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Kite Riding

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When I said, "Go fly a kite," this isn't what I had in mind.

Flight is cool. Kites are cool. So it stands to reason that flying on kites would be even cooler. This trope is when flight is provided by riding a giant kite.

While the trope is usually seen as used by ninjas, that doesn't limit examples to just when it's used by them.

Subtrope of Flight. Related to Rule of Cool. Not to be confused with kiting.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Windmasters has Doraemon and friends visiting the Wind Village, whose citizens, including the gang's new friend Temujin, can control the wind. Cue Doraemon taking out a giant kite - which he calls the "Dora Kite" - so everyone can take a ride on it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!. The anime-exclusive ninja duelist Jean Claude Magnum uses a magic card called "Great Kite of Ninja" to let one of his Ninjas fly. After he loses, an actor in a costume of the monster uses an actual giant kite to kidnap his opponent.
  • There was an episode of Digimon Adventure 02 where Shurimon ties himself to a kite and introduces himself to a villain who wishes to fight him whilst airborne and stuck to the kite.
  • In one episode of Miss Machiko, one of the main students and a teacher end up flying on a giant kite by accident and eventually fall into a sauna where the eponymous Ms. Machiko is bathing (of course).
  • Bleach. In anime episode 355 Izuru Kira arranges a kite-flying contest between the Soul Reaper squads. As the contest gets competitive, Ikkaku Madarame and Captain Soi Fon fly using their squads' kites. As they fight with each other Izuru Kira comes flying in on his own kite to break it up but crashes.
  • The current page image is E-91 Lady Ninja, one of Dr. Eggman's Robots of the Week in Sonic X. When Rouge the Bat tries to fly off with a Chaos Emerald, Lady Ninja extends the kite out of her back to give chase.
  • In one Lupin III episode, the evil Fuuma Ninja use large shinobi kites to reach the top of Tsukikage Castle, with Goemon using another ninja kite to reach and duel them.
  • In Yaiba, Goemon Ishikawa makes his exit after his introduction by grabbing a wall panel which is promptly pulles off the wall by his minions and turned into an impromptu ninja kite.


  • In Ben and Me, Ben rigs a platform on his kite for Amos and a zipline he can ride down, which Amos enjoys immensely. As Ben begins to study electricity, he hints multiple times that Amos riding on the kite during a thunderstorm would greatly benefit his study. Amos declines. However, the day Franklin "discovers" electricity, he sends Amos up in the kite like usual — and Amos doesn't find out till too late that he's removed the zipline.
  • In David Brin's The Practice Effect, someone carrying a large umbrella was caught in a powerful storm, which gave him the brainstorm for a kite. For a long time, tethered kites with soldiers riding them were used for patrol and defense, then another genius had a lucky/unlucky break when his tether broke and he invented a hang-glider, which became the word in advanced warfare, until Wizard Nuel came from a distant land...
  • The Kite Rider, a children's story set during China's Song dynasty and the reign of Kublai Khan. Before setting out on a voyage a ship's crew "tests the wind" by sending a kite with a man attached into the air. The man dies during the flight and his soul goes into the clouds. Later the man's son must ride a kite into the clouds to save his widowed mother from being forced to marry the man who killed her husband.
  • Rowan of Rin: The Forerunners of the Travellers use large silken kites to fly ahead of the rest of the tribe and warn of potential dangers, the cover depicts them being shaped like gliders.
  • In Tom Swift and the Cosmic Astronauts Tom Swift Jr. invents a "space kite" which uses cosmic rays as the "wind" and a gravity accelerator as the virtual string to keep it tethered to a body (planet, asteroid, etc.). It's designed for two people to be in. He gets this idea from watching some kids fly a regular kite.
  • In King and Emperor the Waymen experiment with manned kites, mostly crewed by young boys. The kite crews wear a winged pendant for Volund, smith of the gods who made wings to fly away from his captors. Shef makes a kite for himself as well, but doesn't fly it very well, to his eventual detriment.
  • Dies The Fire. Norman Arminger and his Portland Protective Association is able to use his knowledge of medieval history to dominate the post-Change world, but it's pointed out there are some things they didn't have back then, like hang-gliders, so one is used to fly someone in behind the walls of a PPA castle at night so the gates can be opened.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Japanese pilot Yamamoto is introduced being strapped to a kite and having to be pulled back on the ground to check the news of the big international air race between London and Paris.
  • An ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi uses a kite to attack the AT-ST Walkers from above.
  • The third Swordsman film, The East is Red, has a scene where a couple of samurai launch an aerial assault while on kites.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the team can use their Five Elements Shurikens' Wood technique to generate a kite for this very purpose. AoNinger's dragon mecha is also summoned to the battlefield by kite. As their name suggests, these are examples of the ninja application of this trope.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The semi-nomadic Yellow-Red Chanari of Rocket Age's Mars use one man gliders, which give their highland fortresses the impression of being nests for great flying animals.

    Video Games 
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria: Many of the flight masters on Pandaria send you aloft on ornate Pandaren kites that can cross the entire continent. Such kites are available as flying mounts as well.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has Zangetsu the ninja, who uses the ability "Human Kite" to fly into the air and then dive down to attack enemies.
  • The Gladiator have enemy archers on eagle kits as a Goddamned Bats variety of enemy, who can snipe you out of the air while you're busy dealing with bosses.
  • Kid Niki: Radical Ninja has enemy ninjas riding on kites.
  • Samurai Warriors: Nene, being a Highly Visible Ninja, attempts to spy on an enemy castle by flying on a huge-ass, bright yellow kite (to go with her equally bright yellow outfit, naturally) 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.
  • The Legend of the Mystical Ninja has a goofy cutscene with Dr. Yang (Ebisumaru) flying on a kite. The Boss Battle against Sasuke begins with him deploying a group of ninjas from a giant kite, then he brings the kite closer as the battlefield for the final phase.
  • In Shinobi III: The Ninja Master, Round 2 begins with you riding a horse in the foreground while ninjas dismount kites flying in the background and run after you.
  • In Ninja Spirit, the Stage 5 Boss Battle is with the Tribe of the Nine Wind Demons, all nine of whom are arranged on a giant flying kite emblazoned with the kanji 影 ("shadow"). Smaller kites carrying individual enemy ninja appear in the following stage.
  • T Iger Road have kite-riding ninjas as an Airborne Mook enemy when your hero tries climbing up a waterfall.
  • In the Famicom Platform Game Time Zone, the 1632 world ends with a rooftop Boss Battle against a ninja on a kite.
  • The purple Imps in Ōkami use this technique. They can be knocked off them with Galestorm.
  • In Wii Play: Motion, the second, ninja-themed level of Trigger Twist has some of the ninjas approach the player with this technique.
  • The second level of Wrath of the Black Manta has the player fly a kite through an Unexpected Shmup Level segment where the Black Manta shoots down other ninjas flying kites.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity: Impa of the ninja-like Sheikah uses her Paraglider this way, attaching the corners to her hands and feet to glide as if it was a kite. Master Kohga does the same thing when he's unlocked.
  • Monster Hunter: Rise: In keeping with Kamura Village's Far East/Japanese aesthetic, the Meowcenaries in this game are seen riding kites when going on missions for materials.
  • In the "Twilight of Edo Japan" chapter of Live A Live, this is how Oboromaru gets to the castle of the Ode Clan.

    Western Animation 
  • The Famous Studios cartoon "Suddenly It's Spring" from 1944 has Raggedy Ann dangle from a kite's tail in order to speak with Mister Sun.
  • An aggressive bulldog climbs up the tether to an airborne kite in Tex Avery's cartoon "Ventriloquist Cat" from 1950. The trickster cat throws his voice at the kite to make the bulldog think he's hiding there.
  • In the CatDog episode "Hail The Great Meow-Woof", the titular duo travel to a jungle island by use of a giant kite, where they meet up with Rancid Rabbit who is acting as the king of said island.
  • In Toy Story 3, Woody gets out of Sunnyside Daycare by riding a kite.
  • In the Disney short Ben and Me, Amos Mouse rides in a pocket on Benjamin Franklin's kite on the fateful day that Ben discovers electricity.
  • In T.U.F.F. Puppy, Bird Brain's ultimate goal is to learn how to fly. In the episode that introduces his character, he is briefly seen flying by riding a $4.00 kite.
  • The Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Kiwi's Big Adventure" has the Rangers attempt to recover the Ranger plane from a tribe of flightless kiwis, who think it will somehow bestow its power of flight upon them. Ultimately, the Rangers outfit the kiwis with box kites, at one kiwi per kite, which allows them to "fly" above the treetops.
  • Franklin. In "Franklin and Snail's Dream," Snail's dream is to fly, and among the many different ways Franklin tries to help Snail achieve his dream is by placing him in a plastic cup that is attached to a kite, much to Beaver's dismiss, as she worries Snail would fall out and crack his shell.
  • Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner: Wile E. Coyote once tried to fly by running off a cliff while holding a kite. It went as well as you'd expect.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "The Sponge Who Could Fly", SpongeBob wants to learn how to fly just like the Jellyfish. One of his attempts is to tie himself to a kite pulled by Patrick riding a bicycle. At first, this attempt works, but eventually, the kite breaks and makes SpongeBob the laughingstock of Bikini Bottom as a result.
  • The The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Up, Up And Awry" focused on Pooh wanting to fly. Among his attempts to do so, he ties himself to a kite that is to be pulled by Eeyore riding on a tricycle, while Rabbit, Tigger, and Piglet try to stop Pooh from trying to fly.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero occasionally showed the Joes and Cobras using hang gliders, though Cobra quickly got an upgrade with the rigid, jet-powered C.L.A.W. gliders.
  • House of Mouse: In the Silly Symphony short "Donald's Valentine Dollar", Donald chases an airborne dollar bill into a park and gets wrapped up in a butterfly kite, which he uses as wings to try and catch the dollar and also do battle with his nephews' novelty kites. He eventually gets caught in a storm and gets struck by lightning, incinerating his wings.
  • In the Wacky Races episode, "Beat the Clock to Yellow Rock", a ranger at Yellowrock Park stops each visiting car to check for bears that hide in them to try to sneak out into the city. When Dick Dastardly finds out about this, he tricks the ranger into thinking that Blubber Bear, Lazy Luke's sidekick, is one of the park's bears, despite Luke trying to tell him otherwise. To get Blubber out of the park without the ranger noticing him, Luke ties one end of a rope to the Arkansas Chug-a-bug and the other end around Blubber while the latter holds a kite. As Luke pulls Blubber along, Blubber stays in the air just long enough to avoid being noticed by the ranger.
  • In Angry Birds Blues E8, Vincent rides the Blues' kite.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Vincent rides the Blues' kite

Ending of Angry Birds Blues E8 "Kite".

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