Kaori is a kendo elite who has been practicing since the age of three. But she can't forget the game that she lost to an obscure opponent. To restore her pride, she enters the same school only to find that the opponent is a carefree undisciplined girl Sanae with no track record who plays kendo just for fun. Desperate to find out why she had lost, Kaori challenges Sanae trying to discover her hidden talent. Sanae at first hesitant and unconfident begins to discover the joy of playing for keeps. Tough as nails Kaori and soft and benevolent Sanae. Will they become the best opponent for each other?
Riko Narumi and Kie Kitano duel at Ganryu Island
Kaori, played by Riko Narumi of Shindo, Crime or Punishment?!? and Yamagata Scream, is a lonely samurai high school girl whose lunch hour friends are The Book of Five Rings and a dumbbell. Sanae, played by Kie Kitano of Halfway and Bandage, overpowers Kaori with her vivacious smile and natural energy. The two top young actresses with screen presence and talent collide on screen and sparks fly the moment they change from schoolgirl uniform into kendo outfit culminating in the exciting climax reminiscent of the duel at Ganryu Island. Other cast members include Keisuke Horibe, Moe Arai, Rio Yamashita, Koto Takagi, and other young actresses on the verge of breaking out. Hideo Ishiguro plays Kaori's understanding brother and Kento Kaku plays his former rival and a target of admiration among young kendo girls. The veteran character actors, Shigemitsu Ogi and Itsuji Itao, each plays the girls' father adding depth to the story.
A new bible of kendo novel by Tetsuya Honda is now a motion picture directed by Tomoyuki Furumaya, an auteur of coming of age drama
A popular writer on the rise Tetsuya Honda wrote a novel of the same title and it became an instant classic among the youth and kendo novel readers upon publishing inciting praises like 'once you pick up, then you can never put it down.' The new bible of kendo novel has been adapted into a motion picture by Tomoyuki Furumaya who has directed series of high quality youth films such as Robot Contest, Sayonara Midori-chan, Naoko, and The Homeless Student. A delicate relationship between the two girls is depicted with humor and the dynamic yet subtle appeal of kendo comes alive on screen. All generations are sure to be charmed and enjoy the new type of bushido entertainment.
Kaori Isoyama is a junior high kendo champion raised by her strict and stern father. She was undefeated until one day she loses unexpectedly to the opponent in the same class with a saddlecloth saying 'Tosho Academy Komoto.'
Six months later, Kaori enters the prestigious Tosho Academy Girls High School. On the first day of practice, she is reunited with her nemesis only her name is now Nishiogi due to her parents' divorce. Her nemesis has changed and doesn't even take the match seriously. Irritated and bridled, Kaori takes her nemesis to her father's training hall and forces her to go through private lessons.
Sanae Nishiogi simply likes kendo and she does it for fun. Her scientist father had once lost a trial consequently damaging the family life, so she learned not to be so concerned with winning or losing. She finds Kaori's obsession with winning hard to comprehend. Kaori doesn't compromise with seniors in the match and practices constantly even during the lunch hour, reading Musashi Miyamoto's The Book of Five Rings with a dumbbell in one hand, completely isolating herself from the others. Sanae becomes interested in Kaori who is completely opposite from her and takes her out to a cake buffet and game arcade. Kaori, having never been to such places, reluctantly goes along.
Kaori becomes selected as the first fencer (in a team of five) for a preliminary district match for the interscholastic meet. Sanae is a reserve. On the day of the meet, Tosho Academy keeps winning, but in between the matches, Kaori and Sanae have a fight and Kaori sprains her wrist. Sanae replaces her and she makes an incredible strike to the head leading the team to victory. Kaori praises Sanae for the strike, but something begins to change inside her.
It's only a month away until the interscholastic meet. Kaori has lost her reasons to fight and neglects the practice even after her wrist heals. She is ordered off the team. Sanae, having built up fear to lose, now can't strike like she used to. Why do they continue kendo? What do winning and losing matter? Two girls struggle to find answers. To settle everything, Sanae delivers a letter of challenge to Kaori.
On the day of duel, Sanae waits on a hill reminiscence of Ganryu Island. Will Kaori show up?