Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja
You'll never call golf a dull game again.
"OK, my turn? Ninjas." Goddess:
"What? Hey we all agreed on this Medieval knights-and-wizards
theme!" Monkey God:
"So? It's my turn, my choice, I say: NINJA!" Goddess:
Only the staunchest Pirate
fanboy can deny that Ninja
have some level of awesome. Any story that can reasonably fit Ninja in there, like stories in Feudal Japan, or the fantasy equivalent
, will do so. Sometimes, those fantasy equivalents seem to exist solely to give them a reason to include the Ninja.
Then again, some stories can't easily fit them, but throw them in anyway. It doesn't have to make sense. It's freakin' Ninja in your story! If you want to have them involved the battle of Gettysburg, go ahead. They just won't be recorded in the history books
, because Ninja are masters of invisibility.
Ninja can also fall under this as part of Chandler's Law
A Sub Trope
and Rule Of Cool
Compare Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
, Ninja Maid
, Everything's Better with Samurai
, Instant Plunder, Just Add Pirates
Examples: (from shows that are not focused on, or usually feature, Ninja.)
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Byakuya Kuchiki from Bleach has a group of bodyguard Ninja, as seen in the Omakes.
- Of course, Soifon manages to subvert this trope when she summons her squad of ninja to deal with Yoruichi in the Soul Society arc. Guess she forgot about the Conservation of Ninjutsu.
- Buster Keel: Whats cooler than having ninja on the team, why a ninja water demon of course!
- As if the acrobatics in Claymore weren't already enough, two minor characters include two knights who jump around on rooftops and throw knives at people. One of them is a standard lightweight rogue... the other is wearing a full suit of armor.
- A popular first-season fan theory for Code Geass was that Sayoko, Lelouch and Nunnally's maid, was secretly a ninja who was as talented a fighter as Suzaku. The staff said Sure, Why Not?, and in the second season she was revealed as a Badass ninja clan heiress who almost fought the cyborg Jeremiah Gottwald to a standstill.
- Not just in the second season - in the audio commentary for one episode, Satomi Arai comments that throughout the first season the writers would tease her about "Sayoko's true power" but frustratingly never gave her the chance to shine.
- Daimos: The Baam-Seijin foot tropes are soldiers wear a full-body black suit, jump around constantly in the battlefield and wield katanas.
- The second season of Darker Than Black features a lightsaber-wielding lesbian ninja Contractor — her power is turning things into Laser Blades, and her weapon of choice is a wooden katana. Clearly a Worthy Opponent for Chinese Electric Batman.
- See Volfogg from Gao Gai Gar for another ninja mech. But unlike the Getter Robo example, he's a main character.
- New Getter Robo features an arc where the main characters go to an alternate-universe version of Heian-era Japan, apparently just as an excuse to include ninja in a Humongous Mecha anime. One of these includes a 200ft tall ninja Oni, which doesn't sound very stealthy but is nonetheless quite awesome.
- Ginga Nagareboshi Gin features two clans of ninja dogs!
- G Gundam. No, it's not the Neo Japan representative. Germany's representative is a Ninja Jester Mecha Pilot clone of the main character's brother.
- The Dating Sim Graduation had an anime OVA follow-up, Sailor Victory, which was about mecha... with ninja abilities.
- Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka: What's better than vampires? VAMPIRE NINJA!!!
- What's the ninja Kaede doing in an Urban Fantasy series such as Mahou Sensei Negima!? Well, why not? She fits just as well as the Chinese Kung Fu master, Ridiculously Human Robot, and Time Travelling Martian.
- Mazinger Z: This series is a Super Robot Genre, sci-fi series. Still, in episode 46 Big Bad Dr. Hell decided changing his usual strategy and instead of two Humongous Mecha he created two three-meters-tall ninja robots (the Blazas S1 and S2 "brothers") to carry a sabotaging mission off. They could perform complicated acrobatics, and threw shurikens -as well as missiles-. There was no apparent mission for them being ninjas other than ninjas are cool.
- Obviously, this is the whole point of Naruto.
- Even better example is Ninja Senshi Tobikage who even looks like a ninja.
- While Hughes Gouli is usually just an ordinary mecha pilot in Overman King Gainer he occasionally awesome puts on his ninja suit and starts kicking ass
- The Pokémon episodes "The Ninja Poké Showdown" and "From Cradle to Save".
- Of course, the first episode is set in Fuchsia City, which had an entire gym full of ninja - which kinda defeats the idea of secrecy.
- One could say Ash is quite the ninja at times, in the movies at least. In the first movie he does that cool flip thing when he gets knocked down when he attacks Mewtwo by himself, how he flips off of wooden posts in the wall and catches the Jewel of Life in said movie (while being who knows how far above the ground?). They wanted the movies to be awesome, thus they made Ash a ninja.
- The Samurai Champloo manga had Highly Visible Ninjas.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: How do you make more awesome a Five-Man Band of highly-trained spandex-suited teenagers, equipped with Badass Capes, Cool Helmets all kind of weapons, a Cool Ship and combat vehicles? You make them ninjas, of course!
- Stellvia of the Universe features a spaceship pilot in training who dresses like a ninja and gives away shurikens for no apparent reason other than it being awesome.
- One issue of the Astro City "Dark Ages" story arc starts off with a martial arts fight between two kung-fu superheroes and a team of flying jetpack ninja.
- In some continuities, Batman learned some of his skills from ninja.
- The entire backstory of Daredevil was retconned to include Ninja when Frank Miller became his writer.
- One of the classic moments from Mark Waid's run on The Flash; our hero is out at a restaurant with his girlfriend, who is showing signs of wanting to talk about their relationship. Suddenly, ninja attack!
Flash: Thank god.
- The Kingpin uses "more than the usual amount of ninjas" to threaten the Runaways into giving him a MacGuffin, during Joss Whedon's run.
- Sin City: "Deadly little Miho. You won't feel a thing unless she wants you to. She twists the blade. He feels it."
- Psylocke of the X-Men is practically the Anthropomorphic Personification of this trope. As the equally British sister of Captain Britain, she was moderately attractive and loved by fans... but when she was put into a female ninja's body, her attractiveness and popularity went through the roof, as she became the team's Ms. Fanservice.
- Similarly, Kitty Pryde, during a trip to Japan, was abducted and mind screwed by the demonic Ogun, who downloaded a lifetime's worth of experience into her head, turning her Brainwashed and Crazy. Once she got her mind back, she retained much of her ninja skills.
Live Action TV
- The Spanish TV show Aguila Roja is pretty much "Ren-fair Zorro - with Ninjas!"
- An episode of Angel featured ninja-cyborgs for no apparent reason, which blew up if you tried to examine their corpses uncautiously. It was awesome.
- Blue Heelers had a case where a mate of Tom's from Vietnam is found murdered, his wife is a Japanese national, and a witness claims to have seen someone clad head to toe in black. Nick amusingly but in all earnestness suggests he was dressed like a ninja, making Tom think he would be transferred if he reported it.
- How I Met Your Mother: one of the character is talking about his work and a boring report. His friends complain about it... so he ends up calling it the "ninja report" instead, and everyone goes "Ninjas are awesome" everytime it's mentioned.
- Mad TV once had a Take That sketch directed at Steven Seagal, with the actor starring in a remake of Kung Fu. When Seagal completely botches Kwai Chang Caine's Zen philosophies, he distracts the issue by shouting "NINJAS!" which causes several ninja to attack him, resulting in a frustrated David Carradine walking off the set.
- The Moonlighting episode "Atomic Shakespeare" was a wild Anachronism Stew very loosely based on The Taming of the Shrew. It included Petruchio being attacked by, first, Renaissance swordsmen, and second, four ninja (they were referred to as "kung fu assassins"), before he even spoke his first line.
- In "Tangled Web" of R.L. Stine's ''The Nightmare Room" anything the protagonist claims comes true. He says he has ninja bodyguards.
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger was a Super Sentai series based on ninja, and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers incorporated much of the theme into its third season (but not completely, as they were fitting the ninja elements around the existing space alien storyline). They did it again years later with Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger, and with seasons no longer as interconnected Power Rangers Ninja Storm was able to take full advantage of it this time.
- And from seasons without a ninja theme, Rocky, Adam, and Aisha were ninja. Wild Force tries on the trope for size with the ninja Duke Org, Onikage. During his all too short tenure as The Dragon,* we even had ninja outfits on Toxica and Jindrax and even the footsoldiers. However, they served a purpose - the outfits let them board the Animarium undetected.
- This goes double for the Alien Rangers arc of MMPR Season 3, where the Kakuranger suits were used. The Alien Rangers fishy Rubber Forehead Aliens from a distant water planet called Aquitar, but their battle footage comes from Kakuranger, so it's full of Hand Seals and Flash Step and other ninja-ness that defies the MMAR theme. There were two moments that serendipitously matched the water theme, though (Cestro runs on water in one episode, and creates a waterfall in another. You'll notice it's just him, the blue Ranger, who does that... just like Tori from Ninja Storm. In sentai it's for the same reasons - ninja Rangers have Magic Martial Arts, and Elemental Powers often accompany those.)
- Kamen Rider Fourze. Its theme is astronomy, and you've got a Rider with a rocket-shaped helmet and a base on the moon fighting constellation-themed villains. What are the Mooks? Ninjas. Why? Because they can.
- The Algorithm March's awesomeness is cranked Up to Eleven when they started hiring ninja
- Spin City. Charlie daydreamed of winning the World Series, and fighting ninja to make it more awesome.
- The music video for Crossfire by Brandon Flowers consists entirely of Charlize Theron rescuing him from ninja.
- During the early days of DragonForce, ZP Theart and Sam Totman established a side band, Shadow Warriors, as a gag project and a general parody of indie bands then prevalent on mp3.com. The band was presented as a quartet of heavy metal ninjas.
- There's also the bonus track from Ultra Beatdown, the truely awesome Strike of the Ninja.
- Sam Grant (the bassist) becomes a ninja in the music video for "Legend of Archery". YMMV on whether or not it's all that awesome...
- The Midnight Beast's song "Ninjas", which is about being drink-stealing ninjas...'OF THE DANCEFLOOR!!!
- The music video for The Presidents of the United States' song "Peaches" features the band playing in a peach grove until the mid-way point, when they are suddenly attacked by ninja. They spend the rest of the video locked in martial arts combat.
- The Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rulebook Complete Adventurer introduced the Ninja base class, just for this trope (unfortunately the class just kind of falls flat compared to a good rogue or monk).
- An in-universe example, one published Shadowrun campaign includes an amusement arcade containing the ever popular games: Little Mutant Vik Ninja Cyberboy 3, Orbital Ninja Death Commando 5, The All New Ultimate Bike Race Ninja Street Duel and Street Fighting Magical Ninja 8.
- Then again, this is in a world in which two common character archetypes are "Street Samurai" and "Physical Adept" (almost always described as "magic ninja" in the flavor text, and possibly possessing some ninja-like abilities). However the fact that every named game had "ninja" squeezed into the title appeared to be invoking this trope.
- Covering all their Moe bases, Arcana Heart includes Konoha for the ninja-girl fanboys, the dog girl fanboys and the gym uniform fanboys.
- Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings has Hien, a ninja fighter pilot, in every game.
- Bad Dudes has the president kidnapped by ninja. You have to fight hundreds of them hand-to-hand to save him.
- Midway through Castle Crashers, you get attack by a band of ninja pirates.
- Warframe has you play as a band of space ninjas to fight off a fascist dictatorship that conquered the Solar System.
- While Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is best known for Soviet Superscience and Bears, it does feature Ninja as the Rising Sun infiltration unit - equivalent to the Allied Spy, except armed with a giant sword and throwing stars. Despite having one of the least plausibly deadly weapons in a game full of implausible weapons — throwing stars? — they could one-hit-kill any infantry and throw smoke bombs, although they were worthless against tanks.
- Dance Central has the Pink Ninja, Ttiw Tolrep, as an unlockable dancer.
- Dead or Alive has the only thing more awesome than ninja. Female ninja!
- Lampshaded by Crypto in Destroy All Humans! 2 when he arrives in
Japan Takoshima City and is told that there are ninja in it.
They got ninjas? In 1969
Eh, go with it. Who doesn't love ninjas?
- Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories had ninja generics, and it also had two Ninja siblings, Yukimaru and her older brother Fubuki.
- Way back in Final Fantasy I, when your characters got their classes upgraded, the Thief suddenly became a Ninja.
- Edge in Final Fantasy IV
- Shadow in Final Fantasy VI, and he didn't even have any apparent connection to the Wutai setting.
- Yuffie in Final Fantasy VII. Complete with the Wutai setting, of course.
- Any Final Fantasy that uses a ninja job class (or Samurai and Monk for that matter). Occasionally handwaved as a job from a foreign land, but there still seem to be an extraordinary number of ninja running around medieval-Europe-inspired Ivalice in Final Fantasy Tactics, and, as mentioned above, often there's no token Far East village to justify it, mentioned or otherwise.
- Fruit Ninja. Fruit, meet sword. Sword, fruit.
- The Golden Sun series has a set of Ninja classes among its Class and Level System options, available in full to Venus and Mars Adepts while the Ninja class itself is also available to Jupiter Adepts. It's usually one of the best combat options for Squishy Wizard types, since it gives them a high Attack multiplier, useful boosts to Defense, Agility, and Hit Points, and its only detriments are to Luck and Psy Points, which these characters typically already have in abundance, but it's quite tricky to access and maintain, since it requires a lot of Djinn and unleashing even one of them can result in a class change to something less favorable.
- In Dark Dawn, Shrine Maiden Himi turns into a Ninja if given the Djinn arrangements for the Samurai class. There's no explanation given, but this trope might be involved.
- The third stage of the old Capcom game Gun Smoke, which gave you Ninja in The Wild West.
- Hitman 2 has 47 visit a Japanese castle. Guess who can be found stalking around the walls and hiding in the rafters.
- Web Game I Am An Insane Rogue AI features, among the Elite Mooks, teleporting ninja hackers. It doesn't get much cooler than this.
- Just Cause 2 has Ninja being used as henchmen by the corrupt president. Why? Just 'Cause.
- Make that UZI WIELDING Ninja.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Sheik.
- Not just Sheik, but also her teacher, Impa. Probably most of the Sheikah race, but these two are the only ones seen on-screen.
- But Sheik isn't really a Sheikah...
- The medieval style Sega Genesis game Light Crusader has an area where you fight ninja who use earthquake magic and teleport.
- The Lone Ranger NES game has our masked hero fighting a clan of ninja. Yes, in the Wild West. Where else?
- Jean in Lunar Eternal Blue goes from Gypsy dancer to Ninja.
- The Cyborg Ninja in the Metal Gear series might seem a bit out of place. But who cares, they can slice bullets in half!
- Back in the old days, FOXHOUND was described as a group of "modern-day ninja."
- True to the trope, The Scrappy Raiden from MGS2 returned as a cyborg ninja in MGS4, and instantly became one of the most awesome characters in the series.
- In Mega Man X 6, the player has the option of assembling the Shadow Armor◊ which is modeled after a Ninja, complete with a pseudo-katana Z-saber.
- Mass Effect 2 Added Kasumi Goto as a new party member for Shepard's squad, who while officially called a "master thief" is Japanese, wears a skintight black and gray jumpsuit, keeps her face obscured at all times, can turn invisible at will and 1-shot kill hapless mooks when she pops out of nowhere, and backflips onto gunships 50 feet off the ground. So yeah. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Space Ninja.
- Thane Krios is a very religious alien assassin (aside from being an alien himself, he made his living hiring out his services to the Hanar, making him an alien who does assassinations for aliens), who manages to be stealthy despite his inability to keep his shirt buttoned. His intro scene involves quietly dropping out of an air vent and dispatching three heavily armed guards almost before they know he's there.
- Mass Effect 3's Cerberus Phantoms provide a straighter example. They're basically cybernetic ninja, cartwheeling around the battlefield until they get close enough to shank you. This follows with the increased focus on Melee combat in the third game.
- There's also Kai Leng, the Illusive Man's new enforcer, another cyborg who favors Sword and Gun style.
- Ninja Golf on the Atari 7800 is exactly what you'd expect. Here's a Classic Game Room review.
- N, Metanet Software's Flash platformer, lists 'Ninjas. Come on!' as a feature amongst 'physics-based' and '500 levels'.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All managed to sneak ninja into the series with the introduction of the "Jammin' Ninja" Show Within a Show.
- As mentioned above, the Fuschia Gym in the first and second generations of Pokemon games. In the third gen, there's a trainer class called the Ninja Boy; and the fifth gen has the Bug type Accelgor and the Shadow Triad.
- Secret Agent CLANK has a fair share of ninja robots.
- Red Alert 3 has Shinobis as the Empire of the Rising Sun's anti-infantry infiltrator unit.
- Deconstructed in Rhythm Heaven for the DS, where Dog Ninja trained in the art of ninjitsu, but then learned that "ninja" isn't a job anymore. As a result, his game is about cutting fresh produce.
- In Saints Row The Third, you can have Ninja in the Saints. They act just like other gang members, though. No Stock Ninja Weaponry or invisibility.
- In the DS game Scribblenauts, you can type in ninja and get one. Great fun, especially if you want to shoot a robot zombie ninja with a large laser gun.
- Secret Agent has both Ninja and Ninja Masters, two kinds of Mooks. The Ninja, clad in black and wielding nunchucks, is the fastest mook in the game and deals typical Collision Damage. The Ninja Master wears blue and is slower, but has a gun instead of nunchucks. Apparently, the true master of ninjutsu is one who realized that there's no point in using traditional melee weapons when ordinary firearms are more effective.
- StarCraft: The Protoss Dark Templar, who are psionic alien ninja
- And the Ghosts, who are psionic cyborg ninja!
- Suikoden is set in a fantasy world version of China with some medieval Europe added to the mix. Oh, and each game gives you one to three ninja to recruit in your army.
- Suikoden IV gives you five.
- And yet most people seem to consider that the worst of the main series. Inversion?
- Sheena Fujibayashi in Tales Of Symphonia.
- According to Buck Godot Zapgun For Hire ninja are just about the only thing every sentient species has in common. Many aliens species have wildly different definitions for such basic concepts as rest, food or death, yet every single one of them has a type of warrior that fits the "ninja archetype". Usually they tend to dress in black pajamas and wield katanas.
- NJ from Electric Wonderland uses the screenname "Night Ninja". When Trawn asked him what "NJ" stood for, he answered, "NinJa, I think..." (A later comic revealed that the "N" actually stands for "Nate".)
- In Everyday Heroes, Jane's mother, Hannah Anne Weapons is a ninja. Hey, she's a villain and she knows martial arts, so it's the only possible occupation, right?
- Although we haven't seen ninja in Grrl Power, the trope is referenced.
(Sydney screams and takes Kung Faux pose)
Sydney: You're not a ninja.
Reporter: You're expecting ninjas?
Sydney: Always expect ninjas.
- Little Gamers.
- Junpei in MegaTokyo. Not so l33t when it comes to video games, but in 'real' life he roxxor. Case in point.
- The Order of the Stick: When the gods remade the world, the Monkey decided he wanted Ninjas. So there they are.
- The ninja goblins, may be a bit much. But everyone loves ninja half-orcs and waitresses.
- The ninja mafia in Sam and Fuzzy started out like this (or appeared to) but became a major plot point.
- Schlock Mercenary: In the Mallcop Command plotline, a ninja unexpectedly shows up and starts jumping his way through the shopping mall.
- However, four 'ninjas' are no match for a guy with actual combat training.
- In Zero Zero Zero This Comic Appears First Alphabetically, A ninja is added only because the author thinks this.
- While the Ninja's presence in "Ask A Ninja" isn't exactly unexpected, the questions and answers pretty much take this trope and run with it.
- Linkara from AT4W — Ninja style dancer anyone?
- "How To Kill A Mockingbird"
- Ninja The Mission Force. Given that the series is an Affectionate Parody of the Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies, it kind of had to come with the territory.
- The beginning of episode 55 in Stupid Mario Brothers has Ryu fighting multiple ninja awesomely.
- Richard Han of Survival of the Fittest, while not actually a ninja, goofs off and pretends to be one for most of his time on the island. Which makes his first appearance on the island (being stuck in a tree) and his death by misstepping and falling off a mountain that much more funnier.
- We Are Our Avatars not only had a Ninja Arc, but has quite a few ninja amongst is heavy repertoire of characters.
- In the Whateley Universe, there's a rival school to Whateley Academy. It's the Yama Dojo, in Japan. So this means... ninja! In one of the first stories, a Five-Man Band superpowered ninja team sneaks into the school to steal a trophy for a final exam, only to be defeated by the 5 new freshmen students — before they had even had any combat training, to boot.
- This spoof of old-school platformers. (Warning: extreme Comedic Sociopathy)