Kage Kara Mamoru got my vote for most anticipated anime of the Winter 2006 season. Why? Ninjas. Yep, Kage Kara Mamoru has ninjas, which automatically makes it awesomer than all other shows. Or does it?
Actually, Kage Kara Mamoru is ‘aight. The story follows Kagemori Mamoru’s life as a secret ninja protector. His family has the job of protecting the Konnyaku family from danger. His parents protect the Konnyaku parents, and he protects their daughter, Konnyaku Yuuna. Yuuna is incredibly dumb, but this just makes her even cuter, sorta like Yotsuba.
(Conspiracy Theory Section: Yuuna and Yotsuba are both really dumb and cute, and look what I found during the episode! It’s a drink that has "Yotsuba" written on it! Coincidence!? I think not!)
Anyway, back to the review. I have a feeling that every episode will revolve around Yuuna getting into trouble and Mamoru having to save her, ninja-style. While this could be interesting, it could also get dull pretty fast.
The Character designs on this anime are kinda hit or miss. Yuuna is really cute, and some of the other as of yet unintroduced characters also look cool. Mamoru in nerd form is really stupid looking. I can understand he’s a caricature, but couldn’t they have made him a little more interesting? The Yakuza boss guy in the episode looked like he came out of a 70’s anime. I dunno if he’ll be back (he got a freeze frame name placement). Even if he doesn’t come back, he still gets the worst drawn anime character award of the year, and it’s only January!
Mamoru’s parents are cool. They just hang around the house decked out in ninja gear. Mamoru’s dad also holds Mamoru at knifepoint to prove he’s still a fledgling ninja. Luckily, his parents didn’t flip out and really kill him.
The animation for this episode was kinda cheesy. I noticed a few times where they used animation cheats such as showing the action from outside the room and using a bunch of sound effects. The characters are drawn well enough, but they aren’t really that fluid. For the first episode of a ninja anime, I was just kind of expecting more ninja action and whatnot.
The OP, Million Love, is performed by the voice actress for Yuuna. It’s really not that great. The ED is better. I think the ED is performed by a bunch of the female seiyuu. The credits listed "funta" as being the artist, so I think funta did the music and the seiyuu did the singing. Neither the OP nor the ED are awesome; I wasn’t too impressed. It’s too bad, because funta did some anime OPs that I really liked in the past (one for Pita Ten and another for Nanaka 6/17).
Kage Kara Mamoru! certainly has its faults, but I think I’m willing to look past those. Why? Ninjas! Seriously though, I think the plot will get old way fast, but Yuuna is really cute, and so is the relationship between her and Mamoru. The whole modern day ninja idea is pretty interesting too. I’m hoping that once they introduce some new girls, this anime will get better.
Further Reading: Kage Kara Mamoru Manga