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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
…And I’ve come up with a lot of ideas! Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan with pants. Yes, pants.
I haven’t been updating as much as I used to because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking of my future and what I’ll be doing in order to make enough money to support myself. In all honesty, I can’t support myself just working at Wal-Mart, at least not as a cashier. I could try to move up in order to make moAr money, but that would take too long and working at Wal-Mart isn’t what I wanna do long-term. Basically, Wal-Mart is my steady income until I can live off of making money from my websites.
My plan is to make several (probably no more than 10) websites of different interests of mine. Those sites’ll be my main sources of income, and I’ll still have this site up as my personal blog. I was gonna make these sites into social networks, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll make them into a blog & forum combo. I’ll submit my stuff on the blogs and other members can submit their things on the forums. I’ll have ads mostly on the blog sections with some in the forums. I dunno how I’ll organize it, but I’ll get there when I get there.
If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve dramatically changed the look of this site. I got the theme from Dosh Dosh so kudos to you sir!! I don’t usually like 3-column blogs, but this one’s set up nicely so I think I’ll keep it around for awhile.
Well, I’m gonna go eat so I’ll see you guys later. Bye!
Sorry about the absence. I had some problems with my Internets, but they’re fixed…for now…
Jon’s living with us again. I guess it’s back to sleeping on the couch.
Last week was fucking crazy. As you guys know, my truck broke down. I sold it to the guy to cover labor and I got $75 out of it. After I sold it, I found out that I could have sold it to a junkyard for wayyy moAr, even after towing costs.
Because of my transportation situation, my mom’s letting me use Jon’s moped. Honestly, It’s a really nice moped, but it’s been draining my money as of late. It cost me $88 to insure it for a year (amazing, but it still sucks in the short-term), $30-something for new plates and tags that expire in November (I really hope I’m not still riding it by then), $12 for a new chain & lock, $5 for an awesome screwdriver for when the fuse blows up every time I start it and I push the fuse holder into the other side of the tank, and $38 for a new back tire that went flat on my way to Ben’s house for Eights and Aces’ morning practice (I’ll be putting the video of that up as soon as I get the file). I’ll get the tire sometime this week (I’m guessing Wednesday) so my parents have been gracious enough to drive me back and forth to work in the meantime.
Despite all this crap happening, I think that a girl at work has a crush on me. Her name’s Jess and she’s been especially friendly to me ever since I talked to her after she handed chewing tobacco to a customer and they came through my line since they had more than 10 items. It seemed like the customer had a valid reason to purchase the chewing tobacco at an aisle besides the one that sells tobacco products. I called a manager over just in case, and it turns out that I was right; there’s only one aisle that a customer can purchase tobacco, regardless of how many items he/she is buying. So I handed it back to Jess and the customer didn’t want it so we both didn’t get canned. Hurray.
I haven’t asked her if she has a boyfriend/husband yet, so I dunno if she’s single. If she is, then I might have a chance. Maybe. Like I said, she’s been really friendly towards me and I’m pretty sure that she either doesn’t have a boyfriend/husband or is gonna break up with him soon. I’m kinda nervous since it’s been awhile since I last tried to ask someone out. In fact, the last time I was even close to having a relationship was back when I was in UU with the blazin’ Azns Paulette and Amanda.
In my previous post, I said that I’m planning on starting up another website. I’m still doing it, but I’m debating between two cameras, the Aiptek Action HD 1080p and the Sanyo Xacti CG-6. Both are affordable and are pretty good cameras for the money from what I’ve read online.
Well, I’m off to catch up on 6 days without an Internet. Catch ya laters!
Hey there my lovely bunch of crickets, it’s TheAndySan here with some bad news.
My stepdad kicked out Jon. I guess Jon’s living with one of his friends in the meantime. This might be quite the sticky situation.
You see, Jon gets child support checks and he has to live with a parent or guardian in order to get the checks until he turns 18 and then he’ll continue to receive them until he graduates or drops out of high school. Since he no longer lives with a parent or guardian, Mom is gonna be thrown in jail for child support fraud, which is a federal offense.
If this happens, then Mom’ll be in jail and unable to help my stepdad with the house expenses. Since he can’t handle it all by himself, he’ll be forced to sell the house, thus kicking me out.
Oh, but it gets better! I got the news back about my truck, and the camshaft is physically broken. The guy’s been fixing cars for decades and has never seen something like this before. It would cost me over $1,000 to repair it, so I’m gonna sell it to them for what it’s worth in parts and whatnot.
So let’s recap, shall we? I’m gonna be kicked out of the house because my fucking brother wouldn’t shut the fuck up and lay low. I have no money. I have no transportation besides my bike. I will have to quit Wal-Mart because I can’t go back and forth to work on a bike at nighttime. And this whole thing was completely not my fault. I wasn’t involved at all.
Of course, there are ways to fix this problem, but no one wants to listen to me. What the fuck do I know?! I’m just a bum who can’t afford to live on his own!!
I’m trying out a new look for the website. Leave me a comment to tell me what you think of it and if I should keep it or go back to the old look. Personally, I liked the old look. However, some of you don’t like reading white text on a black background so I decided to try something different.
Good afternoon, it’s TheAndySan bringing the noize on this, the day of my brother’s birthday.
So I was driving home at 1 in the morning last night and as I’m turning onto the road that leads to my road, my car dies. I’m still moving mind you, so I do my best to steer off to the side of the road, but my steering and brakes became even worse than they usually are. I ended up halfway on the left lane and the side of the road. To make a long story short, my car is dead and no one will morn it. Butt wait, thurr’s moAr!! My brother had a panic attack because he drank a whole fucking 48 oz bottle of Cranergy. We all thought he was on cocaine or something. So he’s freaking out and the guy whose car fucking died is trying to calm himself and everyone else down too. I’m having it towed in an hour or so to hopefully get it fixed. That’s gonna cost me my ass, fo sho!
So all this shit happens on my other brother’s 11th birthday. What a way to start your fucking birthday, huh?
I dunno what’s going on anymore. I plan on moving out, but right now, I don’t have the money for it. I wanna do a lot of things, but money seems to be holding me back. I either don’t have enough money to do what I want, I don’t have enough money to cover my expense while I do what I want, or both. It’s really got me down, to be honest.
But ph33r n0t! I has a plan. I plan on launching another website as soon as I get a digital camera. I’m gonna save up like crazy and sell some things on eBay so I can get a camera. Stay tuned for moAr details!!
Well, I’m gonna go on a bike ride to clear my head as soon as the tow truck gets here. Stay classy!
Happy Independence Day to my American audience, it’s TheAndySan here after a bike ride into town.
I did my usual biking around town and walked around the Freedom Days festival/picnic. The only kinda-interesting thing there besides the food that I had no money for was the band that was playing. They’re called Sierra Shame and they’re some country rock band. They’re a lot better than the bands that I’ve seen before at Freedom Days, but I don’t find them to be interesting.
Hey guys, my name is TheAndySan and I’ve gotta tell you about the D’Addario Chrome strings.
I’m the kind of guy who’s always experimenting with his gear to find different tonal possibilities.
I was recommended these strings by my local music store and decided to give them a shot. Boy, they are a-freaking-mazing!
No more string sliding noise so your slides are super-quiet. Their darker tone is perfect for pretty much any style of music ranging from heavy metal to jazz. I find that they’re best for beefing up treble-happy pickups.
These are my strings of choice!! I dare you to find better & cheaper flatwound strings than these!!
Also in other news, Jon and I will be kicking out the jams with Eights and Aces early in the morn’ tomorrow at 9. I can’t wait!!
Well, I’m gonna go celebrate the 4th of July by playing my guitar. Enjoy yourselves!
P.S: Here’s the Autonomous Action Unit, now PRAISE IT FOR IT GAVE YOU YOUR FREEDOM!!!1:
July 3rd, 2004: It was a day that forever changed my life. It was the day that my dad passed away. As corny as it sounds, I remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a Saturday morning and I was on my way to the local trading card shop to play in a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament entitled The King of Games Tournament. As I was walking out the door, the phone rang. I thought that it was Eriopolis, who organized the tournament, calling about something so I went back inside. My mom picked up the phone before I could and was told the devastating news by one of my cousins: my dad had passed away in transit to a rehabilitation center. I quickly called Eriopolis and told him that I wouldn’t be in the tournament today.
We drove to Dad’s house, which was also Grandma’s house at the time, and met up with everyone to figure out what had happened. We knew beforehand that Dad was in the hospital and that he was dying. We were told that he would go to a rehabilitation center so that he could die without all the hussle and bussle of a hospital. We were waiting for him to go there so we could visit him and begin to heal our relationship with him.
You see, two years prior to his death, my bro Jon wrote him a letter saying that we didn’t want to see him until he stopped drinking when we were visiting him. We were sick and tired of him always passed out on his chair and we couldn’t spend any quality time with him. We used to do things with him all the time when we were over there. It may not have been extravegant, but it meant the world to us. Dad would record DragonBall-Z throughout the week (keep in mind that this was back when Toonami was in its prime) and we’d watch it together. We developed a theory about time travel from watching the Cell Sagas that I callled the Tree Theory. The Tree Theory states that reality is split whenever someone makes a decision. That split is called a branch. As a result of the branch existing, it can grow new branches from itself. If someone were to go back in time and change events, they would be adding and subtracting branches from The Tree.
All we wanted was for our dad to spend time with us. We didn’t need for him to spend loads of money on us or anything like that. My fondest memories are of us doing things together that cost us pretty much nothing. Sure, we’ve spent many a dollar and good time eating Little Caeser’s pizza, Dad’s home-grilled steak, or just pizza rolls.
I miss him. I wish that I could drive in my truck to his house or just call him and talk to him about whatever I wanted, just like I used to do. But I can’t. He’s gone, and no amount of wanting him is gonna bring him back.
In some aspects, I am glad that he died. If he were still alive, I don’t know for certain if I or Jon would be as dedicated to playing guitar as we are. I’m positive that I would try to learn to play guitar once I saw Travis’ Zakk Wylde Les Paul at McDonald’s. Who knows? Learning to play guitar from Dad could have been the thing that would have brought us back together after spending two years apart.
To be honest though, I do believe that it has reconnected us. It has opened up our creativity and allowed us to bond even from beyond the grave. While the artist may only live for a short time, the music lives forever. This I believe.
What is Shiny Jimi? Why, it’s the name of the protective sleeve for this month’s issue of Guitar World!! It’s to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. I’m gonna read it when I’m done posting.
I had my 90-day evaluation today and good news everyone: I didn’t get fired!! Yay.
In other news, I tried to look for a music store in Wapak and couldn’t find it. I’m gonna try again later when I have some moAr money for gas.
Man, this post is short! I’ll try to make it up to you guys by ending it with an amazing solo by my No. 2 favorite guitarist, Paul Gilbert! Enjoy!
Good morning, it’s TheAndySan hurr feelin’ sleep-deprieved due to allergies.
A week ago, I read a post on Xanga by my friend Jimmy that I thought was quite exceptional. Here’s a link to it, but I’ll show the post here just in case it gets moved or whatever:
It was a rainy Thursday, October 26th, 2006. I remember that. I was bored and had nothing to do, so I had a friend come over so we can discuss songs we can do for our school’s “air-band” competition later in the year. These were the kinds of things my friends and I would normally do. If we aren’t sitting around talking about starting a band or our next idea for an independent film, we are trying to get ready for something else that could be fun later. Joel (my friend whom I was collaborating with) and I thought of some pretty good songs for air-band. Nothing was set in stone yet, but we were still discussing what we could do.
Then my dorm phone rang. When that phone would ring, I knew that it was one of two people: my dad or my girlfriend at that time. Well, my then-girlfriend was practicing a dance with her friend, so I knew it couldn’t have been her so theoretically, chances were, my dad was calling. I answered the phone, and sure enough, it was him. Along with his call, he brought along the worst news I have ever heard up to that date. Dad said, “Jimmy, you aren’t going to want to hear this, but your friend, Austin killed himself a couple days ago.” I was deeply saddened and heartbroken, but I didn’t cry. I had Joel in the room, and I had to be a man about this… because obviously… men don’t cry .
My dad went on to tell me exactly what had happened. Or what he had heard anyway. “He walked into a cemetery, sat under a tree, put a few plastic bags around his head, and ducttapped them so that they would be airtight, thus, suffocating himself. He had a note with him too saying that he didn’t do this to get anyone upset and that he wasn’t depressed. He said that he has been all over the world and tried different religions and different lifestyles. He just couldn’t find what he was looking for in this life, so he wanted to see what was waiting for him in the next life. It’s so bizarre.”
When I got off the phone with my dad, I told Joel, who knew something was wrong, what happened. I told him that I needed to be alone for a little bit, so he left. Then I sat in my chair and I thought… I thought, “How could somebody so smart be so stupid? I can’t believe how selfish that was! How can somebody do that to themselves? How can he do that to me?” Just then, I got up because I knew I had to talk about it. I ran in the pouring rain to track down Tesia (my then-girlfriend) because she was the only person I could talk to about it. I interrupted her dance practice with her friend. I said, “I need to talk to you for a minute.” She said, “Ok” and walked over. We went into a piano practice room and I shut the door. I said, “Austin…” and before I could say the rest, my eyes filled with tears and a lump formed in my throat. “…killed himself” I finished. She comforted me and made me feel better, but I couldn’t help but feel partly responsible for his death.
I first met Austin our freshman year of high school. I didn’t really talk to him at first. He was the weird kid from Michigan who had extremely thin hair which he kept about chin length, even though he was prematurely balding, he had maybe 10 good teeth, and an unusually thick beard for a 14 year old. I didn’t really have a desire to get to know him… plus everybody picked on him, so to actually talk with the kid would be social suicide.
One day, I got back home from school and my ex-step mom, Renee, asked if I knew an Austin Harris. I told her that I knew of him, but I never really talked to him. She then told me that she and his mom are really good friends and that Austin and I should get to know each other. I reluctantly agreed with her, but since I was a nice guy, I decided I would give it a shot.
The next day, after school, I saw Austin walking home with his head down, his hands in his pocket’s, headphones in his ears, a backpack over one shoulder and his sweatshirt’s hood up over his head. I called out, “Austin!” and I ran over to him. I asked him, “Does your mom have a friend named Renee?” He said, “Yeah. I haven’t seen her since before I moved to Michigan, but my mom knows a Renee. Why?” I then told Austin that Renee was my step mom. From then on, we walked back from school together just about every day. He and I would get into some pretty deep conversations and I kept most of my viewpoints to myself until one day when he was talking about how he and his dad believe that they were vikings in their past lives. Then he started talking about our animal instincts and the need to take what we find and claim it as ours. He said that this is our evolutionary inheritance. I told him right there, “Austin, you know, I am a Christian and I don’t really believe in past lives or evolution.” The guy looked at me like I was nuts. “How can you not believe in evolution?” he asked. “The proof is there. It’s what we base all our science off of…” and he rambled on and on about this, and I found a way to shut him up. I said, “Austin, science can’t prove everything. And I believe that one day people will look back on the idea of evolution and laugh just like we laugh at the world being flat today.” He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Jimmy, your religion makes no sense.”
From then on, Austin and I would get into arguments and heavy debates about really stupid things. It was really stupid of me. He would normally school me big time, but I would carry on as if I had won the debate. Austin had a really high IQ. He was actually a genius. He knew everything about everything. But I had one thing he didn’t have. That is street smarts. I knew things too… but in a different way. I felt them. He just knew them.
One day, Austin and I were in an argument about euthanasia. He was for it. He told me how he watched his grandfather suffer and die from cancer and he couldn’t imagine himself going through all that pain. And then he went on to say that he DID think that suicide is wrong unless you know you are going to die painfully. “I would never actually kill myself.” he added. Of course, I thought it was dumb. I didn’t agree with it, but I couldn’t exactly tell him why it is wrong because I trusted my feelings. He trusted stats. I could never get him to see it from a Christian worldview because he wasn’t a Christian.
One day, I heard our Church youth group’s winter retreat was coming up. I knew that I needed to invite Austin. I told him about it and he agreed to come. During the retreat, he heard a sermon that touched his heart. He gave his life to Jesus that night. Or so I thought. He said the little prayer thing with the speaker, and I was really happy. I praised God for letting Austin “see the light.” When he was done praying, I walked over to him and I told him, “Congrats Austin. But this is a huge step. It’s a big commitment.” He looked at me and said, “Jimmy, this doesn’t mean anything changes.” I didn’t say anything. I just smiled because I knew that it would be the Holy Spirit that would get him now.
After that retreat, I almost stopped talking with Austin. Not on purpose. It just sort of happened that way. But he did come up to me one day with a picture he made in one of his computer art classes. It was the Pink Panther nailed to a cross. He was telling me about it. I told him that I found it offensive. He said, “Jimmy, Jesus wasn’t the only person to die on a cross… and, this is just funny. But the bitch teacher gave me a C on it.” Now, I did agree with him that it deserved better than a C. It was actually done well. I just found it incredibly offensive.
That was when I really lost track of Austin. The last thing I had heard was that he was a buddhist, bisexual pothead and he was going to school at the United World College in Wales, England. I received a couple e-mails from him telling me how awesome swedish chicks are and how he was enjoying Wales. But I don’t know if I ever responded. One day, at the end of the summer, I was ready to start College at Wright State University. I had a great girlfriend, and a job, and everything was going well for me. Then I got a knock on the door. I opened it, and it was Austin. He had shaved his head and shaved off his beard. We talked for a long time about a lot of things. Then we both lit up a bowl and went for a walk. We got high and I was telling him that I don’t agree with smoking pot but I was in the mood to celebrate… after all, it wasn’t my first time smoking pot. He said, “Jimmy, you need to be yourself. You are a Christian with good morals. You don’t need to be doing this.” I was stoned. He said a word that I thought was funny and I laughed about it… and then we both laughed about it for the rest of that night. That was in the late summer of 2004.
Again though, I lost track of Austin until about June 2006. My cousin had her graduation party and Austin was there. Once again we caught up on old times. We had conversations about God. Austin was then, more of an agnostic. He told me, “I know there is a god. But what that god is, I really don’t know.” Well, at the time, I was helping out with a college-aged, Tuesday night biblestudy we called Gen-Y for generation Y. I invited him to come. He said he would think about it. Then, Tuesday night rolled around and much to my surprise, Austin walked in. He really enjoyed the talk and the music. Our bible study leader, Tod, made plans to go to a David Crowder concert in Dayton in July. I asked Austin if he wanted to go. He said he really wanted to. So July came and we went to the concert. David Crowder puts on amazing shows. It was nice and God was totally there. Tesia and I even got to meet David Crowder. But we had a problem. We had to park about a mile away from the stage and we had to carry our lawn chairs there and back in the burning hot sun.
After the concert, Austin disappeared. We couldn’t find him. We assumed he started walking back to the van earlier. As we were walking back in the heat, we saw Austin next to a river. We called him over and told him we were heading back. He ran over to us. “Where were you?” I asked. “Oh, I got hot, so I went to the river for a quiet reflection and to cool down.” he said. “Yeah, that must have been great. I should have thought of that too. It is so hot and on top of that, we need to carry these chairs all the way back to the van.” I said. “Jimmy, why are you complaining? Do you realize how many Christians I heard complaining on the way back to their cars? Too many. You guys witnessed something great in the name of God and all you can do is complain about the heat and the long walk? That’s shallow. You should be ashamed. You should be happy that you got to worship God outside in ‘his creation’.”
Austin was absolutely right. I should have been happy. And then I realized that sometimes it takes a nonbeliever set a Christian back on track. From then on though, I didn’t see Austin at Gen-Y anymore. And he hadn’t been going to church with me like he told me he would. I tried calling him to tell him to come back… he would always say, “yeah, I’ll make it there. I’m just busy.” Eventually, I just stopped calling and I lost track of him again. That is, until my dad called telling me that he had killed himself.
I know that his suicide was not my fault. But maybe I could have done a little more. Maybe there is a lesson here. Austin was so close to realizing who God actually was. And then he saw some Christians who didn’t seem to be grateful to have such a good God. Now who wants to be a part of a religion where they can’t show a little gratitude to their own god? Or to the gift of life that our God has given us. Why do we worry about the little things like long walks in the heat? Isn’t God still a good God? Hasn’t he given us the shade and the waters to help cool us off and to quench our thirst? I learned something from all of this and it has been on my mind a lot lately. That is, we need to humble ourselves and be grateful for what we have, including life, itself because even though things seem rough, God has given us ways to make it a little easier on us. Like shade on a hot day. Or people to help you when you are down. And don’t take advantage of friendships and times to reach out. It could make all the difference in the world to someone.
Austin was my friend. I didn’t always treat him like a Christian should, but I learned a lot from him. He learned a lot from me too. But what will always be there, in my memory of Austin, are the marks from a seal that was almost put on his life by the Holy Spirit.
I meant to show Jimmy’s post a bit earlier, but I didn’t get around to it because I had wayyy too much on my mind last week.
Well, I’m gonna end this post by sharing some YouTube Gold that I found. His name is Speedy Halworth and he’s awesome!! Enjoy!