The Ninja have developed many powerful techniques throughout history. Some practical, others not so practical, but none as powerful as the art of…seduction. Combat can be sexy and there’s no people more prone to aesthetically pleasing battle than the Ninja which, if I’m doing this properly, means they’re the most beautiful people in existence. I never used to think this. In fact, I was more mentally sound until about two days ago when I started watching one of Madman Entertainment’s newest releases “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!”.
Since watching, I’ve learned that the most important thing about shadow combat is how much skin you can show and, if I’m being entirely honest…it has really changed my world view. The “Senran Kagura” series of video games, for those of you who don’t know, revolves around a bunch of young, sexy, female Ninjas who battle and strip their way to Shinobi glory. The games, being so damn popular, have eventually lead to the production of this Anime which tells the story of the girl’s first big battle against their evil counterparts. Thanks to Madman, I’ve been given the chance to review the Anime of which I was more than happy to get my hands on, but for more than just reasons of animal magnetism. Follow me into the world of beautiful Ninja as I try my hand at figuring out just why this franchise is so damn popular.
Asuka and her friends may look like any other girls at Hanzo Academy, but they’re secretly studying the ancient art of Ninjutsu! While other students do their homework, Asuka and the gang push their beautiful bodies to the breaking point in pursuit of their perfect form. Life is one sexy sparring session after another until a deviously demented rival clan of evil ninjas ambushes the Hanzo hotties – and steals their sacred ninja scroll. Faced with their toughest – and most well-rounded – enemies ever, Asuka and her fellow deadly divas will have to go further than they’ve ever gone before to prove they’ve mastered the art of full frontal combat! – Madman Entertainment
What you get with “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is possibly one of THE most basic Anime storylines of all time: It’s good Ninja versus bad Ninja, and that’s about it. So basic that, in fact, they actually just refer to each other as “Good Ninja” and “Bad Ninja”. As you’ve read, the series takes audiences through the sexy trials and tribulations of these young Ninja girls as they train to become the best and fight against their arch enemies from another school. At twelve episodes long, “Ninja Flash!” is short and sweet, and doesn’t feature any episode that doesn’t end in some sort of story progression, basic as it is.
It hosts a character cast of buxom masters of fan service, all of which are actually quite likable despite their seemingly one dimensional personalities. The Anime does indeed delve into the pasts of these young ladies but not quite enough to make a huge impact. Instead is simply works to show that they have some semblance of real human beings, but that’s quickly taken away when they fly into the air, explode of their tight clothing and battle sword-to-sword with other mostly-naked Shinobi…and I’m fine with that.
“Ninja Flash!” has a great sense of humour that’s mostly made known thanks to the narrator of the series who always has something funny to say that alerts the audience to just how self-aware “Ninja Flash!” is. Even in saying that, I do have to bring attention to the fact that, humour aside, some of what these characters say aren’t at all funny. Sometime what they say is simply stupid, a little bit upsetting and gets repeated every single episode. It’s easy to tune that stuff out but it’s part of the series and nothing THAT frequent should need to be ignored, it just shouldn’t be there at all.
Making these characters so likable, I believe, is because they were played by quite a talented cast of English voice artists. Doing about as god a job as the Japanese cast, the English cast brought an obvious sense of individuality to each of the girls as well as some great performances. These characters we’re never really in a serious enough situation that actual emotion was put forth through voice acting, but that doesn’t make the actors and actresses any worse at their job. What impressed me the most was the way they were able to deliver funny lines with perfect timing.
I’m not really the type to laugh at Anime-style humour but I found myself chuckling every episode and when a voice cast can make you smile with just a couple of words, I think they’re doing their job properly. “Ninja Flash!” also featured an interesting and varied soundtrack. Most tracks were composed in a fairly basic manor but there was enough variant from track to track that kept it interesting from the first episode to the last. There’s a little rock, there’s a little electro, there’s a little tradition music and through that combination you get yourself an enjoyable soundtrack.
The visuals of “Ninja Flash!” are actually quite impressive. Knowing nothing about the series going into it, I had literally no expectations of it whatsoever and that includes what the series will look like. Having a review copy on Blu-Ray excited me because I can’t see a better way to watch Anime than on high definition format. Surprisingly…”Ninja Flash!” looked pretty good! There were many scenes where the animation wasn’t as good as it could have been and there were a whole bunch of still frame shots that got a little boring but it was made up for by the incredibly fluid animation that show up when it was time for these girls to throw down.
Paired up with that great animation is a vivid colour palette that makes the series just “pop”. The other big visual feature of “Ninja Flash!” is, obviously, the huge amount of fanservice within the series. This is as subjective as it gets. If images of romantic nature make you a little uneasy than there’s not a good chance you’re going to be into “Ninja Flash!” but if you’re like me and don’t mind it so long as it’s not taken TOO far than “Ninja Flash!” is the perfect series.
What I got out of “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” was pure fun. No, it’s not the best series in the world and, no, I’m not actually THAT into fanservice but I was able to enjoy the series thanks to its sense of humour and it’s damn good animation. I’ve seen series’ where they take the fanservice stuff not only a little too far but also a little too seriously…this is not one of those series’.
The story is simple and so is its progression but somehow it still left me with a smile. If you’re into fanservice and you’re into action and you’re into a little comedy than I’d say “Ninja Flash!” may be an Anime series specifically designed for you. I also think fans of the video game series will find a great deal of enjoyment in the Anime too but probably for a few different reasons. What is fun is good and I’ve not had more fun watching an Anime in quite a while. Yeah, there’s a couple things missing but when it comes to a series like this, it’s probably better you just stop looking for them.
Experience the fanservice and Ninja violence first hand by grabbing yourself a copy of “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” through Madman Entertainments official store: Click Here