Posted by psgels on 31 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

Ah, Bamboo Blade. You had the potential to become interesting when you started, though something went wrong. The flaws for this series are a bit more subtle than usual, and I’m still not 100% sure what it was that really caused the downfall for this series. If I had to guess, then it’s a combination of things. Bamboo Blade in the end had its moments, but remains overall boring.

Let’s take a look at the characters first. At the beginning of this series, they really caught my intention, and I admit having laughed quite a bit at their antics. They get a small share of development during the second half, so what went wrong? Well the characters may have been impressive at first sight, but looking back, the creators just took a bunch of stereotypes and gave them one or two original personality-traits. This leads to a quiet and small but uberpowerful girl who is obsessed with cheesy mecha-shows, a beauty who actually is quite sadistic but has a geek as boyfriend, that geek who has managed to score such a beautiful girl as girlfriend.

This is nice and all, but the characters didn’t feel dynamic at all. The creators were so busy, trying to step away from the stereotypes that they forgot that the silent girl still remained silent, the geek remained a geek, and the sadistic beauty remains a sadistic beauty. In the end, nearly every character couldn’t shake away his or her stereotype. The side-characters are off even worse: there’s the obsessive stalker-girl, the old hag, the rival and several of the opposing kendo-teams who are cookie-cutters at best. Because of this, the characters are funny and enjoyable when first introduced, but they just can’t remain interesting for a full course of 26 episodes.

Then there’s the story. It may be me, but it really felt like the creators were struggling to keep it moving forward. Basically, the show’s about a Kendo-club who fights in a number of tournaments. Every single group of opponents gets progressively duller for some strange reason. Especially the two final opponents feel artificial at best. Seriously, this show takes a real nose-dive as it nears its ending.

I really feel that this is one series that would have been best suited for 13 episodes. At least that way, the characters wouldn’t have had any time to get boring. I’ve praised the past Autumn and Winter-Season for featuring a lot of good shows, centring around high-schools, but this is unfortunately not one of them.

18 Responses

  1. Koji Oe says:

    Wow, I really see this show different then you. Using your scale I’d give it an 89 or 92. I really liked this show and it never failed to give me a nice fuzzy feeling inside.

  2. Vangui says:

    I think one of the main selling points of this series are the characters. Even if they are stereotypical like you said, they are pretty likable. And I think the characters have really good interaction between them.

  3. BlueYoshi says:

    I remember putting this show On-Hold after Episode 17. I hope the last few episodes aren’t that bad; I’m planning on breezing through the final 9 episodes soon.

  4. issa-sa says:

    Haven’t finished watching this (in the 20s episodes), but I’ve already noticed that Bamboo Blade is one of those series that’s easily enjoyed as u watch it thanks to its amusing characters, simple story, etc. but in the end isn’t going to leave much of a ‘strong’ impression overall as a show, so I can understand the score. It’s more a fun while it lasts kind of show for me.

  5. Archer says:

    i start with saying that i don’t like sports anime that much mostly because they always have some extreme tactics,techniques and other things that don’t come even near to the sport in real life(i know it is a anime but some don’t even respect basic rules of the game) and so i only watch sports anime because they all have one thing in common:comedy

    i remember that in 20007 there were 2 sports anime that looked promising:Bamboo Blade and Ookiku Furikabutte ,i started watching B Blade but when i got to episode 9 i already got bored,the humor was ok at first but after each episode passed i did not find it even that funny anymore,the story nothing we have not seen,characters maybe they should have been the main attraction of this anime but to me they failed and maybe only the kendo fights were good since they were quite realistic (at least until ep9)
    while i probably won’t watch the rest of this series i have to say that Ookiku Furikabutte was a lot better,i hate baseball as a game but this anime has indeed likable characters,the humor does not get boring and the sport in a team is simulated perfectly,the feeling of the players are so real when compared to a human in that situation so i loved the later one(not a masterpiece but i very enjoyable anime that will make u care about its characters) and i would not even mind if a second season would b released :D

  6. Patrick Monti says:

    There is one thing that doesn’t translate very well to psgels scores. Issa-sa totally nailed it with his comment, this series is fun to watch and doesn’t have big pretensions. But after watching it you won’t remember all that much, it won’t leave a big impression on you. So I understand the score but I think that “while watching the series the score would be much higher”.
    I don’t know if my explanation is very clear, but that’s how i feel about this series.

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Well, I felt a bit different. This series is fun to watch at times, but at others, especially in the later half, it left me really bored, and just hoping for the episodes to end. That’s why I rated this series relatively low.

  8. blissmo says:

    I agree with you a little bit, but I watched it again and I really like it now.

  9. Shippoyasha says:

    Not sure I exactly agree the show being ‘boring’ as its downfall. I agree that they could’ve done things more dynamically and transition the plots better, and character interaction more interesting.

    But I think the show’s slight slice-of-life twinge made it worth it in a strange way. I still consider it one of the better watches during the last half year.

  10. nahrub says:

    i forgot bout other things n just go nuts lmao.

  11. hing75 says:

    All that huff for a simple yet enjoyable series. I’d give it a thumbs up. It’s not just about the comedy, it also teaches determination and success only found through hard work. Also winning isn’t everything and losing somtimes, teaches you to become stronger.
    Good family entertainment comedy, values and lovable characters.
    A second season would be nice.

  12. shogun22 says:

    Its a very enjoyable series.
    It wasn’t perfect, but it kept me interested till the end.
    I’d give it a 90/100.

  13. DxBreed says:

    I’m going to have to go with Impact magazine on this one. The characters although interesting grew alittle boring I liked the idea that show mainly focused on the girl characters but after awile this became boring. The first arc was probably the best because even though it was mainly about the girls there were other things going such as toyama, kojiro’s bet, etc ,etc. After awile as said earlier it started to get boring. Beginning of show 85/100. End of show 70/100. Unfortunately, what ever any of you liked about this show probably climaxed its equalities after the first real arc.

  14. DxBreed says:

    Pardon my typo on equalities when it should be qualities.

  15. Shin says:

    Your review is strange to me.
    I’ve watched anime since I was four and I’ve been exposed to more than 300 different anime series and I can confidently say that Bamboo Blade is one of the most original comedy series I have ever seen. Can you please tell me exactly where you’ve seen sadistic beauties with a strange fetish for acorn shaped boys before? Can you tell me when you’ve ever seen an Excel-like character who wasn’t over-the-top psycho and sported an adorable cat shaped mouth?

    As far as the story goes, it has by far exceeded any sports anime I know of. It wasn’t just a stupid “okay, we’ll crush this tournament to show them that we’re the best, then we’ll invent a new tournament and crush that one to show them we’re the best”. No, it wasn’t like that at all. It was “our instructor is using us for the sake of sushi and in our first tournament we lost and learned how tough life was”. Character development was excellent with Tamaki in that they didn’t just do a stereotypical “I can’t believe that bitch beat me, now I’m gonna kick some conveniently located soda cans and train off screen and kick her ass in the season finale”. It wasn’t “stereotypical” at all. I don’t even know how you can say that the last opponents were “artificial” when they’ve clearly spent a long time developing her character and proving that Tamaki needed to lose in order to get stronger.

    I don’t know what you’ve been watching but Bamboo Blade is by no means “stereotypical”. Quite frankly, the review makes no sense and nor does your scoring system (what’s the difference between 71 and 70? did you just pull that number out of your ass?). Using you’re strange scoring, I’d rate this no lower than 80 and no higher than 90.

    But that’s just my stereotypical opinion.

  16. buffer72 says:

    loved it. 85/100.

  17. Sessame_seed says:

    i agree with shin this was one of the most original animes i’ve seen so far……if u wanna know why im sayin this noe well…there was a scene frm ep 2 where the sensei’s friend told him that if he won then he would take the senseis trophy….at first i thought his reaction was gonna be something like….”never that trophy is my lifeee” but i was wrong the sensei didnt even give a damn abt the trophy he only cared abt the good times and the love he had for kendo….i just love tht scene..

    Ur sooo wrong psgel….

  18. NG14916 says:

    This is one show that really makes me doubt this site’s ratings system. While the last two episodes weren’t good, the rest of the show was very enjoyable. Who cares if the characters didn’t overcome stereotypes? They grew and became better people; they weren’t supposed to change just because some random guy thought that they were acting too cliche.

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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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