Toraji is the instructor of the school's kendo club. He's pretty poor and has lots of trouble making ends meet. One day he meets his sempai from the kendo club from his own highschool days -- the one he always looked up to, but whom he beat one time. The sempai, who also works as a teacher and who also is the instructor of a kendo club, makes a wager with him. If Toraji's female kendo team can beat his sempai's, he gets a year's supply of sushi! Toraji agrees, but he doesn't even have a full team!
Through various dealings and hasty recruitments, he manages to round out his team. Foremost is Tamaki, a shy girl who is a natural with the kendo blade. Her family runs a kendo dojo, and she regards kendo as just one of those things you do. But her sense of justice (instilled by watching too many superhero series, mainly 'Blade Braver') leads her to join the club to fight off a bullying sempai. Toraji convinces her to stay on for the tournament.
There's a whole cast of females in the team: energetic (but not too smart) Kirino, the captain of the club. There's the beautiful Miyako, who acts all cutesy but who has a dark side to her (which she hides when in the presence of her plain-looking and nerdy boyfriend Danjuro). There's the whimsical Sayako, who sometimes doesn't appear at the club for long periods of time. There's Satori, who is quite proficient at kendo but who has trouble keeping her test scores high enough without spending all her time studying.
The male cast consists of Yuji (pretty boring bright and positive guy) and the aforementioned Danjuro.
It all starts off as a typical sports anime: a rag-tag band of players get lumped together and they have to stick together through some hardships to get where they need to be. But slowly the focus of the series shifts to Tamaki. Because she gets to train with a lot of new friends, she slowly becomes less and less shy. And she learns some important life lessons, like what it means to lose (something she has never experienced before)! But of course her friends help her cope with that, and she comes back with a vengance!
It's a pretty decent series with enough plot to keep it interesting. It doesn't fall into the usual traps that most sports anime do, and instead focusses more on the characters and the way they cope with their situation. That's a pretty good mix!
- Decent animation and voice acting;
- More character development than any sports anime I've ever seen.
- Drags slightly towards the end, when Tamaki is in her rut.
Don't expect any life-changing insights from this anime. But it's quite fun and keeps you watching. For that, I'll give it a 7.