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RRR Manga Quarterly Review


“He didnt want nothing to happen to Henry Freeman because Henry Freeman was John Freeman saw Combines start to run like monsters to humens and Henry Freeman and saw Henry Freeman and humens run like brave to Combines.”

RRR, also known as ‘Rock ‘n Roll Ricky’, is about Iwamaki Rikitarou, also known as ‘Rock ‘n Roll Ricky’.

Rikitarou/Ricky is a fat, 27-year-old wannabe-musician without a stable job. He works around at odd locations (for a convenience store, a moving company, a daycare center, etc.) during the day, practices with his band, Jimi Heads, in the afternoon, and does stuff with his girlfriend, Azusa, at night.

Meanwhile, Ooishi Raita is a world champion boxer, having defended his title as world champion three times in a row. After ten years of professional boxing, Raita decides to retire at the age of 27 – the same age as Rikitarou.

Jimi Head’s has three members – Nakamura Kouichi, a blonde guy who plays bass, Asai Tsukasa, a guy who plays drums, and Rikitarou himself. Rikitarou, seeing Raita’s success in life, finally decides to become a professional musician, but is humiliated by Tsukasa and Kouichi (who are both 20). Rikitarou realizes that he’s who he is – a fat, single, 27-year-old without a stable job – and finds out that Azusa’s cheating on him. He runs away from home, gets drunk, and accidentally angers some gangsters.

These gangsters start punching him, and he gets beaten up pretty badly. One gangster grabs a glass bottle and prepares to send Rikitarou to a better place, but Rikitarou activates his Dying Will Flame power (“I’m too fat and too single to die now!!”) and pukes all over the gangster. Woohoo. Raita appears on the scene and he breaks up the fight, remarking on Rikitarou’s interesting personality.


“SPECIAL DYING WILL VONGOLA FLAME BREATH!”

Flash forward a while, and Rikitarou’s still a fat, single, jobless 27-year-old. He gets a Jimi Hendrix (history’s best electric guitarist) hairdo and starts some serious practice with the Jimi Heads.

Meanwhile, Raita is getting a reality show, where they teach delinquents to use their energy to become professional boxers. It’s directed by Ishii Ittetsu and features Johnny Kitajima (who’s apparently pretty popular) as the host.

Rikitarou holds a live concert of the Jimi Heads to great success, and a representative of Coda Records agrees to sign a contract with… Kouichi and Tsukasa. Not only is Rikitarou way too old, but he’s also way too fat. After much begging, the representative, Tamejiri, gives Rikitarou a last chance – he’ll get a contract too, but only if he loses a lot of weight in one month.

And guess where Rikitarou accidentally stumbles upon? The Star★Sports Gym (whose president was also a former world boxing challenge – it’s a boxing gym), where Raita’s show is held. Mori Nobuya challenges the people in the gym to a fight, and Rikitarou meets his challenge, again activating his Dying Will flame to punch Nobuya in the balls.

A month passes and Rikitarou is considerably more buff. However, his older sister, Manami, dies. Her husband, Tadao, died many years ago, and Rikitarou is forced to take care of their surviving son, Aozora. Upon hearing lecherous remarks about Manami in a restaurant, Rikitarou fights this guy, Atsushi, getting beaten up in the process.

Due to Rikitarou’s family situation, he wasn’t with Kouichi and Tsukasa during Tamejiri’s final visit, and thus was kicked off the band. However, he has a new purpose in life, and vows to raise Aozora as best as he can.

Finding no other jobs that offer a good salary and allow Aozora somewhere to stay, Rikitarou accepts Ittetsu’s invitation to become a participant in their show.

The days of Rikitarou the musician has ended.

The days of Rikitarou the Baby-Sitting Boxer has begun!!


“Pedophile!”

Well, MAL lists this as being completed at ten volumes, but the scanlators reportedly say that it’s still being released weekly. Why oh why did I pick to blog something as stupid as /Buyuden/?! RRR is at least three times as awesome.

If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, yes – read RRR. It’s filled with awesomeness, really. The art’s really cool (though maybe a bit old-school) and doesn’t care about bloodying up some faces once in a while. The pacing is consistent and easy-to-follow, and this volume’s set-up was very well executed. You really get to sympathize with Rikitarou’s plight and situation – being that one fat loner without a future, having so many things happen to him, and the like – without unnecessarily dramatic drama.

Even Manami’s death wasn’t the b’awwwww~ dramatic kind – it was just that, a death. It was shocking, it was forceful, it was grave (no pun intended). Though RRR is about boxing, there’s nothing about that in this first volume where the tone is set, and set to be a very serious, competitive, emotional, and pretty badass series.


He’s leaking MAN FLUID

Well, I don’t understand why everybody’s crosseyed, but maybe that’s for comic effect or something. I especially like Aozora’s face, though (wait, wait, not in that way!!) – it’s not the type of cute moe face you see all around nowadays, it’s one of those straight, angular sorta-realistic-ish faces. None of that weird complicated special eye effects. Sometimes, simple is best.

Yet, other times, complicated and realistic is better. Especially during these fight scenes – if Rikitarou were drawn stylized, the fight scenes would be boring and stupid, but the way the mangaka renders his nose, the blood, his eyes, the bruises, it just gives you that fighting feeling, that feeling of adrenaline.

Speaking of adrenaline, I hope that’s not going to be Riki’s ‘special ability’ or anything. He just does what any common person would do, and that’s fighting in the face of danger. There’s nothing special about that, but I’m still sure that Raita’s going to something like ‘unlock his hidden potential’… That might not be a bad thing, considering this series.

I wonder if the artist was the same as the one for Solar Car? If this really were still being released, and 13 chapters was all that was out, with one released every week, the time between the end of Solar Car and the supposed start of this series would match a bit – also, Riki before his afro looked too much like Shouta.

Riki does seem like a very awesome person – he has that Onizuka vibe around him of being a very down-to-earth, don’t-shit-around guy. Though he dodges the truth, he has a lot of potential to develop into a really cool person. According to the MAL description of this manga, Riki’s going to become an even better boxer than Raita, even though they’re the same age…

What happened to Azusa? Now you know what a slut K-On girls will become.

:(

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