Kage Kara Mamoru

September 1, 2006

Here’s another short zany ninja action comedy, Kage Kara Mamoru. One should watch this just for fun and some laughs and not for long term reasons. Luckily too, the series is short too with just only 12 episodes. Well, maybe 11, if you feel that the last 2 episodes shown in a 1 hour special to be considered as 1 episode. Furthermore, the characters in this anime too are just average and you’d probably guess what kind of characters they are at first impression or after a few actions by them.
 
400 years ago, a ninja named Hanzouyo Kagemori is assigned to protect the Konnyaku lineage from whatsoever dangers. Something like the family’s personal bodyguard. And thus it begins, the descendants of the Kagemori clan have been doing so successfully ever since. You’ll be reminded of this at the start of every episode (except the last 2 episodes), so it’s kinda ‘drilled’ right into my memory bank.
 
So fast forward to modern day where we have this kid, Mamoru Kagemori, who’s assigned to protect Yuuna Konnyaku. In order to protect his identity, Mamoru disguises himself like a dork. Yup, with those thick spectacles, I guess no one will ever find out his true identity that easily. But I must say that when Mamoru changes into that ninja outfit and kicks into high gear, he looks way much better. Besides that, for 24 hour security, he lives just right next door to Yuuna’s and her family (obviously lah).
 
But the most fun character in the series I have to say is Yuuna (looks like the comical version of Lacus Clyne of Gundam). Yeah, she’s blur, slow, naive, clumsy and so dense that instead of getting annoyed, I just love her character. You really gotta love her. I think because of that too, she never realized that Mamoru is the one protecting her all along. She’s always thought that she and Mamoru have been childhood friends just like their parents. Though, secretly deep down in her heart she really does love him (and ironically Mamoru doesn’t know about this since he’s suppose to know everything about her).
 
Another thing is, Yuuna is prone to attracting trouble wherever she goes, for whatever reasons too. Bad luck or fate or just at wrong place at the wrong time. This is so as seen in the opening scene for episode 1 where some burglars are trying to break into her home but are swiftly dealt with by a ninja (who else).
 
So as usual, the start of the new school term both Mamoru and Yuuna both find themselves in the same class again, just as in previous years throughout their entire school life. Yuuna should’ve suspect something’s amiss here. Same class again with Mamoru. Maybe not. Perhaps it’s better this way. Then we’re introduced to a new character, Airi Sawagashi, Yuuna’s extremely stinking and filthy rich (really) pal. She seems to be the ‘abusive’ kind towards Mamoru. Sometimes calling names and hitting him.
 
Anyway, Airi invites Yuuna to a bowling game after school, and as usual Mamoru has to tag along to keep her safe. During a match at the bowling alley, Yuuna decided to go to the toilet only to overhear some yakuzas doing some illegal deal on some fake dolls (what the? Yakuzas into that?!). When the yakuzas discovered that their secret tryst has been blown, they kidnapped Yuuna.
 
Luckily for Yuuna, Mamoru manage to follow them. So we get to see Mamoru in action, as he battles the yakuzas and their boss who’s using the gattling gun. Wow! I can’t believe he sliced through all those bullets in lightning speed and precision. Oh yeah, before every rescue attempt for Yuuna, you’ll notice that eternal line from Mamoru before he begins his rescue action. "Continuing to protect for 400 years…". Yeah, that line too has somehow been ‘drilled’ into my brain. In addition, whenever Mamoru (or other ninja characters) throw up or uses some ninja-like weapon, we can see some introduction of that weapon in kanji. Seems pretty interesting. But mostly I go ‘huh?’. Plus, Mamoru’s got a pet ninja dog Burumaru, to help him out in tough situations too.
 
And as usual Mamoru defeats the yakuza boss and rescue the clueless Yuuna who wakes up only to be told that it was all a dream. And she believed it! I told you didn’t I, you gotta love this girl. By the end of this episode, of course, the yakuza boss doesn’t easily admit defeat. Thus, he’s hiring somebody to avenge his shameful defeat. Who could it be?
 
That’s right. In episode 2, it’s the appearance of Tsubaki Mapputatsu (who looks a bit like Motoko of Love Hina). She’s been told (rather deceived) by the yakuza boss how evil Yuuna and Mamoru is. Thus Tsubaki’s off to rid of this evil. Can’t believe that she’d believed him easily too. On the outside, Tsubaki may look like the serious no nonsense kind. But in some ways, I find her a little ‘dumb’ sometimes. Uh-huh, donno how she got ‘duped’ (actually more of her own misunderstanding) into a tennis match with Yuuna, and lost. Plus even after that defeat, Tsubaki still tries to challenge Yuuna, only to be ‘defeated’ by Yuuna’s blurness and dumbness.
 
Later as Tsubaki and Mamoru face-off, in the end, she concedes defeat to him. And that’s when Mamoru told her how she’d been deceived by the yakuza boss. Of course, being embarrassed she then decided to ‘teach him a lesson’. This time the yakuza boss’s butt gets whipped by Tsubaki. So pitiful. But no love lost. But hey, Tsubaki decides to enrol in the same school as Mamoru and Yuuna the next day. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
 
You know that this is going to be another one of those harem shows when they keep introducing female characters. That’s the case in episode 3 where Yamame Hattori who dropped her wallet in the park, mistakenly smacks Mamoru thinking that he’s being scamming her with that return-the-wallet-trick. What’s Mamoru doing at the park? Well, he’s actually waiting for Yuuna and Airi coming back from the toilet.
 
Yamame’s actually some relative of Mamoru. And boy was she surprise to see the dorky Mamoru now as compared to the brave one when he was young. When she realized Mamoru’s sincerity in returning her wallet, it’s too late as the yakuzas kidnapped her (not again. What’s with these yakuzas anyway). Luckily Burumaru saw the whole thing and manage to alert Mamoru for another rescue attempt.
 
Thing is, Yamame’s been hipnotized and is under the yakuza boss’s control. But some memory flashback of how Mamoru saved her helped restore her memory. But that’s not before she injured him a little. Before the whole thing’s over, the yakuza boss hired another person just as back-up. Looks like some guy Chin Panji who dons animal costumes and fights like that animal. Weird. If you guess that Mamoru’ll beat this guy too, then you’re absolutely correct. So did the yakuza boss learn his lesson? We’ll have to see in the future episodes to see if he gets anymore crazy ideas for revenge. Oh by the way, the next day after everything’s been settled, Yamame decides to enrol in the same school as Mamoru and Yuuna. Hmm… Anyway, what’s with the last part where Tsubaki’s cutting the candle flames with her sword and said something about tennis. Didn’t get it.
 
Episode 4 isn’t anything much except some idol contest in which surprisingly Yuuna won. The most memorable part of this episode is the banana song that Yuuna herself wrote for the contest. It’s so funny lah. Another banana freak. Reminds me of Miharu of Da Capo too. So at the same time some mega-producer decided to offer a deal to make Yuuna an even bigger idol. But after much thought, Yuuna decided to turn it down because she doesn’t want to be separated from Mamoru. Aww…
 
Tsubaki suspects Mamoru as the panty thief in episode 5. That’s because she saw some sick fella dressed as a ninja going around doing so. Though it’s pretty ambiguous the thief’s identity. Well, how could Mamoru be a pervert when he doesn’t seem to show interest in girls? Well, maybe for Tsubaki, in that earlier face-off with Mamoru which nearly ‘exposed’ Tsubaki… perhaps. So to play safe, Tsubaki needs to be with Mamoru at all times to make sure and at the same time catch the real culprit.
 
But their ‘together’ is being misintepreted as a date by Airi and Yuuna. And boy does Yuuna seem ‘concerned’. As they both try to follow Mamoru and Tsubaki, Yuuna decides that she needs to go to the toilet at the convenience store. Unfortunately, soon after, a robbery takes place. Mamoru who noticed Yuuna had went into that store, as usual, it’s the usual rescue lines and resuce action. It’s like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. After subduing the thief, it turns out that the thief is also the panty thief. And you know what’s the funniest part? Yuuna fell asleep in the toilet! This girl… And Mamoru got so worried for nothing.
 
I thought there’s a girl missing after counting how many of them in the opening credits. Well, at least the last one, Hotaru Kumogakure, made her appearance halfway through the series. At the beginning of episode 6, Airi excitedly announces a new transfer student. And during class Hotaru requests Mamoru to meet her at the school rooftop. Surprisingly, she confessed she loved him! Wow! That’s really bold and early, don’t you think. As usual, Mamoru thinks it’s a joke and rejected her. Oh, the heartbreak of an girl being rejected, as Hotaru starts to cry, Mamoru noticed some knives being thrown at them coming from behind and pushes Hotaru out of harm’s way, at the same time wounding him.
 
It looks like Hotaru’s brother and he’s telling her little sis that she’s suppose to come here and finish the Kagemori clan off, but instead fell in love with the enemy. So he’s here to finish to job. Luckily Mamoru manage to summon enough strength to send Hotaru’s brother packing. Then this is the funny and weird part why the Kumogakure clan hates the Kagemori clan so much.
 
It seems that a year ago during some ninja atheletic meet, Yamame deceived Hotaru by telling them an appearance of a UFO. As Hotaru and her clan looked, Yamame and hers won the meet. Eversince that defeat the Kumogakure clan has been known as the UFO clan. Hahaha. So disgraceful. So funny. Couldn’t believe that they’d fall for 1 of the oldest trick in the book. But a teary Hotaru bids farewell to Mamoru then. The next day when everything seems to return to normal, to Mamoru’s amazement Hotaru’s having breakfast in his house. Looks like another one bent on being close to Mamoru.
 
I felt that episode 7 is another one of those ‘flashbacks to understand better the character‘ kinda episode. It sees why Mamoru decides to protect Yuuna not because he had too, but rather he wanted to. During Mamoru’s younger days, he’s always been grumpy and complaining why should he protect such a troublesome girl like Yuuna, since she’s the one who’s always causing him to be in much trouble. But as Mamoru realized Yuuna’s being kidnapped and some promise she made to him. He regained his will to protect Yuuna until today.
 
We get to see how stinking and filthy rich Airi really is in episode 8. Some thief stole some priceless dolphin ornament from Airi’s home but he got caught up between a fight between Yamame and Hotaru and dropped it. Burumaru who’s passing by picked it up and brings it home with him. A furious Airi decides to install a super security system then. The next day as she shows Yuuna and Mamoru the stolen ornament, Mamoru realized that the thing Burumaru brought back was Airi’s precious ornament. So he decides to give it back stealthy. Though, he suceeded in returning it to its rightful place, but got ‘ejected’ from the house with one of Airi’s super security system.
 
But Mamoru’s mom isn’t willing to accept such defeat and sends his son back for a ‘revenge’. She even gives him a diamond for a reason to go back. Huh… Some mom. How did she steal that diamond anyway. I like the funny part where Mamoru was facing a huge giagantic robot. All seems lost when there seems no way of defeating the robot. Then he decided to get to the root of the problem to defeat it. He unplugged it’s power source. Hahaha! I was laughing like mad this part. See Airi, you should use battery operated or non cable power source.
 
After putting back the diamond, Mamoru picks up a diary. But the robot’s explosion sent Mamoru flying away. Of course back at home, a curious Mamoru decides to take a peek at the diary. It’s contents were about Airi humiliating and ridculing someone she liked secretly. But Mamoru doesn’t care who it is. The next day he manage to slip back Airi’s diary as Airi’s frantically looking for the ‘most precious item’. The end of the episode sees Airi putting a photo back in that diary. It’s a picture of Mamoru!!! I can’t believe that this girl too has a crush on this kinda of guy. But she certainly sure doesn’t show it.
 
It really gets weirder with aliens and UFOs in episode 9. Airi was telling Mamoru and Yuuna how she saw a UFO while she woke up to go to the toilet last night. I love this part. As Airi was explaining how ‘terror’ and ‘grand’ her encounter was, Yuuna interupted and said "More importantly, did you manage to go to the toilet?". HAHAHAHAHA! Oh, Yuuna, I didn’t see that one coming.
 
Anyway, the lizard-like aliens were real, and they’re dumb too. That’s because they decided to abduct Yuuna and Burumaru to be their specimen. Big mistake. Her dumbness is gonna dumbfound them. Especially with that banana part. So as usual, Mamoru and the other girls decided to team up and go rescue Yuuna and Burumaru. In the end, the alien decided to leave our good ol’ planet (yeah, that first hand experience with Yuuna must have been a real nightmare). In the end, there’s a big misunderstanding of the girls towards Mamoru. That’s because, Yuuna’s being naked in the containment unit and when she’s being freed, the clothes won’t automatically put themselves on right? Poor Mamoru, those girls think you’re a pervert of the worst kind.
 
Then in episode 10, Yuuna who read in some newspaper article about some Tokugawa treasure in her backyard starts doing so. Of course Mamoru wouldn’t believe her at first. That’s until she went missing from the dig. No choice, Mamoru along with Hotaru and Yamame decided to go look for her underground. And it’s really a maze down there. What’s more surprising is the giant mole people! Yeah, attacking them and like they’re some sort of enemy trying to steal the treasure.
 
Mamoru and the rest manage to free themselves from the giant mole people but without any luck finding Yuuna. Luckily, Yuuna didn’t went further underground. Something to do with going to the toilet and forgetting about it. And all those worrying and effort were for nothing. Poor Mamoru. The next day the result of the earthquake that night causes some part of Airi’s house to cave in. And there’s a whole lot of treasure buried there! Now she’s even more filthy stinking rich! Ah… the income inequality. The rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. But the next day at school, Yuuna still fascinated of finding treasures, heard from a school teacher about some buried treasure at their school grounds. Could it be real this time. Dunno. Anyway, Yuuna’s being chased by giant ants this time. Here we go again.
 
The final 2 episodes sees how Yuuna won a year worths of Belgian chocolate through some love letter writing contest. But the thing is it isn’t the chocolates that Yuuna’s really after, it’s the letter that she wrote that she really wanted to give to Mamoru. A letter which confesses her feelings to him. And that Mamoru still hasn’t got a clue to it. As Yuuna begins to confess, he stops her. Ouch! Yuuna then runs off but nearly had a brush with death when a car nearly collided into her. Luckily only her arms injured.
 
As Mamoru’s being hesistant about Yuuna’s feelings, Mamoru’s dad brings him some bad news. Because of so, the Kagemori clan decides dismiss Mamoru and replace Mamoru with somebody else. It’s Tasuke Hinomori and he seems to know everything about those 2. So as Mamoru and Tasuke have their fight, surprisingly Mamoru lost and was sent back to his village. Meanwhile, the fake Mamoru tries to get close to Yuuna but she felt something amiss, though not sure of what’s really happening.
 
At the village, Mamoru realized that this was all a set-up by the Hinomori clan to steal some tome of the Kagemori’s. But he realized too late as other clan members of the Hinomori rounded up all the members of the Kagemori clan. And they can’t do anything because Yuuna’s life is at stake. If they try something funny, Yuuna will be executed and their 400 years of protection comes to an end.
 
But the Kagemori clan head manage to let Mamoru sneak away and with that, Mamoru returns to the city to face-off with Tasuke. I didn’t get the part where the tome had the kanji words ‘heart’ written in it. And Mamoru used this technique against Tasuke and won. Maybe it’s suppose to mean that you’re suppose to do things from the heart. I felt that the help from the other girls were just a waste of time. Perhaps to make the episode a little longer.
 
At this point too, Yuuna then realized everything, on how dumb she was not to realized Mamoru had always protected her and how she doesn’t want to rely on him but protect him instead. Plus, she really confess to Mamoru this time. I really felt sad for Yuuna as she was crying while saying those words. But at least she realized it. However, this is cut short as she slipped on a banana peel while approaching Mamoru and lost her memory of what’s happened for the day. Darn. And I thought it was going to get better for these 2.
 
Looks like Yuuna’s back to her normal self. Blur and talking things that made no sense. At least Mamoru knew Yuuna’s feelings. Oh well, back to the good ol’ days like before. Continuing to protect for 400 years… Don’t worry Yuuna, Mamoru will always be there for you.
 
How I wished that Mamoru and Yuuna could be together at the end. But sadly it didn’t turn out so. Then another thing I want to note is that, the other girls. You notice how the other girls at first seems to pick a fight with Mamoru and then after that can’t help fall for him. But in the end, they didn’t do anything much to pursue his love. Just like in Ai Yori Aoshi. They silently love him. Did they realize that Yuuna is the one for Mamoru?
 
Also another thing to note that, do you notice that Yuuna and toilets doesn’t make a good combination? Usually trouble beckons everytime she heads for the loo. Yeah, she should just stay away from them. Maybe wear adult diapers or something. Oops… maybe that’s a little too premature to jump to such conclusion. But hey, isn’t so, Yuuna and toilets don’t go together.
 
The opening theme song, sang by Yuuna’s voice actor may sound cute and the animation too as well, but I didn’t find it interesting enough for me to download the full length version. Also, I like the background music where Mamoru says his usual line continuing to protect for 400 years. It gives some sort of that comeback action kinda mood. Hey, what happened to that yakuza boss? Well, I guess he gave up, huh? But that’s not important.
 
Like I’ve earlier said, this anime is entertaining in the short run and doesn’t really have much sticking out. But it’s wackiness is enough to make this one memorable, hopefully for a long time. Though, it’s being overshadowed by other more popular ninja genres like Naruto and Himawari. Haih… So as Mamoru continues to protect for 400 years, I will continue to watch great animes for many years to come. Hehehe.