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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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:28 AM)
    @Bam: Zack Snyder should be kept far far away from adapting comic books. The only film by him I enjoyed was the dawn of the dead remake. In terms of Sanders the only film I have seen by him is Van Hellsing and I was alot younger when I saw it, even then it was a guilty pleasure.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Bam: I considerably enjoyed his films terminator, terminator 2 and the abyss. I wish Nolan would go back to making films on the level of insomnia and momento.Johannson is an attractive woman and under the skin which she was recent in was a good film but I think shes not much of an actress.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 04:50 AM)
    @Emma: I still think Cameron is substantially more talented than Rupert Sanders. At least Cameron knows how to get the package together and made a watchable, and technically groundbreaking, film out of Avatar which would’ve been utter B movie shit in lesser hands. GitS was never going to work regardless of Scarlet Johansson, while Alita could’ve been something. I do believe however that Nolan and Snyder would’ve probably been a much more compatible match for the franchise.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:57 AM)
    @Bam: James Cameron hasn’t made a film I’ve enjoyed since terminator 2.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:55 AM)
    @Bam: Wow, someone else who noticed the Elysium/battle angel commonality, I’ve been thinking about that for a while myself also.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:18 AM)
    Also looking back I notice heavy thematic similarities between Elysium and Battle Angel Alita. The labor division and the great disparity in life-quality of Earth versus Elysium is almost a direct parallel to Tiphares and the Scrapyard. I wonder if this is going to hinder the Alita’s Hollywood adaptation, in which case good- that horrendous GitS one is more than enough.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:13 AM)
    Truthfully Seinen is an age/gender demographic and not really a genre or category, but even within Japan the term has come to be identified with manga that have sexuality and violence like the works of Go Nagai instead of those that contain general adult themes. That’s why comedies are pretty much never considered Seinen, even though some are probably only appreciated by the Seinen crowd.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.

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