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Bamboo Blade: Part 1

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Nov 24, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.


The shojo (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 Tama-chan suggests the adorable prodigy Chiyo in Azumanga, but she's too quiet and withdrawn to be very interesting.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)

Special Features

Textless Songs Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Cherami Leigh, Ian Sinclair
  • Directors: Tyler Walker
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • DVD Release Date: November 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 358 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ONENEO VINE VOICE on November 12, 2009
Bamboo Blade Part 1 is a shining example of east meets west culture in the anime medium. The concepts, the menus, the atmospheres and even the humor are undeniably Japanese and yet thanks to FUNimation, American viewers are given the opportunity to take and apply domestic sensibilities to the universal themes within.

Coming in at a total runtime of 325 minutes, Bamboo Blade Part 1 consists of the first thirteen episodes of the show spread across a pair of discs (housed in a standard sized DVD case). The show wears an appropriate TV PG rating due to animated violence and a bit of light adult-oriented dialog.

Language options are standard sub and dub fair, which means the viewer has the option of running the original Japanese dialog vocal track (stereo) or an English dub (Dolby 5.1 Surround) and the choice of displaying English subtitles under either track.

Extras are unfortunately quite slim in this collection and include textless songs and a crop of FUNimation trailers on the second disc.

The story goes something like this: Kendo instructor Toraji is a bit of hack who, aside from running a pretty poor after school club, is so broke that he can't afford to eat. As fate would have it, a friendly rival of his happens to be jealous of Toraji's earlier accomplishments in the sport and lays down a bet (really more of a competition) with some interesting stakes: Should Toraji's team be defeated, he is to hand over his prized Kendo trophy but should they be victorious, it's a full year of free food at his favorite eatery. The gurgling in Toraji's empty gut accepts the challenge before his brain has a chance to consider the odds.
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Bamboo Blade is a series about a girls Kendo instructor and his high school Kendo team. It's full of upbeat and cheerful comic fun. There are 5 girls on Toraji's Kendo team and each of them have a fun and quirky personality. This is a feel good laugh a lot anime and it's sure to brighten your day.

The animation in this anime is good, and so is the voice acting. I can't call the soundtrack memorable, but it's not bad. There's nothing bad about this anime. I kinda wish they would make an OVA or a 2nd season to wrap it up, but it really doesn't need it. I just like to spoiled. Spoil yourself and buy Bamboo Blade.
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There are a couple of things that prevent me from rating this at 5 stars. First is the changes from the great animation of the original opening sequence, I've seen the raws, to a rather trite collage Second, if you own some video players, it will load, but not play. I also have this problem with newer Paramount and Sony. If funimation continues, they have lost a primary market customer. I own a Spectroniq home theater system, which performs wonderfully for almost all dvds, including those with regional encoding. It plays great on my older Samsung, but I am restricted to the tv speakers with it. After that, I rented Part 2, and it plays the same. Save your money if you have problems with Sony, or Paramount disks. The anime itself is great, if not for the aforementioned issues, it would merit 5 stars.
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Verified Purchase
I've never been a big collector of the sports animes like Prince of tennis or the newest one Big Windup, but after seeing a few episodes on HULU I got hooked on this series and knew that it would be a perfect collection for my anime library. The main cast are about five young school girls who are part of the not so very popular kendo club at their school which is run by a kendo teacher who has to not only try an keep the kendo club alive but scrounge up enough money to pay his bills and get food. When all seems lost to him he meets a kendo trained prodigy a young girl new to the school who he gets to join the kendo club, and as the show goes forth and a few new members join the action, drama, and hilarity commence. The series tries to show the viewer the values of friendship, the trust and loyalty needed between your teammates, and the courage and dedication to continue even if at first the loss or failure seem insurmountable. The characters are great and are giving enough emotional depth for each one that you'll root for them to win, and even though the series does have some drama into it it doesn't saturate the series so much with it that it becomes to serious. The voice cast for the Japanese cast were incredible for their roles bringing out their characters emotions superbly and Funimation also did a great decision for their Voice cast for the dubbed audio. Sadly the extras aren't much just the usual trailers and textless intro/ending songs and for the price I would have liked just a little more with that but oh well. So if you're a big fan of sports anime series like Big Windup or Prince of tennis here's another great choice and if not the series is still worth a look regardless....
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