I believe the Senran Kagura franchise is very much popular in Japan and has a steady following till today. But I didn’t really count on having a sequel after 5 years after its TV debut back in 2013. Even if a single OVA 2 years later in 2015, I thought that was just a one off thing. And now, here it is. Senran Kagura Shinovi Master: Tokyo Youma-hen probably would appeal to hardcore fans as well as try to introduce newer ones to the series. I mean, after all these years and finally a sequel? Heh. Not the first series that waited for so many years to have another sequel. Because To Aru Majutsu No Index in that same season started its third season when its second season was way back in 2011! But anyway, maybe the creators need to widen their fan base for this ecchi series. That’s why suddenly out of the blue you have this sequel. The more the merrier, right? Oh, right. The more fans, the more money to milk… ;p.

Episode 1
Asuka and Yumi are out shopping together on Christmas. I guess our shinobi girls also need some time out and act like normal girls. Including buying lots of stuffs. On the other side, Homura’s side is working part time to get that turkey dinner and so as not to skip on their training too, WTF these quick foot tapping technique in public? After Asuka and Yumi are done and ready to head home, they realize a hairband accessory Asuka bought is missing. Time to split up and look for it. An excuse to show off their shinobi skills without the crowd even noticing. Meanwhile the other Hanzou girls are also returning from their shopping but are confronted by ninja girls from Gessen Girls Academy, Gekkou and Senkou. First they ask their thoughts on power and justice. I guess they didn’t like their answer so the only solution? Eliminate them! Yumi has found the lost present and calls Asuka. But looks like the meet up will be delayed as Asuka detects some youma in the alley and destroys them. Gekkou and Senkou mock how she was struggling to defeat the youma and decide that kind of justice is not needed. Yeah. Eliminate! Asuka loses to them as they are stronger and faster. However, upon learning to duo has got rid of her friends (that small piece of cloth was enough for Asuka to identify with?), Asuka gets mad and fights back. Unfortunately she gets beaten up even more. Wow. She really took a pounding there. I’m not sure if this is really the justice they’re talking about because I thought they wanted to eliminate her but just left her defeated there and not even making sure she’s dead or dispose her body.

Episode 2
Yumi can’t concentrate on her training as she remembers Asuka never met up with her. Suddenly an arrow is fired at her. No biggie to stop it but attached to it is an invitation to a spa resort. Obviously a trap but since her Death Cram girls are eager to go, I guess that’s your answer. Meanwhile the Hebi girls are on a mission to kidnap some evil politician, only to be interrupted by Miyabi’s side who is hired by the ugly baddie to protect him. Man, they fight until they’re naked? Until an arrow stops them. It seems Miyabi’s side was also to force this politician to confess his sins so it’s a win-win? Eventually all the shinobi girls arrive at the spa. Swimsuit fanservice galore as they have the entire resort to themselves. Haruka suggests a water gun game. With her special chemicals, the liquid will turn your swimsuit naked. You are out if you become totally naked and the last girl standing wins. Get ready to feast your eyes! I guess this would be all too familiar for those who played the game version of Peach Beach Splash. Eventually it is a draw since all of them got naked. Yeah, we viewers are the real winners! Then Gekkou and Senkou show up. So all this elaborated setup was just to see if they’re willing to participate in the strongest shinobi tournament, Shinobi Masters? So why would they go along with this plan? Because otherwise, these Hanzou girls will die! Now you know why the Hanzou girls never showed up, right? Details to be further furnished, so stay tuned. In the meantime, please hone your skills. You mean of the fanservice kind? Just kidding. As the rest noticed that Asuka wasn’t the only one captured, later it seems Yumi knows where to find Asuka. Glad she is okay, but Asuka doesn’t want her to enter Shinobi Masters. A sunken Asuka realized there is no justice for shinobi.

Episode 3
Asuka attacks Yumi and wounds her before escaping. Yumi is disappointed as Asuka was the one who taught her the meaning of justice. Meanwhile Suzune gives the green light to Miyabi to participate in Shinobi Masters as she is interested to know what Gekkou and Senkou are up to. Yumi talks to Homura about Asuka. They believe she has her reasons for doing so. Hence they are going to participate in Shinobi Masters to not only help the Hanzou side but to fight the best ninjas. Noticing Yumi’s wound, Homura suggests a visit to the hotspring to recuperate. And today’s fanservice of free tits flowing. Don’t mind Murakumo’s tits fondling logic for manga realism. Poor Mirai got insulted with her non-existent boobs. Meanwhile Fubuki has stumbled into the shrine of the Mikagura sisters, Renka, Hanabi and Kafuru. This means Kagura is around. Before they could fight, the loli shows up. Fubuki wants Kagura to participate in Shinobi Masters as the winner will get to fight to ultimate youma. Homura could sense Asuka around. Again Asuka tells her not to participate in Shinobi Masters. Homura somewhat understands her situation and that she wants to save her friends. But the only way they get through to each other is via fighting. And while Homura spouts about strength and friends, ironically it is Asuka who plays dirty tricks to eventually defeat her.

Episode 4
Fubuki proves herself that she could control a youma. Kagura transforms herself into her adult form to fight but everything is so fast that we can’t see. Yeah, we only see ripped clothes! When Kagura asks about Fubuki’s identity, she will only get her answer if she participates in Shinobi Masters. Homura is being treated by her comrades as they contemplate to pull out of Shinobi Masters. Yozakura finds a photo in a yearbook that proves Gekkou and Senkou are a student of Gessen, Yumi’s former middle school. So if you’re wondering why the need to show Yumi’s flashback with her grandpa, Kurokage and all the kindness he taught her, well, Fubuki also has a picture of him. Death Cram girls infiltrate Gessen but since Yumi is super famous, dress up in their school uniform and everyone leaves them alone?! They go about trying to find those sisters. Shiki, Minori and Murakumo talk to other students who praise the sisters as talented in everything as well as friendly. Something feels off, right? Yumi and Yozakura have found the sisters and tail them to the rooftop. Of course they know this stalking and before you know it, they fight. Their other friends come to aid them but Yumi won’t allow the fight to continue for fear this might hurt other students. This has the sisters mention her justice is pathetic. So their view that the weak has no justice is better? They believe they are the ones who will carry on Kurokage’s teachings. The date and venue of Shinobi Masters is confirmed. We see Yumi and Miyabi’s team attending as the sisters host this show that will be streamed live all over the shinobi network. Fubuki makes her opening speech that she organized this tournament and summoned strong shinobi from various schools to compete. Let the games begin!

Episode 5
With Kagura’s side joining Shinobi Masters, that makes the total number of teams participating… Wholly sh*t! Only 3 teams?! Man, I thought there was supposed to be 100 teams. Either the rest of the shinobi schools are not good enough or they just didn’t bother accepting this invitation. Also, Fubuki smokes out Asuka hiding but too bad she didn’t have an invitation so she can’t participate and can only watch. Homura’s side couldn’t participate since Haruka declined as they thought Homura won’t recover. As the rogue shinobi they are, they’re going to sneak in of course. Shinobi Masters is a round robin match. The first match pits Yumi’s side against Kagura’s side in this naked dodgeball. The bomb explodes upon slightest contact (except the special gloves) and gets you naked when it hits you. Ah… Whose team gets their captain naked first, loses. To cut things short, Yumi’s team wins. For the next match, it is Kagura’s side versus Miyabi’s side in this naked cavalry match. The team whose captain falls to the ground loses. But in the end, Kagura deliberately falls and loses the match. Meanwhile Suzune has detected youma appearing in Kikai Dome and all other ninjas have perished. Yup, only students left. No time for this Shinobi Masters. Luckily she stumbles into Homura’s side. They sneak around and find the other Hanzou girls but also realize there is a youma there too. The final match has Yumi’s team facing off with Miyabi’s team in this naked capture the flag game. You fall in the water, you’re naked and out. In short, Yumi’s side wins. But it’s not over yet as Yumi’s team will have to face Fubuki and the sisters. NOW! Yeah, so you complain you have no strength left to fight right now? Doesn’t this prove you aren’t the best shinobi team out there? And now Asuka wants to join in? And Fubuki allows it? When Yumi wants to fight alongside her, Asuka refuses. Time out. Time to talk things out. Yumi gives Asuka that present they shopped the other day. Yeah, more talk about justice, protecting smiles and all. But Asuka still doesn’t look convinced. She just allows her to fight alongside her. Wait. So it’s only Yumi and Asuka against Fubuki’s side? The rest really want to sit this out, huh?

Episode 6
We go back to another flashback of Asuka fighting Yumi. Oh dear. Not another dispute of their version of justice. So logic isn’t part of justice? Because it can’t change one’s hearts? So back to the tournament, Gekkou and Senkou take on Asuka and Yumi. Oh man. Not another ranting about their different version of justice and whatever the f*ck Kurokage’s teachings. So much so we have to return to that earlier Asuka vs Yumi flashback to see that moments before they are seemingly going to kill each other (because Yumi seemed desperate to do it all for grandpa), Kurokage intervened. And now back to the tournament. Oh damn, must we now hear some flashback from the sisters how they have to keep a perfect outlook but their hearts remained unfulfilled. Then one fated day, they stumble upon Kurokage’s diary and teachings and the rest is history. Wow. So touching that Yumi cried. Meanwhile we take a detour of Suzune and Homura’s side stumbling into Miyabi’s team so that they could join forces and face off with the youma. Yeah, this one is so humanoid and it talks! You mean to sound that surprised? Okay, but back to the tournament’s flashback. After Kurokage stopped the girls, he realizes there are things in life that are more important than one’s beliefs. He admits their defeat but it is Asuka who says her side has lost because the world of goodness is now in his arms. Yumi, that is. Hence Kurokage’s last lesson to Yumi is that the definition of justice changes on who you are and what you do. For her, she will be the justice that shines quietly in the night. She will be the justice of the moon. I hope there won’t be any mooning jokes related to this. Anyway, to show how much better our heroines’ justice are, they defeat Gekkou and Senkou and you know it is so when their clothes are blown away and they’re stark naked. With Asuka injuries making her unable to carry on, it’s up to Yumi to face Fubuki. But this leaves Asuka in despair as she worked hard to prevent them from facing off. All in vain?

Episode 7
But first a flashback between Kurokage and Hanzou. During their younger times, they’re like frenemies. Kurokage was also dating Yume at that time. One day, many of their comrades got injured in a trap so Kurokage was furious to avenge them. Despite warnings that his rage and hatred isn’t justice, Kurokage didn’t listen and went on to kill evil ninjas. He is summoned by his superiors and punished. They tell him that many shinobi are not good or evil but grey and neither. And what’s this about good and evil must sometimes work together? WTF logic?! I thought they’re enemies?! When the elders threaten to punish Hanzou and Yume, that is when Kurokage labels them as evil. Hanzou tries to talk to him but Kurokage is hell bent on proving his own justice and destroy all evil ninjas. And so he left walking this path with many good and evil ninjas targeting his life. Not sure how he even impregnate Yume but was it before? Because before you know it, many years later, his son and his wife died in a ninja mission. Yeah, Kurokage never even met them once and the first time was at their funeral. Regretting taking this path? He then spots Yumi his granddaughter. Man, it must be such a long time that his son even had a child. Anyway, Yumi somewhat knows about Kurokage since her parents and grandma often tell tales about him. See, after all these years, they still placed some faith in him. He decides to take in Yumi. After all, they have no other relatives. Back to the fight, it is not surprise Fubuki possesses Kurokage’s black fan. Yumi transforms into her true form. So you think this ice queen has a trump card? Zombie girl too has a trump card as she transforms into her dark queen form and easily defeats Yumi. At that point Yumi now remembers Fubuki. Kurokage subsequently took in another girl and they were like sisters. YOU MEAN YOU REALLY FORGOT THIS MOST IMPORTANT PART IN YOUR LIFE UNTIL NOW????!!!! Anyway with Yumi’s lost, Fubuki declares war on all shinobi. Good or evil, she will have her revenge. And she is going to do it with this intelligent humanoid youma, Rasetsu.

Episode 8
Miyabi has a grudge to kill youma because they killed her family. Fubuki puts some doubts in her mind asking her if she ever thought the youma had families too. She even has proof that the shinobi are the ones who attacked first. Thanks to Asuka interrupting, looks like they have to show that proof another time. Because Asuka is too weak to fight and hence Fubuki and Rasetsu leaving. Gekkou and Senkou want to come along but Fubuki abandons them. That look on her face says it all. Get out of my faces, b*tches! Meanwhile Asuka frees her buddies and you know they’re back together in no time with Katsuragi’s serial boob fondling. I don’t want to think that this is the method how the girls bond and get back. Suzune tells the girls about the door to another world opening. Shinobi leaders have sent their team there but after losing contact with them, it is feared they are dead. With Gekkou and Senkou leaving, Yumi tries to talk to them but there’s nothing to talk about. And since they have nothing to live for nor do they want to return to their original mundane life, they’re going to kill themselves. Thank goodness they contemplated long enough for Yumi to come stop them. Just say a few justice lines. Throw in something about Kurokage. Then a big hug and there you have it. Changed their mind. Now they wanna live. Easy. For now, Gekkou and Senkou are living in the care of the Hanzou girls. They feel awkward since they attacked them but the Hanzou girls are only mad at themselves for being weak and defeated. And what a better way than to say welcome to the club with Katsuragi’s usual boobs molestation. Overdrive mode! Meanwhile Asuka has been missing that day. Actually she went to see Kagura and requests that she wants to handle the youma alone. She allows it but wonders if Kagura can do it as she has yet to seal one. Not confident? Oh, let’s try now! Kagura summons a youma as Asuka quickly uses her super secret shinobi art to seal it, Fuma Korin. Woah. So easy! On her first go! So what’s there to worry about? Kagura warns that if she keeps using it, she’ll die. Oh… And looks like it has taken some toll on her body but Asuka remains defiant. She is willing to die if she has to. Trying to play the tragic heroine but won’t let others do the same? Elsewhere, Fubuki opens portals from another world right smack in the middle of Japan’s busiest city. Halloween’s here early. Or maybe hell on Earth.

Episode 9
Weird youma monsters attack the people. But thank goodness for our shinobi girls here to save the day and bust some youma ass. To fight better, Kagura unleashes some barrier. Just one condition: The girls are stripped down to their undies! Except for Ikaruga. She’s stark naked! You mean she isn’t wearing any undies?! Some fight better in skimpy clothes, some don’t and some just being perverts. Meanwhile Gekkou and Senkou confront Fubuki. They still believe in her but don’t approve of her method. What else? Fight! Oh well, we know how this will end up. For this huge youma boss, they use some BDSM string to tie it down because apparently that’s the toughest string in the world. Whatever. After doing so, the next part is to kill it but Asuka won’t allow it and instead leave it to her. Oh, I almost forgot she has that sealing ability. I thought she was going to take their credits or something. The Fuma Korin sealing is successful but it is clear that it sucks a lot of energy from her. In the aftermath as the city returns to normal, Homura’s groupie continue their part time Christmas gig. No business until Miyabi’s side cuts off more clothes and horny men start streaming in. You mean they’re already so sexy and nobody noticed until more cleavage and pantsu are shown?! PERVERTS! Miyabi and Homura talk about Asuka’s intention to seal instead of kill the youma. But if Asuka sides with the youma, Miyabi will not hesitate to kill her. Meanwhile Yumi sees Asuka in hopes she can open up and tell her what really happened. Back to that flashback of Asuka being defeated by Fubuki. She won’t be killed so as to tell others the tragic history of shinobi, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, so horrible that Asuka cried and still decides she can’t tell Yumi after all. Since this is dragging its feet, I guess Fubuki is here to tell Yumi herself! After asking her about beliefs, justice and evil, Yumi still feels it is her duty to hunt and destroy evil youma. Enough talking. Fubuki will show you that youma can feel love. They feel a strange aura from Fubuki as she reveals she is a child born from a human and youma! Is that even possible?! At least that explains he weird appearance. Meanwhile Kagura senses a more dangerous portal to the other world opening soon. Where is it? Hotspring town. Ah…

Episode 10
So we’re all here at the hotspring. Eh? Fubuki is also here?! Awkward. She has nothing to say to them and she too doesn’t exactly know where the portal will open. Convenient? I guess this screws the mood of our shinobi girls. They can’t fight Fubuki in this manner or they’ll regret it. An excuse to have fun at the inn! More awkwardness because Fubuki and Yumi bath together at the hotspring. Fubuki still keeps a hairpin from Kurokage. I suppose it’s that time again for reminiscence of their past as ‘sisters’ before another guilt trip that her mom who was a youma was sealed with Fuma Korin and using this technique means you can never return to this world. In the end, it is either the shinobi or youma who will die in this final fight. Later, Kagura meets up with Fubuki to begin their fight. Meanwhile Asuka reveals to the rest about Fubuki being half human and half youma. While Miyabi doesn’t care and will kill youma (her mom was killed by one), the rest are conflicted because it is a shinobi’s job is to kill youma and if they disobey because they sympathize with Fubuki… But don’t worry Asuka, your comrades heard you story and you can assure they will back you up no matter what. That night when Yumi wants to talk to Asuka but she is no longer in her room. She goes out to find her but stumbles into Fubuki-Kagura fight. Yeah, it has dragged out this long. Just because Kagura got distracted with Yumi’s appearance, she lost! WTF?! Is this an excuse by Kagura to pass the baton to Yumi to defeat Fubuki? And Fubuki makes the villain’s 101 mistake by not killing them because she’ll let the youma do it. Yeah, if her hate is so deep for the shinobi, don’t you think she would have want to do it herself? Anyway, conveniently now it seems Fubuki knows where the portal is and is waiting for it to open. Here it comes…

Episode 11
Youma, youma everywhere. Killing them all will take forever. Unless you gather them up in one place and seal them. This is the idea Katsuragi had. She gathers a few shinobi girls and use them as bait because apparently youma are perverts too. With that, Asuka is able to use Fuma Korin on the entire bunch but this is wearing her out. Yeah, see that mark on her chest. It’s getting bigger. I wonder if Katsuragi will draw any pleasure from groping them. Asuka will continue using it because of this lame excuse that she wants to see it through the end. Whatever. It’s your call. And now we get a Yumi-Fubuki rematch. Of course it’s flashback time. We see Fubuki’s mom being targeted by the ninjas. After killing them all, the inevitable fight with her husband. No wonder a child like Fubuki was so confused and dismayed. Eventually father had to seal mother because it is the only way to save Fubuki (do they seriously believe the shinobi is going to let her live?) and that it is better than killing her. However the price to pay was he will use up his life force. Poor Fubuki was so traumatized in seeing this scene. I don’t think parents’ assurance of I-love-you is going to help. Before the other shinobi could get Fubuki, Rasetsu saves her. Too bad she is injured and cannot fully protect her. Luckily rogue ninja Kurokage was passing by and he agreed to care for her until Rasetsu’s injuries are healed. Fubuki is still mad and vows to kill all shinobi. Coincidentally, Kurokage too had that thinking once. Of course as we know the rest is history. When Rasetsu finally came back to claim Fubuki, Kurokage gave her the hairpin. I’m sure she doesn’t understand the meaning of hatred and forgiveness come in pairs. Now, Fubuki claims her goal is to eliminate all shinobi. Even if that means destroying everything and nothing left, that sense of accomplishment and revenge is all that matters. If that is the case, why did she not finish off Yumi when she had numerous chance? Why did she not get rid of Kurokage’s hairpin? Yeah, it mad Fubuki even madder. Time to fight some more.

Episode 12
Everybody is ganging up on Rasetsu. Hardly a fair fight but whatever. For some sympathy points, Asuka asks why Rasetsu is siding with Fubuki. Her mom once saved her life. Asuka is cool with that but as long as she targets the shinobi, I’m afraid she will still have to seal you. And hence begins the shinobi girls’ attack on Rasetsu. In order to show off their set of skills, we see them do a chain of combos on Rasetsu. Man, she must have taken a lot of damage before Asuka begins her Fuma Korin. But guess what? Rasetsu is so determined for power that she turns into a beast and breaks out of Fuma Korin! Okay, now what? But don’t worry. Homura can help lend her power to seal her. She has seen Asuka done it enough times to memorize. Wow. I’ve seen my dad do all the repairs over the house for years and I still can’t even hold a hammer correctly! So what is the deal that Asuka allows her to do Fuma Korin with her? They won’t die! Yeah… Meanwhile back to Fubuki and Yumi’s fight, it ends with Fubuki defeating her! Don’t count your chickens yet. And here is Gekkou and Senkou. They want to save Fubuki. How is holding her hands saving her? Feel the warmth? F*CK THIS JOKE! Now wonder Fubuki is mad! Are they serious?! Just to show their perseverance, they won’t let go. So did they die? Your guess is as good as mine. Yumi’s comrades arrive. But they won’t be fighting her because, wait for it, Yumi lives! Time for round 2. Elsewhere suddenly Miyabi turns into this part angel and part devil form to unleash her Fuma Korin power. And now she remembers mom’s teachings that if you fight for revenge, you can’t unleash your true power. And with the power of the trio, Rasetsu is finally sealed. But she has no regrets since she fought for Fubuki. And also to end things, Yumi defeats Fubuki for good. This time, she doesn’t kill her. Just left her lying in the snow. Probably it’s a good time to reflect on stuffs. Lastly, Kagura uses her awesome powers to seal the portal. Should have done this from the start! More good news (AKA conveniences) flow in with Suzune calling in saying everyone is safe at Kikai Dome and the matters here are settled. In the aftermath, we see our ninja girls celebrating Christmas their own way. Asuka and Yumi are out together. Somehow her mark has healed. You mean just like that? They stumble Fubuki in the streets. She returns the hairpin to Yumi. She doesn’t need it anymore. She is going to find her place in this world. Somewhere. Gekkou and Senkou follow her so that she won’t be alone. More cheesy philosophy of justice from Asuka and Yumi because, justice always prevails, right?

The Jus-tits Of Shino-bitches…
So Asuka was asking if Fubuki would organize another Shinobi Masters tournament because she didn’t get to fight her? Hey girl, you had your chance but you fluffed them. Besides, didn’t you and the rest of the other girls get to fight Rasetsu? Unlike you mini army, Fubuki had only 1 subordinate by her side so I guess while the boss fought each other, the rest of you had to be content in sharing your opponent. Thank goodness Fubuki didn’t give Asuka a reply. She just smiled. Because that is probably what she was thinking of this b*tch. Bye. Hope not to see you again.

Well, to be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with the plot. As I am not a big fan of the series, I don’t really know how to ‘appreciate’ the finer details (if any) of this series. Though, as far as my failing memory can remember, this sequel is a lot darker than the first season since it now involves the supernatural and the tragic story of a child that was conceived and caught between both sides. In that sense, that is ultimate the storyline of this season but that only comes halfway and I thought the first half felt like some sort of trolling.

You see, when they decided to have this Shinobi Masters tournament, it ended so fast and furious that I thought it was all some sort of time wasting sham. It was just an excuse for a lot of fanservice (something this series is famously known for) and didn’t contribute to anything important. Because why the f*ck would Fubuki organize such an important tournament but only a handful of shinobi schools attend? Like, what?! And this is supposed to be the best of the best tournament as claimed by Fubuki. Of course it was all a scam. And it felt like Fubuki also trolled us. I believe she isn’t all that evil and just wanted to give a chance for the shinobi girls to prove her wrong. Yeah, their weak ass pussies wasted those chance and now look at the mess that we’ve got into in the second half. I also thought the Tokyo youma-hen was also a scam thinking the Shinobi Masters tournament would last the rest of the series. Looks like they leave it late for the second half.

I was wondering why the series is officially called Shinovi Masters. Shouldn’t it be Shinobi Masters as said in the episode or whatever? At first I thought it was a Japanese thingy because you know, there are no alphabet ‘V’ in their language and anything with that automatically translate to ‘B’. So are they trying to sound unique? Or is this some sort of play of words. You know, Shinobi Victory. Shortened as Shinovi. Yeah. Whatever.

To my surprise, Asuka and her Hanzou comrades weren’t the ones hogging the limelight. Because the first season they were the main characters, I was also expecting them to helm the similar role. Too bad it was mainly Yumi and ultimately Fubuki. A showdown between the stepsisters. Like I said, I’m not a fan of the series so I am not sure if the games slowly shifted the main character to Yumi or if Yumi was the real main character in the first place. Therefore with Asuka’s baffling behaviour in the first half, it makes her look like a total b*tch because it looked like she was told some sort of hideous secret and she doesn’t want to tell her friends (and us) just so that she could shoulder the burden all by herself. Ooooh. How noble. Yeah, don’t kill the youma! They have feelings too! Why does this feel so SJW?

Evidently Asuka’s actions just prove she doesn’t even trust her own comrades. Oh heck, her Hanzou comrades were further reduced to damsel in distresses in the first half. We are left to guess what the f*ck her problem is (the way she plays and exaggerates it out feels so overblown so that we could have our dramatic effect) and when it is revealed this youma and sealing thingy, I was like, “Big deal! WTF?!”. So all that trouble and secrecy just for this? Now you’re really trying to play the tragic heroine, huh? Yeah, just hope it doesn’t kill you because I know it won’t. Plot convenience and Asuka, do you not know you are one of the most beloved characters in the franchise? Yeah, top 10 most popular. Like hell the producers are going to let you die! But the ultimate f*ckery is when Asuka’s mark suddenly goes away. She still feels pain but I feel it is more of because her flesh wound has yet to heal but the danger of the mark that puts her life at risk is gone. So no more youma, no more sealing, less use of Fuma Korin and thus healed for the better? Man, I wished my nagging injury would also heal like that. Did she go for some sort of special acupuncture because I wanna try too. Otherwise with Asuka’s boobs back to normal, I suppose Katsuragi can be happy to grope them all she wants.

Thus Yumi seems like a cooler and more mature character and hence a much better one compared to Asuka. She might not be perfect but at least she tries and never gives up. We couldn’t understand why Asuka was wallowing in depression either. Perhaps we understand Yumi because her past with Fubuki is fleshed out and given more prominence. So we understand her cause more. We sympathize with her more. Hence relegating Asuka and her Hanzou comrades to just annoying minor characters who don’t matter. The one thing that boggles me about Rasetsu is that, after she picked up Fubuki from Kurokage, where the heck have they been? The first time we see Rasetsu, it’s like she is in some stasis condition. So ever since then up till now don’t tell me she was using some sort of power to open the youma portal. Yeah, that sure took a pretty long time since Fubuki is all grown up to be one busty evil babe.

Just like the other shinobi girls like Homura’s groupie and Miyabi’s groupie. Yeah, too much for us to even care. So if you are great fans for these girls, too bad they don’t get a lot of screen time. Even if they do, it just feels like they had to and portray their character in the most cliché way that we identify them (for example, Mirai always conscious and being teased with her flatness, Katsuragi always loving to grope and Ryouna an obvious nympho). Yeah, that’s the problem when you have like 20 girls (25 if you count Kagura’s group) in the fore and so little screen time to do any justice. I’m sure nobody is going to expand this to a year’s worth of Senran Kagura episodes because I’ll be so bored and I can only see that such girls who will be focused, their episode would mostly be a filler.

I thought that Yumi, Fubuki, Gekkou and Senkou seemed to be f*cked by their Kurokage oujisama’s ideology. The way the girls preach about his teachings sound like he is the best teacher in the world. Honour must be upheld. Justice must be upheld. There are always 2 sides of a coin. Live the way you see fit. Not that he says all those but you get the gist of this. So it’s like when these girls clash because of their different interpretations of Kurokage, I thought that old geezer really did one on these girls too. I mean, he was a rogue ninja so there is no specific method he sticks to. But still, every time the girls mention about Kurokage’s teachings, I’m like, “Oh no. Here they go again mentioning this old geezer’s name”. Say that again, that sword and shield thingy…

But I just don’t understand the logic behind the shinobi world. I don’t know. Their code seems to sound a lot like BS to me. Like the good and bad shinobi. They’re always fighting each other but there are those also in the grey area. And then when a bigger threat comes, they must put aside this rivalry and fight for the better. Like, WTF???!!! So why are they fighting each other in the first place?! I understand different schools have different methodology but shouldn’t they be working together if their goal is to actually annihilate the youma? So what the f*ck is with this good and bad shinobi faction thingy?! I just don’t get it.

And I’m sure they want to give Fubuki some sort of revenge story for this season. But how the heck did a child born out of a human and youma happen in the first place?! Yeah, they want to show us that love knows no bounds. One heated night of passion. But wait. Think about our future. Our child’s future. Will she be accepted by both sides? Nah. Just f*ck it. Let’s leave that for later. And that is how the tragic story of Fubuki was born. Born to watch both her parents kill each other and now she wants revenge on all of you. They want us to feel sympathy for Fubuki’s case as they claim youma also feel love, blah, blah, blah. You mean humans don’t feel love? Sure, a lot of them are pieces of sh*t. I can say the same for youma in that case. So that’s why when shinobi are grouped into good or evil, eventually it doesn’t matter. Because even though it is wrong for Fubuki to classify all shinobi as evil and must be eliminated, it still makes the good and evil shinobi kinda redundant. I guess they want to have some sort of grey area to make us confuse and unsure who to support. Fubuki or the shinobi girls. Of course the latter! They are a hell lot sexier than this bad goth makeup girl.

Still, it is mind boggling that it makes you wonder if deep down inside Fubuki’s heart she still loves her sister because with so many chances and times that Fubuki owns Yumi, only in the final episode that Yumi is able to defeat her. Like after how many times?! And because of that, the day is saved?! What kind of plot convenience logic is that?! All the villain needs to do is to be defeated once by the hero and it doesn’t matter how many times the heroes lost before (just an excuse to become stronger) all you need is that one chance of victory. Usually it comes in the final or penultimate episode. Wow. I’m so good I should start writing scripts for the next season.

As you would have guessed, the fanservice plays the biggest part and is a trademark signature of the series. It isn’t Senran Kagura when the girls are not showing their tits or getting naked one way or another. It makes me wonder if they have so many same uniforms and clothes because each time they get into any sort of battle, guarantee their clothes will be ripped. Absolutely. It’s like as though they are obligated to be ripped so their boobs can be exposed just for the sake of it. Shouldn’t they have tried getting better materials for their clothes? Man, their clothes are going to be the most expensive and recurring expenditure on their list. But I guess it is better that their clothes get ripped than seeing unsightly damages and wounds on the perfect silky smooth skin on our shinobi ladies. Yup, somehow their skin manage to stay safe always despite the amount of powerful blasts they take. Maybe their clothes (no matter how skimpy) absorb all the force and that’s why they always rip at the slightest. Yeah. Whatever. But thanks for the fanservice, girls. Keep on fighting!

This means that the action bits are closely and always tied to the fanservice. Every time the shinobi girls need to give us some action, this also means fanservice action. Yeah. That’s the only way their clothes could come off fast. Unless it is hotspring or bathing, the action sequences are directly correlated with this cheap sleaziness. I believe every shinobi girl has their own unique technique/ But too bad they aren’t memorable because too many characters and not enough screen time. And for those who are supposedly ‘their turn’ to shine, make some sort of ridiculous move that I can’t remember. Maybe except for Yumi because her techniques are ice based so she keeps using ice attacks. I think. But overall the moves are mostly flashy, over the top and outrageous, that’s for sure. Didn’t spend years training that skill for nothing, eh?

Animation and art feel only mediocre. I don’t really remember the original one but this season feels like it is just passable and that they want to focus on the fanservice, thinking that this is what fans are for. Especially during the action scenes. They think it’s too fast for us to catch and that our eyes are only focusing and anticipating where the cloths cover the boobs will rip. Well, too bad I saw some of those low quality movements. Heck, I think some of the idle scenes feel inconsistent. Maybe it is because TNK now taking over from Artland but that shouldn’t be the case since TNK animated all the seasons of High School DxD series and other ecchi series like Sin: Nanatsu No Taizai, Ikkitousen: Xtreme Xecutor and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler. This isn’t definitely one of their best.

This season’s opening theme, Scarlet Master by Sayaka Sasaki sounds more like a techno dance song with all the techno effects and exuberance. Because of that, I feel the singing falls flat and sounds really flat. Like as though it is sung just for the sake of singing. Too many words trying to match the beat of the music makes it really one messy song to hear. Maybe it fits the pacing of the series (because fast paced fanservice action) but I don’t find it really appealing. The ending theme is Junsei Erotic and sounds more like a happy rock song. It should be since it is more fanservice time with its animation having the girls having fun in the hotspring. I didn’t know being shinobi girls allows them to have a lot of fun time together. Perhaps. It’s not like they can have a normal life and mingle with normal girls outside their school, right? Then there is one BGM that is a solo harmonica. Often played for those cheesy flashback moments. Don’t know. Makes it feel like some wild west flick. So out of place.

Overall, I am not sure if hardcore fans would even appreciate this. I have a feeling that if you really want to appreciate the fanservice (of course, it’s the only reason why you would stay for this title, right?), go play all the instalments of the game. They should have named this season as Tokyo Pantsu-hen(tai) or something. My biggest speculation remains is that they want to introduce this series to the new generation of weeaboos because 5 years is a long enough time for things to change in life. But I guess the allure of fanservice from boob shots to pantsu shots have never changed since the day anime was born. The eternal grey area and line that should be fought over is the war of good porn and bad porn! Oh, who am I kidding? Porn is always bad and must be eliminated, right?!

I thought it was pretty suspicious that a fanservice-laden series did not release any OVA after the series ended. And then 2 years later, I guess the temptation was too great and thus Senran Kagura: Estival Versus OVA was released to satisfy horny guys who love to see sexy ninja girls running around in swimsuits. There may be other reasons but I prefer to believe in this one ;p. And just like my previous sentence says, expect nothing but lots of naked tits and fanservice because what else reason there is when you have 20 gorgeous ninja babes. Wow! Twenty beautiful ninja girls???!!! Now I see why they want to do such fanservice OVA.

Festival Eve Full Of Swimsuits
A bunch of new ninja girls I believe who have never appeared in the TV series. Yumi and Yozakura from Death Cram School are in a practice fight. Looks like a draw. Yumi has a bad feeling something big will happen. Once they return to their base, Minori shows them a letter that invites them to some spa resort. Yumi is very much against it as she starts labelling everything as evil! Their hearts are being covered by evil! Drawing manga is evil? Looking at your handphone is evil? Eating snacks is evil? WTF???!!! Who is she to label everything that?! She thought Yozakura would side her but it seems she is very much eager to go. To decide, they play rock-scissors-paper boobs version. I don’t know, they show us their tits and go. What? Did it start already? And I can’t tell one boobs from another because it is Yozakura’s win and this means they’re going on a holiday. WTF. And Yumi admitted her defeat! Oh, this evil!

Meanwhile Homura and co are walking around town hungry. No money. They have enough just for one bun. Uh huh. Need to share it among themselves. I don’t know why but they thought of splitting it up nice and good by attacking it like a ninja. WTF. Sure, everybody gets their portion but it’s not enough. Complain, complain… Seeing their pitiful state, the stall lady gives them a ticket for the lottery and guess what? They won the first prize to the spa resort. Free meals guaranteed! Back to Hebi All-Girls Academy, as the school is being rebuilt, Ryouna shows an invitation to the spa resort. She got it while begging like a dog and those horny men started throwing what they’ve got. The invitation was one of them. Suzune suggests her girls to relax at the spa resort as nothing much can be done while their school is under renovation. They agree but the problem is that Murasaki is holed up in her room since she got a new console. Well, I guess they’re going to try and use this excuse and bring her out. Hope she saved her game…

So all the girls are here at this invitation-only resort including our Hanzou girls. Since they’re here to relax and a particular group is just tired from being hungry, they call a ceasefire. And so the fanservice moment we’ve all been waiting for. Girls changing in their underwear, big naked boobs, girls having fun in the water, girls have fun eating their meat (food, that is). For some reason, the group leaders got into some petty argument. They’re really going to fight but Yumi tells them to stop as this will bring trouble to the spa resort. There is a way to settle this and it is via shinobi kibasen. So our girls get ready for the battle but Homura’s group have to sit out since Yomi ate too much that she looks like a pregnant lady and couldn’t budge an inch. Since the Hanzou girls are like idiots, the real fight is between the other 2 groups. Murakumo who is always wearing a devil mask accidentally drops it and since she loves hiding her face, she takes off her swimsuit to cover it. So she is okay with her exposed boobs but not her face? Fine with us! When Hanzou girls get serious, all of them take each other’s hand band off at the same time. A draw? Yumi suggests that they should take off each other’s clothes till none are left. The winner is the one with clothes left. But some of them feel uncomfortable with this idea.

Suddenly several mysterious ladies up the excitement by summoning female ninja foot soldiers. Time for some action. The girls cooperate to take them down. When they can’t use their battle gear transformation, I can’t believe they’re giving up when they are cornered. Suzune and Daidouji interrupt to give them some motivation. Yeah, big motivation for us too because they power up and as a sign of that, their clothes rip to bits! NOW THEY ARE FIGHTING AND KICKING ASS NAKED!!! HOLY CRAP! And they’re not embarrassed with this as opposed to that kibasen game?! Ryouna accidentally drink one of Haruka’s potions and turns into a giant. Ryouna smash! Then her inner masochist awakens as she wants everyone to hit her. For reasons unexplained (fanservice is all that I can think of), her boobs grow bigger each time until she explodes! I don’t even… Don’t worry. She is still alive but there goes the spa resort. At the end of the day after everyone has left, the Death Cram girls despite having fun apologize to Yumi and promise to train harder. However Yumi is the one apologizing because even though she called for everyone to be strong, it is meaningless if they aren’t smiling. This means more harsh training for them. Training with a smile… I hope she didn’t turn into a masochist.

Naked As A Jaybird…
Well, WTF. That is all I can say. Everything here feels ridiculous so much so that I just stopped questioning and enjoy the fanservice. Isn’t that how it should be? A cheap blatant excuse to milk more money for fans of the series and ecchi fans by using the ubiquitous pool and swimsuit theme. And then that butt naked fight was the ultimate of everything. Hell, they shouldn’t have put on swimsuits in the first place if that is the case. But I guess that is how it works because many of us will still come back for more, right? I suppose fans of the series would only enjoy-cum-appreciate this seeing that there are many new characters debuting here as they did not appear in the TV series. You are expected to know the background, the setting the girls, etc prior watching to this. Of course this means with so many girls and so little time, not many get their deserved screen time and very limited lines. But this OVA is just meant to be something extra for the fans. Casual viewers would just go in for the boobs and nothing else. Then you go watch other series with similar or better boobs. Because sex and boobs always sells. If this is the direction of viewers these days, then I really have a bad feeling that something big will happen… Or maybe it already did. Oh, who cares? Just give us our naked tits and butts, we’ll be fine.

Senran Kagura

August 3, 2013

If you’re tired of a certain blonde teenage ninja whose name takes after a certain fish paste, then there are other ninja shows around for you to pass the time. If you like ninja themed animes, that is. Me? I’m not trying to be a shinobi (I guess it’s a fancier term for the ubiquitous word of ninja) but I guess the reason why one would watch Senran Kagura is undoubtedly the fanservice. Ah. You can see where this is going. Why else would you have busty girls as shinobis then? There isn’t much plot in this series. A group of girls in a school that has a secret class to train budding shinobis. This is what they go through in their training when they are faced with a bigger threat of an evil shinobi school bent on taking them out and whose goal remains mysterious. I can pretty much guess what that goal is. World domination? Ultimate power? Revenge? What else? Just stay for the fanservice. You’ll be less disappointed that way.

Episode 1
Asuka flees from a group of shinobi babes hot on her trail in the city. She manages to escape by clinging onto the getaway helicopter. Asuka returns to Asakusa after undergoing training at her grandpa’s place. She is a student of Hanzou Academy and despite looking like a normal gigantic school, it also houses a secret shinobi class that Asuka is part of. We are introduced to her other mates: the serious class rep Ikaruga, serial breast molester Katsuragi, clumsy moe blob weakling Hibari and eye-patch prodigy Yagyuu. They assemble when their teacher Kiriya makes his smoky entry (that’s what all ninjas do, right?). He somewhat ‘commends’ Asuka for barely passing her promotion exam. The girls get ready for the first period which is to practice martial arts among each other. After the break, Kiriya announces that the afternoon classes will be a mission outside school. As the police are having a hard time with delinquents running rampant on the streets, their job is to eliminate them. As they split up to look for their targets, Asuka bumps into Homura whom she first met on the ferry on her way back. She claims she got lost on her field trip with her friends so Asuka offers to take her around since she is not familiar with the place. Yagyuu and Hibari come into a group of delinquents. They signal a secret shinobi beacon for the rest to gather. Everyone except Asuka arrives. It seems Homura plans to kill Asuka but the latter’s own blooper by falling into the pond made Homura think twice of pulling that off. Ikaruga and Katsuragi easily finish off the delinquents but they stand back up again after all that beating. They sense they have no emotions, like as though they are being controlled by somebody. They are indeed. They summon Shinobi Barrier, a special battle place that shinobis use when they fight each other, and transform into their battle gear so that they can utilize their strength and skill to the max. They realize the delinquents are made out of wooden dolls and that they were deliberately targeted. Asuka finally manages to leave Homura. Homura notes how she tried showing her killing intent but it seems Asuka never realized it. When she regroups with her pals, they tell her the show is over and that they will report her to Kiriya for reprimanding. Be prepared! Homura regroups with her comrades and it seems they have nothing to fear of Hanzou Academy after putting up that little test. They’ll let them be for now and in time will let them know who the real shinobis are.

Episode 2
Kiriya explains to the girls about Kugutsu, a high level shinobi skill that allows one to control powerful dummies while maintaining a safe distance. The foe they faced is likely a very skilled puppeteer. As for the puppeteer’s objective, he can’t say anything more beyond this point. Ikaruga, Katsuragi and Yagyuu demonstrate their animal summoning technique. They are pros so it is easily done. Hibari summons a… Pink bunny? Destructive anyway. Next is Asuka but no matter how much she concentrates, nothing pops up. Kiriya orders the girls to stay away from outside contact since the puppeteer incident. Of course Asuka is feeling depressed that she’s the only one who can’t summon and seeks Ikaruga’s advice on how she chose hers. She is sure that it will come naturally to her. Asuka is still concerned as she is the daughter of the legendary Hanzou who is the founder of the academy. There is this pressure to live up to his name and not soil it. On their way home, a frog leaps into Asuka’s cleavage! She’s freaking out! To help her out, Katsuragi strips her! I guess that’s killing 2 birds with 1 stone. When the girls patron a sushi bar, they hear a familiar voice. It’s Asuka’s grandpa, Hanzou! What is the legendary shinobi man doing her? It couldn’t be just treating them to sushi, no? Hanzou talks to Asuka and knows about her summoning problem. She is appalled that their lineage summoned frogs. Well, we all know where her phobia started. Grandpa thought of making her comfortable with frogs since young has backfired. As the girls help Asuka to find a frog, Hanzou lends a helping hand to summon them. A bunch of frogs! NOOOO!!! Hanzou talks to Kiriya about the puppeteer incident. It means they have made their first move. As we learn, as there are good shinobis, there are evil ones too. Speaking of which, Homura and her comrades are reporting back to their master, Suzune about the disappointing Hanzou girls. However she cautions not to underestimate them and eliminate them all silently using every method they’ve learnt.  She sends Yomi next for the mission. Asuka is forced into some treatment whereby she has to dip in the same pool filled with frogs! Slimy, creepy! After that, Asuka accompanies Ikaruga on errands as the latter wants to throw a celebration party for Hanzou. Yomi speaks to them but Ikaruga quickly takes Asuka away because of the orders not to contact outsiders. However Yomi fires a warning shot at them.

Episode 3
Ikaruga continues to ignore her so Yomi initiates the Shinobi Barrier. Then she starts targeting Ikaruga and mock her the rich girl she is. Ikaruga orders Asuka to stand back and fights alone. Unfortunately Yomi was too powerful for her to handle to the point she got her transformation clothes blown away. Yomi then lets them live since this is just greeting. Ikaruga wants Kiriya to punish her since she made contact with outside parties even though it’s not her fault. If Kiriya won’t punish her, Hanzou will. Veterans may know what this ambiguous sex scene is. Ikaruga massaging Hanzou’s back. Asuka takes over from her and you can say hers is really bone breaking. I guess this is the only thing that grandpa loses to granddaughter. Later Kiriya speaks with Ikaruga privately if she is aware that her brother back home is missing. She isn’t. Ikaruga remembers how she was brought into the family as an adopted child. Her brother and heir to the family, Murasame will not accept her and remains cocky. Because he lagged in his shinobi training, father gave Ikaruga Hien, the family heirloom sword to her and this doesn’t sit well with Murasame. When Ikaruga returns to her room, she sees Murasame looking through her stuffs to retrieve Hien. Ikaruga tries to avoid any confrontation but Murasame is just mad that someone blood unrelated got Hien. He dares her to snatch it from him and she easily proves so. That’s what you get for not bucking up in your shinobi lessons. Murasame is sent falling down the trapdoor. When he resurfaces from the sewer, Hanzou confronts him and will let this slip if he returns home immediately. He tells Murasame that despite his father knows he isn’t good in shinobi, he still has hope for him. Being shinobi isn’t the only path. While the girls are training, Ikaruga seems edgy and almost got into a full blown argument with Katsuragi. If not for Asuka, it would have. When Hanzou tells Ikaruga that everyone here is like family, she gets motivation to train Asuka to summon her beast. The frog treatment doesn’t bode well as Asuka still freaks out. Till a big rock threatens to fall on a frog that Asuka jump to save it. The rock turns out to be a prop. But her instincts had her touch the frog and all of a sudden, she doesn’t fear it anymore. She even thinks it is cute! Asuka powers up further now she has a beast and excels in her practice. Ikaruga explains to Kiriya how she made Asuka overcome her fear of frogs. She is normally kind to everyone but made a wall in her heart and thought it was scary. So if she holds the frog in her own free will, that wall will crumble. Hanzou is grateful Asuka has a classmate and ‘elder sister’ like her. Meanwhile Hikage and Mirai are next to go into action.

Episode 4
The Hanzou girls are heading to Shinobi Island for their next training. The inn seems run down like a haunted house… Katsuragi wants to go to the beach but Kiriya has them start their first mission: Clean the inn. This is going to take all day. Kiriya and Yagyuu go fishing and the latter fishes out all sorts of fish and sea creatures that would make a great seafood combo. Because Hibari spot a message on a ceiling beam about wanting to become a super ninja, she asks Kiriya what it means. He tries his best to explain though it made him remember a past student of his. That night, the girls enter a pillow fight. Ikaruga is so pissed that they’re noisy and disrupting her studies that when she got hit, she fights back thinking they’re throwing her a challenge. Oops. Her first throw hit Kiriya. They got reprimanded to go to bed or else no breakfast tomorrow. Next day, the girls continue their training in a life-and-death match. From what I understand: Girls fighting in their swimsuits. Fanservice! Then more fanservice when the girls get their much awaited break to frolic on the beach. Train hard, play hard too. Especially with Katsuragi turning into a serial bikini top thief to turn Asuka topless. Kiriya gets a letter by his ex-student Rin to meet at the beach. However he notices something off about her and realizes he has been lured out. Meanwhile Hibari is being attacked by Mirai but Yagyuu comes to her rescue. Mirai and Yagyuu are evenly matched so Mirai calls it quits and flees. I wonder how she kept a mini jet underneath her skirt! Elsewhere Katsuragi faces off with Hikage. Katsuragi thought she could show off her skills but it seems Hikage is much better. By the time Katsuragi gets serious and powers up, Hikage is already gone since she’s just here to play with her and keep her busy. When everyone regroups back at the inn, Kiriya tells them about Hebi All-Girls Academy. As heard from Hanzou, it is an evil shinobi training centre whose teachings are opposite Hanzou’s. It’s safe to say all previous attack encounters were from them. They are not sure what their goal is because each encounter they don’t sense their killing intent and never fought seriously from the start. While the girls loosen up on breakfast or in the case of Katsuragi, Asuka’s boobs, Kiriya can’t help wonder how the enemy got a hold of Rin’s details since the after image of her was like an exact duplicate.

Episode 5
We glimpse the brutal training at Hebi Academy. The elite five are summoned by Suzune for a new mission. In a flash, the quintet have already infiltrated Hanzou Academy and are trying to find the secret facility for the Secret Ninja Technique scroll. All that’s left is a suspicious building that has a prohibited sign. That must be it. Our Hanzou girls are seriously training because they know the next match with their counterparts will be more than just provocation. Especially Katsuragi who cannot accept that insulting defeat. During Kiriya’s lecture, Katsuragi fell asleep and was made to stand in the corridor. She remembers her carefree past. Her parents were shinobis but they failed an important mission and were supposed to commit suicide. However they ran away and to prevent Katsuragi from getting dragged into the mess, they left her. That’s why she always thought if she became an excellent shinobi, her parents’ sin will be forgiven and she will meet them again. The Hebi girls enter the secret facility but Haruka feels the need to eliminate the primary obstacle first. The intruder alert is sounded but when Kiriya goes to check, it’s a couple of delinquent boys hanging out. He confronts them but they attack. He fights back and they turn out to be puppets. He realized too late this is a trap to separate him as the entire school is under Shinobi Barrier. The girls gear up and go in search for the enemies. They are attacked by puppet ninjas. However it is a decoy to separate them into different barriers. Ikaruga faces off with Yomi. I wonder how she keeps her guided bombs under her skirt?! Yagyuu deliberately ignores Mirai to go find Yagyuu, pissing her off. The only time she stops ignoring her is when she has to fight her believing it would destroy the barrier and link to the rest. I wonder how Mirai kept a machine gun underneath her skirt?! Katsuragi relishes her grudge match with Hikage but again fails to get the better of her. Hikage mocks her that her fiery will get her nowhere. Asuka is shocked to learn her opponent is Homura. The latter explains their first meeting was to gauge her abilities as the legendary shinobi’s granddaughter. Asuka gets serious in her fight and just when she thought she defeated Homura by kicking away her sword, she unsheathes another one. Man, how many swords does she carry? Better start worrying… Hibari is very afraid. Because she is confronted with Haruka. The puppeteer. Meanwhile Suzune informs Dougen, Hebi’s founder that this operation this time isn’t really to steal the scroll. As explained, the Super Secret Ninja Technique scroll is divided into two: Yin scroll (handed down to the evil shinobi) and Yang scroll (good shinobi) and of course the baddies’ plan is to obtain both scroll in which Suzune seems to have her own plans about the whole thing.

Episode 6
The power fights continue. So powerful that they had to resort to their Secret Ninja Technique that ends up with them fighting in their undies. Wow! Ahem. Kiriya is being told by a mysterious black cat that some very skilled shinobi is behind the string of assaults. Or at least someone who was a very good ninja. No matter how much Katsuragi powers up, she can’t land a hit on Hikage. But each time she stands back up and doesn’t fear her threat. She manages to land a head butt before passing out. Ikaruga powers up her pride within Hien to pound Yomi. Even so, the damage is minimal. Yagyuu easily defeats Mirai with her squid move. To her dismay, she got kicked out of the barrier instead of moving to the next. She meets up with Kiriya who tells her about the risk of trying to break through the barrier. His student Rin had this idea of connecting several hearts of shinobis together to create a bigger barrier. She experimented on this but it took her life. At least he was sure she died. However Yagyuu is adamant to reach Hibari and tries to break through to reach her. Hibari is in a comical fight with Haruka. Summoning a cute bunny to pound her? She gets beaten up in return and on the verge of passing out, she calls out for Yagyuu’s help. That’s when she rips open the barrier to come through. Yagyuu is weakened from that stint so Haruka doesn’t feel she is worthy of being her doll like Hibari and attacks her. Because Hibari pleads not to kill her, Haruka agrees to save her and wants to be Hibari’s friend. She gives her an ear piercing as proof of their friendship. Homura bests Asuka but the latter is worried about her friends. Homura chides her for being soft because at times like these, she can only rely on herself. Asuka notes this way she will always be lonely.

The barrier starts weakening and it’s a sign to retreat since Mirai has been totally defeated. When the Hanzou girls regroup, they are devastated to see Yagyuu badly injured. She is taken to recuperate in a secret unofficial hospital made by shinobis for shinobis. Hah. Anyway Yagyuu remembers the time she and Hibari first met. It was a rainy day like this during the school entrance ceremony. She saw Hibari playing in the rain. She looked like her sister but knew she couldn’t be her as she died in an accident. While the girls lament being powerless, Hanzou returns as he had heard things from a certain cat. Later talking things out with Kiriya about the extreme training in Hebi whereby there are incidence of deaths, Hanzou thinks it’s time to choose the successor of the Great Secret Ninja Technique. Yeah. Not only it is secret but it’s great as well. Only one can inherit it but as the girls are now, they won’t even get close. Plus, it is the technique that chooses who should inherit it. Suzune is pleased to hear her students have shown their might against their counterparts. Despite not being able to defeat them, Suzune is more than happy that they have achieved their objective. The Hebi girls, some reflect on what was said by their counterparts during their encounter and some can’t wait to get their revenge.

Episode 7
Asuka is reeling from Homura’s words that she won’t accept her as the legendary shinobis granddaughter. Kiriya is writing his report when the cat informs him that the recent incident was perpetrated by someone with detailed knowledge of this school. A traitor? They talk about Rin who has already died though her body was never found. The cat also mentioned she found clothes residing an aura of an evil ninja they’ve never encountered before. And that the techniques used by the Hebi girls were the application of multiple users like a certain person. She wonders if Kiriya is prepared to involve his students. Meanwhile the Hebi girls are undergoing waterfall meditation. They talk about Suzune who is rumoured once from the good ninja’s side. Homura dismisses it but she gets agitated when Mirai points out that many of them like themselves were from the good side too. Kiriya takes the Hanzou girls for their next training. Hiking a mountain? Not exactly. A play on words, it is actually Hai-kin-gu, which means creeping tense fear. They have to traverse obstacles to reach the mountain top to attain a scroll. So the girls become rivals for the day as they compete to the summit. It makes you wonder if this place is Japan because there’s a tropical jungle and even a snow blizzard. A polar bear too?! And you may think some of the animals are perverted because they shred of pieces of the girls’ clothes for fanservice. Like how the leeches fall all over Asuka so she had to strip and dive into the water. Or how the piranhas bite away Yagyuu’s clothes. For once, Hibari doesn’t play damsel in distress and rescues Yagyuu from those carnivorous fish. Katsuragi and Ikaruga bump into each other as they stop for the night in a natural hotspring while Hibari and Yagyuu make their own little hotspring from the ground.

Next day the girls continue their journey. Asuka is trekking through the caves when she is faced with a giant black cat. They fight as the cat taunts Asuka that being related by blood doesn’t necessarily make her strong. Asuka is close to accepting her defeat when she remembers Hanzou telling her how her father’s determination to toss away everything, his dream and career just to be with his loved one. During that time, Hanzou opposed his marriage to his beloved but after seeing how determined he was, he was convinced. Asuka gets the strength to stand back up on her feet to thank her parents for everything. She strikes back at the cat but it turns out to be one big mirage. All the girls reach the top at the same time. Before them is the strongest legendary senior named Daidouji (the cat). Rumour has it that even though she has passed her exams, she continued to repeat the school year many times. Daidouji dares everyone to come at her at once. Even so, nobody could land a hit on her. Till Asuka individually attacks her but instead of charging head on, she uses a decoy. Still it wasn’t enough to beat her. The match ends when Kiriya pops up. He explains this was Daidouji’s idea to train them and volunteered to help them. Daidouji hands the scroll to Asuka. So she’s the winner. Daidouji knows Asuka has potential but just doesn’t realize it. However it can be a double edge sword because she might stray her path and end up like that person. Kiriya assures he won’t let it happen. Asuka opens the scroll and it reads, “Power is both sword and shield”. This is one of the wise words from Hanzou.

Episode 8
Kiriya is stricter with his training for the girls. Ikaruga can’t block all the shurikens, Asuka’s moves are too repetitive and Yagyuu continues to protect Hibari even if she’s not supposed to. Kiriya ends the class and returns to his room where Daidouji is waiting. In this flashback episode, we go back 2 years ago when Ikaruga and Katsuragi were chosen to be students of this shinobi class. Ikaruga was unfriendly and never smiled. This despite Katsuragi trying to be friends with her. Of course Ikaruga excelled in everything. Not even Katsuragi’s sneak attack could do anything. So I guess she resorted to sexual harassment, eh? Then Ikaruga has had it, she summons Shinobi Barrier despite being ordered by Kiriya not to do so. She can get all the attention she wants. They start fighting as Ikaruga tells her off for her insensitive forceful attitude of sneaking into other people’s business. You know, Ikaruga has her own past. So does Katsuragi. Suddenly the barrier is about to collapse and Ikaruga panics she can’t remove it. She fears they’ll forever be stuck here. Katsuragi slaps her to her senses but doesn’t blame her. She feels they are alike. They cooperate to break through the barrier and only got out because Kiriya’s intervention. They are punished but this results Ikaruga to open up more.

A year later, the duo learns how to transform into their battle gear. Asuka becomes their junior but despite being the legendary shinobi’s granddaughter, she is a klutz. I guess that’s how Katsuragi’s serial boobs harassment began. She totally digs those big jugs. Ikaruga feels envy for Asuka because of their different family background. Asuka must have grown up in a loved environment and doesn’t have a shred of talent as opposed to her. But she changes her mind when Asuka unconsciously transforms into her battle gear. Something Ikaruga and Katsuragi took an entire year to master. Then a year later, Yagyuu and Hibari join the team. Yagyuu excels greatly as a prodigy but Hibari is a total opposite. So much so I would say it’s luck that got her this far. Yagyuu reminds us of a certain unfriendly person when she refuses to open up with her seniors and becomes a lone wolf with the exception of Hibari. But soon in time, she too learns to open up. Even Daidouji has her own flashback. There is a reason why she doesn’t graduate. Rin was her senior and Daidouji could never beat her. She vowed never to graduate until she could best her. Unfortunately, Rin died. Kiriya remembers Rin insisted on a national level mission that was too dangerous. He should have stopped her even if he had to resort to force. Her death was what resulted in Daidouji’s indefinite graduate postponement. However she notes that her graduation and journey is near its end. Meanwhile Suzune learns from Dougen that he has sent Haruka on a mission since it is priority to obtain the Super Secret Ninja Technique scroll. Suzune notes it will be useless if the scroll doesn’t choose its successor. Her plan is to wait for Hanzou Academy to choose one and then go in for the ensnarement since their side does not have a chosen one. However Dougen says he wants result and it is already too late. Haruka makes her move and controls Hibari via the ear piercing.

Episode 9
Yagyuu visits Hibari’s room but doesn’t find her anywhere. The window is open. Kiriya checks on the scroll after hearing the intruder alert. Nothing is stolen. The scroll is in place. Well, a trap if I should say. Because it led Hibari to the scroll as she drops the paralysis gas. Next day Kiriya alerts the girls that the scroll is stolen and the culprit is among them (Hibari back to normal but unaware of last night’s actions). They are to standby in their room. Hibari discovers the scroll in underneath her bed. Suddenly Haruka steals it and thanks her for being a good friend. She notes she will now be considered a traitor. Since everybody will eventually view her as a failure, Haruka says she recognizes her strength and tosses her the location of Hebi Academy. She expects her to join. Soon the rest finds an apology letter in Hibari’s room that she’s going to Hebi to take back the scroll. Kiriya realizes too late the ear piercing that has a hidden transmitter that amplifies the mental wave of its user. Like how a puppeteer is able to control her puppets. Yagyuu becomes mad and dives off to find Hibari even if she doesn’t know where she is. Asuka manages to stop her and calm her down. She blames herself for letting this happen. She knew Hibari wasn’t in her room that night but couldn’t bring herself to doubt her. The other girls would have done the same thing if they were in her place. Hibari is outside Hebi and is ambushed by several guards. She is brought to Haruka who really wants Hibari as her own and doesn’t care about the master’s ulterior motive. Can a girl from Hanzou Academy transfer easily to Hebi? Haruka assures she will protect her. Hibari is given a tour on their training grounds. She meet her other friends and is surprised they accept her easily as their comrade. They point out good ninjas are rigid and constrained but evil ninjas are more open and tolerant. They do not reject those who come. If she betrays? Well, Hikage dares her to do it if she can. In this place, you hold yourself responsible for everything. Mirai will be friends with her as long as she is not ignored while Yomi quickly becomes her friend when Hibari doesn’t hate her favourite bean sprout plant.

Hibari is surprised that there are lots of students at Hebi compared to Hanzou Academy which only houses 5 students. Haruka explains each has their own reasons to enter here. Homura would have been Hibari’s classmate at Hanzou Academy if not for a little technicality. A condition to enrol in the good ninja facility is not to have committed an illegal act. Homura stabbed somebody and had no choice but to become an evil ninja. Mirai was a bully victim and decides to bully the world back. Hikage was raised in a battlefield as a killing machine. Yomi was raised in the slums and lost her family due to poverty. They are Hebi Academy’s strongest five. Hibari is introduced to Suzune and the latter leaves it to Haruka to take care of her. When Haruka tells her a top secret info that Suzune was once a good ninja, Hibari remembers that super ninja writing from the inn. That familiar feeling… Suzune reports to Dougen of the new transfer student based on a student’s recommendation. He is happy to have the scroll in his hands despite Suzune voicing her opinion she disagreed to this since it was a foolish move. Dougen reminds her he took her in when she nearly died after failing a mission as a former good ninja. With that opinion, Suzune thinks she no longer needs him and is going to make her move. Back at Hanzou Academy while the other girls are pondering the location of Hebi, Yagyuu apologizes to Kiriya for her rash move. She notes Asuka’s abilities of evading her serious attack then. Kiriya wonders if Asuka has a leap in her development. Kiriya later follows the sound of the bell and comes face to face with Suzune who requests him to a duel. After a strike, they are evenly matched but Kiriya can tell from underneath that mask that Suzune is Rin. He never forgets the way he teaches his students how to wield a sword. She tells him Hibari is now enrolled at Hebi and if he wants to know why she joined the dark side, come to Hebi Academy. Oh, here’s a map to the place too.

Episode 10
Kiriya knows the other girls are eavesdropping and flushes them out. Now that they know where Hebi is, they want to go there. But it won’t be easy. This might escalate into a full blown war between good and evil ninjas that will affect the country. So are they going to just sit around then? Hanzou explains about the existence of Yin and Yang. One cannot exist without the other. He adds if this is confined to an argument between students then it is okay. He will take responsibility of this. Hibari sneaks in to steal the scroll but sees Dougen reprimanding Suzune for giving out Hebi’s location. He considers her actions as betrayal. This is because he obtained both scrolls which she views as foolish. Dougen knows that by inviting a Hanzou Academy student here means she is inviting an assault. He is upset that if the higher ups hear about this, his position will be threatened. Suzune dares him to run away or kill himself since he was the one who broke the rule first. Dougen orders Suzune to be captured. After the Hanzou girls blast off in their modified kits (like Grendizer?), Hanzou could guess Kiriya and Daidouji want to follow them to Hebi too because if Rin acted on her own accord of revealing Hebi, her punishment is inevitable. Daidouji has some disturbing news that Hebi will be using underhanded tactics. Haruka guides Hibari around the training area for ninjas training under the different elements (it’s totally weird to see macho muscled men in female school uniform!). Hibari is shocked that the training is very strict. When one is injured, nobody helps. It’s one way to have them learn from their mistakes. Besides, they don’t view comrades as friends. Just as somebody who aids in missions. As Hibari joins the elite quintet in the bath, she asks their opinion on Suzune. They heap praises of her. Hibari notices how each of them are getting along fine. Maybe they’re not inherently evil. Despite the school’s different methodology, the shinobis here are no different in trying their best.

Hibari once more tries to sneak in to steal the scroll before her friends. Once again she has to eavesdrop and hears Dougen summoning the elite five. He tells them about Suzune’s betrayal and also a former student of Hanzou Academy. They are probably launching an assault since they know this place. He orders them to wipe them out not for Hebi’s sake but for all evil ninjas. In case they lose, he will activate the execution technique. An underhanded tactic that will have their life controlled freely by the caster. Hibari tries to escape but bumps into Haruka. Now that she has heard everything, she is locked up. The rest thinks she’s a spy but even so she can only blame herself for the predicament she is in now. Haruka explains about the execution technique that all students at Hebi were given by Dougen when they enrol here. It is activated when a student gets expelled or tries to expose the school’s secret. However he changed the activation rules. Haruka and the rest don’t fear this kind of death because otherwise it’s like fearing failure in a mission. Hibari notices Suzune locked up next to her. Dougen is worried that if his mistakes get known, he will lose more than his status. He will pay with his life too. It took him lots of time and effort to build this school up and can’t let it go to waste. He wants to complete both Yin and Yang scrolls to gain that power and control the organization. The Hanzou girls begin their assault when night falls. Dispatching wave after wave of shinobis, they still can’t find the entrance to the castle tower top. Why not just climb the tower instead of finding the secret passageway? Anyway Yagyuu uses her incredible sense of Hibari to track her location. They enter the secret passageway and their first obstacle is Yomi.

Episode 11
Suzune warns Haruka not to underestimate Hanzou Academy. Because Kiriya carefully examines his students after their losses and compensates their weaknesses to enhance their potential. So having Hebi girls to fight them was part of her plan to improve them since they are her best students so she needed to match them against equally strong opponents. Hibari is certain that Suzune is that girl who scribbled that super ninja wish on the ceiling beam. Suzune acknowledges her advanced and awakened ability and praises Kiriya for bringing it out. Then she transforms and busts out of her captive. In this episode of rematches, Ikaruga initiates her Shinobi Barrier to fight Yomi so that the rest could advance. Yomi hated Ikaruga since the day she first saw her on TV. Her family’s rich mansion was atop a hill overlooking the filthy slums Yomi was trying to survive. Her father made a pledge to help to poor but it never reached her parents. That’s why she hates rich girls like her. Katsuragi and Yagyuu fell through a trapdoor and face off with Hikage and Mirai respectively (sorry Mirai, you’re still being ignored). Hikage remembers she had negative emotions like sadness and anger. She was told to cast them away and pursue her target calmly if she wants to survive. Hikage sees such determination in Katsuragi’s eyes and was caught off guard for a while. She starts to feel hate. Mirai relates her past as a bully victim. The first people who treated her nice were those in Hebi. Mirai is happy when Yagyuu won’t ignore her anymore because if she does, it’s like ignoring herself. This means they get to fight properly? Up next for Asuka is Homura. Hibari tries to reach the keys to her cell but Haruka returns and snatches it away. Hibari wants to warn everyone that Hebi girls will die if they lose. Haruka is confident they won’t lose. Relating about her past, her father was a hospital director. A notorious scum who used all the money from tax evasion to erase his medical malpractice. Because of that he was rarely home and his wife was left all alone. She took that loneliness out on Haruka and treated her like a doll. Haruka bore her obsession in silence for years till she can’t take it anymore. She wanted to burn down everything but was scouted by Suzune. That’s why the Hebi girls aren’t afraid of death as they have experienced something similar.

Haruka unlocks Hibari’s cell and wants to test it herself. Inside the Shinobi Barrier, Haruka hints that there is a fine line in what the caster would deem as a victory or a loss. Hibari thinks they just need to keep him from triggering that technique. Hibari gets beaten up but stands back up since she doesn’t view this as winning or losing. When Haruka gets knocked out by a distraction from Hibari’s pink bunny’s bomb, Hibari uses her strong telepathy sense to tell her friends to stop fighting their counterparts. They are devastated that the Hebi girls continue to fight despite knowing this. So disgusted at this cowardly method that they power up to defeat their opponent and render them unable to fight. So does this mean it is not considered a loss? A shinobi may put her life on the line in a mission but it’s wrong for another to take over another’s life. Hibari gets knocked out by Haruka when she tries to go defeat the big boss. Yagyuu decides to head to the basement as she senses Hibari there. After Ikaruga defeats Yomi, she reveals their goal is to defeat the evil person that forced them to fight using such underhanded techniques. She explains that the TV programme she saw was when her father adopted her as his daughter and showing it to the world. It was to present himself as a volunteer that would take in an unfortunate child who has lost her relatives. That technique Yomi lost to was supposed to be inherited by his son in order to continue the shinobi family line. Ikaruga says the only thing she has now is her mission as a shinobi. There is no more room to fit in the love and affection of her family. Yomi weeps that she is being told this. Because she can’t hate her now.

Episode 12
Dougen is trying to power up by placing both scrolls together as such vicinity causes them to react. Homura’s fight with Asuka continues as she remembers how her ex-teacher used and betrayed her trust to eliminate good shinobi successors. Probably he was the person she killed but in the name of self defence. Asuka uses some shockwave to kick Homura out of the Shinobi Barrier. Kiriya confronts with Suzune as she explains her intention. When she almost died during her failed mission, she realizes real power resided within the evil side. She wants to prove that by having his students suffer defeat here. That’s the purpose of her previous assaults. When both successors of the scrolls confront each other and with her students victory, it is only then she can be a super ninja. However with one of the scrolls ending up here courtesy of Dougen’s perpetration, she is unwilling to accept the situation that led to this but will be able to settle the score. One of their students will be the scroll’s successor and fight each other. Kiriya wants to stop his students but Suzune prevented him going any further. This is just an argument between kids, right? No adult intervention. Ikaruga and Katsuragi meet up and make their way to the tower top. Before this could be another rematch between Yomi and Hikage, Katsuragi lets loose a smoke screen bomb to escape. Yagyuu drills in from above to Hibari’s rescue before she could be Haruka’s whipping toy. Again, before we can say that rematch revisited word, Hibari and Yagyuu summon their animals for a clean getaway. Pink bunny and squid riding combo? And yeah. Looks like another rematch between Asuka and Homura is on the cards. Can’t blame Asuka for getting too long to get to the top because she doesn’t know the place. Dougen appears before them and wants Homura to bring Asuka with her to him as they have been chosen by the scroll. Homura is devastated to learn she has been used so that Dougen could use the scrolls’ power. That dude went a step further to reveal his true ambition in taking over the organization. All their other friends arrive and learn about his ultimate betrayal but Homura and Asuka are sucked into his Shinobi Barrier to face his snake monster, Orochi. The rest have to be content to fight mechanical ninjas. But they are pitch perfect cooperating to bring the marionettes down.

Dougen says Homura has only herself to blame for being used so Homura plans to take him out with her life. Asuka doesn’t want her to simply throw away her life and to believe in her friends. The rest have finished disposing the dolls and they need to find a way to break into the barrier. This is where Hibari comes in. Everyone joins forces to channel their power through her so that Hibari can send their message to their friends. Their voices reach them as they power up and break free from Orochi’s clutches. They could feel their warmth overflowing within their body. Asuka understands the meaning of the sword and shield power proverb. Both unleash their Super Secret Ninja Technique to slay the beast and break free from the barrier. While the girls are happy to reunite with each other, Dougen makes his escape. They’re not going to let him run that easy and corner him on the rooftop. Suzune is surprised to see the girls cooperating with each other and wonders if she was wrong. Kiriya explains it is not his guidance that made them strong but rather their feelings for their friends became strong. Now it’s time for the adults to get involve since well, there was an adult meddling in the kids’ affair, right? Dougen activates his final desperate move by self destructing the academy. There are students in the place so the girls want to help go save them. However the Hebi girls only know the convoluted structure inside the place and want their Hanzou counterparts to stay out. They hope they’ll meet and fight again someday. Dougen continues to play dirty that they have no choice but to let him go or else he will initiate the execution technique implanted in all the Hebi girls. Suzune feels ashamed to be thought by these girls that real strength isn’t about being good or evil. She sacrifices herself and jumps into the flames with Dougen. Gone for real this time? In the aftermath, Asuka passes her promotion exam and is now the same rank with Yagyuu. Kiriya returns with the investigation report on Hebi Academy. After searching every nook and corner (hidden ones too, I guess), they found no traces of any Hebi students. Could they all have escaped? The girls would like to believe so that they will come back and fight them again.

Shino-boobs…
Everything seems average. The fights, the characters and the fanservice. As we can tell despite the big baddie of the series being taken care of, it is not over by a long shot. Well, if we assume that Dougen has actually died. But then again, the reports said that no traces of students were found, I also take that no traces of their bodies were found. So I would say that Suzune/Rin and Dougen are pretty much alive despite that shed-a-tear-goodbye look at the end. After all, she pulled this once before, what makes you think she can’t pull it off again? And where do you think the Hebi girls are now? We can speculate anywhere in the world and not just Japan. Underwater, flying fortress or even the same mountainous regions trick. After all, they managed to keep themselves hidden for so long and it took the good guys to be guided and shown the direction to their location.

I can’t say much about everything else. I was just entertained, that’s all. Nothing so great about this series that would make me hard up to look forward or even petition for a second season. Like the characters, each of them has their own sad and tragic past (maybe with the exception of Hibari) and it’s nice that we are shown short flashbacks of it. However somehow it feels shallow and it doesn’t connect. Ikaruga’s desire to be part of the family, Katsuragi’s parents’ abandonment and Yagyuu’s loss of her beloved sister might be seen as their motivation to strive and be good ninjas but that’s about it. Perhaps the main thing is that everyone now is here together as a family. The present is all that matters and the most important even though they cannot forget their past. Their bond is the greatest weapon against any adversaries. The fight scenes seem rather okay too. Sure, we have some super power exaggerated moves like Katsuragi’s spindle kick or something that starts off like some breakdance move or Ikaruga’s use of her Hien as well as Yagyuu’s skilful handling of her umbrella as well as Asuka’s twin swords. But in a genre that involves ninjas and shinobis, such never-seen-before moves or unbelievable jaw dropping techniques that are seemingly impossible to pull off in the real world is somewhat a must. Otherwise, why call yourself a ninja, right?

The characters are amusing themselves with each of them having their own peculiar traits like Katsuragi’s persistent perversion on Asuka, Yagyuu’s stoic appearance and Hibari’s penchant for becoming a damsel in distress. But that’s just about it. Hibari may have her little important role in the group but being constantly be in the need for Yagyuu to always save her seems annoying. I guess she exudes too much moe blob that you won’t feel irritated. The Hebi girls are amusing too. Like Yomi’s obsession about bean sprouts and Mirai’s obsession to get noticed. They are just like their Hanzou counterparts if not for the different schools they attend. I swore I could have guessed Suzune was Rin as early as possible. The hints were there. It was hanging so obviously. So when it was confirmed that they are the same person, I wasn’t really surprised. Well, at least she has woken up to the true meaning about real power. Is that what she wanted as a super ninja? Too bad, Daidouji may have to postpone her graduation again seeing Rin has once again died or gone missing. After her help to train the girls at the haikingu mountain, I feel her presence was somewhat redundant. Hanzou’s presence also from time to time seems redundant. He just probably drops by once in a while to see how his granddaughter is doing. Otherwise, how can you explain this legendary shinobi turned into some sort of little pervert who loves gawking at the girls while they eat his signature futomaki dish?

I’m not too turned on by the fanservice either. Maybe it’s the unappealing and unattractive pantsu they wear. Haha. I’m not really into shima pantsu like Asuka and Katsuragi’s trademark or pink polka dots that is of Yagyuu. Maybe it’s the art too. I don’t really find the girls thaaaaaaat cuuuuuuuute either. Sure, they look like your standard Japanese anime girls but something about them makes them look simpler and lacking some details. With many of the girls in this series so busty, it makes you wonder if they are using some sort of ninjutsu to turn off gravity and defy physics. Besides, their boobs are a great place to conceal items like scroll. Haha! Probably it’s like a different time dimension zone inside there if you stick your hand in between the cleavage and don’t be surprised if you find it very ‘roomy’. A big part of the fanservice comes from the action too. In most fights when the girls clash, the force of the impact will have their clothes shred to bits, if not reveal some skin. I wonder who does the sewing. Or is there a ninjutsu that can fix it in an instant? Which reminds me, their battle gear resembles more like cosplay than proper fighting outfits. The most mind boggling one has got to be Katsuragi. Her nature is already perverted and her battle gear is skimpier than her usual clothes. It’s like she is this close of being a slut. And when she fights, it is as though she is purposely giving her high kicks to show off her pantsu. I mean, her loose clothes allow her to move easily but really, I thought she would be turning into a stripper any moment. Or maybe her little clothes serve as distraction. Who am I kidding? All the opponents are females. It’s not that anybody is turned on by her anyway. Speaking of outfits, I also find it mind boggling that some of the girls can keep huge equipment underneath their skirt! I know ninjas are skilled in hidden weapons technique but the way they pull it out seems too much like a joke. Maybe it is.

When I first watched the series, I thought that being the good ninja sucks and that being evil was more fun. You see, I noticed that the good girls weren’t on par in terms of fighting abilities with their evil counterparts. You see how the Hebi girls get to kick their ass without breaking into a sweat and even mock them for being weak. Though, this won’t stop the Hanzou girls from getting stronger and not giving up easily. Not only have the students experienced this, but their teacher too. There is not once but several times whereby he couldn’t actually sense their aura or gets tricked to be separated from the girls (the Shinobi Island training and facility infiltration incidents come to mind). So what does this tell you? Are the good guys really slacking? It’s like making a fool out of them. The ultimate one must be when Kiriya went to check on the scroll not realizing the enemy was watching him to lead him to it. Yeah. He took it out just to check if it’s safe. Didn’t think twice about this being a trap, eh? Being good feels like so restrictive as compared to being evil. There are so many rules. You can’t do this, you can’t illegally do that. But if you join the evil camp, anything goes. But remember, you live by the sword, you also die by the sword. So in the end, the one who is truly evil is Dougen himself. That’s what all evil people should be, right? Using others for their own benefit. That’s why I thought trying to make the Hebi girls as enemies wouldn’t really cut it somehow. They’re just too cute to be real baddies. After getting to know them, they are not so bad and rotten. Their school of methodology may differ but deep down, the girls are all the same. They just want to have friends and do what girls their age do. So the thought of whether evil schools like these should exist or not, just like Hanzou said, it is the balance of life and one cannot exist without the other.

For the voice acting part, Yu Kobayashi runs riot with her crazy voice like I am familiar with as Katsuragi (think Kaere from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Lia from World Destruction). But she’s not going loud and crazy all the time. When she is in a perverted chipmunk mode, it’s like sounding between goofy and creepy. Yuka Iguchi has Hibari exudes lots of moeness as her character but I still can’t help she is the less annoying version of To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index or Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Maria. Ryoko Shiraishi plays Hikage and her Kansai accent is still recognizable albeit her character lacks any emotions so it’s like hearing a deadpan Himeko from Sket Dance or Aoi of Zettai Karen Children with no enthusiasm. Other casts include Hitomi Harada as Asuka (Nori in Hidamari Sketch, Himeji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Asami Imai as Ikaruga (Chelsea in Shukufuku No Campanella), Eri Kitamura as Homura (Cana in Fairy Tail), Ai Kayano as Yomi (Inori in Guilty Crown), Megumi Toyoguchi as Haruka (Sola-Ui in Fate/Zero), Saori Goto as Mirai (Kukuru in Joshiraku), Keiji Fujiwara as Kiriya (Sven in Black Cat), Suzuko Mimori as Suzune/Rin (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Himiko in BTOOOM), Yuu Asakawa as Daidouji (Motoko in Love Hina), Juurouta Kosugi as Dougen (Alan in MAR) and Kanehira Yamamoto as Hanzou.

The opening theme is Break Your Sword by Sayaka Sasaki and sounds like your usual anime pop rock. There are several ending themes. The first one being Fighting Dreamer by the voices of the five Hanzou Academy girls. Feels like an all-girl pop group. Why, the ending credits animation shows them forming a band playing instruments like in a rock group. Who says ninjas can’t sing? The second ending theme is Yamiyo Wa Otome Wo Hana Ni Suru, this time sung by the voices of the five Hebi Academy girls. I guess it’s only right that they have their own song too seeing that they are as equal and popular as their Hanzou Academy counterparts. Despite having a darker theme, we don’t see them forming a band here but rather testing out their cooking. Hikage only so eager to eat? Anyway you can guess what the taste is like when all of them show us their ‘dead face’ at the end. I guess being a skilful ninja doesn’t necessarily mean you have good cooking skills. The third ending piece is Shissouron by Hitomi Harada. A solo piece that seems to dedicate to her character of Asuka. So if you are an Asuka fan, you can glimpse some Asuka poses and her cosplay outfits, not to mention a few obligatory panty shots.

This series won’t likely be as famous as its other flashier ninja themed counterparts and won’t turn into mainstream as well. Many would pass this series off as some cheap entertainment thrill that fulfilled its intended goal of fanservice. What is there to complain? After all, how much can a group of busty shinobi babes get? After a while, you get tired of more or less the same thing. I wonder why it’s not the same for Naruto. Maybe people are being brainwashed to think it’s so damn good when it’s not. They’re just ‘watching it’. Haha. I’m not the one to say since I haven’t been watching that since ages. I wonder what’s next. They’ve turned samurais into girls, historical figures into girls and though turning ninjas into girls isn’t something new, heck, it is still mainly female dominated in this sense. Where are all the ninja guys anyway? Shouldn’t ninja girls be termed as kunoichi? Oddly, the girls here don’t seem to be bothered about boyfriend or love at their age. I know a ninja’s existence should be shrouded in secrecy but they’re living in modern times and currently living close to normal girls save for their abnormal ninja training. Maybe it’s a good thing too that they don’t have any love problems. Less one problem (but may give rise to yuri relationship as almost seen in Haruka towards Hibari). I can guess the guy’s reaction if they find out their girlfriend is a ninja. In that case I wouldn’t want to have one and take it at the risk of my life.