Episode 02: “Blade Braver and Lunch”
Summary: Flashback: A little Tamaki is totally engrossed in watching an episode of her favorite TV show “Blade Braver.” The villain is telling Blade Braver that they can’t defeat him since he is the strongest and the world belongs to him. Blade Braver informs him that they will defeat him and restore peace to the world, as Tamaki watches in awe.
Picking up from where episode 1 left off, Tamaki enters the dojo responding to someone being bullied by the jerk Toyama. Kirino informs him that Tamaki is also a new member and that she’s experienced in kendo too. Toyama takes on the challenge and tells Kirino to get Tamaki into gear. In the change room, Kirino apologizes to Tamaki for getting her involved in this mess as Toyama likes to pick on the new members and that he has a superiority complex. Kirino then cheers Tamaki on and tells her to teach the jerk Toyama a lesson he will never forget. Tamaki asks if they have smaller trousers since the trousers she is wearing is too big for her, she can fold up the front but she’ll probably step on the hem. Kirino apologizes, saying that it’s the smallest one they have and suggests that they should do this at another time when Tamaki has brought her own uniform. Tamaki says it’s fine to do it now since she will be a member of the club just for today. We drop in on the conversation between Ishida and Yuuji about Tamaki. Yuuji recounts that way back in primary school, he and his friends were being bullied by older students and it turned into a brawl. One of the older students picked up a steel pipe and then Tamaki appeared with a stick and protected them, the ally of justice. Meanwhile, they have no idea that Tamaki is being an ally of justice at the very same moment in the dojo.
Tamaki faces off with Toyama. Yuuji comes by just in time thinking that he’s late for practice but instead witness an ongoing sparring. Tamaki easily dodges Toyama’s attacks and gets a point, but Toyama is a sore loser and goes off attacking her continuously disregarding usual kendo match rules. Tamaki remembers her father’s wise words about kendo, that it’s not about beating opponents but more about dedicating yourself to self improvement, and that kendo starts and ends with courtesy. Tamaki realizes that this match with Toyama doesn’t seem to be kendo at all. Despite Toyama’s unfair and continuous attacks, Tamaki is able to strike back easily. This pisses off Toyama and attacks more aggressively. Tamaki trips over her trouser’s hem several times, worrying Kirino since Toyama is breaking through Tamaki’s defense. Yuuji calmly and cheerfully tells Kirino that it’s not a problem at all, as if on cue, Tamaki hits Toyama again. A pissed off Toyama throws his shinai towards Tamaki and hits her, saying that it slipped off his grip. Getting ready for another round, Tamaki wonders what she should do since she can’t beat him with strength alone.
Flashback: At the Kawazoe dojo, Tamaki’s father informs her that she is putting too much strength into her thrust like she’s trying to finish off a villain. Her father bans her from using thrusts on anyone… Well, she will only be allowed to use it if her opponent is a mature man, and experienced in kendo, and that’s only after she is in high school. End of flashback. Tamaki realizes that Toyama meets those restrictions that her father gave her and she is now in high school, therefore using that move against Toyama, effectively taking him down. Kirino thanks Tamaki and tells her that those 2 bullies may come back someday and when they do, Tamaki is the only one who can fight them. With this threat of indefinite return of the bullies, Tamaki gladly becomes a member of the club until then.
The next day, Tamaki’s father notices that she is bringing her kendo gear to school. She informs him that she has joined the kendo club. Her father asks if she was invited by a friend or a teacher to join. She answers neither and says she joined to defend the innocent from evil. Ishida is teaching a class but doesn’t have much energy at all. He tells them it’s because he didn’t have breakfast and is really hungry. Two of his students offer to give their lunches to him. He gladly accepts. Meanwhile, Kirino and the new members of the club are having lunch together. Miyako tells them that they could share their food. Everybody seems to have packed a lot besides Tamaki who packed a hefty amount of rice with only a single plum. Tamaki apologizes saying that she can’t share her plum evenly but she’d be glad to share the rice. Tamaki quickly finishes her bento. Kirino offers her some of her hamburgers, while Danjuro offered Miyako’s fried shrimp and Yuuji offers some drink. She then comments that she feels like she’s being fed. Kirino says Tamaki is pretty short so she felt like she needed to eat more to grow bigger.
Yuuji later asks Kirino about the other junior member in the club. Kirino says her name is Saya but its unlikely they’ll meet her soon since Saya is pretty random but assures them that she will come back on her own. Yuuji then asks how the team performed competitively last year. Kirino says they’re pretty average and managed to reach the 2nd round of the team matches and a few of the boys managed to get to the semifinals but the girls didn’t do too well. Danjuro then asks how Yuuji did competitively in middle school. Yuuji says he only managed to get into the top 8 at the school regionals. Kirino is amazed by this but Yuuji modestly says it’s not that amazing at all. Kirino then says she hasn’t managed to reach the regionals and if being in the top 8 isn’t amazing then she’s a slug compared to him. With this, Yuuji takes back what he said and insists that he is amazing indeed. Kirino then asks if Tamaki has ever been in a tournament. Tamaki answers that she’s never entered any. Yuuji says that he knows that if Tamaki ever joined one, she’d win at the nationals. This makes Tamaki blush.
During practice, Ishida tells off Kirino for her sloppy moves with the shinai and asks Tamaki to demonstrate the correct move. He then asks Tamaki to spar with him since he hasn’t assessed her true skills yet. Both of then in gear, they start the spar with Tamaki immediately getting the first point effortlessly. Yuuji and Kirino tell Tamaki that she can’t do that so quickly since Ishida-sensei also has his pride to consider. Ishida later realizes that he has become weak and gladly goes on to spar with Tamaki more. At home, Tamaki’s father informs her that there’s rice sent by her mother’s family while his family sent some plums. Tamaki quietly apologizes later as she decided to make sandwiches for tomorrow instead since she’d like to share it with her new friends.~ end of episode.
My Impression: Pretty good follow up on the first episode. Tamaki is so adorable! I really love Tamaki’s indifferent atmosphere and her naiveté and I so love her facial expressions! Kirino is fun to watch and funny as usual. That match with Ishida was quite hilarious. Tamaki immediately went yelling “Men!” (see crash course on kendo) not even giving him a chance to react. Haha. I’m looking forward to see the kendo matches, I’m sure it’s going to be quite awesome. On another note, I’d like to see Tamaki and Yuuji together, they look so cute! Ah, did you notice him blush while drinking from the bottle at lunch with the club members? I wonder if he was blushing because of Tamaki or Kirino, or maybe because he was embarrassed to ask about how the kendo club team is doing competitively… Hmm. Anyway, I’m really loving Bambo Blade!
Just a quick reminder that I made a brief entry, a crash course on kendo, which will serve as a quick reference guide for this series. Feel free to refer to that once the technical terms pop up in the episodes to come.
Next Episode: We will meet the other female member of the kendo club, Kuwahara Sayako. We also get to see Miya-Miya’s dark side.