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Recap / Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time Mission 01 "Turning Japanese"

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The gang time travels to feudal Japan to locate Sly's ancestor, Rioichi Cooper, a master ninja thief and sushi chef. They discover that Rioichi has been captured and locked in a maximum security prison full of guards and deadly traps after having supposedly served bad sushi to the era's Shogun.

Rioichi has been captured by a villainous dictator known as El Jefe, who has taken over feudal Japan. El Jefe is constructing a massive shrine with a one-thousand foot tall statue of himself at the center. Sly and the gang must set Rioichi free and then stop El Jefe.



  • Actually Pretty Funny: Rioichi sticks around to watch Murray's Geisha dance in Rhythm Game, clearly amused by it and the guard's reactions.
  • Arc Villain: El Jefe.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: El Jefe does the shush gesture at the screen just before he jumps Rioichi from above.
  • The Cameo: Clockwerk can be found if you look northwest from the geisha building after Riochi talks to Bentley in "Pretty in Pinker".
  • Collapsing Lair: After accidentally stepping on a pressure sensitive switch in the prison, the bridge to Rioichi's cell collapses.
  • Furry Confusion: The bigger guards roaming around are anthropomorphic pigs... and yet there are also non-anthropomorphic pigs wandering around as fauna.
  • Hellhole Prison: The prison holding Rioichi is not only large, but it is full of flashlight guards, has fire-spitting dragon-heads as part of its security system and the various monkeys it has for prisoners are being tortured with automatic tickling machines and butt-kickers.
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  • If Jesus, Then Aliens: Rioichi says that the reason why he believes Sly when he says that he is his descendant is because with El Jefe's arrival and all of the other strange things that came after, his relative from the future coming to break him out of prison isn't the weirdest thing to happen.
  • Inventing the Wheel: Rioichi invented sushi.
  • MacGuffin: After Sly beats El Jefe, one of Le Paradox's Mooks leaves behind a sheriff's badge which the gang uses to travel to The Wild West.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Sly remarks that it's unusual for a Bengal Tiger smoking Cuban cigars to be walking around in Feudal Japan.
  • Mugged for Disguise: "Breakout!" begins with Sly stealing components of samurai armor for a disguise.
  • Mythology Gag: The name Sly gives his disguised persona is "Major Muggshot".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: No one except for the front-door prison-guard seems to find the only raccoon among pigs, crane and monkey dressed in armor that is clearly too big for him all that suspicious. In-fact, guards will salute him as he walks by.
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  • Rhythm Game: Murray's Geisha sequence in "Pretty in Pinker".
  • Running Gag: Every time Bentley tries giving Rioichi the tutorial talk, the raccoon dog goes into a long-winded Koan that boils down to "Thank you, Captain Obvious" and "I'm a ninja-master. You don't need to tell me."
    Rioichi: Bentley-san, though the bamboo forest is dense, water flows through it without effort.
    Bentley: Umm, yeah.
  • Samurai: Fitting enemies for the Ninja Rioichi, the various guards are decked out in samurai armor.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The episode's name - "Turning Japanese" - is a reference to the 1980 song by The Vapors of the same name.
    • While unselected at the Japanese hideout, Rioichi can be seen trying to catch a fly with chopsticks. This is a reference to The Karate Kid, where the protagonist's Japanese teacher, Mr. Miyagi, tries to catch a fly for good luck, though constantly fails.
  • Signature Move: Being the inventor of the Ninja Spire Jump, Rioichi's special ability is a more advanced version called the Leaping Dragon, a move that allows him to leap great distances while balancing on points.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Rioichi's prison-cell is suspended over a gorge where the only bridge leading to it has fire-spewing dragon-statues and flashlight guards.
  • Tanuki: Rioichi is a Japanese raccoon dog. He seems to avert many of the lore and stereotypes behind the animal and is functionally the same as Sly.
  • Wutai: The area is set in 17th century Japan. Rioichi is a Ninja tanuki, Murray disguises himself as a Geisha, the enemies are monkeys, cranes and pigs and the prison is armed to the teeth with Eastern dragon decor.


Rioichi Cooper

Rioichi Cooper is one of Sly's more famous ancestor, a Japanese raccoon dog responsible for the Ninja Spire Jump.

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Main / NINJA