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This looks clucking insane

'Rooster Fighter': A different kind of shonen

By Rebekah Ilo Published Mar 29, 2021 4:40 pm Updated Mar 29, 2021 4:47 pm

Picture this: the city is in shambles, buildings ruined, and power lines snapped by force. You look to your right and a giant, deformed monster is destroying everything in sight. You’re running away from the creature, when you suddenly trip. Two giant fingers grab you and you’re hanging helplessly above the maw of the monster.

When suddenly, you’re whizzed off in a flash of light, safely landing on a nearby rooftop. The dust settles, you turn around to make sense of what just happened, and the savior appears to be... a chicken?

Enter Kousuke, the rooster who will save humanity from the destruction of evil monsters.

This newly-released manga has garnered an audience from all over, simply because of the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

Created by Sakuratani Shu, this mangaka is no stranger to creating weird premises. His previous release, T-Dragon, is a sci-fi manga that’s about shrinking into microscopic size to chase down a virus that looks like a dragon to save humanity. Rooster Fighter is one of his newer releases that’s serialized under Complex Manga, which is under Hero Publishing.

The concept of a rooster starring in a manga may sound quite novel, but it’s far from the first comic to feature a cockerel as its main lead.

Because of this, it has led to many local fans of comics jokingly pointing out that Rooster Fighter might just be the spiritual successor to the late Gerry Alanguilan’s Elmer, the award-winning title that also stars a chicken. However, the genres are completely different.

While they do star strong headed roosters, Elmer is a hard hitting drama whose tone is consistently serious, while Rooster Fighter knows how ridiculous it is and simply runs with it.

A panel from Gerry Alanguilan’s award winning title, Elmer (Source: Boughtbooks Blogspot).

To simplify things, Elmer is the equivalent to Maus while Rooster Fighter is JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Getting past the crazy idea of a normal-sized rooster fighting monsters the size of a small building, when you read more into the story, Kousuke shows plenty of depth as a main character.

Kousuke is the lone protagonist who is a drifter, accustomed to one-night stands and moving from place to place. While being a natural loner, pegging himself as a “wandering, migratory bird,” he has a strong sense of responsibility and applies his debt of gratitude to those who helped him.

His feats of power aren't really normal in-universe, several passers-by and side characters are flabbergasted—just as the audience is—that this small rooster is ready to battle monsters that are building stories tall. And it floors them as well when the chicken can go toe-to-toe, taking advantage of his small-size and agility, while keeping his wits about him while fighting.

Of course, underneath his gruff exterior is a sad rooster who is out for vengeance. I mean, come on, what shonen protagonist doesn’t have a tragic backstory? And despite the weirdness of the manga, it has its sad moments where you feel for the characters and the tragedy that has befallen them.

The best part about Kousuke is, after he beats up the monster, he makes it his duty to clean up after, no matter how large the mess is. After all, a bird, in his words “does not foul up the nest it is about to leave.” Talk about being duty-bound!

The lore hasn’t been fully fleshed out, considering it’s only been out for 1-5 chapters. But if the premise is anything to go by, expect it to be balls-to-the-wall insane. It’s already introducing new characters in the mix, and building up Kousuke’s origins.

Kousuke vs the kaiju.

We still haven’t touched on its heavily-inked style that’s reminiscent of shonen mangas of the '80s. It’s attention grabbing and detailed. Kousuke is drawn with careful features, his feathers sometimes resembling subtle, muscular pecs. The kaiju are drawn hideously, with ugly, demonic features that border on the uncanny valley.

The only drawback to the art style is the white border that appears around many characters, it makes it look copy-pasted at times and since the border can be thick, it proves a bit too distracting. It could be a stylistic choice, however, and anything else is just nitpicking, so it doesn’t really take away much from reading the manga at all.

This manga is definitely worth the read and many of the fans are expectantly waiting for the next issues that will be published. If there’s an upcoming anime adaptation, then it’ll probably be as wild and amazing as its manga. We just hope it gets picked up soon enough.

If you’re interested in delving into the crazy world of Rooster Fighter, then the first five chapters are available on Complex Manga’s website for free.

(Images copyright to their respective owners)