Ninja Girl & Samurai Master 2nd Season – Anime Review
Synopsis: Chidori and Nobunaga return, continuing their quest to reunite Japan, meeting throngs of quirky characters along the way, and raising eyebrows with their own unique character traits wherever Chidori must infiltrate next.
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Ninja Girl’s 2nd Season opened with a refocus on Chidori, but despite that and periodic bursts of refocus throughout these twenty-six episodes, our attention is all too often pulled away from Chidori and Nobunaga himself to the plethora of additional characters that grows even more significantly through this 2nd season.
Linny: Chidori remains the true star of the show hands down as none of the other characters, new or old come close to producing the amount of laughs and cuteness as she does. Sure, you have characters like Hideyoshi and Sukezou to bring the laughs on a regular basis but they just do not compare. Speaking of new characters, this season introduces Hisahide Matsunaga who is a bit of a wild card and delights in teasing Chidori by making advances at her, often of the sexual nature which could prove to be uncomfortable for audiences, seeing as Chidori is quite young. It’s all clearly done in jest and doesn’t involve any explicit scenes or dialogues but consider this a heads up if you are extremely uncomfortable with any such content.
Tom: Ninja Girl is still very much a comedy, but there’s a not insignificant effort to cover a massive amount of historical ground. It actually makes the series hard to follow as we’re introduced to the wide array of players needed to ‘accurately’ depict the complex life of Nobunaga and his efforts in unifying Japan. But if you’re unfamiliar with the time period, it quickly becomes overwhelming. The series distances itself from what originally made it so interesting, widening the focus to the point that Chidori feels like but a tiny component.
Linny: In this effort to be historically educational, there are often long stretches of the show where the humour struggles to keep up. So if you were watching this mainly as a comedy, you might find yourself struggling even more than last season as there’s so much more new information and new characters being explored with content that lacks that comedic punch.
Tom: By drawing so much focus away from Chidori and Nobunaga, their roles feel smaller and smaller, to the point where it feels like the story isn’t even really about them. It’s one thing to perhaps offer us side characters and give them an episode or two, but there’s large sections of this series where Chidori and Nobunaga feel like little more than bit players themselves. And that’s frustrating if you bought into Ninja Girl because of Chidori’s fun characterization.
Linny: Ninja Girl is perhaps best enjoyed by those seeking to refresh and revisit their knowledge of Oda Nobunaga-centric history. It’s clear that the series is trying to cover as many events and historical characters as it can fit but unfortunately the limited episode length means that often all that information will fly over the heads of non-history buffs as everything comes rushing at you at break neck speeds. This isn’t to say that the show lacks appeal for an uninformed viewer as I’m one such viewer and I still enjoyed most of the show. Just be prepared to constantly mentally debate if the new person/s on screen are actually new or potentially major players in the story.
Tom: It’s such a shame where this series has chosen to go. It’s shifted significantly from the ‘untold’ tale of a ninja girl, Chidori, and her secret influence and efforts behind Nobunaga’s rise to power. Now it’s more a historical, unifying of Japan catch all story. If that’s your thing, and you like comedy, it does it well. But if you signed up for what this series was originally, know that it steps away from what made it so drawing in the first place.
Linny: The historical information focused approach of season 2 really lowers its chances of entertaining anyone who took to this show for Chidori’s sake. This season is likely going to appeal most to those more familiar and fond of the historical aspects of Nobunaga’s rise to power and those who are in the mood for a comedy laced take on that tale. If you have the time to binge this season and don’t mind the the extreme cut down on Chidori’s adorable antics and shifted focus, by all means, binge away.
Ninja Girl & Samurai Master is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com