Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bamboo Blade

I remember at one particular time, I was obsessed with sports-related anime. In my craze, I picked up Bamboo Blade and was glad that I did. It even makes me interested in kendo. Too bad I'm too old to pick up a sport, or to learn martial art.

Bamboo Blade is pretty straight forward in terms of the story line. We have a struggling kendo club looking for new members to ensure that the club will not be canceled. Of course, as the story progress they managed to gather new members, including two boys. The instructor is kind of good for nothing sensei. One day he met with an old friend, another instructor at another school, and bet that his club can beat the other kendo club in a practice match. The prize is one year supply of sushi (didn't I said he's good for nothing?). Anyway, somehow the practice match leads to the final tournament. There are nice mini stories, trials and tribulations in between that completed this story.

Bamboo Blade does a fairly good job explaining what Kendo is, the strategies and the ropes of the sport. As a total noob when it comes to Kendo, I didn't get lost in the plot trying to understand what has taken place.

Each of the members have eccentrics personalities which make this show so fun to watch because they are such a riot! The members of the club is the heart of this series and totally has the best character chemistry ever. Tamaki got to be my favorite character in the series. She's small and seems to have a quiet personality but she's one of the best at Kendo. Also she's an otaku, so she wins big time. Kirino is the responsible captain of the kendo club and have a close relationship with Sayako, the hilarious red-head. There is also Satori is the timid girl, Miyako who have split personalities and is totally in love with the very eccentric, very geeky, Dan the pimp. Let's not forget Yuuji who is the only sensible male around and seems to be the closest with Tamaki (I was hoping for some romance), and their failure of a teacher, Kojiro.

Despite this being a all female cast for the most part, there is absolutely no ecchi or fanservice to the pervert, which is something that I appreciated.

Kawazoe Tamaki. She might be small but she can so kick your ass to oblivion.

While it may not be the best looking series out there, I think AIC A.S.T.A, FUNimation Entertainment and Studio Tulip did a pretty good job with the art. The characters were designed with their personalities in mind and has such versatility to them. The overall animation is well enough to catch your attention and does not come off as an over kill. Only the background is lacking in character, imo.

The OP of this series is pretty catchy and lively. It will give you a sense of happiness. It also has a sweet ED too. Both songs were done by Hirohashi Ryou (the seiyuu for Tamaki). The background music too is pretty awesome, with epic orchestral pieces to hot-blooded insect songs. The voice actors did at awesome job to add personalities to the characters. They also did well in matching with the characters' various emotion. Did you know, Kojiro is voiced by the same guy who voiced Kamina-sama from Gurren Lagaan, with the same intonations and vocal gestures. It was sheer hilarity and full of epicness!

Bamboo Blade has it all: comedy, drama, romance... all rolled up into 26 episodes. If you are looking for a fun anime with great character chemistry and amusing anecdotes, then Bamboo Blade hits the mark just right. However I can't recommend it to everyone especially if you like plot twist and a fast pace non-linear storyline.

Personally I thoroughly enjoyed this series though :)

Art 8/10
Story 8/10
Characters 10/10
Sound 8/10
Enjoyment 10/10
Overall 9/10

Torrent: TokyoTosho
Fansub: Huzzah-Doremi

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