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RRR Manga Quarterly Review 8 [Completed]

Oh jeez. It’s been two months since my last post on this wonderful manga, and yesterday, I ran through the whole thing in thirteen chapters.

You’d expect me to continue rambling about crap nobody cares about in this post like I do with all of my manga quarterly reviews, but NOPE. Instead, I’ll ramble (spoilers-free!) about why YOU should immediately DROP EVERYTHING. CALM DOWN. HAVE SEX. READ THIS MANGA.

The shocked face of an individual who did not calm down nor have sex.
YOU WA SPANISH, because that’s what Spanish people do. They 1) drop everything 2) calm down 3) have sex 4) are shocked

RRR is a manga about Rikitarou, a twenty-something fat jobless loafer who’s only talented at guitaring, and whose only talent is the guitar. One day, his girlfriend leaves him, he gets drunk, he bumps into some gangster, and the gangster’s gang beats the shit out of him. Suddenly, he pukes on the gangster and the gangster is so shocked by the force of his puke that he’s propelled several hundred megametres into the air before landing in heaven.

Obviously, this is quite impressive, and the retired lightweight champion boxer OF THE WORLD notices. After a series of events, the ex-boxer champion decides to train Rikitarou to become the BEST BOXER IN THE WORLD. Unfortunately this is rather hard because a) most boxers are young b) Rikitarou’s the same age as the ex-boxer champion c) dude, the ex-boxer champion is an ex-boxer because he RETIRED from boxing and Rikitarou doesn’t even know how to box. Plus, he’s a fat jobless loser.

Thus begins Rikitarou’s transformation to become the best boxer in the entire world. Unfortunately, as the manga ends, Rikitarou is unable to achieve this goal and permanently retires from boxing. Those were spoilers. Hah, I just tricked you into reading them.

RIGHT IN YOUR FACE.jpg
“Honey, I broke your face!”

That’s the synopsis. Sounds interesting? Sounds intense? PROBABLY NOT. After all, who’d want to read a boxing manga about a fat jobless twenty-something loser?

Well, have you ever seen a boxing/wrestling/donut-eating/whatever-type-of-fighting-in-a-ring movie before? Something like Rocky, or Real Steel, or… damn, I’ve watched like two boxing movies ever, uh… or… Rocky II? Anyways, they all follow the same formula: some loser wants to be a boxer, but he’s a loser and can’t possibly beat the champion. So, he trains himself and fights easier opponents for forty-five minutes. Eventually, he’s able to fight against the champion, and a wise old man tells him his opponent’s weak point.

Unfortunately, the champion is hard to beat, and so the champion beats the main character to a pulp fiction. However, through tenacity, perseverance, and disbelief-suspending bullshit [WARNING TVTROPES], he survives through several cracked ribs, ruptured organs, severe brain damage, internal bleeding, etc. etc. to deal the champion a fatal blow.

It’s strictly formulaic, but unless you have no balls (i.e. have a sense of dignity and aren’t overflowing with mindless testosterone, or even worse: TEST TOASTER ONE), it’s also dramatic, exciting, and entertaining.

So that’s what RRR is. A 106-chapter-long boxing movie, in manga form.

Some guy sips his coffee.

Not psyched up yet, are you? Of course you aren’t; boxing movies are insipid meaningless punch-fests of pure violence. So RRR takes the drama to the next level and adds, you didn’t guess it, DEATHS. Who dies? Rikitarou dyes his shirt. Rikitarou’s older sister dies early on in the manga, and he is left to take care of her young son, by himself. Too bad he’s a fat jobless loser, right?

That bit certainly adds more intrigue to the story, as do the many completely unnecessary drawings of uncensored naked women (psssst, there’s actually a sex scene too), but it’s still not enough to distinguish RRR from a mere boxing movie. Actually, wait, it is: RRR’s art is a welcome break from the same old shounen faces if you’re a frequent reader of those manga; every single character ever introduced is easily recognizable. Just look above. You can’t mistake the coffee sipper with anybody else in the manga. U3U

Furthermore, unlike Rocky, the manga’s not only about Rikitarou’s quest to success: it’s also about various other fighters he meets along the way, including some former antagonists-turned-ally because as everybody knows, Defeat Means Friendship [WARNING TVTROPES]. Even though they get cast into the sidelines near the final battle, that’s explainable: it’s the FINAL BATTLE.

And the final battle is awesome. More than a hundred pages of nonstop action the whole way through. By Madoka, you won’t regret reading through the entirety of RRR just for its final battle.

And that’s it.

A very badly drawn picture.
However, at times, the author’s drawing/photoshop skills are… lacking…

…Yeah, that wasn’t very convincing. I think I’ll have to study how to write a good review post before continuing on. I mean, reading through my previous reviews, they’re actually SOMEWHAT funny, and now, I write this vapid banality… Some final concluding notes, though:

I really didn’t like the final antagonist’s characterization; originally, I thought he was human with a different mindset of the world, and then the mangaka just makes him KICK PUPPIES to show us how EVIL he is. Yeah, who’s really going to believe that…

However, I do like how Rikitarou was made into a sort of anti-hero at the end, but that’s pretty standard stuff, too: to win the championship and then renounce boxing forever. Only to come back again in RRR TWO!! No.

Nevertheless, the ending leading up to the final fight was definitely rushed. If this manga were extended by just a dozen chapters or two (dozen), the other characters could receive something more than a one-chapter knockout…

Overall Rating: 6/10 (Amazing)

tl;dr: why did I write this

P.S. THE MANGA IS ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD. Did you know: the more flaws you tend to pick out, the better something generally is. That’s because there’s too many good qualities to name in a quality production, so you’d concentrate on the negatives instead. Horizon, on the other hand… *cough cough*

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