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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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:32 PM)
    An anime original that wasn’t an adaptation of some manga, LN or VN gave it a certain charm and unpredictability, which is absolutely a welcomed addition. Now I’m not gonna deny its plateura of problems, but it’s hard to sit back and hear people call Casablanca shit because it doesn’t have the flair and optimism of Age of Ultron.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:29 PM)
    Misanthropy in anime is old, cliched and boring. But that wasn’t the case when Eva did it. Plus it features characters like Misato and Kaji that are very hopeful for the future, going as far as planning to filter the ocean and regrow vegetation for society. There is definitely a bigger focus on misery, but as explained that was a mirror to Anno’s deteriorating mental health, which in itself added an angle of intrigue to the show.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:22 PM)
    Now does it look old? Does it seem overdone and unoriginal? Absolutely. But that’s no th fault of the series for not accounting for viewers who are watching it 20 years later, after getting exposed first to all the stuff that have heavily borrowed from it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:19 PM)
    It also perfectly explained what the instrumentality looked like for people that were in the process of assimilation, so it was a fitting end; albeit admittedly a weird one. Episodes 25 and 26 just chose to show the stream of consciousness of how the process was perceived by someone inside the sea of LCL. It made sense if you cared to pay attention along the way, so to call it completely nonsensical is unfair and entirely reliant on personal misinterpretation.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:14 PM)
    Also End of Evangelion is a masterstroke of the animated medium. That’s not just my opinion as a fan, but an opinion that’s been echoed in the circle of critics, many of whom don’t even care about anime. Even the classical conservative critics on IMDB gave it an average of 8.3, that is far from shabby.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 03:05 PM)
    Discounting the influence of a show is an arbitrary parameter that you’ve just come up with to undermine the series- nobody agrees with such restriction. And again, the genre deconstruction, the great cinematography, the slick character design, the music, the unconventional plot and creative ending, are all points that stand on their own regardless of how influential Eva was or wasn’t.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:58 PM)
    And no, Archer hated Shirou’s childish ideology, and he heartheadedly stuck to it, knowing we’ll what suffering he has gone people (including the future version of himself) thru. A World where nobody cries is an absurd goal, that is as illogical as it is unattainable.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:56 PM)
    @Aidan: nothing exists in a vacuum. The year the show got released is an extremely important factor, and a horrible show would never leave such a mark on the industry.
    Plus I spoke plenty about the reconstructive elements of Eva, that has nothing to do with its influence. Everything from SAO to Fate has copied exact scene compositions from Eva; just Google it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:47 PM)
    Two last things. Shirou in that timeline has very little chance of becoming Archer.
    And the end of the TV series wasn’t Annos fuck you to the audience. End of Evangelion was Annos Fuck you to the audience. Thing is instead of getting pissed off, they cheered.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 02:42 PM)
    Either way Mario said he might do a review of the First Eva tv series. I am curious to see if he will be quite so enthralled with it seeing as it’s his first time watching it and he hasn’t been deluded with years of it’s “influence”

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