Cyber Ninja

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Ninjas, as far as popular culture is concerned, are cold, efficient killers. What better way to make them even deadlier than to take out the human factor and make them into literal death machines? Nothing makes a ninja's arsenal more awesome than some high tech upgrades!

The Cyber Ninja is the ninja of the future, but unlike your typical technologically enhanced assassin they still use the traditional ninja image with either traditional, or upgraded, Stock Ninja Weaponry, and almost never a gun - they're still ninjas after all! To keep with appearances, you can expect these ninjas to have some sort of personal cloaking device and body modifications that would enhance their already superhuman conditioning. Being espionage agents, you can bet that they would be skilled hackers when it comes to information.

The heyday of the Cyber Ninja would have been the Eighties, especially with the rise of Cyber Punk mixed with Japan Takes Over the World. These ninjas would often be the perfect agents for high-tech corporate espionage or assassinations in such stories, or could even serve as a mook army for an evil tech corporation. Even after Japan's economic bubble burst, the combination of the ninjas' traditions with futuristic technology is one that sticks with popular culture to this day.

A subtrope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. Compare Samurai Cowboy. Will tend to overlap with Street Samurai and Corporate Samurai, but both tropes envelop more specific concepts (the former is a freelancer in a campaign against authority while the latter is a corporate agent and more civilized than the former).

NOT related to Ghost Pirate, though a fight between the two would be totally awesome.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In some Brave Series:
  • In the Gundam franchise:
  • Ghost in the Shell: Aside from their heavy usage of firearms, the members of Section 9 are this to a tee. Cybernetically enhanced bodies, experts at infiltration, hacking, and hand-to-hand combat, and often finding themselves having to use these strengths against physically more powerful enemies.

    Comic Books 
  • The initial arc that introduced the War Machine armor in the pages of Iron Man, involved a group of cybernetic ninjas slicing up Tony Stak's normal suit, requiring a bit of More Dakka.
  • A backup feature of Savage Dragon involved the cybernetic Superpatriot going up against a group of ninja cyborgs. For added coolness, they were also Nazis.
  • There is a minor "Jobber"-type for-hire villain in Fred Perry's Gold Digger that is called "Tech Ninja", expert in espionage and using technological devices to replicate some of the more advanced Supernatural Martial Arts moves of the setting.
  • In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, to contrast with the noble, stern Samurai design of Cyclonus, Whirl is given a sleeker ninja-esque design, additionally capable of both popping up and vanishing almost from nowhere.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • In Altered Carbon Takeshi Kovacs temporarily sleeved in a "tech-ninja" body, that particular model had mostly organic augmentations except the shaped charge in the hand but some older ones he'd used before were cybered up.
  • Jack Blank features a Peacemaker named Cyberai; a ninja with bionic limbs. He gets killed when a Rüstov Para-Soldier rips off one of Cyberai's legs to replace the one he lost in battle.
  • The eponymous threat from the Choose Your Own Adventure novel Ninja Cyborg.
  • William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer had a "vat-grown ninja" named Hideo who is also referred to as a "clone" (presumably the product of genetic engineering). He was an exceptionally deadly fighter. Molly tries to take him on because her old boyfriend Johnny was killed by a similar assassin, but her leg, broken in an earlier confrontation and not fully healed, breaks again before anything can really happen.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In RPGs like Cyberpunk and Shadowrun this is a common variation on the Street Samurai archetype.
  • The Tech-ninja clans in Rifts Japan deploy these, along with Juicer and Crazy Ninjas, to keep up with their mystic rivals from traditional clans.
  • Ninjas make up one of the main majorities of Katana World, and many of them are futuristic. This includes Electron Ninja, Shiden, and Nanomachine Ninja, Tsukikage (a large ninja made of a swarm of nanobots, giving him a limited form of immortality necause he's technically a blob monster).

    Video Games 
  • Zer0 from Borderlands 2. It's hard to tell whether this person is a cyborg or not, but the character has a sword for his melee weapon, uses a digital Invisibility Cloak as an Action Skill and can toss explosive kunai as one of his upgrades.
  • Towards the end of Mark of the Ninja you start encountering these when your boss (apparently) turns on you and equips your fellow ninja with technology stolen from the Disk One Final Boss (technically they're only ninja wearing Powered Armour rather than being actual cyborgs, but they still have the look and feel of this trope).
  • Shadow Man from Mega Man 3 was built from the ground up to resemble a ninja. He's even got a Fuuma Shuriken!
  • Mega Man Zero has Hidden Phantom, one of the Four Guardians of Copy X and the head of the Neo Arcadian intel unit. He's a Reploid like any of his brethren, and is very ninja-like - using body doubles, Fuuma Shuriken, a tanto and shadow powers to go along with it.
    • Mega Man ZX Advent has Siarnaq, the Chosen One of Model P. He's arguably even more robotic (being mindless and talks in a Robo Speak) and just as crafty as his Biometal's namesake.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has Dusk (aka Dark Miyabi) and his Net Navi ShadowMan.EXE, proving that even in an advanced world of internets, ninjas are still good and running.
  • Cyborg Ninja from Metal Gear Solid. Raiden eventually becomes one in Metal Gear Solid 4 and beyond.
  • Cyrax and all of his clones from Mortal Kombat.
  • In The Ninja Warriors, the title characters are a cyborg Ninja and Kunoichi. Essentially ninja Terminators.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal features robot ninjas - complete with Laser Blades - as recurring Mooks.
  • Hostuma from Shinobi and Hibana from Nightshade (Kunoichi).
  • Strider Hiryu may be 100% human biologically, but his equipment and robot summons fit this trope to a T.
  • The entire Foot Clan from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that was more of a case of censorship.
  • Yoshimitsu from the Tekken series is a descendant of the Yoshimitsu ninja clan from Soul Calibur who wears Powered Armor and carries a Laser Sword.
  • In Shinobi III: Revenge of Ninja Master, the Shadow Master is an cyborg Evil Counterpart of Shinobi.
  • Zero of Anarchy Reigns is an unusual example in that his powers are based around his own skill while he relies on nanomachines to survive, which makes him one of the odd non-cyborg characters in the game.
  • Kai Leng from Mass Effect 3 is never referred as a ninja but is a cyborg assassin with East Asian roots who fights using a katana.
    • From the multiplayer, there's the N7 Shadow and N7 Slayer, both of whom use Japanese-style swords and their unique powers over regular guns.
  • In Virtua Cop 3, Gale is a mercenary ninja who has outfitted his arsenal with high tech equipment, which includes stealth technology. He is hired by ECM for his services to fight off the Virtua City Police Department.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon: The Replica Assassins, who having cloaking devices and move insanely fast, were apparently developed as a result of research into operating in zero gravity environments.
  • Warframe has plenty of sleek space-armors (frames) capable of performing acts of stealth and agility in this space-setting. The 'Ash' frame comes closest to the Space-Ninja theme though with Shurikens and Smokescreens.
  • Genji from Overwatch, who's pretty clearly designed after the Cyborg Ninjas from Metal Gear and uses shurikens and a katana in a semi-futuristic setting.

    Western Animation 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): The Foot Tech Ninja wear cybernetic armor that not only makes them faster and stronger but has an inbuilt invisibility device.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers Generation One featured the Nightbird, a twenty foot tall female ninja robot built by the Japanese. The Decepticons make their intent to steal Nightbird and manipulate her for their own ends.
    • Transformers Animated has Prowl, along with Jazz and Master Yoketron. Prowl is a ninja robot, but he can combine with a sidecar forming a Samurai.

  • The Fearsome Hand of Four, a team of power-armored cyborg ninja, take on Batman and Red Hood in Batman: Under the Red Hood.

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