What was your first exposure to ninjas/shinobi/kunoichi? (All Ninja Discussion Thread)

BrawlMan

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It all started when I was 3, and one of my first Game Gear games was GG Shinobi.

My first movie involving ninjas was TMNT 1990.

My first "mature/adult" ninja movie was Ninja Scroll. I am not telling you when I first saw that movie.
 
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Drathnoxis

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Probably TMNT as well, but I did also have Shinobi for Game Gear.
 
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I grew up in the '80s, where you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a ninja movie of some sort. And like any kid at the time, I had a Blockbuster card.
Since I was a kid in the 90s, I never got a Blockbuster card. I was really young at the time, so I couldn't get one. My ninja experience was mostly video games and a few movies. And whatever cartoons were on TV at the time that featured them. Thankfully, anime was becoming a thing, so I got more exposure through that way. It was around when I was 13 and older that I start looking for more live action ninja movies that I could.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I remember playing a shinobi arcade machine way back in the day at a 7evelven or circle K or something after school when my mom would pick me up. I guess that is probably it since this was before Ninja Turtles.
 
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Zykon TheLich

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I grew up in the '80s, where you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a ninja movie of some sort. And like any kid at the time, I had a Blockbuster card.
This, except I didn't have a blockbuster card, or indeed a VHS, so I just heard about them from friends.
 
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Bedinsis

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While I was in kindergarten I once got to pick out something to rent from the video store, and picked out a VHS with some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes.

To this day I don't remember anything that happened in them. It therefore is my first ninja exposure, but since I did not engage with the narrative or the plot I don't count it.

The second encounter was when I read Naruto in the library, but I had already read up on the criticism against it beforehand and was therefore something of a snob so I didn't allow myself to think too warmly about it. And the opening stories was just "okay" anyway.

The third encounter was probably when I read Keroro Gunsou in the library, where the fifth frog and his human partner are ninjas. I liked those fine.
 
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The second encounter was when I read Naruto in the library, but I had already read up on the criticism against it beforehand and was therefore something of a snob so I didn't allow myself to think too warmly about it. And the opening stories was just "okay" anyway.
Even though Naruto has been around since 1999, I did not even know it existed until 2003, and I watched the anime back when it aired on Toonami. Stopped watching when I was 17, and never ever looked back, thank God! I did not know about its criticism, until the early YouTube scene. Even then, I did not need a bunch of anime/manga nerd snobs to tell the problems with Naruto. Plus, it turned in to another shounen, DBZ, power-up fest and became about demi-gods and godlike beings instead of ninjas. Give me Ninja Assassin any day over all of that.
 
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Bedinsis

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I did start knowing about its criticism until the early YouTube scene. Even then, I did not need a bunch of anime/manga nerd snobs to tell the problems with Naruto.
In my case it was by reading TVTropes and finding out that "despite messages of team work and hard work most battles are one-on-one and it revolves a lot about bloodlines" that made me apprehensive.
 
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a ninja who wore a bright-orange ski suit? I mean, what happened to "stealthy assassin"?
You'll see never heard that one before from Naruto fans and haters. Even the latter got sick of using that insult/criticism. I am not critzing you, but expect that should you say that in fandom and hater circles.

In my case it was by reading TVTropes and finding out that "despite messages of team work and hard work most battles are one-on-one and it revolves a lot about bloodlines" that made me apprehensive.
You are right to do so. See here:

 

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As a child, like most of us of a certain vintage, it was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As I got older other examples appeared, such as the....camp but fun 3 Ninjas movies, Mortal Kombat (I'm counting it on strength of Scorpion's presence) and I'm pretty sure I saw at least one American Ninja movie.

Ninja Scroll - while awesome as fuck - isn't really a 'Ninja' movie if I reflect on it. Protagonist Jubei is a Ronin Samurai rather than a Ninja. Most of the 8 Devils of Kimone are fighters with a supernatural gimmick - indeed one of them is also a Samurai, he's just blind. In fact Ninja show up all of three times: Kagero and the team of Koga Ninja, all of them wiped out to a man and Kagero spared because the first Devil of Kimone decided he wanted a bit of the old in-out, in-out after his spot of ultra violence, the Devil's henchmen at the end who are to Jubei as grass is to a lawnmower, and Dakuan who oddly is the closest thing to an actual ninja in the whole movie as a government spy walking around dressed in the regalia of a monk and does dirty dealings to get assistance and gathering intelligence.

That said the movie is still one of Anime's great epics with all the blood, steel and vengeance of anything in history. Some of its content is confronting, even today, but you're not going to see much better action anywhere else.
 
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Ninja Scroll - while awesome as fuck - isn't really a 'Ninja' movie if I reflect on it. Protagonist Jubei is a Ronin Samurai rather than a Ninja. Most of the 8 Devils of Kimone are fighters with a supernatural gimmick - indeed one of them is also a Samurai, he's just blind. In fact Ninja show up all of three times: Kagero and the team of Koga Ninja, all of them wiped out to a man and Kagero spared because the first Devil of Kimone decided he wanted a bit of the old in-out, in-out after his spot of ultra violence, the Devil's henchmen at the end who are to Jubei as grass is to a lawnmower, and Dakuan who oddly is the closest thing to an actual ninja in the whole movie as a government spy walking around dressed in the regalia of a monk and does dirty dealings to get assistance and gathering intelligence.
Indeed true, but at least most of the 8 Devils have some ninja-type abilities, ninjutsu, or skills, so it counts for something. Also, Dakuan is a ninja. One that works for government, so he definitely counts. Funny enough the professions of ninja and samurai have overlapped, so while Jubei is more so a ronin, he is technically a ninja given his past jobs and by some of his fighting techniques.
 

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Looks at thread...

So, I'm sure I was exposed to the concept of ninjas before them, but I'll probably have to play it safe and go with TMNT. I say "probably," because if we count the Power Rangers as ninjas, then it's debatable as to which I was exposed to first. Probably TMNT though, as my parents actually forbade me from watching Power Rangers at home due to being "too violent," but I caught episodes at friends' houses.

I'll also give a shoutout to Gordon and say that I also watched and loved the first three 3 Ninjas movies. I say first three, because then I caught High Noon at Mega Mountain later on, and yikes.

I'll also give a shoutout to Mortal Kombat, but that almost certainly came after TMNT/PR for me.
 
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I say "probably," because if we count the Power Rangers as ninjas, then it's debatable as to which I was exposed to first.
Ninjas didn't become a thing in Power Rangers until the Movie and Power Rangers: Ninja Storm.

Probably TMNT though, as my parents actually forbade me from watching Power Rangers at home due to being "too violent,"
How the fuck? TMNT 1990 and Secret of the Ooze are more violent than nearly anything Power Rangers! Your parents don't know the meaning of too violent. Batman: The Animated Series is way more violent than all of those combined.

I'll also give a shoutout to Gordon and say that I also watched and loved the first three 3 Ninjas movies. I say first three, because then I caught High Noon at Mega Mountain later on, and yikes.
camp but fun 3 Ninjas movies
3 Ninjas was too part of my childhood. The first one is the best. I vaguely remember the third movie, and I never touched High Noon, because I moved on at that point, and it looked like a disaster. A disaster I am glad to have never watched. Surf Ninjas was part of kid years too, but I have not watched that movie since I was 9.
 

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Now that I think about it, some time between TMNT and Naruto I actually saw one of the 3 ninjas movies. Specifically High Noon, since it was in rotation on the dedicated film channel TV1000 at the time.

I remember liking it fine at the time, but everybody seems to dislike it so I suspect it doesn't hold up.
 

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Specifically High Noon, since it was in rotation on the dedicated film channel TV1000 at the time.

I remember liking it fine at the time, but everybody seems to dislike it so I suspect it doesn't hold up.
You are correct. High Noon came out at a time when the TMNT craze was already dying down, and most clones had came and gone. It was the franchise trying to do one last cash-in, and to say it bombed is an understatement. The movie did not have an audience. They either grew up, or the intended the market had no interests.
 

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Ninjas didn't become a thing in Power Rangers until the Movie and Power Rangers: Ninja Storm.
Yeah, but from the outset there's a focus on martial arts. That, and by the time I started getting to Power Rangers, they were in season 3 of Mighty Morphin, where they had that sort of intermediary ninja thing between their civilian forms and ranger forms.

How the fuck? TMNT 1990 and Secret of the Ooze are more violent than nearly anything Power Rangers! Your parents don't know the meaning of too violent. Batman: The Animated Series is way more violent than all of those combined.
Well, didn't get to TMNT 1990 until well after it was released, and I've never seen Secret (I did see the third film a lot, which I absolutely loved). But it wasn't entirely their fault. I think first, there's the assumption that a cartoon is less violent than live-action. Second, I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happened in the US, but here, Mighty Morphin became big. Really big. Big enough that the violence issue was being discussed on the news and all that. So in hindsight, it's silly, but in the time, there was the controversy, and me not being able to watch it until later years was part of it.

As for Batman, that bypassed me entirely. I remember seeing ads for it, and being put off by how dark it was. I didn't really start watching any superhero stuff until Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

was too part of my childhood. The first one is the best. I vaguely remember the third movie, and I never touched High Noon, because I moved on at that point, and it looked like a disaster. A disaster I am glad to have never watched. Surf Ninjas was part of kid years too, but I have not watched that movie since I was 9.
I remember borrowing Surf Ninjas from the video store with a friend, as we both thought it was part of the 3 Ninjas franchise. We watched it, didn't like it much, and we learnt a valuable lesson in brand recognition. :p

As for 3 Ninjas...been ages, I'd say either the first or the third is the best, but there's nothing wrong with Kick Back either. As for High Noon...well, doesn't help that I was older, but there's an 'offness' to High Noon that sets it apart from the other three IMO. Partly because of the change in cast, partly because their grandpa is sidelined (though I think that was because his actor was getting on in age), but that aside, High Noon is...weird. It's got this weird mix of juvenile material (e.g. using toys to beat up what are effectively terrorists), with more adult material (e.g. said terrorists opening fire on police, who fire back, who call in SWAT, and the FBI), with Hulk Hogan (as "Dave Dragon") who's given top billing on the cover, yet barely succeeds in doing anything in the movie itself, and what he does do, isn't that impressive.

Granted, all of this was ages ago, but TL, DR, I'd say 3 Ninjas is best viewed as a trilogy, with this "other film" being added onto it.
 
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Yeah, but from the outset there's a focus on martial arts. That, and by the time I started getting to Power Rangers, they were in season 3 of Mighty Morphin, where they had that sort of intermediary ninja thing between their civilian forms and ranger forms.
I know, I was just pointing it out.

Well, didn't get to TMNT 1990 until well after it was released, and I've never seen Secret (I did see the third film a lot, which I absolutely loved).
The reason I pointed out Secret of the Ooze is because it's less violent than the first movie, but more violent than Power Rangers. III I considered okay as a kid, but I couldn't stand it anymore by the time I became a teenager.

I remember borrowing Surf Ninjas from the video store with a friend, as we both thought it was part of the 3 Ninjas franchise. We watched it, didn't like it much, and we learnt a valuable lesson in brand recognition.
Ha! It was a Ninja Turtles rip-off and can't blame you for getting them mixed up. Though Surf Ninjas is way more of a cartoon in comparison to the first 3 Ninjas at least.

As for 3 Ninjas...been ages, I'd say either the first or the third is the best, but there's nothing wrong with Kick Back either. As for High Noon...well, doesn't help that I was older, but there's an 'offness' to High Noon that sets it apart from the other three IMO. Partly because of the change in cast, partly because their grandpa is sidelined (though I think that was because his actor was getting on in age), but that aside, High Noon is...weird. It's got this weird mix of juvenile material (e.g. using toys to beat up what are effectively terrorists), with more adult material (e.g. said terrorists opening fire on police, who fire back, who call in SWAT, and the FBI), with Hulk Hogan (as "Dave Dragon") who's given top billing on the cover, yet barely succeeds in doing anything in the movie itself, and what he does do, isn't that impressive.
Kick Back is fine, but it was so weird seeing Rocky being played by someone who clearly did look like the kid from the first film. You don't know how jarring that was for me as a little kid. Like I said before, I only saw Knuckle Up three times in my entire life; all on TV. Never rented it nor owned it. I thought it was okay from what I remember, but this was at the point where I started to move on to other things. I still say the original is the best.

Granted, all of this was ages ago, but TL, DR, I'd say 3 Ninjas is best viewed as a trilogy, with this "other film" being added onto it.
Better yet, ignore High Noon and pretend it's from some bizzaro universe.