[Ring ni Kakero] Powerful boxing manga that goes way beyond real boxing!


What is “Ring ni Kakero”?

Ring ni Kakero is a Japanese sports franchise written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada.
The manga was published in Weekly Shounen Jump from 1977 to 1981. Its chapters are compiled and published into 25 separate volumes. As of December 2021, 25 volumes have been released. The manga series has over 13 million copies in circulation, worldwide.
An anime adaptation of the manga was also released in 2004, with the anime adapted by Toei Animation.
Ring ni Kakero

What’s the story?

The story follows the son of a legendary world contender boxer, Takane Ryuji and his sister Takane Kiku. Kiku seemed to have inherited the boxing sense of her father whereas Ryuji hated boxing. After Ryuji encounters a boxing prodigy, Kenzaki Jun, he discovers his love for boxing and goes on to become one of Japan’s top junior boxers.
We start off with seeing Kiku training Ryuji in the gym while the others make fun of Ryuji for being a crybaby. His sister tells him to man up and be worthy of wearing the gloves he inherited from their late father, who was in the top ten global junior-light-weight rankings for boxing.
The gym owner tells Kiku to go easy on her brother, but she says that all she wants is for her brother to make it as a pro-boxer. Ryuji runs away saying that he hates boxing. The owner tells her that there’s no point in forcing Ryuji like this because he doesn’t have his father’s interest in the sport.
Kiku refuses to give up on Ryuji, claiming to the members at the gym that he’s going to leave them in the dust once he gets started. The both of them get home, only to find out that their mother has remarried and their new father is already waiting at their home.
Ryuji and Kiku refuse to warm up to their new father, especially after their father had passed away recently. The new dad is an alcoholic and a gambler. He brings his friends over and causes a ruckus, beating up Ryuji’s mother and sister in the process.
The kids and their mother undergo torment at the hands of their alcoholic father. He always beats them up and punishes them. Their mother is the only one supporting the family doing odd jobs.
One day, their new dad assaults their mother and goes off to sell the boxing gloves left by their actual father. They were the only thing they had left to remember him by, but he grabs them to exchange them for some booze.
Ryuji and Kiku come home and find out that he tossed out the gloves into a river as he couldn’t sell them. The kids rush to the river to search for the gloves. While looking for them, the guys from the gym notice them searching, and join in to help them.
They find the gloves and the gym owner invites the kids and their mother to stay at the gym while they sort out their domestic problems with their new dad.
On their way back, Ryuji refuses to go back to their home ever again and starts crying. Kiku manages to take him back home, but their father refuses to let them in and makes them stand outside in the rain, hungry, as punishment.
Kiku pleads to their step father to give Ryuji some food. When their mother gives them some soup, their father starts beating Kiku and her mother up for disobeying him. Kiku finally loses her cool and strikes back with a punch. She attacks him till he falls down.
Kiku takes Ryuji, and the both of them leave their mother behind as they leave for Tokyo. They aim for Ryuji to be a better boxer so that they can come back and help their mother.
What does fate have in store for the two brave children?
Ring ni Kakero

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