Rooster Fighter by Shu Sakuratani has been on my radar ever since it started serialization and every few months it would pop up in some way. Finally, I took the time to read it and, as the title implies, a single thought came to mind: What in the actual cluck was that? Allow me to elaborate and yes, the pun is amazing.
The premise of Rooster Fighter is fairly simple: a comedy/action manga that features parody elements. A lone chicken – rooster – wanders the world and fights monsters that randomly appear in order to avenge his sister’s death. Along the way, he meets many colorful characters, who are ready to share their life stories with him. Sakuratani’s art is very detailed, especially when it comes to the various animals our rooster encounters. The fight scenes can go shoulder to shoulder with some of the more action-oriented traditional shonen stories. Overall, reading it is an enjoyable experience.
But, when you sit down and actually think about it, you get hit with a sudden realization: this thing is really weird. First of all, why is there a random rooster living his best (thug) life in the wild? What are these demon things that keep popping up? What happened to the sister and why does every side character have a tragic backstory? And most important of all, why does something that starts with a chicken one-night stand make so much sense story-wise and makes you want to keep reading?
It is obvious that Rooster Fighter, although bizarre and meant as a parody, is a well-thought-out story with art that has no business being this detailed and precise. As mentioned above, even the side characters leave an impact, be it for their unique personalities, dedication or backstories that molded them into what they are. The main plot driving force are the mysterious demons that appear and attack innocent bystanders and it seems like they are created out of human despair and desire. How our protagonist ended up fighting it is not clear (in the first volume at least) but throughout all the clashes and difficulties, he never falters and always has a backup plan – something that shonen fans (and those turned seinen) will certainly appreciate.
There are currently a total of 3 volumes of Rooster Fighter manga out. The series has been translated to multiple languages since its December 2020 debut and is being published in Mexico, Spain, and Brazil, among others. Viz Media licensed Rooster Fighter manga in English for the North American market and the first volume will be out on August 16. While you wait for the official English translation, check out the manga trailer below:
You can pre-order the first volume on the Viz Media website.
© Shu Sakuratani / HERO’S
Anime Corner received an advance copy of Viz Media’s release of the Rooster Fighter manga for review purposes.