When word of Kojiro’s angry outburst at the supermarket gets around to the chairman of the school board, Kojiro’s future at Muroe High is in jeopardy! But there’s really nothing the kendo club can do to help…or is there? Surely the principal wouldn’t dismiss the coach of the kendo team that won the National Tournament?!
The fourth volume of Masahiro Totsuka and Aguri Igarashi’s Bamboo Blade opens with Kojiro being in the hot seat in the principal’s office! Not for the the misbehavior of one of the members of the kendo team but for his temper’s flaring at the supermarket in the previous volume. The team is obliviously practicing while waiting for Kojiro (who is fading away from the shock of supermarket aftermath) to arrive at the dojo. When the students finally notice him he tells them the tale of what happened and how this school year could be his last year working at Muroe High.
Kirino, the captain of the kendo team, proposes that instead of wallowing about the uncertain fate of the kendo team, and Kojiro’s almost certain unemployment, that the team comes together and gives it there all! If the team can accomplish something great Kirino feels that it will be enough to save Kojiro’s job.
In this volume we also learn a sliver about Miya-Miya’s background and why Reimi Odajima, a person from Miya-Miya’s past, is still out to get her regardless if they attend the same school or not. Reimi stalks Miya-Miya at the first meet for the National Tournament taking pictures for the photography club at her school.
Another new character is introduced in this volume named Azuma. Kirino hears about this first year student that is at her high school that used to be really great at kendo during her middle school years. More focused on trying to find out who the girl is, instead of why she didn’t join the Muroe team when she started high school, Kirino and Saya are on a mission to gain another member for their team.
For the most part I rather enjoyed reading this volume though I wished that some of the characters personalities could have shown more light on them or at least developed more at this point in the series. Tama is ever so slowly breaking out of her shell due to having to speak to people at the part time job she is helping Miya-Miya out with but what happens when its all over?
The transition from the first meet to the next chapter seemed kinda choppy to me as a reader, it felt like more time had passed between those events then actually did. Overall though I did enjoy this volume along with it’s little extra tidbits at the end of the book. Can’t wait to see how far the team will make it both in the dojo and outside of the classroom.
This review was originally published online via MangaVillage