Misty: But don't you think that color's a little bright for a ninja?
Aya: I don't need your fashion report!
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 (and technicolor) 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, and Overt Operative for the super-spy version. 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). Often overlaps With Catlike Tread if the ninjas are still considered to be stealthy despite actually being highly conspicuous.
- An advert for Vodafone handsets with colour displays featured a ninja in a bright rainbow suit.
- 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.
- Ninja Master Gara from Bastard!! (1988). 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.
- 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 Brave10, the background characters all look, act and dress period appropriately, but the main cast are loud, eccentric, misbehaving, badly and anachronistically dressed ninjas, simply because they are the protagonists. Poor Ana has the worst of it as it has to be tough to be a blonde, blue-eyed Russian-born infiltrator in 16th century Japan.
- Lampshaded and justified in A Certain Magical Index with the side-character Shuri Oumi, who wears a lot of pink in her outfit. According to her, she does it because her preferred tactic is getting her enemies' attention, which means they're less likely to notice her allies sneaking up behind them. She also has no shortage of tools for hampering her foes' sight anyways, such as flashlights or hot sauce.
- 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.
- Digimon Fusion 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.
- 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. Natsu proves he hasn’t learned anything when he does this again at one point in the final arc.
- 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).
- 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.
- The Girl Who Leapt Through Space 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 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.
- In Gundam Build Divers, there’s Aya’s Diver avatar “Ayame”, who wears a purple outfit, a red scarf and bares plenty of skin (granted, Aya herself seems more shy and reserved than she is as Ayame). Her mecha is the RX-Zeromaru, which is an SD ninja-themed version of the Unicorn Gundam, bearing a lot of white and red.
- The Maniwa Corps from Katanagatari, who all wear highly colourful and decorative animal-themed outfits, makeup and hairstyles.
- Mazinger Z: Blazas S1 and S2 were two ninja Mecha-Mooks the 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.
- Invoked by Yuka in My Monster Secret. Since ninjas are always secretive, she figures that the best way to hide that she is one is by not hiding her abilities at all. She is utterly shocked that everyone manages to figure out her secret.
- 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?"
- Pretty much every member of the cast of Naruto. Even ignoring the title character's road cone-orange wardrobe, all ninja go around wearing easily identifiable forehead protector headbands with their home village's emblem etched on it. It sometimes seems ninjutsu in the Naruto universe is less about stealth than showing off flashy, awe-inspiring jutsu.
- This is at least partially justified by the fact that the Shinobi of the Naruto world are the official military force of their respective nations. And just like how real-life militaries have soldiers who are trained in open front-line combat, and soldiers who are trained for covert special forces missions, the shinobi villages of Naruto have ninja who are trained in both stealth and open combat, while also having more "traditional" ninja who specialize in purely covert operations such as the Anbu.
- 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 when using this power is so fast, he can even dodge the attacks of A, the Fourth Raikage.
- Kakashi's signature move (later taught to Sasuke and becoming his signature as well), the Chidori (and its upgraded form Raikiri), is his "assassination" technique. Seeing as it consists of surrounding his hand with lightning, the glow makes it quite obvious. Moreover, not even a blind opponent would fail to notice it, because it's also very loud. Even in this world of Highly Visible Ninja, assassination techniques are normally sneaky ambush-based attacks. The Chidori, relies on the fact that it can pierce through any defense, and Kakashi and Sasuke are both fast enough that almost no one can dodge it.
- There are "real" ninjas in the form of the Anbu note , ninja 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.
- 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...
- The title character of Ninja Nonsense 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 Mission: Yozakura Family, Kyoichiro is a world-class spy, but he also uses social media constantly, which is why people learn about Taiyo's and Mutsumi's marriage. In fact, Taiyo is shocked at how many professional spies use social media.
- During My Hero Academia's provisional license exam, a group of these gang up on Todoroki. They all stand out in the open, making only one attempt at a sneak attack before launching into a demoralization speech, and all but one of them wear brightly-colored ninja outfits instead of the usual black.
- In Ninja Senshi Tobikage, you have robots designed as after ninjas. Somehow they can pull off the stealth, though.
- EVERYONE in Ninja Slayer. For starters, there's the titular protagonist whose uniform consists of a bright, distorted red fabric... and that's just the tamest. It doesn't help that the In-Universe rule book states that you have to openly (and loudly) greet other ninjas first before attempting to kill them.
- Justified in One-Punch Man by the assassin "Speed-O'-Sound" Sonic and the S-Class Hero Flashy "Lightspeed" Flash, both of whom, while certainly capable of stealth, have no qualms with appearing right before their targets and introducing themselves while stating their intent to kill them. It works in their favor because they can move faster than the eye can track and said boasting is usually the part where they give their opponents one last chance to run away or psyche them out before commencing with the head rolling faster than they can react to.
- Amusingly lampshaded in the Pokémon: The Original Series episode; "The Ninja Poké-Showdown", when the gang meets Aya (a supposed ninja clad in bright pink).
Misty: Don't you think that color is a little bright for a ninja?
Aya: I don't need your fashion report!
- Rurouni Kenshin:
- The Kyoto oniwabanshuu (who used to be the emperor's personal stealth intelligence/assassination squad, more or less) under the leadership of Misao's grandfather has gone more or less public, winning the support of the townspeople.
- Some other former members ended up as mercenaries lead by Aoshi, and they were employed as Highly Visible Bodyguards. (When there was a need for stealth, they were properly difficult to detect.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
"I CAME HERE TO MURDER YOU, YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
- Origami Cyclone in Tiger & Bunny takes this to its logical extreme. He's not only highly visible, but his whole point is to be seen as much as possible. Justified in that his superpower (the ability to shapeshift) is completely unsuited to the flashy high-profile superheroics that HeroTV demands, forcing him to fall back on being a walking billboard for the numerous real-life corporate sponsors plastered all over his costume as he photobombs HeroTV events whenever he can.
- Time Stop Brave: Kuzuno Sekai criticises Mikage for being this. She wears a skimpy kunoichi outfit that partially exposes her huge breasts and her red Fundoshi, causing Sekai to ask how she expects to conceal herself. To Mikage's credit, she is fast and skilled enough to Flash Step, disappear with a smoke bomb, or instantly replace herself with a Ninja Log.
- Justified in Tokyo Shinobi Squad. The titular shinobi are mercenaries who need to build up a brand through their actions and infamy. Because of this, they often loudly declare which group they belong to in order to spread their name far and wide to score contracts. Then there's their reliance on flashy supernatural ninpo arts.
- Megumi Oka from Voltes V is not only an Ace Pilot, but also a skilled kunoichi.
- 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.
- Marvel Comics:
- The Hand. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deadpool is an assasin who carries two swords and wears a bright red costume, which makes him highly visible. He's highly audible too, mainly because he never shuts the hell up.
- Deadpool once implied that he had actual ninja training when teaming up with Iron Fist.
- 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.
- Many of the ninja in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) 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 Retool 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).
- 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.
- And Ichi-Kun's ninja outfit shows a lot more skin than would seem wise.
- 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. 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.
- One-issue comic titled Canadian Ninja has the main character's costume patterned after the red-white Canadian flag.
- 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.
- A great deal of Naruto fanfics have a habit of characters in-story - Naruto himself sometimes included - giving a speech about how Naruto's "kill-me-orange" outfit is like painting a bulls-eye on oneself... often without 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 in how it plays with this trope: Shikako notes that wearing clothes that are good for stealth is less important than blending in with a civilian population.
- The recursive fanfiction to Dreaming of Sunshine, Sugar Plums makes an argument that both support ninja and front line fighters wear bright colors for different reason. Support ninjas so that their allies can find them easily on the field and frontline fighters because they're supposed to be the ones who draw the enemies' attention.
- Team 8 is one of the more popular, influential fics notable for deconstructing Naruto's orange attire and having him switch colors. Conversely, this trope is actually lampshaded and reconstructed later with the Akatsuki.
Naruto vaguely recalled the robes Itachi and Kisame wore, wondering why a secretive order of rogue ninjas would choose to wear such an obvious uniform. One chilling realization was that maybe they did so because they were just that good.
- 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 Expert who can give even ANBU the slip, and only gets caught by Iruka (and that is only because Naruto lets him). Better Left Unsaid has Naruto explain that he had the orange jumpsuit on to paint the monument because he noticed that at dawn, the monument is painted in bright orange sunlight, and so whoever wasn't in a position to be dazzled by it would only see orange.
- 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 surfboards. 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.
- In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, the third rule of the Ninja states "be stealthy on your objective unless you're better served by not being stealthy".
- In Boldores and Boomsticks, Koga explains to Ruby about the whole stagehand thing, and why his real ninja clan adopted it: The first reason is because it both intimidates people who don't know better, and gets those who do to underestimate them; and secondly when the samurai guarding a castle fight off a team of Highly-Visible Ninja, nobody notices the cook they hired last month slipping away with the vial of poison he just used to kill their lord. They actually make a year of "Pajama duty" a requirement for rookies.
- 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 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze:
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 now!
- 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 Raph is. "On the light, where else?" Raph then bounces off a chair to the ground, on his way down from the lightshade which could not possibly support a 150 lb turtle.
- 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.
- 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.
"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."
- Film critic Drew McWeeny of Hitfix.com in his review of the movie:
- 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.
- 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 high-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.
- Zigzagged in Sam Peckinpah's The Killer Elite (1975). The ninjas who try assassinating Chung at the airport are dressed as civilian passengers. Later Chung's daughter dresses up in black kabuki-gear while on the docks at night; while she blends in well, she's easily caught by Hansen. In the climax 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 warship 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. It's suggested however that he does this for ceremonial reasons, as he's not making any attempt to hide.
- Lady Ninja Kaede: Is bright pink really the best colour for a stealthy Ninja to be wearing?
- Miami Connection has the Big Bad the White Ninja. He’s Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Despite this, his minions do wear black, which helps when they go and wreck other drug dealers so they can take over.
- 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.
Go on then, give it your best ninj.
- 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, as a form of Contractual Genre Blindness (after all, if assassins are both legal and pragmatic, the only real thing one could do against them was sit in a room with a crossbow pointed at the door). 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.
- In another case, Vetinari's personal spies and assassins are also clerks. These Dark Clerks are very talented at being unnoticed and unassuming, helped by the fact that Vetinari also employs regular, non-sneaking, non-killing clerks. The trope comes into play when, in one book, Vetinari wants to make someone nervous, so he sends a non-ninja clerk to spy on him.
- Lampshaded and ridiculed by Cohen in Interesting Times, who kills three ninja while they are showing off
- 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.
- Infinite Dendrogram: The Tenchi-exclusive ninja class group includes both Ninja, which is described as having "the kind of flashy abilities foreigners think ninjas have", and Onmitsu, which specializes in disguise and infiltration techniques more similar to historical ninja.
- The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Assassins in Fantasyland wear black or have distinctive badges as a type of uniform. This naturally does not help them make covert hits on their targets, probably helping heroes easily kill them.
- Villains by Necessity: Sam is a similar example since as a professional assassin his work is clandestine, yet he (and his fellow assassins) wear all black clothing. This naturally causes him to stick out like a sore thumb, drawing much suspicion and stares, if not outright identifying him for anybody who's aware of their attire. It's somewhat justified as he once had many disguises he'd then use while selling these in hard times, also for nostalgia as the other assassins had been Whitewashed into becoming good citizens. However, even while on the run not getting less noticeable clothing is very dumb. Sam even makes himself more noticeable at one point by wearing a black scarf wrapped all around his head (also like a ninja).
- Arrow. Despite being an expy of The Hashshashin, mooks from the League of Assassins always leap out of the dark dressed in black, wielding a sword or bow and arrow. Only one of them is shown doing it the proper way, by spending weeks gaining the confidence of Thea Queen before trying to poison her.
- 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. In addition, during the testing phase the staged footage showing the weapons being used in context depicts ninja more realistically, for example posing as farmers during the kusarigama demo. To be fair, it's equally ridiculous for a Spartan to be just walking around fully equipped without the rest of his Phalanx.
- 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 / Power Rangers Ninja Steel). 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!
- At the least, Hurricaneger complimented this by having the team's support member, Oboro Hinata, send out special drones to erase the memories of people who did see the Hurricaneger whenever the Jakanja took the fight to the cities, as many battles took place outside of the city as well.
- 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.◊ At least in Kakuranger the ninja outfits they wore before morphing were black with just highlights the color of their hero 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." note
- Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya: The titular hero wears red and his sister and fellow ninja Emiha wears white. While none of the other ninjas wear very stealthy colors either, Strowver wears flashy gold and has a special ability that needs to be seen in order to work.
- 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...
- The Hand in Daredevil (2015), Iron Fist (2017) and The Defenders (2017). Though they're not as overt about it as their comic book counterparts, the Hand's ninja outfit consists of a muted, dark maroon color. This is also inverted for the Hand's more secretive members like Bakuto and his followers, who often dress like civilians and are virtually indistinguishable.
- Unsurprisingly, the Foot Clan ninja in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Data East) pinball machine are dressed in bright purple full-body uniforms.
- 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 Ninja, 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.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Space Marines 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 thing is, the "rank and file" Astartes are Nigh-Invulnerable monstrosities who can walk through hails of bullets with no damage to their armor and can even withstand direct hits from tank shells, so camouflage is completely unneeded.
- 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.
- Many of the stealthier characters in Warhammer actually have sensible outfits canonically. However, given that a large part of the game involves players painting their own miniatures, they often end up sporting bright, clashing primary colours anyway.
- The Tyranids' Norn Emissary, introduced in 10th Edition, is described as a stealthy hunter purpose-bred for the infiltration of enemy strongholds in order to assassinate or abduct specific high-value targets within. The Norn Emissary is also one of the largest monsters a Tyranid player can field in a regular game of Warhammer 40,000, being larger than its intended prey by at least one order of magnitude.
- Monsterpocalypse: The bio-engineered ninja of the Shadow Sun Syndicate become the size of buildings as soon as a fight breaks out.
- 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.
- Dungeons & Dragons provides no penalties to Hide checks for wearing bright pink.
- An issue of Dragon introduces elemental-based ninja variants, one of which is the fire ninja. The text notes that while a flashy ninja seems 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.
- Pathfinder: The Red Mantis Assassins are a Murder, Inc. that is also a cult worshiping Achaekek, the god of assassination and divine punishment. They are infamous for wearing a uniform of red leather, complete with helmet in the shape of a mantis head, when carrying out assassinations. This is somewhat of a Justified Trope though since one of Achaekek's edicts is to spread the group's infamy, which they need to be at least somewhat visible to do effectively. On top of that, it's implied that the more obviously uniformed members of their order might partly be there to act as a diversion for their more inconspicuous fellows to carry out the actual hit.
- 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. Played with in the mission to deliver a burger unseen to a Science Fiction convention. One way to succeed is to beat a very easy Disguise roll, almost guaranteed as all you have to do is look like you "aren't *really* a ninja".
- 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.
- In a straighter example, the Skaven of Clan Scully yearn to imitate the stealthy ways of the assassins and spies of Clan Eshin. However, their habit of wearing heavy, clanking armor and bright red cloaks makes this a touch difficult.
- 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".
- Stealth specialists face a certain problem in Exalted: normally, when they use their supernatural powers above a certain threshold, they start to glow. Normal solution is to be of a certain power archetype that allows them to pay a small extra cost in order to suppress it. Users of the Crystal Chameleon Style Martial Arts go the opposite way, which got the style dubbed Disco Ninja Style by the game's community. Once the fight had started, they immediately dial the glow up to eleven, turning into a blinding psychedelic lightshow. (And on higher levels, turn themselves transparent as well.) You may know that a practitioner is somewhere around, but finding their location precisely is another matter entirely. Although the style doesn't provide mechanical benefits to stealth beyond merely allowing it to happen, the "cover" it provides allows them to prepare and launch sneak attacks as normal. Or they just fight "openly" and enjoy very big buffs to their dodging ability.
- 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◊ 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.
- The joke set Unstable introduces the Nebulous Evil Organisation S.N.E.A.K. who has a few ninjas in their ranks. Considering that comedic nature of the set, it's no surprise that these ninjas fall hard into this trope. Except one.
- Coming Out of Their Shells:
- Most versions of the turtles, no matter how unsubtle they were, were at least taught by Splinter to practice stealth. Not this version. This version of Splinter taught them to start a rock band and go up on stage in front of millions of people to play music, making their status as ninja more of an Informed Attribute.
- The Shredder and his Foot Ninja are just as guilty, the Shredder boasting — or should we say ''yelling at the top of his lungs — about his Evil Plan to the audience.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The outfits are problematic, too. All of the series's protagonists are dressed in white with hoods, which was inconspicuous in Altair's time (the local priests wore similar clothes, and good luck trying to justify "kill them all and let God sort it out" on those), but sticks out like a blindingly white sore thumb in other settings.
- 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 Altaïr, 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 Altaïr'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.
- Most 80s video games with ninja villains, especially Bad Dudes vs. Dragoninja.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cain from Binary Domain is a subversion. He's a robot ninja with a stark white paint-job that really stands out, but this actually helps him with being stealthy; domestic robots in this setting are mostly painted glossy white for identification purposes, and Cain is a ninja in the realistic sense of being a secret agent/assassin capable of easily blending in. The bright color-scheme makes him look like a harmless butler robot, allowing him to move freely through areas without arousing suspicion.
- 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 (thus making him also a Highly Audible Ninja. Stealthy). 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."
- Body Blows: The character Ninja (yes that is his name. Yeah, we know very creative), by default of being a contender in a fighting tournament, fights his opponents out in the open in plain sight. However, he does somewhat subvert this trope in the same manner as Smoke and Reptile (mentioned under the Mortal Kombat entry above) in that he can turn himself invisible for a short amount of time.
- Carmen Sandiego is impossible to put in jail despite her flowing black hair, giant red hat, and red Badass Longcoat making her an incredibly obvious target. She's just that good at stealing things.
- None of the "ninja" in their Dead or Alive series seems all that eager to avoid notice (not just Ryu).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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).
- In the first game, Flonne pretends to be a ninja when she's infiltrating the Overlord's castle. This amounts to running around and making sound effects (and the occasional "Nin nin nin!"). Of course, Flonne isn't an actual ninja, but rather an idiot.
- Dishonored plays this straight with the Assassins, who acrobatically attack in broad daylight and can usually be spotted and sniped from a distance before they detect Corvo.
- Dragon Age:
- 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.
- The Iron Bull in Dragon Age: Inquisition is a spy for the qunari. He tells everyone he meets this. If you ask him about this, he says that as an 8 foot tall bull-man, it's pretty much impossible to blend in, so if he tried to be sneaky nobody would trust him. Instead, they see a one-eyed mercenary who spends all his free time drinking and screwing anyone willing to say yes and think he's just taken one too many warhammers to the skull.
- Dynamite Dux has red dog ninjas as enemies.
- 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."
- 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.
- Fierro from Eternal Eden is a ninja who wears a bright red armor and fights in the open using his Nun-chucks. When his teammates question his choice of colour, he instead talks about bravery and courage.
- 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.
- EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce has Shura Shashu, two ninjas clad in bright red.
- 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. Old World Blues adds the American-counterpart Stealth Suit Mk II, which has reflective white strips running all over the body, and an onboard voice to boot.
- 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. On the other hand, Mai also consciously noted that dressing up like this is what a Shiranui kunoichi like her does for deception, so dressing in a Stripperiffic manner is her way to disguise her actual competence as a ninja.
- Final Fantasy VII: Unlike other examples, Yuffie doesn't care whether anyone sees her. In fact, she prefers it when they do 'cuz it gives her the chance to brag about herself and showoff her ninja skills. Partly justified by her Patriotic Fervor, as she'll readily identity herself as, "The Single White Rose of Wutai", a title she gave herself as their greatest ninja (so she says).
- 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 .
- Yugiri Mistwalker of Final Fantasy XIV, when she first appears and until the Stormblood expansion, wears a bright purple top and skirt with a dark silver chain-mail-covered boots. Gets even worse in the Stormblood expansion where she ditches that look for one that really pushes into this trope including a dark pink scarf and plenty of metallic protrusions.
- Yugiri's outfit is actually somewhat justified in universe: firstly its *armour*, ment to be used when sneaking is no longer an option, secondly she commands other ninjas who are far more discrete note so she is clearly aware of how to dress sneakly, and thirdly she can straight up turn invisable which makes her choice of atire not matter in the slightest for when it comes to remaining unseen.
- 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.
- 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. Ken calls the former out on this in Street Fighter IV.
"Don't get me wrong. I really like red. I just don't think it suits a ninja."
- The Black Fang in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is generally described as a secretive and elite assassin group, but operate much more like your typical army in the series. Ursula, one of the more infamous bosses in the game, rides a horse through castle halls and attacks with magical thunderbolts, something that should really blow any hope of stealth out of existence.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- Kingdom Hearts recurring villain Larxene represents the Ninja class from Final Fantasy, but her personality being a loud, abrasive Card-Carrying Villain means she never makes an effort to sneak up on anybody. In battle she actually makes use of the trope in a remarkably practical fashion, achieving misdirection not by being invisible, but by being so visible that she drowns out the player's ability to tell which incoming attacks are real and which are just for show.
- 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."
- League of Legends zig-zags this with its ninja characters.
- Akali is pretty reasonable, bright green garb aside. She makes heavy use of smoke bombs that render her invisible.
- Kennen is small and wears dark clothing, but he also runs around tossing lightning everywhere.
- Shen is a tank character whose moveset includes a spell to force enemies to attack him. The only remotely ninja-like thing he can do is teleport across the map to suddenly protect a team member with his ultimate, Stand United.
- Zed uses shadow magic to trick opponents and sneak around- however, he also wears bright, silvery armor. Fellow champion (but not ninja) Tahm Kench even has a taunt for him about it. Supplementary material, at least, reveals that the armor he wears in gameplay is specifically a battle outfit, and that he wears clothing much better suited to blending in for assassinations.
- Kayn goes shirtless and wields a gigantic Sinister Scythe. However, he's also capable of phasing through walls to attack unwary champions. Rhaast, on the other hand, just forgoes stealth altogether in favor of carnage, but he's a Darkin, not a ninja.
- Mega Man X: Command Mission got party member Marino, a 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.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance stars Raiden, who styles himself after ninjas. While the Metal Gear series is famous for it's stealth focused gameplay, Rising mostly drops the stealth aspect for a quick, action-based game in which you fight a number of enemies in broad daylight head on. While stealth is still possible, it's rather clear that it's more practical to just rush in with your weapon in tow and let your presence be known to the enemies as you slice them in twain.
- Mercenary Force: One of your mercenary selections is a ninja. He is dressed in the iconic black outfit, fires a shuriken and his projectiles are faster but have a shorter range than fellow mercenary, the servant. His transformation is the "Spirt of the Wind", a monster that is surrounded by a shield of shuriken.
- 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 an easier 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).
- Void Walker demons from Nexus Clash are, in the lore, supposed to be barely-real whispers in the shadows whose very existence cannot be confirmed by any physical means. They have plenty of powers that make this the most sensible play style, but plenty of people play Void Walkers who operate openly with no subtlety whatsoever, and there's nothing really stopping them.
- Ninja Assault. Long story short, you play a ninja with guns!note
- 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.
- In the first level of the original 1988 NES game, Ryu runs through New York dressed as a ninja in broad daylights. Small wonder the enemies are able to find him so easily.
- Ryu Hayabusa is more likely a reconstruction, however. He can afford to be highly visible because he has the possession of what could quite possibly the greatest swords in his verse, the Dragon Sword, so if he meets his enemies, they probably won't live to tell the tale. In addition, stealth works well against humans... but not so much on demons and fiends, which Ryu constantly faced. Additionally, Ryu lives in a hidden ninja village far from human civilization so he does not attract any unwanted attention from the commonfolk as his form of 'stealth'; he only comes out when the situation is dire enough and he's asked to take on a dire mission, where demons and fiends are mostly involved.
- Ninja Jajamaru-kun wears a bright red uniform. But gost darn it, is he ever CUTE.
- All the ninjas of Ninja Town don't use any stealth. Especially the Anti Ninja, who wears bright orange in a Shout-Out to Naruto.
- 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. The remake of the latter, The Ninja Warriors Once Again has a new playable character in Raiden — a 32-ton, 4-meter tall Transforming Mecha who's also a ninja.
- 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.
- 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. (The original manual states they aren't ninja at all, but a type of demon so named because it looks like a stereotypical ninja.)
- 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.
- Despite being a ninja, Kogoro Tenzai from Project × Zone doesn't really do any ninja work and he outright states that the ninja business is going dry and he chooses to work as a private detective instead.
- 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.
- Red Alert 3:
- The Empire's ninja's dress in the usual all-black outfit, adding some cloth streamers presumably for the purpose of looking cool as they flap in the Dramatic Wind. They are able to use stealth, however: their Smoke Bomb ability force enemies to stop targeting them even though they remain visible. Note that the Empire does have stealth (or at least disguise technology), but it's only applied to their otherwise-Defenseless Transports.
- The Allied spy has the ability to disguise himself as infantry, meaning he won't be attacked by the disguising player's units until revealed. This trope comes into play when he disguises himself as infantry and moves across terrain the unit normally can't (such as a guy swimming while carrying a missile-launcher or in a suit of Powered Armor, or worse, a dolphin on land).
- 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...
- Samurai Warriors:
- Pick any of the ninja. You will be able to see them—though, obviously, given their status as surprise assassin masters, they may not appear on the map for you to fight unless the plot calls for them. While playing as them, some games give the player the ability to traverse "secret" passages and reward them for not being spotted by the enemy until it is too late.
- Mook-type ninjas even have the ability to temporarily hide under ground and avoid damage.
- 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 while there is a full moon. To no-one's surprise but hers, the attempt fails and she would have face-planted several hundred feet down if not for Hanzo. Considering that she wasn't supposed to be a ninja in the first place or in history (but gameplay-wise designed because she had to fill in for the omitted Kunoichi in the 2nd game—and by the way, this Kunoichi isn't any better with her openly white-pink outfit)—it kind of make sense.
- Speaking of Hanzo, he favors the traditional "kabuki prop guy" (i.e. black pajama) costume, which works great at night and in darkened corners of castles... not so much in broad daylight. Considering historically he's a Samurai who excels at ninjutsu, it kind of makes sense if he uses the style of 'Samurai by day, Ninja by night'. By Samurai Warriors 4, he's even wearing shiny steel armaments on top of the black pajamas, making him equally visible by day or night.
- 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).
- Sengoku Basara brings us Kasuga, whose Stripperiffic outfit with its gold accents and a Navel-Deep Neckline 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.
- In Senran Kagura, most student Shinobi wear school uniforms, which are generally pretty discreet (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.
- Shadow Hearts: From The New World: Frank the Polish-American Brazilian Ninja is about as stealthy as a clown (and kind of looks like one too). Let's start with his getup - he wears a bright-red costume with a chestplate in the form of a demonic face, and a headgear with a glowing anglerfish-like "lure" hanging from it. 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?"
- Shadow Warrior (1997): Lo Wang operates more like a Asian Duke Nukem than an actual ninja. One of the weapons in his arsenal is essentially a miniature nuclear warhead. The ninja Mooks also apply, their main weapon is an Uzi. (They do have more mobility, able to climb, duck and hide, than the average video game enemy of the era, and some of their higher rank counterparts will both use invisibility and try to blind you.)
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero takes this to the point of parody. Shantae clearly does not understand the first thing about stealth, with such brilliantly stealthy tactics as loudly announcing when she's using her skills, giving her name seconds after she says she should hide it, and claiming to be a tree while standing in plain sight in an open field. (The character she's attempting to fool on that third one complains of all the "tree impersonators" that are constantly bothering him.)
- 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.
- 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, but Up to Eleven.
- 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 titular character of the Sinjid series rarely practices stealth despite being a ninja, and tends to fight his enemies out in the open. Granted, the point of the games is to destroy every single enemy in your way, and there are certain attacks and items in the third game can make him invisible for a short while, but that doesn't stop him from rushing into battle most of the time.
- Slashers: The Power Battle: Mirei Ozawa is a kunoichi clad in pink who is also armed with an oversized Kunai among her otherwise well concealed weapons.
- The Yakuza ninjas in Soldier of Fortune play this straight as an arrow, not even bothering with stealth tactics.
- From Soulcalibur:
- Taki 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... talents of hers. Seriously, it seems more like she's naked and simply painted her whole body red, rather than wearing a skintight suit. Her disciple Natsu is arguably worse, as her bodysuit exposes most of her legs. Additionally, Taki stands at about 5'7". While unremarkable by today's standards, she's practically a giant for a Japanese woman in the 16th century. Even if she were to ditch the bodysuit (at least temporarily) and disguise herself as a commoner, she'd stick out anyway due to her abnormal height.
- Yoshimitsu always dresses in a very elaborate, brightly colored costume, complete with an increasingly grotesque mask and a sashimoto banner flying behind him. Combined with his exaggerated, Kabuki-style mannerisms and his Fighting Clown persona, it's pretty obvious that stealth is not his strong suit. Somewhat justified in that he gave up being a ninja some time after the second game to become a chivalrous thief, but you'd still expect some kind of subtlety from that profession.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Nintendo Land minigame Takamaru's Ninja Castle has origami ninjas of many colors as targets. The pink ones are the only ones that use any actual stealth - it's hard to see them when they're hiding in the cherry blossoms.
- Saga Frontier 2: The Scorpion assassins don't bother with mundane methods of stealth because they use Anima to appear unremarkable to outsiders. When they run into Gustave, who has zero Anima sensitivity, he immediately notices the weird pajama-wearing doofuses and chases them off.
- 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 with a huge pink bow on her back. Even Kuchinawa, who is the closest thing to the stereotypical ninja, wears bright red.
- 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.
- Rikimaru from the Tenchu series typically has no problem hiding from his enemies, though you'd think he might have an even easier time about it if he'd slap a do-rag over his eye-catching white coiffure.
- In part 2, his outfit was a dark green, which is actually a better color than black for nighttime camouflage.
- 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.
- Zig-zagged and Played for Laughs with the Yiga Clan in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Like real-life ninja, they would appear as ordinary folk indistinguishable from any other character note you'd find on Hyrule's roads, with some even selling you items. However, they also wear bright red and white outfits and combine their Teleport Spam with a very obvious laugh, telegraphed attacks and a susceptibility to bananas.
- The sequel The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom continues the zig-zag: the Yiga have expanded the range of their disguises to inanimate objects, yet they're also seen piloting large, conspicuous vehicles around hideouts. Link himself can don a set of Yiga armor, which gives him a stealth bonus...but if he's caught wearing it in Gerudo Town, he is instantly jailed until he takes it off.
- 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.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, the vampire hunters' idea of sneakily staking out two clubs they know to be owned by vampires is to show up in full vampire hunting gear (complete with katana) and just kind of stand around, looking incredibly out of place and menacing. The one hunter who does go undercover, by posing as a sex worker, decides for some reason to keep her sword in her locker at the strip club she's trying to infiltrate. Small wonder that both vampires are onto them.
- Warframe has this as a part of the playerbase culture under the name 'Fashion Frame'.Yes, this is supposed to be stealthy.
- The Ninjas from Wii Play: Motion wear yellow, blue and red suits, the last two contrasting rather well with the greenish high grass of the environment.
- WinBack has this with the assassin-type mooks, as well as the ninja boss Jin.
- Spoofed in the artwork for the World of Warcraft TCG. That same artwork is used in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft for the Ogre Ninja card, now with equally stealthy voice acting!
Head One: Sneaky!Head Two: SHHH, QUIET!
- 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.
- Her predecessor (her dad) actually did have a secret identity and a perfectly normal day job, which he used to help steal. Stealing and leaking damaging info on shady businesses to the media was just a hobby. Despite the theatrics used to inform the media - like his near-literal calling card - Yatasaguru I never left a shred of evidence behind, and was so good companies wouldn't even realize they'd been robbed until the news broke. Correction: predecessors. It helped that one of the three members was the lead investigator, who could make evidence disappear.
- Every kunoichi in the Ecchi gacha VN Moe! Ninja Girls dresses like the sexiest ninja cosplay you can imagine, with each and every one of them having their plus-sized boobies hanging out. At least Enju's and Tengge's costumes are black (and in Tengge's case, skintight, more resembling a biker suit unzipped to the waist); Ricka's snow-themed outfit makes her look like a cross between a figure skater and a burlesque dancer (complete with an eye-catching fox-pattern face mask to hide her face and a jaw-dropping display of camel toe to ensure you wouldn't be looking at it anyway), while underclassman Myu wears a short, bright pink off-the shoulder kimono (revealing breasts far too large for a girl her size) which literally makes her look like a traditional Japanese courtesan. Akari's (a hand-me-down from her mother) looks kind of like Enju's, except that it's bright crimson. Even the blatantly-Stripperiffic ninja cosplay that the members of the Ninja-Seeking Club who aren't actually ninja themselves make for everyone to wear looks positively conservative by comparison. The highly visible nature of Ricka's outfit actually kicks off the plot, as it was Johnny catching a glimpse of her attempting to assassinate the player character on his way home that inspired him and Akari to form the Ninja-Seeking Club in the first place- if anything, the strange part is that he actually realised she was a ninja rather than, say, an unusually violent go-go dancer.
- As to what the main character and other male ninjas look like in their outfits, the game doesn't really care, although Johnny's (and presumably the MC's) ninja cosplay is a more conservative "traditional Japanese ninja robes" look.
- 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.
- Parodied with Gooey Chewie's ninja ancestor in The Grossery Gang webseries. He thinks he's a stealthy ninja, but in reality, he's horrible at hiding and performing surprise attacks. The other Grosseries simply pretend they can't see him, purely so they don't hurt his feelings.
- 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
ThanksgivingKatanaka 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!. Fifteen years later IRL, the generalization of masks in planes would make them much less conspicuous.
- 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.
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.
- From this comic:
- 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.
- Miss Melee opens with a stealthy attack by green-and-yellow-clad Brazilian ninjas.
- 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 & 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.
- Tecmo from Consolers dresses in bright red ninja gear, tends to be an overly dramatic Large Ham, narrates his own actions while trying to be stealthy, and goes right up to Namco to swear his petty revenge against him.
- Zigzagged in Freefall with a classy restaurant operated by French ninja. Most of the waitstaff wear Japanese stagehand "ninja" costumes modified with striped sweaters and berets, and serve food through various secret passages to avoid being seen by the patrons. However, when unobtrusive service is impossible, a staff member in ordinary formalwear will pose as a fellow restaurant patron and distract the real guests with friendly small talk while the meal is served behind their backs. The chef points out that the latter is what a ninja really should look like.
Henri: The ultimate compliment to Ninja craftsmanship. To see what has been done and swear that it could not be possible.
- Casey and Andy: During the "Mount of Mages" story arc, the Quantum Ninja is shown to wear an all-black outfit that still exposes a lot of cleavage. In the artist's notes the creator acknowledges that her outfit is absolutely useless for stealth purposes but that "I'm a filthy, filthy pig of a man who loves boobs, so she had to be showing some merchandise."
- Oinkbane the Wereboar Assassin is a comical version of the trope who takes full advantage of the Kansas City Shuffle to catch his targets by surprise while making it very clear that he's present and after them. For example, you'll see a pig rooting in an enclosure that is clearly a wereboar... but Oinkbane was disguised as your guard all along.
- 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 (heavily implied to be Naruto) 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. (Or the "Secret" refers to who they are in mufti rather than where.) The novel indicates the Secret Police are Night Vale's normal police, they just decided one day to call themselves the Sheriff's Secret Police without actually changing anything about how they operated.
- 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.
- This is a Pet-Peeve Trope for Gaijin Goombah. In discussing who is the best video game ninja, the likes of Ryu Hayabusa and Strider reduce him to Angrish and the lead character of Mark of the Ninja turns him into The Knights Who Say "Squee!".
- Yuffie is just as loud and boisterous in Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged as she is in canon, except here, Tifa clearly demonstrates why this is a bad idea.
- Played for Laughs with the "Steiner Scout Squad" shorts of the Black Pants Legion, the stories of a Battletech scout lance who do their scouting in the traditional Steiner manner: Using the 100-ton heavy "Atlas" Humongous Mecha as a scout vehicle.
- 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 Sumo Ninja sort of misses the whole point. It's funny in its own way.
- Embarrassment Ninjas are hit-and-miss depending on what they are doing.
- Ron had trouble hiding in the shadows when he tried to be all ninja. Now that he has gotten control of Mystical Monkey Powers...he turns into a glowing, floating, giant monkey battle aura ninja.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero:
- 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.
- 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. (She was apparently dressed by some of the animals she takes care of; due both to having different sensoria and maybe an effect of her magic causing animals to accept her, it might very well be effective camouflage from their perspective.)
- 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.
- PJ Masks: One of the nighttime villains is Night Ninja. Both he and his minions, the Ninjalinos, hardly ever try to be stealthy, especially since Night Ninja loves to be in the spotlight.
- Prowl from Transformers: Animated is an interesting subversion/deconstruction; he’s a perfectly skilled and stealthy ninja... on Cybertron. Now he’s on Earth, where he’s a giant robot. Naturally this makes it extremely difficult to be sneaky and forces him to rely more on his combat skills, a fact he takes some time to adjust to. He’s still got his alt mode to hide with, but there are only so many situations where a black and gold motorcycle (a type often used by the police) blends in perfectly. And it especially doesn’t help that the Autobots have their cover blown early on, meaning the general public is fully aware that nearby vehicles may be robots in disguise.
- Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja: The Ninja of Norrisville operates in broad daylight and has been a highly regarded public figure for years. Randy is skilled enough to use stealth whenever he needs to, though.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has cheese ninjas, who are naturally bright yellow in coloration. They work for a "cheese shogun" who kidnaps people, including Nubahs 2 and 4, to work in his cheese mines.
- The ninja of Ninjago all wear bright colors that match their element yet somehow manage to be sneaky (well, most of the time... okay, some of the time) despite this. The only exception is Cole, whose costume is black to match him being the Master of Earth.
- South Park: In "Good Times with Weapons", the boys call themselves ninjas, but don't attempt to hide or disguise themselves at any point.
- According to a classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) 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 both the trope description and the first listed Real Life instance, the watch-wait-strike principle was in play here. Before anything else, ninja 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 if needed, 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."
- In October 2021, 35-year-old Gino Rivera dressed in stereotypical ninja garb and wounded two U.S. Army special ops officers at an airport in California with a katana and a rock, forgoing stealth entirely as he simply walked up to them and asked questions before initiating his assault. When police arrived at the scene he reportedly fled while No-Selling their baton rounds, before being brought down by a taser.
- It has been alleged that the strange way Russian President Vladimir Putin walks is because of KGB training to always be ready to go for his sidearm. If true, it would be an example of this, since KGB operatives would stick out like a sore thumb having a distinctive walk. Of course, it isn't true, and Putin was nothing more than a paper pusher in the KGB, reportedly kept away from field work since his over-eagerness to expend assets made him a liability.