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Monday, March 21, 2011

Ring ni Kakero "103": An Overview of Volume 3

Well, Volume 2 was pretty heavy in story and characters in the middle, not to mention some of the chapters were kind of long, but now that all of the recurring characters have been introduced Volume 3 should be pretty easy to get through. Also, as we could tell from Volume 2, Kurumada was fine with using stereotypes for Japanese people as well, especially when it came to delinquents. Now let's get to Volume 3, which is mostly fighting, fighting, and more fighting.


-Chapter 17: Kutsujoku no Round 2 [A Disgraceful Round 2]
The referee starts a ten-count for Ryuji while he's out of the ring. He gets himself back into the ring in time and the match resumes. Kenzaki is about to hit Ryuji with an uppercut when the bell rings, signaling the end of Round 1. Akira and Sachiko give Ryuji some water and and a funnel to spit into, and they notice a tooth inside the funnel, showing the damage Ryuji has taken already. The seconds leave the ring and Round 2 starts with Ryuji continually clinching onto Kenzaki. Angered over this tactic, Kenzaki punches Ryuji the first chance he gets, knocking him down again. Ryuji gets back up and clinches yet again, angering the Seika audience and Tsujimoto. Kenzaki yet again beats down on Ryuji when he gets the chance, knocking him down again in the same round; there is a three-down TKO in effect, so if Ryuji goes down one more time in this round he loses. Ryuji gets up again and clinches yet again, resulting in Kenzaki uppercutting him. Ryuji is sent flying with the audience cheering for a third down.

-Chapter 18: Maboroshi no Migi [The Phantom Right]
Right before Ryuji hits the mat, the bell rings, signaling the end of Round 2. Akira and Sachiko act quick, catching Ryuji as he falls and gets him on the stool. Kenzaki's seconds call a foul on them for interrupting the third down while it was happening, regardless of whether the bell rang or not. The crowd starts insulting Akira and he even apologizes to Ryuji for interfering, but Kenzaki tells everyone to shut up as he's going to allow what Akira did. While they check on him, Ryuji mentions that Kezaki's speed was too much for him and that he couldn't even see that last punch. At the same time Sachiko notices that Ryuji's injured hand is bleeding, followed by Tsujimoto complaining to Kenzaki about how this match isn't the "Dragon vs. Tiger match" that he was promising. Tsujimoto even tries jumping the rope to stop the match, but Kenzaki pulls on it, resulting in Tsujimoto crashing to the ground outside of the ring, and calls him a monkey. Round 3 starts and Ryuji goes on the offensive, but Kenzaki evades each punch and then delivers a punch to Ryuji's gut. Kenzaki then follows with a series of punches, one of them hitting Ryuji's injured hand, resulting in Ryuji letting out a scream of agony before Kenzaki knocks him down with an uppercut. Ryuji gets back up and realizes that he has to hit Kenzaki with a right straight. He takes Kenzaki's punches until suddenly Kenzaki goes down to a punch from Ryuji that no one could see. Everyone is in shock, with the audience calling it a "Phantom Right Straight". It takes Kenzaki till a nine-count before he gets back up and he compares Ryuji's right straight with that a big gun. The match resumes and Tsujimoto starts calling out Kenzaki, saying that a boy who was shown in boxing magazines shouldn't have this much trouble. The audience agrees, calling for a KO. Kenzaki resume throwing punches, but Ryuji is able to take them, realizing that his right straight might be the key to beating Kenzaki. He throws another right at Kenzaki, who prepares to block it, but Ryuji then feints it and throws a left instead, knocking Kenzaki down a second time. Kenzaki stays on the mat, realizing that Ryuji's right hand might be injured.

-Chapter 19: Danshi no Ichidaku [A Young Man's Consent]
Kenzaki gets back up and the match resumes. Ryuji goes for another right feint/left straight combo, but Kenzaki counters by hitting Ryuji's elbow which sends him spinning into the ropes. Ryuji gets back in front of Kenzaki and throws another right straight, but Kenzaki evades the punch. Ryuji's momentum results in him slipping down to the mat and Kenzaki sees the blood flow from Ryuji's glove, calling him an idiot. The referee tells them to box, but Kenzaki refuses to fight anymore. Ryuji tries hiding it, but Sachiko tells everyone the story of how Ryuji injured his hand. Ms. Asaoka is asked how she could allow an injured person to compete in a match, and she responds by telling Kenzaki that he's not done with the ring yet.

[Then we get about 6 pages of story about an Edo-period group that more than likely relates to what Ms. Asaoka is talking about, but these pages are a good bit beyond what I can talk about]

Kenzaki realizes what must be done so he asks a second to remove his right glove, followed by him punching one of the metal turnbuckles the ropes are attached to, breaking his right hand. He puts his glove back on, ready to fight Ryuji evenly.

-Chapter 20: Ryutora Souzetsunari! [Dragon & Tiger Becomes Sublime!]
The match resumes with Kenzaki and Ryuji punching each other like mad. Kenzaki's seconds try to stop him, but Kenzaki tells them to stand back, and even Kenzaki's teacher tries telling Ms. Asaoka to stop the match. The two continue to pound on each other until Ryuji slips down yet again. Tsujimoto is confused as to why Kenzaki wants to keep fighting in his condition, but Shinatora explains that both of them want to rule their lefts, leaving Tsujimoto to finish the phrase "Rules the world!!". Kenzaki slips down while the audiences cheers for him, and after getting back up he kncoks Ryuji down with a left, taking Ryuji's headgear and mouth piece off at the same time; both of them now have two downs and it's the last round of the match. Ryuji's mouthpiece is picked up by Kiku, who has come to, wipes the blood off and gives it back to Ryuji, accepting that Ryuji wants this match. Rock-san cheers him on and Ryuji gets back up at nine. Everyone watches is shock as Kenzaki's headgear flies into the air... Both of them hit each other with a left straight, knocking Ryuji to the mat and Kenzaki into the ropes. The referee calls Ryuji as having three downs but everyone also sees Kenzaki unable to keep himself up and falls down a third time. Kenzaki pulls himself up enough so that he can crawl to Ryuji, stretching his gloved fist toward Ryuji's. The match is called a tie and the seconds come to their respective boxers as the ringside becomes a mass of people. The referee stars reading the judge's decision: "58-50 for Ken..." before the papers are knocked away from him by the rushing crowd. A group of people worry if Ryuji is okay while Kenzaki fores himself towards Ryuji, tapping him on the chest and telling him "Until next time." Kiku carries Ryuji away on her back while everyone claps for Ryuji's performance in the match.

-Chapter 21: Dai ni no Tsubasa Dragon Ankle [The Two Wings: The Dragon Ankle]
Ryuji has recovered fully from the match, hand and all, and prepares for some roadwork when Kiku stops him and straps a pair of ankle weights onto him, calling them the Dragon Ankle [Ep 1]. The extra weight makes it harder for Ryuji to do his roadwork. Later, Ryuji's boxing club competes in the Middle School Boxing Club Tournament, which Kenzaki, Tsujimoto, and Shinatora are also competing in. In their first match, Akira is able to win his fight, making the score 2-2 with Ryuji's match deciding it. Ryuji takes off the Dragon Ankle, but not having that extra weight makes him miscalculate his jump over the ropes, resulting in him crashing to the mat and having everyone laugh him off. The Dragon Ankle really helped, though, as his speed is enough to make his opponent think that there are multiple Ryuji's in the ring with him. Kenzaki leaves the stands, fully knowing that with Ryuji's improved footwork the fight will be over in one round, which it is. Ryuji's strength results in a doctor being called for his opponent, though, and in the second match for his team Ryuji wins his match... Unfortunately his win wa the only one for hs team, resulting is a 4-1 loss and eliminating them from the tournament. Seika ends up winning the tournament, though Ryuji, Shinatora, Tsujimoto, and Kenzaki are commended for their individual skills. As the tournament ends, though, the best eight competitors are called for a special meeting. Apparently the committee can't decide who was the best for the region, so they want to have a mini-tournament to decide it. Tsujimoto requests that if they do it then the matches should be done without headgear. Though there are worries, none of the eight say no to the idea. The decision as to who will fight who in the starter brackets is done through lot drawing, and Ryuji's first opponent ends up being Tujimoto. Outside the arena Tsujimoto tries spitting his gum at Ryuji but he blocks it and talks trash. When a fly baseball appears one of Ryuji's teammates throws the ball at Tsujimoto, who turns around, takes off his jacket, and takes the ball in the gut bare skinned, surprising them. Tsujimoto walks away while Kenzaki and Shinatora both feel that Ryuji will win the match.



-Chapter 22: Tafugai! Tsujimoto Noboru [Tough Guy! Noboru Tsujimoto]
It's time for Ryuji's fight against Tsujimoto. After some minute talks, plus Tsujimoto trying to spit in Kiku's face but hitting Akira instead, the match starts. Ryuji starts off strong, hitting Tsujimoto with a One-Two combo and knocking him down. While laying down Tsujimoto starts laughing and continues to do so while getting up. The match continues and Ryuji has no trouble avoiding Tujimoto's punches before hitting him with some more one-two combos. The match itself looks very one-sided, with Tsujimoto's punches missing and Ryuji's punches always hitting. Tsujimoto, though, just smiles and seems to love to blood flowing from his face before taking advantage of Ryuji not looking and grazes his nose with a punch. Ryuji responds with a one-two combo to the gut, but Tsujimoto laughs it off.

-Chapter 23: Tsujimoto no Jakuten [Tsujimoto's Weak Point]
Ryuji takes his eyes off of Tsujimoto once again and almost gets hit, but his footwork keeps his safe. Ryuji goes back on offense, but Tsujimoto continue to laugh it off before he starts actually evading Ryuji's punches, though Ryuji feels he knows what Tsujimoto's weak point is. Before he knows it, though, Tsujimoto actually gets a punch through, sending Ryuji to the ropes. Ryuji, though, is able to get back to evading Tsujimoto's punches and when the chance presents itself he hits Tsujimoto with a punch to the liver.

-End of Volume 3-

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