2×2=Shinobuden

May 28, 2010

Actually I have seen this show quite some time ago. Many years back actually. Just that I forgot to blog about it. It was a good thing too because it made me rewatch 2×2=Shinobuden (or its English equivalent Ninja Nonsense) to relive and remember all those hilarious moments and antics. Oh boy, and you thought being a ninja is tough. Wait till you meet this bunch of bums and losers.
 
Basically, there is no plot whatsoever in this laugh-out-loud comedy and even if you do need one, let’s just settle with what the so called students of Ninja Academy do and go about in their daily lives. Of course it is the characters which contribute mainly to the hilarious factor. First up, we have Shinobu, the only 16 year old girl in training in the village. Somewhat naive and dense. Tells us a lot doesn’t it. But the one that viewers would look forward for laughs is Onsokumaru who is Shinobu’s friend-cum-master. Wait, my mistake. More like perverted temperamental idiotic instigator. And that was just an understatement. Furthermore he is greedy, a cheater, lecherous, messy leader of the school. What the heck is this yellow piece of sh*t anyway? He can morph, he spews random nonsensical lines, he starts trouble, GETS into trouble, never learns and back to square one. Like a meaner version of Pac Man and his smile is not to be mistaken for that yellow Mr Smiley because it means a more sinister or perverted intent. Then the rest of the ninja students are typical ninja look-a-likes, probably clones, with the main one being called Sasuke. They too are perverts and have a herd mentality. Another useless good-for-nothing bunch. So what the hell is this ninja school for?
 
Due to the vulgar (hilarious from my point of view) nature of Onsokumaru, please beware that if you intend to watch this show, have a very open mind. Or at least leave your brain safe locked in the toughest safe box or the deepest cave in the world. Yeah, you could say that this series is filled with sexual innuendoes courtesy of that yellow ball. Not to mention some of his fanservice daydreaming fantasies and poor Shinobu doesn’t know the meaning of sexual harassment. Don’t let Onsokumaru corrupt your mind. Too late with mine. I couldn’t stop laughing, that is. Besides, Onsokumaru has already ‘warned’ viewers in the opening credits that this anime is fully loaded with, love, lust and youthful indiscretion. Beware, folks. Each episode is divided into 2 parts making the comedy ‘easier to digest’ as each episode title ends with "~no maki" (meaning, volume).
 
As seen in episode 1A, apprentice Shinobu has arrived and has been tasked by her bearded master (Onsokumaru in disguise for those naive believers) that she has to choose 1 of the 1000 tasks presented to her as her exam. They are all so weird that it makes you wonder what it has to do with being a ninja. I’m not sure if Shinobu was listening because she had to pick the so called easiest one, which is to gather female high school students’ underwear. Oh boy. And that unlucky female high school student seems to be Kaede Shiranui. Her night study for tomorrow’s exam is disrupted when Shinobu enters her room after confident of putting on an invisible spell. Of course Kaede like any other girl would assume she’s some sort of thief. Her identity gets busted, not to mention embarrassed. After pulling off a few ninja techniques which aren’t that good either (more like bloopers) and even Kaede is suspicious whether she’s really a ninja or not, Shinobu gets broken hearted and calls forth her partner: Onsokumaru. The yellow idiot makes his idiotic appearance coupled in with his wise cracks that only gullible Shinobu can believe. Shinobu then continues to raid Kaede’s underwear closet and this has Kaede screaming that she’s a pervert and the likes. This makes Shinobu lose heart once more and may have to abandon the exam. However Kaede gives her a panty since she knows how it feels like to be stressed out over an exam. Because of that, Kaede has no time to study as she feels awfully tired during her own exam. So if she thinks she’ll do her study properly this time, think again because Shinobu is back with another mission: To get a kiss mark. Yeah, repeat offender and frequent visitor from now on.
 
In episode 1B, Shinobu invites Kaede to her ninja village even if the latter doesn’t want to. The trip there is dangerous because Shinobu flies there via her kite while Kaede hangs on for dear life escaping obstacles by the skin of her teeth. And you thought driving was bad. As usual, the nonsensical Onsokumaru thinks up a short training scheme to improve Shinobu which includes showing her a flip cartoon of a man shitting backwards. WTF?! The girls enter the village to look for Shinobu’s master and the bearded appears. Kaede isn’t amused because it is obvious the master and Onsokumaru is the same idiot no matter how much he tries to deny. When master notes that outsiders aren’t allowed in this secret training centre and that if they do, they cannot leave alive, Kaede fears she’s going to be smacked for good with a baseball bat by Shinobu via Memories Fly Away technique. Of course Shinobu wouldn’t do something like that and it was just a joke. Onsokumaru throws up a tantrum as he harasses Kaede to marry him. Seeing her in danger, Shinobu whacks Onsokumaru and sends him flying. In the aftermath, Onsokumaru seems to have lost his memories and is acting like a baby. His memories indeed flew away very far. Shinobu then strips to show Kaede all her training scars but she should be more concern about her modesty. Shinobu then sends Kaede back via her kite. Not that transport mode again.
 
Even ninjas love watching the cherry blossoms in episode 2A. Yeah, they’re creating so much hype about doing so and when they’re prepared to step out, it’s raining heavily. Boo hoo! What has depressed ninjas got to do but stay in? Yeah, the usual indoor antics like when they find out Shinobu and Kaede get to grow flowers inside by sprinkling white ash of a burnt onigiri, they try to do the same but weird and horrible flowers grow instead. Cactus? Painful. Rafflesia? Stinks. The ninjas have the cheek to grow a rose on Onsokumaru’s head and tease him so he gets back at them. Having enough of this, Onsokumaru says they’ll make cherry blossoms bloom if they have to. Outside in the rain, everyone trudges through the so called ‘forest’ and in the pond they find a toy Nessie. Then a real crocodile shows up and almost swallows Onsokumaru. His extended limbs are the only reason preventing him from being crocodile food. Are the rest going to save him? Erm… After a few unrelated topic discussions, Shinobu is going to handle it by herself. She is going to pull Onsokumaru out with her great timing. With her full concentration, finally she sees an opening. Snap! Onsokumaru is still caught in the crocodile’s mouth and it’s like a tug-of-war now. Timing my foot! As for the couple of ninjas waiting at the cherry blossom spot, keep on waiting pals.
 
Shinobu tags along with Kaede to the city to shop together in episode 2B. As usual perverts Onsokumaru and Sasuke invite themselves to follow the girls. Shinobu isn’t used to the crowded streets but thankfully Kaede is around. Onsokumaru and Sasuke cause lots of commotion by attracting lots of unwanted attention not only from their weird appearances. Kaede must be having a hard time. She warns them to hide because she doesn’t want her friend to be in shock if she ever sees them. Too late. To Kaede’s horror, her friend seems to rather accept them and finds them cute and amusing! Onsokumaru commemorates her with a bouquet of roses, saying she is the 100,000th person to do so (liar!). As the gang eat at a diner, Shinobu seems to be pulling pranks on Onsokumaru and Sasuke. But it’s not her really. This fake Shinobu transforms into Miyabi, Shinobu’s littler prodigy sister who is a summoner. She wants Shinobu to quit being a ninja and be a summoner instead because she’ll learn nothing with those fools around (I agree). Onsokumaru feels threatened that their only sexy female student will be taken away and summons his ninjas but are easily beaten. Then her spell scrolls start to go out of control but the ninjas with great accuracy nail them all and restore order. However, it’s just fluke. Not skill, mind you. In the end, everyone gathers back in Kaede’s room and yeah, her place is sure lively as ever. How did it turn into a meeting place in the first place?
 
Onsokumaru is burning with rage and training his heart out (yeah right) in episode 3A to avenge the punishments that he’s been receiving from Miyabi. But he’s no match for the little girl no matter how many times he tries. All just big talk. Butt taking serious damage… Later Onsokumaru discusses with Sasuke and the other ninjas on how to defeat Miyabi. Sasuke introduces some guy named Devil. Woah. He’s got to be some tough cookie with such a scary name. Actually he is that crocodile who tried to eat Onsokumaru. Only difference he is domesticated and has been taught to speak. Maybe the domesticated part needs work. Lots of them. Still trying to eat Onsokumaru… The yellow pervert gets an idea to fuse his brains (don’t make me laugh) and Devil’s strength as he sits at the tip of its mouth (looking like a robot if you may call). As Shinobu tries to persuade Miyabi to go easy on Onsokumaru, Devil attacks but falls short. As a result, he accidentally swallows Onsokumaru so Miyabi uses a spell to pull him out. Not happy, Onsokumaru ransacks the place for a spell to even the score. He causes lots of mischief like scribbling in Miyabi’s books. When they finally cornered him, it finally took the gang some time to realize that there are 2 Onsokumarus! Yeah, stupidity is infectious. They learn he did chant a spell which causes a part of him to split. And to see both yellow idiots fight it out using cowardly tactics is just plain hilarious and downright stupid! Thankfully there is a time limit so the clone gets absorbed back to the real one. But he still doesn’t learn because the next time, there are like 100 clones of himself. Trouble multiplied!
 
The regular meeting with nothing but nonsense and empty talk takes place as usual in episode 3B. Shinobu was passing by when she eavesdrop that the gang are planning to make her leave. Devastated, Shinobu runs away from home. Where to seek refuge? At Kaede’s place. But of course. Kaede pities her and allows her to stay. However her mom, Kaori, is super enthusiastic about it and even considers Shinobu as the daughter she has always wanted. So what is Kaede to them? Even daddy too! Though Shinobu may be a klutz, she tries her best to help around. Then before the girls go in together for a bath, Onsokumaru and the ninjas barge in to demand Shinobu to come back. Kaede beats up Onsokumaru for being a heartless bully before learning that the reason why they wanted to make Shinobu leave was that they intend to get rid of the rats, cockroaches and pests that innocent Shinobu wouldn’t lay a finger on. They were going to tell her to stay away for a little while but I guess she jumped to conclusions. Looks like Onsokumaru got beaten up for nothing (not that I’m complaining). When it’s time for the girls to take a bath, Onsokumaru wants in and he intends to see how Mother Nature meant for them to look. Luckily, the girls get to take their bath in total peace and quiet while the perverts are tied up and dumped into the garbage section outside. Burnable garbage to be exact.
 
A hot summer day in episode 4A and I don’t think the heat is getting to their perverted heads. They’ve always been this way. Onsokumaru calls Shinobu to wonder what panty she is wearing and her reply is that she isn’t wearing one! Yeow! That’s only half true because she’s wearing a swimsuit. The gang then go to the river to cool themselves and as usual the idiots make fool of themselves and bother the girls. When Miyabi points out a changing room, the guys’ horniness start to kick in and peeping is on their mind. Let your fantasies run wild! However the ninjas become more infatuated in collecting beetles instead. They then spot a very rare beetle on Onsokumaru and start fighting over it. This causes Onsokumaru to fall over the falls. They kick into rescue mode but upon seeing the girls in their swimsuit, they totally forget about the yellow sh*t and start playing. Life is great! Woot! Onsokumaru is so pissed off that they left him to die, his rage unleashes a tidal wave. Wait a minute, that’s a real big one. The river suddenly turns into a large natural hotspring and though everyone else is safe, Onsokumaru is still being tossed in the air by the water spout. Maybe the rest are admiring the beautiful rainbow in the background…
 
In episode 4B, to Miyabi’s horror she finds out the idiotic ninjas, erotic yellow troublemaker and big sister are spying on her while talking to a boy she likes, Takeru. The usual suspects start teasing her about her dual personality but Shinobu plans to help her out. They take her to a forbidden medicine research facility and show her the ultimate love potion. Being the selfish bastard he is, Onsokumaru swallows the entire potion. However it’s divine retribution as one is supposed to give that potion to the person he/she likes as he/she will fall in love with whoever he/she sees first. Now Onsokumaru can’t open his eyes as he frantically calls for Shinobu. After using his so called super hearing to locate where she is, he opens his eyes only to see himself in a mirror. Yup, he falls for himself! And when he sees Shinobu in the mirror reflection, he gets jealous and thoughts of cheating crossed his mind. It’s Onsokumaru versus himself! The ninjas are betting to see who would win! Haha! Hilarious! The lab is destroyed and Miyabi regrets asking them for help. The next day, Onsokumaru and the ninjas try to kidnap and interrogate Takeru with their idiotic questions. Miyabi isn’t pleased and unleashes her summons to furiously beat them all up. But when she notices Takeru saw her violent side, she gets disheartened and runs away. Onsokumaru thinks he has claimed victory but got stepped on by Takeru as he chases after her. Shinobu thinks of going to but the ninjas say they’ll be fine. What a total u-turn in their personality. Trying to look cool? When Takeru catches up to her, he says that he doesn’t hate her and thinks she’s cool. This has relieved Miyabi to confess… But soon we see Miyabi mercilessly beating up Onsokumaru. But he is laughing like hell. S&M? Nope. It seems Miyabi’s confession was rejected by Takeru because he’s already got a girlfriend. Aww…
 
Onsokumaru once more causes his harassing nuisance in episode 5A so much so he’s making a mockery of the after life like how he’s looking forward to seeing hell. He tastes divine retribution again as a basin lands on his head, breaking his skull (on an unrelated note, I didn’t see any brain there). The next thing he knows, he is in hell as he meets Shinobu the angel and Kaede the judge Enma. He can still be a nuisance in the after life! Kaede sends him to hell for his life filled with bad deeds. He meets Sasuke and the ninjas as ogres but they’re so weak that after Onsokumaru tells them a perverted fairytale, he wants them to take him to heaven where they can find stories like this everywhere. I don’t know how but they got there and Onsokumaru is pissed to see Miyabi and Devil residing in heaven. He thinks the judge is corrupt and proceeds to install himself as one. Upset Kaede hammers his head and breaks his skull. With that, he is banished from the after world and returns back to his Earthly life. Not even the after wants this pervert. Everyone especially Shinobu is relieved that he is alive so she hugs him so tight that she may have actually killed him this time. It’s like heaven and hell being smothered by her boobs, don’t you think?
 
Another hot summer in episode 5B when a blackout occurs. Onsokumaru suggests a scary story because his ulterior motive is to get those girls huddle close to him as part of his perverted plan. The ninjas think the same. Unfortunately Shinobu too has the same idea and at this rate she may turn into a lesbian due to her infatuation with Kaede. Onsokumaru starts with some story about a large scary eye which turns out to be a life size figure of a maid bishoujo. No prizes to guess what Kaede did to that idiot. Probably it’s not a good idea getting cooked up in their village so the gang visit the Bon Odori festival. They have their fun (or nuisance in the case of Onsokumaru) before singing their own version of the festival dance song and finally watching the fireworks.
 
A typhoon is passing through in episode 6A and the clowns are still fooling around. Onsokumaru gets blown away by the wind and ends up in Kaede’s room. Oh no. Sexual harassment alert. Kaede throws him away but soon Shinobu worried that her precious Kaede may get ‘tainted’, she goes looking for him but finds he is gone. The typhoon picks up so Shinobu has no choice but to stay. Onsokumaru is back in the village with the ninjas and upon finding out where Shinobu will stay for the night, to his horror this place will be filled with nothing but men! The storm is keeping them from taking even an inch outside so I guess they can’t bring back Shinobu. I don’t know how or why but Miyabi is cooking for them. She’s a horrible cook by the way. The house is on fire… With the useless bunch, it’s amazing how they made it through the night. It’s all clear and sunny the next morning as Shinobu returns only to find everyone in devastating conditions. However she gets thrilled after misinterpreting they had a candle party. She doesn’t know the hell that they’ve been through.
 
Onsokumaru mounts a search and rescue party for Shinobu in episode 6B after learning she went mushroom hunting in the mountains and fears her naivety may put her in danger. I think he’s going to be the real danger. Thankfully Shinobu along with Kaede and Miyabi are safe but is it? The ninjas test taste a mushroom and start going crazy. Onsokumaru follows suit. With the guys persisting the girls to join their mushroom club, suddenly another female ninja, Izumi, appears and saves them. She is also another ninja teacher of another class as Shinobu introduces the gang back at Izumi’s village. It seems Onsokumaru knows her. How well? Enough to say that she was the wind that passed over his body. They didn’t believe him at first but seeing how Izumi blushed, OMG! It must be damn true! Surprise, surprise. Izumi’s students (all girls) make their appearance so the ninjas start acting tough like they’re hell of a good. However they’re still useless despite the female students showing off their true strength beneath their girly smiles. Meanwhile Onsokumaru and Izumi chat over tea and the latter is not too happy that he still haven’t told Shinobu about ‘that’. He says she’ll find out when the time comes. The ninjas then ruin their conversation as they plead to Izumi that her girls are mean. This causes Izumi to snap as she proceeds to give harsh training to those losers. Yeah, she can’t stand weak men.
 
In episode 7A, Onsokumaru gets stuck onto Miyabi’s clothes after she tripped and fell on him. This is much worse than death. To make things worse, he can’t come off. Arguing with a pervert doesn’t make things better either. I guess Miyabi gets desperate so she tries to pull him off. The rest joins in pulling/stretching him but soon the backlash has Onsokumaru wrapped around her entire body. Gross! Now he controls her movements! Super gross! Miyabi zaps everyone including herself when she lost her cool to revert back to how it was. Not wanting to sleep with this pervert, Sasuke gets an idea: Chop him off! Oh my God! Panic Onsokumaru flies away with Miyabi intact. In mid-air, Miyabi struggles so Onsokumaru loses control and starts falling at rapid speed. Miyabi cries for help when Onsokumaru sprouts wings as they float down slowly. Remember, this idiot can fly. As they watch the scenery, reluctant Miyabi thanks him but it’s not over yet because he can’t hold much longer and suddenly drops like a rock. I don’t know how the shallow pond in their village broke their fall but because of that, they are separated by the wetness. Miyabi and Onsokumaru continue with their ‘friendly argument’. A few days later, Onsokumaru is stuck on Sasuke’s butt. And he’s going to fart…
 
No day is a day of peace with Onsokumaru continuing to be the tyrant by disrupting the girls’ badminton game by playing catch with the ninjas in episode 7B. He proceeds to throw his diabolical pitch which causes damage (more like nuisance) everywhere. He also throws the baseball onto Shinobu’s boobs so when the latter throws back the ball and whoever catches it can keep it, the guys are up to it. However her pitch is so damn powerful that it makes them look pathetic. Onsokumaru has no choice but to make it a gender challenge. But there are only 2 girls. Their problem, says he? Hah, watch what you say because Miyabi, Izumi and her entire female students join in to help out the girls. The baseball match begins with Onsokumaru playing dirty mind tactics on Shinobu but still flops. Probably the sexy cheerleading from the other side is distracting the ninja boys. Too bad. Onsokumaru plays dirty by blindfolding Sasuke (who is the umpire) so that he could unleash hundreds of baseball. However Miyabi counters this tactic by summoning hundreds of hands to catch them all. This means the tactician is defeated by his own scheme as they lost by hundreds all in one shot. The girls win but Onsokumaru continues to bully Shinobu, accusing her if winning like this makes her happy. The next day, Shinobu and Kaede continue their badminton game but the guys interrupt and blame them for intruding their sumo wrestle space. Perhaps they just wanted the girls to play with them after all.
 
Shinobu and Onsokumaru pay another visit to Kaede’s house in episode 8A but Kaede isn’t in. Onsokumaru thinks of setting several pranks when a hideous monster appears and freaks them out. Actually it is Kaede in disguise and she did a pretty good job in scaring the pants out of them. Of wait, the yellow freak isn’t wearing any pants. Anyway he’s still scared and acting tough. The duo learn Kaede is to play a monster for her class’ haunted house during her school’s cultural festival. She invites Shinobu to participate but of course she is more cute than scary. Kaede and Onsokumaru argue on what monster Shinobu should play. A nekomimi one or an erotic kappa. Of course Kaede wins. Using her fist. Nothing that can’t be resolve by violence, eh? Also, Kaede thinks that due to Shinobu’s horrible acting, she thinks of putting her as the receptionist in this outfit. This prompts Onsokumaru to wonder if Kaede has what it takes to wear the monster outfit the whole day. Probably this got to her so she agrees to undergo stamina training. Yeah, part of Onsokumaru to unleash his harassment and pervertness. After tying up the idiot, Shinobu takes over training which has Kaede tying a rope to her waist and run as fast as she could without dropping. Kaede isn’t happy with the low progression rate so Shinobu gets philosophical about hard work and effort. I guess she was partly referring to herself so she breaks down as Kaede comforts her. During the school festival, Shinobu’s cuteness is attracting the crowd. When Kaede finds out Onsokumaru and Sasuke’s plan to touch girls’ body at the festival, she blows her top but they flee.
 
Onsokumaru and the ninjas are at their usual frolicking about jumping over a young plant in episode 8B. Shinobu shows Kaede a new plant of hers which turns out to be a large wild ferocious man eating plant. Calling it Pochinosuke doesn’t make it look cute. The odd part is that every time Shinobu looks the other way, Pochinosuke grabs and swallows as many birds and butterflies into its mouth! Dumbfounded Kaede tries to indicate this to Shinobu but every time she turns, Pochinosuke becomes tame. See a pattern here? Soon Pochinosuke starts rampaging around the village which ranges from outraging Onsokumaru’s modesty to rare anime collections (what kind of ninjas keep those). Sasuke learns from an encyclopaedia that long ago this plant’s seed would be thrown into an enemy castle to destroy it. Plus, the more it eats, the bigger it grows. The buildings undergo serious damage as Shinobu pleads for it to stop only to fall on deaf ears. Shinobu starts crying and that’s when Pochinosuke returns to its domesticated state and vomits out all the birds and butterflies it swallowed. There is also the cat, electrical appliances and several ninjas. Wow. Shinobu gets the green light from Onsokumaru to keep it after promising it will behave and to take care of it (that yellow sh*t was thinking of perverted thoughts. Wrapping tentacles, for instance). Later, Shinobu is disheartened to find Pochinosuke gone but Onsokumaru assures here otherwise because Pochinosuke now has many seedlings that are running wild.
 
The heater broke in episode 9A so Onsokumaru nearly got his balls frozen. Shinobu suggests the gang to visit the newly opened open air bath which was that natural hotspring previously. Of course the girls aren’t going to get into the same water as the guys no matter how much persuasion they make. Miyabi sends them all to another section as her summoners keep watch to prevent any untoward incident. After getting bored talking about each other’s perverted dreams, Onsokumaru plans on going to the ‘other side’. While the girls are soaking, a monkey comes up to them before leaving. Seems it was a spy sent by the guys to report what it saw but since monkeys can’t write or draw, those scribbles are up to one’s interpretations. Then they are shocked to see Devil with a better drawing on the girls. Realizing the girls have no qualms sharing their bath with animals, Onsokumaru joins up with Devil. After noticing several types of baths (money bath?), Devil steps on a high voltage barb wire bath and the electrocution sends Onsokumaru flying in the sky. He is coming down fast into the girl’s area and nothing can stop him, not even Miyabi’s summons. However he is defeated when frightened Shinobu knocks him away with her hair. Back home, the heater is fixed but this time lots of afro hairs come out from the hose. Yeah a pun of afuro (bath) and afro. Duh…
 
Kaede catches a cold in episode 9B so panic Shinobu promises to nurse her back to health. Can she? Oh no. Not Onsokumaru too. I can’t believe Kaori left them in their hands. How can Kaede rest when the round idiot is causing the usual commotion like wanting the girls to strip naked and rub their bodies with each other’s warmth, make a hell lot of copies of himself via the photostat machine and scattering it all over her room. Shinobu thinks of getting medicinal herbs in the dangerous forest heavily guarded by the Kiba Clan. She’s sounding as though it’s life or death. It’s only a cold, girl. Anyway Shinobu doesn’t know how the herb looks like so Onsokumaru shows her. Hey, they can use that instead of really going. Next day, Kaede is well and it seems Onsokumaru has caught her cold. Wait a minute. I thought Japanese believe idiots don’t catch a cold? Anyway, feeling sorry, Kaede pays him a visit only to see him fooling around. Furthermore, he sexually harasses Shinobu in the name of nursing and it is a success because that girl is so naive. Now he wants Shinobu to bath him but the ninjas stand in their way. No, they do not intend to bath with Shinobu. Instead, they are going to protect her by washing Onsokumaru on her behalf! Yeah, the manly skinship. At the end of the day, Shinobu catches the cold so Kaede takes care of her. She puts her forehead on hers and gives her words of encouragement. I’m sure Shinobu took this the wrong way because she invited Kaede into bed with her so I guess she had it and leaves. Not funny, you know.
 
In episode 10A, Kaede receives an invitation from Shinobu to join them on 24th December for food, drinks and laughter. Thinking it’s a Christmas party, to her horror she finds out they know nuts about it as the event is supposed to have them finish preserved food before it expires. WTF?! Kaede offers to teach them the basics of a Christmas party. Stupid Onsokumaru tries to steal the spotlight by eating both the cakes Kaede bought, bringing poor Shinobu to tears. Next, they are to exchange gifts. Since Onsokumaru’s gift is erotic kiss coupons, nobody wants to trade their presents with him. Kaede gives Shinobu a scarf as a present and the latter some cane sword to the former. Does she really need that? Everybody revel in happiness while Onsokumaru sulks outside. Kaede tells Shinobu that Christmas is a time for a girl to spend time with the one she loves and asks if she has anyone special in her heart. Shinobu nods and Kaede is excited to know who that person is. However her enthusiasm diminishes when she realizes Shinobu is staring at her with those eyes. Uh oh. Yeah confirmed she’s turned into a lesbian. Then everyone goes outside to watch the snow fall while Onsokumaru quietly ransacks the gifts.
 
As Onsokumaru and the ninjas argue about cleaning duties in episode 10B, he learns Shinobu discovered a secret passage in the mansion. Clumsy Shinobu soon gets herself trapped in a secret passage with Onsokumaru as everyone else starts to panic. In the dark passage, Shinobu’s clumsiness sets off several traps and Onsokumaru bears the brunt of it. The traps seem perverted… They exit the passage only to find themselves in Kaede’s yard. And she thought she was going to have a nice quiet and day. When they regroup back at the village, Sasuke brings in a box with a clear warning sign that it’s cursed. Before you know it, Shinobu opens it and curiosity kills the cat. The curse has almost everyone with changed personalities depending on the prop they don. Weird ones. Sports car curse? Afro curse? Hamster curse? WTF?! Shinobu gets the moe curse of the megane girl. I guess Onsokumaru and Sasuke felt left out and race each other to grab the last cursed prop. Sasuke wins leaving the yellow loser to be all alone. Furthermore, there is a note in the box which congratulates that one will not be cursed (the kanji writing of congratulations and curse are closely similar). Thankfully Miyabi purifies them all and quells the chaos. In the aftermath, Onsokumaru dresses up as a tangerine and makes up his own tangerine curse. I think his whole personality is a curse, don’t you think?
 
Sasuke hogs the limelight in episode 11A. After waking up from his perverted harem fantasy dream, he overslept and is late for class so Onsokumaru plans on replacing the class leader. A pair of mean looking ogre brothers, Sodom and Gomora arrive at the doorstep of the ninja village but they encounter Miyabi. Meanwhile Sasuke is trying to plead his case (or rather give excuses) when he sees Miyabi being confronted by the ogres. He goes into action mode to save Miyabi from being captured. After all that hyped up exaggeration, he puts mustard underwear on Gomora to send the big ogre in spicy pain. Then he dukes it out with little Sodom and overcomes his illusion tactic by throwing card shurikens up his butt. After some heroic words, we learn that the ogres were here to retrieve their baseball. Haha, got beaten up for nothing. While the ogres are being treated, the rest looks suspiciously as Sasuke. But he makes it up by returning their baseball and all is well ends well. Okay, he cleaned his mess up by talking nonsense. In the end, Onsokumaru replaces Shinobu as the class leader as Sasuke continues to have his nightly perverted fantasies.
 
Kaede must regret saying that she is bored on New Year in episode 11B. Yeah, Shinobu and the entire ninja pals turn up to spend New Year’s Day with them. Too bad Kaori accepts them. They sure act like as though this is their house. Kaede learns Shinobu and the gang are doing a play as they will host a theatrical convention so they discuss what play they should put on. They decide on the classic Japanese folktale, The Crane Maiden. Of course with their own twists. Onsokumaru and Sasuke being the crane which is supposed to be found and brought back by kind Shinobu. Some perverted crane. This isn’t how the story went. In the folktale, the crane’s identity has to be kept secret while he repays the saviour with happiness and wealth till his curiosity ruins it. In their version, Onsokumaru and Sasuke tell Shinobu and Kaede not to peep but curiosity got the better of them. They do so and only find them fooling around. Then the room caught fire so pissed off Kaede is fed up with their lies and that they were just fooling around. This gave her away that they peeked and in the end, a sudden story switch to another Japanese folktale, Momotarou, in which Onsokumaru and the ninjas leave them to fight ogres. Because everyone fell asleep, Onsokumaru is mad that he wasted his breath and gets back by putting tangerines on everyone’s sleeping faces. Suddenly Kaori slaps him for wasting food! Woah! Just like Sasuke says, the first moral lesson since the show began! Onsokumaru quickly reconciles so Kaori forgives him and all goes back to normal. To make things worse, Kaede’s dad was fascinated with the performance so Onsokumaru declares that they all will be his children from now on. Haha! Do you want a yellow pervert and a bunch of losers as your brothers? Think not.
 
It’s been a year since Shinobu entered Kaede’s life in episode 12A. The ninjas want Onsokumaru to explain the thing Izumi ticked off Onsokumaru for not telling Shinobu yet several episodes back. Because the yellow freak is making up nonsense, the ninjas take matter into their own hands and reveal about ‘that’. Yeah, Shinobu is a candidate for the next queen of Magic Land. Some magical girl parody as Shinobu passes her test so Onsokumaru isn’t needed and disappears much to her sadness. After all that teary emotional drama, then it is ruined when he returns as the Magical Prince disguised as her magical pet. Some story. Soon the gang receives a letter stating that Shinobu is to undergo a final exam so Onsokumaru is going to tell her everything. After several false alerts which Shinobu easily falls for (like he is her brother), he finally reveals that the bearded master and him are the same person. However Shinobu brushes it off and says it was a good disguise. Haha! The easiest see-through lie is the most shocking truth that is so hard to believe. Onsokumaru further explains that if she doesn’t pass the exam, her chance to study abroad in England will go down the drain, that’s why he has trained her properly for the whole year. WHAT TRAINING?! More like fooling around and partying! Now the time has come, die lor… Kaede is eavesdropping outside and feels uncomfortable upon knowing this.
 
Shinobu burns the midnight oil with Miyabi assisting her, the ninjas cheering on and Onsokumaru lazing around in episode 12B. Some master he is. On exam day, Shinobu is in a dilemma to go on because if she passes, she will go to England but will never see Kaede again. However this is her dream too. Kaede supports her dream but deep down in her heart, it’s tough. Yeah, though she’s a nuisance but she is HER nuisance. The exam has candidates needing to enter and exit the tough Cave of Ordeals. Everyone is there to show their support as Onsokumaru and Izumi are part of the judges. Shinobu thinks of pulling out when Kaede arrives and encourages her to do her best. Shinobu gets her self confidence and due to time constraints, we see her emerging from the cave to enter the final phase of the test, that is to defeat her master Onsokumaru. Though reluctant, however her body reaction tells us a different story. Uh huh. She may be dramatically saying that she can’t do it but she’s whipping his ass like nobody’s business. Being the sore loser he is, Onsokumaru refuses to admit defeat, gives excuses, earning the wrath and resentment of the rest. Yeah, he’s showing his true colours. A few days later as Kaede narrates, Shinobu has left for England and though her days are quieter, she feels a little lonely. It’s hard to give up on all that ruckus once you’ve gotten used to it. She continues it was hard for her to visit the village and felt the past year was just a dream. As she turns around the corner, to her surprise she sees Shinobu. Not dreaming definitely. She flunked her so they sent her home. So fast? Now we know who to blame for her failure. Shinobu needs to report this to her master and hesitatingly requests Kaede to accompany her. Kaede instantly hugs her.
 
It’s a shame that this series does not have a sequel. I would really love to look forward to Onsokumaru and his nonsensical antics. That guy sure cracks me up. I know this may sound disturbing but that yellow ball is my favourite character in the series because he provides the most laughs. It’s been such a long time since I have laughed out loud and rewatching this series sure brought back memories. That yellow guy has got a way with words though they may be debatable especially his perverted actions. With him around, I wonder how they’re ever going to be a real ninja. They won’t even size up to Naruto at this rate (not that he’s the ultimate ninja whatsoever). With all the fooling, lazing and revelry, my guess is that everyone is better off suited being clowns. Would they become better ninjas if Izumi took charge? Somewhere deep down in my heart I’m hoping Onsokumaru would at least have a spin-off sequel for himself. 0x0=Onsokumaruden anyone? Can’t get enough of that guy, really (for laughs, that is).
 
Shinobu has got a long way to go and I feel she won’t be a ninja too at this rate for being too susceptible and innocent. Thankfully with Kaede around, this should keep Onsokumaru’s perverted antics to the minimum. At least, but not guaranteed. Look at how the power of friendship has changed her. Initially she was reluctant to be with this weirdo ninja girl. As time goes by, she accepts her and even makes frequent visits to the ninja academy. I guess the same for Miyabi towards those blokes. Wouldn’t want to have it any other way, wouldn’t they? Hey, someone has got to play the idiot. Even if that plot about not letting Shinobu know about ‘that’ (which probably was about Onsokumaru and the bearded master being the same person), it is forgivable that they didn’t ‘properly’ lay it out as mentioned and parodied in the final episode since this show lacks a proper storyline anyway. Not that I would care a lot about either.
 
The voice acting is superb and perfectly fits the characters in their series. Of course the best one has to go to Onsokumaru who is voiced no other than Norio Wakamoto (Britannia Emperor in Code Geass series, the Narrator in Hayate No Gotoku). Every tone and pitch highly corresponds with the several moods of Onsokumaru. From his low sexy voice to when he blows his top to nonsensical gibberish. You just got to love his voice. Nana Mizuki too is befitting of her role as Shinobu, making her sound naive and gullible but at the same time exuding lots of moe and cuteness. You can recognize her in similar voices from other animes such as Moka of Rosario To Vampire and Kotoko of Itazura Na Kiss. Ayako Kawasumi as Kaede is equally suitable as the voice of reasoning among the pack of jokers. She was the voice of Nodame in Nodame Cantabile and Oono in Genshiken. Who wouldn’t recognize Rie Kugimiya as Miyabi due to her trademark tsundere loli voices. You’ll know what I mean if you have watched Louise in Zero No Tsukaima or Taiga in Toradora. Versatile Tomokazu Seki does Sasuke (Sagara in Full Metal Panic, Kyo in Fruits Basket), Michiko Neya as Izumi (Riza in Fullmetal Alchemist) and Rio Natsuki as Kaori (Nanami in El Hazard series).
 
The opening theme, Shinobu Sanjou! by Kumano Kiyomi and sounds like your typical Japanese anime pop beat. Of course the opening credits is filled with hilarious stuff and by now we all know it’s due to that yellow guy. The ending theme, Kuru Kururin by kaoru sounds like a western country song because of the banjo picking. The animation here is a mix of claymation and 2D paper cuttings. As for the drawing and art, I wouldn’t say they are bishoujo style exactly as the characters especially the girls are drawn towards a more roundish and cute extent. As far as I’m concern, the only real guy to show his face is Kaoru’s nameless dad. What about Takeru you say? Well, I thought he looked a little girly. The rest were just non-human. The ninjas? Well, even if they took off their clothes, they still left their mask and head gears on. It’s like it is part of their face or head.
 
Why bother opening a school for ninjas when all they do is having fun all year round? Beats me. But at least now I know the reason why and how the term yellow culture came about. Yeah, everything points to the direction of you-know-who. Remember people, do not try or say any stuff from Onsokumaru as your wellbeing, not to mention your self image, will be severely affected. So if an apprentice ninja comes into your room looking for something unwarranted, would you relent or would you turn her down? The answer would be clear cut if there is a yellow freak around. And we all know where and who to look for if we ever need a wild good time, riotous fun and rousing entertainment. That’s why, to quote from Shinobu, "My feelings are always swirling". "GABORAAAA!".
 

2x2=Shinobuden

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