20
Nov
07

Bamboo Blade (Anime Preview)

By the name Bamboo Blade, it is pretty obvious that the story revolves around the prominent Japanese martial art of kendo. What is actually a derivative from the art of Japanese swords fighting or the way of the samurai (Bushido, if I’m not wrong), the depiction of young high school girls is apparent of its “otherwise serious” nature. I can’t say that this anime would be laden with humour but it is enjoying by its rather childish jokes. Moreover it is rare to get an anime oriented on martial arts and I mean those without added magical or possibly lighting display features. This is plain kendo through the view of high schoolers in their school dojo. Surprisingly it is kendo that was chose for the main feature. Could this indicated losing interest of the younger Japanese generation in kendo? True enough that we’re getting a load of samurai-oriented anime but none actually foretold the modern adaption of samurai, which is kendo (if there is any before this anime, do correct me).

Bamboo Blade
Bamboo Blade

Kojirou Ishida is a high school teacher and is also in charge of the kendo club. During a dinner at one night with his senior kendo teacher, he got an offer for a bet to have five of his female students from his kendo club to compete against his senior’s girls in exchange of a year’s worth of sushi at his father’s place if he wins. Kojirou is exultant to accept the bet as he was in a financial pinch himself. Unfortunately he had only two girls who are also the only students in his kendo club – Chiba Kirino and Kuwahara Sayako. Take note, Sayako has yet to appear for the first two episodes. Anyways Kojirou needs to gather another three and train them to be fit enough for the practice match. To his dismay, there were interested students joining the club but they are boys, not exactly what Kojirou had in mind. Even so Eiga Danjuro and Nakata Yuji joined in because of Kirino’s insistence. Lucky enough for Kojirou, Danjuro has a girlfriend who was willing to join the kendo club with him. Hence came along the third female of Kojirou’s dream team. However they were in a shock to see Miyazaki Miyako as a beautiful girl, seeming unfitting for someone of Danjuro’s stature. It’s not to say that is discriminative but you’ve got to admit it, she’s way of league for him. But stuff happens, so let it be.

Bamboo Blade
Kojirou Ishida – a high school teacher who also teaches kendo.

Bamboo Blade
“Hey, wanna bet?”

Bamboo Blade
“Gather your best female students to duel against mine.”

Bamboo Blade
“Win it, and you’ll get the free pass for good sushi for the whole year.”

Kojirou was not confident enough about the progress and was desperate for a kendo elite. As though luck comes rolling towards him, Kojirou bumped into a kendo prodigy, Kawazoe Tamaki. Funny that Yuji calls her with the nickname “Tama-chan” and I can’t get my mind off Suou Tamaki from Ouran Koukou Host Club. Anyways Tamaki had been practicing kendo since her early childhood years by his father who holds a dojo on his name. Tamaki had not see a reason to join the kendo club and did not accept the offer to join the club. She did not reject it, only to refuse it because the club does not interest her. That was not until a senior of the kendo club, Toyama showed up at the school’s dojo. He was bullying Danjuro who has zero experience in kendo and unfortunate enough for Danjuro, Toyama is also the strongest one in the kendo club. Tamaki, with her sense of justice, stood up against his deliquency and formally joins the kendo club to duel against Toyama. And her expertise in kendo is unquestionable. Tamaki who was actually at a handicap, easily knocked Toyama to the ground, with her shinai (those kendo bamboo blades) of course.

Bamboo Blade
Chiba Kirino

Bamboo Blade
Kawazoe Tamaki

Bamboo Blade
Miyazaki Miyako… and that’s Eiga Danjuro on her left.

Bamboo Blade
Nakata Yuki

Kojirou who came late for the duel, was clueless about what had happened and was more surprised but delighted to know that Tamaki had finally joined the club. That leaves him to worry for another vacancy for his five-member female kendo team. For the mean time, he trained his female team for the glory of his kendo club. Or allow me to rephrase it, for the one-year free supply of sushi. During a practice session, Kojirou asked for a duel with Tamaki. Expectedly Tamaki defeated Kojirou with a single move. Kojirou’s bruised ego has shattered. Since that, he was more committed to improve himself in kendo. So far, we came to know Kojirou’s selfish intent to beef up his female kendo team for his own sake. Where the cut for the girls? What do they gain in return? I can only see how this would involve much internal conflicts when each of the members need to face each other and even with their teacher. If things did not turn out this way, then it is possibly that there would be more duels in store for the team in order to prepare themselves for the big day. Likely they will continue to improve themselves to higher levels in the future.

Bamboo Blade
Each school needs some delinquents. Toyama and Iwasa.

Bamboo Blade
Toyama vs. Tamaki

Bamboo Blade
The finishing blow. An easy win for Tamaki.

There is no telling how the story would proceed from this point but sure enough Bamboo Blade is not too shounen for its genre. A little softer to the shoujo side I suppose. Even so, it is pleasing to watch them exploring the world (if not, themselves) from their naive point of view. As for the technical aspect, the CGs are up to par and surprisingly, great movement fluidity during the fighting scenes. I am a little disappointed by with the character design. I am not pointing fingers around here. Okay, it might be Danjuro but still, the characters could look better. Or better still, to be draw at standard anime design. Humour is good though it’s not solid (I’m saying that the jokes are not line-punching, if you know what I mean). Overall it’s pleasant to watch. However most otakus would probably seen it clearly. Bamboo Blade lacks that moe factor. I can’t tell what is it but all I can say is there is no motivating factor for me to either follow up with the series and not to mention, blog about it. Despite of this, this anime is not too bad after all.


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Irashaimasen

Welcome to Bokutachi no Blog. That's "Our Blog" in Japanese. Our Anime Blog, to be exact. And if you landed to this page by accident, probably in search for ecchi stuff, then you should regret to have hit this page. Don't worry, this blog is children-safe and no misdemeanor acts here. Sorry, you bald, middle-aged perverts. But thanks for the hit anyway.

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