|“||I won’t accept losing… I won’t accept it. I definitely will be number one…!!! Among all the short players||”|
Kouta Igarashi (五十嵐こうた, Igarashi Kouta) is a third-year middle school point guard who plays for Shinjo Towa Academy. Under the instruction of Takahashi and Kojima, he participates in the Monster Bash tournament for The Gorillaz.
Later on, in the series Igarashi, after graduating from middle school, gets enrolled in Kuzuryū High, and he plays as a backup point guard.
Kouta is short in height, about 151 cm. He has medium length light brown hair that ends before his shoulders and eyes of the same corresponding color. He wore jersey number 20 while playing for The Gorillaz.
Kouta at Shinjo Towa Academy middle school received training in basketball from Takahashi and Kojima. He has tremendous respect and admiration for both of them. Under their guidance, Igarashi improves his basketball skills. His goal is to become the number 1 shortest point guard in Japan.
Monster Bash Tournament arc
Igarashi's team 'The Gorillaz' wins their first-round match. Neither the game nor the score was shown. Their second-round opponent is Kuzuryū High. Before the match, Takahashi introduces Igarashi to the Kuzu-High squad as their team's point guard. Upon meeting Sora, Igarashi asks him from which middle school he belongs? Sore gets enraged and asks him the same question. Igarashi responds, 'Shinjo Towa Middle' and then walks away. Chiaki sees his cold demeanor with Sora's comments; he must be a rich brat and tell Kurumatani not to lose.
The second-round match between The Gorillaz and Kuzuryū High is about to begin, members of both teams greet each other. Chiba wins the tip-off from Momoharu, and Igarashi has the ball. While dribbling, Kouta seems annoyed; despite finally being able to play in an adult tourney, his opponent is Sora, who is shorter than him. While guarding him, Kurumatani tells Igarashi that he is an adult. Upon hearing that, Igarashi shoots a three-pointer. Takashi yells at him to pass the ball around and not be reckless at the game's start. Kojima and Chiba also get angry at him. Igarashi tries to calm himself down. Satsuki is amazed that a middle school kid at his age is such a skilled point guard. Sora passes the ball to Mokichi, but Chiba blocks him. Shigeyoshi tries to score again but is unsuccessful; Kojima gets the rebound and passes it to Takahashi; as he tries to score, Tobi blocks him. Chiba gets the offensive rebound and dunks it. Everyone in the crowd is shocked and goes wild. Nino calls Chiba a monster. Kuzu-High is on the offense; Sora has the ball while guarding Kurumatani; Igarashi tells himself that he needs to perform well in front of his senpais. Sora gets in position to shoot a three, Igarashi blocks him and run towards Kuzu-High's basket. Momoharu tries to stop; Igarashi drives passes him and sends the ball to the number 7 player of The Gorillaz. Nino comments that Igarashi is currently surveying his teammates' positions and he has got some good eyes. Kuzuryū High hasn't scored a single point, and the tally is 7 to 0. Takahashi tells Chiba isn't Igarashi, a good addition to their team. Chiba tells him that he hates players who are like 'The Genius Types.' Kojima shoots a three-pointer, and the score is now 10 to 0. Kojima tells Momoharu he looks pale and he should take this game seriously because he was injured in their previous meeting, and now he is playing at his full strength against Kuzu-High. The match reaches half-time. Kuzuryū High scores a couple of points, but their field goal percentage from the three-point line is zero. The Gorillaz leads the game by 11 points, and the score is 19 to 8. Chiaki tells his teammates that this is bad. Momoharu responds that they have zero chance of winning this game. Chiaki tells Mokichi that they should change their matchups; Momoharu is more than enough to guard Chiba. Shigeyoshi tells him he can stop Shinichi from scoring. The second half begins Chiba is guarding Kaname, and he passes the ball to Kenji, and Tobi scores the basket. Takahashi guards Chiaki and scores a point for The Gorillaz. Meanwhile, Tarou, accompanied by Katori, arrives at their game. He gets angry at Kuzu-High for their weak defense and comments that they are all over the place. Katori tells him that the ray of hope for Kuzuryū High is Kenji. Sora has the ball, and Igarashi guards him. Sora passes the ball to one of his teammates. Momoharu throws the ball back to Sora, Igarashi jumps and intercepts it. Nino comments that the kid has some serious jumping power. Kouta tries to score, but the ball falls off the rim. Momoharu and Kojima try to get the offensive rebound; Shigeyoshi intercepts the ball and passes it to Chiaki, who tries to shoot but cannot score. Momoharu gets the rebound and passes it to Sora. Igarashi yells I won't let you shoot. Kurumatani drive passes him and tries to shoot. Igarashi tells him confidently; your balance is way off. Sora makes the shot. Taro seeing Sora's jump shot yells at him and gets angry at Sora that it is his move that he has just copied. Chiba gets the ball and is unable to score. Igarashi guards Sora and is being cautious this time. Kurumatani shoots a three-pointer way beyond the arc, and this shocks Igarashi. The score is 27 to 23, Kuzu-High is slowly closing the gap. Takahashi gets angry at Igarashi and tells him, "didn't I tell you not to give him a chance to shoot unchecked!" Igarashi tries to calm himself down as he goes for a layup. The ball touches the rim and is about to fall off. Chiba gets in position for the rebound but is guarded by Shigeyoshi and Momoharu. Chiaki gets the offensive rebound and passes to Sora, who then gives it to Kenji, and Tobi scores the point for Kuzu-High. Kenji tells Sora that the match's flow is in their favor and they can win this game. Kojima has the ball, Momoharu tries to stop him, but Kojima evades him and scores the point. The tally is 29 to 25, The Gorillaz leading by 4 points. Shigeyoshi has the ball, Chiba guards him. Kaname does his hook shot and, while scoring, gets Chiba fouled. He makes the free throw. Takahashi reminds Chiba's words of their mini-basket coach "There are no days that require no work." This game is not over yet until the clock runs out. Thirty seconds remaining in the shot clock. Sora has the ball; while guarding, Igarashi tells Kurumatani that he is amazed by his basketball skills, but he knows an amazing point guard (Yozan) who he looks up to and hopes on surpassing him. Sora tells Kouta, "Sorry, but… there's no way Kuzu-High will lose this game." Sora drives pass him, Igarashi is shocked. Takahashi yells at him to stop Kurumatani. Igarashi grabs Sora's jersey and gets into a foul. One of the spectators in the court gets angry at Igarashi and yells, "that shorty did it now… an un-sports-man foul!" Takahashi tells him not to worry; he is not subbing him out and should focus on the next play. Chiba praises Igarashi and tells him he can see his determination and will to win. The next play will decide the outcome of this match. Sora scores the free throws with 14 seconds remaining on the clock. While watching, Tarou tells Katori, if Kuzuryū High doesn't win this game, they are unworthy of Nao. Igarashi guards Sora again and tells himself that he will not lose this game, as he reminisces Takahashi's words to become the number 1 point guard among the short players in the region. Sora passes to Momoharu, and Igarashi steals the ball and yells that he will become number one! He scores the basket; the tally is 31 to 30, The Gorillaz leading by 1 point. 2 seconds remaining, Chiaki passes to Sora, who is in position to shoot from the other side. Igarashi is amazed when did Sora reach the other side of the court. Kurumatani shoots the three-pointer, and Kuzuryū High wins the game by a buzzer-beater with a score of 33 to 31. While exiting the court, Kouta stares at Sora and whispers that he will never forget his name.
Kouta is a great upcoming point guard. Under the tutelage of Takahashi and Kojima, he has improved his basketball skills. He is good at making mid to long-range shots but inefficient at layups. Kouta also needs to work on his defense as his emotions get the best of him.
- “You’re pretty small. What middle school are you from?” – to Sora Kurumatani (Chapter 148)
- “I finally get to play in an adult tourney. But I find myself against somebody smaller than me.” – to himself (Chapter 148)
- “These members Takahashi-sempai brought along are the best!!! I guess it’s time for me to pull my weight.” – to himself (Chapter 148)
- “You really think I’d let you go so easily, you idiot. I let my guard down before, but not again.” – to Sora Kurumatani (Chapter 149)
- “That being said, this guy has sharp drive. I didn’t pay much attention to anything other than his shooting since Takahashi-sempai said he’s a pure shooter. It’s not like I thought I’d lose a 1 on 1. But, better safe than sorry… At the very least, I won’t let him score through me.” – to himself (Chapter 149)
- “It can’t be helped are you saying I’m inferior to that shorty!!!?” – to Katsumi Takahashi (Chapter 149)
- “It’s true that your moves are amazing, but I know a much more amazing guy (Yozan).” – to Sora Kurumatani (Chapter 149)
- “What the heck am I doing! I just needed a normal foul to stop him (Sora). At a time like this… If we lose now… It’ll be my fault!!” – to himself (Chapter 149)