Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the ongoing manga series by Masahiro Totsuka with artwork by Aguri Igarashi, Bamboo Blade is a series about the spirit of getting fired up for something and following through on it. There's a lot of character material to be had in here overall, but the core theme that I took from the first thirteen episodes is the scattered talk about how kids have changed and getting fired up and into something has fallen out of favor, leaving an impression of laziness about things as fewer and fewer kids take up various activities, especially the more cultural ones like Kendo.
The series is an ensemble piece that revolves around a young kendo prodigy of sorts named Tamaki, but Tama doesn't really take center stage for a bit as the initial setup for everything is elsewhere. That focus is on Toraji Kojiro Ishida, a part time teacher at the Muroe school where he also serves as the coach for the kendo team. Kojiro was once a good kendo student himself and he won a trophy at one point that has led to contention with a friend from those days and the two still compete in different ways. Because of his status and being single, Kojiro doesn't eat well so he easily takes up Kenzaburo on his offer for free meals at his old mans Edo-style sushi restaurant if Kojiro's kendo team of five can take on and win against his own.
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