Rooster Fighter Volume 1 Review: A Cock-y Tale That Keeps You Hooked

While I was aware of Shu Sakuratani’s Rooster Fighter manga since it began serialization a couple of years ago, I hadn’t gotten a chance to read it until recently. To be honest, I clearly wasn’t ready for what was about to hit me.

Before reading, I started off by checking the premise of Rooster Fighter to better understand what I was getting into.

A rooster fighting demons to save the world? Quite an uncommon concept. Who am I kidding? Its totally RIDICULOUS!!

I was curious as to how a rooster, of all things, had the ability to defeat a demon. What kind of a world was the story based in?

Well, Rooster Fighter is set in a world that is very similar to ours, except for the demons that keep appearing in them, and also a rooster that is capable enough to fight them.

I won’t blame you, if you assumed that our protagonist, the rooster named Keiji, was someone special. A mutated cock, maybe? Highly possible.

However, as I read the manga, Keiji reminded me more and more of Saitama from One Punch Man. He possessed heightened physical abilities, and that’s that. How he came to be so is not something that has been revealed, nor explored; atleast not in Volume 1.

But, his superpowers are not what stand out. Instead, our rooster is quite cock-y and a loner thug, who is hell-bent on hunting down these demons, with motives deep rooted in his vendetta.

The humor in the manga also stems from Keiji’s bad-assery for most parts. His dead-pan dialogues, contrasting internal monologues and reactions to otherwise sentimental situations surely elicit a laugh. And of course, there’s that ‘cock-blocking’ in the first couple of chapters which left me laughing too hard.

Keiji’s action scenes are portrayed pretty well. Sakuratani has focused on the small details in the art, and the panels are spaced well, which makes it easy to read through it.

Let’s talk a bit about the bad guys now, shall we?

The demons in the story are humans, who in their moment of despair, or say extreme workplace stress, transform into hideous, mindless and titan-sized monsters. I couldn’t help but wonder if the demons have a connotation of a rooster’s POV of haplessly falling under humans in the food chain.

Their designs too are unique and quite neat. But despite all that there is something unsettling about them. It’s probably how they sprout weird hands.

While reading the initial chapters, I was too focused on the action and the plot, and it wasn’t until I was done with the second chapter of Rooster Fighter that the bizarreness of the whole situation slowly began to dawn on me.

Here’s a rooster defeating the demons one at a time, so that one day he can exact revenge on the demon that killed his sister. He travels from one place to another, meets different characters, majority of whom have a tragic backstory, and there is always a demon popping up in these situations, adding some action into the mix.

Rooster Fighter has everything in it. Its a parody with emotions. Its an action manga with dead-pan comedy. Moreover, it takes a plot that would have any day made for a good shonen manga, and completely changes perspectives by making the rooster a protagonist.

It does not exclude the humans, mind you. They are very much there. However, the story is told from the eyes of a rooster. The outlook is different. But then, the birds and turtles that Keiji encounters in journeys seem to have a very human touch to them.

All these add to the bizarreness of Rooster Fighter, which I mentioned above.

However, it’s also something which makes the manga more enjoyable too.

If you are familiar with Sakuratani’s previous work, T-Dragon, you wouldn’t be surprised to see the detail oriented art style. The backgrounds, especially, stood out, along with the character designs.

Rooster Fighter is definitely a page-turner. I had finished reading the first volume faster than I anticipated (do not miss the volume extras at the end of it).

Sakuratani has the perfect recipe in his hand, and he has left subtle hints to make the plot, which till now slants to the side of generic, even more interesting.

It’s too early to comment on character depth, because till now, there isn’t much. Though it would be interesting to see what kind of an arc Keiji, and the other main characters in the series, get.

To round this review up, I’d say Rooster Fighter is a must read. It is a breath of fresh air, and the absurdness in the series is something everyone should go through, at least once. It’s hilarious, it’s silly, and will make you say what the ‘cluck’!!

Rooster Fighter has currently released 3 volumes. Viz Media has licensed the manga in English, and the first volume will be released on Aug 16, 2022.

The plot of volume 1 is as follows:

The neighborhood cock of the walk is more than just an ordinary rooster—he’s humanity’s greatest defender! His opponents may be ten stories tall, but nothing is bigger than his stout heart and his fearsome battle cry—cock-a-doodle-doo!

Until next time, cock-a-doodle-doo!

 © Shu Sakuratani / HERO'S
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