I finally know why I am participating in ISML, and why it is so important for all otaku. It is not as a lone individual that I draw forth my will, or set my fingers in motion. But it is as a lone individual that I experience these events, and the realization of this truth is important to understanding.
It was as a joke that I first compared participation in the ISML campaign to participation in the world of budo, but I find now that it is increasingly accurate. Why did warriors fight? Why did proud samurai learn the sword? Was it merely for power? Merely to offer violence? No. The path of the sword is surely a journey of self-discovery and spiritual realization even as it is outwardly the acquisition of a skill set, and similarly the path of ISML is one of reflection and self-knowledge even as it is outwardly the victory of one’s waifu.
Boy, here’s an impossible task – to identify why Bamboo Blade is so good despite being so plain and almost realistic (yeah, I know it depends on what you define as “realistic”)
However, what’s not to like?
A team of characters playing off each other, and each with memorable personality (even without deep backgrounds), fun little quirky characters, charming and nostalgic music, a warm feeling of youth, a dash of humor…
What’s there not to like?
Despite being quite normal, except girls (Tamaki and later, Rin), with impossible tastes (high school girls watching sendai shows? That’s an Otaku’s fantasy), and a girl with dark side of the force rising (Miya-Miya rocks), together with everyone acting normal and yet fun without being boring at all, mix all that with realistic struggle, and what we have here folks, is a triumph in heart-warming drama. No, it’s actually not comedic enough for me to laugh (effects may differ for you), but somehow, this show makes one wants to care for the characters badly.
Something that a lot of people may actually never taste until some time in their lives – losing for the first time.
Bitter? Not satisfied at all? Wanting to get back at the other guy/girl?
That’s not something unusual, but experience it with Tamaki, it simply feels quite different.
Crisis in your organization? What to do?
The teacher takes the blame and leaves, but guess what? None of that “Let’s go look for them and ditch our classes and lives momentarily.”
But life goes on. But then again, who knows what will happen next? What you lost, you may get it back later.
Sportsmanship make rivals almost like friends. Simple, clean, almost endearing.
It’s a show I would recommend watching again on the DVDs/paid downloads that you shall have in future.
Oh Mai…Wait a second, I meant, omai…iya, that’s not right either. I meant, oh my goodness.
Azuma really tells Miyamiya, and in the same process, told me.
“You can’t decide that on your own!”
“Twice and you’re gonna quit?”
“You wanna quit? You can decide if you wanna quit after you win it!”
While I was watching I felt that I was getting a few needed slaps in the face, telling me not to just bitch and give up so easily. I mean, I don’t know but have you ever had the moment where something that’s on TV seems to be talking to you directly?
I think I’ll custom order a T-Shirt that says: “Everything I learn about life comes from anime.”
What this episode does used to be done in shonen sports manga, when the main character is down and out, or the main team is down and out, and one of the members or a best friend comes, and talk, but often, beat up the main guy and tell him to get it straight. Well, Azuma’s seiyyu really struck a chord within me. Her lines stung, and stung deep. These were well-placed slaps. I watched the scene 2 more times just to remember that.
As for the rest, um…What did Tamaki do get out of it?
I do remember Kirino getting a lesbian scare (and me with a “go for it” cheer – yes, I’m actually kidding) when Saya came on really strong.
But hey, it’s Bamboo Blade. The two trouble makers submitted their quitting/resigning form, after the tougher guy loses to Dan the armadillo, and then we learn that the tough guy actually loves kendo…so he picks on people…so to protect the club, they both quit…yeah
Whatever. But the episode was simply a great watch. Moving on to 25 –
Wow, another bang.
I guess Miya didn’t use flash blade, or read the yoki of that fake American, but she used the classic “power of love” junk.
I think her English didn’t really improve from when she was in Nadesico as Yurika….Oh wait a sec.
But you know what? It was…kind of cool how she won in the official tournament, and then in the aftermath.
The traditional music and the conveniently grown reeds were pretty cool. I kinda expected she to throw the shinai at that moronic stalker after she wins. One shot takes care of two opponents, but she didn’t.
I kept on screaming: “Use the Fuuzan ! Use the Fuuzan ( see Claymore manga)!”
Yeah, I know, annoying fanboyism and stupid crossovers tha will never happen (and whatever else), so moving on…
I guess based on Kenshin’s opponents, Tama-chan would make a great assassin (with that stabber opponent episode in Kenshin). But the samurai music and the battle sequences were simply excellent. Damn, this show is fun to watch even if there really isn’t anything super special about it.
Is Kojiro gone for good? Hell no. Guess who are going to go look for him?
Great episodes that resolves a lot of conflicts and gets the show going. Looking forward to episode 26.
Ass, ass, ass. No, I’m not talking about a donkey-like creature that the savior of the world sat on, and I’m not really talking about anyone’s shiny behind. But This episode accomplishes two different types of asses:
The humor kicks ass, but as in many other shows where a purely Japanese seiyuu trying to speak English and pretending to be a real English speaker, in this case a supposedly NATIVE Californian, the English sucks asssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. No, it’s not the sound of a hissing snake – it’s the sound of something that sucks a certain part of the body non-stop.
Enough with that. I think I’ve finally got this show figured out a little. With the right mixture of barefoot high school girls, sweat, youth, exaggerated but still kept in check tongue in cheek humor, a super talented kendo Otaku heroine, and a section of touching violin music playing when something emotional happens, we have a winning formula. Oh, the characters are fun, especially Miya-Miya.
But with her seiyuu being in Claymore, I kept telling her: “Use the Flash Blade against this Undine! You’ll win!”
But damn, she loses. It’s time to ask for more power and starting awaking parts of your body, Clare, I mean, Miya-Miya.
I do get the feeling that the Armadillo Boy has balls as opposed to Raki, who doesn’t.
As for Undine, I mean Kerry, I can’t tell you how suck ass her fake English is, because it’s indescribably bad…OK, well, maybe compare with other’s, she’s not worse, but she’s not better either.
But ni dao ryu is cool. Except I didn’t think anyone was allowed to do that in a kendo match in real life.
But Miya-Miya failed to channel Clare and lost. She’s all gas but no steam. She’s all attitude but no power. Eh. Oh well.
Seriously though, it’s a great episode and very enjoyable. I loved it.
Miya-Miya got so pissed off that she just had to pull a Clare out of her hat! The other girl didn’t stand a chance! Thank you, Odajima Reimi! Next time, Miya Miya’s going to read the killer aura of her opponent (read:yoki) and dodge all the attacks! Kuwashima Houko-chan BANZAI!
Have a Merry Christmas all! And get the Claymore manga if you can!
Yeah, I’ve tried to cover a lot of shows in Fall 2007, and since then I’ve concentrated my efforts on 4 of them while keeping an eye on others that I were blogging before. For me, so far none of the shows impressed me or elicited in me strong reactions as I have for some shows in Summer 2007.
Shows that I’ve been reviewing for the fall: Gundam 00, Genshiken s2, Blue Drop, Bamboo Blade, and Sketch Book – Full Color’s.
Shows that I’ve reviewed or talked about in the summer: Claymore, El Cazador, and Zetsubo Sensei.
Please note that I’m well aware that the shows that I’ve been writing about varies in genre and making strict and direct comparison is obviously unfair. However, compare with the quality and the variety of shows I’ve experienced for summer, I find shows in the fall somewhat lacking. Of course, also note that this is only the mid-season review and many shows have yet to be fully developed and still have vast potential.
Next is my view on the shows I’ve been writing reviews about and some of my observation for fall 2007 in general.
What is it about girls with weapons that attracts men?
Last season we had Claymore, and this season we have Bamboo Blade. Now, these shows are shows that couldn’t be as far apart from each other as possible, but at least they have one thing in common – girls/women with swords.
It’s unfair to compare Bamboo Blade with Claymore because Claymore has a great plot, strong characters, desperate situations, smart strategies and emotional depth. Bamboo Blade at its best is a light hearted comedy with quirky if somewhat cliche characters, and at its worst…Well, I actually haven’t found anything bad or awful about this show yet.
Oh come on, you didn’t think I’d write something serious about this one, did you?
I’ll admit, I did laugh when everyone except the “pure hearted” Tama-chan didn’t realize that nobody was fooled by her disguise. But over all, this was just another amusing but not laughing out a loud show.
Interesting knowledge on kendo, and good kendo animation. But for sword fighting action, I watched Claymore last season and this doesn’t remote compare to that show at all. No, that’s not the reason anyone would want to watch this, but no, it’s not all that great either.
Tama is Tama – the clueless about everything except kendo and sendai shows shy girl that’s really cute and speaks in a small voice.
Kirino is Kirino – outgoing nothing gets to me onesan/sempai.
Miya-Miya is Miya Miya – two face but not much of a fighter.
Saya is Saya – nothing like the Saya that makes Buffy look like a girl scout, but more like just another girl. Well, actually, she learns fairly quickly and instead of just using too much energy and fighting someone for a long time, she actually pulls off a couple of moves.
I didn’t think what Tama-chan taught can make people that strong that quickly.
The main draw of episode 7 is the fight between Tama and Ishibashi Kenzaburō, the instructor on the other side. I know nothing about kendo, so I wasn’t sure if what Tamaki did was a legal move or not, but apparently that’s fine. What surprised me was that a kid can fight an adult male. Well, that’s the magic of anime, I guess.
Nothing else I feel I want to talk about. It’s just pure entertainment but nothing deep. This season has been disappointing one for me so far because nothing so far has reached the depth of Claymore from last season. Not for the shows that I’m covering. I’m considering doing just Gundam 00, because it has political intrigue and a built-in conflict of CB and its purpose, and Genshikne s2, because that’s Otaku home turf. Anyway for this episode.
So far, the most surprising character has to be Miya-Miya/Miyazaki Miyako, played by Kuwashima Houko-chan. I just can’t help but love the type of character she plays – seemingly sweet, innocent and good natured, but in reality dark, vengeful, scheming, and almost evil. With that fresh ojo-san voice, angelic face, and black heart, how can I not admire her?
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Well, I’m not going to say I was totally WOWed by it. I mean I won’t say the story is cliched. In fact, it’s not quite that way. A really down-on-his-luck teacher without much motivation, who drives a Honda and races like Initial D(?) decides to compete against his senpei’s Kendo dojo, which is full of girls.
He discovers a god-like kendo high school first year girl (Tama-chan) and decides to try to recruit her.
Simple, eh? But we have a lot of famous seiyuus in this one – Toyoguchi Megumi (Revi from Black Lagoon and Honoka from “the Third”), Kuwashima Houko, Ishida Akira, and others.
The first 10 minutes didn’t impress me at all. I was wondering why this even got made into an anime. Are the animation studio in Japan that desperate these days?
It’s funny at certain parts, like when a rugby/American football, a basketball, a tennis ball, a baseball, a bowling ball, an Intercontinental Missile, and a teacher were flying toward the adviser teacher and the club president of the kendo club AT THE SAME FREAKING TIME (yeah, like that happens in real life) and all hell was about to break loose, and the girl with the super Kendo talent (Tama-chan) bashes back all these hazardous flying objects back at the same time with a broom and saves the two. So when the adviser teacher asks her: “Won’t you join the Kendo club?” She says: “Why?” And walks away after a bow.
It’s like asking Takumi of Initial D in season one: “Won’t you join our racing club?” And he probably would’ve said: “Why? I don’t the see the point.” And walks away.
Besides the star seiyuu power, I’d say this episode was a little bland. Nothing was quite cliched, but to a cynic who have watched 300+ anime, this wasn’t quite ground breaking either.
I don’t know if I’ll continue to write reviews for this, but 73% recommended for your daily anime diet.