I’ve been told that in any story there is always only one true protagonist as much as it would seem otherwise. It’s not necessarily the character who gets the most screen-time. It’s not the character who acts as narrator. It’s not even the one with the most prominent lines, but the character who moves the story along the most. Even when there seems to be multiple protagonists, in the writer’s mind there is only one.
I know I said otherwise previously, but I’ve come to realize that Isaac Dian is the main protagonist of Baccano! because he has by far the most influence on characters in the story. Even though Morikawa George, creator of Hajime no Ippo, has said that he treats his manga like every character is a main character, the mere fact that it’s titled “Hajime no Ippo” says otherwise. And in Bamboo Blade, of which I’ve watched the first seven episodes, Kawazoe Tamaki is the lead.
Tamaki has a clear purpose in the story, even if it’s the result of watching too much anime: protecting justice from evil. Even though she’s managed to repel evil, i.e. those two older boys in the club, it’s a never-ending battle, at least in her mind. Her actions, more than any other characters’, move the story along, as she is the one primarily responsible for transforming the ragtag Kendo Club into a workable team. As much time and emphasis that Koujirou gets, he acts more as a fairly passive narrator.
So with that in mind, I have to say that Tama-chan makes for a wonderful protagonist. I hope to see her speed-eating and kendo skills even more.
Hopefully it will involve ramen.