When it comes to goofy anime it doesn't get a whole lot sillier Ninja Nonsense. The show aired in 2004 and found itself under the direction of Hitoyuki Matsui while being based on the manga by Ryoichi Koga. The series was presented as half of a season and those episodes were broken down into two parts each. To say the series is irreverent would be a gross understatement, though I do have to admit that it's not without its charm.
Starring a cute ninja girl trying to earn her ninja wings, the series follows the exploits of the busty and energetic Shinobu. In her ninja village she's one of the most prominent students though the only technique that she has mastered is the ability to make numerous copies of her arms. She is accompanied by a perverted yellow ball who also disguises himself as her master. He can manipulate his body in various ways and goes above and beyond to catch a glimpse of some pretty young things.
In the first volume we were introduced to Shinobu, Onsokumaru (the yellow ball thing) and an innocent regular girl named Kaede. Poor Kaede was in her bedroom one night when Shinobu snuck in to steal some of her underwear. This dragged the unwitting girl into the world of ninjas and their goofy exploits so as you'd imagine her life would never be the same. About half way through the first volume Shinobu's sister Miyabi was introduced and things got even more insane when she started challenging Onsokumaru.
The last time around it was summer time and the ninjas were sweating their collective asses off. Fortunately for Onsokumaru and company the girls were walking around in swimsuits so they at least had something to look at. Miyabi came back around and fell in love with a boy named Takeru but when Onsokumaru offered a love potion to her things got out of hand. Things got even hotter for the yellow ball when he died and went to hell. Needless to say the volume's content was all over the map but it was entertaining nonetheless.
In the third volume poor Onsokumaru gets stuck on Miyabi when she falls on him. As he recounts how it happens we learn that he was sitting on a walk way playing with a toy car when the girl came along and tripped. The challenge that the Valley Ninjas now face is the removal of their master. It takes a 2,000 ft swan dive into a pool of water to finally separate the two. The next half episode on this disc involves the ninja's obsession with baseball and let me tell you that there's nothing more fun than ninja baseball.
A cultural festival is up next and it features a haunted house that Kaede is going to be playing at. She makes a really scary looking mask that almost makes Onsokumaru pee himself when he sees it but that's what he gets after taping the bottom of her computer mouse. A conflict begins to determine what Shinobu will wear to the haunted house and the choices are cat girl, turtle girl or inappropriately placed long nosed goblin. These three episodes are hilarious and the remaining three are just as good. I don't want to give anything else away but let's just say that the charming nature of Ninja Nonsense makes this one enjoyable series.
This show continually proves just how fun an irreverent series about ninja can be. Every episode is a treat and though it often borders on the absurd the content is very successful. If you're looking for a show that will give you a few laughs then you've come to the right place, though if you're looking for something with a little more weight you're going to be sadly disappointed.
Presented with a 1.33:1 aspect ratio Ninja Nonsense is absolutely gorgeous on DVD. There is little to complain about in the way of artifacts though there were a few spots where some aliasing was noticeable. Other than that it's smooth sailing from start to finish. The image is clear, the picture is vibrant, and the artwork is top of the line. I wish the series had a widescreen presentation since it was produced in 2004, but you take what you can get. The whacky animation also takes some getting used to when Onsokumaru goes on one of his tangents, but otherwise it's very fluid.
The soundtrack for the series is much more subdued. Because the audio for Ninja Ninja Nonsense is presented in stereo you don't get the depth from the tracks that you do from other series. Even so the quality was fair with no distortion or technical flaw, though the two channels seem to mesh together more often than not. In my opinion the Japanese dub is more enjoyable than the English though both offer a decent experience. English subtitles are included for the Japanese language track. I have to say that I absolutely love the theme songs for this show. They are easily some of the most upbeat and addictive that I have ever heard.
Another booklet is included with some information on the show's production. Some cute doodles and other tidbits are featured in the booklet as well so it's definitely worth checking out if you pick this release up. Otherwise the DVD contains some trailers, Japanese TV spots, and a clean opening animation. The best thing this time around is an Actor Round Table with the Japanese cast. They talk about the show and their experiences but it doesn't go very in depth because its not a very long feature.
Ninja Nonsense is a show that has really grown on me. Each episode is an exercise in absurdity but it's done so in a good way. Out of every comedy series that I have seen I think it's safe to say that this one ranks a little behind Azumanga Daioh and Excel Saga but above most of the others on the market. If you haven't checked it out yet and you're looking for a laugh you owe it to yourself to pick this series up. It proves once again why ninjas are so cool.
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