Kaibutsu-Kun Episode 1 Recap
English title: Kaibutsu-kun
Broadcast station: NTV
Broadcast dates: 17 April – 12 June 2010
Cast: Ohno Satoshi, Kaga Takeshi, Yashima Norito, Ueshima Ryuhei, Choi Hong Man, Hankai Kazuaki, Matsuoka Masahiro, Inamori Izumi, Tsuda Kanji, Kawashima Umika, Hamada Tatsuomi
Theme song: “Monster” by Arashi
Based on: Manga series Kaibutsu-kun by Fujiko Fujio
Synopsis: Prince Kaibutsutaro gets sent to the human world by his father in order to become worthy to succeed the throne of the monster world. He is sent there with three servants and is set the task of helping humans until his father agrees to let Kaibutsutaro back into the monster world to take over ruling. Meanwhile in the demon world, they are trying to resurrect their fallen king.
Campy, cheesy, yet endearing and funny. This show airs at 9pm on Saturdays, but seems more suited for Saturday morning cartoon time. It is definitely more geared towards a younger audience and has the usual messages you would expect to find in such entertainment. That said, it is still a funny drama and is something adults could definitely enjoy watching, cheesiness and all.
The show opens with an explanation of how the monster world contains a species more evolved than humans. We then get to meet the king of the monster world (Kaga Takeshi) as he prepares for his son’s coronation. His loyal servant Jijiya (Hankai Kazuaki) has already prepared three servants to help Prince Kaibutsutaro out as he becomes king of the monster world. The first is Dracula (Yashima Norito), the second is Werewolf (Ueshima Ryuhei), and the third is Frankenstein (Choi Hong Man). They were all happy to be chosen to serve botchan, as they heard he was a sweet, gentle, and caring monster. Not so much.
In reality, Prince Kaibutsutaro is spoiled, selfish and very childish. He doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. If you don’t meet his demands he becomes angry and breaks things and beats you. Yet, the whole kingdom believes he is a good monster and can’t wait for him to be crowned the next king. At the coronation ceremony the king makes the announcement that Kaibutsu will not be getting crowned and will instead be going on a journey. This shocks Kaibutsu and his new followers. They are then zapped into the human realm.
Kaibutsu whines when he learns that he has been exiled into the human world. He becomes angered at his helpers and tries to use his powers on them, but he is unable to make them work. The others laugh at Kaibutsu because they all have their own powers still. They find a door to the monster world and try to go back only to be stopped by Jijiya who says that they must help a human first before the king will allow them re-entrance into the monster world. Jijiya also gives Kaibutsutaro a white translucent stone that is supposed to help him out in his duration at the human realm. Jijiya also tells Kaibutsu that he and his helpers must not let any humans find out what they really are or they will never be able to return to monster land.
Kaibutsu and the others return home trying to figure out just what they are going to do next. As they are trying to figure this out, a baseball comes crashing through their window. A young boy (who nobody likes as he has a bad habit of lying) gets told to bring the baseball back. Wanting to make friends, Hiroshi agrees and he goes into the house to get the baseball. Kaibutsu and the others hide from Hiroshi at first, not sure how to take meeting their first human.
Kaibutsu asks Hiroshi if he needs help and says that he will do anything to help the young boy. Hiroshi asks them to help him get the boys back that he wanted to play with. While the other 3 monsters chase down the three boys, Kaibutsu manages to transform himself into Hiroshi (the stone he was given earlier that Hiroshi picked up enables him to use his powers). As Hiroshi, Kaibutsu scares off the monsters, but instead of making friends, he manages to threaten and bully the other boys, but Hiroshi is happy because he thinks they will not pick on him any longer.
Kaibutsu feels good after doing (what he believes) is a good deed. He and the others try to go back to monster land but are told that they cannot. They are confused as they had helped a human. Jijiya shows them the repercussions of them “helping” the lying Hiroshi. This hurts and confuses Kaibutsu who doesn’t understand what lying is. He and the others go to talk to Hiroshi about lying to them when Hiroshi lies again and gets the four monsters arrested. With no one to vouch for their identities, the four stay locked up in jail where an angry wolfman breaks down and starts yelling at how Kaibutsu knows nothing and doesn’t understand anything. Poor Kaibutsu.
Meanwhile, the demons are plotting to reawaken their fallen king. Ever since he was defeated by the king of monster world, he has been in hibernation, but the time has come for the demons to make their move in reviving him. Demorina sends Akkuma into the human world to collect the dark matter (basically human desire) needed to revive Demokin. Akkuma disguises himself as a priest and begins collecting lost souls. Hiroshi meets Akkuma while taking care of an abandoned puppy. Akkuma tells Hiroshi that he can help the little boy’s lies become believable so that he will be able to make friends. Hiroshi follows him to an abandoned warehouse where people pray for lies to become the truth (and while they are praying their desires are being sucked out of them).
When Hiroshi’s older sister learns of his lying to make friends, she makes him promise to never lie again as it doesn’t help people and ends up hurting Hiroshi and those he lies to. Utako and the landlady go to the jail and spring Kaibutsu and the others. While this is happening, the pound takes Hiroshi’s puppy away. Utako tells Hiroshi that they can’t have a puppy in their apartment to begin with, so there is nothing they can do. Hiroshi says that if he could have lied convincingly, then he could save Chibi. Utako yells at him saying he promised not to lie. Hiroshi doesn’t listen and runs out to the warehouse.
Utako goes to Kaibutsu for help. Still angry at Hiroshi for lying to him, Kaibutsu refuses. The others try to convince him, but he says he won’t help a person who isn’t strong enough to tell the truth. Utako then says sometimes people lie in order to protect what they care about and runs out to save her little brother herself. After she leaves, the others try again to convince Kaibutsu who remains firm in not helping Hiroshi.
Aakuma leads Hiroshi up the the prayer platform, but he collapses before he can even pray. Utako comes in and demands to have her brother given back. She becomes worried when she sees how ill her brother looks. Aakuma kicks all the other humans out and drags Utako and Hiroshi up to the platform to completely drain them (thus killing them). As he is about to begin, Kaibutsu and gang show up. Utako and Hiroshi are happy to see him. Kaibutsu says he was just out taking a walk and the others say to tell the truth that he came to save Hiroshi and Utako.
The fight off the bad guys and Kaibutsu realizes that Aakuma was a demon from the demon world. Since Kaibutsu’s powers are sealed, he tells the guys to grab the kids and run. The guys don’t like to hear this, but they listen to their prince. While they are running away, the magic stone glows and Kaibutsu can once again use his powers. They all fight off the demons together. Afterward, Aakuma realizes who Kaibutsu is and tries to make a bargain with him. Kaibutsu refuses, saying he won’t destroy the human world.
Utako makes a big pot of curry for Kaibutsu and team and tells him “thank you.” After she leaves, Kaibutsu asks what that word means. Dracula gets his book out and says it is an expression of gratitude. It is the first time in his life that any one has ever thanked him. This touches him deeply. Jijiya wants to bring Kaibutsu home after this experience, but his father remains firm saying that Botchan still has a long way to go.
My thoughts: Like I said, it is cheesy and full of mediocre special effects, but it is good. It teaches valuable lessons for kids, like lying is wrong. I am looking forward to the evolution of Kaibutsu. Overall, he really isn’t a bad person. He is just spoiled and used to having his way, but he is strong with a good heart underneath it all.
Ohno is a good actor, but I do wish to see him in something a little more mature, not quite as dark as his drama Maou but, more of an adult-like drama. However, he does play the child-like Kaibutsu really well which is definitely challenging for an adult to portray a more childlike attitude without it turning atrocious or sickening.