I did promised that I will look for another manga to share. So, here it is(: Before I start posting my chapter thoughts on Kurogane, I'd like to give an initial thoughts or a first look on this manga.
If you'd like to know if you should read further, here're some quick knowledge: Weekly Shounen JUMP series, sports genre, kendo, weak MC with a special ability and aims to be strong.
I started reading Kurogane ever since its very first scanlation came out. This is my first engagement to the sports genre that I was never fond of. Yeah I've seen a couple of Slam Dunk episodes but that's it. Now Kurogane has made me open to trying out the genre that Area no Kishi and Kuroko no Basuke came to my watch list.
Anyway, going to the plot, as I have mentioned Kurogane Hiroto has a weak body but he has an unbelievably amazing eyesight. When he passed by this Sakura Tree that was mentioned in legends, he was suddenly attacked by a ghost which he was able to dodge successfully. The ghost, Sayuri, said that she will teach him kendo, Sakura Sword Style. Now Kurogane joins their school's (weak) Kendo club and now aims to be strong. That's it. Yeah typical plot. I don't care. It's good.
Story-wise, Kurogane might have caught me because of the good combination of sports and comedy. I'm not really interested in kendo but despite that, Kurogane doesn't really go into so much kendo geekiness right now. Well, you'll probably get to know kendo as you read the manga and you might even like it. The strategies and moves are being explained so you won't really get lost when reading. The pacing is pretty good. It's not going fast and not really slow either. The typical style of the arcs? They'd practice then compete in some kind of tournament or match. Every match comes in 1 to 2 chapters. Every major team opponent gets their brief overview just like their practice match with Hakurei as well as in the newcomer's battle with Jourai.
As for the characters, I wouldn't say that Kurogane is the most interesting MC out there but the secondary characters really makes up for my lack of interest on Kurogane. First, there's the strong and serious Hazakura Shidou who went to Ouka despite his great talent in kendo. He could be considered the strongest of the newcomers. He has an injury in his left arm and only battles with his right. I actually see him as the bishounen :3 of this manga. He gets a couple of serious comedy out of the blue whenever he's with Kurogane and Aoharu. AND the next interesting secondary character is Ebana Aoharu who actually reminds me of Okumura Rin from Ao no Exorcist. He's strong in fist fights and seriously lacks the strategy and technique when it comes to kendo BUT we'll definitely see a lot of improvements in him. I'm sure of it. Also I mainly like him because he keeps the energy up in the manga. He's so lively that he actually makes Shidou get some serious comedy :3
Art-wise, I wouldn't say it's outstanding rather it's a pretty decent art. This is my first time reading a sports manga and I guess I could say that it turned out a little bit better than I was expecting it to be. I thought that reading some sports manga would be boring because you won’t see the actual action but I guess I was stand corrected. Also, character designs are pretty good. Each character have their distinct looks which makes readers easily know each of them.
Overall, Kurogane is a recommended manga for those who'd want some sports manga to read. It won't be difficult to catch up for those who haven't started reading this since it's currently on 30chapters. It'll go on a 1yr anniversary by September and I'm thinking that this will probably go on for another year(: I sure do hope I'm right there. Anyway, I plan on covering this manga starting probably on the next chapter which will most likely come out in a few days.