What do you get when you combine Kendo, otakus, realism, and bliss…Bamboo Blade, that’s what!
Genres: comedy, slice of life, tournament
Themes: kendo, moe, sports
Number of Episodes: 26
Plot Summary: Toraji Ishida is a high school kendo teacher. His friend and fellow kendo teacher makes him a bet: if Ishida can assemble a girls’ kendo team that can defeat his girls’ team in a practice match, he’ll treat Ishida to free meals at his father’s sushi restaurant for a whole year. Now Ishida must find five girls to join the team.
Toraji Ishida (石田 虎侍, Ishida Toraji?)
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese), Ian Sinclair (English)
Also known as “Kojirō”, he is the kendo sensei, and also a teacher of politics and economics, at Muroe High School. He is perpetually impoverished and lives from paycheck to paycheck, often taking handouts of food from his students. He is offered the chance of a lifetime from an old senpai, if his female kendo team can beat his senpai’s in a practice tournament. This inspires Kojirō to put an effort into training his team, much to the delight of his most dedicated student, Kirino Chiba.
Tamaki Kawazoe (川添 珠姫, Kawazoe Tamaki?)
Voiced by: Ryō Hirohashi (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
Tamaki Kawazoe is a first year high school student who is nicknamed “Tama-chan” for short. Despite being a kendo prodigy, she does not see it as a hobby, but rather just as a chore honed at her home, which happens to be a kendo dojo led by her father. She refuses to join the school’s Kendo Club because she thinks it is unnecessary, but temporarily becomes a member in order to fight off a bully. She despises injustice due to her overdeveloped sense of righteousness and fair play inspired from watching tokusatsu (Her favorite being Blade Braver, a show within a show) as a child. She remains a big anime and tokusatsu fan despite her age. She is described as being the strength of the group by Kojirō.
Kirino Chiba (千葉 紀梨乃, Chiba Kirino?)
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Kirino Chiba is a second year high school student, and the captain of the kendo club. Energetic and enthusiastic, she dreams of leading the team to the nationals. Her family owns a deli named “Chiba Deli”. Kirino is very happy that Kojirō has finally begun to put more effort into training his kendo team, but she is oblivious to the real reason that her teacher has suddenly begun to train the team so enthusiastically. She is proud that she is the captain of the kendo club and is more responsible than she appears (i.e., picking up the shinai when the other members leave them lying around on the floor, chiding the other members for not picking up after themselves, etc.). Despite that, however, she has great confidence in Tamaki. She is described as being the heart of the group by Kojirō.
Miyako Miyazaki (宮崎 都, Miyazaki Miyako?)
Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Leah Clark (English)
Miyako Miyazaki is a first year high school student nicknamed “Miya-Miya”. She is introduced as a very pretty and friendly girl, and to the surprise of many, the girlfriend of Danjūrō. However, her personality is not what it seems.
Sayako Kuwahara (桑原 鞘子, Kuwahara Sayako?)
Voiced by: Sachiko Kojima (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Sayako Kuwahara is a second year high school student who is described as being random and spontaneous, often changing her interests and goals. She and Kirino have known each other since elementary school, and Kirino often calls her “Saya”.
Satori Azuma (東 聡莉, Azuma Satori?)
Voiced by: Rina Satō (Japanese), Carrie Savage (English)
Satori Azuma, a first-year high school student, is the fifth and the last person to join the Kendo Club. She is very talented in kendo. In fact, Satori is the second strongest in the club, with Tamaki being the strongest. However, there is a reason why she didn’t join as early as the other members.
Yūji Nakata (中田 勇次, Nakata Yūji?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese), Chris Burnett (English)
Yūji Nakata is a kind, cheerful, and helpful first year student who joins the Kendo Club. He is prone to making dramatic or emotional speeches, something the anime-lover Tamaki is amused by. He was a member of his junior high school’s kendo club and had also attended the Kawazoe Dojo. He had reached the top eight in the prefectural games during junior high. He is the only person who knows of Kojirō’s true reason for training his kendo team with more gusto than before.
Danjūrō Eiga (栄花 段十朗, Eiga Danjūrō?)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Sean Michael Teague (English)
Also known as Dan-kun, Danjūrō Eiga is a round and plain-faced first year who joins the Kendo Club with Yūji. He originally wanted to join the Ping Pong Club, but there was no such club in the school. He shocks Yūji and Kojirō when he brings his pretty girlfriend Miyako to join the club. While he finds the basic training to be “boring” (possibly because he wants to impress Miyako), he is rather proficient in score keeping.
There are many reasons why this show is full of win and I’ll explain some of them.
-All the members of the hero team are lovable. I really enjoy shows with character development, which also includes main characters that are both awesome and lovable. Believe me, none of these characters are a pain.
This show is also famous for having sane male characters, meaning that none of them are cliche morons that will make women puke. They’re “almost” normal.
-Another good aspect about the hero team is that they’re…..realistic, in the sense that none of them are unbelievable, not even Tamaki.
Sure, the show has the classic teamwork and ties of friendship morale, but each character has their own up and down moments that will make you feel for them, even if some of them have easier to solve problems than the others.
-Of course, the show has moe goodness, but it doesn’t completely rely on this factor, it knows exactly when to use it and when to be serious.
-Another great aspect of the show is that there are no fillers, at least none of the episodes feel like fillers at all.
This show also has a sort of side story in the form of Chou ken Sentai, Blade Braver, that in my opinion, far surpasses the Power Rangers in awesomeness. Plus this mini-show plays a very important role in some parts of the main story. That’s pretty cool.
In conclusion, I recommend this epic show to any anime fan. It has everything for everyone. Great kendo matches, lots of laughs and lovable main characters. Two thumbs up for this one and nothing else.
Peace out doods and have an awesome day.