Shinobi no Ittoki Episodes 1-3

How would you rate episode 1 of
Shinobi no Ittoki ?

First impressions of Shinobi no Ittoki are favorable. Ittoki believes himself to be a typical middle-schooler, but one who is busy. He spends a lot of time at school, cram school, gymnastics, and other hobbies to the extent that he hardly ever has time for his buddies. He definitely does not have time for a girlfriend or romantic relationships, and he is always being watched after by Kousetsu, a girl assigned to him by his mother. However, the monotonous routine is beginning to get to him, and he wants to try something different. Enter a new prospective love interest.. The only issue is that she and a number of other random ninjas attempt to murder him on their first date, and it turns out that everyone in his life is scurrying to defend him since he is actually the Iga ninja clan’s hidden heir.

The setup is pretty well done, while it isn’t particularly ground-breaking. This type of covert shadow war scenario, in which numerous groups compete for dominance in remote locations far from everyday life, is usually a stirring one. ninja clans that still exist today and are affiliated with corporations or governments? That’s OK, let’s see where this goes.

The mix of relatability and excellent production, in my opinion, is what makes Shinobi no Ittoki popular. The audience will presumably be aware with Ittoki’s other problems, even though clearly not everyone has been the meticulously watched scion of a centuries-old shinobi clan. Perhaps a common sentiment among teenagers is “I just want to start living my life how I want to. My parents are too restrictive. I’m so busy with school that I never get to meet my friends. Additionally, it’s just excellent ninja work to turn the really weighty wish-fulfillment situation of a female suddenly falling in love with Ittoki into an assassination attempt.

The action scenes are also pretty lively. This action-movie-style universe that Ittoki is living in is sold through a lot of smooth acrobatics, amazing flips, and professional-looking effects. I’m interested to see what else the program will have to offer because it has a fantastic premise and strong beginning.

How would you rate episode 2 of
Shinobi no Ittoki ?

Compared to the impressive debut performance, episode two’s entrance was a little weaker.

The emotional component is unquestionably the highlight of this episode. Ittoki is unhappy (understandably so), having had his entire world flipped upside down, and having to suddenly accept that there are ninjas all around him. It’s a lot for a teenager to process, so it’s nice that he finally decides to stay—not just to be near his mother, but also because she has gone through a similar battle.

In light of the circumstances, Ittoki’s responses appear to be reasonable overall. It’s only normal that he is afraid, uneasy, and feels like he is flailing simply trying to keep up with all these changes because he is much outperformed by everyone else and lacks both overt competence and hidden innate aptitude (at least so far). Despite having a decent heart, he is obviously out of his element throughout the trial, and this will probably work against him in the brutal world of shinobi.

I find the idea of the ninja school to be the least engaging aspect of this episode. Technically speaking, there isn’t much of a difference between the two settings—a covert shadow war and a magical school—but I find the former to be considerably more compelling. I’m hopeful the ninja school is merely a brief diversion and that the program will soon return to (what I believed) its original direction.

Even though it’s only a brief scene, the last one with the NSC and the Koga village is exactly the type of thing I was hoping to see from Shinobi no Ittoki. The things I like about these stories are the power struggles between factions, the use and abuse of dubious resources, manipulations, and counter-plays. I’m expecting that further chapters will have more of this.

How would you rate episode 3 of
Shinobi no Ittoki ?

Shinobi no Ittoki’s third episode does a wonderful job of summarizing its positives and negatives thus far.

Let’s start with the cons. We travel to magical school on a protracted magical train trip (stop me if this seems familiar), where we engage in typical magical school antics like arriving on time for class, finding a seat at lunch, and navigating social cliques. I believe that the tropes flow through in such overt ways that it all comes to resemble other school media, which is at the heart of why I do not love the school-based stories, especially when the school is so plainly a modern institution.. I get why this cliche is utilized so frequently since it is relevant and clear to the audience, but after a time, it all starts to blend together into one giant blob. Even though Ittoki’s bully doesn’t like him because of the murder of the leader of his ninja clan, the details tend to fade into the background and become more generalized, such as “a nice girl helps him escape the bully,” and similar statements. Of course, your experience may differ, but I am already losing interest in these scenarios.

Which is unfortunate because the remaining events in the episode are actually pretty interesting and detailed. The ninja suits and cores are a hilarious marketing ploy, especially the notion that if the fit is off, it might interfere with the user’s control. (Kousetsu is nice too, but she’s more constrained owing to the quiet and deadly vibe she has going on.) Kirei and Ryoko are both entertaining new cast members with tons of personality, and their voice actresses both offer dynamic and engaging performances, with some genuinely funny line reads. Even though Ittoki was a complete failure, he still managed to grab the manju during the battle and aid Kirei, which is a nice touch that makes him easy to like.

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