Ninjas

Hayate photo
Hayate

Garage Hero's upcoming Hayate web series goes on hiatus


There's a good reason behind this update
Apr 17
// Salvador GRodiles
Well, folks; it looks like Garage Hero's upcoming ninja-themed web series, Hayate, has been put on hold for now. The reasoning behind the hiatus is because of the group's production on Ayakashi Zamurai, Garage Hero's sh...
Ninjas photo
Ninjas

Japan uses their ninja skills to increase tourism


Ninjas are back in business
Mar 10
// Salvador GRodiles
I know that I joked around in the past about 2015 being the Year of the Ninja, but Japan's recent tourism-related move might as well turn my made-up holiday into a real thing. Long story short, the Japanese government have de...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Go Ninja: Get psyched up for Ninninger's first promos


The Year of the Ninja is off to a good start
Dec 28
// Salvador GRodiles
I may be late to the festivities once again, but it's time to look at Shuriken Sentai Ninninger's heroes in motion. Silly enough, these videos caught me by surprise, as I wasn't expecting to see a promotional video...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Rejoice no Jutsu: Ninninger reveals its premise, cast, and staff


More ninja-related goodies are heading your way
Dec 26
// Salvador GRodiles
The new year is around the corner, and TV Asahi's Ninninger page is ready for its next mission. This time around, the show's cast, production team, and premise leap out from the shadows to surprise its upcoming viewers. Howev...
Hayate photo
Hayate

Hayate: Asakusa's Ninja Hero's latest updates strike from above


In which ninjas continue to dominate the new year
Dec 18
// Salvador GRodiles
Man. I don't know about you, but there seems to be a lot of ninjas entering the new year all of a sudden. Thankfully, a majority of them happen to be good, so there's a good chance that the shadow assassins won't burn people ...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Aw snap, Ninninger's toys reveal Shurikenjin's gimmicks


Robo Throne Activate!
Dec 10
// Salvador GRodiles
It's time to look at Ninninger's first set of toys, and things are starting to look even more promising for the upcoming ninja-themed Sentai series. Of course, the best thing out of this toyline is the Shurikenjin, since it's...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

Update no Jutsu: Ninninger gets a premiere date and more


It's time for the Year of the Ninja!
Dec 05
// Salvador GRodiles
Hey guys! Do you know what time is it? It's time for us to look at Ninninger's latest updates. This time around, the team has been featured in a higher quality poster along side their giant robot, the Shurikenjin. Overall, I'...
Ninninger photo
Ninninger

YES: Ninninger's suits and logo jump out of the shadows


2015's Sentai series is off to a good start
Dec 02
// Salvador GRodiles
Good news, everyone. The Shuriken Sentai Ninninger have revealed themselves, and their suits look like a glorious fusion between Hurricanger and Shinkenger's designs. Due to this great combination, I've already fallen in...
Super Sentai photo
Super Sentai

Trademark no Jutsu: 2015's Sentai series gets a title


Ninjas are back in style!
Oct 22
// Salvador GRodiles
We have a few weeks until October returns to the shadows, and it's time to learn about the 39th Sentai show's title. Going by the name of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the next installment in the franchise'll likely fe...
TMNT photo
TMNT

So I guess the Ninja Turtles are Japanese Kappa, now?


Yokai in a half-shell
Jul 22
// Josh Tolentino
That seems to be the story Paramount have gone with in their new "Legend of the Yokai" trailer for this year's big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, opening on August 8th. According to the stylized animations and ster...
Another Hurricanger video photo
Another Hurricanger video

Watch Hurricanger's main cast reunite in full costume


The reunion you've been waiting for.
Apr 07
// Salvador GRodiles
Despite the recent reveal of the Hurricanger V-Cinema  known as Ninpu Sentai Hurricanger: 10 Years After, the show's main cast has come together in a video where they don their ninja apparel once aga...
Hurricanger V-Cinema film photo
Hurricanger V-Cinema film

Shinobi Change: Hurricanger to return as a V-Cinema movie


Become the wind!
Mar 31
// Salvador GRodiles
Due to Japan being ahead of us by a day, the announcement for the tenth anniversary of Hurricanger is among us. And what do you know, these ninjas have succeeded in fooling me well -- you win this round, Hurricangers. Sadly,...
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Hideo Kojima makes for one hell of an action figure


Jan 31
// Elliot Gay
Who's excited for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance? I sure as hell am. Ever since getting my hands dirty at Tokyo Game Show, I've been counting the days until the game's release. While the wait is at times unbearable, I fortuna...
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Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 DLC proves monarchies rule


Yes, that is the takeaway from all this
Jan 28
// Josh Tolentino
This March 5th, Americans will be getting the totally bitchin'-looking Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 first, whereas the rest of the world gets theirs on March 8th. That's a clear advantage, one might say....

Review: Ninja Scroll Blu-ray

Jan 28 // Jeff Chuang
Ninja Scroll (Blu-ray)Studio: MadhouseLicensed by: Sentai Filmworks Release Date: December 4, 2012MSRP: $24.99 ($18.74) There are few anime that I feel poorly equipped to talk about. This is one of them. I think the weirdness is that this is one of those shows that made anime a thing to a crowd over in the English-speaking world, and I was never really comfortable with what that crowd watched: anime that were characterized by gratuitous sex and violence. Not that is really a problem; I always thought Ninja Scroll, one of the best out of that class, was particularly memorable because it is not only gorgeously animated, but the direction and choreography were bar none. There are few that can match it in how clever the various ninjas were designed, how these ninja powers played to create some thrilling and creative fights that hasn't been repeated yet since. But that's where the problem begins. What is there to talk about besides the really awesome fights? The plot to Ninja Scroll, while it does a good job moving things along, is ultimately just an action vehicle. Surprisingly it highlights some of the stark contrasts in the medium, such as being a female ninja in a male ninja world? I don't know if one could walk that path without some serious gear, and I mean it in terms of real balls to tackle a thorny problem about how women are portrayed in anime. And more over, why would we start there, at an ultra-violent and sexually gratuitous masterpiece? Nonetheless one must start somewhere. Ninja Scroll is the story about a vagabond ninja, Jubei, and how he runs afoul of a plot to steal a shipload of gold for the shadow shogunate, who wants to overthrow the current government by buying everyone off or otherwise threaten them. There are 8 super ninjas who work for the shadow shogunate, and Jubei (along with a local clanswoman ninja and a government spy) fights them in order to not only do what's right, but to face his own demons from his dark past. I could also begin talking about Ninja Scroll's seemingly vast mind share in the early days of anime fandom, where the only thing louder and more vibrant is love for Akira. Or on the wholly different end, things like Sailor Moon, DBZ or Robotech--all surprisingly equally thorny in terms of themes, character and substance as Ninja Scroll. At least in Ninja Scroll, there is no pretense. You know what you are going to get when bad boys fly among the trees, going after each other's necks (or other weak points, as the case it may be for many of these mutant-like ninjas). It's high time to invest in pressurized animated blood. At the same time, it just makes certain other scenes a little bit jarring, such as with the random sex scenes (as important to the plot or characterization it may be), or the oddly scripted love triangle among the villains.  Well, none of those are reasons why most own and love Ninja Scroll. Even when it comes to praising all the creative and moving action scenes, I don't know if I have all the words necessary to express how engaging and tireless they can be. I don't know how many times I've seen Jubei take down that rock dude over the years--it's just wholly captivating. There is a good reason why all those old AMVs used footage from Ninja Scroll. Sentai's Ninja Scroll on Blu-ray is generally competent. The dub track is just as you might have remembered it. The effects sound significantly more amplified on the dub track than the sub track, for some reason. Ryuzaburo's spinning blades, for instance, sounded like a whirlwind machine on the dub track, where as it sounded plain on the Japanese track. It's probably just added directionality in the rear sound stage in this case, but otherwise there's no discrepancy. The video is in 4:3 format, probably because it was the only format whose original copy is in good enough shape for a remaster. The video looks much better than the original release, rest assured. The Ninja Scroll Blu-ray also comes with a commentary track featuring one of the writers, plus director Yoshiaki Kawajiri and animation director Yutaka Minowa. It's quite informative for many of the behind-the-scenes thinking that went on, and definitely a must-watch for real fans of this piece. The packaging is as bare-bones as you might have come to expect from Sentai's typical handiwork. Among old school animated violence, Ninja Scroll occupies its own particular throne--it's definitely the most refined of them all. And with this remastered Blu-ray release, it's dressed for the 21st century.  9.0 – Exceptional (One of the best things its genre has ever produced. Its example will be copied or taken into account by almost anything that follows it.)
Ninja Scroll photo
Ultraviolence, now in HD
No point beating around the bush: The mid-1990s action anime legend Ninja Scroll is now on Blu-ray in North America. It's the best it has looked on home video yet.  But it's been a long time--20 years now--that Ninja Scr...

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Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus has four-play


err...multiplayer
Jan 09
// Josh Totman
Senran Kagura, why have you not been localized and in my hot sweaty hands yet? Are you afraid that the market might not like you or understand you? It's OK, I am here for you... *ahem* Moving on to something more real, W...
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Naruto Ninja Storm 3 leaks show Sasuke chopping people up


Massed battles in the 2013's Naruto fighter
Sep 11
// Josh Tolentino
Unfortunately for folks hoping this post's headline would reveal a sudden and dramatic change in tone for the series, hopping from a world of magical ninjas into a gritty crime drama where Sasuke is some kind of serial killer...
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Trailer streamed for Madhouse's Ninja Scroll Burst


Jul 26
// Bob Muir
Woah, check this out! Madhouse has streamed a trailer for an in-development anime that resurrects a legendary property: the 1993 movie Ninja Scroll. Titled Ninja Scroll Burst, the "3-episode short animation" is a "challenge"...
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Ninja Scroll returning with a new project


Apr 14
// Chris Walden
It's been about nine years since Ninja Scroll: The Series was released, but that's not stopping Madhouse! The animation gurus have announced that something new is on its way, a little something known only as Ninja Scroll Proj...
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Mie University hires "Last Ninja" as a professor


Feb 01
// Bob Muir
Everyone thinks that ninjas have more or less vanished in the modern age, replaced by plucky little kids with powers out of Dragon Ball Z. But if you happen to attend Mie University in Tsu City, Mie Prefecture, you might come...
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Bouncy 3DS ninja game Senran Kagura finally gets trailer


Jun 06
// Tyler Jones
Sorry for wasting you guys' time with that last trailer. I really should have saved all the hype for this one. A game that will truly set new standards for excellence in electronic entertainment, Senran Kagura has a new trail...
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Moon Diver now up on Xbox Live Arcade


May 04
// Tyler Jones
The most important thing that I can tell you about Moon Diver right off the bat is that its director, Koichi Yotsui, also is responsible for the 1989 Capcom arcade classic Strider. Strider is among my favorite games ever, and...
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Ninja toilet paper, soft and stealthy?


Sep 29
// Crystal White
Yes, ninja toilet paper. If you recognize the true win that being a ninja embodies, then you will surely join me in saying that you would buy this and feel absolutely not guilty about doing so.It seems that Iga in M...
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Dude slashes up a baseball in midair, continues Samurai vs Ninja debate


Jun 20
// Josh Tolentino
So yeah, there's a Samurai Vodka, but real samurai don't care, because real samurai are busy taking out dumbass ninjas screwing around in the trees. Those tree-sitting punks think real samurai need their manly armor and kic...
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Have a happy DAY OF THE NINJA


Dec 05
// God Len
Have a happy (or is it merry?) Day of the Ninja, December fifth. The great thing about this holiday is that you don’t know it's the Day of the Ninja until it is almost finished; that is the way of the ninja. Activities ...

Japanator Review: Ask A Ninja Presents The Ninja Handbook

Sep 10 // Zac Bentz
Of course, one does not simply become a ninja overnight. The Ninja Handbook is quick to point out that there are, in fact, several steps along the ninja path. Starting with “Nonja,” then moving on to “Ninjaish,” “Ninjalike,” “Whoooooooo” and finally “Is That A Ninja,” the book provides a thorough and terrifying guide to the staggering number of requirements and quests one must undertake, all before actually become a for-real Ninja. From creating a kick-ass looking clan flag to throwing a pizza party with your master in a crowded room without anyone noticing, the handbook is chock-a-block with deadly serious and deadly hilarious tips. But the handbook doesn't stop there. Once one has attained the status of ninja, the handbook provided a host of additional odds and ends to occupy ones time before death. Sections on merit badges (all black, naturally), how to jump with one's tongue, a list of 100 kicks (“The Flying Life Insurance Payout,” “Arch of Annihilation,” “Now You See It Now You're Dead” etc.) colorless illustrations on how to best stab trolls, evil unicorns and clouds, magic, a list of “Top 10 Misconceptions About Ninjas Promoted In Movies” (did you know that not all ninjas are Japanese?), a host of reasons why Batman is not a ninja (“Ninjas don't have aged butlers that pamper them and save their asses when the mission is too hard,”) and lots of more. There are also a staggering number of pull quotes and other words of wisdom for a wide range of pop stars, historical political figures, poets and even some actual ninjas. Oh, and words. Lots of words. Most of them very, very funny. This isn't simply a hackneyed rehashing of the material from the show. Oh no. Well, yes, a bit I suppose, but mostly it's a tasty mix of grisly illustration, charts, forms, graphs, lists and prose with a feel entirely different than the show. It manages to keep the humor fresh from beginning to end. I didn't think it would be possible to keep the level of super-extreme, over-the-top ninja speak interesting over 326 pages, but these guys pull it off. There is far more to the book than can be regaled in fawning praise here. All I can do is urge you to scamper out to your local book superstore/lifestyle supplier, grab the book and read it in a comfy chair. Heck, maybe even buy it if you find yourself going back to it a few times a week. There, I did it. Can I go now sir? Hello? Oh good, it looks like he's gone. Phew. ARRRRG!
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“Nothing dies as fun as a pirate.” - Gaul McDartknee, age unknown You've seen him. You know you have. Even if you don't know you have, you have. He's the Ask A Ninja ninja. In fact, millions of people have s...

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Japanatainment: What is a ninja?


Aug 12
// God Len
What is the fate of Weekend Japanatainment? I don’t know, maybe it died, or maybe it retired. But what I do know is that a new feature has been born out of its ashes: Japanatainment. This new feature will be basically...
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77 year-old 'Samurai Granny' hired by Italian military


Jun 23
// Zac Bentz
While most people's grandmothers are more than happy with their "#1 Granny" shirts and their weekly bingo nights, others are out there kicking all sorts of ninja buttholes.Keiko Wakabayshi is 77 years old, 5 feet ta...
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Celebrate! For today is the Day of the Ninja


Dec 05
// God Len
Happy Day of the Ninja, the most holy and celebrated holiday here at Japanator during the month of December. In case you don’t know, the Day of the Ninja is the time of the year to dress, act, and kill like a ninja. ...






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