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Kurogane (IKEZAWA Haruto)  
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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 alley 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.


Related Series

Associated Names
Kiếm Sĩ Học Đường

Groups Scanlating
Clockwork Lies
Lazy Ass Scans
Manga Pirate

Latest Release(s)
v.8 c.70 (end) by S2scans over 4 years ago
v.8 c.69 by S2scans over 4 years ago
v.8 c.68 by S2scans over 4 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
8 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.7 / 10.0 (619 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.65 / 10.0
 17% (106 votes)
 14% (84 votes)
 26% (160 votes)
 22% (136 votes)
 10% (64 votes)
 6% (38 votes)
 2% (12 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 2% (14 votes)

Last Updated
December 4th 2014, 6:24pm PST



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Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #555 increased(+191)
Monthly Pos #1125 increased(+502)
3 Month Pos #2185 increased(+638)
6 Month Pos #3232 increased(+125)
Year Pos #3551 increased(+80)

List Stats
On 2119 reading lists
On 542 wish lists
On 1572 completed lists
On 98 unfinished lists
On 310 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Unexpected Tearjerker over 4 years ago
Kurogane in Japan over 5 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Pros and Cons   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by Saphsin
June 30th, 2012, 2:26pm
If you look up the manga on "," a Japanese rankings/ratings site, you'll find that this manga has horrible ratings. A lot of the hate comes from the fact that the author bragged on his twitter that his series is better than many of those on Jump. But I'd like to try to comment on this manga with an unbiased opinion taking into account of the author's history.


Especially for a newbie mangaka, his art received a lot of praise, and he deserves it. Some of the scenes are pretty epic and the panels are divided quite well. Kendo is a pretty difficult sport to draw. If you compare it to other popular Kendo manga in Japan, like Bamboo Blade, the matches in this one is much less sloppy and readable. You can enjoy the sparring because the author allows you to keep track of the movements of the characters. The characters are easily distinguishable by personality, face, and name, something that troubles a lot of inexperienced manga artists.

The theme of the manga is pretty exciting, you have the main character who's intelligent and has powerful kinetic vision, but falls short in terms of strength. The ghost Sayuri then haunts him (and hangs around as a cute character when they're not alone), wishing to pass down her style of kendo that failed to leave its mark in history. Similar to a new Hikaru no Go scenario. The appeal of this manga as a sports manga comes from the fact that there are not that many kendo manga despite its popularity in Japan. People who are new to kendo find themselves attracted to this manga the same way Eyeshield21 appealed to readers of WSJ in Japan.

Also, although the manga is a little bit too predictable with shonen cliches here and there as said by the other comments below, the pacing is pretty good. There haven't been any really disappointing chapters in which the quality suddenly drops. The story's pacing is neither too fast nor too slow.

Going through the manga, I think one can thoroughly enjoy it depending on the person. So I would say it's worth a look for those who have nothing to do.


One thing that's heavily criticized about this manga is that the characters are too shallow. One thing that really bothered me from the start was the whole thing with Kurogane starting kendo because the desire to "stand out and be a hero." It is admirable for him to have the determination to become strong and meet the proper friends and rivals that help him pursue that path, but I think he could've started to exercising and gain stamina + muscle strength at any given time, rather than start off weak and try a bunch of sports, knowing that he'll probably fail. I always found it corny right from the start that his reason for starting kendo stems from such an idealization; is he an elementary school student? And then we have our enemy kendo participants who are sadistic, arrogant, and disrespect what kendo is about, something that would be harshly castigated in real Japan.

2nd thing that's a huge issue with this manga is that it does not represent real kendo. Some parts of the manga explain kendo concepts quite well (like the captain's Joudan and Shidou's one handed kendo techniques) but much of it is false. I am a kendoka myself so I'll give you some examples drawn from my experience.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
First off, how Kurogane's team switched positions so that Kurogane becomes the sacrifice general in the practice match. That would never happen in real life for something that is only a practice match. In fact, it would be considered cowardly. Practice matches are used to gauge each team member's abilities so each position is given with respect to each individual's talent.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In one of the 1st year matches in which Shidou defeats his opponent, he knocks his opponent's shinai away. In fact, he breaks in half. That would never happen in real life and disarming your opponent is not even part of kendo.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Some of the "techniques" are just ridiculous and have no place or purpose in real Kendo. Such as knocking out your opponent so he falls down with a spin technique.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The "Sakura One Strike Style" couldn't possibly work in real life, and it's even more impractical for someone who's a complete amateur to use it. Kurogane's Samidare, which is basically telling your opponent "look here, I'm going with a strike that's definitely going for a tsuki, the hardest area to hit in kendo." Not to mention that tsuki is only learned after achieving 1st-Dan. It's a technique that can hurt people if not executed correctly but Kurogane is using it all the time as if there is no problem."

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Oogami's method of running around and executing continuous attacks is more like old-style Kumdo then Kendo. Kendo is about reading your opponent's movements, looking for an opening, and making the perfect one strike. Kendo exhausts a lot of stamina; that method would just burn you out before overtime.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
There was also one instance in which one of the participants used a street fighting stance to mess up his opponent's ability to read his rhythm; that's just insulting sword arts. You can't just make any BS stance and use it to catch your opponent off guard.

I don't mind the supernatural twist that Kurogane's phenomenal eyesight brings to the story, but I dislike how the author made eyesight a standard that measures a kendoka's ability. Increased kinetic vision does not exist in real life and as long as you wear sport-glasses or contacts to actually see for those with poor eyesight, it's completely fine in kendo.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In one of the arcs, a team specializing in Nito Ryu, two sword style, showed up in the competition. However Nito Ryu is prohibited in elementary, middle, and high school competitions in Japan. The ban on using it was only lifted from college competitions and up. It's also highly recommended not to use such a style at such an early stage of a kendoka's development. Also, they make it look like using Nito Ryu is a big advantage but it isn't really. Using 2 swords rather than one is very difficult to be proficient and someone using only one sword but has more skill can easily overwhelm the opponent.

But to make it worse, the team uses two shinai "both with the same size." There is no existing style in history that utilizes two swords of the same length, because it's just not practical. Nito Ryu is a technique developed from swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi. But that technique involves one Katana (long curved sword) in one hand and one Wakizashi (short curved sword) in another. So Nito Ryu in Kendo is always with one regular sized shinai and one really short shinai.

Not to mention, the stance of the guy with the two shinai was all wrong.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
It's also important to point out the plot holes in the early parts of the manga. Kurogane couldn't swing even a regular sized shinai in the first chapter without the help of Sayuri, but he's weaving it around [while wearing full armor] a few days later without any practice and training in between. It also doesn't make sense that he even knew how to wield a shinai properly the first time using it, which takes days of training to learn it.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
In kendo, if you don't hit your opponent with the shinai hard enough, it doesn't count. For those who read Bamboo Blade, you know this when Tama-chan's one handed men strike didn't count because the strike was too light. If Kurogane is that weak, he probably wouldn't be able to use strikes to hit hard enough to count at all.

One more thing I'd like to mention is.....who on earth has the time and energy to speak to each other during a kendo match. Concentrating on anything other than your opponent is considered an erroneous move in kendo, but the characters are either arguing or talking casually to each other while fighting....when they're supposed to be screaming in spirit. In Kendo you shout the area you hit. So you shout "MEN!" if you aim for the head, "DO!" if you aim for the side, "KOTE!" if you aim for the wrist and "TSUKI!" if you aim with a thrust for the throat. If you make a hit without the shout, it's not supposed to count, but they don't do it like that in Kurogane.

It kind of does apply to any sport that you focus your attention on the match but in manga, it can't be helped that the people are talking in the midst of everything. But the author goes too far in that he makes the characters have casual conversations.

... Last updated on October 29th, 2012, 4:45am
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Eyesight is very useful in kendo   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by manga-fan1
January 27th, 2012, 8:30am
how is eyesight not useful in kendo, clearly you guys have not thought about it at all. The key to kurogane's eyesight is that he is able to analyze and judge things at a rate much faster than normal eyes which allows him to react faster to them, well if he had the endurance anyway. Reaction time has everything to do with kendo which is just about dodging your opponents moves and moving fast enough to react with an attack.
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Started good, but became really predictable   
Rating: N/A
by KLGChaos
January 19th, 2012, 5:29pm
As my title says, the story started out with a lot of potential. However, it quickly became boring when an overpowered character was introduced in chapter 9. Followed closely by a big build-up to their match, the whole thing fell flat. Why? Because as soon as the guy was introduced, most readers knew exactly how it was going to play out. 10 chapters later, it went exactly as predicted.

The series suffers from being an extremely generic WSJ manga and it's never fun when you already know what's going to happen 2 months in advance. It still has potential to pick itself up, but the way it's going so far hasn't really endeared me to keep following it. Everything it has done, has been done 1000 times before in the exact same pattern.

For me, Sayuri was the only real thing keeping the manga afloat, but her gimmick will get old fast-- because that's all she is. A gimmick.

... Last updated on January 19th, 2012, 5:31pm
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Shounen which isn't drawn out   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Nirachu
March 22nd, 2014, 4:47am
Finally, a shounen manga that actually knows when to stop. I've actually always found the endless arcs of many (serialised) shounen to be unbearable but Kurogane ended perfectly in my opinion. I know many shounen fans will disagree; I've heard complaints that Kurogane's ending was rushed and didn't portray character development and the journey in general. However, if you imagine it continuing, it just would've ended up like any other drawn-out shounen with loads of arcs and pointless fluff going on before eventually and finally ending up at the end goal anyway.

The story of Kurogane is pretty similar to Hikaru no Go; main protagonist who isn't interested in something (in Kurogane it's kendo, in HnG it's Go) meets some mythical being who coaches them in that particular thing, with them improving throughout the series and eventually attaining mastery of that area. It's not an original idea, but the execution was done quite well in this case. The art is awesome, it's quite humorous and lighthearted, and you get your happy ending unlike in HnG. However, if you're looking for something thoughtful, deep or dark, this probably isn't the manga for you.
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Horrible ending   
Rating: 3.0 / 10.0
by Artimidorus
April 5th, 2013, 1:58am
While the series could have been much more interesting, it certainly wasn't horrible. The art was good, but the story was shallow. The problems others point out are correct, but the Kendo portrayed certainly wasn't near Eyeshield or PoT levels of bad for the sport portrayed.

My main issue, though, is the ending. It ended so much worse than it started, and in fact wasn't an ending at all. There is no resolution, no anything. Quite depressing and makes me really sort of regret even spending time on this. The story went nowhere, characters weren't really developed at all. Villians were introduced for no reason, and with this ending it is a pointless series. Highly recommend skipping if you haven't picked it up yet.
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story so far   
Rating: N/A
by jelzin89
May 20th, 2012, 10:58am
as the story just finished the build-up phase it's not easy to say how predictable or good it will be in the future.
but I don't think the overpowered character in chapter 9 is that much of a problem and his introduction was necessary. kuroganes' eyes gave him too big of an advantage so he just won and won at first. it looked like he would easily become the best after building up some strengh which would have been more boring imo. there had to be at least one character which he would't be able to just go and defeat even with much power and experience.

it isn't said yet btw that this particular one will be his last opponent
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Not bad for now   
Rating: N/A
by emkat
October 15th, 2011, 6:12pm
This kind of reminds me of Hikaru no Go. We'll see if this will just be a straight shonen or something more. I would like to see more character development. The characters right now seems very stock. We have the extremely talented but flawed enough to set back progress protagonist, the female interest, and a rival that is better than the protagonist but still feels that he has to catch up (similar to Hikaru).
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The one shot was good, and the series is interesting   
Rating: N/A
by ymoua
October 14th, 2011, 9:12pm
I originally red the one shot for this manga before it became a series, and that's the main reason I'm reading the series. Personally the one shot is would've been a better chapter 1 than that chapter one, 'cause honestly I don't think I would've read it.

The series it's self show's promise and the chapters after 1 are pretty good and he's even found himself a rival. Makes me think of Eyeshield 21. You start with a weak kid who's only good in one thing. In the Main character's case he has "SPEACIAL~" EYES and he meets a ghost. I'll leave it at that.
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Pretty Good   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by kri91
July 11th, 2013, 12:40pm
I loved the idea of this manga & the beginning was awesome

but in the middle, it started getting a little boring
and the ending could have been much better... although its not completely terrible...

they should have shown how he became the best instead of just saying it!
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Despite its faults... I love it   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Eyenheart
May 5th, 2013, 10:12pm
Well, this manga has quite a lovely starting concept though it kind of loses focuse part way through. I would definitely recomend this to any fan of 'weak to strong' stories. The protagonist is very like able and easy to cheer on. I find the art to be good and clear but a bit shoujo-ish at times (though a moderate amount of fan service ensures that you won't forget the target audience). The ending was a bit inconclusive feeling but I rated high due to my initial love of the story concept and characters.
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