Kendo-bu boys, with Shojo elements; Kisaki Sanzun

I really just love, publishing reviews on manga that are never going to get translated into English. It’s just so pretentious and self serving, I mean informative to other fans of about the plethora of titles that exist, but will probably never get the chance to be translated and published. At least, not the series I tend to pick.

This series, I picked on the premise of it being about kendo, one volume, and super cheap. I mean only fifty yen sort of cheap. I can be pretty darn thrifty you guys!

Anyway, Kisaki Sanzun is a shojo series, based on a small kendo club that needs just one more member to compete in tournaments as a team. Muroi Masao aka Yasao, is our slightly air headed main lead. He joined the kendo team simply because the uniform is cool. It’s also a manly sport that helps him flirt with girls. Yasao is joined by his serious captain Hata Shunsuke, vice captain Okabe Naoto, and sempai Kobayashi Keiya. Yasao is determined to assist his sempais in recruiting a new member, since all the third years quit the team. Yasao seeks out his classmate Sasa Shogo to join the team but Shogo seems rather reluctant to join any team. Things escalate when the kendo team witnesses Yasao’s most recent crush, Kanda Tsuzune, attempt to attack Shogo with a kendo sword after school…


So would you believe at this description and cover that its a shojo story? Probably due to it being written by a women, for younger girls. The typical hallmarks of shojo, aside from some crushes within the series aren’t really played up. Rather it focuses on Yasao and Shogo’s relationship; Yasao being the complete newbie and Shogo the secret genius. A rather interesting dynamic, but also a powerful one when we see where Shogo is coming from.


The story has no room to dawdle, considering it opens and closes in four chapters. While the upperclassmen suffer some under characterization, we do see a lot of Shogo and Yasao’s perspectives. By the end I was endeared to both of them, and was genuinely hoping for more of their sempais and even Tsuzune. Given the break neck pacing of events, this was fairly surprising for me.

The art, or more specifically the characters and their designs are appealing. They’re very on par for whats a popular style in shojo. However, taking a closer look at detailing and background the author was clearing working alone. We never see more then school classrooms/hallways/the gym in favor of focusing everything on the characters. There’s a lot of panels that are the character’s face with just white space in the background. It’s done well enough that I didn’t notice it upon first reading. Upon reflection for the review it was rather obvious.


As for readability, the series is fairly easy to follow. The description and dialogue are all standard, with easily understood grammar. Vocabulary was a mix of shojo manga set in school vocabulary, and some technical words used in Kendo. Nothing too complex was left without furigana, and there was a solid amount of repetition that it became easier to read as it went along.

When it comes down to it Kisaki Sanzen, was an easy read to pass some time with. It didn’t get too in depth, or too drawn out. In fact, it might have done even better if had been two volumes!


  1. […] You like blogs with variety? Phoenix Talks Pop Culture Japan has plenty of that talking about Japanese music to anime. I love how much variety they have on their blog and something Phoenix is newly featuring more manga reviews like this Kendo club shojo title, not translated into english. But Phoenix takes the time to cover a title like this, haven’t seen other bloggers doing as of late. This was such an interesting read and if you enjoy reviews on Japanese only manga stick around over on their blog. Check out their review here  […]


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