Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu (ニニンがシノブ伝)

Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu (ニニンがシノブ伝 Ninin ga Shinobuden) is an anime and manga series by Ryoichi Koga (古賀 亮一 Koga Ryōichi?). The series subtitle is "The Nonsense Kunoichi Fiction". The anime has been licensed and released in North America by The Right Stuf International under the title Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu. The translated manga was released by Infinity Studios under the title Ninin Ga Shinobuden.
Ninja Nonsense is an absurdist comedy series which stars Shinobu, a young girl training to become a ninja. However, the series does not focus on ninja training, instead focusing on Shinobu's lifestyle and friends through a series of disjointed comedic plot lines. Towards this purpose, each episode of the anime is split into two separate stories. The series uses character designs that favor a soft and rounded look rather than the slender bishōjo style commonly used in anime or manga series featuring young girls.
The original title of the series is based on a pun. In the Japanese numerical system, ni is two, and shi is four. Ni (2) x ni (2) = shi (4), therefore Ni-ni-n ga Shi-nobuden.
Ninja Nonsense is an absurdist comedy, and as such there is no multi-episode story arc and very little plot within individual episodes. The characters essentially 'reset' at the beginning of each show, much like other absurdist comedies such as Galaxy Angel or Mini-Goddesses.
In the first episode Shinobu, a ninja apprentice, is attempting to pass her ninja exams while Kaede, a normal schoolgirl, studies for her school exams. As a part of her exam, Shinobu is ordered to break into Kaede's room to steal her panties by her instructor, Onsokumaru. Shinobu, who despite her enthusiasm, possesses little if any actual ninja skills, believes herself to be invisible and 'sneaks' into Kaede's room. Since Shinobu is perfectly visible to Kaede, the mission doesn't go as planned. Despite all of this, Kaede takes pity on Shinobu and the two become close friends.
Although this is a ninja-themed series, most of the twenty-four stories are self-contained snippets of Shinobu's life and dealings with her zany instructor, Onsokumaru and other ninja (sometimes referred to as the Sasuke Army). They are often accompanied by Kaede acting as the only voice of reason among the otherwise madcap characters. The series concludes with the Sasuke Army breaking the fourth wall and discussing how the anime should actually end, briefly exploring each of the options before ending on a positive note reinforcing the relationship between Shinobu and Kaede.

# Reference
Ninja Nonsense - Complete DVD Collection(

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