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  • Acceptable Professional Targets: Wealthy businessmen. They're either portrayed as complete bastards who periodically engage in Kick the Dog moments, or Laomoto's groveling Yes-Men.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Laomoto Khan: Between his claims of wanting to "improve" Neo-Saitama during his political campaign, and in light of Season 1's ending, a few have wondered — was Khan truly the source of corruption? Or was he a Noble Demon who tried to bring order to a hopelessly lost city the only way he knew how?
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    • Rapture: Was his rather avoidable death a genuine accident on his part? Or did he purposely let himself get killed so that he would become a martyr, guilt-tripping Amnesia into staying the course with Ikki Uchikowashi now that Ninja Slayer has entered the picture?
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Episode 19's "Soukaiya Elite Four." Presented as powerful ninjas who could've (at least) given Ninja Slayer a run for his money before their inevitable demise, only for the second half of their fight to happen entirely off-screen. Sadly, this was an all-likelihood effect of the show being made on a shoestring budget...
    • Big Bad Wannabe Warlock is killed off without a single on-screen fight.
  • Awesome Art: In stark contrast to the anime's... err... intentionally uneven quality, both the original light novel and main manga adaptation sport consistently gorgeous, detailed artwork. Given that "Machine of Vengeance" is drawn by none other than Yugo Yuuki of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest and Akumetsu fame, this isn't a surprise.
    • Episode 5 deserves merit for being the only one to avoid resorting to the usual "cardboard cutouts." Movements are still limited, but the animation itself has taken a leap in both style and execution — best observed during close-ups of a (non-background) character's face and the "Naraku possession" sequence.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • Nancy Lee: Fans either enjoy her presence for their guaranteed amounts of Fanservice (as well as her legitimate Action Girl moments), or annoyed by the fact that she's a walking "Damsel Per Episode."
    • Koki Yamoto: Though the girl herself seems pretty well-liked, her personal arc is a completely different story. Some fans enjoy her appearances and character development; others are frustrated by the amount of screen time she gets and with most of her episodes occurring right after a major turning point in Ninja Slayer's life — i.e. the fall of the Dragon Dojo, Yukano's subsequent Face–Heel Turn — thus interrupting the main story's flow. Not helping her case is the fact that Slayer's other, more direct supporting cast (such as the aforementioned Yukano) are sorely lacking character focus of their own.
      • In the light novel, Koki is just one of many side characters who get a Day in the Limelight or two in-between Ninja Slayer's adventures. As a matter of fact, long before her debut, it was the Dragon Dojo that first got an extended focus all to themselves. But in the anime, you'll be forgiven if you thought Yamoto was suddenly promoted to "co-protagonist" role (which is far from truth), what with her on-screen treatment. Her fans obviously don't mind this direction, but to the novel readers who are either apathetic towards the character — or hoped that others like Master Gendoso, pre-amnesia Yukano, Shogo, and even Mr. Tomihide had gotten their own limelight — it's displeasing. Koki's (anime) base-breaking status only worsens with the amount of important storylines that were essentially sacrificed in favor of her episodes.
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    • Amnesia: Not when she was Yukano, but this persona. On one hand, fans enjoy the drama she brings by presenting Slayer a most difficult choice to tackle with. On the other hand, people are turned off by how much she's changed for the worse, spouting arrogance and fanaticism at every wake. Many wish that she change back to her old self sooner rather than later... or worse, put out of her misery.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Not the whole series itself... but the Nancy Lee episodes, specifically.
  • Broken Base:
    • The constant Art Shift to limited animation. Either fans don't mind, believing it adds to the show's charm; or feel let down, knowing that it robs much potential from the series' dramatic moments, especially the fight scenes!
    • The spontaneous story arc shifts, made more aggravating since each arc only focuses on one heroine at a time. Some fans don't mind, believing this method helps reduce any Arc Fatigue and gives a certain layer of suspense for what the upcoming episode might bring. Others are annoyed, oftentimes due to being invested in the current plot point and wanting to see it reach full resolution before things move on to the next.
    • Episode 25. Either you appreciate the various clip shows for what they are, or see the whole thing as lazy Filler and a total waste of an episode.
  • Crazy Awesome: Nearly everything on this show, as expected from Studio Trigger.
  • Creepy Awesome:
  • Creepy Cute:
    • Yamoto's Death Glare. As scary as it is, it's still Yamoto's.
    • Fubuki. Attractive woman, but her insanity and penchant for being drenched in green blood leads to Squick-ish factors.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: It's a show produced by Studio Trigger, so expect subtlety to be thrown out the window.
    • Much like their previous works, the story takes place in a Crapsack World where murder, torture, and even rape are the norms. The many violent scenes here range all the way from over-the-top hilarity to downright offensive.
    • Nancy Lee seems to have inherited Ryuko Matoi's knack for being repeatedly subjected to Black Comedy Rape attempts (if you can even call it "comedy" at this point) and other Fanservice-y tropes, all of which are done against her will.
      • Episode 12 deserves special mention, having most scenes focused on Nancy as she's tied up in various BDSM knots, several close-ups of her privates, and her letting out "suggestive screams." It all culminates in her getting wet... from being splashed with boiling hot water.
    • The many Memetic Molesters in tow, most of which were done unashamedly on purpose.
  • Damsel Scrappy: A minor case with Nancy. She still has enough positive traits to remain relatively well-liked among the majority of the fan base, however.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: For one, this is the story about a man roaming around, butchering any evil ninja he can gets his hands on... in the most painful and bloodiest ways thinkable. And he's the good guy. The bad guys range anywhere from cold, amoral assassins to the lowest depraved scum. If this were an all-out "Grimdark" show, the violence would've no doubt reached nauseating levels of impunity. Thankfully it's not, so everything gets tackled firmly tongue-in-cheek style.
    • Played straighter in the official manga adaptation. Story remains the same, but the manga does not hold back on the graphic imagery.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Nancy Lee has a large fanbase that goes even before her introduction, for obvious reasons.
    • Yukano, for the same reasons as Nancy, but with larger-sized melons.
      • Although it's likely just a one-shot outfit, her Meganekko disguise got pretty popular in just a matter of days.
    • Silver Karasu, for his cool design, tragic story arc, and morally ambiguous personality.
    • Genocide, the guy is the definition of Creepy Awesome.
    • Although most of them are one shot characters, many of the series Ninja of the Week seems to fall under this category.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Usually subverted. Although many of the villains have some pretty cool character designs, most of them aren't exactly "dating" material. The few antagonists that do fit this description include:
    • Darkninja, but only when he removes his helmet.
    • More misguided than evil, but Yukano as "Amnesia" counts. Her second costume reveals a lot more skin than the one she wore as a Dragon Dojo disciple.
    • Fubuki, Dr. Lee's assistant, with her Naughty Nurse Outfit. Well, aside from the fact that she's covered in mutant blood.
    • Khan's Oirans also count, especially in the manga adaptation.
    • The light novel introduces more Dark Action Girls, namely Fatal (pre-transformation) and Purple Tako (when masked).
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: In-universe example. Ninja Slayer thinks Sonic Boom is this. The bombastic pompadour + loud, Hawaiian shirt combo certainly don't help matters.
  • Fountain of Memes: Ninja Slayer. Every single one of his Catch Phrases has ascended to memetic status. No exceptions.
  • Fridge Brilliance: At first hearing, it seems that the reason Scatter complained about being yeeart'ed was in the vein of This Cannot Be!: "I'm a ninja, a salaryman shouldn't be able to do this to me!" However, considering the rules of ninja etiquette introduced about 15 seconds later, it's clear he was futily screaming "I'm a ninja" was actually because Ninja Slayer was violating decorum. "I'm a ninja! You need to greet me first!"
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Episode 11 makes a harsh point that even heroic characters aren't immune to being killed off, with the death of Dragon Gendoso.
    • The inclusion of other villainous factions besides the Syndicate, setting up Ninja Slayer's larger, more complex battles to come.
    • Episode 18 gives a surprisingly thought-provoking Moral Dilemma for Slayer to deal with, faced against the misguided Yukano and the ominous shadow of her new master.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The entire story arc of Episodes 7 through 10 sees Ninja Slayer trying to find an antidote for his poisoned master. He does succeed, only to have Darkninja suddenly show up (thanks to a tracking device he secretly placed on Slayer all the way back from Episode 5) and kill Dragon Gendoso just shortly after being cured.
    • In Episode 15, brave ninja, Rapture, pulls a Heroic Sacrifice when the villain, Explosive, straps a bomb to the former's chest. Seeing the clock only has 3 seconds before detonating, Rapture immediately jumps into the air to spare Ninja Slayer and Amnesia from the blast. His sacrifice is made a lot less heroic when only a minute later, Slayer reveals that he's easily capable of defusing the bombs in rapid succession. To further add insult to injury, Slayer did demonstrate this ability before that fateful decision: during Amnesia's own predicament. So it wasn't like Rapture had been completely in the dark.
    • For that matter, Rapture and Amnesia's "tragic love story" is made a lot less sympathetic with the realization that Rapture basically recruited a vulnerable and amnesic Yukano into an evil cult of terrorism.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Averted. The ending credits make it perfectly clear which characters did or did not survive that particular episode's events. You will always know which ones are indeed Killed Off for Real to those likely to return.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the original Japanese version, Laomoto Khan and Ninja Slayer are voiced by Masane Tsukayama and Toshiyuki Morikawa respectively. Both actors worked together before in the Japanese dub of The Phantom Menace as Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. It gets hilariously ironic if you know what happens with these characters in their corresponding stories: Qui-Gon is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, prompting Obi-Wan to seek revenge against the one responsible (Darth Maul). Laomoto also ends up impaled after receiving the final blow from Slayer, who wanted to kill Laomoto for being indirectly responsible for his family's deaths.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Episode 11 shows Ninja Slayer finally having an all-out fight against Darkninja, only to suffer the brunt of a Curb-Stomp Battle (until his Heroic Second Wind). This demonstrates that, as powerful as Slayer is, there's bound to be someone better. The same episode also holds the first major casualty among the heroes' side, Dragon Gendoso.
    • Episode 16 takes the usual setup of "the hero joining a La Résistance group" and completely subverts it. Not only do they soon expose themselves to be an amoral cult of Red Scare terrorists, it also comes to light that they've taken advantage of the amnesic Yukano, transforming her into their willing pawn.
    • The entire "Neo-Saitama in Flames" arc is loaded with these.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ninja Slayer (again). Canon-wise, he doesn't seem all that interested in starting a relationship, which is justified, since it wasn't that long ago when he lost Fuyuko. Even so, this doesn't stop fans from shipping him with the likes of Nancy Lee, Dragon Yukano and Maria Agata.
  • Les Yay: Between Yamoto and her best friend, Asari. The former acting like a Violently Protective Girlfriend when the latter's in danger. The two have shared hugs a lot and Yamoto even once pressed her forehead against Asari's in a comforting gesture before going off to fight Sonic Boom. Their evening goodbye scene certainly adds a lot of subtext.
  • Memetic Badass: Ninja Slayer (yet again). The guy sometimes reaches Chuck Norris levels of pure badassery, to an extent where he defies logic even by World of Badass standards.
  • Memetic Molester: There are several, some on accident, most... not so much. Notable examples include:
    • Forest Sawatari: He's the classic "I Have You Now, My Pretty" sleazeball-type, playing up the trope's creepiness for all it's worth. The English dub even gets less subtle regarding his intents for poor Nancy.
    • Nutcracker: After defeating Yamoto, he comments on possibly "having fun" with her despite stating a preference for well-endowed women. He gets killed before he can elaborate on what that means. Like Sawatari, the English dub takes the more upfront approach, including a "Who's your daddy?" line, among other things.
    • Daedalus: He gives "Mind Rape" a whole new meaning. Literally.
    • Cockatrice: His snakes have a rather strange method of coiling Nancy Lee, which include squeezing her breasts. There's also the fact that these things just happen to be his arms.
    • Silver Karasu (for some): Inviting a young, runaway teenaged girl to live with you? Planting a long, awkward stare at her direction on your first meeting? Taken out of context, it all sounds a bit unsettling.
    • Dr. Lee: He is a dirty old Mad Scientist who continuously sports a Slasher Smile. Then there's the fact that he'll dry hump his female assistant the moment he feels the need for some "R&R."
    • Rapture: Not at first, but after learning more of his background... he comes across as someone who'd exploit a young woman's sensitive condition, corrupting and seducing her into joining his evil faction. Said woman's present wardrobe (assuming he picked it for her) doesn't help lighten his case.
    • Basilisk: He actually seems to get off on torturing Nancy Lee, wasting an entire minute of screen time just strangling her. Sick bastard even admits to have been looking forward to "making her scream." He'd probably kept tormenting her, too, had his partner not pointed out that they were on a tight schedule.
    • The man calling himself "Laomoto's Voice": Not only is his character design a bit unsettling (creepy mask + Smug Smiler), but he REALLY loves to go into details on how he thinks Kahn is torturing and possibly violating Nancy. Made even worse by his belief that Slayer and Nancy are in an "intimate" relationship, gloating about the whole thing to Slayer's face. Some of his dialog comes off like something you'd expect to hear from Netorare Genre.
  • Memetic Mutation: "YEEEAARRT!"
    • Despite being a one-shot character, Cloud Buster's "INDUSTRYYYY!" has also gained quite the memetic status.
    • "Recite your death haiku!"
    • "WASSHOI!"
    • "ABBAAAAH!"
    • "AIIIEEEEEE!"
    • "SAYONARAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
  • Moe:
    • Yamoto's best friend, Asari, can be classified as this.
    • Yamoto herself, at least when she's not ripping somebody a new one. Bonus points whenever she smiles (no, not the Slasher variant).
  • Mondegreen: The show's opening theme, "Back in Black." Given the vocal effects used, it's very easy to mishear the lyrics from "time to dust yourself off" as "time to dust your cell phone."
  • Narm Charm: If the scenes aren't meant for genuine Tear Jerker moments or crossing into Squick territory, they're often this. But then again, most of the show's not really taking itself seriously, anyway.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: The FUNimation Blu-ray release was obviously going for this, featuring the quotes "LOL no" and "This is easily one of the worst shows FUNimation has ever licensed, maybe even THE worst" on the cover. Fitting or not, at least one blogger criticized this marketing decision.
  • The Scrappy: Rapture is widely disliked by fans, or at the very least seen as a joke. This comes from the fact that he was a Flat Character who died an avoidable, pathetic death and being the main reason Amnesia's even part of Ikki Uchikowashi to begin with. Many see him as an unfit Love Interest for Amnesia not that he even made it past his 5 minutes of fame. One can even get the feeling that the Funimation crew hates this guy, looking at some of the dialog changes they've made in the English dub, with characters now questioning (if not outright mocking) Rapture's competence as a ninja.
  • So Bad, It's Good: For the same reasons as Inferno Cop.
  • Squick: Even for a tongue-in-cheek kind of show, things occasionally venture into some pretty dark places.
    • Many of the onscreen deaths are actually quite brutal, ranging from a fist punch through the chest to being sliced into pieces by a buzz saw. The constant switch to limited animation helps lessen the graphic imagery, but the implication is still there.
    • The beginning of Episode 3. "Grown men strangling and assaulting a pair of minors" is not a scene for the faint of heart.
    • Some of Nancy Lee's "victim moments" can degenerate into this, the worst offender being the one from Episode 19, something that can only be described as a twisted parody of erotic asphyxiation.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: "Wasted" may be too strong a word, but with the Loads and Loads of Characters, even if many are just one/two-episode villains, there are cases of cool or otherwise interesting characters who could've done more appearances/things to do in the story. It can even be argued that others who do remain active are in dire need of fleshing out.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Dragon Gendoso's first meeting and subsequent training of Ninja Slayer were done almost entirely off-screen, thereby missing a lot of story details that should've helped establish the deep connection between these two.
    • The anime adaptation ends up skipping over several story arcs, notable ones including the "Dead Moon" saga and "Yakuza Tengu" plotlines. Only time will tell if these arcs will ever get a full retelling, should a Season 2 be green-lighted.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Dragon Gendoso, the only other good guy who was just as strong (if not stronger) than Ninja Slayer suffered a quick exit thanks to Mentor Occupational Hazard.
    • Silver Karasu, the Hitman with a Heart and Yamoto's own mentor. Had one of the coolest character designs on the show, curb stomped every enemy he faced, and an all-around morally grey badass. It's been said from the get go that he was critically ill. True to form, he didn't last very long.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Shigaki and the rioters of Episode 5, for trusting a guy who proudly displays the Soukaiya symbol on his garments.
    • Third Eye sending his partner to certain death, when he knows there are two dangerous ninjas nearby, instead of sticking together and reducing their risk of being picked off and killed.
    • Forest Sawatari on two occasions. First, when he ruins a possible "no fight" clause with Ninja Slayer by declaring his unsavory intentions for Nancy Lee. And then later, dropping his guard down just to ogle at Nancy's bosom despite knowing fully well that Slayer could attack him at any moment.
    • Rapture's not-so-effective act of self-sacrifice, as detailed under Harsher in Hindsight.
    • You would think, seeing their master plan's utter failure to do away with either Slayer or the Khan loyalists, that common sense dawns on The Coup's ringleaders and they'd hightail it out of the city with their lives intact. They don't. Instead they come up with this half-baked scheme to use Nancy as a bargaining chip, totally missing the info that they've already bitten way more than they can chew. Naturally, things don't end well for them.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Well, between the Soukai Syndicate (particularly its leader) coming off as a bunch of self-serving capitalists and a faction that's a clear homage to the Red Scare menace... some ideas are bound to get thrown around.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Brought to you by the same folks who masterminded the likes of Inferno Cop and Kill la Kill, so... yeah.
  • The Woobie: Many from the main cast can be considered this to varying degrees, including the titular protagonist.
    • Ninja Slayer: Lost his wife and child just before the events of Episode 1, got left for dead, became the very thing he hates... only to find himself living an empty life of vengeance, with the sad knowledge that it's his one lingering incentive to go on. Then, just when he has seemingly found a new home (and a new family) in the form of the Dragon Dojo - it quickly gets taken away - by the very same group responsible for all his strife in the first place. Following that, his many noble endeavors (e.g. helping Nancy Lee or protecting Yukano) often yield less than ideal results.
    • Nancy Lee: The series really seems to enjoy making this woman suffer, to the point where her Butt-Monkey status crosses unfunny territory. Out of all the heroes, she's arguably the most sincere about making Neo-Saitama a better place for everyone. Problem is, her association with Slayer also means leaving herself open to all kinds of danger and unwanted attention — ranging from Attempted Rape(s) to straight-up torture. It's actually very hard to watch some of her scenes without cringing a little, especially after what Basilisk had done to her.
    • Yamoto: Forced into giving up her old life to protect the people she cares about. And then later, compelled to watch the only person strong enough to stay with her, Silver Karasu, die of illness. All because she had the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Yukano: Witnessed the demise of her fellow disciples in her very first appearance, shortly followed by her own grandfather sometime later. Then she suffers a serious case of memory loss, finding herself a boyfriend in the process, only to watch him die much sooner than expected. Needless to say, this girl doesn't have it easy.
    • Silver Karasu: More of a Jerkass Woobie in this case. Still, ruthless hit-man as he was, it's hard not to feel some measure of sympathy for the guy. He spent his entire career trying to save just enough money to retire and start a fresh new life with his girlfriend - away from all the bloodshed and violence — only to have that dream yanked from him upon realizing he's hopelessly, terminally ill. He ends up devoting what little time he has left into teaching Yamoto self-defense, knowing full well how this one good deed will never abolish a lifetime's worth of contract killing.
    • Even the good citizens of Neo-Saitama are comprised mainly of one type of woobie to another, from an underage sexual assault victim (Asari) to a poverty-stricken amputee (Shigaki). It's a cruel testament of the miserable society these people all live in.

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