Oh… Kendo. As a martial arts practitioner, I was pleased to see this discipline dramatized in this first episode of SAMURAI X
. I’m sure that, even though I haven’t seen any, there are probably thousands
of anime about Kendo, but from my perspective, it was nice and novel to see it featured here instead of, say, Karate or Judo. Especially since people so often underestimate how dangerous
a wooden weapon can be, don’t they? Having practiced the Filipino stick-fighting discipline, Eskrima, I can vouch for how painful a good THWACK with a stick can be.
On another digression, I feel like I played a SAMURAI X video game at some point in my misspent youth in Asia. Lord knows I played everything Capcom, Konami, Neo-Geo, Sega and SNK put out in arcades between 1987 and 1997. For some reason - - perhaps their commonality of pretty boy samurais with brightly colored hair - - I was getting a serious SAMURAI SHOWDOWN (or SAMURAI SPIRITS, depending on what side of the pond your on) vibe from the first part of this show. Swap Ukyo’s color palette and give him a cheek scar, and he’d look a bit like Himura Kenshin
Again, I’m sure there’s probably thousands of anime set in the Meiji period that I’m not aware of, but it was a welcome novelty to see this toon set during the twilight of the samurai. Role inversions seemed to be pretty common in this episode. You had a girl wearing a man’s kimono, a deadly assassin pretending to be klutzy fop and a massive masked man who’d make the worst, least-stealthy ninja in history. Seriously, that guy couldn’t sneak up on a deaf blindman. But I suppose the answer to the implicit question is why sneak up on somebody when you can bash them to death with a shinai, right?
Domo arigato to kwyrt
for the recommendation. Keep these suggestions coming, people. I challenge you! I will watch anything you name (as long as I can watch it online). In the meantime, everybody in the good ol’ US of A can watch the episode I just checked out below...
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.