Anime Original by Troyca, DMM Pictures
Streaming on Crunchyroll
After nearly being assassinated, average school boy Itokki learns that he is actually the heir of the famous Iga clan, a group of ninjas that have been operating in secret up to the present day. Now he must learn to become a ninja and defeat the Koga clan, their eternal rivals.
Jel’s verdict: Sneaky Fun
This is a good example of why you can’t put too much stock in trailers. The PV for this made me think it was going to be a dramatic action thriller that takes itself far too seriously, which is something that rarely turns out good. So I was pleasantly surprised this episode was the exact opposite of that. In fact, I would almost call it a comedy?
Shinobi no Ittoki is dumb anime trash and it knows it. They fly through the plot setup in this episode with a wink and smile. They make no effort to explain why ninjas still exist in modern japan, or to attach any greater meaning to things, because they know they don’t need to. We came to see high tech ninjas mixed up in a school anime, and that’s what they’re going to deliver. I can respect that.
I’ll also give them a bit of credit for having a surprising amount of adults in the cast. Yes, there are a couple of young girls that inevitably end up in their underwear, but most of Itokki’s support system are older adults, including his hot mom and his badass uncle. It lends a unique group dynamic that feels a little different than your typical anime cast.
This may sound pretty good, but let me pump the brakes a bit. As fun as the first episode was, it still feels kind of bland. A lot of that comes from the generic presentation. Shinobi no Ittoki looks and feels like a billion anime that have come before it, and you can see the plot beats coming from miles away. I would love to see this spiced up with a more unique art style, or more dynamic directing, anything to give it some extra punch.
And so the big question is, would I watch more of this? Probably not. It’s going to take more than “better than I expected” to hook me. But if you want something to just shut off your brain and watch, you could probably do worse.
One thought on “First Look: Shinobi no Ittoki”
This reminded me quite a bit of the now pretty old, Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl, which is one of my favorites. But this one just doesn’t seem nearly as self-aware or, quite frankly, as funny. I’ll watch a little more to see if it gets better – I actually didn’t like Jubei-chan so much after its first episode – but so far, at least, it just doesn’t seem to have the snap needed to pull off a ridiculous premise like this.