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Video Game / Jitsu Squad

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Surfing on the lava! Surfing on the lava!
You know I'll be riiiiiiding on the heat!

This is the story of a legendary statue called the Kusanagi stone...
A hidden stone containing the soul of a powerful demon...
Who can grant godly powers to those who awakened him.
Jitsu Squad is a 4-player co-op Beat 'em Up action game created by Tanuki Creative Studio first released on March 29, 2022. The game serves as a loving homage to older arcade games of the genre, with Marvel vs. Capcom being an inspiration.

Set in a world inspired by Jidaigeki / Wuxia cinema, albeit one populated by sentient, andromorphic animals, an evil wizard named Origami seeks to awaken a demon hidden inside an Ancient Artifact called the Kusanagi stone. The followers of Origami, the Emaki ninja clan, razes the land in a path of destruction, as Origami, using his powers, curses the souls of his enemies to ensure his dominance.

However, an owl monk named Ramen managed to recruit four survivors of Origami's rampage - a tanuki ninja named Hero, a rabbit kunoichi named Baby, a warrior-priest frog named Jazz, and a warthog Viking named Aros, each and every one of them having a personal vendetta against Origami's followers, one reason or another. Against hundreds and hundreds of Emaki ninja mooks and Origami's lieutenants, the Jitsu Squad will work together to battle the Emaki, assist Ramen to retrieve the broken shards of the Kusanagi and restore the artifact to normal to put an end to Origami's rampage.

The game is available on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

See also Tanuki Justice, another video game starring a tanuki ninja protagonist.


  • Airborne Mooks:
    • Yakuzo mooks on hover-packs shows up in Neon Boulevard, hovering all around the place while taking potshots at the Jitsu Squad via rocket launcher.
    • There's a skeletal enemy variant which is a flying skull on bony wings.
    • Infernia, besides having humanoid fire-sprites, also have swooping birds made of flames.
  • Animesque: The game's graphics are certainly anime-like, with over-the-top expressions from characters (the Jitsu squad and mooks alike), excessively hilarious overkill effects, and power-ups practically lifted from older ninja-themed anime like Ninja Scroll. It's as hilarious as it's impressive.
  • Arch-Enemy: Some of the bosses are direct nemesis to the Jitsu Squad's heroes...
    • Dash Kobayashi, The Dragon to Origami, is Hero's personal nemesis, as revealed in the cutscene before the boss battle against Dash; in the past Dash used to be a member of Hero's clan, before betraying them and causing the massacre of his own village, and killing Hero's father for good measure.
    • The sorcerer Raven was formerly an ally and a fellow wizard to Jazz, but have since defected to the side of darkness for more power. Jazz isn't too happy about it to say the least.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever: You know what kind of ridiculous game you're playing when the first stage throws living Koinobori flags as enemies. Which can inflate themselves with spikes as an attack.
  • Badass Crew: The Jitsu Squad, a team of four heroes trained by Ramen to battle the Emaki ninja and overthrow Origami and his minions.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Neon Boulevard seemingly ends with the Jitsu Squad reaching the Yakuzo penthouse hideout and confronting the leader... an unarmed, overweight man absolutely shocked to see the heroes barging into his office. After a few seconds of pointless bantering, Origami suddenly appears, kills the Yakuzo leader, and transports the Jitsu Squad to the ruin of Hero's hometown where they fight the real boss, Origami's dragon Dash Kobayashi.
    Hero: Wait, this must be a joke, you are the big boss?
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The Jitsu Squad vs. Dash Kobayashi in the flaming ruins of Hero's destroyed village.
  • Battle in the Rain: More than one stage occurs in the middle of heavy downpour, including the streets of Neon Boulevard, exteriors of Castle Hellstorm, and in Raven's quarters, despite the stage being set indoors.
  • Bonus Stage: There's one of these after most boss fights and before the start of the next level, set in a sushi restaurant where the player's Jitsu Squad hero gets to slice up as many moving rolls of sushi as they can within a given time limit.
  • Chest Monster: One of the many enemies menacing the Jitsu Squad, monsters disguised as chests which sprouts legs and fangs, with a single bulging eye inside it's mouth.
  • Dem Bones: Walking skeletons debuts in the graveyard outside Castle Hellstorm, animated by Raven to attack, and are a recurring enemy for the rest of the game. They show up aplenty in the Realm of Rogue too.
  • Derelict Graveyard: A bay filled with destroyed ships shows up in Pirate Bay, but it's hardly abandoned, and still populated with large numbers of pirates and ghosts.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: It's not just chairs, but also cars, rocks, trees, arcade machines, as long as the environment can be interacted with, it can be destroyed.
  • Doomed Hometown: Hero's backstory involves his home village being destroyed by Lord Origami and his minions, no thanks to Hero's ex-compatriot, Dash Kobayashi, defecting to the villain's side. Neon Boulevard actually ends with the Jitsu Squad being transported back to the ruins of Hero's home by Origami and witnessing the carnage, before they're attacked by Dash.
  • Elephant Graveyard: Primal Rage takes place amidst a boneyard filled with skeletons of dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers, mammoths and assorted prehistoric wildlife.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: Neon Boulevard have the Jitsu Squad fighting hordes of Yakuzo and Emaki mooks while atop an elevator.
  • Evil Living Flames: Infernia have plenty of sentient flame enemies, from humanoid fire-sprites to swooping birds made of flames and even giant fire monsters armed with scythes.
  • Eye Pop:
    • This is how the first Emaki ninja reacts in the first level's cutscene, the moment he saw the Jitsu Squad coming at him (with both eyes popping through his tengu mask). Before pulling a Screw This, I'm Outta Here
    • Certain comically-animated enemies, like the sentient Daruma dolls, will pop their eyes out after getting repeatedly slashed, too.
  • Fartillery: Which the game plays out with comedic effects, with flying colours.
    • Early in Pirate Bay, the player can summon an Assist Character who will blow up himself by swallowing a red chili almost as tall as himself. Cue a literal flaming diarrhea which sends him into the stratosphere while roasting a bunch of unfortunate pirate mooks around the beach.
    • Also from the same stage, ghost enemies doesn't carry weapons, and their sole attack is an explosive green fart. They even clench their faces while trying to squeeze their gases on the heroes.
  • Flaming Sword: One of the power-ups, a sword with a yellow wavy blade resembling flames which can incinerate enemies with every slash.
  • Flying Face: The undead flying samurai heads, another recurring enemy type. Their sole attack is a supernaturally-charged headbutt using the spiky front ornament of their helmets.
  • Forced Tutorial: Sakura Hills, the unskippable first stage, with panda tutors teaching you how to punch, jump, and destroy obstacles.
  • Funny Background Event: Whoo boy.
    • Right in the first stage, as the Jitsu Squad battles the Emaki clan for the first time and cuts a bloody path through their ranks, from behind a corner an Emaki mook can be seen sticking his head into view, seeing the carnage, and making an Oh, Crap! face at the sight of how powerful his adversaries are... before bailing from the scene.
    • While fighting mooks atop an elevator in Neon Boulevard, the window in the background shows a Not Zilla simply chilling around the city and ignoring the helicopters shooting at it.
    • At the background of Pirate Bay (near the beginning of said stage) an Emaki mook on a dinghy is being chased by a Threatening Shark. Later on as you fight Balthazar, another unfortunate Emaki is shown dangling on a rope above the deck.
    • The penguin taunting a chained-up polar bear at the start of Frosthaw Fortress, for no reason other than shits and giggles.
  • Giant Mook: Onis swinging huge clubs (the most recurring in the bunch), police cars in Neon Boulevard, giant scythe-wielding fire elementals in Infernia, kung-fu fighting dinosaurs (!!!) in Primal Rage, oversized demon monsters in Realm of Rogue, among others.
  • The Goomba: Green Emaki ninja populates the first few stages, and later shows up in large amounts. They're ridiculously weak and can be sliced up easily for practice, and even out of gameplay they're depicted as incompetent buttmonkeys - from being chased by sharks to being menaced by various demons and getting spooked by the Jitsu Squad...
  • Gorn: The game can get really over-the-top with the excessive amount of overkills and High-Pressure Blood it constantly throws around with every onscreen mook killed. Though they often falls into Bloody Hilarious territory because of the cartoony animations, anime-like graphics and how nothing is really played seriously throughout.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Finishing off an enemy with a special slash move and they'll split either horizontally or diagonally into two, with plenty of cartoonish blood for added effect. Even ghost enemies have a death animation where they split from the waist!
  • Humanity Ensues: Whenever anyone activates their Fury Charge, they will briefly turn human and become equipped with armor, turning them invincible for a while.
  • Human Popsicle: A few areas in Frosthaw Fortress have unfortunate Emaki mooks frozen in ice blocks, for some reason or another (maybe they're left out in the cold for too long). Slashing those ice blocks will free them, but they're hardly grateful for being rescued by the Jitsu Squad, joining other mooks into attacking the heroes immediately.
  • Hurt Foot Hop: Cavemen mooks in Primal Rage have only one attack: carrying gigantic boulders and kicking them at the Jitsu Squad. By doing so they'll just hurt themselves, causing them to hop around while their exposed toes throbs comically for a few seconds.
  • Ice Palace: Frosthaw Fortress, located in the middle of a freezing wasteland with the boss, Frost, sending his minions to arrest the Jitsu Squad. The gang needs to travel there for their inevitable boss confrontation.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Infernia, Castle Hellstorm, and Frosthaw Fortress probably doesn't get too many visitors each year.
  • Jolly Roger: Pirate Bay has you fighting pirate mooks left and right as you attempt to infiltrate Captain Balthazar's hideout, and in the background, Balthazar's ship is visible, with his sails being huge, black Jolly Roger flags.
  • Karakasa: A recurring Yokai-themed enemy, who attacks the Jitsu Squad by hopping around and trying to claw or bite them.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Jazz's Limit Break is aptly named Scorch Frogger, which he ignites himself and travels back and forth across the screen, damaging enemies who were in the path of Jazz.
    • Aros' can use Teranis Inferno as his personal limit break. When used, Aros summons a dragon to set the entire area on fire, scorching any mook who so happened to exist onscreen. Aros also does an Air Guitar for good measure.
    • In Pirate bay, the player can summon Assist Character Hasassin, who will eat a chili pepper... and ignite the entire screen with his fart.
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: Whenever players who chose Baby fights Dash.
  • Lava Surfing: How the Jitsu Squad escapes Infernia below, by hopping on shields and surfing their way out while facing enemies also surfing around them. The background music is even called "Surfing on the Lava!"
  • Lethal Lava Land: Infernia is set inside a burning volcano, and the flames are alive courtesy of Origami's magic. It even ends with the Jitsu Squad escaping on a river of lava.
  • Limit Break: The Jitsu Squad each have their own unique special super move and a shared technique called Fury Charge, the latter of which turns the character invincible for a brief moment. Both of these can be used by filling up a meter by defeating enemies, which the player can then activate at will.
    • Most of the bosses have their own meter that lets them access Fury Charge as well, which allows them to pull off their own super move. The way this meter is filled is inverted as it only fills when they get hit.
  • Limited Animation: How cutscenes in-between stages are portrayed, as a homage to older arcade games of the 80s and 90s. The animation for gameplay on the other hand is far more fluid.
  • Living Toys: Living, sentient Daruma dolls are another enemy type, coming in various sizes (the largest several times bigger than the Jitsu squad's heroes) with the ability to tackle the heroes with a Rolling Attack. They can somehow bleed after getting sliced up by a weapon. Somehow.
  • Locomotive Level: In order to enter Infernia, the Jitsu Squad have to board a train filled with Emaki mooks.
    Hero: There's the train! It's going to leave without us! Let's hop on!
  • Malevolent Masked Men:
    • The Emaki mooks are all clad in scary-looking tengu masks, though the "malevolent" part is slightly subverted because they're mostly rubbish fighters that are easily killed.
    • The bosses are straighter examples. A few of Origami's personal minions, including Dash and Raven, will don scary, demonic-looking masks before unleashing their stronger attacks which causes greater damage when hit.
  • Meat Moss: Realm of Rogue, the final stage leading to Origami's hideout, which appears to be set in the insides of some massive netherworld abomination, with flesh growing off the walls and the floor looking like it's carpeted with intestines.
    Baby: What is this nasty place?
    Jazz: Are we in someone's butthole?
    Aros: Sure smells like it.
  • Monster in the Moat: The stage in Castle Hellstorm has a moat filled with skeletons and a Stock Ness Monster chilling out in the background as you make your way across the drawbridge fighting assorted enemies, but the monster is just part of some Monstrous Scenery that doesn't interact with your characters. Maybe it's already full from eating too many unknown adventurers arriving before you...
  • Monstrous Scenery: All over the place.
    • While infiltrating the Yakuzo penthouse in Neon Boulevard, occasionally the Giant Eye of Doom of some Not Zilla kaiju will peer into the background's windows, watching you fighting. The kaiju however is only scenery.
    • Pirate Bay has a cavern with a Kraken lounging in a pool and doing nothing while you fight pirates, ghosts, and Emaki ninja.
    • The skeleton-filled moat outside Castle Hellstorm has a Stock Ness Monster who seems content relaxing by itself as you fight skeletons and various demons. Although the corpse of Sir Arthur is seen nearby, so maybe said monster is already satisfied after devouring one victim. You can also spot The Grim Reaper rushing some skeletons out their graves, but Grim doesn't interact with the foreground.
    • Infernia has numerous red-skinned demons and a couple of dragons adorning the back of the arena, minding their own business without interfering your fight.
    • Frosthaw Fortress have some Yeti in the background that doesn't do anything to interact with the Jitsu Squad.
    • More than one area in Primal Rage have fierce-looking prehistoric animals, including T-Rexes and mammoths, but looking fierce is all they does.
    • And finally, the last stage, Realm of Rogue is filled with these, from demonic-looking fanged faces on the walls, to hordes of demons with pitchforks, purple-skinned winged demons and a giant slug-like monster with More Teeth than the Osmond Family (sticking a demon into it's mouth). As well as the spirit world right outside Origami's quarters, populated by all kind of specters with two scary-looking demon centaurs beckoning the player. All of them serving as background filler.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Castle Hellstorm introduces zombies as enemies, and they're all over the place in the graveyard leading to Raven's quarters.
    Baby: Eww, zombies? That's so gross, I can't stand zombies!
    Aros: If I knew there were going to be zombies, I would have brought my chainsaw.
  • Ninja: A martial arts homage couldn't be complete without legions and legions of ninja enemies, yes?... besides the Emaki clan's minions, two of the Jitsu Squad, Hero and Baby, are both ninja as well.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The surrounding environment in Castle Hellstorm and Realm of Rogue, two supernatural-themed stage, is naturally loaded with literal piles of skulls. Of human, animals and monster variety.
  • Oni: Hulking, red-skinned oni minions armed with spiked clubs larger than the heroes are a recurring Giant Mook hired by the Emaki clan. There's an upgraded green variant in the last level slightly stronger than their red counterparts.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Pirate Bay has green ghost enemies which somehow can be hurt by the Jitsu Squad's weapons. Their sole attack is a concentrated green explosive fart.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: The Koinobori flags, despite being designed based on salmon, attacks in a manner reminiscent of pufferfishes, by inflating themselves with multiple protruding spikes attempting to stab the Jitsu Squad.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Neon Boulevard have the Jitsu Squad taking down moving police vehicles while on foot.
  • Pirate: The Pirate Bay is filled with pirate enemies, expectedly. And they're somehow allied with the Emaki.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: One of the penguins in the background of Frosthaw Fortress is taunting a chained-up polar bear.
  • Recurring Boss: Dash Kobayashi and Shade needs to be fought more than once, their last confrontation happening back-to-back as once Shade gets defeated a second time, Dash then shows up and kills her for her failure before Origami reveals himself.
  • Runaway Train: The train leading to Infernia, courtesy of an incompetent mook being asleep at it's controls. Once the Jitsu Squad defeats every enemy on it, comes this cutscene:
    Baby: Why is the train going so fast?
    [cut to an Emaki ninja snoring away at the front, complete with Snot Bubble, with his hand leaning on the accelerator]
    Aros: Hold on tight!... I think we're gonna crash!
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger reveals that Dash is still at large and still has some tricks of his sleeve, transforming into a demonic form before the scene closes with a To Be Continued.
  • Snowlems: Animated snow-monsters are recurring enemies in Frosthaw Fortress.
  • Shout-Out: The game loves throwing nods and references to various pop culture:
    • Baby has a projectile-throwing animation that imitates the cover art of Sega Ninja.
    • Jazz's anti-air move greatly resembles Rugal's Genocide Cutter. The Fury Charge version of the move is even called "Amun Cutter".
    • The Emaki mooks wearing clawed gauntlets have a special move resembling Wolverine's "Weapon X" attack from X-Men vs. Street Fighter. They even let out a cry that sounds like "Adamantium Rage"!
    • At the end of the first stage, Aros wonders if they'll fight a tall basketball player in shorts waiting for them upstairs.
    • When arriving in Neon Boulevard, the Jitsu Squad is informed about the Yakuzo activity in the area. Baby then remarks she'll make them an offer they can't refuse.
    • The arcade in Neon Boulevard have flyers for games like Hassassin's Greed, Final Flight, Golden Blade, Marble vs. Popcorn, Guilty Rear, Samurai Motown, and a lady gamer (whose back is facing the screen) that looks like Mai Shiranui. Huh?
    • Lord Origami's execution of the unnamed Yakuzo leader have his entire body inflating, with his eyes literally popping out his sockets before he graphically explodes, in an over-the-top cartoonish overkill that wouldn't look out of place in Mortal Kombat. The game even announces "CARTOONALITY!!!" to enforce the reference.
    • At one point in Castle Hellstrom, a knight resembling Arthur can be seen... but as a rotting armored corpse. Seems like Arthur tried conquering Castle Hellstrom before the Jitsu Squad but didn't make it...
    • Also at Castle Hellstrom, at the castle's entrance proper there's a living skeleton dressed like Simon Belmont trying to scale the castle walls.
    • As the Squad reaches Primal Rage and realize the land to be filled with dinosaurs, Baby then drops this hilarious line:
    Baby: I see dinosaurs, don't tell me there are cadillacs too.
    • The dinosaurs encountered in Primal Rage attack by performing a move that looks a lot like Chun-Li's Hyakuretsukyaku.
    • Also, the above stage is called "Primal Rage", for crying out loud...
    • Yooka-Laylee and Maxmillian Doodnote  are among the various Assist Characters the player can summon.
  • Tanuki/Kitsune Contrast: The hero is a tanuki called Hero, while Hero's main nemesis is a fox named Dash whose appearance invokes the kitsune, what with the coloured markings on his fur and his clothing.
  • Thinking Up Portals: After the first level, the Emaki ninja minions will reveal their abilities to conjure circular portals from anywhere they want (called an Emaki Most Pit in-game), allowing them to appear in every single stage regardless where it's set in their attempts to repeatedly impede the Jitsu Squad.
    Ramen: It seems the realm of rogue can now open portals to other planets, stay alert!
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Blue Emaki mooks carries pouches of cartoon bombs, which they'll fling all over the arena trying to blow up the Jitsu Squad. They seem to have an unlimited supply of the stuff that they simply keep on throwing until they're cut down.
  • Unique Enemy: In one section of Neon Boulevard, in the middle of battling Emaki goons and Yakuzo members, the Jitsu Squad will be ambushed by three police cars which rams in and out of the screen attempting to run over them with some Car Fu. These vehicles can be destroyed with ease and doesn't appear anywhere else in the stage (or the rest of the game for that matter).
  • Villains Out Shopping: In the background of several levels, random Emaki mooks can be seen playing arcade machines, fishing, soaking up in hot springs, having picnics or simply chilling out... while in the foreground, the Jitsu Squad slice and dice through their comrades like no tomorrow. Which none of those background mooks will bat a single eye towards, preferring to make the best of their breaks and stay out of the action.
  • Wolverine Claws: Brown Emaki - the second ninja-type enemies introduced - wears clawed gauntlets on both hands as their weapons.
  • Yakuza: Well, they're called "Yakuzo" in-game, but they're definitely dressed like stereotypical Yakuza gangsters. These enemies appears only in Neon Boulevard, an urban stage inspired by Tokyo's real-life Shinjuku district.
  • Zerg Rush: This is the best (and only) strategy the Emaki's lowest-level mooks will utilize against the Jitsu Squad, attempting to overwhelm through sheer numbers. The first "boss", in fact, is a stream of Emaki mooks (the lowest Goomba-level and the slightly deadlier ones with claws) opening portals on the left and right side of the screen, coming in entire streams until the Jitsu Squad managed to kill 40 of them.