Episode 01: “The Broom and the Ally of Justice”
Summary: Kirino is practicing in the kendo club dojo. She insists that Ishida-sensei spar with her and that they should aim for the nationals. Ishida refuses to spar with her saying that he’s too hungry right now and tells her that it’s just a club, and if Kirino is having fun in it, then it serves it’s purpose already so Kirino should just relax and have fun. Kirino brushes this off and proceeds on to forcibly spar with Ishida-sensei and hits him repeatedly.
Back in Ishida’s apartment, he is looking over his bank accounts and comes to the conclusion that he is broke. He picks up his shinai and attempts to practice but ends up breaking his light bulb upon raising the shinai. He leaves the house and meets up with his senpai at a restaurant. His senpai informs him that he has finally assembled a team of girls for his kendo club and invites him for a match. Ishida agrees but tells him he only has one active member for his kendo club so the match will have to wait. Senpai then offers a bet that Ishida can’t refuse. If Ishida wins the match, his senpai would treat him to a year’s worth of sushi. This gets Ishida all hyped up and is determined to assemble his female kendo team.
The next day at school, Ishida spars with Kirino. Kirino notices that sensei seems to be more determined than yesterday. Ishida says they should aim for the nationals like Kirino said. A couple of male students drop by to observe the club since they’re interested in joining but Ishida just brushes them off yelling they don’t need boys. Kirino wonders why so Ishida then goes on to tell her that he agreed to have a practice match with his senpai’s female kendo team so he should be able to gather 5 female students to make their own team. Two more male students (Yuuji and Danjuro) drop by to observe, but before Ishida can shoo them away, Kirino hits him and tells the two boys that it’s fine but they should forget about observing and just join the club. Danjuro reminds Yuuji that he promised to go with him to check out the school’s ping pong club. Yuuji affirms this then asks Kirino if there are other members. Kirino informs him that the seniors have already graduated but they have 3 juniors. Danjuro says there aren’t much members so they should go over to see ping pong club instead. Yuuji tells him that he really loves kendo. This catches Ishida’s attention. Yuuji tells Kirino that he’ll drop by again when there are more members in the dojo. Ishida confides to Kirino and says he thinks he is a terrible instructor since he only thinks of himself, adding that life’s pretty tough.
Kirino and Ishida are walking around the campus as Ishida wonders if there are other ways to find skilled people. Kirino suggests a ridiculous scenario that if they see a girl carrying a shinai, they should throw tons of rocks at her and if she’s able to cut through every rock then it means she’s skilled. Ishida brushes this off. Kirino thanks him for being serious about kendo club this time. Just then, the ridiculous scenario becomes real as a baseball, a baseball, tennis ball and football comes flying at Kirino and Ishida along with the vice principal falling towards them from the 3rd floor. Just in the nick of time, someone grabs a broom using it like a sword and effectively hits all the “debris” away from Kirino and Ishida, therefore protecting them from getting hit. It’s revealed to be a black-haired girl. Ishida blurts out an invitation to join the kendo club but she says she isn’ t interested and continues to walk away. Ishida goes to the staff room and finds out that the girl’s name is Kawazoe Tamaki.
We later learn that Tamaki is actually a very strong and skilled kendoka and that her father owns a dojo. At the dinner table, her father suggests that she should join the kendo club at school. Tamaki asks why she should join since she practices everyday when she’s home anyway. Her dad says he thinks practicing at school can be fun too.
The next day at school, Yuuji and Danjuro drop by again at kendo club. Ishida and Kirino eagerly welcome them. Danjuro is crying since he apparently learned that there is no ping pong club in the school. Kirino says it may be fate and that Danjuro should join the kendo club as well. Ishida then approaches Yuuji and asks that if he has a girlfriend he could invite her to join the kendo club too. Yuuji says he doesn’t have one. Danjuro then says he has one and could invite her to join since he doesn’t think she’s decided on a club yet, surprising Yuuji and Ishida that Danjuro has a girlfriend to begin with. We later learn that Yuuji was in the kendo club during all 3 years of junior high and trained at Kawazoe dojo during primary school. This dojo’s name catches Ishida’s attention big time. He approaches Yuuji and quietly asks him if there’s a girl about his age at the dojo he mentioned. Yuuji asks if he meant Tamaki. Ishida affirms this and asks Yuuji to invite Tamaki to kendo club. Yuuji says that might not be possible since Tamaki isn’t interested in kendo since for her, kendo is just a household chore. Yuuji wonders why Ishida needs Tamaki to join the club. He then fills in Yuuji on the bet he made with his senpai where if Ishida wins, he’ll be able to eat free sushi at his senpai’s dad’s restaurant for an entire year. On the way home, Yuuji runs into Tamaki and was about to invite her to join the kendo club, but didn’t at the last minute remembering Ishida’s motivation to recruit Tamaki.
The next day at the club dojo, Ishida, Kirino and Yuuji are waiting for Danjuro and his girlfriend. They wonder how she might look like. Ishida insists that maybe it’s an imaginary girlfriend; Yuuji thinks she’s a normal girl who’s more like a friend; while Kirino thinks it must be a really pretty girl which is a total opposite to Danjuro. Ishida then goes on about how a couple totals to 100% where a 10% female will pair up with a 90% male or a 70% female will pair up with a 30% male and so forth, so that the world could maintain its balance; therefore, he thinks Kirino’s idea that Danjuro’s girlfriend will be really pretty may actually be possible. As Danjuro arrives, Ishida and Yuuji are completely taken aback that Kirino was right and Danjuro’s girlfriend is a really pretty girl named Miyako. Later, Ishida insists that Yuuji should introduce him to Tamaki while they would recruit Miyako afterwards. They then run into two guys who are juniors and members of the kendo club as well, Toyama and his friend. Kirino informs them that they have new freshmen members. Meanwhile at the dojo Danjuro effectively tries to impress Miyako as he brandishes the shinai around. Apparently, Toyama and his friend were passing by and decide to bully the new kendo members.
Kirino manages to find Tamaki and invites her to join the club. She drags Tamaki along towards the dojo so she could observe the club. They walk into Toyama bullying Danjuro in a kendo spar. Kirino tells them off but won’t listen to her. Tamaki asks Kirino why Toyama is ignoring her even though she is the captain of the club. Kirino says it’s because Toyama is the strongest among the members adding that he was the reason most of the club members left. Tamaki doesn’t like the sound of that at all. She then says that she is temporarily joining the club. Meanwhile, we drop in on the conversation between Yuuji and Ishida. We learn from Yuuji that Tamaki is usually quiet and reserved but she is very idealistic and she always wanted to be a kind of hero that upholds justice and doesn’t forgive anyone who does bad things.
~ end of episode
My Impression: The colors are easy on the eyes and I like the cute character drawings. It’s a pretty solid episode for a first. Besides Ishida-sensei, Yuuji and Danjuro, we meet three of the members of the five-female kendo team that Ishida hopes to assemble. Kirino, the captain; then there’s Miyako who is Danjuro’s girlfriend; and Tamaki, the ally of justice.
I love the humor which is sometimes subtle and sometimes not. I particularly like the subtle ones since I like the idea of paying attention to detail or dialogue to be able to get the funniness of it. Haha, but that’s just me. Like that part when Ishida tries to practice kendo at his place and ended up breaking the light bulb, that cracked me up. I had fun watching it and I’m looking forward to the next episode where we will get to see Tamaki in action!
In addition, I also 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: A kendo challenge between Tamaki and Toyama (the jerk). We will see Tamaki’s rendition of being an ally of justice.