Bamboo Blade

Title:Bamboo Blade
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: HIROHASHI Ryou
KOJIMA Sachiko
KONISHI Katsuyuki
R1 License - FUNimation
Kojirou is the kendo instructor at Muro`e High School. He is totally broke. He has agreed to send his team to a competition against his senpai`s team. If his all female team can win the competition, he will have free meals for a year! But, the problem is that Kojirou seems unable to find five, gifted girls to form the "dream team" -- and time is running out...

Based on a seinen manga by Totsuka Masahiro, illustrated by Igarashi Aguri and serialised in Young Gangan.

26 Episodes

1:29min Series Opening - YouTube Video
FUNImation has posted the dubbed season to YouTube.

Voted Best Sports series of 2008 by AnimeReactor Community Awards.

AnimeSuki 2008 Anime Award -
Episode Details 
95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 999A, 999B
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 7 6 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1694#1552]
Bamboo Blade is a series that doesn't break any new ground in its mix of sports and high school slice-of-life comedy, but still made for an engaging watch for me throughout its 26-episode run. The series focuses on the efforts of Muroe High School's struggling kendo club as they try recruiting members, holding up together as a team, improving their skills and going through competitions. Many of the prominent members of the kendo club follow the all too familiar archetypes you may have seen done before with high school comedies like the genki gal (Kirino), the kuudere (Tamaki), the somewhat irresponsible teacher (Ishida-sensei) and the tsundere (Miyako). Fortunately, the characters are fleshed out enough where they don't completely follow the archetype assigned to them and they gradually grow throughout the series as they come to grips with their personal flaws and learn to improve upon them. The sport of kendo in which the club's members practice is taken fairly seriously through the growth of the characters, their training and rules unique to the sport in competition. As to be expected with the show's slice-of-life comedy element though, I did find the comedy for Bamboo Blade to be hit-or-miss with its delivery coming off the quirks of the show's cast. Still though, Bamboo Blade was solid enough in developing its cast and taking its kendo club premise seriously enough where I could look past its hit-or-miss comedy and cliched characters. The series is worth a look at least if you want something a bit different from typical sports or slice-of-life comedy titles.

Last updated Tuesday, August 28 2012. Created Wednesday, July 28 2010.
Rent 8 8 9 7 8 8 Dreamer [series:1694#2279]
This was pretty good! I really enjoyed the competitive nature of the characters and the overall anime. This is a well balanced anime as Stretch had mentioned below.

Art, Animation & Character Design
The art and animation was good. The characters were unique and different. Some of the them were "cute" looking as far as anime girls go... or rather, cutely illustrated. The lead character, "Kirino" is a lively, spunky girl that had me laughing at times with some of the antics and facial expressions. Not a gut-buster but silly nevertheless. The only character I didn't care for was Eiga.... the little egg-headed one that seemed to have gotten on my nerves; at least, at first anyways.

The theme song was actually enjoyable! Wow, I can't believe there was actually a theme song that caught me off-guard. I was actually humming to it.

Series and Episode Stories
At first, my impression was that this was going to be a typical HS drama/comedy but set in a kendo backdrop. After watching through the first few episodes, I realized I was waaaay off. The plot, though not intricate nor sophisticated, still drew you in because of the way it was done... which was put together well. Each episode had plenty of humor and had me laughing out loud numerous times. I think my favorite parts were of the "Blade Braver".... hehehehe! Still has me snickering. The ending was pretty much what I had expected... which I think was a perfect touch to finish off a well-rounded story telling. Without ruining the end, all I'll say is that it left you all nice and warm and gooey inside that it ended as it did.

Overall, great show to watch. I recommend it with a high Rent.

Last updated Sunday, November 30 2008. Created Sunday, November 30 2008.
Unevaluated chibi [series:1694#2380]
By episode 3, the characters are starting to get interesting. Everybody has their own motivation for joining the kendo club.

Last updated Sunday, October 28 2007. Created Sunday, October 28 2007.
Rent Stretch [series:1694#628]
(Rent++, if it weren't an acquired taste I'd say Buy)

(All episodes watched):

I've got a feeling that not a lot of people will be familiar with this series, but it shaped up as one of my favorites of the Fall '07-Winter '08 season. It's difficult to describe, but Bamboo Blade is a splendidly balanced package of humor, drama and interesting characters--each element is excellent in itself, yet also supports and contributes to the others. The result is, I loved this show!

I was looking forward to this new show, partly because of the amusing premise and partly in hopes that it would be a bonanza for the Kendo Girl Scrapbook. The OP sequence was cheerful and made me smile--the music has a distinctly "Japanese" flavor to it--at once traditional yet also fun in a modern way. I definitely like the ED song as well. It soon became apparent that this was going to be a more sophisticated show than I'd expected, with more realistic character designs than usual and more clever dialogue. Well, the principal characters have nice designs; minor ones have simplistic designs verging on superdeformed, as is often the case nowadays. One not particularly handsome guy reminded me of a character in Inachu Ping Pong Club, and when he mentioned just such a club I wondered if it wasn't just a coincidence. It looked like Bamboo Blade would definitely be an action-comedy as opposed to a comedy-action sort of show. There seemed to be a fairly complex ongoing plot building, instead of this being a largely episodic series; I was surprised to see that this would be a full 26 episode series. The comedy seemed modest. The thought occured to me that I hadn't really gotten to like any of the characters after this opening episode. Bamboo Blade didn't entirely live up to my original expectations, but looked like fun nevertheless.

After three episodes I got the feeling that this story was going somewhere (and that's good). I didn't know where, but I liked it (again, that's good). I assumed the girls on the opposing kendo team would be stereotypical evil bitches, but I'm surprised to find that they are laughable characters with some personality of their own--call them two-and-a-half dimensional. Also surprising is that before too long the bet between Kojirou and his senpai becomes relatively insignificant, as the plot moves steadily forward. New characters, with intriguing personalities, join the story and it maintains my interest admirably. And whereas the comedy seemed modest at first glance, Bamboo Blade is actually quite funny. Some shows have a surprisingly hard time summoning up humor, and I get little more than some smiles out of them; this show, on the other hand, knows how to be funny. The great SD imagery helps a lot, and I was LOLing at several points in episode five, including the next episode preview. This is a show which sometimes needs to be paused just to give me time to laugh. I looked forward to each episode, and Bamboo Blade became my favorite series of the fall/winter season.

The second half of the series seemed slightly inferior as the show lost it's focus a little and it became difficult to me to keep track of exactly what the team's goal was. Comedy lessened and drama increased. Still, interesting new characters appeared, like Miya's half-American rival and Tama's friend. Tama is very shy and has a hard time making friends, so it seemed a godsend when she met another girl of about her age with the same obsession with a silly action show "Blade Braver". The only problem is, this girl's favorite character is one of the villains! At one point the entire team becomes demoralized for a variety of reasons and seems about to break up, then they summon their "Let's do our best!" spirit and the problems go poof--it seemed kind of stereotypical to me. I didn't understand why Kirino was agonizing over being expected to expel two troublemakers from the team, when these guys seldom showed up anyway and did more harm than good when they did. But all things considered, Bamboo Blade remained a favorite of mine, one of the handful of shows I most looked forward to watching the next episode of.

I was especially impressed by the final episode. I was certain that there would be a major kendo tournament and the team would pull off a narrow victory, but it wasn't like that at all. A year has passed, and a handful of freshmen potential club members appear; the team, which was in a shambles at the start of the story, will go on. Practically every character in the series shows up in one way or another, often unexpectedly. It's not often that such a touching episode ends a series; I felt both happy about the way things had worked out and sad to see this dear cast go. The perfect anti-climax, and an appropriate ending for such an excellent show. I'll definitely be rewatching this someday, perhaps more than once.

Check out the characters' montages at Kendo Girl Scrapbook

Last updated Friday, April 11 2008. Created Friday, October 12 2007.

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