Kage Kara Mamoru! – 01
OP: 「ミリオン・ラブ」(Million Love) by Yuuna (Nakahara Mai)
On a dark and windy night, a group of burglars try to enter a home, but they are soon taken out by a ninja. Night becomes morning and we’re introduced to Konnyaku Yuuna, a clumsy high school girl. Next door to her is her childhood friend, the thick glasses-wearing and perpetually tired Kagemori Mamoru. The two are starting a new school term together, and have been assigned to the same class. Apparently it’s been like that since all the way back in kindergarten. On the way to their new class, a model airplane accidentally makes a dive toward Yuuna, but it’s quickly brought down by a throwing knife. Before class starts, we meet their friend Sawagashi Airi, who invites Yuuna to go bowling after school. Airi isn’t too happy when Mamoru also shows up, but the two end up talking while Yuuna bowls (unsuccessfully). Mamoru tells Kiri that his father and Yuuna’s father were also childhood friends, and so are he and Yuuna. Airi warns Mamoru that childhood friends who become lovers are usually unsuccessful, but Mamoru seems to have no feelings for her.
In the bowling alley men’s restroom, a yakuza deal involving some fake dolls is interrupted when Yuuna pokes her head into it after wandering into the wrong restroom. As a result, they kidnap her and take her to their boss. Mamoru follows them, takes out the thugs, and then faces off against the boss and his gatling gun. The boss exhausts all of the gun’s ammo while Mamoru cuts and deflects the bullets. After the boss faints from fear, Mamoru takes the sleeping Yuuna and carries her back home. When Yuuna wakes up, he tells her that it was all a dream. At home, we learn that Mamoru’s parents are also both ninjas, with his father protecting Yuuna’s father and his mother protecting Yuuna’s mother.
Over at the Konnyaku house, Yuuna finishes a bath and goes to her room, which is right across from Mamoru’s. She asks him what he and Airi were talking about earlier, so Mamoru tells her about the childhood-friends-becoming-lovers conversation. Yuuna suddenly decides to quiz Mamoru about herself, asking him about her favorite food (kamaboko – a fish dish), her most hated food (kanimiso – crab brains), her favorite color (pink), etc. He answers them all correctly until Yuuna finally stumps him by asking about the thing in her desk drawer that she looks at every night before going to bed. Yuuna is glad that there’s something that Mamoru doesn’t know about her since there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him. And as we find out, the thing that Yuuna looks at every night before bed is a picture of her and Mamoru, but she’s happy to keep it a secret. Meanwhile, in the room where Mamoru defeated the yakuza boss, a girl in shrine maiden garb examines one of the bullets that Mamoru cut in half.
ED: 「rainy beat」by Airi (Shintani Ryouko), Tsubaki (Kojima Sachiko), Yamame (Shimizu Ai), and Hotaru (Furukawa Erina)
The OP’s catchy (Nakahara Mai sure is doing a lot of songs and voices this season), but I don’t really like either it or the ending song. I did laugh quite a bit at the very end of the OP with the heart and the finger through it. It just sends all the wrong messages lol.
Matthew told me that he thought that Gotou Yuuko (voice of Kaede and Nanami) would make a better Yuuna, and I couldn’t agree more. Nakahara Mai does a great job, but I spent the entire episode thinking about how much better the character would have sounded if Gotou Yuuko were the seiyuu…
Anyway, I enjoyed the first episode even if it wasn’t really laugh-out-loud funny as I had been hoping for. From the first episode, Kage Kara Mamoru seems to be more of a light-hearted action romance comedy. I like the fairly simple premise of the show, so I’m not really looking for much out of it. Character-wise, Yuuna is a bit more of a ditz than I predicted, but that makes her more lovable too. The whole photograph-that-she-looks-at-every-night-before-bed thing was a bit creepy, but it does show that she’s already got some feelings for him. Mamoru is pretty much what I expected, and Airi plays the concerned friend part. The other girls, who haven’t been introduced, all look like they have fighting skills of some sort, and it looks like Mamoru will be facing off against the sword girl (Tsubaki) next episode.
I still haven’t decided whether to continue Tactical Roar or Kage Kara Mamoru, but we’ll see after the second episodes air next week.