and easily crush them, to which Apachai helps throw Danki to the helicopter. After the military is dealt with, Apachai and the others are confronted by Yami and the Hachiou members. Taking no time to wait, Akisame holds an angry Sakaki back and demands Shigure's condition. After Mikumo confirms she's alive, Apachai joins the others masters as they help Kensei go after Mildred, to which he only took her garments, to which Apachai covers his eyes. It was later revealed he broke her bow and attacked Schtilvay, Agaard, and Rin all at once. Once they prepare to go another round, all the masters engage the Yami forces. After Edeltraft splits up the Ryozanpaku masters, Apachai partnered together with Sakaki against Hongo, Agaard and Cyril.
Apachai then engages in his second fight with Agaard and defends himself from Agaard's kick, to which it's revealed that the wound Agaard inflicted on him from their previous fight has not healed yet. Just then, Michael Schtilvay steps in and slashes Apachai's left shoulder. Schtilvay comments that he has met another grim reaper and is amazed that Apachia has survived so long with his kind-hearted personality. Agaard stands down and Apachai warns him that Schtilvay is a horrible grim reaper and they prepare to fight. After Schtilvay leaves he and Agaard continue their fight, to which then Mildred recovers her bow, she unleashes a furry of arrows, as Mildred focuses her eyes and shoots at the Katsujinken masters directly, forcing them to dodge Mildred's strikes along with the falling arrows.
As Kensei is about to be crushed by Mikumo, Apachai attacks her behind with a barrage of kicks only for them all to miss as Mikumo delivers kicks to him instead. Mikumo then forces Apachai to the ground and the other Ryozanpaku masters are seen struggling against their opponents. He eventually breaks free and is shocked to see Sai fall to Seitaro's attack. When Apachai sees a defeated Danki in Mikumo's hands, Apachai charges at Mikumo but is blocked and gets slashed by Raigou across the chest. The other Ryozanpaku masters jump in to help with their combination attack but are stopped by a combination from Mikumo and Raigou. The Ryozanpaku masters are then surrounded by the Yami masters and Mikumo announces that the end of the battle is coming.
As they are continued to be overwhelmed, Akisame protects Apachai and the others by stopping three weapons from striking them and from Sai saving Akisame at the last second. As Sai expresses his regret for his actions as a Satsujinken, Mikumo kills him, which angers the Ryozanpaku masters and they resume their battle.
Apachai is fighting off attacks from the other masters and Agaard appears to be in conversation with Apachai, saying that Apachai agrees with him and that it's been too long since they've talked in such a way. Mikumo questions when the two Muay Thai masters ever spoke to each other and Agaard replies that they've been talking during the entire battle with their fists. Agaard explains that practitioners of Muay Thai are fated to fight against their fellow martial artists in the fighting ring, lamenting the irony that they have to kill those who have walked the same path as them and would understand them the most. Apachai and Agaard charge towards each other but pass through and land their punches on Marmaduke and Rin instead, saying that this is their chance to fight together. Apachai then attacks with the Ryozanpaku masters (assisted by Agaard, Cyril and Sougetsu) against the Yami members.
- At two points in the story, Apachai had comically become an urban legend: when he disguised himself as a transfer student and played basketball for Kouryou High's basketball team, and when he jumped up a burning apartment complex and rescued a baby, witnessed by several fire fighters.
- Apachai is the second character (Kenichi being the first) to come back to life after dying. However, Kenichi was brought back by Akisame's crazy healing methods, while Apachai brought himself back to life by his own will power.