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Ninjas

Power Rangers Ninja Steel photo
Power Rangers Ninja Steel

Power Rangers Ninja Steel shows off its cast


Can you spot the Dino Charge connection?
Aug 13
// Salvador GRodiles
It's a known fact that the coolest ninjas are the one who don't hide. With Power Morphicon '16 happening as we speak, the actors for the 2017 Power Rangers series, Ninja Steel, have revealed their identity in front of a live ...
Senran Kagura  photo
Senran Kagura

Aw, yeah: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus hits PC next month


It's about to get steamy around here
May 25
// Salvador GRodiles
To this day, the Senran Kagura series remains on my list of games to play, since the franchise's over-the-top beat 'em up combat system (both 2.5 and 3D) and fun cast have caught my interest. Speaking of which, XSEED has...
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger photo
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger

Evil gets slashed: Kakuranger heads to North America


Kakuranger, Ninja Ninja!
Jan 24
// Salvador GRodiles
You know that Shout! Factory's Super Sentai releases are doing fine when they throw a big surprise announcement at our faces. During their special Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger streaming event on Saturday, Jan. 23, t...

Review: Ninja Slayer From Animation

Dec 06 // Josh Tolentino
Ninja Slayer From AnimationStudio: TRIGGERViewed On: ViewsterPremiere date: April 6, 2015 At the time of this review's writing, the International Day of the Ninja has just passed, but there's no recent work that captures the essence of "ninja" more than this, Studio TRIGGER's latest series. Ninja Slayer From Animation makes no attempt to hide its goofy, parodic nature. That should be natural, after all, coming from a show that started life as what was essentially a Twitter prank. "Translated" from nonexistent original sources by a pair of fictional westerners named  "Bradley Bond" and "Philip Ninj@ Morzez", Ninja Slayer accurately portrays ninja culture...as seen by westerners engaged in that second wave of Japonisme that swept the world '80s and early '90s. During that time, the markets were flooded with crass, cheaply-made "ninja exploitation" films like American Ninja, and spiced up by gory, explicit OVAs and films that powered the "Japanimation" boom. Ninja Slayer's cyberpunk dystopia of Neo Saitama reflects the kind of twisted sensibility that resulted from the marriage of genuine enthusiasm and outright ignorance on the part of the outsiders. But Ninja Slayer isn't out to deliver a polemic against cultural appropriation. Bond and Morzez are in on the joke, and know that the best antidote to hotheaded outrage is a tongue planted firmly in cheek. Much to the chagrin of early viewers that didn't realize Ninja Slayer's relation to TRIGGER's own Inferno Cop, the whole thing is played for elaborate, stylized laughs. That's because they know that, played straight, Kenji Fujikido's story of revenge and violence would come across as gravely cliche and unbearably cheesy. That's why Ninja Slayer and his foes constantly introduce themselves to each other like beginning Japanese-language students practicing for a kaiwa test, and why the whole show is in the archaic 4:3 aspect ratio. It simultaneously pokes fun at and commiserates with the "Ken-sama" of the world, and smirks back at a time when Ken-sama's type represented what most people knew about Japanese culture. It's also where TRIGGER works in that ninja magic. Deliberate aesthetic choices in Ninja Slayer, like the neon-drenched pallete and aping of old-school cost-cutting techniques recall back the moments of beauty to be found in that awkward time, while at the same time deflating the nostalgic pomposity some older fans may have for the time. It's as if to say "Yep, cartoons were just as stupid then as you think they are now. But they were also awesome!" The show is hardly perfect, though, and the wild differentials between user ratings in various fan fora serve as testament to that fact. Ninja Slayer may be bold and one of the most creatively distinct anime series this year, but there are times when it's just plain ugly-lookin', beyond what could be excused on style alone. TRIGGER's no longer a scrappy underdog of a studio, which makes the frequent forays into Inferno Cop-style 2D cutout puppetry feel less like a fun diversion and more an unnecessary indulgence.  The storytelling also fails to rise above its B-grade inspirations. This isn't to say it's all bad or that every show should strive to elevate, but there is a difference between homage and mere copy, and there are times when Ninja Slayer skirts too close to the wrong side of that distinction.  Then again, for a viewer in the right mindset, Ninja Slayer is a laugh riot and a friendly wink-and-nod, all rolled into a package that never gets boring. And for a show that's very deliberately not accurate to the real-life ninjas of Japanese history, Ninja Slayer certainly gets being surprising down pat. 
Ninja Slayer Review photo
The Ancient YEEART! of Ninjutsu
DOMO, READER-SAN.  I am Reviewer. NINJA must be slain. 


Week Ender - Ninja Edition

Dec 05 // Red Veron
[embed]34551:5232:0[/embed] "Fighting Dreamer" Anime: Senran Kagura If you can still pull off ninja moves while having giant boobs, then you have earned the ninja title. Fighting off deadly ninja foes while fighting chronic back pain is the true measure of a ninja.   [embed]34551:5233:0[/embed] "Kilmister" Anime: Ninja Slayer Cool ending from a cool looking show that is on a shoestring budget.   [embed]34551:5234:0[/embed] "Kurukururin" Anime: Ninja Nonsense A cute comedy ninja show about nonsense with ninjas as the title implies. This ending is a fun one with stop motion ninjas and a winged creature thing with panties on its head. Just watch it, I don't know how else to explain it.   [embed]34551:5231:0[/embed] "My Answer" Anime: Naruto Shippuuden Hey, ninjas need some beach R&R too. The beach is also a battlefield. Also some fanservice for the fans.   Got any favorite ninja anime? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know! 
Week Ender photo
Ninja Please
In celebration of Ninja Day today, this weekend's Week Ender is all about the secret masters of the shadow arts. They have plenty of anime about ninjas since it has been a popular figure in Japanese fiction for hundreds of ye...

Ninja Day photo
Ninja Day

Let's celebrate the International Day of the Ninja!


Ninjas Rule! Pirates Drool!
Dec 05
// Red Veron
Today is the international Day of the Ninja according to the delicious sounding faux-burger restaurant Ninja Burger. It totally snuck up on ya? Snuck up on ya like a assassin in the shadows. Like say, LIKE A NINJA. I recommen...

OP Up! Ninja Edition

Dec 02 // Red Veron
[embed]34547:5220:0[/embed] "Crawl" Anime: Nabari No Ou A ninja anime about the hidden world of ninjas in a modern world with ancient stuff. It's like Naruto but in a modern world and everyone looks like they're from a Josei anime with plenty of Yaoi fodder pretty boys. Good action though with a great opening.   [embed]34547:5221:0[/embed] "Diver" Anime: Naruto Shippuuden My favorite in the latest openings from this show. Great song with some matching imagery with Naruto sinking into the depths while Sasuke shows up to be a dick. Luckily, friends show up to give him a hand (Sai grabs some Naruto booty, I SAW THAT).   [embed]34547:5222:0[/embed] "BACK IN  BLACK" Anime: Ninja Slayer A show where the opening shows only most of the well animated stuff. To describe this show in words that one might understand: Aqua Teen Hunger Force with ninjas and sometimes cool animation from TRIGGER. From the studio of Kill La Kill and Inferno Cop, this one may not please those expecting KLK levels of animation quality.   [embed]34547:5223:0[/embed] "Break your world" Anime: Senran Kagura My friend described this as "Ninja Slice of Life from the Hero perspective, while something completely different from the villians' view". Also giant boobs.   Is there a Ninja Anime you love? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! I wanna know! 
OP Up! photo
GO NINJA GO NINJA GO
This December 5 will be the yearly celebration of International Day of the Ninja, and this week's OP Up!/Week Ender theme will center on the masked assassins of the night (when they're not wearing bright orange clothes or hav...

Japan photo
Japan

Way of the ninja remains alive in shuriken competition


Ninpo~ Shuriken no Jutsu!
Jun 03
// Anthony Redgrave
No matter the medium a ninja is portrayed in, they will always come equipped with deadly throwing stars ready for a silent assassination. The way of the ninja isn't dead as the Ninja Museum of Igaryu in Iga, Mie Prefecture is...
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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