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Manga / Ninja Hattori

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"Have no fear, Ninja Hattori is here!" note 

Over the mountains, crossing in the sea
He's come flying to our city
Ninja Hattori's got a new family!
Opening theme

Ninja Hattorinote  is a series created by Fujiko Fujio A in 1964. It has received a television series, a video game, and a live-action film.

Kenichi Mitsuba is an average, lazy kid who struggles with school. His life is changed when the ninja Kanzo Hattori, his younger brother ‎Shinzō, and their ninja dog Shishimaru befriend Kenichi and become part of his family. Hattori helps Kenichi and looks out for him. Kenichi's new classmate, Kemuzou Kemumaki, is also a ninja and the series' main antagonist. Kemumaki and Kenichi are both in love with the girl Yumeko Kawai, which leads to various conflicts and disputes between them.

The animated series originally lasted from 1981 to 1987 with a total of 694 episodes and 11 special episodes. In 2006, the series was imported to India, where it became a massive hit. It was revived in 2013 as a collaboration between India and Japan and it is currently receiving new episodes. The new series is modernized and uses Adobe Flash animation. Nickelodeon India handles the dubbing and localization, including the English version.

In 2018, some seasonsnote  were added to Netflix in America and other Western countries.

Ninja Hattori provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Kenichi's parents don't see Kemumaki for the troublesome person he really is. Because of this, the parents are of no use in resolving the conflicts between Kenichi and Kemumaki.
  • Age Lift: The live-action film changes Hattori from a child to an adult.
  • Alliterative Name: Kemuzou Kemumaki.
  • Animated Adaptation: Has a 1981 adaptation and a 2012 adaptation.
  • Baseball Episode: There is an episode based around the characters playing a similar sport, Cricket.
  • Bash Brothers: Kenichi with either Hattori or Shinzo can count as this.
  • Becoming the Mask: Kemumaki attempts this when Yumeko thinks that him in a dog disguise is a gift from Kenichi. He tries to escape at first but decides to remain a dog when Yumeko insinuates that she will bathe and sleep with the dog.
    Kemumaki: I'd have become a dog much sooner if I knew there were so many benefits!
  • Big Bad: Kemumaki serves as the main antagonist and causes most of the bad events in the series.
  • Blush Sticker: Shinzo is depicted with this type of blush.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: One episode of the 2012 anime involves Hattori boxing a kangaroo to retrieve a medal.
  • Burning with Anger: Shishimaru's signature ninja technique involves him turning into a literal fireball by being Wreathed in Flames.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In "A Day Without Electricity", both times that the electricity goes out in Hattori's house, everything goes completely dark for a couple of seconds, leaving only characters' eyes visible.
  • The Cameo: In the episode "Can You Rely on a Puppet Doll?", what little we see of the movie Kenichi watches with Yumeko features Q-Taro from Little Ghost Q-Taro.
  • Cats Are Mean: Kagechiyo is an antagonistic cat who is loyal to Kemumaki, his owner. However, he isn't quite as evil as Kemumaki as he has helped Hattori on a few occasions.
  • Chained Heat: In "Enemies or Friends", Kemumaki invents a sticky ball and accidentally trips over it while fighting with Hattori, thus making them stuck to each other for the rest of the episode.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Cherry blossoms are featured prominently throughout "Sketching Event at the End of Spring", where the students of Kenichi's school do a contest where they have to draw a sketch of a field of cherry trees.
  • Christmas Episode: In the Christmas episode, Hattori gives his family gifts.
  • Counting Sheep: In "When Sleeplessness Became the Reason for a Fight", Kemumaki and Yumeko are sleeping over at Hattori, Shinzo, and Kenichi's house and Kemumaki throws nose plugs onto Hattori's nostrils, making him snore and not only making Kenichi mad at Hattori but also preventing him from sleeping. Hattori suggests counting something to curb his insomnia, and Kenichi tries counting frogs out loud. This gets on Hattori's nerves since he's afraid of frogs.
  • Covers Always Lie: The opening of the 1966 television drama is drawn, but the actual series is live-action.
  • Crossover: The series has had crossover movies with both Perman and Doraemon.
  • Disguised in Drag: In "Kenichi is In a Soap", this is Kemumaki's evil plan. He's pretending to be the girl named Mayumi to mess with Kenichi.
  • Dragged by the Collar: in the episode, "It's Pleasant to be a Pet", Kemumaki tests his dog disguise by showing himself off on Yumeko's doorstep, but the latter mistakes him for a present and drags him in, trapping him in disguise. He later decides that the role is worth the trouble when Yumeko implies that she will be bathing and sleeping with him, but is "saved" by Hattori and Shishimaru just as he undergoes this change of heart, much to his chagrin.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • The Hindi dub changes Tsubame's name to Sonam and Kemumaki's name to Amara. Both it and the Nick India English dub change Togejirou's name to Cactochan. All of the Nick India dubs change Kagechiyo's name to Keo.
    • The Italian dub goes even further, changing all characters' names. Kenichi Mitsuba is Ken Suba, Hattori is Nino, Shinzou is Lino, Shishimaru is Shishi, Kemumaki is Amilcare, Kagechiyo is Lucifero, Yumeko is Laura and Tsubame is Nicoletta.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Before Ninja Hattori had an animated series, it had a live-action series, with an interesting look to it.
  • Enfant Terrible: 11-year-old Kemumaki serves as the main antagonist of the series.
  • Episode Title Card:
    • In the 1980's anime, the episode title appears over different backgrounds, one of which is a scroll. Ninja Hattori says the episode name and utters his Verbal Tic "nin nin!" after doing so.
    • In the 2012 anime co-produced with India, the episode name is imposed over a simple one-color background, with a line of running Hattoris above and below the text. Hattori still says the episode name, verbal tic and all.
  • Establishing Shot: Several episodes begin with a shot of the house, school, or building where the episode will be taking place.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: The Netflix captions mishear "Yumeko" as "amigo" and type it that way.
  • Everyone Laughs Ending: "A Tiff Between ‎Shinzō and Hattori" ends with Hattori, ‎Shinzō, and everyone else laughing.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: The episode "When Sleeplessness Became the Reason for a Fight", where Kemumaki and Yumeko sleep over at Hattori's house, has Kemumaki trying to get Hattori and Kenichi to have a fight and then wake up Yumeko to see. This fails, and the next day Kemumaki has bags under his eyes from staying up so late.
  • Fashion Show: In "Let's Go for a Fashion Show", the school holds a fashion show. Yumeko makes her own ninja costumes for the show and has Hattori, Shinzo, and Shishimaru demonstrate them.
  • Feud Episode: "A Tiff Between ‎Shinzō and Hattori" has Hattori and ‎Shinzō get into an argument due to the latter not wanting to be put through the former's ninja training. Kenichi and Shishimaru try to get them to drop the feud.
  • Forgot I Couldn't Swim: taken to a literal extreme in "Toga Ninja's New Disciple", where Kemumaki tells Yumeko that he could have rescued her from drowning, just as Kiyo just did, only for Yumeko to question how, since he can't swim. Upon being reminded of this, he promptly begins to drown (he was floating just fine till then), much to the amazement of the onlooking Hattori.
  • Full-Body Disguise: In "Kenichi is In a Soap", Kemumaki's evil scheme involves wearing a full-body disguise of Mayumi.
  • Guinness Episode: In "Hattori Tries to Set a Guinness World Record", Hattori attempts to stand on one foot for as long as possible in order to create a Guinness World Record. Kemumaki interferes by trying to make Hattori fall down.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: The Netflix captions sometimes throw in the word "amigo" where "Yumeko" is in the audio.
  • Henohenomoheji: In one episode, Hattori, ‎Shinzō, and Shishimaru use dummies of themselves to scare Kemumaki into thinking there are living mummies in the museum. Hattori's dummy has the henohenomoheji face drawn on its head.
  • Here We Go Again!: "Hattori's Prolonged Hiccups" ends with Hattori's hiccups being cured, only for ‎Shinzō to start hiccuping as well.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Hattori's Prolonged Hiccups", Hattori gets the hiccups. Since there is a ninja technique associated with hiccups, whenever he hiccups it makes everyone nearby topple over and flips nearby objects upside-down.
  • Hidden Depths: Kenichi possesses some degree of Ninja aptitude, since he's able to perform some of Hattori's tricks when properly motivated.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Kemumaki takes over the show in one episode, saying that it is now Ninja Kemumaki-kun. The series opening in this episode even has Kemumaki in place of Hattori, with every instance of "Hattori" in the theme song's lyrics changed to "Kemumaki".
  • Human Hummingbird: In the 2012 series, it's fairly common for characters' legs to blur when they are running. In a few cases the blur will form a vaguely circular shape.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Japanese titles for all episodes of the anime end with " Maki", while those of the 2012 anime end with " Gozaru no Maki".
  • Inconsistent Dub: All of the Nick India dubs are inconsistent about whether "Hattori" is his first name or his last name.
  • Ironic Fear: Hattori's fear of frogs may be one, as Hattori is a ninja and frogs have an association with ninjas in Japan.
  • Kid Hero: Kenichi and Hattori are both child protagonists.
  • Leave Me Alone!: in the episode "Run, Kiyo, Run", Kemumaki's leg is trapped under a stone when he goes to the mountains, but when Hattori and the others approach him, he hides his handicap and affects a calm facade until they leave. He later regrets this as it may have been his only chance, but Hattori helps him without his knowledge to save his pride.
    Kemumaki: It's Hattori! I'll sit here all my life instead of taking help from him!
  • Licensed Game: The series received a game on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. There is also a Flash game involving Cricket.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Received a live-action television drama in 1966 and a live-action film in 2004.
  • Look Behind You: In "Play and Play", Keo distracts Shishimaru as soon as their game of soccer begins by saying "Hey, look! A UFO's flying!", allowing him to kick the soccer ball first.
  • Love at First Sight: In "Kenichi is In a Soap", Kenichi falls in love with a girl named Mayumi upon first seeing her. This sets up the conflict of the episode since he also likes Yumeko, and he has asked her to help him do some school work at his house.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Kenichi and Kemumaki are both interested in Yumeko, which leads to conflicts between them.
    • She also shows interest in Hattori sometimes, bringing tension to their friendship.
  • Master of Disguise: Kemumaki disguises as other people and causes trouble in several episodes.
  • Mistaken For An Impostor: The episode "When Hattori Forecasted with His Ninja Technique" revolves around Hattori noticing Kenichi acting out-of-character (he eats breakfast calmly, he leaves the house without hurrying, he doesn't fall asleep mid-class...) and thinking he's actually someone else in disguise.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: In "Play and Play", Kemumaki moves around while hiding in a bush in order to get away with throwing a frisbee to distract the dogs.
  • Motivated by Fear: in the episode "The Ninja Horrifying Power Technique", Hattori, Shinzo and Shishimaru try to help Kenichi win (or at least complete) the annual obstacle course by terrifying him at every turn. It works flawlessly until they switch to playing on his kindness, which only leads to him getting distracted and losing his lead.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Hattori and ‎Shinzō are ninjas, but they are being raised by the Mitsuba family who are not ninjas.
  • Muggles: Most of the people who aren't friends with Hattori are unaware of his ninja abilities, allowing him to surprise them or use his skills to his advantage.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hattori and ‎Shinzō Hanzo are named after Hattori Hanzō, one of the most famous ninjas in Japanese history.
  • Ninja: Hattori, ‎Shinzō, and Kemumaki are all ninjas.
  • Ninja Brat: Hattori, ‎Shinzō, and Kemumaki are all young ninjas, though they are pretty experienced for their age. ‎Shinzō in particular has a whiny and babyish personality.
  • Ninja Run: Hattori, and to a lesser extent Shinzo, will usually couple this with his Verbal Tic; "nin nin!"/"shin shin".
  • No Theme Tune: It has no theme tune on Nickelodeon India and Netflix.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Hattori and ‎Shinzō sleep on the ceiling of their room every night.
  • Playing Sick:
    • In the episode "Curing A Case Of Laziness", Kenichi has nightmares about Kemumaki annoying him, so he pretends he's sick in order to skip school and avoid seeing him.
    • In the episode "I Dislike Mummy", ‎Shinzō uses the ninja technique of lizard art and sits in the sun for a while, the idea being to heat himself up enough to trick his mom into thinking he's running a fever.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The main theme of the NES game quotes a few bars of "Orpheus in the Underworld".
  • Questioning Title?: The episode "Can You Rely on a Puppet Doll?" has this kind of title.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mr. Koike is a reasonable teacher and a good friend of Kenichi, Hattori, and ‎Shinzō.
  • Reused Character Design:
    • Kenichi's design is based off of Noby from Doraemon if not pointing out the visible differences like the shapes of their glasses.
    • Mr. Koike is a recurring design in Fujiko Fujio works. He first appeared in Little Ghost Q-Taro and has affinity for ramen shown in other works.
  • Shock and Awe: Kiyo demonstrates the ability to produce electricity, specifically by inducing static power in his fur. He can use this ability to even absorb power from a lightning bolt, but mostly applies it to turn himself into a living Static Stun Gun.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kenichi can be seen watching or reading Doraemon and Perman in a few different episodes.
    • In "Let's Go for a Fashion Show", Shishimaru comments that his fashion show costume makes him look like Fred Flintstone, even using his catchphrase "Yabba dabba doo!"
  • Sibling Team: Hattori and his younger brother ‎Shinzō work as a team and support each other.
  • Sick Episode: Kenichi comes down sick in "I Dislike Mummy". Shinzo tries to fake a fever to get his mother's attention when she pays more attention to Kenichi; when Hattori learns about the trick and brings it up to their mother, Shinzo runs off and actually does get sick in the process.
  • The Song Remains the Same: The English dub by Disney Channel Asia leaves the theme song in Japanese. The English dub by Nickelodeon India translates it into English.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Hattori and ‎Shinzō both carry a sword and shuriken.
  • Talking Animal: Shishimaru and Kagechiyo are both animals with the ability to talk.
  • Three Shorts: The 1981 series (or at least the Indian localization of it) packs three short episodes into a half-hour. The 2012 series packs two 11-minute stories into a single half-hour episode.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Shishimaru loves hot dogs.
  • Translated Cover Version: The English dub translates the theme song and uses different instrumentation.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The Disney Channel Asia version removes the last few seconds of the theme tune by having it fade out slightly early.
  • Untranslated Title:
    • Several episodes of the 2012 series have no English titles.
    • The American Netflix release of the 2012 series keeps the title written in Japanese, 忍者ハットリくん.
  • Verbal Tic: Hattori has an odd verbal tic where he'll say "ding ding" or "nin nin" (as in "ninja") every so often. Shinzou uses "shin shin" in the Japanese version and Latin American dub. This is referenced in the title cards of the episodes.
  • Welcome Episode: In the first episode, Hattori joins the Mitsuba family and is welcomed as part of the family.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hattori has a fear of frogs (batrachophobia).

Alternative Title(s): Ninja Hattori Kun