Bamboo Blade, Vol. 11
written by Masahiro Totsuka
illustrated by Aguri Igarashi
This volume begins the same way as the first volume: with Ishida having a conversation with Ishibashi over a cheap dinner. This time, instead of an inter-school Kendo match, though, it’s about the girl at Muroe High School appearing on a TV show.
It all started with two teen TV idols who have been in competition at the hands of their agencies. Whether it’s on a game show or a sports competition, the spotlight is always on these two. Ryouko Toda is ambitious and determined to claw her way to the top, but at every turn, her ditzy costar, Erina Sawamiya, comes out better than her in every sports competition they take part in. Ryouko obsesses over beating her, not only in sports, but in image and the ratings game, too. After all, isn’t that what the TV business all about?
In the end, Ryouko remembers that she is experienced in kendo and finds out that Erina is not, so what does she do? The agency decides to set it up so that the two of them will soon go at in the kendo ring. How does that relate to our friends at Muroe High School? We’ll soon find out.
This series by Masahiro Totsuka and Aguri Igarashi is pure gold when it comes to manga for fans of sports and slice of life. Watching the kendo team members go at it in and out of the dojo, with or without their shinais, is fun, fun, fun, and makes fans laugh every time.