There’s a contest being held for writing a love letter where the prize is a year’s worth of Belgian chocolate. This drives all of the girls in the city, including Yuuna, to write love letters. Mamoru sees Yuuna’s letter one night as he’s covering her with a blanket because she fell asleep. Though her letter starts off a bit “strange,” it is in fact a love letter. And in the end, it is indeed Yuuna who wins the contest, though Mamoru had to foil a plot by Yamame and Hotaru that involved feeding letters to goats. Mamoru doesn’t understand why the girls are so motivated by chocolate, but Tsubaki says that he’s the one who doesn’t understand. On the way home, Yuuna wants to give the love letter and her prize to Mamoru. When she insists that he take it, it finally dawns on Mamoru that she likes him. He stops her before she can fully confess and basically turns her down by saying that their relationship isn’t like that. In tears, Yuuna apologizes and runs off. Mamoru then hears a car crashing noise and a scream.
It turns out that only Yuuna’s arm is injured, but the incident has left Mamoru visibly shaken. He knows that everything that happened was his fault, and he’s still unsure about his own feelings for Yuuna. Mamoru’s father comes back from meeting with the rest of the Kagemori family with bad news: Mamoru is going to be dismissed and replaced by another ninja. In Yuuna’s room, Mamoru is already accepting her feelings. But this Mamoru is not the real Mamoru. When confronted, this ninja introduces himself as Hinomori Tasuke. It seems that the Hinomori clan shadows the Kagemori clan, meaning that Tasuke knows everything about Mamoru and Yuuna. And, as Mamoru’s mother learns from Mamoru’s father, Mamoru is going to be sent back to the Kagemori village. Mamoru and Tasuke start fighting, but when Mamoru tries to grab Tasuke from behind, Tasuke disappears in a burst of feathers and reappears behind Mamoru. He does the same attack Mamoru was about to do (a back rock drop attack) and drives Mamoru straight into the ground. Mamoru is defeated, but is granted one more day as himself. The day goes through normally, except that Mamoru holds Yuuna’s hand on the way back and remembers all the previous times they’ve walked home together. Upon seeing her home, Mamoru says “Bye bye Yuuna.”
It seems that Yuuna and “Mamoru” have been busy going out on dates. And on this day, both sets of parents are departing for a vacation, leaving Tasuke to guard Yuuna. In the Kagemori village, Mamoru is doing chores when the higher-ups come to a grave realization: the owner of the car that hit Yuuna is actually a ninja, meaning that everything so far has been a farce. But this comes too late as they are surrounded by the Hinomori clan, who have come armed with machine guns; they are after the secret Kagemori art. However, their initial search fails to turn it up. The Kagemori clan has been tied up, but they start to form a plan. Top priority is saving Yuuna from Hinomori hands and for that, the chief sends Mamoru. With Burumaru’s help, he escapes to the graveyard where the secret scroll is kept. After reading it, he returns to the city.
In Yuuna’s room, Tasuke tries to make a move, but she realizes that it’s not him and pushes him away. When the real Mamoru shows up, Tasuke knocks Yuuna out and holds her hostage in exchange for the secret scroll. Mamoru trades it, but then a flash grenade goes off in the room. Tsubaki, Yamame, and Hotaru are responsible, and they now have custody of Yuuna. Mamoru leaves her in their hands and chases Tasuke, but it turns out that he’s only chasing a fake. The real Tasuke has defeated all of the girls and has taken Yuuna again. He leaves a note on Burumaru telling Mamoru that he’ll be waiting by the riverside. There, Tasuke reveals to Yuuna that all of the dates she’s been on recently have been with him and not Mamoru. When Mamoru attacks, Tasuke repeats the rock drop attack that he defeated Mamoru with last time and it works again. Tasuke then opens up the secret scroll, but it only has one word written on it: “heart.” Tasuke doesn’t believe that this is the real thing and prepares to harm Yuuna.
Yuuna has started to cry because she never knew that Mamoru was protecting her. She couldn’t even tell that Mamoru had been replaced by someone else. Yuuna’s repeated apologies and tears cause Mamoru to gather his strength and stand back up. He tells her that he’s not protecting her because he has to, but instead because she’s his most important person. Both ninjas then don their ninja garb and Tasuke launches the first attack in the form of thrown blades. The other girls finally rejoin the battle and block the attack for Mamoru. Tasuke then tries to pull off the rock drop on Mamoru for the third time, but this time it’s Mamoru who disappears. He returns the favor by doing a special heart version of the rock drop that sends Tasuke crashing down like a meteor. In the aftermath, Mamoru apologizes to Yuuna. Yuuna doesn’t want to have to rely on Mamoru and even says that she’ll protect Mamoru from now on. But as she’s climbing up the steps towards him, she slips on a banana peel. We learn from Mamoru that Yuuna lost her memories about the incident and everything returns to normal.
I had kind of wished that Mamoru and Yuuna had ended up together in a bit more of a satisfactory way. In the end, they used a banana reset button to turn everything back. But at least Mamoru knows Yuuna’s feelings now, so if this were to occur again, the outcome would be very different (or so I would hope). Overall I thought the final two episodes were alright: not great, but not bad. They traded humor for story in the finale.
Final Thoughts: Kage Kara Mamoru! ended up being a series that was very hit or miss for me. Every week, Mamoru gets to play ninja to save Yuuna while all the girls around him like him. There weren’t any deep character relationships to analyze or plot twists to surprise me. Some episodes provided some good laughs (episodes four and five come to mind) and some had interesting premises (the mole men), but the rest episodes left me with very little to say. I’d call this one of those non-thought provoking shows you watch to get a few laughs or just to see some ninjas.