The Heroes.

Ninja Mono

(Ninja Cadets)

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Synopsis: The heroes, again.
This story begins in Japan. Long ago, within a fortress owned by a ninja clan, a war has started. A rival ninja clan stormed the fortress. The invaders were aided by a large mechanical beast, and overcame a majority of the clan quickly. One particular ninja proved to be harder to kill than expected, as he rushed to protect his liege. His master gave his prized pupil a task; Right before he was crushed by the robot, he instructed his faithful follower to protect his daughter, the princess. Now, the lone survivor must rebuild the clan and hide the grown princess. Six newly trained ninjas, Three male and three female, must train with the nearly forgotten arts. And one of the women is unknowingly the missing princess.

This was a pleasant change of pace. Most mystical ninja stories (Ninja Scroll, Yotoden, Curse of the Undead Yoma, etc) all have a very serious and dramatic story, full of tragedy and conflict, loss and depressing endings. This one has its share of drama and traditional heroes, but its considerably more lighthearted than most. Now whether this is a good thing or a bad thing I wasnít sure of at the time, but I can say I enjoyed the package. The animation is quite good (but not fantastic) and the fights are nicely done. The monsters arenít as impressive as Iíd have hoped from this genre, but the comedy and action make up for it, mostly. All in all, a fun ride, and a good choice for a weekend of anime. If you find sword-slashing, ninja action a little too serious most times, try out Ninja Mono. You might like it.

Soon to be available subbed through Media Blasters.