Avenging his father's murder is a matter of honor for the young samurai Jintetsu. But it turns out that the killer is a corrupt government official—and now the powers that be are determined to hunt Jintetsu down like an animal. There's only one problem: Jintetsu is already dead.
Torn to pieces by a pack of dogs, Jintetsu's ravaged body has been found by Genkichi, outcast and master inventor. Genkichi gives the dead boy a new, indestructible steel body and a talking sword—just what he'll need to face down the gang that's terrorizing his hometown and the mobster who ordered his father's hit. But what about Otsuki, the beautiful girl he left behind? Steel armor is defense against any sword, but it can't save Jintetsu from the pain in his heart.
Story: 9 Points: The story - about Jintetsu and various people he meets and befriends on his journeys - is very captivating and interesting. Each individual story has different characters trying to deal with a problem, and Jintetsu getting involved. The story has a great deal of sword-fighting (always a positive thing! ^_^) believable plot, and suspenseful story lines - where it is not immediately known exactly what is happening, but motivations and pasts are slowly revealed over time, making it almost a mystery as well.
Art: 9 Points: The art is beautiful, with many different characters and settings which catch a person's eye, as well
as the many different kimono that are drawn in the manga. I, myself, am much less knowledgeable about the grading of art than of other categories of reviews, and so I'll leave this much shorter than the others and leave it to someone else to add more if they so wish.
Character: 10 Points: The characters in Kurogane are all very believable (all having very noticeably deep motivation for actions) as well as often times likable. Many of the people that Jintetsu meets in his journeys are seen again in later chapters, but their character never gets old in spite of that. As a reader, I felt a personal respect, admiration, and attachment to all the various characters that appear during the story - but especially to Jintetsu himself, who has a strict code not to harm civilians, children, or women. Jintetsu is seen as a homeless drifter with no home and nowhere to go, preferring to keep company with himself most of the time and spending nights in abandoned sheds. He has killed, but he also protects others, having a very deep character that I greatly appreciated.
Enjoyment: 10 Points: It was very entertaining, adding in some slight humor - such as when Jintetsu's living sword Haganemaru sometimes comments or displays confusion at the action of other characters and during various situations. There is also a great deal of internal suffering and other such things that makes this manga actually very serious in reality. Very original ideas were used, and many interesting concepts were introduced, also giving me - an American - some very interesting information about Japan that I didn't know before, such as what various things are called and what styles of hair were popular during the time of the manga, etcetera.
Overall: 9 Points. - However, please note that I am a very generous reviewer. Many others may not find this manga as interesting as I did, which is a note to keep in mind despite the fact that I believe this manga is exceptionally enjoyable.