Posted by psgels on 2 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

Igano Kabamaru is a unique anime, in the way that it’s only popular among the Greek community, and virtually unheard of in the rest of the world. I’ve been meaning to want to check it out, but the only version I could find was a crappy Greek dub. Since my Greek is virtually non-existent (the only word I know is “nè”, which means “yes” and sounds a lot like “no” in Dutch), so I unfortunately had to pass it up.

Cue the awesome people at Saiei who were nice enough to bring out a Japanese version of the series. So yeah, this is another one of those raw-reviews, so unless you happen to know Greek or Japanese, don’t bother to ask me where to get it. One of the purposes of this review is to give some more attention to this series, with the hope that it might get subbed one day, because this series has a lot to like. Sure, it also has its share of things not to like, but it’s one of those crazy and wacky comedies that definitely demonstrate that the eighties had a great sense of humour.

So yeah, this series is basically another one of those high-school comedies with a weird cast of characters. It runs around the premise of a kid who has been trained as a ninja for all his life by his evil grandfather, moving into a school whose headmistress has a crush on said grandfather (who now is dead, by the way). The big twist is that this kid (Igano Kabamaru, hence the title) is the most incredible goofball you have ever seen. He runs around the series screaming, yelling, making the silliest jokes, behaving like a little kid, and eating.

The major fun in the series comes not from him, but from the rest of the cast. These people are all some sort of parody of the romantic genre (we have the cute girlfriend, the rival, the pretty boy, the elite ojou-sama, and a lot more). Every character has something amusing about him or her, and they’re also hilarious in their attempts to deal with such a weird and uncontrollable lead character, and be sure to expect lots of nervous breakdowns. Hopeless overacting in most cases is a bad thing, but in this case it makes for a number of hilarious scenes, with my personal favourite being the marathon-episode.

Unfortunately for this series, it also has that nasty thing called a plot. The show gets really dull when the focus falls back to Igano’s traumatic past, and the time he spent with his best friend Hayate. It just keeps dragging on, and nearly completely takes over the series once it hits its second half. Because of that reason, the second half is a lot less fun than the first one, and the comedy that’s there is nowhere near as fun as in the first half.

To the show’s credit though, it does have a kickass finale. It’s worth watching through the second half, if only because of the awesomeness of the final two episodes. I was originally planning to give this series a much more negative review before I watched these two episodes, but they really make up for the rest of the disappointing second half. Episode 24 feels like the creators wanted to stuff as much creativity in 20 minutes as possible, while episode 23 has a brilliant conclusion that nobody will see coming.

So yeah, don’t expect much innovative parts, since there are a lot of clichés in this series, even for a comedy (like how this show proves that the Tsundere was already a staple more than twenty years ago). The serious parts suck, but there are a certain number of comedy episodes that are absolutely hilarious, and are in no way inferior to the comedies of the past ten years. This series is crazy, but in a good way.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. k-san says:

    Hi pgsels, your comments about Kabamaru were pretty much spot on.
    My generation (now mid-twenties to early thirties) literally “grew-up” with this series in Greece and it still is common among people my age to reference famous quotes from the greek dub (mostly concerning Kabamaru’s use of the word “accursed” and his infamous eating habits).
    Although personally I am not fond of old school anime, I still have a soft spot for Kabamaru Igano. I suppose this series has for Greek people my age similar sentimental value Saint Seiya has for Brazilians.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Konstantinos Travlos says:

    Literally grew up with this! A friend of mine still uses Accursed Hayate (Kataramene Hayate) as a curse. Makes us laugh every time. Man what a time! There is a English sub. The English title is Ninja Boy. I will look it up and post it.

    By the way Great Blog, glad to say we agree on amine almost 80%

  3. Stelios Vestarchis says:

    Kabamaru together with Plawress is a legend in Greece especially for the people between 25-30 years old like me, because we have grown up with it…I agree with the review of the series(80%) but i did not like the comment ‘crappy Greek dub’…In no way can the dub be characterized as crappy because it is funny 100% and makes you want to cry from laughing…Because you can not understand Greek does not mean that it is ‘crappy’. I recently watched Plawress in Jap dub and i must admit that i prefer more the Greek dubbing version.
    Greetings from Palaio Faliro,Athens…

  4. hani says:

    its dubbed in Arabic as well and its really funny in Arabic and people still watch it now a days for me its the best and the funniest anime I’ve seen so far

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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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