It didn't take long for pint-sized Tamaki's lightning reflexes to catch the eye of starving Kendo instructor Toraji. This second-rate sensei is an embarrassment to the sport, and his Kendo club is running out of members. His only hope for redemption - and a full belly - is to get Tamaki to sign-on as his star pupil.
Unfortunately, this sword-wielding prodigy is a serious anime addict, so it'll be a challenge to get her to step away from the television and into the dojo. But once she feels like a part of the team, Tamaki has the skills to turn any bunch of misfits into a fearsome sisterhood of the bamboo blade!
Contains episodes 1-13.
(girl's) sports series Bamboo Blade
(2007) begins with perpetually broke part-time Muroe High School coach Toraji Ashida making a bet with an old school chum: if he can assemble a winning girl's kendo (Japanese fencing) team, he'll get a year's free dinners at a sushi restaurant. Ashida-sensei's motives may be less than altruistic, but he manages to recruit a few promising candidates. The wildcard in his hand is diminutive Tamaki Kawazoe, who's grown up in her family's dojo and is a likely candidate for a national title. Tama-chan loves "Super Sword Squadron Blade Bravers," a sci-fi anime spoof. By playing on her desire to emulate the champions of justice in the series, Ashida gets her to join the team, knowing her skill and speed will inspire the other girls. The filmmakers seem to be aiming for an athletic Azumanga Daioh
, but the characters fail to emerge as strong individuals. Newby Miya-Miya alternately throws tantrums and snuggles with her hubbard squash-shaped boyfriend; team captain Ishida gurgles with excitement and makes fun of the coach. Tama-chan suggests the adorable prodigy Chiyo in Azumanga
, but she's too quiet and withdrawn to be very interesting. Bamboo Blade
may appeal to sports-minded adolescent girls--clearly its target audience--but it lacks the élan needed to win a wider viewership. (Rated TV PG: violence, minor risqué humor, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(1. The Broom and a Champion of Justice, 2. The Blade Bravers and Boxed Lunch, 3. Black and Blue, 4. Pink and Blue, 5. Muroe High and Machido High, 6. Tamaki Kawazoe and the Tardy Bureiba, 7. Sushi and Minced Meat Cutlets, 8. Tama and Her Part-time Work, 9. Kojirou and the Crossroads of Fate, 10. Miyazaki Miyako's Melancholy and the First Tournament, 11. Animation and Dreams, 12. Azuma's Circumstances and Mei's Circumstances, 13. Teachers and Pupils)