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BAMBOO BLADE #5 -- Watch & Learn

It brings a distinct, onion-scented ham smell to your nose.

“Foot work” got brought up a lot in the various martial arts I’ve studied and I’m still not sure if I have the most solid idea of what the term refers to. You’d figured it was a very calculated type of routine or pattern you ought to engage in - - basically like steps in a dance. However, the one time I actually tried to do a little research and incorporate some of that during a class, my Jiu Jitsu master ridiculed me for doing a “tango.”

Then again, my Eskrima master would always have very specific instructions about where to plant my feet during each individual Baston strike - - and that maybe runs a little closer to what the gal exposits about in this episode. I suppose “foot work” just connotes a conscious awareness of where you’re planting your feet.

I still can’t get over the personal novelty of seeing a high school Kendo team depicted in this show. The art just seems to carry more of a ceremonial history with it than, say, wrestling or fencing, which have shed most of their cultural trappings. It seems almost equivalent to there being a high school jousting team, you know?

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of commonalities being explored here. Just seeing the gag about how stinky the team’s gear can get brings a very acute sensory memory of a very distinct, onion-scented ham smell to my nose. That, coupled with the team finally getting to a match in this episode, starts getting me all nostalgic for my days of meets and tourneys. Worse yet, it reminds me that it’s been too long since I’ve been actively practicing. Tell yourself that you need to put training aside for a while so you can work in order and, before you know it, it’s already been a couple years.

Maybe this show will be the catalyst that finally kicks my butt back onto the mat? Who says anime can’t have a positive influence?

Watch this episode, "Muroe High and Machida High” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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

zaldaron Aug. 11, 2012 at 8:48 p.m.

if you end up becoming a professional wrestler you have to choose a Japanese anime name and finishing move...the fan service kick maybe...?

musubi88on Aug. 15, 2012 at 6:33 p.m.

great anime!! must watch!

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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