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BAMBOO BLADE story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi

BAMBOO_1 Poor, in debt, and living on instant noodles, high school kendo instructor Kojiro makes a bet with an old friend on a practice meet between the all-girls’ teams of their respective schools. The prize: a year’s worth of free sushi! It’s too good for the desperate Kojiro to pass up! But with only one active member on the kendo team, Korjio must move quickly to put together a squad before the meet. He’s got his eye on Tamaki, the daughter of a kendo master and a skilled swordswoman herself. The only trouble is…she’s not interested. Kojiro’s willing to try anything, but what will it take to win her over?
Bamboo Blade © Masahiro Totsuka, Aguri Igarashi / SQUARE ENIX
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BAMBOO BLADE Volume 1
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

May 2009 | ISBN: 978-0-7595-3005-8 | $10.99 ($11.99) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

Poor, in debt, and living on instant noodles, high school kendo instructor Kojiro makes a bet with an old friend on a practice meet between the all-girls’ teams of their respective schools. The prize: a year’s worth of free sushi! It’s too good for the desperate Kojiro to pass up! But with only one active member on the kendo team, Korjio must move quickly to put together a squad before the meet. He’s got his eye on Tamaki, the daughter of a kendo master and a skilled swordswoman herself. The only trouble is…she’s not interested. Kojiro’s willing to try anything, but what will it take to win her over?

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BAMBOO BLADE Volume 2
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

September 2009 | ISBN: 978-0-7595-3046-1 | $10.99 ($12.99) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

With the expert Tama-chan on the squad, Kojiro feels confident in his team’s chances in the upcoming kendo meet. But the match is rapidly approaching, and he’s still shy one member — not to mention getting newbie Miya and elusive Saya up to speed. With a year of all-you-can-eat sushi on the line, Kojiro’s determined to use every trick he can think of to win, but just how far is he willing to go?!

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BAMBOO BLADE Volume 3
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

December 2009 | ISBN: 978-0-7595-3047-8 | $10.99 ($12.99) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

The girls’ kendo meet continues with one victory on the board for Muroe High. Despite her inexperience, Miya’s ferocious shinai is a force to be reckoned with, and Captain Kirino is no pushover either. It’s a tight race until Tamaki reemerges as the bespectacled “Bureiba” to battle in the fifth and final match. But is Tamaki’s weak disguise enough to mask her superior abilities?

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BAMBOO BLADE Volume 4
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

March 2010 | ISBN: 978-0-7595-3086-7 | $10.99 ($12.99) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

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?!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 5
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

June 2010 | ISBN: 978-0-316-07298-4 | $11.99 ($13.50) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

With their new goal in mind, the practice meet between Muroe and Seimei High begins. As Muroe is still short a member, the girls manage to persuade Azuma to participate…just this once. As joint practice gets underway, the Seimei team is quick to spot Tamaki’s overwhelming talent. To see a female kendo competitor at her level is inspiring not only to Seimei, but to Azuma as well. As memories of the thrill of the sport come back to her, will Azuma be tempted to join the kendo team for good?

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 6
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

September 2010 | ISBN: 978-0-316-07299-1 | $10.99 ($12.50) | 224 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

Having emerged victorious in their first two matches, Muroe High is gearing up to face Toujou High in the match that will determine which team advances to the prefectural preliminaries! Rumor has it Toujou High’s senpo, Konishi, is a tough competitor whose opponents always suffer some mysterious misfortune just before their matches. But word of Tamaki’s incredible talent is getting around as well…If what they say about Konishi is true, will Tamaki’s skill make her a target?!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 7
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

December 2010 | ISBN: 978-0-316-07305-9 | $11.99 ($13.50) | 208 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

With their first major competition as a fivesome behind them, the girls of the Muroe High kendo club head to the mall for some serious shopping. But who would have guessed that a freak accident would interrupt their outing…and introduce them to a stranger whose skill with a sword rivals Tamaki’s?! Perhaps fate will bring Tamaki and this mysterious swordswoman face-to-face once more…in the kendo ring!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 8
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

March 2011 | ISBN: 978-0-316-07310-3 | $11.99 ($13.50) | 208 pages | 5”x 7.5″ | Older Teen

Kojiro and his senpai have made another bet, but this time there’s more than sushi up for grabs. In addition to having their girls’ kendo teams duke it out, Kojiro and Ishibashi will face of for the first time since high school. Now that his pride as a kendo instructor is on the line, Kojiro and the team are stepping up the training by seeking out expert advice. But does slacker Kojiro still have what it takes to endure the grueling practices, much less win the fight?

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 9
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

June 2011 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18410-6 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 208 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen

After their disciplined training, the Muroe High kendo team is ready for action on the day of the practice meet. Their opponents from Kamasaki High, however, hardly seem pumped for competition. As the matches proceed and the scores are tallied, will even Ishibaki’s pupils find the passion for victory burning quietly within their neglected armor? And after all of the students have had their say, it’s time for high school rivals Ishibaki and Kojiro to take the floor once again in their first battle since Kojiro’s trophy-winning victory all those years ago!!!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 10
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi 

September 2011 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18936-1 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 208 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen

The Muroe High kendo team is finally stepping up their game when their regularly scheduled training routine is interrupted by…TV cameras?! Thanks to Miya-Miya’s #1 fan/stalker, Reimi, the team has been lined up to appear on Burnish Academy, a competitive sports program. The only opponent fit to clash with superstar Tama is Sakaki from Youryuu Academy. But how can Sakaki put her heart into a kendo match when she’s devoted all her love to another?

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 11
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi

December 2011 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18937-8 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 208 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen 

Up-and-coming TV personality Ryouko Toda is an ambitious young woman who’s willing to use any means necessary to claw her way to the top. For Ryouko, image is key, but it’s tough for this cutthroat celebrity to maintain her cool on-screen persona when she’s forced to appear alongside ditzy costar Erina Sawamiya on Burnish Academy, where silly, simple Erina manges to best Ryouko in every single sport! To defeat Erina in sports and in the ratings game, Ryouko must call upon her skills not as an actress, but as a master of the kendo ring!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 12
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi

March 2012 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18943-9 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 208 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen 

As the date for the filming of the Burnish Academy special approaches, the Muroe kendo team prepares for their television debut and for Tama’s chance to face the formidable Ura Sakaki! But even as Sakaki’s rivals prepare for a rematch against the kendo genius, her participation remains unknown. Though her devotion to her TV idol remains unshaken, Sakaki cannot deny the passion for kendo still smoldering quietly within her. Will the very man who drew Sakaki away from kendo be the one to drive her back to the ring?!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 13
story by Masahiro Totsuka, art by Aguri Igarashi

May 2012 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18957-6 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 224 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen 

Tama and Erina continue their match as Erina reveals her true talent to a stunned TV crew. For the first time, Tama is pushed to her limits—and by a swordswoman not much older than she. But the most ferocious battle of the afternoon is yet to come: Sakaki, driven by rage and revenge, has entered the dojo. Erina may have the skills to restore Sakaki to her former, formidable self, but once Sakaki is refocused on her true art, kendo, will anyone be able to best her?!

BAMBOO BLADE Volume 14

August 2012 | ISBN: 978-0-316-18958-3 | $11.99 ($12.99) | 224 pages | 5″x 7.5″ | Older Teen 

After the intense drama of the Burnish Academy TV shoot, each member of the Muroe kendo team has a new outlook on their involvement with kendo, and Tamaki is eager to learn what reasons her friends have for participating in the sport, hoping they will help her find her own motivation. Kojiro plans a trip to observe the Gokuryuki national tournament to help Tamaki on her search, and with the support of her family and friends, Tamaki takes a confident step toward the future in the final volume of Bamboo Blade!

If you liked Bamboo Blade, check out: 

Sumomomo, Momomo by Shinobu Ohtaka
K-ON! by kakifly

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