Story and Art by Atsushi Suzumi
Published by Del Rey Manga
Slugline: Is it a surprise that a Japanese manga would have swordsmen being more powerful than expected?
Kokuyo and Harika are old friends that go to a magical cram school together. The school is especially difficult for them because most magic is done by the controlling the flow of yin/yang, but they both do not have a balance of it but instead has mostly have one or the other. They have to compensate for this by using swords and obsidian to do so. But by working together they can be more powerful than any single magician. (What a surprise that.)
This is an one-off story by the creator behind Venus Versus Virus (reviewed here). Now, it has some of the typical character archetypes, the slacker student who has hidden talent and the studious female sidekick. And despite being very studious, the female student is not curious at all over how they overpowered the big bad of an earlier adventure, leaving it to a deus ex machina to explain things to them at the end. Which is reasonably clever, not so clever that makes you marvel at it, but still fits. I am not sure if the concept would hold up for more than one volume without getting derivative, but at one volume it holds up and it is a decent read.
Haridama: Magic Cram School is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.