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.
I'm only 10 episodes into this anime right now - so I'm writing this only on the basis of what I've seen so far. Plus, I'm not really a huge fan of the school/romantic comedy anime genre - so I was surprised when I actually decided to watch this particular anime.
What can you really say about Bamboo Blade? Well, it's a story of 5 girls who are members of their high school kendo club. Their instructor (or sensei.. whatever) makes a bet with an old friend (who is also a rival kendo instructor) that his girls can beat the others at a kendo practice
match - the prize? A years worth of free sushi. Not the best sounding prize - but a prize none the less. That aside, there are other "mini stories" that take place during the episodes as well. Incidentally, at the very beginning there's only 1 member in the kendo club - so, the first two episodes is taken up with the hilarious undertaking of recruiting new club members. They even end up with 2 male members (despite sensei's pleas to only have female members... the dirty old lech >__>) What goes on beyond episode 10 is unknown to me... so, I suppose that this is all I can say about the story - and it's probably why it only got an 8. Once I've seen more episodes - this will probably be reviewed also. And also, the 5th member of the kendo team has yet to be recruited. So, at the moment there are only 4 female members of the squad.
This anime is pretty creative when it comes to the characters - it almost always remains refreshing. And it basically keeps the viewer watching. From the cute little Tamaki-chan who absolutely adores anime (almost reminds me of Konata from Lucky ☆ Star), but lacks some social skills - to the rather psychotic, but beautiful Miya-Miya who shows her "black" side. Then there's Saya - who can be over dramatic at times, but it all adds to he charm. Team captain Kirino appears to be the sensible one - often taking over from the instructor during training. However, both Kirino and Saya make a rather decent comedy duo in some episodes.
I can't help it! Bamboo Blade has a very catchy opening theme song (which is actually performed by some members of the cast) - as well as a pretty sweet closing theme too (which is also sung by the cast). This is one of very few anime where I don't immediately click on "mute" when it comes to the openers and the closers... so, for me it's a win win soundtrack. Ok, so I have the songs on my iPod... there are you happy now?! >__< No, seriously - I really do like the themes. The only other theme that I openly like are the openers for Gunslinger Girl and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Considering that I've only watched 10 episodes so far - I can quite happily say that I am immensely enjoy watching Bamboo Blade. It's definitely one of the best that I have watched (in the comedy genre) and am quite proud to place it on my favourite anime list.
Lovable and interesting characters, passionate martial art, great humor and cat cameos. Bamboo Blade has it all.
Kendo instructor at Muroe highschool, Ishida, has a hard time to pay his bills, when his old friend and coleague offers to pay for his sushi for one whole year. That is if his team wins at a friendly tournament. If only there were more than one loyal captain and the other that has not showed up in a while. To win, he would need a miracle. A big miracle. A miracle that, say, easily deflects dangerous stray tennis ball. And baseball... aaand a rugby ball. And principal falling
from the third floor back up. With a broom.
Do you like kendo? Well this anime is for you! Do you at least know, what kendo is? You might enjoy this series. Have you got absolutely no idea what that thing even is? This show may entertain you anyway. Maybe you will even grow to love this honorable yet energetic art.
I recently watched Bamboo Blade second time after not having seen it in a long time. And I enjoyed falling in love with both kendo and splendid characters. Enthusiastic and always cheerful captain Kirino is my most favourite, although I realized that her bestie, passionate but often distracted Saya is my spirit animal (or should I say anime - AHAHA... maybe I shouldn't... ahem). Even though you are bound to have favourite characters, others are not far behind. Ethereal beauty, with the fierce beast inside her Miya-Miya, bespectacled Asuna, who is clumsy until she grabs her bamboo sword, then she is worhty oponent. An of course, brave captain - tiny and quiet Tamaki, who beats teachers in one blow and then goes to get a bento lunch.
Theme of this anime is not only kendo, but love for anything that you do with passion and for the good reasons. Something that you and your friends can enjoy. It also has great character development and the action scenes, man should I even start. It those moments where there is silence between crucial blow and referees resolution that makes your breath stop.
And finaly humor has all the good anime stuff, super deform, cats and some meta jokes and fourth wall breaks.
I hope you enjoy this show as much as I did. It is one of my favourite. I even love trailer made by funimation. Watch it, have fun and never give up :D
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.
Have you ever had an empty feeling after watching a good anime? Well that's what happened after i watched Bamboo Blade.
In my country or at least in where i live, there's no clubs in high school, so i'm always exciting to watch series about everyday life in a school club and this show surely delivered it. A very well-executed anime from the start to the very end.
In 26 eps long, Bamboo Blade has got it all what you would ever see in an sport, slice of life gerne: the school life, the hardwork, a little drama, a little romance, the will to overcome hardness, the
sportmanship... of everyone in the kendo club of Muroe High School. A inspirative story along with a colorful girls cast.
The artstyle of the show reminds me of the midway 2000s with some moe elements that makes the show very easy to watch, great to see something old but gold. The music is rather normal, op and ed is pretty good.
I think Bamboo Blade is a good show to kill your boredom. Why not give it a try? You can thank me later.
Hate to be that guy, but I think this show is absolutely overrated. Why is the score so high?
Is it funny? No, not in particular, I can't recall actually laughing once throughout the entire 26 episodes—maybe at best a smirk?
Are the characters really all the great? No, they aren't that in depth, and many of them are naively annoying!.
Is the action superb? Far from it. I doubt kendo in real life would even be very enjoyable to watch. This isn't a real sword fight... It is with sticks.
The one romance in the show, they blatantly
make fun of because it is so absurd.
But what took the cake for me to rate this abysmal waste of time so poorly? Episode 23. That episode sums up the worthlessness of these characters.
This epsiode involves delinquents that never show up and end up potentially damaging the club. They are bullies and terrible people, yet these fools contemplate protecting them!?!? WHY!?! I cannot understand this ignorant, naive notion. THEY WEREN'T EVEN THERE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR, YET STILL CONSIDERED PART OF THE TEAM?!!? HOW????? This show was not great until this episode, but this absolutely RUINED any small trace of passable this anime had left. Naive characters are NOT cute, they are ANNOYING—and this is a PRIME example of it.
Also, Tamaka getting mad at him for taking the tall stance to get her practicing better against it.... And she says "I don't appreciate the joke..." WOW, be grateful Yuji is trying to help you with something you suck at!
AND the way the "sensei" talks all low and slow IS SO GD ANNOYING!
This anime panders to weak emotional strings, with a naive attempt, and an annoying cast of characters.
Bottom-line: if you don't like sappy, unnecessarily long-drawn out animes—then don't watch this.
It's surprising the amount of insight Bamboo Blade's silly, gag oriented characters provide on the passion for and the meaning of Kendo. Even more unthinkable is the lack of ecchi in a high school girl oriented cast clearly aimed at males. Bamboo Blade is full of wonderful surprises, but the repetitive comedy and weak action elements do nothing to fill in for its uneventful plot.
An unambitious teacher is the supervisor for Murota school's Kendo club. Throughout the years, his club has been whittled down to one hard working and devoted girl, Kirino, who loves the sport but is miffed that her teacher is always so
lazy. A drunken wager with the teacher's former classmate stakes a full year of free sushi on an exhibition girl's Kendo match, and with this, he is suddenly gung ho about whipping his club into tournament shape, to the delight of Kirino. He pursues ex-members and a new child prodigy, Tamaki, to fill the ranks, and in the process, revives his old flame for Kendo.
Story & Characters
The most striking element of Bamboo Blade is how realistic and poignant, yet varied the characters' feelings towards Kendo are. Azuma, a member of the home Kendo club, adores it as a part of herself and a passion she's held since youth while Kirino enjoys the camaraderie it builds. Each of the main characters find a unique and believable relationship with Kendo, and even some of the minor characters shed words of wisdom. Most of the action elements also follow in this vein of realism. Even though many of the characters improve their skills, it's far from a "powerup" scenario. For instance, one of the home members has markedly wonderful aggression, but little skill and focus. Instead of taking the typical shounen route that would have transformed her into an unconventionally powerful prodigy, her lack of focus is a crippling handicap throughout, rendering her unable to win any matches. Just as in real life, the focus and skill is only be attained through painstaking practice along with multiple frustrating failures.
It's a little too bad that the series revolves around the tiny prodigy, Tamaki. She's a robotic character with her desire to emulate the naive heroism of her favorite Anime characters as her only displayed emotion throughout most of the series. Though she does undergo trials towards the end that expand her emotional range, her completely inhuman nature for the rest of the series had already sabotaged any possible empathy from the viewer. Unlike the other characters, Tamaki's Kendo skill goes beyond the bounds of believability; she is essentially invincible. To a lesser degree, the other characters are similarly simple caricatures for a majority of their screen time, but when Kendo gets involved, their genuine elements come through. Only when they reveal their relationship to Kendo are they not generic, run of the mill anime characters.
Many of their gags are funny for the first time, but each character has no more than 1 or 2 that repeat, and by the end they become clockwork. Interestingly, the action is often skipped over, either with a simple still screen, or just an announcement of a winner with no visuals at all. The tantalizing bit of Kendo we see animated ranges from excessive still screen usage to beautiful and accurate animation that captures the explosive, almost spastic nature of the matches. Still, even when the matches are just glanced over, we get the primary reward we desire in the reaction of the characters. Their genuine passion for the sport makes me feel their elation when they win, and their heartbreak or frustration when they lose. Watching the characters express themselves in the context of Kendo is compelling, but I didn't care a lick for the rest of the plot. All the minutia that's supposed to give added weight to the results of the matches, which is the free sushi at first, and then eventually the teacher's job, is a boring filler of screen time
Bamboo Blade is certainly far from a generic, power up sports Anime, but that novelty alone doesn't make it compelling. It's a drag to sit through at times, but the unmatched insight into Kendo, or perhaps competitive sports in general is worth wading through the other junk.
I believe a good sports anime should be able to make the viewer enjoy the anime even if they have little knowledge about the sport. Bamboo Blade manages to do this by making the characters the driving force instead of heavily focusing on the sport itself.
The plot is pretty simple, which is basically a school comedy revolving around the kendo club, they practice, go to tournaments and recruit new members along the way. Although the plot is simple, it also works because of the characters. The series is light hearted and has a fairly large amount of comedic moments which are actually pretty funny. The
pace is also just right for this kind of show. Other than there is nothing really spectacular about the plot but for this kind of show, it doesn't have to be.
Like I mentioned before, the characters are what drives this series. Each character has their own very unique personality (for example Kirino is very energetic but also very responsible and very caring too) and they are each explored very well. All the main characters also develop a lot during the series (such as a Tamaki opening up more) and by the end of the anime, each of the characters have grown in different ways. The chemistry developed between the characters is also unmatched by most. Each character is likable and most of the comedic moments work because of them. Without the amazing characters and development, this anime would just be another average anime with nothing memorable about it.
The art does have it's fair share of good and bad moments, the backgrounds are detailed and generally drawn pretty well but colors don't really scream out. Also many of the hits look the same in the kendo matches.
The sound does a very good job. The opening and ending really fits the kendo theme and the voice actors do a really nice job with each character.
Like many other series out there, not everyone is going to enjoy it. If you are looking for intensity and a complex plot then this genre as whole is probably not for you. However if you are looking for a good comedy, this more than holds up it's end of the bargain, as this series will have you laughing in a lot of places.
Bamboo Blade shows that unique and well developed characters can really push a series far. Even though the plot is very simple and isn't great, as a whole, it really delivers.
When people read the synopsis for this show, this is probably the most common reaction: "An anime about Kendo? This must be sooo boring!". That is what I thought at first as well, but when I really got to watching this show I'd have to use one of the biggest clichés ever to describe it.. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
Bamboo Blade was really special for me, because I was feeling kind of down when I started watching it, the reason being that I had just finished "Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2" and I loved that show so much that I actually felt
"the void" afterwards. For those who do not know what the void is, it is basicly a kind of feeling you can get when you've finished a really good show, and this feeling makes you kind of "empty" inside. You feel like you're never going to experience anything like that show ever again. While I was feeling the void I could not enjoy anime, and thus I ended up putting tons of shows on hold. I guess that most people can see where this is going, so I'll just wrap this little story up quickly: Bamboo Blade cured my void. It was that enjoyable, and after finishing it I felt like I could enjoy anime to it's fullest.
The story is very simple, but yet so gripping. It's simplicity is kind of what makes it shine, because it enables other elements to show really well. The story is about the Kendo teacher of Muroe High School, who happens to be almost completely out of cash. He can't even pay for his own food, and thus he rarely eats anything at all. But one day his old friend and senpai makes him a seemingly unreal deal: free sushi for a whole year if his kendo team can defeat his senpai's well trained warriors. He accepts and there the search for members begins.
As much as I love this kind of story that leaves so much open for further events, I'd still have to say that the idea itself is not all that original or in any way fantastic, it is just ok. It is rather how the story is presented that makes it truly sparkle. The already existing team captain Kirino Chiba and the teams sensei(who for the record is called Toraji Ishida) provide a whole bunch of funny moments while searching for members, but I will talk more about this duo when I get to the characters.
This is what first got me interested in the show. I was showed a few scenes from the show through a certain reviewer on Youtube, and I immediately fell in love with the animation they used. The animation is not all that amazing, but it has a certain charm to it that made it hard for me to look away.
It is has a lot of detail, and it doesn't use many different shades of a color, but rather uses a few, much more noticeable variations of certain colors.
The animation, just like the story, shines thanks to it's simplicity. It just fits the show really well, and that makes it easier to concentrate on what's happening while watching.
While the soundtrack for this show is not amazing on it's own, it does fit the show really well, so I gave it the score 7. It was good for this certain show, but nothing more. Also the sound effects used when the swords hit and stuff like that fits really well.
I watched Bamboo Blade dubbed, which to a lot of people might be a weird thing to do, but the dub was really good. All of the voices fit their characters personality and the voice acting itself was very well executed. I have heard some of the japanese original, and it sounds pretty good as well. I think that either would work, so if you prefer dubbed anime, go for that. If you prefer subbed anime, watch the japanese version.
All of the mains characters are really good. They each have their own personality, and when you combine them they all group so perfectly together in different ways. The only character that I ever had a problem with was Danjuuro Eiga. Not his personality, but rather the way he looked. His character was designed in a totally different way than the others, and that felt really weird and distracting.
The first two members of the kendo team were, as previously mentioned, the team captain Kirino and the coach Mr. Toraji Ishida. These two characters are with you from the start, and they really compliment each others personalities well. Other than those two I won't mention the names of the other team members, as they can be considered spoilers for some people.
---PERSONAL ENJOYMENT (10)---
As I mentioned at the start of this review, this show was really enjoyable for me. It brought me a lot of happiness and I really can't find anything to complain about when it comes to this part. It just fulfilled it's purpose perfectly for me, and hopefully it will do the same for you if you deside to give Bamboo Blade a chance.
Bamboo Blade is a light hearted show of very good quality. It may not be for everyone, but if you like kendo, or just want a good comedy/action show to watch, then you should definitely watch this anime!
Thanks a bunch for taking a look at my review! Feel free to tell me what you thought of it, and please rate it with either "Helpful" or "Not helpful" depending on what you thought.
Let me start by saying that I was really looking forward to watching Bamboo Blade, having a passing interest in kendo(not exactly practicing it, but rather being curious about it), and I wish I could give Bamboo Blade a higher score than I have. Bamboo Blade has an amazing cast, great voice acting(seriously, the shouts are quite believable and they don't sound forced - and there's a lot of shouting in kendo) and engaging action sequences - with a memorably soundtrack to top it all off. However, it falls flat when it comes to character development and story. Half of the cast doesn't really change
much in terms of personality - I'd go as far as to say that on occassion, some of the characters are completely ignored, appearing for a scene or two, which doesn't seem right if they are considered part of the main cast. What's worse is that this time is instead spent on possibly one of the duller characters - Tama, who sadly evolves into the protagonist of the show. Don't get me wrong, she isn't a bad character, but I feel Bamboo Blade had a perfect set up for a "decentralized" show, where each character was important, but midway they arbitrarily decided that Tama is to take 3/4 of the spotlight. All in all, as far as story is concerned, I feel like the team behind Bamboo Blade was figuring it out as they went - some plot decisions seemed odd to me, as if made in haste. I think this is generally a fine anime that had quite some potential, but made the wrong turns.
Story: It was pretty much like every other school anime. Characters do something for a few episodes and then move to something else. Blade Braver was a great way to add some feeling of a on-going story.
Art: The animation was not anything special and was pretty much like most other anime. The drawing style and colors won me over.
Sound: Soundtrack was good. Voices were good. Opening and ending themes were good. I'm not complaining.
Character: I liked the characters, well most of them. Tamaki was just super cute, she was the reason I began watching this show. Kirino was an awesome character too. When she'd get
sad, you knew something was seriously at miss. I seriously wanted to kill Dan-kun, but I believe that was the original purpose of this character anyway. That american chick messing with Miya-miya seriously also annoyed me.
Enjoyment: I enjoyed this show. Full of comedy and an occasional touch of epic. Girls screaming men, do and kote was kinda awesome. They also managed to put some good drama here and there.
Overall: Very shonen. Surely anyone into sports or school anime will get something out of this show.
I had completely ignored the sports genre because I watch live action sports and felt watching animated fiction was a waste of my time. Then I watched Crunchyroll’s anime academy of sports anime and was intrigued by the ideal of learning more about a given sport by watching an anime about it. Also, many years ago, I read a review of Bamboo Blade that made me want to watch it. So I finally did and wasn’t disappointed.
The first thing I want to point out is there’s no “supernatural” or fantastic fantasy elements to this series. They’re all
normal people with normal human abilities. And no one is innately good at a sport they’ve never tried or applies skills and abilities from some other sport, game etc. to the sport of kendo.
The characters are diverse without being clichéd. They’re relatable and real, with a sense of real human emotions. Another shining point is the humor. It has it’s funny moments that are reserved for the appropriate time and place, without devolving into slapstick characteristic of a dedicated comedy. It was just an fun happy go luck show.
As much as I enjoyed this series I do have my complaints. My first is the fact that Asuma doesn’t appear for half the series. She’s on the opening credits (which doesn’t change) but not in the first half of the series. This is a problem because she provides cohesion to the cast. There’s something missing without her, like a band with no bass player. Her contribution is minimum but when she arrives you realise what was missing.
Also, it wasn’t as educational as I’d hoped. I wanted to learn more about the sport and did learn a little. Just not as much I’d hoped to learn. But it was fun, dramatic and funny and worth the time to watch. I also think it works as a gateway anime for people looking to get into anime.
I would like to preface this by saying that I've never even heard of Bamboo Blade, let alone watched it.
Bamboo Blade is a comedy that comes around only once every very often. Let's face it, you've seen all of this before: Broke teacher looking for a quick fix to his problem, lovable cast of female characters who just want to train in kendo and have a fun time, all wrapped up in a comedy school setting. By no means is it anything new in the anime world, but it is still a wholly charming and fun little show.
Honestly, the story isn't all that fantastic. It's
very predictable and cliche, and while that isn't bad, it certainly won't win any awards. I think it's best to just accept that the story is just a setup for the truly great cast of characters to interact in, rather than a driving force for the anime.
Character design is fantastic in Bamboo Blade! Each and every character is immediately recognizable and really left a deep impression on me. I still can't look at Kirino's face without smiling, what a beautiful character. Animation is surprisingly good, you can tell that while they knew this wasn't making any major leaps in the world of anime, the animators were dedicated to their work and wanted this to look really nice, and honestly, my hat's off to them. Well done! I'd also like to point out the lack of ecchi - there were a lot of times in this anime that could have focused on cheap panty shots and questionable ecchi situations, but it did a good job at not offending me at all.
The soundtrack to the anime is kind of weak, but it makes up for it with the fantastic voice acting. Both the English and Japanese versions are very well-done, although I prefer watching in Japanese with subs. All of the voice actresses really capture the style of the anime very well, from the comedy scenes to the more serious ones, I was captivated the whole time by their voices.
And here's the major selling point of this anime. Really, when it comes to writing characters, there's nothing more frustrating than a good character that has poorly-written interactions with other characters. Bamboo Blade doesn't have this problem though, as all of the characters are well-written and enjoyable, but also their chemistry is superb and all of their interactions really make sense and contribute a lot to my enjoyment of this anime.
It may be a pretty typical style of anime, but that didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying it. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a nice, fun anime to sit back and enjoy.
So, now that I've finished this review, I've decided it'd be a good idea to actually watch Bamboo Blade and see if it matches up with my review.
Av: Um...what's with the wiffle bat?
NK: Hm? Oh, hey Avon. Just practicing my kendo swing. I just finished watching Bamboo Blade
Av: Oh...right. How was it?
NK: Fantastic. Though it was informative, kinda like Hikaru no Go, it was really enjoyable because of the characters.
Av: Take it that's what you liked best, then.
NK: Yeah. The plot was pretty good, and the music was good too. The characters really define the series, though.
Av: From the looks of it, it's all female.
NK: Nope. Though the series is focused on the girls' kendo team, male characters are present and are actually pretty
important to the series.
Av: How so?
NK: Well, the main kendo instructors are all male. Then there're the two seniors who play as antagonists in a couple ways. Plus, the two freshmen boys who join the club actually have a bit of character development themselves, and one of them acts as both a supporting character and a protagonist.
Av: I take it one of the females is your favorite, though.
NK: Yeah. For a while, Tama-chan was my favorite character: the hero for justice and all that. In retrospect, though, I've chosen Kirino. She's described in the series as being "the pillar of the kendo club", and she could probably be described as the pillar of the series, too. A lot of the humor involves her, and a good amount of the suspense is placed on her shoulders as well. It's difficult to find a character like that that still has a great supporting cast.
Av: Why don't you give a dissertation next time?
NK: Sorry, I just haven't found a character like that in a long time...
Av: Anyway, think I should take a look at it?
NK: Definitely. Granted, there are some cutesy parts...
Av: I'll be sure to have a bucket handy.
NK: It's not that bad. Just girls being girls, like any slice-of-life anime out there. If you're interested in kendo, Bamboo Blade is a great starting point. I think you'd like it because you like traditional japanese swordplay. Kendo was used as training in the feudal age, if I recall correctly.
Av: Right. Well, I'll let you get back to...whatever it was you were-
NK: Aw, curses...that was the light bulb, wasn't it?
Av: Yup. Good thing that bat's plastic, huh?
I don't always watch sports anime but when I do, usually the first few episodes are deciding factor on whether keep watching or not. Bamboo Blade is one of the anime's that has hooked me in and didn't and kept me going until the very end, but that was just my experience.
The story about a high school kendo club that is mostly comprised of girls, I won't get to much into details but despite have a few male members in the club the story mostly centers around the girls but there really isn't a main character as the focus of the show tends to shift
from one character to the other.
Now being a sports anime the plot isn't the most complicated thing in the world and is pretty straight forward and the characters are probably the main meat of the story aside from the kendo (sword fighting) matches. For the most part the characterization and character development are pretty good but aren't perfect.
I feel like they could have went into more detail about some things, especially the kendo matches which really help move the characters along, the characters really change but a lot of the girl's matches are summed up in a quick 2 second transition on whether they won or lost which was a big deal for them, and I would have liked to actually see the all fights in more real time and it also would have been cool if they had actually broken down some of the strategy and the techniques they used during the matches and they could have also emphasized some of the work and training they characters had to go through and make the stakes for each fight feel as high as they actually were.
However that is really the only complaint that I have about this show and even after having that said about the kendo matches and such fights are still entertaining and there really isn't to much wrong with this show.
This anime isn't a 110% super serious show and it does have is laid back moment of comedic relief and slice of life but over all it's relatively well balanced.
I don't have much to say in this category other than the art wasn't bad but I have seen better and to be honest the sound track was kind of forgettable, though there were moments where I wanted to replace some of the soundtracks with that of Hajime no Ippo; another sports anime about boxing but that's just me.
Yes there is an english dub and compared to it's subbed counter part, I could care less about which one you watch, granted I have my personal taste but to be critical here, I can't really say that one is better than the other at this point, however I will say that the dub pretty solid with no awkward moments within dialog that I tend to find in other dubs and the voice acting was passable and I didn't have any problem with it. As for the japanese voice acting, well I don't have much to say other than it sounds like a the vast majority of anime in japanese and I wasn't particularly moved by it, but for this anime I could care less which version you watch.
Overall I would rate this as an 8/10 and I think it's worth a try.
Definition #1: A Japanese form of fencing with two-handed bamboo swords, originally developed as a safe form of sword training for samurai.
Definition #2: Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional swordsmanship (kenjutsu) which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan.
Defination #3: Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines martial arts practices and values with sport-like strenuous physical activity.
With that being said, have you ever wondered what it was like to be in a Kendo club? Well, if you didn’t know what kendo was until now, the thought has probably never crossed
your mind. But after watching Bamboo Blade you might be more interested in this old time tradition.
Bamboo Blade is pretty much one straight forward anime. In the beginning Toraji Ishida (a politics and economics teacher, also known as the Kendo Club instructor of Muroe High School) and Kirino Chiba (a second year high school student in Muroe High School and captain of the Kendo club) begin their search for new members for their club. As the story progresses they get/met new club members and soon their journey down the road to becoming and elite Kendo team begins. There are small twists and turns along the way but its not just about kendo. It’s also about the characters lives and the problems or challenges each character has to get past so they can form an elite team. This anime will make you laugh and maybe even cry, its very cute. But sadly, It’s an anime that not everyone could get into especially if you like plot twists and a fasted paced story line. But if your looking for a fun slow anime with amazing/lovable characters, then Bamboo Blade just right for you.
As far as the art work goes, all the characters and scenery were drawn with a good amount of detail and the color scheme for the outfits and stuff wasn’t bad either. Mind you its not the best looking series out there, but hey if you get caught up in the story like I did you wont even notice. Plus, the cute characters and their facial expressions make up for it!
Music wise Bamboo Blade has a very catchy opening theme song and a sweet closing theme as well. The opening theme is definitely a song you will sing along to. As for the background music (which is a soft violin during most of the series if memory serves) is a good mood setter. The character voices are awesome in Japanese and English! Best part is their voices aren't annoying (in my opinion).
Lastly the characters, they are truly the heart of the series. They have the best chemistry and amazing personality. The characters always make you laugh whether it be by a silly comment or just there facial expressions. They all grow very close to each other as the story progresses and by the end of the series you’ll truly see/ feel the beauty of the friendship they all share.