Review of Ninja Nonsense (2004)

Moving picture, 5.0 hours

A normal girl becomes friends with Shinobu and the other ninja trainees at a secluded mansion in modern Japan. The master of the mansion is a yellow sphere who claims to be a hawk. All other residents are an indeterminate number of masked male trainees, all of whom are apparently called Sasuke. They may be magical copies.

A comedy of anachronisms, metafiction and titillation, all fairly low-brow. The character design is extreme for the time, combining excessively rounded, childlike facial forms with eternally blushing cheeks. The series describes a year’s adventures, but there is little causality. Instead, there’s lots of zany jokes, like a gradual zooming in on Australia in the background, which eventually highlights the name of a city, which happens to have a meaning in Japanese, but the simultaneous dialogue is unrelated. It reminds me of board-driven US cartoons, yet its obsessions are Japanese.

moving picture Japanese production animation fiction series