Published: Aug 22, 2011 to Jan 28, 2013
Authors: Ikezawa, Haruto (Story & Art)
Serialization: Shounen Jump (Weekly)
Score: 7.711 (scored by 2214 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
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Jan 3, 2012
The focus is a boy named Kurogane, a no-strength hero who picks up a spirit (Hikaru no Go style), and does Kendo in his school. It is like many other sports manga in that respect. Unlike something like Prince of Tennis, it seems that the techniques shown are things taken out of real Kendo, instead of fantasy moves (also like Gamaran, which is full of BS martial arts).
I enjoyed the first chapters of this manga, and look forward to see its progression into something that is even better. Currently, it doesn't have any very strong positives, but the fact that the mangaka has not made any mistakes yet, and has kept it relatively interesting is a huge plus in my book. My only complaint is that some characters look a little unrealistic (not befitting the style that I thought the mangaka was putting forth), but its too early to tell.
Overall, I would recommend this manga, but at the same time, there is nothing especially outstanding about it. I give it a 7 out of 10 and would say that we need to wait until 30-50 chapters in to see the real quality of the manga. read more
Feb 5, 2012
This manga has been a very enjoyable read so far even though it has barely begun. The characters are well designed and there's a good balance of the characters you need for this kind of sports manga.
Story: This is rather unique to the sports mangas I've read. Unlike other sporting mangas where the main character is a natural and very skilled, the main character of Kurogane, Hiroto, is a very (and I seriously do mean VERY) weak person and because of it he is stopped from playing sports. By a slight twist of fate and his determination to gain a place in school as a sporting hero, he manages to join the Kendo club of his school and by then he has made various friends or rivals who nudges Hiroto back to the right place when he needs it. There is always a meaning behind fights which make it more 'realistic' in a sense that it isn't like Bleach, where a fight continues for so long you'll think to yourself "so, why are they fighting again?!". So far in the story, we see them competing against other schools to raise their ranks (a typical sports manga scenario) but the matches itself are painless to read as there's so much variety in how the competitors play and the matches (so far) are fairly short; this makes this manga even more enjoable to read. 7/10
I personally like how the story develops really quickly - it does have scenes where they need to explain the rules etc but they are mostly fairly swift and gets back to the main plot quickly. The storyline also brings a strong resemblence to Hikaru no Go with all the fantasy and the determined attitude the main character gives to succeed in his sport/game. The mangaka has also smartly addresses issues as well which is often experience by sports members, like jelously, left out of the team or not accepted, rivalry, injury set backs and simply being heavily protected or unwanted because you're 'weak'. This makes this manga way more realistic than mangas like Prince of Tennis where that main character fits in nearly immediately - in Kurogane, Hiroto needs to fight and show he has a place in the team. For all the sports players in the real world (including myself), reading this manga has allowed me to reflect on what has happened during MY time as a athlete and we can learn some good morals from this manga.
Characters: Although the female lead is annoying me slightly at the moment, other characters have really grown on me even though I just started reading this manga. They are uniquely designed and very well thought out. I really like the friend and rival relationship Shidou, a very skilled player, and Hiroto shares as it feels really real in a sporting club. Yes, as a sporting manga, a prodigy of the sport needs to pop up sooner or later but at least he doesn't brag about it too much and does the justice of nudging Hiroto down the right path when he needs to. (This is also another factor why I think this manga is very close to Hikaru no Go, their relationship here is really similar to Hikaru and Touya) The team spirit the kendo members share in the school is very sweet but does us all a favour and doesn't go all fairy tale like which I very much enjoy. Aoharu is the comical relief of the manga for me and provides a bit of the rebellious character all of us can like. His character greatly contrasts with Shidou's serious attitude but this is where are the fun comes from! For me, their frequent brawls are very enjoyable, and once again very real to teamates in a club. The best thing is that we acutally see that Hiroto is actually not as pathetic as he seems and he can make himself be heard when he wants to which gives me a lot of respect for this character as his determination to succeed, even though he is weak, is very inspiring. 8/10
Artwork: Although the fighting scenes may get slightly confusing at times, the artwork is the norm of modern century manga so it isn't bad but I can't say it is amazing either - there's not much unique style unlike artists like Akizuki Sorata (Akagami no Shirayuki hime) which is just full of it's own character. But hey, at least you don't need to worry about the artwork being an eyesore because it is still clear and understandable in the end! 7/10
Overall: This manga so far have been very enjoyable. The aspects of sporting is covered very evenly and no extreme skills of sports are portrayed (that's if you don't include the ghost who pops up every so often) - what I mean with extreme is like when Prince of Tennis just turns tennis into this superskilled/superpower game where the moves are simply out of this world and just not lifelike whatsoever. The characters are very likable and the artwork is basic but very clear in showing what it wants readers to feel. 9/10
You will definitely like this manga if you've enjoyed Hikaru no Go or other sporting mangas like Prince of Tennis - just minus the awesome powers it has, or Aoizaka High School Baseball Club. read more
Jan 28, 2013
Kurogane is a sports shounen manga based around the sport kendo in a high school setting. However, the author puts a small supernatural twist on it to try to make it 'fresh'. Unfortunately, since it was axed we never get to see Kurogane's full potential as it sets itself up for something that could have been great, but never could show it.
The story revolves around high school freshmen Hirito Kurogane, a weak-frail boy who only cared about getting good grades in class and wouldn't dare do anything involving physical activity. He somehow gets involved with a spirit who wants him to succeed her Kendo style and one thing leads to another he joins the Kendo club. The story basically follows a traditional sports shounen route where our fellow MC slowly works his way up through training and determination to become a great Kendoist. Along the way of course making friends and rivals which truly test his ability not only physically but also mentally slowly shaping our MC to become a better self.
The art is nice and modern. It's not amazing, but it's nice to look at and it looks visually well when it comes to the Kendo matches.
If I were to say the characters were original that would be a far cry from the the truth. Saying that though, each character is given their own unique twist or difference that makes them a bit original in their own way, but it's easy to see that a lot of the characters are similar to most shounen characters. You have the weak MC who becomes strong, the snotty, aggressive show-offy friend and the friend who is always serious when it comes to what he loves to do.(Then of course these two friends always fight, but truly value each other's friendship) Then of course others like the typical romantic interest, the super over-powered nice guy and even the villians who look so overly the top evil it's actually kind of humorous.
That aside though, the character development is there and so are the friendships and rivalries that arise with each encounter making the characters pleasant, but once again since it was axed we can never truly the true potential.
A very enjoyable read to anyone that may be looking for a shounen manga. My thought going into this was not to expect much, but in the end I ended up being one of those guys that cannot wait for it to be updated. While it does have it flaws, luckily it's enjoyable enough to not get too caught up in those.
I sound like a broken record player, but this is a manga that had the potential to be something great, but never could. Although it did manage to show a little of that potential off which is why I give it a 7/10. It's enjoyable, has good characters, revolves around Kendo which may be refreshing to some and has a decent story to go with it. If you're looking for a sports manga and perhaps liked other manga or anime like Baby Steps, Bamboo Blade, etc. I recommend this. Just because Kurogane got cut short doesn't mean it's bad or lower its worth; I think you'll be in for a nice surprise once you get started reading it. Just try it out yourself and be your own judge of that. read more