MANGA REVIEW | "Rooster Fighter" - Volume Three
There are times when a manga will leave you speechless. What you had just read leaves you unable to come up with the right words to describe what you just read, on top of how it made you feel. Could I have ever predicted that a story about a rooster who fights demons would leave me in such a predicament? No, not at all. But Rooster Fighter did it in its third volume.
Much of what happens in the latest Rooster Fighter focuses on one question: why do we live? For Keiji, it’s to avenge the death of his sister. When it comes to Elizabeth, it’s to kill demons and seek a little revenge on Keiji. Chicken Little lives to become stronger, just like Keiji. But what of those whose worlds these poultry fighters have invaded?
We meet a man who took his love of YouTubing rare bugs in a new direction, after he captures footage of Keiji in battle. Luck has not been on his side for most of his life, thanks to bad decisions and his own failures. Alas, he has become the kind of person who blames others for his faults, resulting in a life of loneliness and regret. But once he sees Keiji in action and how brave he is, he starts to realize what he can do to better his world.
Rooster Fighter also focuses on a demon whose birth was by all means an accident. Now lost without an actual purpose in life, a run-in with Keiji results in a hearty alcohol-fueled chat about finding happiness. When a major crisis occurs in town, the demon finds it in his heart to save the people, in a way that’d make Superman shed a tear. It’s a situation that makes Elizabeth rethink her attitude about demons, and how there may be some good in them after all!
After separating from Keiji, Elizabeth and Chicken Little cross paths with a young girl. Her dream of becoming a doctor stems from her grandfather’s illness, but said dream is in danger when the nearby dam breaks. Together, the humans and chickens come together to evade the danger, with Chicken Little igniting an inner power that takes even Elizabeth by surprise. It’s a moments where when push comes to shove, the impossible can be achieved.
Volume Three of Rooster Fighter has a lot going on. But anymore reveals here would spoil the greatness that it delivers. In a medium where we’ve been given Super Saiyans, one-punch superheroes, and even adorable gods of destruction, it says a lot when a jacked-up Foghorn Leghorn looks destined to best them all. Whatever Shu Sakuratani is doing to create these Rooster Fighter scenarios, he best keep it up. This might go down as one of the wildest shonen manga ever created; if it sticks the landing, it could also go down as one of the greatest.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt and Mandy Earles of VIZ Media.