In October 2022, DMM Pictures and Troyca introduced fans to their latest ninja series: Shinobi no Ittoki. It’s about a young boy, Ittoki Sakuraba, who just manages to fend off an attempt on his life. It’s then that he learns he is a direct descendant of the Iga Ninja Clan, famous for defending their province against the warlord Oda Nobunaga. While his case is being investigated, his mom sends him to Ninjutsu Gakuen to train as a ninja.
At the school, he manages to befriend some beautiful ninja girls but also suspects there’s a traitor within the school. Possibly someone working for the Koga Clan, the Iga Clan’s deadly rivals. In other words, it’s Harry Potter with ninjas. But surely there’s a better series around for Ittoki fans to check out as well? Here are some other Ittoki-esque anime shows for fans to check out.
This show is a little hard to Google for, as ‘Himawari’ is also the name of a character in Boruto. Typing in the title character’s full name wouldn’t help, as she’s called ‘Hinata Himawari,’ the names of both the mother and daughter in the more famous ninja show. But with a little digging, both Himawari! and its follow-up series Himawari Too! should show up.
They’re both OVA series of about 13 episodes each, telling the story of Hinata Himawari, a recent transfer to Shinobi Gakuen. She’s wanted to be a ninja ever since she was saved by one when she was little and has suspicions that the new transfer tutor Hayato was that heroic ninja, despite his lack of sneaking and combat skills. Both series are pretty old now, having debuted in 2006, but they can be found on services like Yidio for viewing.
5/6 Strike the Blood
Himawari! has the ninja and the school setting, but it’s all fun, frolics, and goofiness. How about something a little more serious and much easier to find? Strike the Blood is available in full on Crunchyroll, along with 2 of its 6(!) follow-up OVAs. That’s if the manga or original light novel aren’t enough to catch up with. Its premise is very similar to Ittoki’s; only it uses paranormal demons and vampires instead of ninjas.
Kojo Akatsuki is an ordinary high schooler before he starts succumbing to his vampiric nature. Not only that, but the demon world also suspects he’ll become ‘the Fourth Progenitor,’ a vampire strong enough to upset the power balance between the other three progenitors. His only help comes from Yukina Himeragi; a Sword Shaman tasked with ‘observing’ him and his classmates who might have a thing for him.
4/6 Nabari no Ou
Vampires and demons are well enough. However, if fans are more into the ninja aspect than the school drama part, Nabari no Ou should fit their bill. It’s about a boy, Miharu Rokujo, who’s caught in the middle of a conflict between the Banten Village ninjas and the Iga Village ninjas. The Iga ninjas are after a secret scroll hidden within Miharu’s body: the Shinra Banshō.
They’ll kill Miharu to get it, while the Banten will go to any level to protect him and extract the scroll from him safely. Miharu is fine to have it extracted, as he doesn’t care about the ninjas and wants to go back to his normal life. But as events progress, he learns more about his past, his family, and his skills. The show is quite old, as it was originally broadcast in 2008. But thankfully, all 26 of its episodes can be seen on Funimation’s streaming service.
Blackfox is a little different from the other recommendations as it’s a single movie than a series. Produced by 3Hz, the film is about a young girl called Rikka Isurugi. She’s expected to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and become a ninja, but she wants to be a robot scientist like her father.
But when both are killed by her father’s rival, Dr Lauren, she vows to bring him to justice. With just her ninja training, some detective skills, and her tech, she becomes ‘Blackfox.’ It was popular enough to get a live-action tokusatsu adaptation as well, though it told a different story from the anime film. So, best to browse Crunchyroll, find the original Blackfox anime film and enjoy its funky mix of ninja and robot action.
This 1993 film is almost required viewing for any anime fan into ninja stories. It’s a grittier, more violent take on the genre, so fans more into the shonen fare may have to watch out. But anyone who prefers the swing of the blade and the feudal-era drama to the teen school drama should feel right at home here.
The film follows Jubei Kibagami; a swordsman tasked with protecting the Tokugawa shogunate against a team of ninja warriors called the Eight Devils of Kimon. He gets help from an older spy, Dakuan, and a deadly kunoichi called Kagero, but he otherwise has to rely on his own skills. The film can be seen on Hulu and can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Otherwise, its sequel series can be seen on Crunchyroll, VRV, Amazon Prime, and Retro Crush.
1/6 Naruto series
Chances are anyone who’s checked out Shinobi no Ittoki are already familiar with Naruto and Boruto. If anything, Ittoki has more often been a recommendation for Naruto fans than the other way around. Yet there’s always a chance fans missed out on Shonen Jump’s premier ninja franchise, whether they were too young to catch its peak or just by sheer chance. The original Naruto was about a mischievous boy who hopes to become the chief of his ninja village, despite the villagers distrusting him because his body contains the fox spirit that attacked them in the past.
His connections, adventures, and rise through the ranks are told throughout the series and its sequel series Naruto Shippuden. Boruto is about Naruto’s son, who wishes to surpass his father’s legacy. The original series can be seen on nearly all streaming services, with Netflix, Peacock, Crunchyroll, and VRV having the most complete collection. Shippuden can be seen on VRV and Crunchyroll, while Boruto’s first season is on those two services, Funimation and Hulu.
Shinobi no Ittoki is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
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