The hype generated by the Ninja Kamui trailer premiere has created enormous expectations among fans of the anime world. And Ninja Kamui is born from a very promising premise, one that immerses us in a world full of futuristic ninjas, dark corporations, revenge and ultra violence from the hand of some of the heavyweights of Japanese animation.
An explosive mix
The plot follows Joe Higan, a former ninja seeking revenge after his family is brutally murdered by his former criminal organization. This story fuses mystical martial arts movements in the purest Naruto style with ideas and aesthetic elements that seem taken directly from Metal Gear Solid along with the unbridled action of the John Wick films. An explosive mixture that at times leaves the viewer with their mouths open.
The series, directed by Sunghoo Park and produced by Adult Swim in the West, features a combination of traditional anime elements with a modern and sophisticated aesthetic. With Sunghoo Park at the helm, known for his work on Jujutsu Kaisen, the action scenes unfold at a dizzying pace across the screen, perhaps making the slower moments feel too calm. It’s passing from zero to one hundred and back to zero in just a few seconds.
One of its highlights are the impressive fight scenes, full of fantastic moves, acrobatics and dark ninja techniques. These fights are masterfully choreographed and the animation is fluid and dynamic. Without a doubt, the strong point of Ninja Kamui. Furthermore, the character design by Takeshi Okazaki, famous for his work in Afro Samurai and Star Wars: Visions, leaves an unforgettable gallery of visually striking characters.
However, along with the spectacular nature of the combat scenes, they are also presented punctually and exaggerated doses of ultraviolence which may be unpleasant for some viewers. The question about the need for so much violence in the plot is present, questioning whether it really adds value to the story or if it becomes a merely gratuitous resource. Oh really, How many times do you have to stab the same character?
A nod to an almost unknown old classic
Ninja Kamui pays tribute to another anime classic with Kamui, the deserted ninja based on the manga La leyenda de Kamui, de Sanpei Shirato. This series, premiered on Senpai TV (which has also had a recent live-action adaptation), follows the story of Kamui, who, like Joe Higan in Ninja Kamui, escapes from his clan facing dangerous enemies.
Since we have only been able to see the first two episodes of the series, it is difficult for me to make myself a clear idea about the future development of Ninja Kamui. Although these initial episodes leave me with a lot of questions about the context of the plot, also wanting to find answers in the next chapters. Ninja Kamui will be released February 11 on HBO Max.