It’s Manga Monday. A weekly post highlighting a different series. I’ll mostly do posts on completed or ongoing series that are regularly updated. While I do not condone scanlations, please support the creator and licensing companies by purchasing the work where available.
This week’s manga is – Kurogane
Kurogane Hiroto is in high school, where he is academically the top of his class but literally the worst in physical activity. Born with a weak body, he has no endurance, speed nor strength and Hiroto wants nothing more than to be a hero. Fate teases him by giving him phenomenal eye sight, which allows him to see well beyond anyone else in sports, but his body is not able to react to any of it.He learns from his friend Shiratori, who wants to recruit him for the Kendo team, about a rumor about a ghost named Tojo Sayuri, who wields a katana and haunts an ally in the city. Half curious, Hiroto goes there only to find that the ghost is real and that Tojo Sayuri has been looking for a successor to her Sakura sword style for 150 years. Sayuri chooses him as the successor after being able to dodge her attack and forces him to learn the Sakura style. Even with the help of the ancient swordsman ghost, Hiroto has to overcome his poor motor skills in order to be the hero he always wanted to be.
Kurogane is a pretty slow-paced sports manga. However, in this case, slow-paced doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. From what I’ve gathered from this series and all other series that focus on Kendo, Kendo is about hard work, training, and most of all, patience. While cliche, it is nice to see a physically inept, yet highly intelligent character suddenly become a Kendo ace. It doesn’t take long for the series to pick up as it immediately moves into training Hiroto to compensate for his very weak body. The series has been doing fairly well within the Weekly Shounen Jump rankings, so I hope it sticks around for a while. At least long enough to really go through some more historical references with the ghost samurai, Sayuri. After reading this series, I am inclined to try out Kendo someday.
Kurogane could possibly be available through Viz Manga’s English version of Weekly Shounen Jump one their netzine reboots.