5 January 2010 | Tweekums
Great character driven sports anime
When I was looking for some new anime to watch on Funimation's YouTube channel this series caught my eye; I'd seen quite a few school based anime before but none of those concentrated on their sporting activities. While it may be based in the school's kendo club it isn't necessary to know anything about the sport before hand as it is fairly easy to figure out what is going on and the sporting activities just serve to advance the story as it is primarily a character based series.
The club's coach isn't having much luck, he can barely afford to eat and there are few people left in the club after a couple of older members intimidate new members without ever contributing to the club. Things change when Tama-chan joins, she may be a young girl but she has been practising kendo at her father's dojo since she was a small child and her strong sense of justice leads to her confronting the boys and easily defeating them, this leads to their departure and the team bonding together.
As the series progresses the members of the club train for a series of competitions which provide them with a series of challenges to overcome both in the sport and in their outside lives. The series contains plenty of mild humour and the action scenes were well done making the sport look pretty exciting. Being animated it could show the characters in ways not possible in a real kendo match; I liked the way the bars on their protective masks were shown as transparent enabling us to see their faces in a way that would not be possible with the real equipment. The characters are all likable and distinctive and while the main storey follows the five girls in the team the two boys in the club aren't neglecting and take an important role in the story. I really enjoyed the series and will certainly consider buying it if it gets a region two PAL DVD release.
These comments were made after watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.