Toudou was born and raised in Hakone at his family's hot springs inn, Toudou-An ("Toudou Retreat House"), which has existed since the Meiji era. Initially, he had no interest in joining any athletic club despite his impressive athletic abilities, which he attributed to how his parents took him on hiking trips where he built up endurance and the ability to move efficiently. Toudou's interest lied solely in fashion and having a good appearance. His middle school friend, Itokawa Shuusaku, described Toudou as having a cold attitude, but still being popular among the girls at school.
One day when first visiting Toudou's inn during their eighth grade year, Shuusaku, the son of a family that owned a cycle shop, asked Toudou to join him in the Hakone Road Hill Climb race being held at the Hakone turnpike in October. Toudou simply looked at his friend's cycling helmet with disdain and turned down the idea, saying that the helmet would mess up his hair, and that he didn't have the proper bike to ride in a race.
Toudou's only bike at the time was an old granny bike he called his "Super Shopping Cart". Previously, Toudou had taken Shuusaku with him to Odawara City to buy a sports jersey, and the two friends had swapped bikes on the way back for fun. Toudou was impressed to ride his friend's fast cross bike, and Shuusaku noted that when he rode Toudou's granny bike, it was incredibly noisy even though it was silent when Toudou rode it.
Toudou explained that when he first got the bike, it was already ancient and noisy, so he tried different ways of pedaling until he discovered it made no sound if he pedaled with the most efficiency. The reason he did this was simply because a noisy granny bike was just uncool.
Shuusaku convinced Toudou to at least practice the course of the race with him, as granny bikes were allowed, in return for juice and melon bread. At 2km to the peak, Shuusaku took off ahead of Toudou, thinking that because he has a new road bike, he couldn't lose. Toudou took the challenge and chased after him, dancing at full speed without making a sound. The way he rode was by keeping his core body still and moving his granny bike with his arms to prevent loss. The two had an intense race, so much so that Toudou became aggressive and yelled at his bangs being in his way. Eventually, Toudou passed his friend and won.
After their practice race, both collapsed on the ground beside the road and Shuusaku was angry at his defeat, and even angrier at Toudou's lack of reaction to winning. Toudou stated that bicycles never meant anything to him, and he never wore a helmet because he didn't want his hair style ruined, but because he became so invested in the race, he surprised himself by treating his hair, which he meticulously cared for, like a hindrance.
Following that, Toudou joined the race at the Hakone turnpike and wore fashionable clothes which he constantly fretted over about sweating in or pinning his bib number too. To him, at races, what was important was how he looked. Shuusaku and Toudou were greeted by Minami, the manager of Hakone Academy's cycling team at the time, who had climbers attending the race. She explained how Hakone was said to be the strongest in the nation, and that in a few years the Inter High may take place in Hakone. She also mentioned the red bib tag and the mountain prize and encouraged the two boys to join Hakone Academy. Minami then told Shuusaku that if he won, she'd give him a kiss.
Toudou asked Shuusaku to further explain about the mountain prize as the two waited at the starting line of the race. Upon hearing about it, Toudou, confused at himself, began to get fired up again, desiring the prize more than anything to the point of putting on a helmet without fussing over his hair. He thought that although it was just a "silly bike race", one doesn't know how "silly" something is until they tried that thing first. Shuusaku, terrified of the serious look in his friend's eyes, initially mistook this for Toudou wanting Minami's kiss and sprinted ahead of everyone once the race began, with Toudou riding closely behind him and not paying any mind to the cheering crowds. Shuusaku realized that it must be the mountain prize Toudou was truly after.
Because of his sprint, Shuusaku wore out his legs quickly during the first part of the race. After ninth graders from Hadano-Ichi's cycling club passed them, Toudou, worried, called out to Shuusaku, who'd fallen behind at the side of the road. Shuusaku injured his leg further trying to escape the other school and couldn't continue the race, but told Toudou to take his white Ridley road racer and win. The details of what followed is yet untranslated, but Toudou ended up winning the race with Shuusaku's bike. Afterward, he took Minami's headband, ripped the bow off, and wore the headband for the awards ceremony to clean up his disheveled appearance. During Spare Bike, Toudou relayed this story to Manami Sangaku when prodded about when he first started getting called "Mountain God", much to Arakita Yasutomo's dismay. According to Toudou, it was the moment he first rode his Ridley.
Building Hakone Academy's Cycling Team
F-Group Selection Race
Toudou is first seen during his third year in high school with Hakone Academy's team overseeing the race between Manami and Kuroda Yukinari that would decide which of the two becomes the sixth member of the Inter High team. Riding in the van behind them, he accuses Manami of stealing his fangirls, which his team denies, and loudly comments on the race things that they are all already thinking, causing his teammates to collectively yet mentally tell him to shut up. The anime introduces Toudou a bit earlier as he's seen calling Makishima Yusuke a few times, questioning his condition, and alluding to his team solidifying their second climber. He's also shown reflecting on the obvious whereabouts of a missing Manami, who's detouring from school and practice to ride the nearby hills.
Another change the anime made is that Toudou is the one who instructs Manami to scout out Sohoku during the other team's training camp before the race deciding Hakone Academy's sixth member, hinting about an interesting climber on the rival team. (In the manga, Arakita instructs Manami.) Manami is later seen talking to Toudou on his cell phone. Toudou of course thinks Manami is talking about Makishima, and is dumbfounded when he hears about a smiling climber with "short hair and glasses", not an awkwardly smirking climber with long, swaying hair, imagining Makishima has changed his look. Both of them ask who each other is even talking about, equally confused.
Toudou is later seen at the Inter High with the rest of Hakone Academy's team, wearing the bib number 3. He's insistent that all the girls in the audience are staring at him on the stage. Though present when Midousuji Akira taunts Hakone Academy, he only frowns. After Sohoku wins the first checkpoint and begins leading the pack, Toudou rides up front to bother Makishima and introduce himself to Onoda Sakamichi, who he calls "Megane-kun" ("Glasses-kun"), and condescendingly insults the boy's appearance as "less than a three". Toudou declares that Hakone won't allow Sohoku to take the next checkpoint, the mountain climb, before returning to his own team.
As the mountain phase begins, Onoda gets caught in a massive collision involving the pack and ends up in last place while his team rides on ahead without realizing. Because of this, Makishima is stuck pulling his team up the climb and is unable to accept Toudou's challenge to see who reaches the peak first. As he is unaware that Onoda was Sohoku's second climber, Toudou loses his normal flashy and nonchalant demeanor and becomes visibly distraught at the idea that Makishima is refusing to participate in their last climb together. Toudou remains unable to understand why until Arakita (mistakenly) points out that Makishima is Sohoku's only climber. After hearing his, Toudou goes ahead and silently continues the climb alone until out of earshot, when he then yells and cries in frustration.
It is revealed that since their first meeting, Toudou and Makishima have always gone head-to-head, ending up at the front of the race and competing with each other more than anyone else. Their score ended up even on both sides and, due to the last race two months earlier not counting because of Makishima's tires going flat, they promised each other to settle the score at the Inter High. Since that time, Toudou has constantly called Makishima to check on his condition and well-being, wanting them both to be in top form for their final race.
As Toudou continues up the track, he becomes overwhelmed by his feelings of despair, ignores his cheering fans and juniors on the sidelines, and simply desires for the race to be over as quickly as possible- something he has never felt before. He hears that someone else is arriving behind him, and is momentarily excited because he thinks it might be Makishima, but it is just a climber from Nagano. Then, much to Toudou's surprise, Makishima arrives. Since Onoda caught up to the rest of team Sohoku, Makishima was allowed to ride ahead freely. Makishima greets Toudou by asking about his condition, and Toudou replies that he just reached his best condition.
The two begin their race with about 2km left until the summit, passing the single climber in front with ease. Toudou thinks to himself that he wishes the moment could last forever, but knows it won't, and vows to engrave the memory into his heart. The two have an intense race, putting everything they have into their last climb. In the end, Toudou is the victor by a small margin. Though he is exhausted after the climbing battle, Toudou extends his hand to Makishima and thanks him for the past three years, saying he never would have grown this strong or fast without Makishima. The two attempt a high-five but miss because they're both so tired, but they try again and succeed.
Toudou is next seen riding alongside Makishima and warning him about Arakita, Hakone Academy's ace assistant, as the aces and their assistants make the final 4km sprint to Day 1's goal line. He describes Arakita as a "weird guy" who likes to take breaks, but warns that in a major event like this, he's entirely different, with a determination like that of a wild animal. Toudou goes on to warn that if Sohoku is riding within Arakita by only a few dozen meters with 2km to the goal line, Hakone Academy will win. The aces and their assistants quickly pass both of them, as does Midousuji afterward, to everyone's surprise.
Once the award ceremony for the first day begins, Toudou receives the red number tags and a bouquet of flowers for his winning of the mountain checkpoint. He takes the microphone from the announcer and calls his "life-time rival", Makishima, to the stage, but to no avail. After the ceremony, Manami brings him to Sohoku's tent where he thanks Onoda for allowing him and Makishima to have their race together. He encourages Onoda to survive and grow stronger, and recants his earlier insult that Onoda was less than a three, visually speaking, stating that the boy was a good climber and has nice eyes, which greatly embarrasses Onoda.
Almost as quickly as he's able to compliment Onoda, Toudou's words turn dark as he describes the upcoming Day 2 as a death match because three teams have tied on Day 1. To him, that means that since no one pulled ahead, he'll need to ride solely for his team, even if it means giving up his red number tags. Toudou warns Onoda to rest up well for the next race, as it's going to be considerably more difficult, foreshadowing the unfortunate events to follow.
After the Inter High
In the movie that follows anime canon, Toudou invites Onoda and Makishima to his family's inn. There, Onoda reflects on the Inter High and witnesses the two rivals compete at ping pong, which Toudou loses. He also witnesses them test who can stay in a hot spring the longest. That competition remains undecided, as Onoda, praising them for their amazing energy, ends up passing out in the hot spring and nearly drowns if not for Toudou and Makishima rescuing him. Onoda is carried to his room by one of the inn's workers, where he rests unconscious as Toudou sits nearby and talks to Makishima about their rivalry. Toudou says he wishes that they will continue to compete with each other in the future. Makishima, silent for a moment, begins to tell Toudou something, but Onoda waking up promptly distracts Toudou.
The next morning, the three are yet again enjoying soaking in a hot spring. Suddenly, Izumida can be heard talking to Andy and Frank, and then bursts from inside a sauna, shouting "Abs!", much like an anime ending omake, with Shinkai seen behind him. The three surprised climbers turn to him, questioning "Abs?", and the movie ends.
Sometime during the colder months, Toudou suggests to Shinkai and Arakita that the Hakone Academy third-years should attend a special trip before they graduate. Arakita initially isn't interested, but Toudou convinces him when he says the trip will be to show their gratitude to Fukutomi as their captain. The three of them eventually decide on a theme park they find in a magazine, because one of its mascots, a lion, resembles Fukutomi.
When they arrive at the park, it appears more deserted and lackluster than the magazine portrayed; Arakita complains, and Toudou is worried that Fukutomi is disappointed, but Shinkai assures him that it's simply Fukutomi's default face.
Per Toudou's direction on the "guide rules" of enjoying a theme park, the third-years buy mascot hats from the gift shop, with Fukutomi immediately taking a liking to the lion's hat and Arakita grudgingly wearing animal ears of another mascot. They take several photographs together before hopping aboard a roller-coaster. Arakita acts like it's no big deal, but starts screaming as the ride takes off downhill, while Toudou laughs. Shinkai and Toudou are unaffected by the roller-coaster, Arakita is shakily impressed, and Fukutomi is frozen stone-faced with fear.
Shinkai grills a meal for everyone afterward and strikes his "Bang!" pose; they take this as a challenge to eat everything he serves. They accept the challenge and begin eating, but Shinkai serves faster than Toudou can chew, so he yells at him, which startles Shinkai so bad that he knocks over a drink onto the grill. The resulting steam burns Fukutomi's face.
In the swan boats at the theme park, Toudou and Shinkai, in one boat together numbered "43", race Fukutomi and Arakita, paired in another boat numbered "12", as if it were a race on the road. Toudou is able to use his "Sleeping Climb" technique to pass Fukutomi. Fukutomi orders Arakita to start pedaling, as like a road race, catching a glimpse of the enemy ahead drives Arakita to chase them down. However, Shinkai switches pedaling with Toudou and unleashes his "demon form" to battle it out with Arakita. In actuality, the boats barely move across the water, and seeing other park-goers watching them embarrasses them.
At the end of the day, the third-years ride the Ferris Wheel to see the illuminations (a light show). Toudou, Shinkai, and Arakita are worried the trip was a disaster that Fukutomi didn't enjoy. Fukutomi suddenly states he has something to tell them. Arakita immediately blames Toudou for the whole thing, which sparks an argument with Toudou that Shinkai can't quell. However, Fukutomi thanks them. To Shinkai, he tells him he did well overcoming his trauma to return as their ace sprinter, the fastest and strongest in history. To Toudou, Fukutomi says there is no better climber who climbs so beautifully and fast, and that the name "Mountain God" suits him perfectly. To Arakita, Fukutomi says his beast-like desire for the goal is admirable, and that he's done well carrying Fukutomi and the team with it. Fukutomi claims he's fulfilled his role as captain thanks to them. Toudou and the others are embarrassed, but as the fireworks and light show start, a message relayed to them from Fukutomi displays across one of the buildings, which they happily read aloud: "We are strong."
Afterward, they look over the photos taken earlier and are startled to see Onoda and Imaizumi racing on children's bikes in the background of one. Behind them, team Sohoku (minus Makishima) rides on a multi-person bike, with Kinjou running behind them, shouting about how Sohoku never gives up.
Mountain God's Winter Party
Some time during the winter after the 41st Summer Inter High and before his graduation, Toudou is seen mentoring Manami and Onoda at Hakone. He invited them under the guise that there would be a party, but it turns out to be a race to decide which of the two will inherit Toudou's coveted titles of "Mountain God" and "King of the Mountains." Toudou himself does not race, as he states he'd never race in such cold weather. Since the road is full of snow, neither Onoda nor Manami can complete the climb, so Toudou declares that they'll have to settle it at the next Inter High. He scolds Manami for being late at the first Inter High, then tells Manami to give his phone number to Onoda. That way, Onoda can call Manami "on that day" so he won't be late.
42nd Inter High
Toudou comes to the 42nd Inter High on Day 2. He, unlike Fukutomi and Shinkai Hayato, who were at the Sprint Checkpoint, waits for the climbers at the Mountain Checkpoint, but after the junior receives news that Manami is held back from racing as Hakogaku had to send Shinkai Yuto and Ashikiba to chase Naruko and Midousuji, Toudou calmly walks to the finish line instead.