- Ninja in popular culture
Ninja are common stock characters in both Japanese and international popular culture. The cultural references listed below are major instances separated into groups, such as novels, comic books, anime/manga, films, television shows, video games, and others.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Self-styled modern groups
- 3 In literature
- 4 In comic books
- 5 In anime and manga
- 6 In film (separate article)
- 7 In television shows
- 8 In video games (separate article)
- 9 Other
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Depictions of ninja range anywhere between realistic to fantastically exaggerated, both fundamentally and aesthetically. In stylized form, a ninja wears a dark hood, or mask, and can move in a stealthy or secretive manner. Ninja are also often a subject of parody.
Ninja were a long-popular theme in Japanese folklore, jidaigeki literature and performing arts. For example, Ishikawa Goemon was the subject of many kabuki plays and Sarutobi Sasuke has featured in many Japanese children's stories since 1911. Koga Unôn Ninjutsu Kogaryû, a silent film from 1916 was possibly the first ninja movie. Ninja-based films and books became a major Japanese pop-culture craze during the 1950s and early 1960s, since then expanding into numerous comic books and video games. In Japan, the word shinobi and its variants are often used instead of "ninja".
The first major appearance of ninja in Western pop-culture was in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967), as a secret commando force used by the Japanese intelligence service. The 1960s TV series The Samurai caused a significant wave of interest in ninja among younger viewers in Australia, but the impact of the ninja phenomenon was not felt in other western countries until considerably later. Western fascination with the ninja bloomed in the 1980s, especially in the United States. Several American ninja movies starring Sho Kosugi were released in the early 1980s, largely responsible for introducing ninja to American pop culture and contributing to worldwide ninja-mania on grand scale. These included megahit media franchises such as the cartoon TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the late 1980s to early 1990s and Naruto in the 2000s.
Ninja characters are often identified by their use of traditional blade and ranged weapons in modern and even science-fiction settings, as well as numerous superhuman abilities (such as running on water and up walls). Though depicted as nearly-invincible warriors (especially when they are the heroes of the story), they are often conversely depicted as disposable cannon fodder to be dispatched by the hero character, especially one who's a ninja himself. Thus, modern entertainment has shown ninja as either expendable "redshirts" attacking in large numbers, or as nearly invulnerable solitary warriors (who are often unmasked in contrast). In effect of this common approach, a single/small group of protagonist ninja may often easily defeat waves of incompetent enemy ninja on multiple occasions only to have far more trouble when facing a more competent lone ninja - this seemingly inconsistent portrayal is jokingly explained using the sarcastic "Inverse Ninja Law" (also called "conservation of ninjutsu"), which states that ninja are weaker when they are in larger groups.
As far back as the late 19th century, erotic art was made using the ninja theme. Japanese ninja literature and cinema still contain a powerful element of eroticism, including some pornography, often focusing on kunoichi (ninja women).
According to Glenn Morris, ninjutsu in Western popular media has been (incorrectly) associated with the image of an "unemotional, heartless assassin". This would be due to the influence of Ashida Kim, Frank Dux, and Eric van Lustbader. According to The Guardian, "in Japan, ninjas are now something of a national myth, a slightly cartoonish composite of old folk tales and modern pop culture."
Self-styled modern groups
- The Santomean special police forces (of São Tomé and Príncipe) are a paramilitary police force officially referred to as the Emergency Police, but popularly known as “Ninjas”.
- Rebels in the Pool Region of the Republic of the Congo also called themselves "Ninja".
- Red Berets, a Serb paramilitary group of Dragan Vasiljković based in Knin, Croatia, called themselves "Kninjas".
- Some death-squad-type armed groups active under Indonesian rule in East Timor called themselves "Ninja". The name seems to have been borrowed from the movies rather than being directly influenced by the Japanese model. The "ninja" gangs were also active elsewhere in Indonesia.
- During the Algerian Civil War, the government's feared commando units were known as "Ninjas" due to the black hoods they wore.
- Brett Wallace: Ninja Master: An eight-book series by ‘Wade Barker’ (Richard Meyers).
- Fukurō no Shiro: Ryotaro Shiba wrote this novel as well as a collection of short stories called Saigo no Igamono; both were made into hit movies.
- Kage Kara Mamoru!: The series of light novels later adapted into a manga and anime series.
- Kamui: A series of five novels by Tetsu Yano that were later adapted in manga, anime and eventually live-action format.
- Ninja's Revenge and The Bamboo Bloodbath by Piers Anthony.
- Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe: A novel by Robert Asprin and George Takei featuring a member of a ninja clan in the future. The ninja methods are quite similar to what is known historically, but advanced technology has also been incorporated.
- Sanada Ten Braves (Sanada Jūyūshi): An old legend that originated in the Meiji period, first published in the novel form during the Taishō period in 1912; since then in several books, movies, audio shows and the other media.
- Shinobi no Mono: A series of novels by Tomoyoshi Murayama about the life of Ishikawa Goemon. In the 1960s they were turned into a series of hit films about the lives of Goemon and the other historical ninja.
- Shōgun: Ninja assassins are featured in one of the final chapters of this novel by James Clavell.
- Tales of the Otori: The Tribe is an entity of five families of ninja with powers (such as invisibility, splitting themselves temporarily, a stare that induces sleep, sharper hearing and eyesight, faster reflexes, etc.).
- The Diamond Chariot: Erast Fandorin learns ninjutsu while in Japan.
- The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (Kōga Ninpōchō): A novel by Futaro Yamada about two rival ninja clans, the Iga and Kouga. Later turned into a manga and anime series and a live-action film.
- The Ninja: A thriller by Eric Van Lustbader featuring a half-Japanese, half-white character who received ninjutsu training in his youth. The original book was followed by The Miko and White Ninja.
- Tulku, a Tale of Modern Ninja: A novel by Stephen K. Hayes, famous American ninjutsu practitioner.
- You Only Live Twice: The 1964 James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming, in which the Japanese secret service employs a top secret ninja force to play a critical role in helping the British spy stop SPECTRE's grandest scheme.
- The series of children books American Chillers and Magic Tree House (volumes New York Ninjas and Night of the Ninjas, respectively).
Role-playing games and gamebooks
- Choose Your Own Adventure: The Secret of the Ninja series, several of the CYOA-system gamebooks by Jay Leibold (#66 Secret of the Ninja, #92 Return of the Ninja, #113 The Lost Ninja, #155 Ninja Cyborg and #179 Ninja Avenger).
- Feng Shui
- Heroscape: Features a ninja class.
- Legend of the Five Rings: Quasi-Japan RPG featuring the sourcebook Way of the Ninja.
- Ninja (Dungeons & Dragons) is a character class in Dungeons & Dragons, the first and the most-known role-playing game (first featured in the 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures).
- Ninja Burger: Three separate editions based on the website as well as a card game.
- Ninja Hero: The ninja genre book for Hero System.
- Ninjas and Superspies
- Queen's Blade and Queen's Gate
- Sengoku, a samurai RPG set in 16th century Japan. It includes the Shinobi, Shaows of Nihon sourcebook that deal with the ninja.
- Spycraft: The Ninja class was added in the campaign setting World On Fire.
- The Way of the Tiger: A ninja-themed gamebook series.
Ninja are also featured in Rifts, Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game and many other RPGs. The ninja are also heavily featured in some of the collectible card games, including Legend of the Five Rings CCG, Magic: The Gathering and Mortal Kombat Kard Game.
In comic books
- DC Universe
Characters with the sort of mystical and superhuman martial arts abilities attributed to the ninja occur in the DC Comics universe. One character who is portrayed in a fashion similar to a ninja is master martial artist and assassin Lady Shiva; Shiva also killed Armless Master, who had trained both Catwoman and Hellhound. The fourth recent Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, also has the qualities of the Western perception of a ninja (there's also a book titled Batman and the Ninja). The retconned stealth and martial arts training of the recent Batman incarnations has led many latter day Batman fans to assume that Batman is a ninja; Ra's Al Ghul specifically mentions ninja during his training of Bruce Wayne.
- G.I. Joe
The G.I. Joe series of comic books featured ninja far more than the cartoon series, and many story arcs revolved around Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Jinx, Kamakura, Firefly and the Arashikage ninja clan, which consisted of an extended family of ninja characters (never featured in the toyline or cartoon). Other characters in the comic who received ninja training from the Arashikage clan and their associates were Cobra Commander's son Billy and the shapeshifter Zartan. The massive popularity of the ninja characters completely overtook the more conventional army characters, and creator Larry Hama was pressured by Hasbro to create more ninja for the series.
- Marvel Universe
In the Marvel Comics' universe, ninja have been often featured as exotic antagonists and allies, such as Spider-Man foe White Ninja, X-Men supporting character Yukio, Ghost Rider's foes Deathwatch and Death Ninja, Wolverine's mentor Ogun, Hawkeye (currently operating as Ninja Ronin), the Punisher's friend Katherine Yakamoto (from Shadowmasters), the Pacific Overlords operative Kuroko (Aya Komatsu), and the original owner of Psylocke's Asian body, Revanche (Kwannon). In the Marvel Mangaverse, Spider-Man is the last member of a clan of ninja. A sinister ninja cult called The Hand (comics), is prominently featured in several comic series, particularly X-Men and Daredevil. The Hand and their associates were responsible for the martial training of Psylocke, Elektra, Daredevil, Black Tarantula, Kitty Pryde, Lady Bullseye and Wolverine, among others. The Hand's good rival group are The Chaste; they are also at odds with their Korean offshoot, True Believers.
In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) series, all four main characters and many of their friends and foes are ninja, including the deadly Foot Clan (a pastiche of Marvel's group The Hand). The comic achieved a massive popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s, which resulted in a franchise of four movies (three live-action and one animated), four animated series, a live action series, several video games, and a wide range of toys and other merchandise.
- Blade for Barter
- Empowered: Features the character of a reformed villainess Ninjette.
- Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa
- Kabuki: The series concerning a member of a government-backed circle of masked and costumed female assassins in the near-future Japan.
- Livewires: One of the main characters is Hollowpoint Ninja.
- Lucha Libre
- Mail Order Ninja: Original English-language manga book.
- Mortal Kombat: Based on a series of video games under the same title featuring numerous ninja and ninja-like characters.
- Ninja Boy
- Ninja Funnies
- Ninja High School: A ninja furry comedy series.
- Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja: A comic about an American ninja during the World War III.
- Pirates Vs. Ninjas
- Sam Noir
- Shi: Comic series about the modern-day "shadow war" between descendents of the warrior monks of medieval Japan.
- Spike: Shadow Puppets
- Sin City: A noir-like graphic novel series by Frank Miller featuring a ninja woman named Miho.
- The Tick: The Tick fights ninja enemies and has a female ninja ally. In The Tick's universe, most ninja in America are generally bumbling characters who are seen as more of a nuisance than a threat. Their lair is a ninja-themed amusement park.
- Usagi Yojimbo: Features various ninja in it. The major clans being the, neko ninja, mogura ninja, and the komori ninja.
- Zen the Intergalactic Ninja
- Minor roles
Chastity (while technically not a ninja, Chastity uses ninja weapons), Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos (a short lived comic about Chuck Norris fighting ninjas), G.I. Combat (Kana is Japanese-American WWII spy for the OSS), Judge Dredd (Dredd battles ninja robots in one volume), Masters of the Universe (featuring an evil ninja Ninjor), Scott Pilgrim, Sonic the Hedgehog (female ninja spider Uma Arachnis and her children, the Arachne), The Order of the Stick (featuring a female half-orc ninja named Therkla, as well as minor goblin, hobgoblin and human ninja), Y: The Last Man (featuring a mercenary ninja woman named Toyota).
In anime and manga
- Afro Samurai
- Ai Kora: The main character Kirino Ootori and the support characters Ai Hagidzuka and Kunoichi Awayuki.
- Akame - The Red Eyes
- Angel Blade: A hentai (adult) OAV series.
- Band of Ninja (Ninja Bugeicho): An early manga series later adapted into a movie.
- Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (Basilisk Kōga Ninpō Chō): Manga and anime series based on The Kouga Ninja Scrolls; all of the many main characters are ninja from two rival clans during the rule of Tokugawa shogunate.
- Black Lion (Kuro no Shishi)
- Bleach: Popular manga and anime series featuring the characters of Yoruichi Shihouin and Soifon, both commanders of the special forces.
- Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma (Yoma): Short drama/mythology OAV series set in the feudal Japan.
- Chōdenji Machine Voltes V: The character of Megumi Oka is the only female member of the Voltes V Team.
- The Dagger of Kamui (Kamui no Ken)
- Dear School Gang Leader: Hirayama Hayaka, the gang leader for her school, gains a ninja bodyguard after a trip to the mountains.
- Dirty Pair: The main characters Kei and Yuri are ninja girls in the off-shot radio show "Daatipea91: Kunoichi".
- Dobutsuki Seton
- Erotic Torture Chamber
- Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture and Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle: Two anime movies based on the series of video games.
- Flame of Recca (Rekka no Honō): The series about Recca Hanabishi and his rival half-brother Kurei, who came from the Hokage ninja clan which perished during the time of Oda Nobunaga. Also features several other ninja characters.
- Fūma no Kojirō
- Genki Bakuhatsu Ganbaruger
- Gin Tama
- Gundam (primarily Musha Gundam universe): Many characters in the different Gundam series, including several Super Deformed Gundam series, are ninja. Among them is Kyoji Kasshu (Mobile Fighter G Gundam).
- Hakodate Youjin Buraichou Himegami
- Haō Taikei Ryū Knight
- Himawari!: A comedy TV series about a ninja school.
- Hininden Gausu: A H-anime set in medieval Japan and featuring several ninja women.
- Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls
- I Am Sarutobi! (Ore wa Sarutobi da!)
- Igano Kabamaru
- Inuyasha: Featuring several ninja characters.
- Jubei-chan: The Ninja Girl (Jūbei-chan): A mostly comedic manga and two TV series in the modern setting.
- Kage Kara Mamoru!
- Kamen no Maid Guy: The ninja maids Shizuku & Tsurara.
- Kamui the Ninja (Ninpu Kamui Gaiden)
- Karakuri Ninja Girl
- Karasu Tengu Kabuto: A manga series later adapted into the anime series and an OVA film.
- Kaze ga Gotoku
- Kaze no Ishimaru
- Kozou Ookami
- Ken'ichi: The Mightiest Disciple (Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Ken'ichi): Kunoichi Shigure Kousaka.
- Kōtarō Makaritōru!
- Kunoichi Mahouden
- La Blue Girl (Injû Gakuen): Several ninja-themed hentai manga and OAV series.
- Labyrinth of Flames (Honoo no Labyrinth)
- Legend of the Mystical Ninja (Anime Ganbare Goemon)
- Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Ōkami): A samurai saga in the Edo period of Japan.
- Lupin III: Animated TV and movie series that features several ninja characters in the modern setting, including Goemon Ishikawa XIII (the 13th descendant of the historical Goemon).
- Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto
- Masked Ninja Red Shadow (Kamen no Ninja Aka-Kage)
- Millenium Actress
- Mirmo! (Wagamama Fearī Mirumo de Pon!)
- Musashi Gundoh
- Nabari no Ou
- Nagasarete Airantō
- Naruto: A hit manga and anime series that takes place in a fictional world, but draws upon ninja and other elements of ancient Japan. It achieved enormous international popularity in the 2000s and also spawned many video games.
- Negima!: Magister Negi Magi: Kaede Nagase.
- Ninja Cadets (Ninja Mono): Short comedy-action OAV series.
- Ninja Girls (Rappai Ranga)
- Ninja Hattori-kun
- Ninja Nonsense (Ninin Ga Shinobuden): Comedy manga and anime TV series.
- Ninja Resurrection (Makai Tenshō: Jigoku-hen): Short OAV series.
- Ninja Senpuu
- Ninja Robot Tobikage (Ninja Senshi Tobikage)
- Ninja Ryukenden, an OVA film based on the original Ninja Gaiden video game series.
- Ninja Scroll (Jūbei Ninpūchō): A movie and a TV series loosely based on the works of Futaro Yamada.
- Ninpou Hiwa
- Ninja, the Wonder Boy (Manga Sarutobi Sasuke): Also the movie version, Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke.
- Rantaro the Ninja Boy (Nintama Rantarō): An anime series for young children about the adventures of Rantarou and his friends and teachers at a ninja school.
- Path of the Assassin (Hanzo no Mon): Story of the life of Hattori Hanzo, the famous historical ninja in the service of the shogunate.
- Rakudai Ninja Rantarō
- Rurouni Kenshin: The manga and TV series features the Oniwabanshu group (including Shinomori Aoshi and Makimachi Misao) and others. There are also several episodical ninja characters in the OAV series.
- Sailor Victory: A comedy OAV series about a team of policewomen using ninja mecha (giant robots).
- Samurai Deeper Kyo
- Samurai Legend (Kaze no Sho)
- Samurai Pizza Cats (Kyattou Ninden Teyandē): The title characters were originally in fact not samurai but ninja (in the Japanese release), and they often face off against ninja enemies.
- Samurai Spirits
- Samurai XXX (Yoka no Ken)
- Sarutobi Sasuke
- Sasuga no Sarutobi: A comedy manga by Fujihiko Hosono and a 69-episodes TV series about a modern high school for ninja.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman): Five young International Science Organization operators, dressed in bird-like suits, are trained in the ninja arts.
- Shadow (Hyper Shinobi Animation: Shadow)
- Shinobu Kokoro: Hidden Heart
- Short-Tempered Melancholic (Kanshakudama no Yuutsu)
- Soar High! Isami
- Shadow Hunters (Kage Gari)
- Shinobi Life
- Shōnen Jiraiya
- Shōnen Ninja Kaze no Fujimaru
- Soul Eater: Black Star and Tsubaki.
- Sgt. Frog (Sergeant Keroro): Two of the main characters, Dororo and Koyuki, are both skilled in various forms of ninjutsu (also in Keroro Land).
- Sword for Truth (Shuranosuke Zanmaken: Shikamamon no Otoko)
- Tail of the Moon (Tsuki no Shippo)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Supermutants
- The King of Braves GaoGaiGar (Yūsha Ō GaoGaiGā): The ninja stealth robot Volfogg.
- The King of Fighters: Another Day: Short original net animation series bases on the video game series.
- The Last Kunoichi (Kunoichi Bakumatsu Kitan): An action H-anime. Several kunoichi are caught by the struggles of the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate.
- The Legend of Kamui: Largely realistic and historically accurate manga series based on Kamui novels.
- The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls (Y+M)
- Tower of Etruria
- Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle: The character of Kurogane.
- Yōtōden: Three members of otherwise destroyed ninja clans confront the demonic ruler Oda Nobunaga and his minions. While fantasy in nature, the series is based around the historical events.
- Yutani Complex: Sanae Fujisaki.
- Zanpei Kumotori
- A-N: Axis Powers Hetalia, Blade of the Immortal (featuring several ninja-like characters; ninja tactics are also repeatedly referenced by Rin), Blade of the Phantom Master, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Bottle Fairy, Code Geass (Sayoko Shinozaki), Cutey Honey, Dinosaur King, Dragon Ball (several minor characters are ninjas), F-Zero: GP Legend, Getter Robo, Gin Tama, Ginga Legend Weed, Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, Hero Tales, Hyper Police (Kasumi,), King Arthur, Kinnikuman (features the character called The Ninja), Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (several guest characters in the episode "Visiting Ninja, Benikage!", better known in the USA as "Ninja Binge"), Kurozuka, Machine Robo: Battle Hackers, Magical Princess Minky Momo, , Mega Man Star Force, Metal Fighter Miku (the episode "Pretty Four vs The Lady Ninja"), Miami Guns, Midori Days, My-HiME and My-Otome (the character of Akira Okuzaki).
- O-Z: Oh My Goddess! (a mini-arc of both the main manga series and the spin-off anime The Adventures of Mini-Goddess), Outlaw Star, Planetes, Pokémon, PQ Angels, Ranma 1/2, Saber Marionette, Sailor Moon (the villain of the week Ninjana - Oniwabandana in the Japanese version - in the episode 38/43), Sakura Wars, Samurai Champloo (the episodes "Bogus Booty" and "Baseball Blues" both deal with characters who are ninja or former ninja), Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School, Skull Man, Sonic X (featuring the robot ninja E-91 Lady Ninja from E-Series; the ninja Espio the Chameleon is also a minor character), Sorcerer Hunters, Those Who Hunt Elves, Transformers: The Headmasters (the Transformers Sixshot), Ultraman (features the space alien ninjas called Alien Baltan), Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito, Yakitate! Japan, YuYu Hakusho (the Shadow Channelers - Team Masho in the anime - are referred to as the shinobi of the demon world).
In film (separate article)
"Super Ninja" was also the stage name of the actor and stuntsman Taimak.
In television shows
- Animated series
- G.I. Joe: Four cartoons: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 1985 and 1989 series, G.I. Joe Extreme and G.I. Joe: Sigma 6.
- Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm
- Pucca: A ninja boy named Garu is a love object of the main character. Also, his arch nemesis, Tobe, is a ninja as well.
- Rambo and the Forces of Freedom
- Shuriken School: The series about a school with the same name as the show that trains children and teenagers to be ninja.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The 1980s and the 2000s animated series, as well as a live action TV series.
- Live-action series
- Blood of the Samurai: The Series
- Bounty Hunter (Shokin Kasegi)
- Fuun Lion-Maru
- Henshin Ninja Arashi
- Komyo ga Tsuji
- Lone Wolf and Cub/Iron Samurai (Kozure Ōkami)
- Masked Ninja Red Shadow (Kamen no Ninja Aka-Kage): Footage also used to make the film The Magic Sword of Watari.
- Ninja Captor
- Ōedo Sōsamō
- Phantom Agents (Ninja Butai Gekkô): 1960s series about a group of modern ninja agents working for the Japanese government.
- Shadow Spies (Kage Juhachi)
- Shogun Iemitsu Shinobi Tabi
- Shōgun no Onmitsu! Kage Jūhachi
- Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya
- Shadow Warriors (Kage no Gundan): Several Japanese TV series and a direct-to-video miniseries about Hattori Hanzō.
- Sukeban Deka III: Shôjo Ninpô-chô Denki
- The Master: A ninja action-adventure TV series featuring John Peter McAllister, an aged American veteran and ninja master who returns to the United States.
- The Samurai (Onmitsu Kenshi): The 1960s Japanese TV series featuring the samurai Akikusa Shintaro and Tombei the Mist the Iga ninja.
- Super Sentai series
There were several ninja-themed Super Sentai shows:
- Hikari Sentai Maskman
- Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (footage used in the season three of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
- Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger (footage used in Power Rangers: Ninja Storm).
There were also some more minor ninja themes in many of the other series. In the Power Rangers episode "Gung Ho!", Jason and Tommy enter the Team Ninja finals facing two ninja-dressed characters, while in "The Ninja Encounter" Rocky, Adam and Aisha take part in the Team Ninja Competition dressed as ninja. There are also many ninja villains in the various series. For example, Negative Syndicate's Dark Shadow clan in GoGo Sentai Boukenger, Miratrix and some other of Kamdor's henchmen in Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive, Ninja Org Duke Dorodoro in Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger (Onikage in Power Rangers: Wild Force), Dora Ninja in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (Dark Warrior in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season one), Shinobilar in Denkou Choujin Gridman and Kirikage in Mahou Sentai Magiranger.
- Other television shows
Ninja Warrior (Sasuke) and Women of Ninja Warrior (Kunoichi) are two Japanese sports entertainment shows, featuring (respectively) male and female competitors on an obstacle course. In the Prank Patrol shows, "ninjas" are the show helpers setting up the pranks.
- Animated series
- A-N: Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (the episode "Robo-Ninja"), American Dragon: Jake Long (the characters Rose, Huntsman and the Huntsclan are ninja), Arthur (an episode of the show had ninja in it), Batman Beyond (Curaré of the League of Assassins), Batman: The Animated Series (the character Kyodai Ken in the episodes "Night of the Ninja" and "Day of the Samurai"), Chop Socky Chooks (the show has ninja monkeys in it), Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos (Chuck Norris fights ninja as enemies), Code Monkeys, Codename: Kids Next Door (featuring villains called Teen Ninja), Conan the Adventurer (the episodes "Shadow Walkers", "Dragon's Breath" and "Sword, Sai and Shuriken"), Danny Phantom, Digimon (Falcomon in Digimon Data Squad), Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (one episode involved ninja), Happy Tree Friends, Jackie Chan Adventures (features the ninja character Kahn Shadowkhan), Johnny Test (ninja appeared in an episode of the show), Kim Possible (Ron Stoppable attends the Yamanouchi ninja school and dates a ninja girl Yori, while the villains include Embarrassment Ninjas and Sumo Ninja).
- O-Z: Planet Sketch, Road Rovers, Samurai Jack (in the episode "Samurai versus Ninja" Jack faces a robot ninja), Skunk Fu (the show has ninja monkeys as enemy minions), South Park (in the episode "Good Times with Weapons" the kids pretended to be ninja warriors; another episode called "Fantastic Easter Special" featured ninja mercenaries who worked for the Roman Curia), Stroker and Hoop (the episode "Ninja Worrier (a.k.a. Chopping Spree)"), Superman: The Animated Series (the episode "Obsession" has a character called Death Fist Ninja in it), Teen Titans (in the episode "Masks" Beast Boy has a video game called "Super Ninja Showdown 8"), The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (an episode of the show had ninja in it), The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 (an episode "Sneaky Lying Cheating Giant Ninja Koopas", obviously a spoof of the TMNT), The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (the episode "Night of the Zinja"), The Transformers (has ninja characters such as Greatshot, Nightbird and Prowl), The Venture Bros. (two episodes of the show had ninjas), Wolverine and the X-Men, Xiaolin Showdown (featuring Tubbimura, an overweight ninja).
- Live series
Ninja were featured in Charlie's Angels, Charmed, Chuck (in the first episode Chuck is attacked by a ninja and there also is a ninja in the show's opening), Criminal Minds (a ninja appeared in the episode "True Night"), Danger Theatre, Dude, What Would Happen, Knight Rider, Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion, Kung Fu, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (the episode "Chi of Steel" featured a Robin-Hood style ninja that stole from the rich and gave to the poor in Chinatown), Mortal Kombat: Conquest, Samurai Girl, She Spies, Shōgun (features a realistic ninja castle raid in feudal Japan), Verbotene Liebe, Zatoichi (a long-running classic Japanese samurai series).
- Parody references
- Family Guy: in the episode "Wasted Talent" Jerry Nelson is a ninja, in another episode Joe dresses as a ninja, and in still another episode Peter's black son is a ninja.
- MadTV: several Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme parodies, including one Seagal When Harry Met Sally parody that had a ninja in it, one that had him filming a Kung Fu movie with ninja in it and an "Average Asian" skit that had him summoning a ninja attack; still another skit was called "Nodles and Ninja".
- Robot Chicken: various episodes of the show featured TMNT references, a Gatchaman parody, a kid dressed as a ninja, a Batman Begins parody with ninja, a Jewish James Bond parody with ninja, the Mortal Kombat characters Smoke and Sub-Zero, and a TV show called Ninja Stars.
- The Simpsons: in the episode "The Telltale Head" Bart Simpson disguises as a ninja, sneaks out of his house and sawes-off the head off from Springfield's founder's statue; in another episode Lisa plays a video game with ninja in it; still another episode has Homer dreaming his workplace was attacked by ninja. In the episode "Treehouse of Horror XVIII" one of the aliens is dressed as a ninja, in "Husbands and Knives" the Comic Book Guy has ninja weapons, and in "Yokel Chords" Bart plays a spoof video game featuring a female ninja character.
- American Idol (a contestant Danny Noriega is a self-proclaimed "sexy intense ninja pickle"), Big Brother Australia (the people who have to enter the house to do things such as maintenance are referred to, even by Big Brother himself, as "ninjas"; on the Friday Night Live show, the "ninjas" are much more prominent, are given personalities and have segments dedicated to them), Cheat! (episode "Cheat-jitsu"), Deadliest Warrior (in one episode a ninja fought with a Spartan, but lost), In Living Color (an episode featured a skit about a ninja home security system in which a ninja was used to kill intruders), Gamers, Late Night with Conan O'Brien (Conan and Jim Carrey fought ninja), Mystery Science Theater 3000 (an episode featured Joel and the 'bots singing a song called "Master Ninja Theme Song", which became a popular song from the show), Mythbusters (a ninja special of the show tested classic ninja myths such as walking on water, catching a sword and catching an arrow), Screen Test, The Lance Krall Show, You Don't Know Jack (in one episode the host was attacked by ninja).
- Ninja also apparead in television advertisements, including for Honda Civic Si, Esurance (in an Erin Esurance commercial), Lego, Netflix and Pop-Tarts, among others.
In video games (separate article)
Besides the large number of video games, there are also several game developing units that used the word "ninja" in their name (such as Ninja Studio, Ninja Theory, Ninjaforce, NinjaKiwi and Team Ninja), a group of gamers called Ninjas in Pyjamas and a video gaming magazine character Sushi-X.
In a massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), the term "ninja" or "loot ninja" may be used as an adjective to describe a player who has stolen another players item (this is perceived negatively by the other players - if a player is labelled a "ninja" in the game they are often rejected by the community and find it difficult to join guilds or raid parties). In the first-person shooter (FPS) multiplayer community, "ninja defuse" is a term meaning sneaking-up to defuse the bomb immediately after it was planted by the enemy player in a team-based deathmatch game.
- Bands and musicians
Several musicians and bands have the word ninja in their name (or even pose as ninjas), among them:
- "Club Ninja", an album by Blue Öyster Cult.
- "Camouflage Ninjas", a single by Killarmy.
- "Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin", a single by In Nothing We Trust.
- "Ninja", the debut album of Christina Aguilar.
- "Ninja Jane", an album by Zola Turn.
- "NIN|JA", a collaborative album by Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction and Street Sweeper Social Club.
- "Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja", the debut single of Lostprophets.
Bands 7 Seconds of Love, Concord Dawn (in the album Uprising), Europe (The Final Countdown), ICP (Tunnel of Love) and Jay Chou all have songs named "Ninja"; in addition, GO!GO!7188 has a song "Kunoichi" (in the album Ryūzetsuran).
There are also many songs and tracks with the word "ninja" in their titles, including "Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin" by Reuben (We Should Have Gone To University), “Hoodie Ninja” by mc chris ("mc chris is dead"), "Imaginary Ninjas" by Vince Dicola (Falling off a Clef), "Ninja Goon" by Gruvis Malt (Sound Soldiers), "Ninja Hi-skool" by Bis (Play Some Real Songs: the Live Album), "We Are Ninja" by Frank Chickens (We Are Frank Chickens), "Ninja Highschooool" by Peelander-Z (P-Pop-High School), "Ninja Rap" by Vanilla Ice (TMNT II Soundtrack) "Ninja Step" by RZA (the soundtrack for Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai), "Supa Ninjaz" by Method Man (The Pillage) and "This Secret Ninja" by AFI (Very Proud of Ya).
- Ninja Tune is a London-based independent record label.
- Fans of the white rap group Insane Clown Posse, commonly identified as juggalos, sometimes refer to themselves as "ninja" and to any female as "ninjettes".
- Ninja were also featured in the music video for the Presidents of the United States of Americasong "Peaches" and the singer Cheryl Cole dressed as female ninja and performed with a group of similarly-themed dancers in the TV special Cheryl Cole's Night In.
- Ninja dressed dancers were featured in the official video to rock band Heart's These Dreams.
- New Haven Ninjas is an American football team from New Haven, Connecticut.
- "Ninja" is a nickname of the Brazilian MMA fighter Murilo Rua.
- "The Ninja" is the nickname of the Filipino boxer Bert Batawang.
- Iga F.C. Kunoichi is a Japanese L. League women's association football team.
- Super Ninja is a ring name used by several professional wrestlers, including Keiji Mutoh and Rip Oliver.
- The Black Ninja was one of stage names of the wrestler Cocoa Samoa.
- The American Ninja is one of stage names of the wrestler Brian Adams.
- A WWE Diva Lena Yada dressed as a ninja for the 2008 Cyber Sunday Halloween Costume Contest and later appeared as one under the name Ninja Yada for Wrestlicious.
- In the Naked Women's Wrestling League there is a wrestler known only as Ninja Chops.
- There is a tag team called Canadian NINJAS.
On the Internet
There have been numerous popular websites dealing with the parody of the ninja, the most well-known including:
- Ask A Ninja: A series of popular podcasts in which a ninja answers questions asked about ninja.
- Ninja Burger: A humor website (as well as RPG, card game and a book) which purports that ninja run a fast-food delivery service.
- Ninja Spirit: A series of short martial arts parody videos.
- Ninjai: The Little Ninja: A Flash animation.
- No Need for Bushido: A webcomic.
- Pucca: Korean media franchise sparked by a Flash animation, including book and TV series.
- Real Ultimate Power: A humour website created by Robert A. Hamburger (as a 13-year-old character) about ninja, whom he constantly describes with superlatives such as "totally sweet".
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: A webcomic about an Irish ninja who is also a doctor and has a Batman obsession.
- TIN The Incompetent Ninja: Another webcomic series.
- White Ninja: A webcomic that is part of the National Lampoon Humor Network.
There has also been a recent movement on the World Wide Web to celebrate International Creep Like a Ninja Day (December 5). Internet spoofs have often pitted ninja against pirates and asked which would win in a Pirates versus Ninja fight.
Iga Ueno Ninja Festa, the annual ninja festival in the Japanese city of Iga in the former province of Iga, features ninja-inspired performances, competitions, and opportunities to practice ninja skills since 1964. Iga is also location of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum and many local businesses such as ninja-style restaurants and cafes.
There are also other ninja attractions across the country, such as the Koga Ninja Village and Kogaryu Ninjutsu Yashiki (Ninja Houses) in Koga-gun, Shiga Prefecture, Togakushi Ninja Village for Children and Togakushi Ninpo Museum and Karakuri Yashiki (Ninja House) in Togakushi, Nagano, Edo Wonderland theme park in Nikkō, Tochigi, and Ninja Akasaka restaurant in Tokyo. Outside of Japan, there is also Ninja New York restaurant in the New York City.
Several products have been named after ninja:
- N.I.N.J.A. MITES, the Italian bootleg keshi.
- Fuwa Maru ninja snacks by Tohato.
- Lego Ninja theme of the Lego bricks, which was succeed by LEGO Ninjago.
- Ninja, a series of sport bikes by Kawasaki.
- Ninja 4WD competition buggy by Tokyo Marui.
- Ninja, a brand of food processors manufactured by Euro-Pro.
In information technology, "cyber ninjas" are the sophisticated counter-hackers. Ninja is also a name of modification of the K-Meleon web browser, and "ninja" has been used as corporate slang for a master software developer or master software troubleshooter.
Sometimes, petty criminals are nicknamed "ninja". For example, an American burglar reported to have used nunchaku on one of his victims was known by the media as the "Staten Island Ninja", while a former Russian soldier who engaged in robberies in Italy using a black attire and a bow was called "Russian ninja" by the media. "Ninja rocks" is also a name for a type of burglary tools.
In 2006, Miss Japan Kurara Chibana appeared in a ninja/samurai-style national costume during the Miss Universe competition. Goth Ninja is a type of Japanese street fashion which became popular in 2009.
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- ^ a b DEATHWISH with throwing stars!
- ^ Arashikage Clan - G.I. Joe Wiki - Joepedia
- ^ White Ninja (Spider-Man foe)
- ^ Death Ninja (Ghost Rider foe)
- ^ Katherine Yakamoto (comic book character)
- ^ WHISPER covers - Vintage Ninja
- ^ Surban Jersey Ninja She-Devils (Marvel comic book)
- ^ Savage Ninja (comic book)
- ^ Zombee Review - Comics Review at IGN
- ^ Kana the Shadow Warrior
- ^ Ninjor - He-Man.org
- ^ Uma Arachnis - Mobius Encyclopaedia - Sonic the Hedgehog Comics
- ^ Sampei Shirato - Unofficial Italian Fansite (Akame)
- ^ ZANPEI KUMOTORI - Vintage Ninja
- ^ Kasumi - Hyper Police - Anime Characters Database
- ^ Oniwabandana - WikiMoon
- ^ E-91 Lady Ninja - Sonic News Network, the Sonic Wiki
- ^ Espio the Chameleon - Sonic News Network, the Sonic Wiki
- ^ Film Details: Blood Of The Samurai: The Series DVD
- ^ Judy Ongg as KAGERO - Vintage Ninja
- ^ Henshin Ninja Arashi - Transforming Ninja Arashi
- ^ Batman Beyond: Curare
- ^ Curare - The Silent Killers of Film and TV - UGO.com
- ^ Bios - Kyodai Ken | The World's Finest - Batman: The Animated Series
- ^ Urban Dictionary: loot ninja
- ^ Urban Dictionary: Ninja Defuse
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- ^ Heart, These Dreams
- ^ WWE 2008 Cyber Sunday Halloween Costume Contest Results
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- ^ 14 Incredibly Hot Japanese Women (You've Never Heard Of) | Gunaxin Girls
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