Anime Vice News

BAMBOO BLADE #1 -- Special Review

Better than OUTLAW STAR, so far! Believe it!

This was a whoooooooooole lot better than I was expecting it to be. The promo pics on FUNi's site made it look like it’d be this silly fantasy adventure in desperate need of some self-awareness. The highly-dramatic teaser even bolstered that expectation, and I was seriously planning to make some snarky commentary on the order of what I wrote about BURST ANGEL yesterday. Then, the show introduced this kendo master and immediately got into the guy’s very relatable money woes… and I had the pleasant realization that this very different show than the one I expected.

I grew up on a lot of feel good sports movies from the 80’s and I feel like there were two frustrating turning points for the genre over the past couple decades of American cinema. First, studios got so tied up about making these inspirational and family friendly in the 90’s that THE lion’s share of 'em turned into toothless, inoffensive pap. Then, they got steadily phased out in the 00’s (which you ought to expect when you turn audiences off with banality) and, now, they’re so few and far between at this point that I can’t honestly remember the last one the came to theaters.

Thus, I get a very special kind of enjoyment out BAMBOO BLADE. It balances all the elements just right - - specifically hitting the right level of locker room humor without getting too crass. These are some very appealing, very well-defined characters and I’m impressed by how smoothly the show's able to integrate the real life concerns of running a martial arts business with a steady beat of genuinely funny gags.

(My favorite being the dual conversations bit where the fat kid’s being so whiney about his stinky gear. Oh, absolutely.)

Episode #2’s getting a write-up for sure. I’ll get a lot more detailed about what I liked about this show then… but I wanted to get all the whole spiel about sports movies off my chest, first. Suffice it to say, I’d rather follow this than OUTLAW STAR.

Watch this episode, " A Bamboo Broom & a Champion of Justice” below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Alamunon Aug. 1, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.

I really enjoyed this show! It would be awesome if you Watched and Learned from this. I can't really follow Outlaw Star since I never saw it and it's not streaming from anywhere (legally at any rate).

sotyfan16on Aug. 1, 2012 at 8:14 p.m.

I watched this episode a long time ago when I was looking for more series to watch and wasn't feeling it. Maybe I'll give it another chance sometime.

I still suggest you check out Basilisk. If I find the time I'll even get a Beginner's Guide together (which I was planning on doing long ago but became busy with work).

MyNiceIceLifeon Aug. 2, 2012 at 12:35 a.m.

It took me a bit to get into this, but after a few episodes I couldn't stop watching. Tamaki is so awesome!!!

metalsnakezeroon Aug. 2, 2012 at 3:49 p.m.

I'm surprise you like Bamboo Blade from the very start. I encourage you to continue to watch it as the character development and comedy is very good.

SergioBon Aug. 3, 2012 at 8:24 a.m.

If you still haven't seen it, I'd suggest Cross Game if you want a really good sports anime.

takashichea moderator is online on Aug. 4, 2012 at 6:47 p.m.

I haven't watch the anime, but I have read it when my little sister picked it up from the library. Even though the main character is the teacher, I find the focus shifts more towards the girls who I find more interesting.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

Just watched this.Could it be the fact every one wants to see a bully beat up by a little girl help the show as well at the start?Bad news Bears its not but its good none the less.On to episode 2!

zaldaron Aug. 9, 2012 at 9:10 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: I am truly hoping you are kidding as a bully beating up a little girl isn't something anyone should want to see...now a little girl beating up a bully that I would see.

Most of the feel good sports movies in the 80's I found silly...so yeah this probably isn't for me.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 9, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.

@zaldar said:

@Marshal Victory: I am truly hoping you are kidding as a bully beating up a little girl isn't something anyone should want to see...now a little girl beating up a bully that I would see.

Most of the feel good sports movies in the 80's I found silly...so yeah this probably isn't for me.

"every one wants to see a bully beat up by a little girl" that would be said bully getting the stuffing beat out by a little girl. As in the girl opens the can of beat down upon the bully.. she beats up the bully.... She... the girl kicks the snit out of the bully.Or to put it even simpler little girl > big bully.Sorry my run on poor grammar may have made a bit of confusion in the original post.

An don't be so fast to look away from this show. if you liked http://www.animevice.com/wagnaria/11-5594/ i would dare say one should also enjoy this.The sports aspect is backdrop really .Its more slice of life than sports feel good drama.Far more comedy than 80's sport movie cheese.Had bit of a bamboo blade marathon yesterday up to episode 20.Quite a few laugh out loud moments .

zaldaron Aug. 12, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.

wow..I just reread that and I am not at all sure how I missed what you really meant...that makes no sense to me at all. Hmm...odd.

Dig Deeper into Bamboo Blade

An impoverished teacher attempts to pull together a 5-girl kendo team in order to win a year of free sushi.

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