Ninjas in Anime: Warriors of The Shadow

Ninja – a word associated with the assassination, espionage, and violence. They live in the shadows stalking their prey in darkness then strike when you least expect it. They use stealth and quickness to take down their targets. They usually do it silently with an array of weapons ranging from daggers to swords; to throwing weapons and poisons. 

In anime, these ninjas possess these characteristics. Take for example the anime Ninja Scroll. Jubei was a masterless ninja. He lived his life offering his services to people who can give him gold in return. 

His life was changed when he met Kagero, a female ninja who was a survivor from a brutal attack of a monster. Together they have to defeat an enemy that threatens to destroy the world. 

In Ninja Cadets, a group of promising young ninjas were to take their final tests as a ninja: to take a secret scroll from the Castle of Byakuro. Little did they know one of them was a princess saved from an assault in the castle when she was a baby. She was raised as a ninja without knowing her true identity. 

Sakura, Matsuri, Yume, Pochi, and Hayashi embarked on their journey to Castle Byakuro, and along the way, they encounter strange magic-wielding ninjas who were planning to take Sakura because of her powers and because she was the missing princess. 

Naruto was a jolly ninja living in a ninja village called Konoha. The head of the village known as the Hokage assign tasks and missions to his subordinates. Naruto is a ninja-in-training together with some other Genins in the village. 

Even though he is not as great as everyone else, he strives to do everything that he can to become a Hokage someday. He’s also the vessel of a fearsome nine-tailed demon fox that was sealed inside his body when he was still a baby. 

The Oniwabanshu gang of Aoshi Shinomori in Rurouni Kenshin was composed of Han’nya, Shikijo, Beshimi, and Hottoko. They were a group of ninjas with different specialties. Han’nya was a skilled martial artist, Shikijo with his well-built body was the most powerful in terms of strength, Beshimi uses darts and other projectiles and Hyottoko which literally means “man of fire” breathes out fire from his mouth using gas and two flints on his teeth. 

Together they worked as bodyguards for the power-hungry Takeda Kanryu until the fateful day when they met Kenshin Himura who is trying to rescue Megumi Takani from the hands of the evil businessman Takeda. They were betrayed by Takeda and one by one they fell from the bullets of a machine gun that Takeda was using. Leaving Aoshi as the only survivor from their group. 

Jiyu Nanohana, a junior high school student possesses an eyepatch that transforms her to Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl taking up the skills of the legendary swordsman Yagyu Jubei. 

Using her newly found power, she uses her ability to fight evil-doers and also to rid the 300-year old plot of revenge against Yagyu Jubei by a rival swordsman. 

Having survived the slaughter of the Kasumi clan by Nobunaga Oda, Ayame (Wrath of The Ninja: Yotoden) the wielder of the sacred dagger started her search for the other two sacred weapons; a spear and a sword. 

In her journey, she met Sakon and Ryoma the bearers of the sacred sword and spear. Together they must unite the three “sacred blades” to fulfill “the prophecy of the enchanted blades” and end Nobunaga’s unholy army.