Anime Review 02 – Bamboo Blade

If you can’t see the video, click here.

Here’s my full text review of Bamboo Blade, taken from TheAndySan’s Anime Review #2 – Bamboo Blade:

Have you ever wished you could be in a Japanese high school? Yeah, you and me both, although the homework would kill me!! How about in a Japanese high school kendo club? Not sure? Well, it’s time to spin Bamboo Blade in your DVD player!

Bamboo Blade begins as the story of Muroe High School’s kendo club, instructed by Toraji Ishida, a hopelessly poor and unlucky fellow with a short-temper to boot, and his only member and captain of the kendo club, Kirino Chiba, a girl who’s energetic and always positive. When Ishida-sensai is challenged by his sempai who runs two kendo clubs at two different schools, Kenzaburō Ishibashi, he becomes determined to gather a 5-woman kendo team to defeat Ishibashi-sensai and win free Tokyo-style sushi for a year.

Muroe High School’s kendo club consists of:

Toraji Ishida – the down-on-his-luck instructor

The 5-women team

The 2-man team

The 5-woman team consists of:

Tamaki “Tama-chan” Kawazoe – the shy child prodigy

Kirino Chiba – the insanely positive captain

Miyako “Miya-Miya” Miyazaki – the cute girl with a dark side

Sayako “Sayo-chan” Kuwahara – the eccentric random girl

Satori “Satorin” Azuma – the talented but clumsy girl

The 2-man team is:

Yūji Nakata – a sincere and talented guy who looks out for Tama-chan

Danjūrō “Dan” Eiga – a small and slow guy who is Miya-Miya’s boyfriend

Story: 8/10

Although Bamboo Blade uses the ol’ Japanese high school premise, it’s much more than that. The story really captures what it’s like to be in a kendo club, alibiet with some out-of-the-norm occurances. It’s told with loving care and doesn’t go for excessive amounts of fanservice, not that there isn’t fanservice; it’s subtly tucked in without having it in the spotlight. I give it an 8/10 for an excellent take on a cookie-cutter subgenre.

Animation & Music: both 7/10

The animation quality definitely gets the job done, and it especially shines during the critical action scenes. The music is pretty catchy too. I’m totally diggin’ the ending theme’s dance-funk feel. I give both the animation and the music a 7/10 for a good, but not mind-blowing, job.

Characters: 10/10

This is where Bamboo Blade shines its brightest. The character development is top-notch and makes this anime definitely re-watchable. 10/10, no question.

Enjoyment: 10/10

I haven’t thuroughly enjoyed an anime from beginning to end like this since Love Hina! And the ending makes you beg for more when a second season is hinted at. 10/10 for pure enjoyment.

Overall: 8.4/10

Bamboo Blade is a breath of fresh air among the cookie-cutter high-school subgenre of anime. The characters develop nicely, the animation and music is satisfactory, and I would watch this again in a heartbeat.

Here’s the excerpt from the original video:

Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan hurr with a long-awaited anime review!!

My review is not on Bleach or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but on an excellent little number called Bamboo Blade!

I apologize if I butchered the pronunciation as I was trying to get this out ASAP.

Enjoy!

After looking over my Love Hina review, I decided to do something different when I recorded my review for Bamboo Blade. There’s definitely a jump-up in quality, but my main problem is that I’m rushing it so that the video’s shorter. Other than that and the dubious audio quality, I’m still happy with how this anime review turned out and have modeled all of my other reviews after it.

TheAndySan

Paramore BRAND NEW EYES Album Review

If you can’t see the above video, click here.

Buy Paramore’s Brand New Eyes from Amazon!

Several weeks ago, I got the newest CD by Paramore, who are one of my favorite bands to come out in the past 10 years. Their newest CD is called Brand New Eyes, and it’s pretty damn awesome to say the least. Let’s begin the review, shall we?:

Personal Backstory

I remember first hearing about Paramore in an issue of Guitar World. Back then, the idea of a female-fronted rock band was a breath of fresh air. I later looked up some of their songs on YouTube and then got their smash hit albums All We Know Is Falling and Riot. I’ve been a Paramore fan ever since. I absolutely love songs like Emergancy, Pressure, Misery Business, and CrushCrushCrush.

Since Riot! was released, Paramore certainly set the bar pretty high for their followup album. Time to dive right into Brand New Eyes!

The Goodies

I’ve got to say, this has got to be Paramore’s most introspective album yet! That’s not to say it’s a giant wussfest chock full of ballads and acoustic numbers, no, far from it!

If the first single Ignorance is any indication, then we’re in for quite a pop punk treat! It’s Paramore through and through, a high energy sound that reminds me of early Good Charlotte and Blink-182 with some Green Day thrown in for taste.

The song that was on the Twilight soundtrack, Decode, is also really well done. The clean guitar parts show off their competent but non-flashy guitar work, which is one of my favorite parts of Paramore. Sure they know how to play, but everything meshes together beautifully without somebody showing off for 30 seconds at a time.

Although I said that this album wasn’t full of acoustic songs and ballads, it does have a couple good ones. The Only Exception and Misguided Ghosts are nicely done without sounding thrown in.

The Baddies & The Uglies

Trying to find faults in this album is like finding faults in a box of cute puppies; sure you might some, but who cares, it’s a box of puppies!

I’ve honeslty tried to find one thing about this album to criticise, but I haven’t found any yet. No crappy thrown-in songs, no fake overly-sappy ballads, no weird experimental freak-outs, nothing. The entire album is seriously all killer, no filler!

The Verdict

With an album that’s greatly introspective but still remains true to the band’s style, Paramore’s Brand New Eyes is a pop-punk delight that’s a perfect successor to Riot!.

6 Tracks To Give a Clicky-Click

– Ignorance

– Playing God

– Brick By Boring Brick

– Turn It Off

– All I Wanted

– Decode

TheAndySan

Behind The Scenes of TheAndySan.com

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

TUTORIALS:

Updated WordPress.com – Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Blog

How To Use Text-Link-Ads

PROGRAM LINKS:

WordPress (blogging software)

Google Analytics (website traffic analyzing software)

Text-Link-Ads (monetization business)

Google AdSense (monetization business)

DreamHost (domain hosting and registering)

I was watching a video by Jason of the MyArgonauts channel on YouTube and heard that he was thinking about starting up a website dedicated to people in the JET Programme, which in short is a program that sends college graduates to Japan to teach English.

Jason has been in Japan under the JET Programme for 5 years and came back to America in August 2009 so he’s definitely got a story to tell!

The blogging software that I use is called WordPress. It’s very commonly used so it’s easy to find help for it through forums if you need it. There’s also an extensive collection of plugins for WordPress that can enhance your website in many different ways. There are some that keep track of a certain date, some that display your website traffic, some that update your accounts with social media like Twitter and Facebook when you make a new post, and so on.

Since I have my own web domain that’s not a part of a free blogging community like MySpace or Xanga, the options to customize my website are pretty much endless. Because of this freedom, I can take advantage of monetization methods like Google AdSense and Text Link Ads, although there are some free blogging services like Blogger that you can use monetization services like AdSense. For me though, I’m more than happy with buying my own web domain.

The domain hosting and registering company that I go through is called DreamHost. They’re a really reliable company that I have no complaints about. One of the best things about them, aside from their low prices, is that they can auto-install WordPress for you so you don’t have to deal with its sometimes cumbersome manual installation (it might be easier to do now, but it was pretty daunting circa 2008).

Well, that should give you guys an idea of what running a blog is about. If you want a more in-depth article, check out the links I mentioned earlier as well as the following posts by Steve Pavlina:

How To Make Money From Your Blog

How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog)

TheAndySan