If you get a kick out of insanity and ninjas, then you'll definitely want to check out 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.
Ninja Nonsense is a show that is heavy on idiocy and flagrantly displays its fanservice for all to see. Shinobu stripped at one point and even hinted towards a sapphic fondness for Kaede. This is a show that does whatever it can to incite laughter from its audience and its not afraid to cross the lines of decency. At one point in the previous volume Onsokumaru even went as far to make flashcards of someone pooping and animated them forwards and back. Miyabi also used laxatives as a way to strike out at the yellow ball, though one of his ninja subordinates got struck by the case of runs instead. How does the second volume hold up compared to my initial impressions though?
The first mini episode gets things off in expected nonsensical fashion. It's summer time, it's hot, and the girls all walk around in bathing suits. Naturally this drives Onsokumaru and the rest of the ninja boys crazy and insanity ensues. Finishing out the second part of the fourth episode is a tale about Miyabi falling in love with a boy named Takeru. Onsokumaru offers his assistance and has the ninja pharmacy create a love potion that he accidentally takes. Unfortunately for the yellow ball he falls in love with himself and all hell breaks loose as a result.
In the fifth episode the first half shuttles Onsokumaru straight to hell after he gets hit with a pan. His visions filled with demon schoolgirls and busty women quickly filter away as he realizes that there is nothing there but a couple of demon ninja. After he takes the elevator to heaven he gets sent back to Earth where Shinobu suffocates him with her breasts. Talk about a way to go! In the second half of the episode summer is still in full swing and a blackout sends the ninja into a tizzy of ghost stories and porno magazines.
The last two parts of the sixth episode in the show each deal with separate topics. The first half involves a typhoon hitting Japan. Onsokumaru is stuck at the ninja village with his manly men while Shinobu visits Kaede and parties all night. You know, bathing with each other and playing videogames. All of those things that girls do. The last episode has the incompetent ninjas going mushroom picking in the mountains. There they meet the master of another school named Izumi and her female ninjas who come down to bully the boys.
The episodes (er, mini-episodes) featured here are just as silly, nonsensical, and irreverent as the misadventures found in the first volume. Their episodic nature makes it so there is not continuity in the series and beyond the introduction of some characters nothing actually happens here. It's funny and crazy, but sadly not much more than that. 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 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.
A 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, character bios, and a clean opening animation. In other words there's nothing too impressive.
The first volume of Ninja Nonsense had me in stitches thanks to its bizarre sense of humor and outrageous content. The second volume, I'm happy to say, elicited the same response. Though there are really just three episodes on this disc they are broken up into two parts each, so in a sense there are six shorter ones. It doesn't really change the fact that there could have been more content onto this release and the aesthetic presentation isn't as rich as we would hope. Even so, this is a fun little show that is definitely worth a look if you need something to laugh at or just want to see ninjas run around in bathing suits.