Highly Visible Ninja

The masters of invisibility and deception.

"While most ninjas are notorious for being silent assassins of the night, it's nice to see one who's not afraid to climb trees and wear neon dresses."

The result of Mook Chivalry when applied to Ninja.

While suffering from the law of Conservation of Ninjutsu, Ninja mooks not only forget how to fight properly and how to take advantage of their superior numbers, they also forget what a ninja truly is.

Back at the dojo, didn't their sensei explain that the whole point is to be stealthy, secretive, even invisible? Why do they suddenly feel the need to appear in broad daylight, dressed in stereotyped kabuki-theater stagehand costumes, yell "Kiai!" as loudly as possible, and perform gymnastics and twirl their weapons like they're putting on a show? Even worse, they feel the need to do these things from a distance of about fifty meters, even when they know the enemy have guns (though this isn't always a problem).

The real reason is the works need to make sure the audience sees the ninja. There's also this funny paradox: ninja are assassins. Assassins traditionally killed people through underhanded methods — stabbing In the Back, poisoning, etc. — not direct battle. Not only is this not honorable, it's not as exciting as a full fledged fight. Heroic ninja are smart enough to avert this, while villainous ones are still needed to entertain the viewers.

Typically the justification for visible assassins is that, if you can actually see the ninja, then you're either going to die soon, or you are a Worthy Opponent. There is also Truth in Television at work here, since, historically, ninja rarely ever wore black garb when looking like a commoner or somebody else more uninteresting would be easier. After all, if you're caught doing something suspicious as a commoner, you can probably pull a satisfactory explanation out of your ass or blend into a crowd if a chase starts. If you're caught wearing stereotypical ninja garb while doing something suspicious, the enemy isn't going to wait for an explanation. Quite often, these kinds of ninjas, along with the Overt Operative type of personnel, are used as distractions so the real covert operatives can get to work.

The Theme Park Version of ninja. Often seen in McNinja. See Highly Conspicuous Uniform for the military version of this trope. Contrast with Technicolor Ninjas, who are stealthy despite their brightly-colored outfits (and whom some Highly Visible Ninja, by virtue of their experiences, eventually become). See also With Catlike Tread.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Quite a few members of the cast of Naruto. Even ignoring the title character's road cone-orange wardrobe, it sometimes seems ninjutsu in the Naruto universe is less about stealth than showing off flashy, awe-inspiring jutsu.
    • When Naruto activates his Kyuubi Chakra Mode or Bijuu Mode, he glows, and Bee lampshades that he's the most obvious target at night. However, Naruto is so fast, he can even dodges the attacks of Ay the Fourth Raikage.
    • There are "real" ninjas in the form of the ANBU Black Ops and their equivalents in other villages, who hide their faces behind masks (also hiding their headbands of allegiance) and specialize in espionage and assassination. The fact that these guys are the Red Shirts of the Naruto universe goes to show how much the mangaka holds actual ninjas in esteem.
    • This is especially ironic given that in an early story arc - when the title character announces his presence during an intense battle - both his allies and his enemies are baffled that he did so instead of attacking stealthily. "Ninja" in this series seems to be more of a general title for its placeholders regardless of how well they fit the mould - that, or the definition has evolved from its original definition.
    • In the Land of Tea filler, Team 7 is in a town of mostly Muggles, with the exception of the ninja hired by the other team in the race. Their outfits then were actually quite appropriate, with only three exceptions: the Uzumaki and Uchiha crests worn by Naruto and Sasuke, and the Leaf headbands. Ditch those, and the Power Trio would look just like any other townspeople, which might have been helpful for the mission, since then the Rain ninja for the other side wouldn't have known who they were up against.
  • Black ☆ Star from Soul Eater not only calls his attacks out, but also screams loudly before he enters a scene. "YA-HOOOOOOOO" indeed. All while his Empathic Weapon Tsubaki reminds him that he's supposed to be stealthy.
  • Mazinger Z: Blazas S1 and S2 were two ninja MechaMooks than Big Bad built for a sabotaging mission in episode 46. They were actually pretty stealthy when they infiltrated into the Home Base... but when they had to chase a target or fight Mazinger they used all kind of flashy movements, jumps and somersaults, making a pose as they threw shuriken and shot missiles and being incredibly loud. Needless to say, their blue-and yellow colors did not help to camouflage themselves in a woodland.
  • Played straight and lampshaded in the early chapters of Nabari No Ou but then dumped in favor of ninjas who could actually sneak around and kill people in good disguises.
    "I mean, seriously, what kind of shinobi would we be if we allowed our hidden village to be seen by everyone in the outside world?"
  • Ninja Master Gara from Bastard. Not only is he a 7'7, 320lbs man, but he also throws shurikens the size of an aircraft tire and wields Murasame, a legendary 2-metre-long katana. He also has a knack for making long, drawn out speeches before a fight (so drawn out his allies don't even wait for him to finish and attack their opponent before he's done) and later in the story he gains a bunch of overpowered light based abilities. Not very stealthy.
  • Ninja Ninja in Afro Samurai is loud-mouthed and ridiculously visible (although he's somewhat stealthy in the second episode, hiding in the rafters of a house), especially considering that he's hanging out with a samurai who kills everyone he meets. But then, he's a hallucination anyways.
  • In New Getter Robo, the main characters are attacked by a ninja Oni. Doesn't sound so bad at first, but since the protagonists are Humongous Mecha pilots, and said Oni is around 200 feet tall...
  • Sora O Kakeru Shoujo has Bougainvillea and Mintao. They seem like semi-regular ninjas at first, complete with identity-concealing masks... until they discover Itsuki Kannagi's apparently dead body and completely freak out, at which point the masks come off (fall off, actually) and never get put on again, and the two become comic relief characters.
  • The title character of Ninin Ga Shinobuden wears pink. The only time she even attempts to be stealthy is in the first episode when she fails to make herself invisible when sneaking into Kaede's house, leading to a You Can See Me? moment.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, the Kyoto owanibanshuu under the leadership of Misao's grandfather has gone more or less public, winning the support of the townspeople. In his days as an assassin, Kenshin fought a man dressed like a stereotypical Kabuki puppeteer, whose costume seemed to more serve the purpose of anonymity than stealth (and his methods seemed to center around killing all potential witnesses after he'd disposed of a target, rendering the need for true stealth redundant). He's succeeded by a man who looks and dresses like Venom.
  • In Ninja Senshi Tobikage, you have robots designed as after ninjas. Somehow they can pull off the stealth, though.
  • Sayoko in Code Geass, whose ninja outfit is pink, white and has a flowing scarf. When her Ninja-ness is brought up, she specifically denies it. She says an SP - a Japanese VIP bodyguard... who uses kunai. She fits this trope in every other way.
  • Flame of Recca's main characters are supposed to be ninjas. They are also as Hot-Blooded as someone can be, and start the final battle by throwing fireworks. Right in front of the Big Bad's fortress (on purpose, because they figured the enemy knew they were coming and wanted to make a statement).
  • Surprisingly lampshaded in Pokémon. In episode 32, "The Ninja Poké-Showdown", Misty asks Aya (a supposed ninja clad in bright pink), "Don't you think that color is a little bright for a ninja?"
  • Bleach: Sui Feng has the skills to be a good ninja. However, she likes to have her abilities acknowledged and this leads her to take on face-to-face confrontations even when she should strike from the shadows. Lampshaded by Aizen who calls her mad for confronting him face-to-face instead of adhering to her training and striking covertly. She then proceeds to engage in one of the flashiest speed-clone attacks we've ever seen her produce. Unsurprising, Aizen isn't bothered by her attack and it fails. Her status as an example of this trope is accentuated when her bankai is revealed. As a giant stinger missile that heavily disrupts her speed and is too enormous to be hidden, she can't engage in covert fighting at all with it.
  • In Shina Dark there's Hajime. Seriously, is she even trying?
  • The various Musha-themed SD Gundam series usually have at least one. SD Gundam Force's Cobramaru is purple, though it's at least a very subdued shade and the flamboyant cobra headdress he wears is removable, though the mass production Cobramaru line that shows up later come in a rainbow of ridiculous colours. Onmitsu Gundam from the classic Sengokuden OAV shorts also has a very visible paintjob, but he at least makes an effort to stay out of his enemies sight until he's ready to strike.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and all its attendant spin-offs, though they could represent an Unbuilt Trope, as they're one of the earliest examples. They're ninja superheroes, each wearing the traditional bright skin-tight outfit of The Cape (except for The Lancer), but they're incredibly stealthy for all that. They even go undercover in disguise sometimes (y'know, like real ninja), and it even works sometimes. Still, when it's time to do that superhero thing, they fly around in their flashy outfits and beat the crap out of the eight million Mooks working for the Big Bad.
  • The Maniwa Corps from Katanagatari, who all wear highly colourful and decorative animal-themed outfits, makeup and hairstyles.
  • Digimon Xros Wars seems to have a thing for ninja characters, all of whom are highly visible. The Monitamon are recon experts, but with heads consisting of enormous CRT televisions you have to wonder how. Similarly, there's Tuwarmon, a combat-oriented ninja Digimon... who's enormous and coloured bright yellow.
  • Ayame Sarutobi from Gintama wears a purple scarf and a predominantly white outfit. She does make up for the conspicuousness of her usual appearance with her stealth skills and disguises, though Gintoki usually notices her immediately regardless.
    • In one story arc, she trains the Yorozuya trio and Katsura to be ninja, but provides them with extremely conspicuous costumes; white for Gintoki, red for Kagura, black and white cow patterned for Shinpachi, and yellow for Katsura. Shinpachi questions this as usual, to which she explains that if she dressed them properly, she'd have trouble telling them apart. Predictably, all four of them utterly fail to be stealthy when the time calls for it, though Shinpachi did manage to pass his training mission...by looking so boring that nobody paid bothered paying attention to him stealing a magazine.
  • Megumi Oka from Voltes V is not only an Ace Pilot, but also a skilled kunoichi.
  • EVERYONE in Ninja Slayer. Ninja Slayer who uniform is bright distorted red is just the TAMEST. It doesn't help that one of the Ninja rules state you have to give a proper greeting to any ninja you're about to kill.
  • In an early arc of Fairy Tail, the group needs to infiltrate Duke Everlue's mansion. Natsu and Happy tell Lucy they will become ninjas, but their idea of ninjas is to simply wrap scarves around their faces and make stereotypical ninja poses, making no attempts to be quiet or stay out of sight. Lucy calls them idiots.

    Comic Books 
  • Ninjette from Empowered. Girlfriend, if the shuriken-themed headband, necklace, earrings, and navel-ring were not bad enough, wearing short-shorts with "NINJETTE" printed across the seat is a bit of a red flag. She noted that her look was at least in part to tick off her father and the squad that eventually tried to haul her back to her New Jersey clan were rather more subtle.
    • The t-shirt she occasionally wore that said "Ninja Princess" might just have been Refuge in Audacity. Might.
    • Ninjette is actually very good at disguising herself (one character noted she had consummated someone else's wedding night while disguised as the groom). So she is a competent ninja disguised as a Highly-Visible Ninja.
  • Ghost Rider villain Deathwatch had an army of red-clad ninjas. Though they were actually just street thugs who he'd picked up and had trained.
  • 'The Hand' from Marvel Comics. A secretive cult of ninjas into all sorts of evil stuff. They run the gamut of ninja cliches but in one instance, they subvert this trope by walking around in broad daylight as accountants. Which, considering The Hand, they probably are.
  • Frank Miller likes this trope.
    • Elektra, Daredevil and their (now dead) teachers prefer bright red (or bright white) costumes. It can depend on the colorist how "bright" the actual costumes are, with Daredevil's grittier series portraying it as almost oxblood at times. This would make more sense for his crime-fighting largely including night missions (since he's got the lawyer day job and all), as it's much harder for the human eye to see.
    • Miho from Sin City wears a pretty standard kimono which stands out quite a bit in an urban setting. According to the coloration on the covers, she wears red, usually.
  • Many of the ninja in the G.I. Joe comic book series (and related media) wear bright, primary or even neon colors (like most of the trained fighters). The most famous ninja, Snake-Eyes, is all in black (some of his costumes even give him drab grays and greens). Weirdly, during the late-series Re Tool of the comics where it was retailed as GI Joe Starring Snake-Eyes With Ninja Force, his suit started off with a bright blue vest over the charcoal-gray suit underneath (this was eventually changed).
    • Aside from his all white look, Storm Shadow also sported (in the comics and toys) a white outfit with random, grey Tetris-like blocks on it, allegedly for camo...?
    • Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow were still luckier than the other "Ninja Force" characters, as shown here. Yes, that's a ninja wearing lavender and bright blue... Scarlet doesn't even bother dressing like a "highly visible" one (she seemed pretty much the same as her previous incarnation).
  • The Marvel Comics character Night Thrasher and related ninja in his oh-so-weird life tend to wear black armor plating... with -red- highlights. In-canon the armor (and colors) are based on those worn by a group of ceremonial temple guardians from Vietnam. Thrash's colors are actually a more subdued version.
  • Anna Feeple from Ninja High School is one of the top five ranked ninjas in the world, kicks ass on a regular basis, and does housework in her gi.
  • As shown in the picture above, parodied to the point of ludicrousness in the original comic of The Tick. They were The Theme Park Version of ninjas (as in, they were based in a ninja franchise that developed a theme park).
    • The thing is, it worked - everyone who walks by says things like "Oh, what a lovely hedge", and walks on. There's a scene with the people inside the mansion in the background, with one of them saying to the other, "I don't remember us having a decorative hedge around the house." The gag is that these guys are so incredibly skilled in the arts of disguise that with nothing but a twig and a Jedi hand-wave, they can convince anyone that they really are a hedge. Honestly, I think they're Technicolor Ninjas, not this trope.
      • On the other hand, they were shown to be generally incompetent and not possessing the powers or temperament associated with serious fictional ninja. Believing their own hype about their invincibility, several of them leaped to their deaths pursuing the Tick who actually is nigh-invulnerable. One of them was shocked when he actually stabbed someone with his blade.
  • Hey, it's me, Deadpool! I'm a ninja! ...Sort of. I know it doesn't come up often, but don't the swords and the costumes make it kinda obvious? I once implied that I had ninja training when teaming up with the Immortal Iron Fist. Anyway, I'm noticeable because I never shut the hell up.

    Fan Fic 
  • Naruto fanfics are all over this:
    • Atlas gives an explanation for this: ninjas initially hid in the shadows, but after the usage of chakra was made available to them, they largely abandoned stealth. Naruto, due to having his chakra coils destroyed by the Kyuubi, has adopted a rather Batman-esque fighting style involving explosives, actual stealth, poisons, and basically every other kind of dirty trick you'd expect from a more traditional ninja.
    • Dreaming Of Sunshine plays with this. Shikako notes that wearing clothes that are good for stealth is less important than blending in with a civilian population. On that note, a great deal of Naruto fanfics have an unfortunate habit of characters in-story - Naruto himself sometimes included - giving a self-righteous speech about how Naruto's "kill-me-orange" outfit is like painting a bulls-eye on oneself... without ever noting that he's not the only person who dresses like this, and some of said others are noted for their competence and skill. This makes Dreaming of Sunshine a refreshing bend from the usual, especially considering it comes off as more sensible than those dozens-of-fics (among which is the famous Team 8).
    • In Time MixUp Kakashi notes Naruto's skill in stealth: he wears bright orange and no one is able catch him unless he allows it. That's another very common trait of the Naruto fic-verse: a good ninja is only visible when he or she wants to be seen, eye-catching getup or not. It's a frequent explanation in stories for Naruto to be an exceptional stealth master who can give even ANBU the slip, and only gets caught by Iruka (and that is only because Naruto lets him).
    • In Thirty Hs the surf ninjas from Surf Ninja Moon X, silent killers of the night negate their innate advantage by only plying their craft on surf boards. During the day.
  • In The Omakeer's Teen Titans: Earth, Blood, and Shade, Robin tells Raven why a throwing star is in his back as:
    Robin: And to answer your next question, twenty guys in florescent green ninja costumes seemed to think it was a good idea to rob the bank at five in the morning. One of them managed to get a lucky shot in.
    • Raven immediately lampshades the fact ninjas are supposed to be invisible, only for Robin to reply that he's "seen worse ideas".
  • Lampshaded in Vinyl and Octavia Fight Ten Thousand Ninjas. After stealthily breaking into Vinyl and Octavia's house, a ninja smashes a window on purpose, saying that leaping through windows is the sort of cool entrance ninjas should be doing.
  • Not actually ninja but Superhero RPF has a self described Secret Agent failing at secret, and a Private Detective failing at private. So both not as good at sneaky when they really should be.
  • Jason Shepard from Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm is technically a Justice Champion rather than a ninja, but dresses like one and his fighting style is based on the idea. While he can be silent and invisible, half the time he doesn't bother to conceal himself. In times of crisis, he rides through Tokyo on a fast but loud motorcycle, he stays visible when fighting beside Sailor Moon in order to give her confidence, and he doesn't normally use stealth when fighting the human criminals he kills for money and resources.

  • Most 80s movies with "Ninja" in the title, especially the American Ninja series and any ninja movie from Joseph Lai and Godfrey Ho. Oh, the American Ninja movies... At least some of them have brains enough to use some degree of stealth, but the majority are less stealthy than the bikers the Big Bad hires as extra mooks!
  • Lampshaded in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie:
    Splinter: Were you seen?
    Leonardo: Of course not, Master Splinter.
    Donatello: We practiced ninja.
    Michaelangelo: The art of invisibility.
    Splinter: (holds up newspaper with a picture of the Turtles on the front page) Practice harder. Ten flips!
    • Earlier in the movie, they absolutely panic when April's apartment is visited by Keno the pizza boy, who had not only already figured out they lived there, but also had no trouble finding their "hiding" places. This is even more embarrassing when compared to the first movie, when April's boss and his son visit her apartment, and the Turtles reveal that they're skilled at vanishing at a moment's notice.
    April: Can you guys— (turns around, finding that the Turtles who were just waking up and standing next to her are already gone) —hide?
    • Also occurs in one of the Ninja Turtles video games. Splinter explains that they must move silently and invisibly. Is the player in for Metal Gear Solid type stealth? No, the game is a standard Beat 'em Up in which the heroes walk through the streets in full view, beating enemies up.
    • In the comics, they tended to actually act like ninja. In the arc when they infiltrate TCRI, they sneak into the building, spoofing cameras and using card spoofers and suchlike. When they're in a lounge and two employees walk through, they don't notice anything. Then we see the reverse angle with turtles hiding behind couches, plants, etc. After the employees leave and the turtles come out, one asks the other where Mike is. "On the light, where else?" Mike then bounces off a chair to the ground, on his way down from the lightshade which could not possibly support a 150 lb turtle)
      Pretty sweet, huh?
  • Spies Like Us: In the woods at night, they turn on floodlights, so that they can show off better! Then, when the Scary Black Man general wants to show how tough he is, they obligingly rush him one at a time, meaning either that the "ninjas" were under Colonel Rhombus' employ from the start, or —the less logical but more entertaining explanation— they were just a pack of wild ninjas roaming the forest with a portable floodlight setup. The whole reason the main characters are sent on the mission in the first place is that, being inexperienced, they will become Highly Visible Spies and distract the enemy from the veteran spies who have been given the main task.
  • Spoofed in Surf Ninjas, in which Rob Schneider's character comments sarcastically on how the ninja's camouflage uniforms really give them a "chameleon-like ability to blend in with their surroundings."
  • In Lady Ninja: Reflections in Darkness, the female ninja wear (or almost wear, as the case may be) brightly coloured Stripperiffic ninja outfits.
  • The "evil" ninja in 3 Ninjas. Here's the Nostalgia Critic to explain. "You're only supposed to wear [ninja outfits] in the dark, you morons!" High Noon at Mega Mountain takes this to a whole new level - three men called "Big Dawgs" chase Colt and Tum Tum to the set of a Western play. The Big Dawgs actually take off their clothing to reveal their ninja outfits underneath! In the middle of the day, and in plain sight of the kids, too!
  • Full Metal Ninja has a ninja with a pink uniform and other brightly colored ninjas who wear a bandana that says NINJA on their foreheads. See Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies for more details.
  • Cheerleader Ninja. Yeah. "By popular demand!"
  • Ali G In Da House - the rival gangsmassivs get together to raid Chequers, wearing trainers and day-glo camouflage gear.
  • In one of the first major film appearances of ninjas in the popular media, a James Bond film titled You Only Live Twice, the ninjas actually DO dress in appropriate camouflage. When infiltrating a rocky basin, they are all wearing grey outfits that let them blend in perfectly with the gray rocks. These are more "practical" modern ninjas, though; they use guns, for example.
    • Film critic Drew McWeeny of Hitfix.com in his review of the movie:
    "Do ninjas typically drop into a location in plain view and then use machine guns and hand grenades? Because if so, I really misunderstood the point of ninjas."
    • Not only that, but in order to get near the volcano lair, they have to infiltrate the island first, which they do disguised as local fishermen. Presumably, more than a few of them might go even further and bring along fake wives, which Bond does.
    • In the novel, Bond doesn't use a gun only because he wants to be silent. He uses makeup and appropriate clothing to pretend to be a gardener.
  • Ninja Cheerleaders (not to be confused with Cheerleader Ninjas) has this, up to the point where they get arrested in the end. However, it's handwaved at the beginning, which shows them getting the title of Ninja (also a handy explanation for why they suck so badly at sword fighting).
  • The Ninja Squad. In this scene both ninjas in the fight wear headbands that say ninja on them.
  • In the climax of Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite, the heroes have an epic battle with a team of ninja assassins who are all dressed in gunmetal grey robes, the same color as the hull of the derelict battleship on which they had laid out an ambush. But then the head ninja appears, and he's wearing the stereotypical black robes that make him stick out like a sore thumb.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: Storm Shadow. Because nobody will ever notice a dude in a blinding white terrycloth ninja outfit… Snake Eyes all the way during a mission to Paris. Black-clad hight-tech ninja on the crowded sunny streets?
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):
    Raphael: Like shadows in the night! Completely unseen!
    [April takes a picture, flash and all]
    Michelangelo: [whispering] What was that?!
    Donatello: It's a camera flash!
    • The Foot are portrayed less like the typical portrayal of ninja and more like an urban commando group with terrorist tendencies. Their name is known to the general populace of New York and most of their Foot Soldiers rely heavily on firearms, with martial arts generally being a resort used for close proximity. This however, is basically what Shredder wants. He wants people to know and fear the name of the Foot Clan, implying that they used to remain discreet, but he views that as society reducing them to mere myths, and wishes for them to rise up and take control.

  • In Discworld's Night Watch, a young Vetinari is able to assassinate the Patrican by shunning the traditional, stylish (and comparatively conspicuous) assassins' black for green paint and tiger stripes. However, he still carries the black for the final inhumation as it would be terrible form not to.
    • The point of the outfit was that it was the firing of a Chekhov's Gun from earlier in the book, where the young Vetinari had been reading about camouflage in the wild. The face paint would have been to dull the shine from his skin, whilst the tiger stripes would have been to make him look like a blur from a distance. It's pointed out that members of the Assassin's Guild wear black during missions, despite the fact that it is often more visible than other colors. In fact, the Assassin's Guild, being "gentlemen", adhere to a number of rules which are inefficient. Commander Vimes mentions that they seem to always try to kill him at his booby-trapped home, refusing to easily shoot him down in the street "like a common criminal". Vetinari is the exception, in that he will wear gray rather than black because it actually blends in better; he cares about results, not image.
    • Vetinari also failed his camouflage classes in the School of Assassins, because the teacher marked him as absent for every lecture, having never seen him in class. Consider that for a second.
    • Lampshaded and ridiculed by Cohen in Interesting Times, who kills three ninja while they are showing off
    Go on then, give it your best ninj.
  • In one of the Samurai Cat books by Mark Rogers (no relation to the Samurai Pizza Cats), Tomokato faces a Hollywood Ninja (seriously, that's his name) who insists on wearing white when in an underground dungeon and black during the day. He uses a ridiculously long sword that takes a full minute to draw. He's also a blonde blue-eyed white guy under the mask, possibly a jab at Michael Dudikoff.
  • Justified in Another Fine Myth, in which the distinctive Guild cloak worn by a professional Assassin's Guild member is found to be double-sided and reversible. The assassin is presumed to wear it dull-side-out when sneaking up on his target, and only switch to the Highly Visible side when he's got his target cornered and no longer needs to be stealthy.
  • The children's book Wink, the Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed.
  • Sort of justified in The Stormlight Archive. It is apparently a tradition among the listeners for assassins to dress in white. The idea is that if you're going to kill a man, you at least owe him the courtesy of letting him see you coming.

    Live Action TV 
  • Deadliest Warrior had an episode pitching a Ninja against a Spartan, the dramatized battle of which happened in the open in broad daylight. However, the show then lampshades this; the ninja representative points out that, in real life, the ninja would see the heavily armored Spartan, hide until wall of bronze goes away, and then kill him later that night while he was sleeping. Also, the fight as shown was admittedly much cooler.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers run right into this whenever they involve ninjas (primarily Ninja Sentai Kakuranger/Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Season 3 along with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger/Power Rangers Ninja Storm, and Shuriken Sentai Ninninger). The bright, primary colored costumes are bad enough, but riding around in Humongous Mecha taller than skyscrapers? It don't get much more visible than that!
    • Season 3 and The Movie of Mighty Morphin' were probably the worst offenders: since Kakuranger had a ninja theme, they brought that over to the US, and gave the Rangers stereotypical ninja costumes. Ranger colored ninja costumes.
    • Justified in Ninninger, since that team is deliberately flashy and over-the-top; practically bragging about how they're not the kind of ninjas that hide. The Red Kakuranger and Hurricaneger weren't impressed by this when they visited, but were reminded that their teams weren't very stealthy either.
    • Before its full-fledged ninja season, Mighty Morphin' had two "ninja competitions" (one which was used as a vehicle to get Jason and Tommy to work together, the other used to introduce the first replacement Rangers) that seem to be just regular martial arts tournaments, except one or both sides are dressed in stereotypical ninja costumes.
    • Even though it's not ninja-related, Power Rangers RPM has Dillon give a very good lampshading after being told that the Ranger gear was originally designed for covert ops:
    "Because nothing says covert like bright red, yellow and blue spandex."
  • In the lonelygirl15 video "My School Project" - actually Danielbeast's school project, "When Ninjas Attack" - two highly visible ninja sneak stealthily into a house... then stand in the kitchen drinking water until they get spotted.
  • Dara O'Briain has a stab at taking the mick during his "Talks Funny" tour - Albeit a bit unintentionally... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbY7GODI5Dw&feature=related You're looking for about the 7:00 mark)


    Tabletop Games 
  • Played with in Legend of the Five Rings. The Scorpion Clan employs black-garbed, shuriken-throwing ninjas in assassination attempts... as a tool of distraction and confusion. Guards and investigators are drawn to chase after the stealthy yet obviously up-to-no-good infiltrators in the black pajamas. Meanwhile, as the "ninjas" make a distraction, the real shinobi on the scene (who has probably spent a month or more posing as a courtesan/guard/farmer/doctor/whatever and positioning themselves perfectly for their objective) accomplishes whatever actual wetwork needs doing while everyone is busy.
    • In fact, the act of being a Highly-Visible Ninja is called The Gauntlet by the Scorpions, and is essentially the rite of passage for anyone who wants to become a shinobi - first you spend a year bouncing around in black pajamas, confusing people and looking like a grand idiot (and still managing to be sneaky... somehow). Survive that and then you're worthy to learn how to do it properly.
    • Then there was Matsu Hiroru, a ninja assassin trained by the Kolat to be their secret weapon. His original card artwork showed him in an all-white ninja suit - which would have been this trope or even a Technicolor Ninjas, if it weren't for the fact that he was blending in perfectly with the white stone wall behind him. Later appearances had him always wearing pure white and doing rather little sneaking, which would seem to be playing this trope rather straight. But then later source-books for the RPG explained that his white gi was actually a special gift from the Kolat that allowed him to magically blend in with his surroundings like a chameleon.
  • Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000 take pride in their chapter colours and boast that "camouflage is the colour of cowardice," so you'll see bright yellow Imperial Fists scouts infiltrating behind enemy lines, with perhaps a camo-cloak over the shoulders of their snipers.
    • The Blood Axes, the un-Orkiest of the Ork clans, love camouflage, but take a decidedly Orky approach to it. Since camouflage is good, more camouflage has obviously got to be better. And since camouflage is based on the enemy seeing the camouflage's colours instead of you, the effect can be improved by using clashing colours so the enemy can see how well-camouflaged you are from farther away!
    • Eldar Striking Scorpion aspect warriors traditionally bear a striking green uniform with yellow trim, but are able to infiltrate because they're just that good.
  • The grand prize for this trope goes to the bio-engineered ninja of the Shadow Sun Syndicate in Monsterpocalypse. How visible are the ninja? As soon as a fight breaks out, they suddenly become the size of buildings. The Zor-Raiden and Zor-Maxim reach sixty feet tall.
  • In Scion, there are titanspawn called shinobi. Their job is to Zerg Rush you. They do have a power that lets them hide in the shadows, but unless they're stronger than average, they can only use it once an encounter.
  • D&D provides no penalties to Hide checks for wearing bright pink.
    • An issue of Dragon Magazine introduced elemental-based ninja variants, one of which was the fire ninja. The text noted that while a flashy ninja seemed counterproductive, it doesn't matter whether you turn invisible or blind your opponent with flashes of light — the end result is the same.
    • The Complete Ninja's Handbook has, among "other organizations", Her Majesty's Ministry of Intelligence who operate with panache. The explanation is that some rulers get it and some don't, so they intentionally train agents to act in the daredevil style. Because the more agents' exploits entertain the current monarch, the better their funding is.
  • Ninja Burger, a series of games about ninja delivering hamburgers, has as their prime protagonists the "white ninjas", legendary masters of stealth that dress in bright obvious white suits. The ninja burger ninjas themselves aren't exactly in modern camo either.
  • Warhammer has an Ogre Ninja model. An ogre. As in, a thing large enough to swallow a horse!
    • It's a man-eater, a mercenary that adopts ways to fight from the culture it fights with and is a highly elite type of unit. You might laugh at the disguise but big things can be stealthy. Otherwise the game averts this as Skaven and Darkelf assassins wear dark clothing and disguises and the opponent won't find them before it's too late.
    • Some Skaven manage to invoke the trope effectively. The Skaven will always be visible on the board throughout the entire game, but he looks just like all the other regular Skaven, so the opponent won't know he is there until he attacks a unit far more effectively than a normal Skaven.
    • A variant was the downfall of a particularly sneaky orc army. The started painting themselves black and launching highly-effective sneak attacks under cover of darkness. This worked fine until they started shouting their new warcry, "You's Can't Sees us!", before every battle.
  • Possibly inspired by the "Ogre Ninja" from the OGRE board game published by Steve Jackson Games. It's a stealth tank which just happens to be the size of a warehouse, with a lot of ECM...
  • Munchkin Fu has the Robot Ninja, a 50-foot tall Humongous Mecha who is also a Ninja. It snuck up on you... Somehow. It even gets bonuses against fellow ninjas; presumably they're too ashamed to be associated with it to fight properly.
    • The original Munchkin features the Giant Ninja who "squishes you very quietly".
  • Crystal Chameleon Style Martial Arts in Exalted are a variation on this, which got the style dubbed Disco Ninja Style on the forum- they avoid the usual Exalted issue that Power Glows by making it into a blinding psychedelic lightshow. You know there's a Crystal Chameleon Stylist around somewhere, but not where they are...
  • There are very few ninja in Magic: The Gathering, but the ones that exist tend to go back and forth on this. Ink Eyes, Servant of Oni, on the other hand, is an especially notable example of this trope. There is absolutely no way that outfit can be considered in any way stealthy, especially with chalk white fur.

    Video Games 
  • Everyone from the village of Mizuho in Tales of Symphonia. The best candidate is Sheena, who is a ninja in all but name, clad in a purple robe withe huge pink bow on her back. Even Kunichiwa, who is the closest thing to the stereotypical ninja, wears bright red.
  • The Assassin's Creed series has an interesting relationship with stealth. The earlier games seemed more stealth focused, while the newer ones have given the player more options for out and out combat. This has reached a crescendo in Assassin's Creed III, where the main character is shown mounting a horse, charging alone across an open field towards an enemy army, fighting his way through while cannonballs explode around him, finally reaching the enemy general whereupon he buries an axe in his head. Whether that tops Ezio pushing his way through the entire college of cardinals and assaulting the Swiss guard around the Pope's carriage in the streets of Rome itself is up to you.
    • Though it should be pointed out that the Assassins in Assassin's Creed are, well, assassins, primarily, not ninja. Stealth is very useful, but so long as your target dies, there will be very little said against you, no matter if you kill the entire guard roster or not. In the first game, it was possible to kill your way to your targets, but it was exceptionally frustrating to do so. The second was not nearly as difficult, and not getting caught was only simpler. And sometimes, circumstances do require that people die more than they require that you not get caught. Stealth is treated simply as not being conspicuous, and in that matter, so long as there is a crowd, it's very easy to slip into it, and remain unnoticed.
    • How "ninja-esque" the Assassins are depends on where and when they are operating, and the strength of the Brotherhood. During the time of Altaďr, the aim was to get close to their target stealthily, usually in public, to perform some sort of awe-inspiring assassinations. The greatest illusion from a successful assassination was that an Assassin seemingly materializes from nowhere, kills a corrupt public figure, and promptly vanishes into the depth of the crowd or environment. "Hide in plain sight" was part of their actual creed. Due to Altaďr's reformations to the order and its creed, these rules were changed, and by the time of the renaissance, (while stealth was still helpful) they had greater flexibility in how they operated. They could even mount a full scale assault on their enemies if they needed to (such as Mario's attack on Tuscany with his mercenaries). By modern day (presumably due to how powerful Abstergo AKA The Templars have grown, and how easy it is to track someone nowadays), the Assassin order is much more focused on stealth. Desmond wears a simple white hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, and blends with the crowds to complete his mission.
    • In Brotherhood's multiplayer modes you can take this route by running about and climbing walls. However, the game rewards you with more points for killing your target without blowing your cover. Doing this sort of stuff, which NPCs do not do, is a quick way to give yourself away. Furthermore, performing High Profile actions while having line of sight to your target will quickly result in the game automatically tipping your target off even if s/he was not actively looking out for you. Essentially, while possible, this tends to lead to a quick death or the escape of your target when attempted against anyone competent.
      • Conversely, in Assassin's Creed: Revelations' multiplayer, the higher your stealth meter (based on how long you spend stalking a target), the quicker and less overt your melee kill animation; at Discrete your character may hack at his or her target quickly, at Incognito it's a quick and quiet stab of a hidden blade.
  • Alpha Protocol's advanced stealth armor is... shiny. This can lead to unintentional hilarity, since some characters make comments about what you choose to wear.
    • Chinese Secret Police agent, Omen Deng, will call you out on this - while good stealth armor is very useful, he'll respect you far more for wearing normal civilian clothes in a train station than obvious military gear.
  • Most 80s video games with ninja villains, especially Bad Dudes vs. Dragoninja.
  • All the ninjas of Ninja Town especially the Anti Ninja.
  • Shinobi:
    • Joe Musashi in every game that came after the original arcade game. It seems difficult for a ninja to blend in when he's decked out in high-contrast red and white pajamas (not that he ever really tries to), let alone when he's walking around with his Ninja Dog in tow. His contemporaries also have an impractically loud fashion sense: Hibana wears a red-and-white ensemble similar to his own (that has giant pink contrails flowing from it) , while Hotsuma wears spiky black armor topped with a bright red scarf that's thirty feet long.
    • None of the enemy ninja in the first three games are particularly difficult to spot either. Shinobi III had a few somewhat hidden enemies, but this was usually due to them hiding behind layers, as opposed to effectively camouflaged character designs.
  • Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa fights in the open with a wide variety of impractical-for-stealth weapons, pulling off moves that are flashy and all-too-obvious, including casting spells where he stands still while fire or electricity swirls around him. In fact, some fans have reportedly called him more of a samurai than a ninja. Probably not too much of a falsehood.
  • While we're on the subject of Team Ninja games, none of the "ninja" in their Dead or Alive series seems all that eager to avoid notice (not just Ryu).
  • Rikimaru from the Tenchu series typically has no problem hiding from his enemies, though you'd think he might have an easier time about if he'd cover up his BRIGHT WHITE HAIR!
    • In part 2, his outfit was green.
    • In Tenchu Z, you can wear a 'traditional' ninja outfit with a mask and everything. Or you can wear a real traditional ninja outfit and make yourself look something like a farmer. Or you can run around in a loincloth. None of these make you any easier or harder to spot.
  • Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury. Come on, she's practically half-naked as well as *really* well-stacked. And in fact, in the SNK vs. Capcom series, several characters call out on her (namely Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li) in their introduction dialogues. Ultimately, even SNK has made fun of this: Maximum Impact 2 has Hattori Hanzo as a playable character, and when he faces Mai, their intro has him question what has happened to ninjitsu since his day.
    • Maximum Impact 2 also introduced Nagase, "The Ninja Computer Geek", who dresses in what can best be described as a bright yellow J-pop bumblebee dress. Nagase has no intention of being stuck in the shadows all her life: she wants to become famous.
  • Similar case with Taki from Soul Calibur. She wears a red skintight suit and jumps around screaming a lot. But then again it might be hard to spot the ninja hiding behind those enormous, uh, talents of hers. Seriously, it seems more like she's naked and simply painted her whole body red, rather than wearing a skintight suit.
  • Frank the Polish-American Brazilian Ninja from Shadow Hearts: From the New World is about as stealthy as a clown (and kind of looks like one too). In his introduction scene he attempts to hide himself by using the classic ninja trick of holding a piece of wall-patterned cloth in front of himself (the "Art of Hiding" he calls it) - but uses a brightly-coloured flag. Obviously it doesn't work. His new teammates immediately call him out on how much he sucks at it. His clanmate Britney is almost as bad, being a blonde who wears a bright pink gi.
    • In the ending, Johnny notes that Frank's appeared on TV a few times... then muses, "Aren't ninjas supposed to be invisible?"
  • The Taraba Ninja from Shinobido may be crowned as the kings of this trope. They wear huge, Scary Impractical Armor wich makes a lot of noise at the slightest movement and covers their body, and their main weapon is a mortar cannon strapped to their back. The only advantage seems to be their Nigh Invulnerable defense, since Goh can kill them only by stabbing them in the neck. Their boss Kabuto is like them, ubut Up to Eleven.
  • The Mortal Kombat series has only one ninja, Scorpion. In the early 2D games when all the "ninjas" were simply palette swaps of each other this was easier a mistake to make. Sub-Zero is an assassin of the Chinese Lin Kuei and as such takes offense to being labeled ninja in Mortal Kombat Mythologies Sub Zero. The cyborgs Cyrax, Smoke and Sektor are all also Lin Kuei. All of them are highly visible though, having brightly colored costumes. Others are not native to Earth at all, and in some cases, like Mileena, are Humanoid Abominations; in fact, in the case of the females, they're not only "highly visible", but their outfits suggest they want people to see them. These "ninja clones" have since evolved into increasingly diverse, but no less visible, looks after the series went 3D. Amusingly despite being the only real ninja Scorpion is also the most visible of all these warriors wearing a bright yellow outfit, and occasionally being on fire. In early installments Scorpion's bright yellow outfit was justified as Scorpion wearing a Lin Kuei outfit and mocking their cowardice with its yellow color, but this seems to have fallen by the wayside in later games. Smoke and Reptile partially subvert this however. Both of them typically can turn invisible as a special move (Reptile's intro in the reboot has him appearing out of thin air).
  • Every Ape Escape game has at least one Japanese-themed stage with traditional dojos and ninja paraphernalia, usually including a few monkeys decked out in ninja garb. They still have helmets with large flashing lights on top, and start screaming and running around as soon as you approach.
  • Ninja Assault. Long story short, you play a ninja with guns!
  • Destroy All Humans! 2 had an island in Japan where black and white ninja were fighting. Not surprisingly, they wore complete black, or complete white in public. Every time Crypto questioned or lampshaded this or the existence of ninjas in 1960's Japan, everyone would reply "Everybody loves ninjas."
    • The reason why the ninja clans themselves are split up into black and white in the first place is not because of ideological differences either. Originally, they were united under one clan of Gray ninjas, but the clans started to split over personal preference between black and white uniforms when they ran out of gray fabric.
    White Ninja Leader: Wrong! Supplier stop selling gray fabric. We wanted to be black ninja, but bastards put their order in first!
  • Yukimaru and Fubuki from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories are members of a ninja clan whose village is perpetually covered in snow, making an all-white uniform the perfect camouflage. Well, at least it would, if the Snow Clan did all of their missions within their village.
    • Their traditional outfits also include light blue and magenta, so...
    • Done very deliberately with Kyoko Needleworker, a ninja who makes a point of always challenging her opponents in broad daylight.
    • The ninja class from the first game also have very few "ninja-ish" traits: they use the same weapons any other class does and are best with fist and axes and the only thing that would be good for stealth (which the game really doesn't have) are their high speed and movement.
    • While they aren't quite ninja, the Thief units are a bit brightly dressed to be stealthy (then again, the more advanced versions of the class wear darker colours).
  • A.N.V.I.L. saboteurs in Evil Genius are Highly Visible Ninjas wearing (in order of increasing ability) black, red, blue and white uniforms. Actually, the white uniforms blend in well in the brightly lit stainless steel hallways of the Elaborate Underground Base, but that advantage is lost when they step into any other type of room.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics your male ninja wear blue, and your female ninja wear red. They walk in plain sight in the vast open fields of Mandalia to battle monsters. On the other hand, they do have reaction abilities that makes them invisible.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 contains a ninja that, in order to assassinate someone, walks on screen, talks to them, and then shoots them with a gun. This makes even less sense in the context of the game, where it is illegal for ninja to use any weapons but swords.
  • Kasumi from Suikoden I and II wears a quite pink/red outfit for no real reason.
    • Then there's Fuma, also from the first Suikoden, who claims to specialize in invisibility and stealth... while wearing an outfit so incredibly red that staring at it too long would make your eyes bleed. But on closer inspection, Suikoden tends to avert this trope (aside from Kasumi and Fuma), as the Suikoden ninjas (of which there are at least two in every game) tend to dress either like traditional ninjas (I's Kage, II's Mondo and Sasuke, and III's Watari and Ayame), or more like normal people (IV's Akaghi and Mizuki, V's Shigure and Sagiri).
    • Fuma's idea of invisibility and stealth, apparently, is to exploit the 2D nature of the game and hide behind the back wall of a castle, where the camera angle renders him invisible to the player.
  • Guilty Gear's Chipp Zanuff can actually turn (partly) invisible with a special move. Hilariously, as he does so he yells, "Find me!" Other than that, though, he sticks to the trope... but then he's an American who just really wants to be a ninja. The quote at the top of the page is directed at him, and follows a Cluster F-Bomb Chipp gives when Bridget reads off a very unflattering description of his "ninja skills".
  • Bang Shishigami from BlazBlue is one of the most highly visible ninjas of all time, sporting a bare midriff(on a male character), a flowing red scarf, a 5-foot long NAIL on his back, and prone to frequent hot-blooded yelling. He also subverts typical ninja characters in fighting games by being more of a well-balanced brawler than a Fragile Speedster, having the 3rd highest HP in the game.
    • In fact, if you fight him with Arakune in one of the single-player modes, Bang Shishigami's wardrobe is one of the first things he notices with the line "Very...loud. Oddly...red."
  • Izuna, the Unemployed Ninja dresses in a bright red outfit with thick hose and fishnets.
    • After stealing a village's crystal and upsetting the gods, the villagers (specifically, the innkeeper) starts a tab for the protagonist and her ninja clan and declares they must stay until it's paid off and the villagers won't let them leave. One of the ninja point out "But hey, we're ninja. We'll just sneak out." To which another ninja declares "But they'll just find us. We'll never get out of this."
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Lampshaded in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All in the final case with the "Jammin' Ninja," a ninja with a bright red guitar whose goal in life is to become a rock star. Phoenix himself notes just how ridiculous the concept is. It should be pointed out that within Phoenix's world, the Jammin' Ninja is a TV character. Also, his bizarre choice of path in life is explained as being because he's not actually a very good ninja, so he chose a career that wouldn't need him to be able to do ninja things.
    • Investigations gives us Kay Faraday, a Highly Visible Phantom Thief who spends much of the game stating she is a Phantom Thief, the Yatagarasu, while doing very little actual theft, and wears a badge in shape of the Yatasaguru's symbol on her scarf. She's also a fan of the Jammin' Ninja rather than the Steel Samurai. Edgeworth even asks himself if she really wants to be a thief or a ninja, considering how much she admires Mr. Stealthy Jammin' Ninja.
  • The Jougenshuu Sennin in Beat Blades Haruka go as far as to announce their presence to the enemy Noroi prior to doing battle. This is because Mission Control reasoned that the best way to get the public on their side was to follow Magical Girl tropes.
  • Painkiller's Dark Ninja mooks spawn with bright particles and clouds in large groups, do high midair flips in slow motion, and yell before each attack.
  • Happens in Bahamut Lagoon. Sajin and Zeroshin are technically "Assassins", but their technique is called "Ninjutsu", and it consists of elemental attacks and attempted insta-kills. All in plain sight, as a good strategy RPG would do. When you hire them, you're also given the option of picking an assassination target for them, the 3 choices being the main heroine, a military captain and a random NPC: the first 2 both fail miserably and only the last one is successful.
  • Lo Wang, the eponymous character of Shadow Warrior, operates more like a Asian Duke Nukem than an actual ninja. The ninja Mooks also apply, their main weapon is an Uzi.
  • Yoshimitsu from Tekken (and his Soul Calibur incarnation) is... difficult to ignore. He has been entirely metallic, been partially metallic and in forest green pants, usually had some sort of skull for a face, looked like a giant beetle man, green and gold samurai armour, and blue skin with yellow and red pants. And his sword glows.
    • Later came Kunimitsu, who fought in royal blue, yellow, pink and purple in her different incarnations, always wearing a white fox mask (excluding her Tekken Tag Tournament third costume, which had a gold, demonic half-mask).
    • And Tekken 5 introduced Raven, a (supposed) spy who dresses (sometimes) in a bright silver jumpsuit and Cool Shades, and looks like Wesley Snipes with a noticeable scar on his face. Beating up every contestant he comes across while "investigating" the King of Iron Fist Tournament does not help his case, unless he's trying to blend in with all the other insane fruitcakes participating in this competition.
  • Spoofed in this artwork for the World of Warcraft TCG.
  • Yuffie Kisaragi from Final Fantasy VII. While her clothing is not bright or lurid, it does seem a bit odd on a self-proclaimed "world's greatest ninja". Additionally, her loud voice and boisterous personality make stealth difficult. She clearly likes to be the center of attention.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, ninja are the second most common "tank" job in the game, whose primary purpose is to get the enemy's attention and keep itnote .
  • Sengoku Basara brings us Kasuga, whose Stripperiffic outfit with its gold accents and Absolute Cleavage make her a very attention-grabbing ninja. On the other hand, Sarutobi Sasuke wears forest camouflage and generally has a very good grasp on the concept of ninja stealth. Kotaro, meanwhile, is a mute who can get past any opposition via pure speed.
  • Galford in Samurai Shodown. Unlike Hanzo, he doesn't cover his head, he wears blue, and he fights with his dog, Poppy. Earthquake tried ninja training, but quit because he had to be with Galford, whom he hated. For the record, both of them are McNinja (Hanzo, the Japanese Ninja is much more Badass and stealthy).
  • The ninjas in Oni are a bit eccentric: the three different classes of ninja (like all other groups of enemies) green, blue and red armour in ascending order of skill - not overly inconspicuous. However, they are also fairly skilled at hiding and surprise attacks and are bloody fast.
  • Ninja Jajamaru-kun wears a bright red uniform. But gost darn it, is he ever CUTE.
  • In The Ninja Warriors and The Ninja Warriors Again, the eponymous Ninja Warriors dress in bright primary colors. They're unstoppable killer robots though, so that matters little. Plus it's a suicide mission anyway.
  • Samurai Warriors, pick any of the ninja. You will be able to see them. Bonus points go to our dear, sweet Cloudcuckoolander Nene, who wears a discrete color combination of yellow, some gold and a few bits of orange. And whose idea of stealth is to fly in on a huge-ass bright yellow kite in the dead of night. To no-one's surprise but hers, the attempt fails and she would have face-planted several hundred feet down if not for Hanzo.
  • Mega Man X: Command Mission got party member Marino, an Highly Visible Thief. Her armour's PINK, along with other eye-catching features.
    • Also, Zero is the commander of the 0th Unit of the Maverick Hunters, generally known as the Shinobi Unit. He is bright red and has a blond ponytail almost as big as he is.
  • The ninjas in Red Steel 2 use swords and guns like every other enemy before them, just with more ability and acrobatics. That said this is a beat-em-up, but still...
  • The Dark Brotherhood were inconspicuously dressed in The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, but seem to become more and more conspicuous with every new installment. They may still be sneaky and secretive in Skyrim, but their outfits (hooded leather catsuits in black and crimson) are anything but. No wonder there are so few active sanctuaries left.
    • Walking around in public in full Dark Brotherhood, Thieves Guild, or Nightengale garb without consequence... though at least they lampshade it in Skyrim, since guards will sometimes comment "I know thieves guild armor when I see it. You're not fooling anyone."
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, while Shrieks are invisible ninjas that pop up on you when you least expect it as ninjas do, Genlock Rogues aren't quite so stealthy. You might not be able to see them, but their extremely loud grunting and chattering gives them away long before you can actually see them, making them Highly Audible Ninjas.
  • Kingdom of Loathing features Lo "Commotion" Ping, who "began his assassin career as a traditional ninja; that is, as a deadly assassin who dresses in civilian clothes so he won't be spotted, who kills quietly and leaves behind no evidence of foul play." However, annoyed by having to constantly explain to people that he was, in fact, actually a ninja, he decided to act more stereotypically; while he became a much worse assassin as a result, "at least he never again will say, "well, actually, the commonly accepted 'black pajama' uniform is a by-product of the way ninjas were portrayed in Japanese theatre. . ." because seriously, nobody likes that guy."
  • Shadow Yamato of Eternal Champions is an assassin who practices ninjutsu. While wearing Stripperiffic clothing in the original game or a highly visible green qipao in the Sega CD update.
  • Guy from Final Fight wears red ninja suit and fights people in broad daylight. Maki from the sequel is even more visible and revealing than him.
  • Ninja in the Shogun: Total War and Total War: Shogun 2 games all wear the classic black pajamas (except in one assassination in the first game, where the ninja is dressed as a peasant), even when it would look quite out-of-place. Unsurprisingly, being spotted once usually leads to large quantities of armed men chasing them down while shouting "Ninja!". This includes the battlefield-used Kisho Ninja, who presumably consider dressing as ashigaru and taking enemy units by surprise to be unsporting.
  • The four ninjas in League of Legends. Akali is probably the most reasonable. She throws down smoke bombs that make her invisible as long as she stays within that area, and is an assassin class and consequently a big part of her purpose is jumping out at people unexpectedly and killing them. Kennen is at least small and wears dark clothing, but this has no practical effect. He spends most of his time throwing around lighting in a highly noticeable manner. Shen is a tank, whose ability Shadow Dash forces enemies to attack him. This is a ninja for whom an important skill is "HEY! I'm over here! Attack me!". Zed however, is in a similar vein to Akali; he uses Shadow Clones to jump from place to place and his ultimate can effectively gib an opponent before they realize that they've been attacked.
  • The 4-player co-op trailer for the reboot of Syndicate has a hilarious moment where the text says "infiltrate" and immediately cuts to a tense firefight. What really takes the cake, though, is the blaring obvious flamethrower.
  • In Ragnarok Online, both the Assassin and Ninja classes. Although the Assassin does have a grey color palette that makes them hard to see (and almost invisible in Nibelheim) with the right hair color palette, few to none of the players use it. The ninja, on the other hand, has no hope at stealth at all. On the other hand, Assassin class can just plain out vanish from sight and you'll never find them unless you use special skills and manage to hit his location with them.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the Chinese Stealth Suit returns, but loses its stealth field, leaving just an incredibly obvious latex suit with a modest boost to the Stealth skill. The American-counterpart Stealth Suit Mk II, which has reflective white strips running all over the body, and an annoying onboard voice, to boot.
  • The Nintendo Land minigame Takamaru's Ninja Castle has origami ninjas of many colors as targets.
  • Dynamite Dux has red dog ninjas as enemies.
  • The Yakuza ninjas in Soldier of Fortune play this straight as an arrow, not even bothering with stealth tactics.
  • Win Back has this with the assassin-type mooks, as well as the ninja boss Jin.
  • PlanetSide 2 has the New Conglomerate infiltrator, a stealth-based sniper or close-combat class, decked out in a bright gray jumpsuit, with a big blue stripes. The Terran Republic infiltrator has a darker overall color palette, but their black and gray jumpsuit is supplemented by neon red shoulder pads and a big "shoot me here" red chestplate. Granted, both have a cloaking field, but it only last a couple seconds at a time and still shows a distortion where the player is. The annoying exception is the Vanu Sovereignty infiltrator, who is wearing a very dark purple (almost black) jumpsuit, with the only highly-visible part being a glowing sigil on their head, though it's a handy target for enemy snipers.
  • Dishonored plays this straight with the Whalers, who acrobatically attack in broad daylight and can usually be spotted and sniped from a distance before they detect Corvo.
  • In Senran Kagura, most student Shinobi wear school uniforms, which are generally pretty discrete (save for some personal alterations here and there). On the other, they do have a very flashy Transformation Sequence and special attacks, and their Shinobi outfits can be quite loud. On the other other hand, they only break out these techniques within a Shinobi Barrier, at which point they know their cover's been blown by one of their own kind.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has the Ogre Ninja, who's artwork depicts a massive two-headed ogre trying to blend in with the trees by just standing near them holding a stick in each hand. As a side note, Hearthstone game director, Eric Dodds, apparently adored this character and his artwork so much he insisted he be included in the final game, even as the developers were having trouble figuring out what his card would even do.
  • In Trine 2, Zoya the Thief's bright white hood and cloak don't prevent her from having access to a stealth ability that can buy her ten seconds of total invisibility.

    Web Animation 
  • The Death Battle between Ryu Hayabusa and Strider Hiryu features two of the most popular Highly-Visible Ninja in video games. Naturally, this was given a Lampshade Hanging by Wizard during the analysis section of both characters.
    Wizard: (on Ryu Hayabusa) And despite mastering the ninja art of stealth, he tends to just rush in, sword swinging. Every. Single. Time
    Wizard: (on Strider Hiryu) Hiryu's speed and agility are off the charts; fortunate, since he doesn't seem to ever use his ninja stealth skills.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • You'd think Dr. McNinja would have a hard time sneaking around, dressed like a doctor with a traditional ninja outfit underneath that. Nope, actually, he manages to keep to close-quarters combat most of the time... If he gets shot at or has to throw a soda machine at a team of security guards, it's generally implied that the situation is a pretty rough one. Most non-villains who recognize him just accept that he's eccentric. "Yeah, he's using someone else's ID as a disguise again."
    • Played straight in a flashback comic to his college days. He justifies it via the alt text: "I wore bright colors because I was a young, cocky ninja. And because it was 1989."
    • In the McNinja comic There's a Raptor in my Office, Dr. McNinja meets a strange silhouetted man in a darkened warehouse. Alt text lampshades this by pointing out that the only person you can see in a darkened room is the one who is a ninja. And the Raptor riding banditos but that is neither here nor there.
    • The good doctor's father justifies always wearing a mask so every ninja, if they ever get too in deep and have too many enemies, can just take the mask off and escape the life. Since this means never removing their mask ever, they have to learn to eat through their masks.
    • The Doctor also has a bunch of paintings which include lots of ninja on them. However, the ninja are so exceedingly well-painted that you can't see them anywhere.
    • Memorably lampshaded in the first Thanksgiving Katanaka arc, in order to get into his parents home he has to sneak past his mother(who is a much better ninja than he is) and he's speculating on his death.
      "But if he wanted to enter the cave undetected," the coroner will ask, "Why did he wear a white lab coat?"
      "Because he was a doctor and he knew science" someone will reply.
  • Being the world of insanity that it is, this was bound to happen in Axe Cop. When it finally came, we weren't disappointed.
    Just then, a truck full of ninjas showed up.
    Truck literally says "Truck of Ninjas" on the side.
    Ninja: We want to fight you guys!
  • Ninja on a plane in Yosh.
  • The Order of the Stick has ninja that are highly visible to the reader, and should be highly visible to other characters, but since it's set in a Role-Playing Game Verse, they're effectively invisible anyway.
    • From this comic:
      Belkar: Wait, I think I just failed a spot check.
      Haley: Really? I don't see anything.
      Belkar: Exactly.
      Ninja: (standing right in front of the group) Um... we're like RIGHT here.
      Belkar: Wait, I think I just failed a listen check!
    • There's also the waitress who spooks Vaarsuvius at one restaurant, and as apology explains that she's waiting tables to pay for ninja college.
  • Seriously lampshaded in Elf Only Inn.
  • Despite wearing bright red, Thief's gang of "law ninja" in 8-Bit Theater remain completely unseen unless summoned by Thief himself. Oddly, the Ninja class in the first Final Fantasy wore bright red in the first place, at least in the original version. They're probably an example of this themselves, if it comes to that. Referencing this, the three strips or so after Thief first became a ninja, he wore the bright red Highly-Visible Ninja suit from the original. They were then remade, and the strips replaced with him wearing a black ninja suit from the class change onward.
  • Something*Positive: Randy Milholland pokes fun at the trope in a con sketch.
  • Raymondo Person recently introduced "Barry Scrumbles, Non-Stealth Ninja". He has business cards.
  • White Ninja, although this is possibly not an example because he may not even be a real ninja for all anyone knows. White Ninja is not something you can or should try to apply regular logic to.
    • He's a white ninja because black ninjas are harder to ink.
  • This page of Torio lampshades this trope.
  • Furry webcomic Macropod Madness/Macropodia (the name changed during a particular arc) has Tree Ninja, a tree kangaroo with a habit of hiding in barren, leafless trees. This is lampshaded in one episode.
  • The Ninja Mafia in Sam and Fuzzy is an organization made of Highly-Visible Ninja, the trope being played intentionally for laughs. The only exception to this are Blankfaces, who are fully capable of subverting this trope but usually don't need to because they're just that good.
  • In This I Got Nothing page, the safety regulations require ninjas to wear high-visibility vests.
  • One-shot character Ninja Joe of Venus Envy, whose spy mission is foiled by wearing stereotypical ninja garb in public with little more than a Newspaper-Thin Disguise as back-up. He fares only slightly better in the spin-off Venus Ascending where he at least manages to hide, but is foiled by forgetting to set his cell phone to "vibrate" and getting a call.

    Web Original 
  • In FimFlamFilosophy's Let's Play of ''Pony Fantasy 6, Part 4, he talks about the very visible ninja in Naruto, and theorizes it's because of natural selection, because the really stealthy ninjas kept getting run over by cars like those kids who wear all black on Halloween. He goes on to comment about how the kids who wore reflectors didn't get run over by cars and would grow up to have kids who wore reflectors. Similarly, the Highly-Visible Ninja traditions survived while the stealthy ninja traditions died off.
  • James from The Tournament Of Rings OCT is one of these. He's done things such as wave at a camera, and done anything BUT hide from his fellow competitors. He couldn't even hide from a blind girl.
  • Enforced and invoked by the SCP Foundation. In the world of the Foundation, actual ninjas are SCP-2928: humans who cause hallucinations based on the public's beliefs concerning ninja. For a long time, they were masters of stealth because people believed all ninjas were masters of stealth. When the Foundation discovered them, they spread media with highly visible ninjas so that more people would believe ninjas were more conspicuous entities. This was enough to reduce 2928's threat level from "Keter" to "Euclid".
  • In Welcome to Night Vale the Sheriff's Secret Police issue public statements at press conferences and are referred to on the radio as such. It may be an Artifact Title; there's never been any indication that there are non-secret police around.
  • Early installments of Noob have a few jokes involving Omega Zell failing to be stealthy despite playing an assassin. The novels have him act as is he were in a good hiding place despite blatant visibility of his cursor and the webseries has a "Freaky Friday" Flip sequence during which the guildmate controlling his avatar points out that he only has 3 in stealth and really shouldn't be wearing white.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in the Samurai Jack episode where Jack fought a shinobi. The shinobi was completely invisible in the shadows, so Jack made himself a ninja headwrap from his robe, thus being completely dressed in white, allowing himself to become completely invisible in the light.
  • An episode of Duckman had two ninja running back and forth next to the title character, passing a package back and forth while bemoaning their fate should it fall into his hands. It was part of an attempted Evil Plan on the part of the episode's villain, which failed due to Duckman's obliviousness:
    Duckman: Damn ninjas! The streets are lousy with them!
  • Kim Possible
    • The Suma Ninja sort of misses the whole point. It's funny in its own way.
    • Ron also seemed to have trouble hiding in the shadows when he tried to be all ninja. Now that he has gotten control of Mystical Monkey Powers, however...
  • G.I. Joe
    • Storm Shadow dresses in a pure white ninja outfit. Useful if you want to hide in snow, but not in many other circumstances. In the comics, the ninja clan Storm Shadow belongs to are explicitly described as being different from the original ninja.
    • Classic GI Joe had neon orange, green, blue, yellow, and red ninjas.
    • Snake Eyes at two points early in the series actually bothered to disguise himself—once as a Cobra grunt, and once as a dancing woman in a kicky dress and wig. In neither does he bother to remove his trademark Ninja-riffic outfit before donning the "disguise."
  • Ninja Monkeys in Skunk Fu! tend to be horribly unskilled at actually being ninjas. This is played for laughs, though.
  • The 80s cartoon of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where they have no qualms about going out in the day and screaming "Cowabunga Shredhead!" Also, their arch-nemesis, The Shredder, who, in the comics, movies and 2003 series, was the head of a ninja clan and was very secretive about his organization but often had no problems about being a public menace and addressing the world like a typical Mad Scientist or terrorist. The 2003 revival averts this.
    • The Foot Soldiers also had a tendency to be highly visible. Then again, that was probably the point for Shredder.
    • It varied in the remake. The turtles would actually sneak in and out of places (interesting comment with an ally Miyamato Usagi saying that it "is making him more ninja and less samurai"), but the same couldn't be said of their enemies. The regular foot ninja never even bothered sneaking up on the turtles, or anybody. The only stealthy enemies the turtles fought were the Foot Tech Ninjas, who could turn invisible.
    • Mikey had a bad tendency to be very visible and very loud (sometimes becoming the very, very visible Turtle Titan), but he was frequently rebuked for it by the others.
    • In the 2012 series all four of the turtles seem to have problems with the invisibility and silence aspect of ninjutsu, as they have to repeatedly remind each to be quiet and not attract attention... which almost immediately attracts attention. To be fair, though, there are times when the Turtles pull it off or at least nearly do (once escaping from the Shredder with a smoke pellet and a momentary distraction).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Read It and Weep," Rainbow Dash tries to sneak into the hospital wearing a Spy Catsuit to finish a book she got hooked on. Her rainbow-colored tail suggests a Technicolor Ninja at first; reading under the hospital bed and suddenly rising (which startles the patient) is what causes this trope to be played straight.
    • Pinkie Pie dons a similar Spy Catsuit in the season 3 premiere... and proceeds to bounce around city streets in broad daylight, at one point dangling from a rope not 12 inches away from the ponies she was trying to hide from.
    • Joining them in the "I skipped stealth class" club is Fluttershy's "dangerous mission" outfit from "Magic Duel". With bright blue belt, booties, and bunny ears.
    • A running gag in It's About Time. Nopony but Twilight even pretends to take the sneaking around seriously when they try to break into the library, the guards spot them almost immediately, and then let them in to the section they were trying to access since Twilight has every right to be there anyway.
  • Tubbimura of Xiaolin Showdown was a very... um, large... Highly-Visible Ninja. The guy was about 90% body fat, and didn't bother being stealthy most of the time. He still managed to kick the Xiaolin team's butts early on.

    Real Life 
  • According to a classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode, Shredder said, "A ninja is trained in many skills." While he was referring to baking chocolate chip cookies to bait the Turtles, his words definitely hold meaning in this section.
    • Historically, ninja used multiple disguises to appear as everyday members of Japan's social castes, which involved training themselves in the target speech patterns, lifestyle habits and mannerisms - quite a lot more than wearing a costume. They went as far as burning specific incense or spices into their clothes so they would smell like the person they were impersonating. Thus, the perfect modern ninja disguise would be something like a janitor or a security guard. (Something similar was actually used by a National Geographic special, where the "ninja" actually pretended to be a part of the show's crew.)
    • Considering that ninjas dressed normally back then, it would follow the same pattern in present times. Now that most of the world knows about ninjas and people out there know martial arts, remember if you are in a place with many people, what are your chances that one or more of them is one.
    • The stereotypical ninja costume is actually the costume of a Kabuki theatre prop handler, or Kuroko. Since the handlers were on set all of the time and simply ignored by the audience, it was high drama for one to suddenly brandish a weapon and attack the hero.
      • Which leads to the possibility of a ninja recursion: target enjoys Kabuki theatre, so a ninja disguises himself as a kuroko, complete with learning the play. At the appropriate time, he first plays his part of striking down the character in the play-then adds some extra "audience participation". Whether this has ever been done is not known.
      • Other forms of theatre have employed the same technique: for example in stage-play of His Dark Materials, or at least the National Theatre's staging of the plays, the puppets representing the characters daemons were manipulated and voiced by puppeteers dressed fully in black, with black fencer's masks. The audience is so used to ignoring them and focusing on the puppet it comes as something of a shock when Pantalaimon's handler pulls off his black mask to reveal that he is Lyra's 'Death' and has always been with her.
      • Then again, ninjas might have used them during night raids where they would have to sneak into an area where conflict would be inevitable. In the first Real Life instance, the watch-wait-strike principle was on full display. Before anything else, they needed to get a feel for the location they needed to infiltrate. Not something that happens overnight, as any Caper Crew feature Shown Their Work will attest. Right down to the jumpsuit, which was probably not black (see McNinja), kabuki training, especially as a prop handler, came in handy. (That’s part of what we associate with the ninja culture.) No loose parts, not overly tight, room for a few weapons, excellent to avert notice on the way in (the main objective), and excellent for covering as many bases as possible when they needed to leave, whether or not the goal was achieved.
  • Near Halloween in the United States, check out the kids' costumes available. There will inevitably be a few "ninja" outfits that mimic the Mortal Kombat/Power Rangers style. Well, obviously, a Halloween costume is going to emphasize visibility... That's a big safety tip for trick-or-treating.
  • Debatably "real life," one SCA War had a member dressed in "standard" ninja attire, saying "I'm a ninja, you can't see me" whenever anyone spotted him. While several warriors played along for fun, he apparently ticked off one Scottish Highlander too many, who clobbered him hard enough to lay him out for several minutes (ninjas don't wear armor!) then claimed that he "didn't see him there."
  • Local guides in Iga-Ueno wear pink ninja outfits for demonstrations. Yes, it is true. Naturally, there are quite a few ninja theme parks in Japan. Since the attendants must look like ninja to uninformed or Genre Blind visitors they dress according to stereotype and Rule of Cool. Some of the parks have devices and architectural features that facilitate stealth regardless of the flashy costumes.
  • This My Life Is Average post. Lampshade included.
  • This YouTube video from Adelaide Flash Mob.
  • Another debatable "real life" example: at some Comic-Cons in San Diego, the stagehands have worn black T-shirts with white text that reads "Stage Ninja: You don't see me."