Ninja Girl & Samurai Master Season 1 – Review
Ninja Girl & Samurai Master:
Original Air Dates: October 4th, 2016 – March 28th, 2017
Synopsis: 1555: The Warring States Period of Japan. One young man holds a big dream, and that young man, known as an empty-headed fool, is Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga dreams of unifying Japan under his military might, and he’s aided by one air-headed young girl, Chidori, who becomes his personal Ninja. Along with other characters like errand boy Hideyoshi, Tsundere Nene, and Straight Man Mitsuhide it’s time for the comical take on Japan’s most famous period in history to begin!
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Ninja Girl and Samurai Master is a slapstick comedy and fictionalized account of Oda Nobunaga’s rise to power. While there are plenty of events and characters that are referenced from historical fact, they’re almost all turned into humoruous caricatures of themselves. If you are a history buff who likes their facts to always line up, this show just isn’t for you.
Tom: The series’ concept is executed with a perfect visual depiction for this slapstick/comical version of Japan’s history. The characters are all adorable chibi versions of their historical counterparts and fits perfectly with the overtly silly and sometimes nonsensical tone.
Linny: The cast as Tom has mentioned, is a mishmash of oddballs. Our lead, Chidori is an anime only character, and comes across as the classic ‘dumb but deadly’ stereotype. Thanks to the illustration style and voice acting, she comes across as adorable rather than just another cliche, but might not necessarily win over more jaded audiences.
Tom: Chidori is indeed adorable and incredibly cute, even when she’s hacking and slashing through throngs of enemies. Unfortunately while she is the series greatest appeal, she gradually falls by the wayside in the face of an ever ballooning cast as every leader, every subordinate that decided to follow Nobunaga throughout history comes into the series and demands more and more screen time.
Linny: The female characters in this show are all portrayed as being on the airhead end of the spectrum but to be fair, even the men aren’t exactly geniuses either as most are revealed to be idiots themselves or have an extremely silly quirk or two.
Tom: As we come to know more and more quirky characters the series starts to feel less and less focused on Chidori and Nobunaga, with sometimes entire episodes focused on these new additions to the cast. With an already short run time, this means more and more screen time is devoted to these individuals in order to keep them relevant. With this refocus Ninja girl starts to lose some of its charm and appeal. But if Chidori was never the highlight of your appreciation, and you’ve always found the comedic tone and slapstick humor the main draw, this gradual shift away from our leads is far less detrimental.
Linny: Even though Ninja Girl stars an adorable young female lead, it keeps in line with its ninja/war theme and can be rather bloody at times (if the bloody opening credits weren’t already a big giveaway). If you are extremely queasy even to comical bloodshed and violence, you might want to brace for it. But most of the time the comedic tones overshadow the bloody notes. Because the show is short form, the episodes move really fast, which can be a double edged sword. On one hand, if you’re not feeling the episode, you’ll be through it quickly and on to the next. On the other hand, since it’s trying to cram so much into such a short time, the characters speed through their dialogue and actions which can make the show feel rushed and cramped.
Tom: Overall Ninja Girl & Samurai Master is still a fun and moderately amusing series. I get a smile out of every episode and even if it feels like it’s degraded due to a ballooning cast, the run time is so short, the visuals adorable, and the humor still charming enough that it’s hard to feel like it’s actually gotten bad. Ninja Girl recently got a second season announced– that literally starts this Spring! My hope is maybe a return to the status quo, a refocus on the original cast that made the series initially so appealing, but if not what’s here is still a worthwhile watch.
Linny: The ever expanding cast is definitely an issue for this series and one which might continue to plague it as the new season starts which will most likely bring in even more characters. However, for a completely fictionalized and silly take on Japanese history, Ninja Girl is still a decent way to experience it, especially if you want it in bite sized pieces.
Ninja Girl & Samurai Master is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com