Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu is a Japanese manga series that was written and illustrated by Ryoichi Koga. The series subtitle is The Nonsense Kunoichi Fiction. The manga was serialized by MediaWorks’ Dengeki Daioh magazine between August 2000 and March 2006; the chapters were later compiled into four tankobon volumes. The manga was released in English in North America by Infinity Studios under the title Ninin Ga Shinobuden. A twelve episode anime adaptation produced by Unfotable aired in Japan between July and September 2004. The anime has been released in North America by The Right Stuf International under the title Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu.
Ninja Nonsense is an absurdist comedy series that follows Shinobu as she trains to become a ninja. However, the series does not only focus on the ninja training, but it also focuses on Shinobu’s lifestyle and friends through a series of disjointed comedic plot lines. The series uses character designs that favor a soft and rounded look rather than the slender bishojo style. The original title of the series is based on a pun. In the Japanese numerical system, “ni” is two, and “shi” is four. Ni (2) x ni (2) = shi (4), therefore Ni-Ni-n ga Shi-nobuden.
The Series Itself (4/5):
Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu is a series that I was completely unfamiliar with as I’m still considered to be an extreme novice when it comes to anime. However, when I sat down to give this show a watch, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I enjoyed this release. The story that we’re given with this series is slightly comical as Shinobu goes about her adventures in ninja training. There were a handful of moments where I did roll my eyes because of the predictable scenes that played out, but those were an occasional thing that didn’t really deter from the overall experience.
Picture Quality (5/5):
Presented in 1080p, Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu looked absolutely phenomenal as it played out across my living room television. Giving audiences a bright and vivid color palette, the animation really shined and allowed both my wife and I to really gain an appreciation for the work that went into making this release available on Blu-ray.
Audio Quality (4/5):
Packaged with a LPCM 2.0 audio track, Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu offers a clean and clear experience for its audiences ear. While not nearly as immersive as it could have been, everything about the included audio track allowed for my wife and I to hear and understand everything without having to manually adjust the volume levels on our receiver. The included English audio track was a nice bonus allowing me to focus on other aspects of this release without having to read the story as it progressed.
The Packaging (4/5):
Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case, containing the standard Blu-ray copy of the series spanning both discs. Each of the discs do feature artwork that is relative to the series and differs from that of the case art. The case art that’s been provided is reversible, allowing those who add this series to their collection to choose between the two. There are no DVD copies included with this release nor are there any digital copy redemption pamphlets. There are no slipcovers available with this release.
Special Features (3/5):
Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu comes with a surprising amount of additional content on each disc. However, none of the included content offer a behind-the-scenes look into the series at hand, it is nice to see more content become available on releases like this. Included with this release is:
- Liner Notes
- Clean Openings 1-3
- Clean Closing
- TV Spots
- Art Gallery
- A Town Where You Live Trailer
- Galaxy Angel Trailer
- Kuru-Kuru Rin (Closing) Full Size
- Clean Opening 4
- Martian Successor Nadesico Trailer
- Sound Of The Sky Trailer
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
English: LPCM 2.0
Japanese: LPCM 2.0
Original Series: 320 minutes
Generally speaking, I was really surprised with Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu. While I’m still very much so a novice when it comes to anime releases, and the fact that most of my experiences have been with different pieces of the Gundam series’, I wasn’t really quite sure what to expect with this series. This particular series features a slightly comical look into the serious ventures of the title character as she and her ninja master, Onsokumaru work through her training; and in this particular series, as Shinobu tries to gather the panties of her local high school colleagues. The picture quality of the animation of this release was beautifully done, and the audio, while not an immersive track, was clean and clear. There are a decent amount of special features that have been provided, none of which unfortunately offer any kind of behind the scenes look. But, it is really nice to see that more content is being added to these releases. If you’re considering adding this release to your collection, I would definitely recommend checking it out. Ninja Nonsense: The Legend of Shinobu will be available beginning on December 5, so you’ll want to make sure you get this before it does sell out.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.