Anime Review - Ninja Nonsense Collection
The first thing you'll realise about Ninja Nonsense is just how nonsensical it really is. In fact, it would have been just as apt if they had have called the series "Ninja Absurdly Nonsensical Nincompoopery". That said, it is nothing short of hilarious.
"Take one totally cute ninja-girl trainee; add a ninja horde under the tutelage of a perverse headmaster (a strange, yellow, spherical, pudgy...creature...named Onsokumaru) and you get the kind of super-explosive ninja insanity that can only be found in what's been called "the runaway nuclear reactor of anime comedies!"
So, is it too nonsensical? Do the gags land? Will I ever finish this Adam West style Batman monologue? The answers to all of these questions and more can be found after the jump!
Based upon a manga series of the same name by Ryoichi Koga, Ninja Nonsense follows trainee ninja Shinobu and her strange and perverted master. Sure, strange may generally cover the perverted tag but in this case it doesn't even tell the half of it. Her master, Onsokumaru is a anthropomorphic yellow ball with a filthy, FILTHY mind and is the source of many a belly laugh.
The humour in Ninja Nonsense is just as the name would imply. If you turn your nose up at low-brow comedy, this is not the series for you. Dick, sex and poop jokes abound and in no way apologetically. What we wind up with is a cross between Excel Saga and Jubei Chan: Ninja Girl, breaking the fourth wall and bitch slapping you in the face.
Predominantly episodic in nature the series isn't overly concerned with plot although there's definitely one in there somewhere. Subtracting the opening and closing sequences, the latter of which using Ufotable's hallmark claymation, we are left with 20 minutes of comedy per episode. These are then predominantly broken in half into a kind of mini-episode. Not only does this set a regimen to the series overall but it also makes the series feel like a skit show and in turn keeps things light.
The animation style is very rounded and comedic in itself. Although generally a terrible way to describe an animated series, Ninja Nonsense is very cartoony. The artistic style is a perfect choice for the series as it shows that this is a comedy series, not just a series that is trying to be a bit funny. Even the character designs of Shinobu and Shiranui (the straight character to everyone else's absurdity) take on this rounded shape as opposed to the usual bishoujo style. Remember that this series was actually released in Japan in 2004 and as such, the animation quality isn't exactly of the highest grade especially when compared with other series of 2004 such as Samurai Champloo and Paranoia Agent. That aside, this is a series that isn't reliant on visuals alone and shines as a wholehearted comedic romp.
Siren's transfer is of really great quality with no noticeable artifacts throughout. Although it's always great to have things on Blu Ray, Ninja Nonsense isn't the kind of series that would benefit from the extra outlay. The special features are also plentiful, adding a little extra value for your money. Included are: character bios, interviews with the Japanese cast, TV spots 1-18, textless opening and ending, Kurukururin (closing) full-size video and the packaging also says it includes trailers but I couldn't seem to find them. Perhaps they were ninja trailers and if you see them, you're already dead!
Ninja Nonsense is a fantastic series which provided some honest to goodness laugh out loud moments. Straight up comedy series aren't always well received but this is definitely one worth a look.
Ninja Nonsense is available on DVD from Siren Visual and DVD good stores now!
Don't forget to check out some of Siren's other recent and upcoming releases such as Clannad in all of it's collected glory, the collected Blu Ray of Casshern Sins, Princess Resurrection from Studio Madhouse and the heartwarming Usagi Drop which is based on one of my absolute favourite manga series of the last few years.