Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 16 JAN 2008

Samurai Girl Real Bout High SchoolIn a school where martial arts are standard curriculum, Ryoko Mitsurugi, the Samurai Girl, is the top fighter and the most popular student around. This changes when the uncouth Shizuma Kusanagi transfers in from Kansai. He may not have the grace of Ryoko, but with his amazing fighting abilities, he could soon be the most dominant martial artist at Daimon High. Principle Todo encourages the rivalry between the competitors, setting up an exciting K-Fight tournament where even the teachers can join in and settle once and for all who’s the top dog on campus.

Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School is a manga brought to us by Reiji Saiga (author) and Sora Inoue (artist) and tells the story of Daimon High School, a normal high school that just happens to focus more heavily on various fighting forms than what it does on normal academic pursuits. Ryoko Mitsurugi is your standard high school girl with all the little crushes and insecurities that follows any normal teenage girl around, though there is a little something that does set her apart from the others. She just happens to be absolutely besotted with the Samurai culture, so much so that she has become the foremost samurai fighter at the school. Gifted with incredible beauty, brains and brawn, Ryoko is surely one of the most popular girls in a school where power is valued above all else.

However, this status quo looks set to change with the arrival of the uni-browed delinquent, Shizuma Kusanagi, a powerful brawler that seems awfully lacking in brains but making more than up for it with an overflow of power. Of course Ryoko and Shizuma immediately don’t see eye to eye at all, but Shizuma’s quest to conquer the school is bound to make their paths cross more than once. And of course in the back ground we have the infamous K-Fights, organised fights where anything goes, all in the name of seeking out the most powerful student (or teacher) at school!

Reiji’s story is simple, it is action-packed and it is an absolutely fun read. There are all the elements of high school romance, teen angst, comedy and high fisted martial arts action to be found. His characters are all over the top and generally hilarious to read and Real Bout High School will easily capture your attention for its full duration.

Of course, in a manga the most important aspect is the art and Sora Inoue certainly doesn’t disappoint. He draws some of the finest looking girls you will ever see, and although they stay away from any overt fan service in these pages, there are more than enough cleverly setup eye candy shots for the pervert out there.

The character models are all highly detailed and Sora pays a lot of attention to his line work. The result is an absolute gem to behold. He also manages to effortlessly switch his style from highly detailed to super-deformed in order to create all the necessary campy comedy sequences and you can see this is indeed a master of his craft.

Samurai Girl Real Bout High School is not going to win any literature prizes for storytelling, nor does it tell a very deep story filled with dark drama or comments on society, but it is a hilariously funny, action-packed read which is highly recommended to anyone who wants a light read with more than a few laughs.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.