Type: It. Gets. Interesting.
Synopsis: No internet image searches! No! You will not make this about boobs! You will not. This is about a girls Kendo team, dammit! Five girls. One’s super good and into power rangers. There’s two boys on the side and one down on his luck Teacher. And that’s it!
Pros: So yeah, this is a sports anime. I’ll tell you this about watching sports anime, they really like to show the actual sport in it. Sometimes, this is hit or miss for me. I really liked the team building part of sports anime, the stuff that happens outside the ring/field/course. Game day thought, not so much. So imagine my surprise when I found myself getting excited over these totally fictitious and predetermined Kendo matches. The matches you really need to watch out for are Tamaki’s and Miya’s, the strongest and weakest members of the team. Tamaki’s matches are interesting because her dedication towards Kendo and refusing to lose contrast nicely with her normally quiet demeanor. On the other hand, Miya’s the most inexperienced member of the team, so watching her growth was absorbing. Plus, Miya’s secret “evil” personality and lovy-dovy relationship with the cartoonish Danjuro were my favorite parts of the show (particularly when Donny explains why his girls is fly using American slang).
Cons: This is a sports anime, so, ah, expect sports stuff. Specifically, expect a lot of Kendo matches, practices, and sparring matches. I know that some anime use sports as a backdrop for the plot, but Bamboo Blade is a capital S Sports anime. In fact, aside from Tamaki and Miya, you don’t really get to know much about the other member’s lives outside of the club. Sure, each member has a basic backstory involving grades, or relatives, but they never get more than a superficial episode or two. Which is a shame, because I found myself really having fun with this batch of team members. Except for the teacher. I could have done with a lot less teacher drama. He was a downer. I also found the show tonenally unbalanced. For the most part, Bamboo Blade is a comedy, but it throws in light-drama, like one time rivals or team members that may or may not join, the kind of stuff an actual Kendo team may be worried about, but not the end of the world.
Watch it?: It got me to care at the end (3/5)
MVP: Miya-Miya and Donny
I wish this was just the Miya and Donny show!
Best Episode: Ep.19 “The Armadillo and the Pangolin” (“Don’t Speak, or I’ll fall for you even harder”)