Over the last decade, we have seen a major rise in the popularity of all things Japanese. So, it’s a little surprise that Ninjai: The Little Ninja – an action-packed animated film set in Japan – is on our radar. This action-packed film about a young ninja on a quest to find his true identity has something for everyone, with great visuals, action sequences, compelling characters, to name a few. But what is it about Japan, and particularly ninja movies that capture so many people’s imaginations? Why do we love the fast-paced action of ninja movies so much?
Animation for All Ages
Japanese animation (or anime) has always had a cult following but gained global popularity when more mainstream anime series such as Dragon Ball Z and Pokémon hit our screens in the 1990s. Enjoyed by children and adults and everyone in between, anime has never had an age barrier. Anime series covers a wide variety of topics such as dragons, warriors, loss, grief, violence, and combat as well as more light-hearted fantasy and adventure elements which allows these cartoons to appeal to such a wide age demographic.
With many tv streaming services hopping on board the anime popularity train, viewers are now able to enjoy anime series, ninja movies, and all things Japan from around the entertainment world. From the family-friendly Studio Ghibli films available on Netflix to the grittier Attack On Titan series available on Amazon Prime, countries and cultures are no longer a barrier to accessing anime. Maybe with fresh productions like Ninjai paving the way, we will see a rise in independent production companies creating animation series and movies, waging war on the streaming giants and the bland formula machine of Hollywood.
Why Are Ninjas So Popular?
One genre of anime that continues to be popular regardless of age or gender are ninja series. No matter how old you are, what hobbies you enjoy, or what your taste in tv shows is, nothing beats a ninja movie! But what is it about ninjas that make them so cool? Is it the stealthy moves, the lightning-quick reflexes, or deadly weapons? In our opinion, it’s the elusive enigma behind the mask of an unbeatable warrior with such impressive skills that we can’t take our eyes off the action.
With an almost prophetic gift, ninjas can predict opponents’ moves in a fight and react before our brains have even had a chance to process what we have seen. Skilfully wielding weapons and defeating their adversaries with super speed and prowess, these masters of combat defeat anyone who stands in the way on their quest for victory. And with their level of skill, it’s no wonder ninjas and ninja films are so popular.
From Samurai to Shinobi
Audiences revel in the fantasy of ninja movies, while there is a great deal of history and cultural basis behind ninjas. In Japanese history the term ninja, or shinobi, means those who act with stealth; something which we still see in today’s interpretation of ninjas. Learning how to hone the ability to move and act with stealth is a skill known as ninjitsu. Ninjitsu combines training in a variety of weapon combat and techniques, military strategy, geometry, meteorology, and even breathing techniques.
All these skills are used synchronously to enhance ninjas’ stealthy actions and are passed down from generation to generation in the same family – sometimes with just a few pupils from each family line being chosen to receive this gift. Because of the secrecy surrounding the teaching of these skills, it’s unlikely you’ll find a true ninja anywhere outside of Japan.
As well as ninja training, the Japanese have also closely guarded their Samurai practices, making it synonymous with ninjas and ninja movies. Originally, warriors of pre-modern Japan, Samurai utilize weapons such as spears and arrows, but are most famously known for their swordsmanship. The closely guarded secrets surrounding the making and combat techniques of the samurai sword also make them a very popular topic for combat films and series.
Ninjai – The Little Ninja
Ninja movies have always proved popular and with lots of studios applying their own creative spin on the genre, the ninja warrior archetype has never grown boring or stale. So we were delighted to hear that Ninja: The Little Ninja has yet again revamped the already versatile genre with its own unique take. This visually stunning animated film tells the story of a young boy named Ninjai as he navigates the ancient world which is fraught with dangers, challenges, and enemies, challenging Ninjai to use his skills as a ninja to battle through obstacles and protect the innocent in his quest to understand his true identity.
Using the traditional arsenal of skills, you would expect to see in a live-action film, Ninjai goes on a quest along with his sidekick Little Bird in an attempt to find out who he truly is. The innocence of his character must battle against the evils he encounters, showing the world that good always triumphs over evil. These action-packed fight scenes are a marvel to watch and are balanced delicately with quieter, more contemplative scenes in a beautifully crafted storytelling narrative.
While created and produced independently, it is far from indie or niche. The storyline, visuals and themes that run through this film are aimed at an all-age, all-taste audience. The high-octane fight scenes keep you gripped while the character’s quiet determination has you rooting for him and cheering him on from your seat. The relationship between Ninjai and Little Bird will bring a tear to your eye at times as it is beautifully written and knows just how to pull at the heartstrings.
The Rise of Indie Production, The Ninjai Gang
Ninjai: The Little Ninja is produced by independent creatives that call themselves the Ninjai Gang. Consisting of a group of artists, animators, and martial artists, the Ninjai Gang are proving that excellent animation is not just reserved for the likes of Disney or Pixar. The stunning visuals, expert storytelling and high-quality of work that the Ninjai Gang are producing just go to show that talent trumps budget.
If like us, you are huge fans of anything anime, ninja, or fantasy, you are going to love Ninjai: The Little Ninja. Releasing later this year, we can’t wait for you to see it! One can find more updates on Ninjai – The Little Ninja on various media publications like The Ritz Herald, Markets Herald, Madison Graph, News Ledger, and others.
There are also fan-created unofficial channels that are sharing unofficial information and updates about Ninjai on Twitter, WordPress, Medium Blog, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading the article, hope you liked it!