Riku experienced a lot of pain and tragedy in his early life. After his father's death, a former-boxer Yakuza man taught him how to do a basic punch, and that punch saved his life when he had to defend himself from his mom's drug dealer. He ended up taking the drug dealer's life, marking him as a killer. Criminals continued to come after him, leading to more tragedy for the people who attempted to care for him. All of this drove him to ask that same former boxer to teach him to become stronger, which led him to a rundown gym, his door to the world of pro boxing!
As always, the vultures are already reviewing and trying to kill any interest towards this series.-
To counter these underated reviews, i shall post my own opinion that favors this series.
One should notice that instead of "unneccessary shock value", this manga is flooding with hope and kindness. The kid indeed has a sad life during the start, but you can already see stuff happening for him, and as you read forward you have unexplainable desire to know what happens next in this thorny and long path of Rikudo.
As of writing these, there has already been at least 3 noteworthy characters for the story and I can't
wait to see how it develops between them.
Dont judge the book by it's cover (or the reviews), but instead read it yourself.
One of the best boxing manga I've seen in ages.It shows an impeccable history and scenes of very good fights like a good manga should be.
I believe by having a heavier theme , being seinein , does not attract much readers , but the way the story unfolds leaves the person involved in the plot.
A reading that I'm really enjoying it and recommend it. For now I'm in the waiting more chapters.
If you found Rikudou after reading a different boxing series you have probably realized from the synopsis that Rikudou is going to be dark.
And if you are now reading reviews, wondering whether or not you should read Rikudou, first consider what you're expecting from this series.
Are you looking for a boxing manga that has the same "Give it everything you've got" feeling like in Hajime no Ippo or maybe something like Ashita no Joe? If you are, then you need to understand that Rikudou is going to be a little bit different from them.
The first thing to understand about Rikudou is that
it is not a Shounen, it's a Seinen. To be safe I'll explain that the difference between these two is that Shounen's target a younger male audience while Seinen's target men ages 18 to 40.
That said, Rikudou is going to be more mature than a Shounen manga but more importantly it's going to feel different than the Shounen action/sports/boxing mangas which you may or may not be familiar with.
This story of this manga is about Riku Azami, a boy born into an abusive environment and after the death of his father, he experienced greater traumas. His past is the reason he became a boxer. The powerlessness he felt as a child is his motivation in and out of the ring to become stronger.
I believe that the reason Riku chooses to fight as a boxer isn't that he loves the sport, but because he can only find comfort by constantly proving to himself that he's growing stronger.
However his boxing career doesn't bring him complete peace of mind. It may distract him from his past, but it forces him to make difficult choices. Beating other boxers, possibly ending the careers of fighters who are trying to escape their darkness or feed their family means victory comes with a sense of guilt. But to keep his past behind him Riku has to win whether or not he wants to beat the man standing in front of him.
Both victory and defeat have their consequences. And that makes the fighting in this different from other boxing manga you may have read.
In many ways this is a story about a broken child trying to overcome his past, and keep himself from falling apart, through professional boxing.
However at first glance this series may seem like it's just trying to be edgy, but I believe that it goes deeper than that by surrounding itself with the psychological conflicts of Riku Azami and his attempt to find solace from his painful memories.
I want to talk about the Art in Rikudou. I actually really like the author's art style but what I think is worth mentioning is how well it suits this manga. The story and art sync with each other so well that I wanted to go over both of them in this review.
The way the characters and backgrounds are drawn is expressive and sets the mood of the story. The shading is very present which might make it look less "clean" than what you're used to, and without thinking about it some people may dislike this about this manga, but I believe that the shading adds to the overall atmosphere of Rikudou.
Out of curiosity and slight boredom I've gone through some pages and edited out a lot of the shading, but not so much that it looked unnatural, and I found that the mood changes slightly when you take away Rikudou's shaded atmosphere.
Maybe I've read too much into it, but I think that the heavy shading is more than just this author's art style, but intentionally done to emphasize the story and tone of the manga.
Given the nature of the story, this manga may make you feel uncomfortable at times but if you are able to read things like this, you will probably find this series enjoyable just as I have.
Oh boy, the people have spoken. This series is edgy and bad right? Well no. This series is truly a hidden gem; overshadowed by another boxing manga: Hajime no Ippo. While I do admit the series have some similarities; they're really different series. While Ippo focuses more on the heroic/shounen-ish side of boxing, Rikudo focuses on the more realistic and brutal side to boxing.
The story is great. It showcases a backstory and daily hardships of a boxing champion and the consequences that each fight has on the mental and physical state of a boxer. The over the top violence never felt unjustified or "edgy".
You're either gonna love it or you're gonna hate it.
The art is also really good; it has great attention to detail and fits the story very well. The only problem I have with it is that it sometimes has a bit of loss of detail.
This is my favourite part of the story. The story of the main character Riku is one that is very well constructed and believable. From being a puny little orphan barely able to land a punch to being a hardened boxing champion and how every little fight makes someone more and more tough is a great way to convey the story. The relationships between the main characters is also very well constructed especially between Riku and his love interest.
Rikudou is a recipe for a great and violent manga, without necessarily being "edgy". Some action, drama, moments that make us think and just a hint of romance for good measure is why this manga is among my favorites.