Bamboo Blade | 02


Bamboo Blade (Tama-chan)

Spoilers ahead.

– Tama-chan learned her overdeveloped sense of justice from watching an anime as a kid called Blade Braver.

– Nakata tells Kojirou when he was in elementary school he got into a fight with some older kids. He was about to get creamed with a metal pipe when he was saved by Tama-chan. Her weakness is her burning sense of justice. Her dream is to be a hero just like her anime idol. LOLz. Well, the upside of having a fictional character as an idol is they’ll never let people down unlike certain star athletes today.

– I’m not sure what to think of Chiba. At times she acts mature but then quickly degenerates to into a passionate fit like a child. Guess that’s her charm.

“Tama-chan! Knock him down! Overthrow the big bully! Kick his @$$!!! – Chiba

– Chiba is right on calling Toyama a tyrant. Not only does he bully people, like a proper tyrant, he tries to force his idea of kendo on Tama-chan which is domination and pain.

– It’s a step back from watching various martial arts fights in HSD Kenichi but the production team does a great job animating the fierce kendo match. The flow is great and and movements brisk and energetic. The quality of the animation is fairly consistant throughout and well rendered. I’m in awe. A big budget production?

– Toyama doesn’t follow the rules. He attacks Tama-chan from behind immediately after she gets a strike point then gives her some nonsense explanation. So now he makes up his own rules too. Forget it, Toyama. Your totalitarian regime is over!

– There’s a flashback of Tama-chan’s father talking about the meaning behind kendo. Basically modern kendo is a sport focused on old school values (see bushi). Kendo is not about killing or hurting (exactly what Toyama is doing). The punchline? He talks about this serious topic with a very little Tama-chan with a funny blank look on her face. But what do you know she was listening, and she comes to a conclusive decision. Their match “is not kendo.”

– If we’re talking bushido (the way of the warrior) then Toyama lost face with the first strike. Then those humiliating consecutive strikes— he should be on his knees and commiting seppuku. Well that’s if he was an honorable man.

– Tama-chan is handicapped by her hakama which is too big for her. But it limits her movement not strength.

– She gets tired of holding back and uses her ultimate move, spearing him in the neck (only legal thrust allowed in kendo). Her father told her to never use it on regular people but Toyama met all the requirements (must be a man, mature and experienced). A little later, it’s revealed her deadly thrust technique is modeled after the special attack of Blade Braver’s main hero called Atomic Fire Blade!

– Kojirou trashes his plan to recruit Tama-chan. This is very different from the comic where he zealously scripts out an elaborate plan in his office featuring all the kendo members which comically takes place exactly as he plots out back at the dojo.

– Crushed, Toyama exits dojo and sets the stage for Chiba who recites a line right out of some hokey film.

“Those two may return someday to bully us again. Tama-chan, you’re the only one who can protect us!” – Chiba

Punchline: Kojirou’s clueless expression is classic.

– If you haven’t figured it out by now she’s a huge anime fan. She’s dead serious when she says “I’m defending the innocent from the forces of evil.”

– The Kendo Club members bond during lunch. Tama-chan’s bento is as spartan as her personality. It’s only rice and single dried plum (she eats it out of respect to her mother and father). She thinks it’s unnecessarily extravagant but later she buys ingredients to make bentos like her new friends. She’s finally learning to socialize.

– Except Nakata, the club members still don’t know they’re part of a bet Kojirou made with his his sempai (sushi is his shameless motivation).

– It’s lowkey but Nakata blushes because he gets an indirect kiss from Tama-chan when they drink from the same water bottle.

– Word of the upcoming match gets around and a fellow teacher stops by to give Kojirou words of encouragment. If she only knew the truth.

– During practice, Tama-chan pwns Kojirou in a sparing match. Crushed, he nurses his bruised ego outside but he gets over it and returns to practice. In the comic, it’s revealed he lost the will to use his shenai after he froze during an armed robbery at a job.

– Another enjoyable episode. Keeping fingers crossed the quality keeps up.

– E02 covers part of E05 through half of ch10 (comic).

Edit 2008-03-26: Went back to watch and thought, Huh, it reminds me of Potemayo. Certain gestures by the characters… and certain scenes and the pacing. Hard to put my finger on it.


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