Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kabukibu! : If Only I Knew Japanese

Hi there guys. Wolvenciel here with your not-so-weekly anime review. Anyways, Today I'll be looking at a unique never before seen theme. Kabuki.

Yes it involves a lot of kabuki acting and recitals. I mean its obvious really. Kabukibu means Kabuki Club.

The Gist

So this all started with a frank, sort of highly optimistic (on first impression) Kurusu Kurogo, a Kabuki enthusiast keen on building up his Kabuki club and further introducing young generations to the old form of commoner entertainment (as opposed to what we might think).


Yes, Kabuki is a commoner entertainment. Made by peasants to be enjoyed by the peasants themselves. Go look it up on Wikipedia or the web if you're really interested.

Isn't That Too Simple Then?

The thing about most of these "club-based" anime themes is that they are pretty similar to each other. Its like sports anime. They have their sort-of formats and set rules they always follow. You start the club small, you build up wacky team members, and you end it with a school festival performance.

This is Tonbo by the way.

That's why these kinds of anime need to have a very strong hook to get people to take an interest and follow through the story as it progresses (even when we already know the whole story flow). Kabukibu isn't exactly spectacular at doing this but its not too shabby either. Plus I'm kind of new to Kabuki so the story might have clicked my curiosity.

The Hook That Is Tonbo

Now, Kurogo might have been the instigator, the start of it all but not one thing in the anime would bear fruit if not for his best friend cum right hand man, Tonbo. Since the start of the anime, anything that came out of this boy's mouth never fails to impress me.

Yes he sometimes get like this

He says all the right things in all the right places. He's like a walking encyclopedia, always throwing out facts here and there and he never ever cease to amaze me with his random antics. Sure, Kurogo himself is quite unique in his own sense but its because of Tonbo that you'll laugh and gasp in awe every single time.

You'll find out why I put this screen capture if you watch the anime

He wears spectacles too.

What It Failed To Do

But then again, no matter how good the character is, it would not matter much if the story doesn't flow nicely. Not to say Kabukibu's story has a shit flow or anything. Its just that there are a few things in the anime that could just be omitted out completely and it would not have affected the story whatsoever.

This woman looked like Azuma from Bakuman

They could have instead expanded a bit more on other parts of the anime that needed more thorough explanation like the performance and stuff. As it is right now, the anime will look as if it wants to tell you about the side characters a bit more but then it decided not to.

Looks very familiar...

For example, on episode 2, the anime showed bits of Tonbo's memory when he was a child and of how he met Kurogo but then that's it. There was no significance as to why they showed that. There are a few more examples I could give but that'd spoil the show for you.


I guess maybe the director wanted to show off some parts of the novel (yes Kabukibu! is adapted from a novel) to maybe spurn some interest in viewers to go and check it out. Too bad I'm not Japanese. I can't really read them novels now can I?

This is how I feel every time I decide to write...

In any case, ignoring the fact that there are a few discrepancies in the storytelling, overall it is a pretty enjoyable show about high school kids making Kabuki fun and simple so that its easy for people who know nothing about them to understand and enjoy it without actually changing what Kabuki already is.

Oh right. Akutsu is also an interesting character to watch.

I'd say check it out if you have the time. At least watch three episodes before you decide whether its crap or not.

That's Akutsu. Can anyone tell me what's visual kei?

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