Bamboo Blade, Mokke, and Rental Magika IN THAT ORDER


Probably the most surprisingly great episode of the Fall season so far has been Bamboo Blade. The story is one of a kendo club that is on the verge of extinction. The teacher in charge doesn’t care much, and the only student participating is a rather ditzy but kendo-obsessed girl determined to keep practicing. Well, one night the teacher and an associate teacher from another school make a bet – that if he can train a team of 5 girls to beat the other guy’s team of kendo girl them he will treat him to a full year of free meals at his dad’s sushi place. Being poor, the teacher accepts and begins his quest to find some young kendo talent.

I actually found myself laughing out loud  several times throughout the episode. The best moments being

– When the teacher swings the sword up and crashes the lightbulb
– The girl starts to walk out the door and gets her backpack stuck
– The 3 various balls and random professor fly out of nowhere and she bats them away.

This show has great promise to be awesomely hilarious and great plus the main character is adorable beyond comprehension. Plus, the animation is excellent. Lets just hope it doesn’t always take till the next episode airs to get subs..

Do you like Mushishi? Your sold. Mokke is a show about a pair of sisters who live out in the country with their grandparents. The reason being that the older sister can see and interact with weird supernatural things, and her younger sister to whom she is very close is easily possessed by those things – meanwhile their grandfather has extensive knowledge of these beings.

I had some pretty high hopes for Mokke, and while it didn’t fully live up to my expectations, it also changed them to something that I think I will enjoy very much. Mokke is very quiet and rural – in that respect it reminds me of Figure 17 (it helps that the little girl looks like Hikaru) but the most common comparison is definitely going to be Mushishi.

Mokke is different enough from Mushishi though to make it worth watching – Mushishi had very interesting creatures which are dealt with in interesting medicinal ways. Mokke has interesting creatures that are dealt with in more spiritual or tactical ways, so in that way it will be a new experience.

The music in episode one was excellent and while it is very calm for the most part, the confrontation scene still managed to be intense. I retain high hopes for the future of this series.

Do you enjoy/know the first thing about the Shinto religion? Then you’ll probably have a lot of fun with this show since it seems to use terminology of the subject liberally along with it’s own set of story guidelines. Rental Magika (or Rent-a-Magician) can pretty much be summed up by it’s title. It’s about a group of magicians who do jobs when they are needed. The format looks to be monster-of-the-week style in a way reminiscent of Trinity Blood or Witch Hunter Robin.

Episode one was not very impressive – the animation was pretty weak, especially for a first episode and it didn’t seem all too original story-wise. However, the show has a very interesting visual style that will either make or brake it as a whole.

The first episode was about 50-60% battle which was good, because I have a short attention span, but the first battle wasn’t exciting at all – your standard anime fight. However, the second fight had some great visual effects and enough trippiness to get me interested. However, if the whole go-into-trippy-universe-with-dizzy-effects is episodic it will quickly loose it’s luster. So overall, I think by the second episode it will be easy to determine if this is a uniquely presented action show, or a lame cheap boring ignorable poorly animated failure that’ll end up on [AS] next year.

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