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

SckizoBoy

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Weirdly, I think it was traditional Japanese theatre... I remember being contemptuous of it at the time and rudely mocking it as an artform. Eh, immature kid from the Sinosphere, I got over it.

Anyway, relevantly (if perhaps on the facetious side): those guys in the background dressed in black who are technically 'not there'.
 
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Bob_McMillan

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Probably that one book from The Magic Treehouse where they get whisked away to Japan and learn to become ninjas. That was actually quite fun, though they left out all of the assassin-y stuff.

After that, it was probably a tossup between Naruto and TMNT (2003). Both were on Cartoon Network at the same time.

Naruto is just straight up not about ninjas anymore, but in a way I would say TMNT went down that road as well. I actually really liked the 3D Nickelodeon version, they were very ninja-y at the beginning. Then they started doing the alien stuff, the multiverse stuff, etc, etc. It's not exactly a bad thing, it's not like you can have 6 seasons of purely authentic ninja action.

The most recent TMNT cartoon is animated pretty well, but looks awful. Shakes up the team and the mythos quite a bit too. Hell, I'd say it has more in common with Naruto than previous TMNT shows or comics.
 
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Satinavian

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Really not sure. Happened somewhere late 80s. Maybe the old GDR-based Mosaik comics that had doe a long Japan arc at a time which i really liked.
 

Thaluikhain

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TMNT...and now I've got the original animated series' theme song stuck in my head.

I'm led to believe that in the UK, they had to call them Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles due to censorship.
 

Bob_McMillan

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That's nothing new. The og comics, TMNT 1987, and TMNT 2003 already did that too.
True, but I don't think the older versions (cartoons at least) ever really tried to be as authentically "ninja" as the first Nick version. I mean, Mikey uses nunchucks... In the Nick version, they really doubled down on Japanese culture and ninja tools. Granted, I am relying purely on my memory. Its been a looooong time since I watched the older TMNT cartoons.
 

Kwak

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While made in Japan, that was set in China, so don't think it counts. Though it did have modern Western vampires and machine guns.
Eh, ninjas to me = any asian acrobatic flippy fighting, I'm uncultured in their ways.
 

BrawlMan

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True, but I don't think the older versions (cartoons at least) ever really tried to be as authentically "ninja" as the first Nick version. I mean, Mikey uses nunchucks... In the Nick version, they really doubled down on Japanese culture and ninja tools. Granted, I am relying purely on my memory. Its been a looooong time since I watched the older TMNT cartoons.
The 1987 version you somewhat have a point, but the 2003 version kept to be ninjas for most of the shows run, despite increasing sci-fi elements. The only time where it really went off rails was Seasons 5, where it tried incorporating elements from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and TMNT: Fast Forward. We don't talk about the FF. Back to the Sewers tried for a more back to basics approach, but failed.
 

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I just bought Five Elements Ninjas on Amazon. The DVD will be delivered on Friday. This will be my first time watching the full movie. Outside from some montage clips, and references from Wu-Tang, I have never seen the movie in full. I am going to have a ninja move marathon on Christmas.
 

Meximagician

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Does Samurai Pizza Cats count? It had ninja characters, at least.
Otherwise it was the original TMNT cartoons. The ones where any of them might turn and address the audience directly.

In terms of games it was probably Revenge of Shinobi. Wasn't lucky enough to have the version with all the copyright violations intact, though.
So no fighting Batman or Godzilla as a ninja for young me.
 
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BrawlMan

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Does Samurai Pizza Cats count? It had ninja characters, at least.
Yes. I see no problems with this. In the Japanese dub, they are called ninjas. The English dub changed this for no reason other than to sound catchy. It does have a nice ring to it, but Ninja Pizza Cats could have worked better.

In terms of games it was probably Revenge of Shinobi. Wasn't lucky enough to have the version with all the copyright violations intact, though.
So no fighting Batman or Godzilla as a ninja for young me.
I recall renting the version without the copyright bullshit a couple of times back in the day. I did not know about that story until early 2002.
 
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Fallen Soldier

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Yes. I see no problems with this. In the Japanese dub, they are called ninjas. The English dub changed this for no reason other than to sound catchy. It does a nice ring to it, but Ninja Pizza Cats could have worked better.


I recall renting the version without the copyright bullshit a couple of times back in the day. I did not about that story until the early 2002.
Heh I remember reading they lost the original Japanese script for samurai pizza cats, and had to make things up on the fly for the English dub.
 
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Agema

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Well, if we mean Eastern martial arts more widely, Monkey.

After that, I vaguely remember numerous games on the Spectrum 48k that were sort of Ninja-ish, although I'm not sure the designers really had a great conception of what a ninja was, or interpreted it liberally. Examples might be The Way Of The Tiger or Saboteur.
 

Gordon_4

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For further irony, the Japanese team and the writers actually prefer the English dub of the show.
Well, the original Japanese of Samurai Pizza Cats is a pretty straight forward young Shonen style show. Where the English dub is a fourth wall breaking comedy full of puns, sly humour and a great sense of camp.
 
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