Jan 28, 2013
Ragix (All reviews)
What comes down to a lot of manga being successful in the long run is if whether it is popular or not. In Kurogane's case it unfortunately missed the mark and was axed, but this doesn't reduce its value any less.

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.

Story: 7/10

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.

Art: 8/10

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.

Character: 7/10

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.

Enjoyment: 8/10

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.

Overall: 7/10

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.