The Naruto The franchise is often considered the pinnacle of ninja fiction, but there are plenty of other anime and manga that have their fair share of themes. Ninjas have always been popular protagonists for Japanese writers, as they give them easy access to secret societies, shadow warfare, and complex magical powers. Since Masashi Kishimoto’s orange-clad ninja is the most famous, many other ninja stories often go unnoticed by anime fans.
Thankfully, ninja stories are versatile and suitable for many different genres. Japan’s shinobi and kunoichi have starred in dark and devastating political thrillers, sci-fi adventures or even romantic comedies. For those who want to try something new or just want to satisfy their ninja needs between Boruto releases, there are countless options and only limited by one’s preferences.
10 brave 10
Brave 10 is best described as “Naruto without Naruto”, as it reflects many of the salient features of the latter: oddly emphasized characters, magical superpowers, and plenty of fight scenes. . This historical fantasy drama follows Saizo Kirigakure, a former Iga ninja who finds himself working as a bodyguard for a priestess named Isanami. The two are recruited by samurai Yukimura Sanada to complete his “10 Heroes,” a group of ninjas that help him defend his territory, as well as the secret power within Isanami. Confronting them are many other historical-inspired villains, including Ieyasu Tokugawa and Hanzo Hattori.
TMS Entertainment produced a 12-volume series in 2012. Disappointingly, the series only covered a small portion of Kairi Shimotsuki’s original manga, which ran for eight volumes before a nine-volume sequel. However, with this brevity, the adaptation offers a short and sweet addition to Naruto. Even Saizo was extremely interested, as his moody appearance and black hair made him resemble Sasuke Sasuke. For those with an afternoon to spare, Brave 10 might be worth checking out, especially since all of its episodes have been officially uploaded to YouTube.
9 ninja assassins
This Original Net Animation (ONA) is the definition of “deranged”. Enjoying its excess and absurdity, Ninja Slayer nominally embodies Kenji Fujikido’s journey of revenge against the “evil ninja” who killed his family – the iconic Ninja Slayer fights bugs, robots features towering pylons and villains named “Destroying Ninja” or “Hugeshuriken”, aided by a set of female characters whose body proportions and costumes parody anime clichés. 90s.
Trigger’s sense of humor may not be appropriate, as they often create poor animation for 10-minute episodes intended for parody purposes, which may cause some potential audiences to look away and harass behavior. Regular sex puppetry aimed at one of the female characters may also not sit well. It’s a far cry from critically acclaimed TV series like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. However, ONA exudes pure fun: seeing the characters move back and forth like cut pieces of paper, while the voice actors use their most impressive performances for sure. make people smile. Ninja Slayer is an exciting once-in-a-lifetime experience that must be seen to believe.
8 Black Foxes
Produced by 3Hz, Blackfox is what you get when you portray a superhero origin story with ninjas. The film follows Rikka Isurugi, who uses ninja training and robotic pets passed down by her family to track down the people who stole their research.
Although a Japanese work, its aesthetic is lifted from Western comics, as Rikka explores an American-style city and her struggle for revenge is familiar to any person. Are you a fan of any comic books like Batman? By inadvertently imitating such comic conventions, Blackfox is as curious as a cartoon.
7 Ninja Ryukendan
While its title may not be revealing, it is actually a sequel to the Ninja Gaiden trilogy for the Nintendo Entertainment System, following the final adventures of “Dragon Ninja” Ryu Hayabusa and Robert Sturgeon as they prevent the Evil God’s resurrection once again.
There’s so much that fascinates you about this Original Video Animation: the smooth animation, its connection to a video game from decades ago, or the way it’s a snapshot of the world in those days. 1990. Anime fans or responsible video game buffs must check out Ninja Ryukendan for its place in animation history.
6 Jubei-chan: Ninja Girl
Jubei-chan is a cult classic for its uncanny premise. 300 years after Jubei Yagyu’s death, his skills are passed on to Jiyu Nanohana through a magical eye patch. Each time she puts it on, she transforms her into an alternate ninja who must fight against the Ryujouji School, which intends to defeat Jubei’s newest incarnation. The resulting series is a combination of the magical girl formula, in which the heroine transforms into a ninja, with the use of a “cute” eye patch, while she is helped by a man. self-aggrandizing adult rather than a cute mascot.
While the first half of the anime is rather odd, with some of the characters almost caricature, it becomes more dramatic in the second half as it begins to consider the seriousness of the Ryujouji feud and its effect on the life of Jiyu and her family. . Madhouse would go on to produce a second season in 2004, doubling down on both the TV series and the comedy. Although female ninjas come and go, no one can repeat Jubei-chan’s recipe.
5 Ayakashi Triangle
Kentaro Yabuki is already well known for his romantic comedy To Love Ru, and the Ayakashi Triangle has similar franchises, albeit with ninjas. This urban fantasy drama revolves around Matsuri Kazamari, a ninja who exorcised the ayakashi, the local supernatural threat. His troubles began after defeating ayakashi Hirogane, who used his last of his strength to curse a ninja who transformed into a girl. The story follows his efforts at performing ayakashi exorcisms, finding a way to remove the curse, and his budding romance with heroine Suzu as the two deal with expectations about their future. gender identity.
The best thing about the Ayakashi Triangle is how it manages to make sure the heroines are still capable of fighting, even at the most dangerous: Matsuri never turns into a joke even once transformed. daughter and Suzu find effective ways to fight. The manga’s willingness to honestly tackle LGBTQIA themes is also a breath of fresh air as anime frequently reverts to stereotypes. Although Studio Connect’s adaptation was delayed due to COVID-19, it is thankfully back on air.
4 In Kunoichi Tsubaki’s heart
Kunoichi Tsubaki is what you would get if Naruto were a slice-of-life comedy. The eponymous Tsubaki is a student of the Akane Class, an isolated group of female ninja trainees, who one day discovers the existence of men and begins to question where they have gone, so that she can find one for himself. While this may sound like the starting point of a boy-meets-girl romance, it quickly falls into context, while the story follows the day-to-day antics of the cast very loudly when they bump into each other while moving. their lives as ninja students.
CloverWorks’ adaptation of vignettes offers a delightful experience of what the ordinary life of a ninja would be like. All of the classic ninja visuals common in Naruto are amusingly redeployed by Tsubaki and her peers for mundane activities like truancy or stealing lunch leftovers, though There are also plenty of action scenes to keep it from getting too saccharine. For those who want to take a break from watching ninjas in epic battles for the fate of the world and want something less risky, all episodes of In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki are now available on Crunchyroll. .
3 Hell Heaven: Jigokuraku
Jigokuraku is worth mentioning as an outstanding recent example of a ninja novel willing to delve into the horror genre. The story follows Gabimaru the Hollow, a ninja on death row. When his execution attempt fails due to his durable body, he is given a new choice: join nine other criminals under death sentence to explore the deadly Kotaku Island, finding the elixir of life. immortality and return with complete amnesty. What follows is part fighting and part supernatural mystery as Gabimaru finds allies among various killers and discovers the origins of the Island’s monsters.
Jigokuraku is a change of pace, with visceral horror and a sinister cast set against the dystopian backdrop of Edo-era Japan. That and the fact that it is being adapted by MAPPA makes it a highly anticipated show for spring 2023. The studio once again proves its abilities with stylish art direction, accompanied by beautiful images of jungles and monsters on Kotaku Island. Even though the second season of Jigokuraku has been announced, the manga has ended with 127 chapters. The first season is available on Crunchyroll under the title Hell’s Paradise.
Also known as Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, this anime by Gonzo is nicknamed “Romeo and Juliet with ninjas” for good reason. This story depicts the Iga and Kouga as two rival ninja clans with a bitter history. When Ieyasu Tokugawa asked both sides to choose their 10 best ninjas and represent his two sons in a shadow war to determine the next Shogun who would lead the country, the powder keg finally arrived. is lit and the two clans fight to settle things once and for all. all, even though their leaders, Gennosuke and Oboro, love each other and seek only peace.
This life-and-death battle makes up a story of all tragedies worthwhile and remains unpredictable until the very end as the massive cast of characters strategically selects each other using a variety of special powers. indispensable in Naruto. Despite the body count, the anime still manages to find time to inject enough personality traits into its cast to make their inevitable ending still sadder.
This anime, often seen on “best anime” lists, follows a wandering ronin named Jubei Kibagami, who after rescuing the female ninja Kagero and is reluctantly recruited to kill the Eight Demons of Kimon, a group of specialized ninjas, is assisting anti-government forces that are preparing for a coup. After being poisoned to ensure compliance with the promise of an antidote, Jubei must hunt down all eight ninjas before time runs out, while armed only with his sword and his wits. In 2003, Madhouse, the company involved in the film also released a sequel to the TV series, simply called Ninja Scroll: The Series.
The influence of this film in the wave of anime introduced to the West in the 90s was huge. It was one of many films by Yoshiki Kawariji that showed new audiences how mediums can be pushed to the limit with stunning artwork and mature plots, even if it also creates prejudice. that all anime is over-the-top and extremely violent. However, before Naruto took the world by storm, Ninja Scroll was a popular ninja movie and is still appreciated by anime fans today for its hand-drawn artistry.
These are just a few of the many ninja stories published with Naruto, and their depictions of these mythical spies and warriors are as varied as the shows about them. Whether viewers want laughter, suspense or simply non-stop action, there is always a way to combine them with ninja images. Thankfully, most of them can be viewed and read quickly, based on how many have finished airing or are in existence as a movie. It is hoped that this selection of 10 can help the viewer begin to broaden the scope and discover what else exists in the shadow of Naruto and Boruto too.