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Bamboo Blade
Bamboo Blade, Vol 1.jpg
Cover of Bamboo Blade, volume 1 as published by Square Enix
バンブーブレード
(Banbū Burēdo)
Genre Comedy, Sports, Slice of life story
Manga
Author Masahiro Totsuka
Illustrator Aguri Igarashi
Publisher Japan Square Enix
English publisher United States Yen Press
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Japan Young Gangan
United States Yen Plus
Original run December 3, 2004 – ongoing
Volumes 12
Manga
Bamboo Blade B
Author Masahiro Totsuka
Illustrator Neko Sutajio
Publisher Japan Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Japan Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Original run December 2008 – ongoing
Volumes 2
TV anime
Director Hisashi Saitou
Studio Japan AIC A.S.T.A
Licensor United States Canada Funimation Entertainment
Network Japan TV Tokyo
Original run October 2, 2007April 2, 2008
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga Portal

Bamboo Blade (バンブーブレード Banbū Burēdo ?) is a Japanese manga series written by Masahiro Totsuka, and illustrated by Aguri Igarashi. The manga was first serialized in the Japanese seinen manga magazine Young Gangan starting December 3, 2004. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press.[1] An anime adaptation by AIC A.S.T.A was broadcast in Japan between October 2, 2007 and April 2, 2008 on TV Tokyo. The anime has been licensed for distribution in North America by Funimation. The series tells the story of a Toraji Ishida, a luckless high school Kendo instructor, who is challenged by his former upperclassman, also a kendo instructor, to a competition between their female students. The bet inspires Toraji to gather and train a team of five girls. Fortuitously, at this time he meets Tamaki Kawazoe, a gifted young female kendo practitioner.

Contents

Characters

Toraji Ishida (石田 虎侍 Ishida Toraji ?)
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese), Ian Sinclair (English)
Also known as "Kojirō", he is the kendo sensei, and also a teacher of politics and economics, at Muroe High School. He is perpetually impoverished and lives from paycheck to paycheck, often taking handouts of food from his students. He is offered the chance of a lifetime from an old senpai -- a year's supply of sushi if his female kendo team can beat his senpai's in a practice tournament. This inspires Kojirō to put an effort into training his team, much to the delight of his most dedicated student, Kirino Chiba. The only person who knows the real reason for Kojirō's inspiration is Yūji Nakata, who calls him "pathetic".
Tamaki Kawazoe (川添 珠姫 Kawazoe Tamaki ?)
Voiced by: Ryō Hirohashi (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
Tamaki Kawazoe is a first year high school student who is nicknamed "Tama-chan" for short. Despite being a kendo prodigy, she does not see it as a hobby, but rather just as a chore honed at her home, which happens to be a kendo dojo led by her father. She refuses to join the school's Kendo Club because she thinks it is unnecessary, but temporarily becomes a member in order to fight off a bully. She despises injustice due to her overdeveloped sense of righteousness and fair play inspired from watching tokusatsu (Her favorite being Blade Braver, a show within a show) as a child. She remains a big anime and tokusatsu fan despite her age. She is described as being the strength of the group by Kojirō.
Kirino Chiba (千葉 紀梨乃 Chiba Kirino ?)
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Kirino Chiba is a second year high school student, and the captain of the kendo club. Energetic and enthusiastic, she dreams of leading the team to the nationals. Her family owns a deli named "Chiba Deli". Kirino is very happy that Kojirō has finally begun to put more effort into training his kendo team, but she is oblivious to the real reason that her teacher has suddenly begun to train the team so enthusiastically. She is proud that she is the captain of the kendo club and is more responsible than she appears (i.e., picking up the shinai when the other members leave them lying around on the floor, chiding the other members for not picking up after themselves, etc.). Despite that, however, she has great confidence in Tamaki. She is described as being the heart of the group by Kojirō.
Miyako Miyazaki (宮崎 都 Miyazaki Miyako ?)
Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Leah Clark (English)
Miyako Miyazaki is a first year high school student nicknamed "Miya-Miya". She is introduced as a very pretty and friendly girl, and to the surprise of many, the girlfriend of Danjūrō. However, in reality, she possesses a very dark and sadistic personality, but hides it in order to be together with Danjūrō. When Miyako shows her more sadistic side, she is surrounded by a black aura and acts in a rather eerie and cruel manner, but she instantly switches back to her friendly façade when others are approaching or calling her name.
Sayako Kuwahara (桑原 鞘子 Kuwahara Sayako ?)
Voiced by: Sachiko Kojima (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Sayako Kuwahara is a second year high school student who is described as being random and spontaneous, often changing her interests and goals. During her first year, she joins the Kendo Club, but would sometimes disappear for short periods of time, claiming to quit. She and Kirino have known each other since elementary school, and Kirino often calls her "Saya". She is one of the tallest members on the team, which others poke fun at by "mistakenly" calling her a boy.
Satori Azuma (東 聡莉 Azuma Satori ?)
Voiced by: Rina Satō (Japanese), Carrie Savage (English)
Satori Azuma, a first-year high school student (that is, in the anime), is the fifth and the last person to join the Kendo Club. She is very talented in kendo. In fact, Satori is the second strongest in the club, with Tamaki being the strongest. However, she is very bad with her studies despite her diligence, which is why she decided to quit kendo after middle school--in order to concentrate on her studies.
Yūji Nakata (中田 勇次 Nakata Yūji ?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese), Chris Burnett (English)
Yūji Nakata is a kind, cheerful, and helpful first year student who joins the Kendo Club. He is prone to making dramatic or emotional speeches, something the anime-lover Tamaki is amused by. He was a member of his junior high school's kendo club and had also attended the Kawazoe Dojo. He had reached the top eight in the prefectural games during junior high. He is the only person who knows of Kojirō's true reason for training his kendo team with more gusto than before. He also possesses considerable academic skill as he scored fourth out of all the Freshman on the regional exams.
Danjūrō Eiga (栄花 段十朗 Eiga Danjūrō ?)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Sean Michael Teague (English)
Also known as Dan-kun, Danjūrō Eiga is a round and plain-faced first year who joins the Kendo Club with Yūji. He originally wanted to join the Ping Pong Club, but there was no such club in the school. He shocks Yūji and Kojirō when he brings his pretty girlfriend Miyako to join the club. While he finds the basic training to be "boring" (possibly because he wants to impress Miyako), he is rather proficient in scorekeeping, as shown in one episode of the anime. Despite this, he was able to secure second place in his first High School Kendo Tournament, although Ishida claims that it was only because of a series of flukes. While he generally comes off as rather dim-witted, it appears he is perceptive to the character Miyako doesn't want him to see.

Anime episodes

# Funimation Entertainment title
Original Japanese title
Original air date
1 "A Bamboo Broom and a Champion of Justice"
"Takebōki to Seigi no Mikata" (竹ぼうきと正義の味方) 
October 2, 2007
Kojirō, the coach of Muroe High's kendo club, makes a bet with his senpai, Kenzaburō, on a practice match between both schools, but the fighters must be 5 girls, no boys. Kojirō's victory would mean he could eat all he wants at Kenzaburō's father's sushi restaurant for a full year. Kojirō desperately needs to find more talented female kendo students because he only has 2 girls in his club. With only a month remaining before his match with Kenzaburō's team, he meets an extremely talented freshman, Kawazoe Tamaki. 
2 "The Blade Bravers and Boxed Lunch"
"Burēdo Bureibā to Obentō" (ブレードブレイバーとお弁当) 
October 9, 2007
Tamaki's motivation is presented in the form of her favorite tokusatsu, Blade Braver, and feels happy when toraji nicknames her "Red", the leader of the Club's female team. Her relationship with the other club members develop when they start having lunch together and sharing their bento, her everyday bento, however, consisted of a single umeboshi and rice, which she constantly made in honor of her parents, and couldn't share with the others. She start making "shareable" bento at the end of the episode, even though she feels she's disrespecting her parents a little. 
3 "Black and Blue"
"Burakku to Burū" (ブラックとブルー) 
October 16, 2007
The 4th female member of the Kendo Club, Sayako Kuwahara, nicknamed by Toraji as the team's "Blue", is revealed, and has a painful first encounter with Miyako's "Black" personality. (note: the encounter between Saya and Miya-miya is different in the anime from the manga.) 
4 "Pink and Blue"
"Pinku to Burū" (ピンクとブルー) 
October 23, 2007
Miyako learns that the girl she had thrown in the lake the previous day was actually her senpai in the club, this leads her, in her "Pink" personality, to awkwardly try to hide her identity from Sayako to avoid any confrontations. She starts to enjoy more of the club's activities, even though being forced to train from early in the morning, because of the opportunities kendo give to harm others legally. She is eventually convinced by Toraji to apologize and befriends Sayako. 
5 "Muroe High and Machido High"
"Muroe Kō to Machido Kō" (室江高と町戸高) 
October 30, 2007
The day of the match arrives, however, due to the unique personalities of its members, the Machido High Kendo Club is awfully delayed. The real match starts very late in the episode, and the episode ends with Machido High's members awed by Tamaki's ability, after scoring a point in the first battle. 
6 "Tamaki Kawazoe and the Tardy Braver"
"Kawazoe Tamaki to Chikoku no Bureiba" (川添珠姫と遅刻の武礼葉) 
November 6, 2007
After Tamaki's match, which ended in a victory for her, the other matches take place meanwhile she prepares to participate in the last match too. At the end, Muroe High School ends winning 3 wins to 1 loss and 1 tie. Therefore, Kenzaburo challenges Tamaki to a match, impressed of how a girl of her age with such a great talent is in a club like that. 
7 "Sushi and Mince Meat Cutlets"
"Sushi to Menchikatsu" (寿司とメンチカツ) 
November 13, 2007
This episode picks up at the end of the previous one, starting with Kenzaburo revealing that he knew the fifth fighter (Bureiba) was actually Tamaki. His challenge to Tamaki is accepted and so Kenzaburo and Tamaki's match starts. Kenzaburo goes all out on Tamaki, and they both score a point, but in the third round, Kenzaburo starts out in Jodan. This forces Tamaki to have a flashback of her mother in the same position. Kenzaburo leaves the match as a tie, and then goes out to a sushi dinner with Koujiru where Koujiru finds out that Kenzaburo's father has given his restaurant away, making their bet void. 
8 "Tama and Part-time Work"
"Tama-chan to Arubaito" (タマちゃんとアルバイト) 
November 20, 2007
Tamaki sees an anime package on TV that she wants, but later finds out that she does not have enough money for it. At the school's dojo, Tamaki overhears Miyako on the phone talking about how she could not work part-time that day. Tamaki approaches her and inquires about it. Miyako then asks Tamaki to work part time there, to which Tamaki agrees to. Tamaki's father at first disagrees with Tamaki getting job, mostly because the school does not allow students to work part time jobs, but then accepts because he thinks that Tamaki is growing up, and also she will use the money to buy him a gift for his upcoming birthday. 
9 "Kojiro and the Crossroads of Fate"
"Kojirō to Unmei no Bunkiten" (コジローと運命の分岐点) 
November 27, 2007
Kōjiro has an incident in a public setting that places his teaching prospects at Muroe High School in doubt. With the rest of the club he resolves to get to the Nationals (or some similar honour) in an attempt to improve the club, gain distinction and save his teaching position. A weary Tamaki nears the end of her part time job filling in for Miyako. Then a suspicious customer arrives. 
10 "Miyako Miyazaki's Melancholy and the First Tournament"
"Miyazaki Miyako no Yūutsu to Hajitaikai" (宮崎都の憂鬱と初大会) 
December 4, 2007
The team enters the high school tournament. Only Tama-chan did well enough to win. Miyako meets her middle school classmate, Otajima Reimi who has a crush on her. Miyako as such became troubled and couldn't concentrate on her match. It was revealed that Reimi used to harass Miyako when they were in middle school. The episode ends off with Kōjiro sensei discussing about a fifth member with Kirino, the club captain. 
11 "Animation and Dreams"
"Animēshon to Dorīmu" (アニメーションとドリーム) 
December 11, 2007
Miyako reveals to the other kendo members that Reimi has been harassing her because during middle school she refused to go out with the captain of the mens football team, whom Reimi had already been rejected by. Try as she might, Kirino is unable to remember the name of the potential fifth female member who's studying at Muroe high school. Yūji suggests that Kirino should call her friend up and ask for her name again, which she does. Armed with the name Satori Azuma, Kirino and Sayako begin to search for her. 
12 "Azuma's Circumstances and Mei's Circumstances"
"Azuma no Jijō to Mei no Jijō" (東の事情とメイの事情) 
December 18, 2007
This episode dedicates to Mei from Seimei high and Azuma from Muroe High. Mei joined Seimei High's Kendo club to get along with her friends, but many of her friends quit the club as they couldn't take the sensei's strict training. They gear up for the practice match with Muroe High, she had set her mind to quit after the practice match. Kōjiro found out that Azuma didn't want to join the kendo club as her results in examinations were bad. Not because she wasn't able to do it, but she made careless mistakes. Nevertheless, Kirino drags her to the practice match. The episode concludes with Seimei High's Kendo team training against Muroe High's Kendo team. 
13 "Teachers and Students"
"Senseitachi to Seitotachi" (先生たちと生徒たち) 
December 25, 2007
Muroe High School Kendo team won all their matches against Seimei high in the practice match. Azuma upon seeing Tama's Strong kendo skills become motivated and took part in the practice match. Before that, Tama had a match with Azuma, despite Azuma losing, she was impressed and therefore became motivated. Mei, from Seimei high who originally wanted to quit decided to stay on as she was impressed by Tama's skills. The episode end off when Seimei High's Sensei competed with Muroe's high sensei and won the match. 
14 "Satorin's Resolve and Nomming"
"Satorin no Ketsui to Mogyumogyu" (さとりんの決意ともぎゅもぎゅ) 
January 9, 2008
Kirino and Sayako continue their attempts to persuade Azuma to join the kendo club. Their attempts end only in tears. As they run through and around the school, Miyako hears their mobile lamentation and springs into action. She offers an excuse that she has cleaning duties, then sweetly dumps said duties onto her classmates. Alternating between a good friend, salesperson and snake cornering a frog she attempts to win over Azuma. Miyako's tactics eventually convince Azuma (and later her parents) to join the kendo club with the expectation/condition that it will lead to improved grades. With the team set (and the boys ignored) a training camp is announced. Due to a lack of funds, this intensive training will take place on the school grounds. Tamaki's father is perturbed especially when Tamaki confirms Yūji Nakata will be there. 
15 "First Training Camp and First Public Bath"
"Hatsugasshuku to Hatsusentō" (初合宿と初銭湯) 
January 16, 2008
It's training camp at Muroe High, jointly with the five Machido students that they had a practice match with. Tama's father sneaks around worried about the boys while the group cleans up the pool, fights over who gets to train with Tama, and takes a break at the Bath House. After that, they have to deal with one of them sneaking away, pillow fights, Saya's guitar, and even getting freaked out by the sleeping habits of their fellow students (like sleeping with eyes open!). The episode wraps up with Tama and Kirino, the latter who can't help but stay up and hold her shinai a bit longer. Camp ends and everyone returns home, but for Kirino, something more than a warm welcome awaits... 
16 "Kirino's Absence and the Preliminary Tournament"
"Kirino no Kesseki to Yosen Taikai" (キリノの欠席と予選大会) 
January 23, 2008
Kirino is worried by home troubles while the rest of the team worries about her. Saya, sharing a deep connection with Kirino, is prepared to step up for the win and ease Kirino's burden. Despite these troubles, however, Kirino seems even more focused than ever. Meanwhile, Tama is pulled into a deceitful web... 
17 "Light and Shadow"
"Hikari to Kage" (光と陰) 
January 30, 2008
The tournament continues, with Tama seemingly in trouble with the other team's treacherous plots. Satorin (Azuma) encounters a little bit of stomach troubles while Miya-miya is continuously haunted by Reimi's face. Saya does her duty to relieve Kirino's burden, and Kirino does her part as the team's captain. When Tama steps up, she has a little payback in store for her opponent... 
18 "The Tournament and Muroe High After That"
"Taikai to Sonogo no Muroe Kou" (大会とその後の室江高) 
February 6, 2008
Kōjiro and Tama have a little talk and wounds are tended to. Kirino must stand up in order for the team to keep fighting. The tournament ends and the team is back to base as usual, with Saya off somewhere and Tama alright. 
19 "The Armadillo and the Pangolin"
"Arumajiro to Senzankou" (アルマジロとセンザンコウ) 
February 13, 2008
Miya-miya and Dan-kun shops for a new Shinai at the Kendo store. There they meet Carrie, an expatriate living in Japan, who falls in love with Dan-kun at first sight. Miya-miya challenges Carrie to a duel. 
20 "Braver and Shinaider"
"BUREIBAA to SHINAIDAA" (ブレイバーとシナイダー) 
February 20, 2008
Yuji invites Tama to go to an amusement park that's hosting a Blade Braver concert. At the venue, She meets a girl called Rin who's a fan of Braver's rival, "Shinaider". They enter a fan-quiz to win Blade Braver dolls. 
21 "Tamaki Kawazoe and Rin Suzuki"
"Kawazoe Tamaki to Suzuki Rin" (川添珠姫と鈴木凛) 
February 27, 2008
Rin and Tama along with the production crew go on location to film the new Blade Braver movie, where an incident gets both of them the replacement roles in the new film. The rest of the Kendo club members either practice or take the day off doing what they want. The episode concludes with Kōjiro returning from his business trip. 
22 "Winners and Losers"
"Haisha to Shousha" (敗者と勝者) 
March 5, 2008
Muroe High goes to the Kanto High School Kendo Tournament. Miyamiya shows her improvement in practice, but fails to defeat Carrie in the tournament. Muroe makes it to the 3rd round, where Tama is finally defeated by Rin, and Muroe is pushed out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Toyama and Iwasa, two former members of the kendo club, are caught fighting in a video game arcade and destroying two machines. 
23 "Lie and Silence"
"Osu to Chinmoku" (嘘と沈黙) 
March 12, 2008
The principal of the school tells Kōjiro that the kendo club will be disbanded because of club members engaging in suspicious or risky activities—specifically, Toyama and Iwasa, who, ironically, have stopped attending kendo club but have not turned in any resignation forms. Kirino and Sayako are distraught when Kōjiro reveals the news to them, and they protest the principal's decision, calling it unfair. Meanwhile, Miyako has an emotional breakdown over her failure in the competition and, surprisingly, refuses Danjūrō's comfort. Tamaki, also unhappy over losing the competition, quits the kendo club, much to Kirino's dismay. 
24 "The Sword and the Way"
"Ken to Michi" (剣と道) 
March 19, 2008
Kirino attempts and fails to prevent Tamaki from resigning from the kendo club, the latter already having decided to give up. Neither she nor Miyako decide to attend kendo club, and nobody knows Miyako's whereabouts. Eventually even Kirino decides not to attend, and the only members left are Satori, Yūji, Danjūrō, and Sayako. Satori manages to convince Miyako to keep up with kendo, while Sayako dissuades Kirino from quitting kendo. Yūji comforts Tamaki, telling her that losing is not as bad as she thinks, and Tamaki decides to learn jōdan to help improve her kendo skills. Eventually she decides to come back to kendo club, and the members are reunited. 
25 "Kendo and What it Brings About"
"Kendou to sore ga motarasumono" (剣道とそれがもたらすもの) 
March 26, 2008
Muroe High goes to a national kendo competition and meets with many of their former opponents. Miyako, having watched footage of her previous kendo match filmed by Reimi in an effort to improve her kendo skills, manages to beat Carrie Nishikawa, the latter of which calls the former out for a match of their own and is beaten again. Tamaki fights Rin Suzuki again and wins by using the thrust attack. Kōjiro, on the other hand, has emptied out his apartment, and in the last few minutes of the episode is shown getting on Nobu-chan's motorcycle and going to a different place--presumably his new home. 
26 ""Since Then" and "From Here on Out""
""Sorekara" to "korekara"" ("それから"と"これから") 
April 2, 2008
It is a new year and several months have passed since the National competition. Two freshmen show up to join the club. The members one by one appear trying to convince them to join the club only to perform sideshow tricks leaving the freshmen unimpressed. The club later have a sparring match which causes the freshmen to become enthusiastic about joining the club. Its later revealed that these two new members are the siblings of the previous members that quit. Kojiro returns back to school having settled the problem with the old lady that forced him to leave. At the very end of the episode Tama-chan encounters a long purple haired woman with blue eyes, hinting that Bamboo Blade may have another season to come. 

Reception

"The recent series from anime production house AIC A.S.T.A is a surprise - and yet not really one at all," wrote Andrez Bergen in the June 2008 issue of U.K. magazine, Impact. "While Bamboo Blade follows the travails of a bunch of high school girls in one very special kendo team, rather than boys, the producers were previously responsible for Gun Sword, a series in which one very special woman - Carmen 99 - also pretty much stole the show." [2]

References

External links


Template:Safesubst:
File:Bamboo Blade, Vol
Cover of Bamboo Blade, volume 1 as published by Square Enix
バンブーブレード
(Banbū Burēdo)
GenreComedy, Sports, Slice of life story
Manga
Written by Masahiro Totsuka
Illustrated by Aguri Igarashi
Published by Template:Country data Japan Square Enix
English publisher Yen Press
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Template:Country data Japan Young Gangan
Yen Plus
Original run December 3, 2004September 3, 2010
Volumes 14
Manga
Bamboo Blade B
Written by Masahiro Totsuka
Illustrated by Neko Sutajio
Published by Template:Country data Japan Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Template:Country data Japan Monthly Shōnen Gangan
Original run December 2008 – ongoing
Volumes 2
TV anime
Directed by Hisashi Saitou
Studio Template:Country data Japan AIC A.S.T.A
Licensed by Funimation Entertainment
Network Template:Country data Japan TV Tokyo
Original run October 2, 2007April 2, 2008
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga Portal

Bamboo Blade (バンブーブレード Banbū Burēdo?) is a Japanese manga series written by Masahiro Totsuka, and illustrated by Aguri Igarashi. The manga was first serialized in the Japanese seinen manga magazine Young Gangan starting December 3, 2004. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press.[1] An anime adaptation by AIC A.S.T.A was broadcast in Japan between October 2, 2007 and April 2, 2008 on TV Tokyo. The anime has been licensed for distribution in North America by Funimation. The series tells the story of Toraji Ishida, a luckless high school Kendo instructor, who is challenged by his former upperclassman, also a kendo instructor, to a competition between their female students. The bet inspires Toraji to gather and train a team of five girls. Fortuitously, at this time he meets Tamaki Kawazoe, a gifted young female kendo practitioner.

Contents

Characters

Some of the characters names are based on the real professional kendo players. Ishida Toraji is based on the famous kendoka, Ishida Toshiya. Miyazaki Miyako based on Miyazaki Masahiro, Eiga Danjuro based on Eiga Naoki, Chiba Kirino based on Chiba Masashi etc. Even though, there arent any relations between the Bamboo blade characters regards to the real kendokas. Eiga Dan is the only exception, as he seems to be designed to represent Eiga naoki, who is also isn't very tall just like the Eiga Danjuro

Toraji Ishida (石田 虎侍 Ishida Toraji?)
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese), Ian Sinclair (English)
Also known as "Kojirō", he is the kendo sensei, and also a teacher of politics and economics, at Muroe High School. He is perpetually impoverished and lives from paycheck to paycheck, often taking handouts of food from his students. He is offered the chance of a lifetime from an old senpai -- a year's supply of sushi if his female kendo team can beat his senpai's in a practice tournament. This inspires Kojirō to put an effort into training his team, much to the delight of his most dedicated student, Kirino Chiba. The only person who knows the real reason for Kojirō's inspiration is Yūji Nakata, who calls him "pathetic".
Tamaki Kawazoe (川添 珠姫 Kawazoe Tamaki?)
Voiced by: Ryō Hirohashi (Japanese), Cherami Leigh (English)
Tamaki Kawazoe is a first year high school student who is nicknamed "Tama-chan" for short. Despite being a kendo prodigy, she does not see it as a hobby, but rather just as a chore honed at her home, which happens to be a kendo dojo led by her father. She refuses to join the school's Kendo Club because she thinks it is unnecessary, but temporarily becomes a member in order to fight off a bully. She despises injustice due to her overdeveloped sense of righteousness and fair play inspired from watching tokusatsu (Her favorite being Blade Braver, a show within a show) as a child. She remains a big anime and tokusatsu fan despite her age. She is described as being the strength of the group by Kojirō.
Kirino Chiba (千葉 紀梨乃 Chiba Kirino?)
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Kirino Chiba is a second year high school student, and the captain of the kendo club. Energetic and enthusiastic, she dreams of leading the team to the nationals. Her family owns a deli named "Chiba Deli". Kirino is very happy that Kojirō has finally begun to put more effort into training his kendo team, but she is oblivious to the real reason that her teacher has suddenly begun to train the team so enthusiastically. She is proud that she is the captain of the kendo club and is more responsible than she appears (i.e., picking up the shinai when the other members leave them lying around on the floor, chiding the other members for not picking up after themselves, etc.). Despite that, however, she has great confidence in Tamaki. She is described as being the heart of the group by Kojirō.
Miyako Miyazaki (宮崎 都 Miyazaki Miyako?)
Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese), Leah Clark (English)
Miyako Miyazaki is a first year high school student nicknamed "Miya-Miya". She is introduced as a very pretty and friendly girl, and to the surprise of many, the girlfriend of Danjūrō. However, in reality, she possesses "yandere" personality, with a very dark and sadistic side she hides in order to be together with Danjūrō. When Miyako shows her more sadistic side, she is surrounded by a black aura and acts in a rather eerie and cruel manner, but she instantly switches back to her friendly façade when others are approaching or calling her name. However, Toraji seems to understand her "true" self and tells her just to be herself.
Sayako Kuwahara (桑原 鞘子 Kuwahara Sayako?)
Voiced by: Sachiko Kojima (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Sayako Kuwahara is a second year high school student who is described as being random and spontaneous, often changing her interests and goals. During her first year, she joins the Kendo Club, but would sometimes disappear for short periods of time, claiming to quit. She and Kirino have known each other since elementary school, and Kirino often calls her "Saya". She is one of the tallest members on the team, which others poke fun at by "mistakenly" calling her a boy.
Satori Azuma (東 聡莉 Azuma Satori?)
Voiced by: Rina Satō (Japanese), Carrie Savage (English)
Satori Azuma, a first-year high school student (that is, in the anime), is the fifth and the last person to join the Kendo Club. She is very talented in kendo. In fact, Satori is the second strongest in the club, with Tamaki being the strongest. However, she is very bad with her studies despite her diligence, which is why she decided to quit kendo after middle school--in order to concentrate on her studies.
Yūji Nakata (中田 勇次 Nakata Yūji?)
Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese), Chris Burnett (English)
Yūji Nakata is a kind, cheerful, and helpful first year student who joins the Kendo Club. He is prone to making dramatic or emotional speeches, something the anime-lover Tamaki is amused by. He was a member of his junior high school's kendo club and had also attended the Kawazoe Dojo. He had reached the top eight in the prefectural games during junior high. He is the only person who knows of Kojirō's true reason for training his kendo team with more gusto than before. He also possesses considerable academic skill as he scored fourth out of all the Freshman on the regional exams.
Danjūrō Eiga (栄花 段十朗 Eiga Danjūrō?)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Sean Michael Teague (English)
Also known as Dan-kun, Danjūrō Eiga is a round and plain-faced first year who joins the Kendo Club with Yūji. He originally wanted to join the Ping Pong Club, but there was no such club in the school. He shocks Yūji and Kojirō when he brings his pretty girlfriend Miyako to join the club. While he finds the basic training to be "boring" (possibly because he wants to impress Miyako), he is rather proficient in scorekeeping, as shown in one episode of the anime. Despite this, he was able to secure second place in his first High School Kendo Tournament, although Ishida claims that it was only because of a series of flukes. While he generally comes off as rather dim-witted, it appears he is perceptive to the character Miyako doesn't want him to see.

Anime episodes

# Funimation Entertainment title
Original Japanese title
Original air date
1 "A Bamboo Broom and a Champion of Justice"
"Takebōki to Seigi no Mikata" (竹ぼうきと正義の味方) 
October 2, 2007
Toraji "Kojirō" Ishida, the coach of the Muroe High kendo club, makes a bet with his senpai, Kenzaburō Ishibashi, the coach of the Machido High kendo club, on a practice match between both schools, but the fighters must be five girls, no boys. Toraji's victory would mean he could eat all he wants at Ishibashi's father's sushi restaurant for a full year. Toraji desperately needs to find more talented female kendo students because he only has the team captain in his club, Kirino Chiba. With only a month remaining before his team's match with Ishibashi's team, he meets an extremely talented freshman, Tamaki Kawazoe. 
2 "The Blade Bravers and Boxed Lunch"
"Burēdo Bureibā to Obentō" (ブレードブレイバーとお弁当) 
October 9, 2007
Tamaki's motivation is presented in the form of her TV superhero, Blade Braver. Miyako Miyazaki, Yūji Nakata, Danjūrō Eiga join the club. Tamaki's relationship with the other club members develop when they start having lunch together and sharing their boxed lunches. Her everyday boxed lunch, however, consisted of a single umeboshi and rice, which she constantly made in honor of her parents, and couldn't share with the others. She start making "shareable" boxed lunches at the end of the episode, even though she feels she's disrespecting her parents a little. 
3 "Black and Blue"
"Burakku to Burū" (ブラックとブルー) 
October 16, 2007
The club members go shopping for protective gear. After trying on their protective gear, Kojirō nicknames Tamaki "Red", the leader of the kendo club's female team, Kirino is nicknamed "Yellow", and Miyako is nicknamed "Pink". The fourth female member of the kendo club, Sayako Kuwahara nicknamed "Blue", is revealed, and has a painful first encounter with Miyako's "Black" personality. Kojirō will nickname the last female club member "Green". 
4 "Pink and Blue"
"Pinku to Burū" (ピンクとブルー) 
October 23, 2007
Miyako learns that the girl she had thrown in the lake the previous day was actually her senpai in the club, this leads her, in her "Pink" personality (different from her "Black" personality), to awkwardly try to hide her identity from Sayako to avoid any confrontations. She starts to enjoy more of the club's activities, even though being forced to train from early in the morning, because of the opportunities kendo give to harm others legally. She is eventually convinced by Toraji to apologize and befriends Sayako. 
5 "Muroe High and Machido High"
"Muroe Kō to Machido Kō" (室江高と町戸高) 
October 30, 2007
The day of the match arrives, however, due to the unique personalities of its members, the Machido High kendo club is awfully delayed. The real match starts very late in the episode, and the episode ends with the Machido High club members awed by Tamaki's ability, after scoring a point in the first battle. 
6 "Tamaki Kawazoe and the Tardy Braver"
"Kawazoe Tamaki to Chikoku no Bureiba" (川添珠姫と遅刻の武礼葉) 
November 6, 2007
After Tamaki's match, which ended in a victory for her, the other matches take place while she prepares to participate in the last match too. At the end, the Muroe High kendo club ends winning with three wins, one loss, and one tie against the Machido High kendo club. Therefore, Ishibashi challenges Tamaki to a match, impressed of how a girl of her age with such a great talent is in a kendo club like that. 
7 "Sushi and Mince Meat Cutlets"
"Sushi to Menchikatsu" (寿司とメンチカツ) 
November 13, 2007
This episode picks up at the end of the previous one, starting with Ishibashi revealing that he knew the fifth fighter, Bureiba, was actually Tamaki. His challenge to Tamaki is accepted and so their match starts. Ishibashi goes all out on Tamaki, and they both score a point, but in the third round, Ishibashi starts out in upper-level posture, rather than the normal middle-level posture. This forces Tamaki to have a flashback of her mother in the same position. Ishibashi leaves the match as a tie, and then goes out to a sushi dinner with Toraji. However, this is when Toraji finds out that Ishibashi's father has given his restaurant away, making their bet void. 
8 "Tama and Part-time Work"
"Tama-chan to Arubaito" (タマちゃんとアルバイト) 
November 20, 2007
Tamaki sees an anime package on TV that she wants, but later finds out that she does not have enough money for it. At the kendo dojo, Tamaki overhears Miyako on the phone talking about how she could not work part-time that day. Tamaki approaches her and inquires about it. Miyako then asks Tamaki to work part time there, to which Tamaki agrees to. Tamaki's father at first disagrees with Tamaki getting a job, mostly because the school does not allow students to work part time jobs, but then accepts because he thinks that Tamaki is growing up, and also thinks she will use the money to buy him a gift for his upcoming birthday. 
9 "Kojiro and the Crossroads of Fate"
"Kojirō to Unmei no Bunkiten" (コジローと運命の分岐点) 
November 27, 2007
Tamaki nears the end of her part time-job filling in for Miyako, while the other club member are practicing at the kendo dojo. Tamaki's father still ponders if Tamaki will buy him a gift for his birthday. Toraji has bad luck when he goes shopping for food. He encounters a woman, also shopping for food, who causes him to lose his temper. This leads to him to the possibility of being unemployed at the kendo dojo. The only way to prevent unemployment is to improve the skills of the kendo club members and compete in the upcoming tournament. At Tamaki last time at her part-job, a mysterious customer arrives. 
10 "Miyako Miyazaki's Melancholy and the First Tournament"
"Miyazaki Miyako no Yūutsu to Hajitaikai" (宮崎都の憂鬱と初大会) 
December 4, 2007
Toraji meets with his parents, and helps his mom working at a store. He receives his paycheck. Tamaki finishes up her job and receives her paycheck as well. The Muroe High kendo club enters the high school tournament. Only Tamaki did well enough to win. Miyako meets her middle school classmate, Reimi Otajima, who has a crush on her. Reimi is the customer that Tamaki met. Miyako as such became troubled and couldn't concentrate on her match. It was revealed that Reimi used to harass Miyako when they were in middle school. The episode ends off with Toraji discussing about a fifth member with Kirino. 
11 "Animation and Dreams"
"Animēshon to Dorīmu" (アニメーションとドリーム) 
December 11, 2007
Miyako reveals to the other kendo club members that Reimi has been harassing her because during middle school she refused to go out with the captain of the mens football team, whom Reimi had already been rejected by. Try as she might, Kirino is unable to remember the name of the potential fifth female member who's studying at Muroe High School. Yūji suggests that Kirino should call her friend up and ask for her name again, which she does. Armed with the name Satori Azuma, Kirino and Sayako begin to search for her. 
12 "Azuma's Circumstances and Mei's Circumstances"
"Azuma no Jijō to Mei no Jijō" (東の事情とメイの事情) 
December 18, 2007
This episode dedicates to Satori Azuma from Muroe High School and Mei Ogawa from Seimei High School. Mei joined the Seimei High kendo club to get along with her friends, but many of her friends quit the club as they couldn't take the teacher's strict training. They gear up for the practice match with the Muroe High kendo club. However, she had set her mind to quit after the practice match. Toraji found out that Azuma didn't want to join the kendo club as her results in examinations were bad. Not because she wasn't able to do it, but she made careless mistakes. Nevertheless, Kirino drags her to the practice match. The episode concludes with the Muroe High kendo club training against the Seimei High kendo club. 
13 "Teachers and Students"
"Senseitachi to Seitotachi" (先生たちと生徒たち) 
December 25, 2007
The Muroe High kendo club won all their matches against the Seimei High kendo club in the practice match. Azuma, upon seeing Tamaki's strong kendo skills become motivated and took part in the practice match. Before that, Tamaki had a match with Azuma. Despite Azuma losing, she was impressed and therefore became motivated. Mei, from Seimei High School, who originally wanted to quit, decided to stay on, as she was impressed by Tamaki's skills. The episode end off when Tadaaki Hayashi, the Seimei High kendo club's teacher, competed with Toraji, the Muroe High kendo club's teacher, having Hayashi winning the match. 
14 "Satorin's Resolve and Nomming"
"Satorin no Ketsui to Mogyumogyu" (さとりんの決意ともぎゅもぎゅ) 
January 9, 2008
Kirino and Sayako continue their attempts to persuade Azuma to join the kendo club. Their attempts end only in tears. As they run through and around the school, Miyako hears their mobile lamentation and springs into action. She offers an excuse that she has cleaning duties, then sweetly dumps said duties onto her classmates. Alternating between a good friend, salesperson and snake cornering a frog she attempts to win over Azuma. Miyako's tactics eventually convince Azuma (and later her parents) to join the kendo club with the expectation/condition that it will lead to improved grades. With the kendo club set with five girls, while Yūji and Eiga are excluded from participation, a training camp is announced. Due to a lack of funds, this intensive training will take place on the school grounds. Tamaki's father is perturbed especially when Tamaki confirms Yūji will be there. 
15 "First Training Camp and First Public Bath"
"Hatsugasshuku to Hatsusentō" (初合宿と初銭湯) 
January 16, 2008
It's training camp at the Muroe High kendo club, jointly with the Machido High kendo club that they had a practice match with. Tamaki's father sneaks around worried about the boys while the group cleans up the pool, fights over who gets to train with Tamaki, and takes a break at the bathhouse. After that, they have to deal with one of them sneaking away, pillow fights, Sayako's guitar, and even getting freaked out by the sleeping habits of their fellow students. The episode wraps up with Tama and Kirino, the latter who can't help but stay up and hold her bamboo sword a bit longer. Camp ends and everyone returns home, but for Kirino, something more than a warm welcome awaits. 
16 "Kirino's Absence and the Preliminary Tournament"
"Kirino no Kesseki to Yosen Taikai" (キリノの欠席と予選大会) 
January 23, 2008
The Muroe High kendo club faces against the Tozyo High kendo club. Kirino is worried by home troubles while the rest of the team worries about her, however. Sayako, sharing a deep connection with Kirino, is prepared to step up for the win and ease Kirino's burden. Despite these troubles, however, Kirino seems even more focused than ever, gaining her a win in her match against her opponent. Meanwhile, Tamaki is pulled into a deceitful web by a few girls from the Tozyo High kendo club. 
17 "Light and Shadow"
"Hikari to Kage" (光と陰) 
January 30, 2008
The tournament continues, with Tamaki seemingly in trouble with the other team's treacherous plots. Konishi, a girl from the Tozyo High kendo club, purposely causes Tamaki to trip over tennis balls, inflicting an injury on her foot. Meanwhile, Azuma encounters a little bit of stomach troubles, ending her match in a tie, and Miyako is continuously haunted by Reimi's face, ending her match in a loss. Sayako does her duty to relieve Kirino's burden, and Kirino does her part as the team's captain. When Tamaki steps up, she has a little payback in store for Konishi. 
18 "The Tournament and Muroe High After That"
"Taikai to Sonogo no Muroe Kou" (大会とその後の室江高) 
February 6, 2008
Toraji and Tamaki have a little talk and wounds are tended to. Since Tamaki and Konishi were both badly injured from their match, Kirino, from the Muroe High kendo club, and Aoki, from the Tozyo High kendo club, participate in a representative match. The tournament ends, with at a loss, due to Kirino's lack of motivation and focus caused by her mother feeling better. The Muroe High kendo club is back at the kendo dojo as usual, with Sayako off somewhere and Tamaki alright. 
19 "The Armadillo and the Pangolin"
"Arumajiro to Senzankou" (アルマジロとセンザンコウ) 
February 13, 2008
Toraji takes Tamaki to the hospital while the other members of the Muroe High kendo club practice matches with each other. However, Miyako's sword breaks, so Miyako and Eiga go shopping for a new bamboo sword at the kendo store. Tamaki meets Ishibashi at the hospital, while Miyako and Eiga meet Carrie Nishikawa, an expatriate living in Japan, who falls in love with Eiga at first sight. Ishibashi, taking Tamaki back to her house, tells her she must understand what it is like to lose a match. At the kendo store, Miyako challenges Carrie to a kendo match at the kendo dojo. Miyako notices that Carrie uses a double-sword technique, giving Carrie an advantage. Miyako loses the match, expectedly. As Carrie departs, she informs Miyako that she will return again. 
20 "Braver and Shinaider"
"BUREIBAA to SHINAIDAA" (ブレイバーとシナイダー) 
February 20, 2008
Toraji gives the Muroe High kendo club a vacation, since he has a business trip to schedule. Yūji invites Tamaki to go to an amusement park that's hosting a Blade Braver play. At the venue, She meets a girl called Rin Suzuki, a fan of Braver's rival, Shinaider. They enter a quiz game show to win The Blade Bravers plush dolls. Unfortunately, Rin wins the plush dolls, in a tie-breaker round. However, Rin gives up all the plush dolls, except the Shinaider plush doll, to Tamaki. 
21 "Tamaki Kawazoe and Rin Suzuki"
"Kawazoe Tamaki to Suzuki Rin" (川 添珠姫と鈴木凛) 
February 27, 2008
Tamaki and Rin witness a scene for the Blade Bravers movie. They stay up late comparing whether Blade Braver or Shinaider is the better character. In the morning Tamaki and Rin, along with the production crew, go on location to film the new Blade Bravers movie, where an incident gets both of them the replacement roles in the new film. The rest of the Muroe High kendo club members either practice or take the day off doing what they want. The episode concludes with Toraji returning from his business trip. 
22 "Winners and Losers"
"Haisha to Shousha" (敗者と勝者) 
March 5, 2008
The Muroe High kendo club goes to the Kanto High kendo tournament. Miyako shows her improvement in practice, but fails to defeat Carrie in the tournament. The Muroe High kendo club makes it to the third round, where Tamaki is finally defeated by Rin, and Muroe is pushed out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Toyama and Iwasa, two former members of the Muroe High kendo club, are caught fighting in a video game arcade and destroying two machines. 
23 "Lie and Silence"
"Osu to Chinmoku" (嘘と沈黙) 
March 12, 2008
The principal of the school tells Toraji that the Muroe High kendo club will be disbanded because of club members engaging in suspicious or risky activities. It turns to be Toyama and Iwasa's fault. They, ironically, have stopped attending Muroe High kendo club but have not turned in any resignation forms. Kirino and Sayako are distraught when Toraji reveals the news to them, and they protest the principal's decision, calling it unfair. Meanwhile, Miyako has an emotional breakdown over her failure in the competition and, surprisingly, refuses Eiga's comfort. Tamaki, also unhappy over losing the competition, quits the Muroe High kendo club, much to Kirino's dismay. 
24 "The Sword and the Way"
"Ken to Michi" (剣と道) 
March 19, 2008
Kirino attempts and fails to prevent Tamaki from resigning from the Muroe High kendo club, the latter already having decided to give up. Neither she nor Miyako decide to attend the Muroe High kendo club, and nobody knows of Miyako's whereabouts. Eventually even Kirino decides not to attend, and the only members left are Azuma, Yūji, Eiga, and Sayako. Azuma manages to convince Miyako to keep up with kendo, while Sayako dissuades Kirino from quitting kendo. Yūji comforts Tamaki, telling her that losing is not as bad as she thinks, and Tamaki decides to learn upper-level posture to help improve her kendo skills. Eventually she decides to come back to kendo club, and the members are reunited. 
25 "Kendo and What it Brings About"
"Kendou to sore ga motarasumono" (剣道とそれがもたらすもの) 
March 26, 2008
The Muroe High kendo club goes to a national kendo competition and meets with many of their former opponents. Miyako, having watched footage of her previous kendo match filmed by Reimi in an effort to improve her kendo skills, manages to beat Carrie, the latter of which calls the former out for a match of their own and is beaten again. Tamaki fights Rin again and wins by using the thrust attack. Toraji, on the other hand, has emptied out his apartment, and in the last few minutes of the episode is shown getting on Nobu's motorcycle and going to a different place, presumably his new home. 
26 ""Since Then" and "From Here on Out""
""Sorekara" to "korekara"" ("それから"と"これから") 
April 2, 2008
It is a new year and several months have passed since the national kendo competition. Rin invites Tamaki to see the Blade Bravers movie in a movie theater. Back at the kendo dojo, two freshmen show up to join the Muroe High kendo club. The members one by one appear trying to convince them to join the club only to perform sideshow tricks leaving the freshmen unimpressed. The Muroe High kendo club later have a sparring match which causes the freshmen to become enthusiastic about joining the kendo club. It is later revealed that these two new kendo club members, Shinobu Toyama and Makoto Iwasa, are the siblings of the previous members that quit. Toraji returns back to school having settled the problem with the woman, which he encountered at the stored, that forced him to leave. At the very end of the episode Tamaki encounters a long purple haired woman with blue eyes, hinting that Bamboo Blade may have another season to come. 

Reception

"The recent series from anime production house AIC A.S.T.A is a surprise - and yet not really one at all," wrote Andrez Bergen in the June 2008 issue of U.K. magazine, impact. "While Bamboo Blade follows the travails of a bunch of high school girls in one very special kendo team, rather than boys, the producers were previously responsible for Gun Sword, a series in which one very special woman - Carmen 99 - also pretty much stole the show." [2]

References

External links








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