Kojirou is the kendo instructor for Muroe High School and he's totally broke. But then an unexpected chance is given to him: his team must win against his senpai's team and the prize is: free meals for a whole year! Now, the only problem left... where to find girls skilled enough and willing to join the kendo team?
The most popular (aka common) type of animes of the past year has most definitely been school comedy anime with a female cast. And this one is no exception. Thankfully they put emphasis on what matters most character chemistry.
As you should already know it's a comedy about a high school kendo club, mainly consisting of (SPOILER AHEAD!) a group of girls. It all sounds like standard fare from here, and it is. The kids get involved in crazy hijinks, make silly jokes, and even have a decent amout of action in show such as this. After watching the first couple episodes, you'll most likely have
a feeling if you are going to enjoy the show since the same style of jokes makes their rounds. Sometimes, its even as if they know they're making an uninspired anime and actually puts in gags and jokes that are very cliche` for the genre but leaves minor (and unique) twists for the viewers to laugh. Honestly, I think their jokes get off so well not only because of their 'semi' unique approach to joke telling, but the characters are just perfect for this show.
Like all the other great comedy (and sports) shows before it, this show puts an emphasis on the character chemistry and development. This is where the show shines the most. It's just like how they intentionally make jokes about the the comedy genre its almost looks as if they intentionally mixed the character types around to create their own uniqueness. For example there's a smart looking that is really stupid, a clumsy girl that actually has good orginizational skills, and even a really loud quiet type. Good luck finding out who im talking about, but all the main characters are like that and its one main part why the comedy feels so fresh and unique. It almost feels like they all have double personalities. But the one person that really distracted me the from the others the most is quite easliy Tamaki-chan. She definitely steals the show in my eyes. Usually the show stealing characters arent the main character (Yuki, Osaka, etc) but that isn't the case here. She is the main reason why i kept watching this show. Hirohashi Ryou did a perfect job for her voice because there is no other way to do Tamaki's voice. There are other parts of greatness in this anime but I wont spoil the show any further.
Another good point of the show is how surprisingly good the artwork is in this show for a comedy show. There are various locations that you will see throughout the show, and each are shown with such vibrant color. The backgrounds are pretty detailed, you'll see alot of particle effects, reflections, and sunbeams throughout the show. And the characters are all drawn in the typical super cute borderline sexy style which is usual for a show in this type. Of course, the emphasis was more on the females than the males and you can tell because the all the men (with one exception) all look virtually the same. Another thing, is get used to their eyes as that is what you'll be seeing for the most part.
Sound effects are nothing to be super enthusiastic about. All thought the sound is very well done, once you've heard any high school anime you've heard them all pretty much. With the exception of the yelling and screaming from all the cute girls (extra points from me). They even have the girls singing the opening and ending theme song just like all the others in this genre. Well when you have cute voiced seiyu's use them as much as possible i guess. There is one uinque and hilarious sound but you wont hear it till around episode 20. Trust me when I tell you that it will have you on the floor laughing.
There are so many fun and memorable instances in this show it's hard not to give this a perfect score. They sure did do everything right in making this "slice of life, high schoo, comedy, sports" show different from all the others. But this does follow the same formula as all the other current releases (lots of girls + comedic situations + singing seiyus). Fortunately this is one of the better ones.
Ever wonder what its like to be in a Kendo club? Well certainly most of us would answer "no" to that one, but after watching Bamboo Blade it just might make you more interested in this old time tradition! As this series does it very well!
Pretty straight forward for the most part, basically it starts up with a struggling Kendo instructor and his team leader trying to get others into Kendo, as their club has little to no members at present. As the story progresses they meet/get new club members and then begin a road down to the final tournament to keep the instructor
from losing his job after a misunderstanding with the school principle's wife. Now while the story remains very linear in this aspect, it doesn't just strictly stick to the whole "Kendo" idea, there are some nice scenes that have the girls struggling with daily life, whether it be confronting old rivals, watching a live action movie, meeting up with long time friends, to just trying to get that one part time job to earn up for a certain anime DVD collector's set that one of them wants. These play out more as sub plots on the side though, while the girls themselves make their way up the Kendo ladder. (sorry, but there is no actual love story in this anime, with the exception of one couple that already are an item from the get go) Which brings us to the Kendo itself, the series does a pretty fair job of explaining all the strategies and ropes of the sport, and never comes off as a gimmick with the whole "Kendo" tag. The first beginning episodes are good for giving decent enough back story on most of the main characters, so you never really feel like they tossed someone in the story just for the heck of it! While this is a comedy anime to be sure, it also contains quite a bit of sincere and touching moments as well between the characters, perhaps even more so than the actual comedy bits, which can also be seen as a negative depending on your perception. The biggest draw back overall, is both its linear plot twist fee storyline and slow pacing. There were times where I just wanted them to get on with it already. Despite this being an all female cast for the most part, I did find it interesting that there was no echhi factors in this title whatsoever. Which is great for viewers out there who are tired of having the usual all female cast that are strictly there for the fan service.
There shouldn't be anything that viewers will find offensive, aside from occasional language and mild violence. (the action is all done in a professional and respected manner, and not over the top)
Pretty good for the most part, all characters and environments are drawn with good detail and personality. While its not the best looking series out there, it does animate it well enough to catch your attention and not come off as an over kill. I personally found some of the overall color schemes to be a bit on the bland side though, but the great and versatile character design and facial expressions make up for it quite nicely!
The music itself is good! The opening and closing themes are nice and lively, that will fill you with a sense of happiness! The background music on the other hand is pretty much this one soft violin style track, that plays during most of the series. (most of the time on the touching or heavy thought parts) Its good, just not great in the variety department as its pretty much the only real track you'll hear. Now the character's voices are awesome! From the happy and playful Kirino, to the solitary feel of Tamaki. All the voices are varied and add a distinctness to them all, and not one of them you will find annoying.
Truly the heart of the series, Bamboo Blade has some of the best character chemistry that I have seen in a long time. All of them know how to compliment eachother well, and never come off as a cliche. For example: My favorite characters were Miyako (a heart throb that has two personalities) and Dan (a short geeky guy). They are actually a couple, Miyako simply melts whenever she sees him, but acts out more aggressively when around anyone else. Its just little touches like that which make Bamboo Blade so enjoyable! While the characters do a great job to make you laugh, please keep in mind that they don't do it over the top. (well for the most part anyway) Most of the time they'll just get this wacky look to them, and simply make you laugh with their facial expressions! They all grow very close to one another as the story progresses, and by the end you will truly feel the friendship that they all share.
Bottom Line: 9/10
Bamboo Blade is a great title, but unfortunately I can't recommend it to all viewers, especially if you like plot twists and a fast paced nonlinear storyline, as this title has none of those. But if your looking for a fun (and sometimes moving) anime with great character chemistry and amusing anecdotes. Then Bamboo Blade hits the mark just right!
Man, what a ride. Bamboo Blade has it all; comedy, drama, romance, all rolled up into one. By making fun of itself at random places and with the help of very fabulous characters, this show rises from its shoddy animation to join the elite group of anime this season that deserves your time.
I should get the not-so-good things out of the way first. The animation is pretty bad. No, not like Musashi Gundoh bad, but repeated animation, laziness supreme kind of bad. Up until the last two episodes, the same kendo swings from episode one get repeated over and over, with only
the costumes changed. The backgrounds are nice watercolor pastels, but sometimes the characters look very funky. It`s hard to believe and oxymoronic that this show actually airs in HD.
But looking beyond the badness of the animation, Bamboo Blade is golden. The characters are a riot. Their voice actresses fit them perfectly. My favorite character out of the entire bunch is Kirino, with her happy-go-lucky attitude and her beautiful relationship with Saya, the hilarious redhead. Seriously, every time Saya opens her mouth, her voice cracks me up so much that I am left on the floor laughing. Kudos to her voice actress for providing her with such an amazing voice. The other characters also pad the show with relevant humor. You have acorn head/pimp Dan, his gay buddy Yuuji, the master kendo practitioner Tamaki, the klutz Azuma, the bipolar Miyako, and their failure of a teacher, Kojirou. As added bonus and hilarity, Kojirou is voiced by the ever-so-manly Kamina from Gurren Lagann, with all the same intonations and vocal gestures. It`s great.
The plot starts off as a standard shounen tournament fest, but midway through the anime branches off from the manga. Unlike most cases which this happens (cough cough Naruto filler hell), the director took very interesting directions in the plot. New characters that are just as cool as the original manga ones appear. Plot points are generally well paced and the comedy is well timed too.
The music is another strong point, with epic orchestral pieces to hot-blooded insert songs. I love the songs that play when the random Bravers appear, and I also love the clack clack sounds of the Kendo fights. I wasn`t very interested in Kendo before watching Bamboo Blade, but now I check out matches on Youtube. They`re even more intense than the anime itself.
Tamaki is sometimes too strong to the point of boredom, but Bamboo Blade always find ways to not fall too deep into that trap. Parodies and references are abundant. Facepalms, sweat marks, falling down in unison, everything`s there. You will definitely laugh at some point while watching, with the sudden bouts of unexpected humor.
The force of lesbian tendencies is strong with this one. Don`t miss it.
This is my first... and last review. Which goes to show you how much I loved Bamboo Blade!
I thought the story was very good. I usually don't like sports-related anime, but a kendo club full of eccentric girls (and you know they are if you've seen this) and the two lone guys is something that grabbed my attention. It was nice to see how their relationships with each other progressed and what was going to happen with the club.
I really liked the art for this series. To compare it with other series - the art is a lot like Ichigo Mashimaro or Minami-ke
(the first season, not the second season where they got lazy and didn't color in the extras); which is the type I enjoy. If you're really into that avant garde type of animation, it won't suit your tastes.
I'm not really sure what falls into this category... I'm not one to listen to Opening or Endings... but the voice acting was done really well. I thought all the voices matched the characters and they did well to match their emotions.
The characters are the best part of this series. Every character is eclectic in some way or another. The most eclectic however is Dan-kun, which... you'll see why if you watch the series. He's special <3.
Enjoyment & Overall -
I thoroughly enjoyed this series. It takes a lot for me to actually WANT to keep watching a series. Bamboo Blade even made me want not go to class because I didn't want to stop watching it. Overall it gets 10/10 from me!
Recommended For: Anyone who likes comedy, a bit of slice-of-life, school settings, and sports series. There is the near loli-factor if you're into that too... boys... I have a feeling a lot of them will like Tama-chan :D.