Sōgetsu is a cruel man who does not care for the well-being of other individuals and will attack anyone without hesitation, even his own brother Kensei Ma and his niece, Renka Ma. He is an apathetic man, not caring for the condition of others around him and never has a surprised look on his face over any predicament. Natsu describes him as a bully and believes that there are times where he enjoys tormenting and torturing him during his training. However, as noted by Natsu, he tends to ask too much for him and trains him to do things beyond his capacity, making him forceful in what he wants. He is a compulsive drinker, as he's almost always seen drinking out of his gourd for sake.
Sōgetsu even seemed to be rather amused by Kenichi's efforts at trying to save his life in the fire. Knowing he'll die along with him, Sōgetsu chose to let him live while showing gratitude on his face for his efforts. While the current Sōgetsu is portrayed as somewhat sympathetic, and does somewhat redeem himself by saving Kenichi, the original Sōgetsu was given no positive traits whatsoever, and was a wrathful man consumed with revenge. Also, Kensei cries in response to his "death", unlike the current series, in which he stays silent.
Despite hardened nature as a martial artist, Sōgetsu's compassion has not diminished completely. He cared enough for his disciple to subtle aid in him battle by correcting his battle tactics and openly voices his faith that Natsu would win his initiation match with Yomi. His most noticeable compassion was seen towards his brother Kensei. While willing to kill Kensei personally in battle, Sōgetsu has admitted to Natsu (while drunk) that he truly hopes his little brother would live a happy life in their homeland. During the Eternal Sunset, Sōgetsu has shown more concern for his brother than ever displayed. When Kensei was about to be killed by Edeltraft Sōgetsu saved him by punching Edeltraft, though insisted that it was to defend his own pride as a martial artist.
Sōgetsu Ma is a tall and very muscular middle-aged man with short black hair and a thick beard. He usually wears a open vest to reveal his chest, dark pants, and has his gourd in his hands all the time and has armbands around his wrists. Compared to his younger brother, Sōgetsu has aged very gracefully, as he looks largely the same apart growing a trimmed beard since his younger years.
Of all the characters who appeared in the original Kenichi series, Sōgetsu seems to have been the design that has been altered the most. In the originally series, Sōgetsu was much smaller, just slightly taller than his brother Kensei. He also had long hair and a moustache, rather than his beard and spiky hair. He was also much more goofy and leaner built in appearance, wearing a baseball cap and wearing much more modern clothes, while carrying a jug of alcohol.
Sōgetsu is an extremely powerful Grand Master-class fighter, recognized even by Yami to become a member of the Nine Fist, One Shadow. Since his younger days while still training, he already earned a reputation as a fierce fighter, having difficulty holding back to the point he would easily level countless opponents near dead. Even against multiple fellow Master-class fighters hand-picked for security, Sōgetsu found little difficulty or enjoyment defeating them.
- Master Chinese Martial Artist: Rivalling his young brother Kensei's reputation, who most consider the greatest master of all Chinese martial arts in history, Sōgetsu is a immensely skilled and well-knowledgeable combatant, having especially earned great fame for his usage of strong-fist style. He is able to land two hits on a member of the Hachiō Executioner Blade.
- Immense Strength: Having dedicated himself to the art of destroying his opponents, Sōgetsu has gained dangerous raw might in battle. Regularly, he shows no concern to his environment, effortlessly smashing everything in his way to get to his opponents. A nonchalant push against his opponent can force the victim through a wall.
- Immense Endurance: Even after being critically wounded by Kensei, Sōgetsu still had enough strength to launch Kenichi across the room to get him out of the fire.
- Immense Speed: While not his speciality in battle Sōgetsu has shown to have immense speed in that he was more than capable of easily keeping up with Kensei who is known for his incredible speed and even managed to land a direct blow when Kensei was distracted by the fire.
- Highly Perceptive Combatant: While normally fighting more with force than finesse, Sōgetsu has great insight to the battle at hand. While watching Tanimoto fight, he could easily see the mistakes in his disciple's attacks and correct him. He could also easily see though a fighters demeanour to deduce the nature of the tactics.
When he was young, he trained with Kensei Ma in Chinese Kenpo, and became a master. However, his domineering appearance scared the people around him. He became bitter and lonely, and decided that the true meaning of Martial Arts was to destroy others. He became a murderer at the age of 20 and was forced to leave his country, though he stated that the reason for his leave was not because of the murder, but rather because he had nowhere to go from the start. At some point in his life, he becomes a member of the One Shadow Nine Fists, but then takes a leave of absence due to being bored with the martial arts world, and begins to travel again. During his travels he meets and befriends Jisei Ro, who eventually agrees to take his seat as one of the one shadow nine fists until Sōgetsu is done with his travelling. At a later point in his life he takes Natsu Tanimoto as a student after being bribed with large amounts of expensive wine. The brotherly bond between him and Kensei does not seem to have been completely diminished, however, as Natsu claims that whenever he became drunk, he would repeatedly boast about Kensei and his skill.
When he first appeared, he fought against Renka and Kenichi who were looking for Kensei. Kensei heard news of his brother returning and working for the local mafia, so he decided to go alone and face him. Both Kenichi and Renka proved too weak to fight the Kung Fu Master, and were saved by Kensei. Soon Ma's brothers had a fierce fight in building which is exploded and burned. Sōgetsu loses and hears his younger brother say that the reason he won was because he had friends backing him up. later on, Fire is entering the room they fought. Kenichi attempts to save him, but Sōgetsu denies salvation and instead pushes Kenichi back into the elevator while he stayed in the burning building, left for dead, though his body was not found.
He reappeared in the D of D tournament, as one of the masters hired by Fortuna to defend Despair Island. However, he once again betrayed his employer by defeating and killing the rest of the masters that were hired by Fortuna once he was paid. His reason for doing this was unknown, but at the time he didn't rejoin Yami and possibly wanted to test his strength or could have been given a secret mission to take out Fortuna and all his resources since Yami planned to rid the use of weapons for martial arts. He was also found by Natsu Tanimoto who once again began to undergo his training.
He is last seen in the base of Yami where Tanimoto calls him the Fierce Fist God. After Hermit defeated an unknown fighter, he felt Hermit was ready to take up the position of YOMI. Upon rejoining Yami and meeting up with Ro Jisei they met with good terms, but Ro's disciple, Chou Enshin was not pleased with the meeting and challenged Hermit to a death match. As the two disciples fight for the YOMI position and the Moon emblem, Ma Sōgetsu and Ro Jisei watched their match. Much of the match was placed in stalemate, since both disciples used the exact same martial arts and techniques. Toward the end, Sōgetsu stated that the reason Hermit will win is because he fought against a larger variety of fighters. Upon Chou's defeat, both Ma and Hermit took up their respective places in Yami and YOMI.
Later, when the next disciple chosen to fight Kenichi comes up, YOMI's leader Kajima states that Sōgetsu has shown no interest in having his disciple fight Kenichi. The reason is unknown as to why, but it could be due to his subtle respect for Kenichi and wanting the inevitable rematch between Natsu Tanimoto and Shirahama Kenichi to be outside of Yami's sanctimonious battle between disciples.
With Jenazad dead, Sōgetsu and the other remaining members of Yami gathered to discuss the matter, but Sōgetsu was seen on a monitor and said nothing in the meeting and just drank from his gourd.
Sōgetsu is later seen along side all of the remaining Yami members standing greeting Seitarō Raigō and the rest of the Hachiō Executioner Blade members. He later rides in a helicopter with the others and, upon arriving at their location, are surrounded by the Ryōzanpaku masters (minus Shigure and the Elder). When the masters fight together against the Yami masters, he remains quiet when his brother calls out to him as to why he appears to such a location. When the Ryōzanpaku master work together in sync, Sōgetsu states they just need to rip them apart one at a time. He is then seen together with the rest of Yami preparing to fight, but are stopped when Akisame notes they have no killing intent and, when Honmaki arrives to inform them of the Hachiō Executioner Blade members being at the dock and Ryōzanpaku realizes it was a diversion. He later leaves with the others after Saiga gives them the message of the beginning of the Eternal Setting Sun.
He was later seen with Raki in another country starting the Eternal Sunset. Later Sōgetsu, along side Mikumo, Raki, Mildred, Edeltraft, Marmaduke, Știrbey, Hongo, Agaard, Cyril, Rin, and Ogata all faced off later against the masters and allies of Ryōzanpaku. When the Ryōzanpaku masters attack together against Mildred, it's revealed Kensei only ripped her garments off below, which left Ogata surprised and questioned Sōgetsu if Kensei is his little brother, to which Sōgetsu seemed embarrassed. After seeing Kensei injured Rin, Agaard, Știrbey and Mildred's bow, Sōgetsu engages battle with the rest of Yami against Ryōzanpaku. After Edeltraft split up the masters, Sōgetsu was seen together with Edeltraft against Akisame.
After Mikumo kills Kii, Edeltraft attacks Ma Kensei, who manages to catch the strike but is struggling to defend. Sōgetsu looks on as Edeltraft tells him to finish off Ma Kensei as his headset turns on and he receives communication from his disciple. Hermit tells him that he wasn't able to save his sister in the end but that it's not too late for his master. Sōugetsu strikes Edeltraft with his fist and wine gourd, saving his brother, as he grumbles that he has such a noisy disciple.
Ma Sōgetsu attacks Edeltraft and saves Ma Kensei, surprising the other members of the Hachiō Executioner Blade. Raki asks Sōgetsu's reason behind his actions and he replies that he was getting in their way because he never was interested in the "Eternal Setting Sun". Edeltraft recovers from the attack and angrily charges towards Sōgetsu who manages to knock him away. Mikumo wonders if Sōgetsu intends to go against the will of the One Shadow Nine Fists to which replies if this battle is the "will" of Yami. He later allies with Ryōzanpaku and delivers powerful blows to his Yami members. He then grunts in annoyance in his brother's antics after revealing Marmaduke to be a woman.
The Ryōzanpaku masters, along with Cyril Rahman, Sōgetsu, and Agaard are seen to have many injuries throughout their bodies as they face down Mikumo's group, with Mikumo's aura bearing down on them.
Mikumo unleashes her technique (Kushinada Style: Thousand-Year Throw) as she slams the ground with her hand, causing many hands made from her aura to sprout from the ground. Cyril warns to not touch the hands as they will result in instant death. The members of the Hachiō Executioner Blade take up their stances and utilize Shinto Gōrenzan, and Kensei activates Seidou Gōitsu.
Sakaki announces that it is now the time to settle this fight but as the Ryōzanpaku masters prepare to fight their new allies stand in front of them. Cyril proclaims that there is only one way to break through the enemy's formation and it would require cooperation from Ryōzanpaku. Ma Kensei and Akisame protest because the Yami masters plan to sacrifice themselves, but Agaard tells them to focus on breaking through and Sōgetsu jokes that as Katsujinken they should just end the fight before they get killed. With the enemy approaching, they agree to the plan and charge towards the enemy.
Cyril uses his mantra on Marmaduke and Rin, who are forced to defend, while Sōgetsu runs past Rin and attacks Marmaduke as he and Agaard hold them off so Ryōzanpaku can charge forward. He is not seen for the remainder of the battle.
He is last seen in the epilogue with Tanimoto and Honoka, playing the latter in a game of Othello, suggesting he has finally been able to find some measure of peace in his life.
- vs Kensei (won, Kensei lost on purpose)
- vs unnamed man (won, killed him)
- vs Kensei (loss)
- vs 5 master class opponents of the D of D Tournament (won)