What happens after the fight is over? That’s the real question No One Left to Fight begins to explore over the first arc. The book may be based primarily on Dragonball, but think about any fantasy/adventure shonen manga or anime you’ve watched in your life, whether it be Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, HunterxHunter, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Black Clover, or countless others. How old were the main characters when they saved the world? For the ones still going, how old are they now? Probably late teens, mid-twenties at the oldest, so what happens after? I’d imagine they’d have at least forty years left, so where do they go from there? What’s next after you’ve saved the world at least once? It’s hard to imagine anywhere to go above that. No One Left to Fight explores the idea that shonen protagonists might have peaked when they saved the world.
I suppose it’s important to start with the manga elements. Writer Aubrey Sitterson and artist Fico Ossio construct an authentic world, albeit one based on references and tropes you’re probably already familiar with. Whether it be the character builds and hairstyles, the combination of martial arts and harnessing energy to a singular fighting style, unique move names, humanoid animals or alien creatures, unique move names, or character tropes like the rival, the mentor, and the love interest(s), Sitterson and Ossio construct it all beautifully. Every page is a wave of nostalgia, and because so many of these elements are based on existing properties, it’s only a matter of a few pages before you know exactly what is happening, has happened, and have absorbed the histories of these characters.
The line art is extremely expressive and extravagant. There’s an overabundance of speed lines and lines from energy blasts that reflect stylistic flairs from manga. The big thing that sets Ossio as an artist to watch, however, is color. I am not exaggerating when I say that No One Left to Fight might be best colored book I have ever seen. It is so vibrant and rich with neon purples oranges and greens. It looks nothing like anything else out there right now and should be applauded for it. He pulls influence from a number of genres and eras when designing the characters and the world. A lot of manga influences sure, but also post-apocalyptic, steampunk, and western influences as well. All of it is laid out in a gorgeous ensemble of relatively few panels per page so you can marvel at the world in front of you.
Right down to Eposito’s captions and advertisements for the next chapter, No One Left to Fight is, in many ways, an introspective analysis of what happens after the manga you grew up reading comes to and end. What kind of life does that character continue to live? What kind of lives do their friends live? It’s a very original idea set in a not-so-original world. The color and the questions are the two unique elements of this books, while the rest feels a little too formulaic. Additionally, if you are not familiar with manga or anime as media, you may not get much out of this book.
Nonetheless, No One Left to Fight provides excellent commentary about the importance of moving forward, even after momentous occasions. You can’t let one event define your life, no matter now big it is. Vale, our protagonist, spends countless hours thinking about various ways his life could have turned out, and it’s filled with peace, love, or friendship. The life he’s lived so far after he’s saved the world, however, has been one spent wandering and in sorrow. No One Left to Fight is a story unlike any other in exactly two ways, but they may just be the two most important ones.