Cyber Ninja

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Traditional ninjutsu made deadlier by futuristic cyborg technology.

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 entries of the 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 
  • In Johnny Mnemonic the titular character was chased by a cyborg ninja with a monofilament wire concealed in his thumb.
  • Mirai Ninja aka Cyber Ninja features, well, a ninja bedecked with cybernetics.

    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.
  • Future Card Buddyfight: 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 because he's technically a blob monster).

    Video Games 

    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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