Funny at times, this harem-style comedy is full of good and evil women, all scantily clad of course.
Writer/Artist: Hosana Tanaka
Translation: Andria Chang
Adaptation: Andria Chang
What They Say
The horn growing from Raizo's forehead is proof that he's the lost illegitimate son of the once-mighty Katana family. Now a band of loyal and lovely female ninjas devises a scheme to elevate their newfound master to greatness. But does this shy outcast have what it takes to rule the kingdom and deal with a bevy of beautiful ninja girls?
The front cover depicts Kagari, one of the female ninja, or kunoichi’s, sworn to protect the protagonist. The back cover has the protagonist, Raizo, showing off his demon horn on his forehead. The adaptation reads well and honorifics are plentiful as this story takes place in feudal Japan. Extras include a bonus comic from the artist and the translator’s notes. Overall, this is a nice production from Del Rey. However, I’m disappointed with the lack of color reproduction for the first four pages and a small number of people have reported problems with a couple faded pages. My review copy looks fine, but you might want to flip through your copy prior to your purchase if you pick it up in a store.
I really like Tanaka’s art and use of cross-hatching to enhance the screen tones. The panel layout is highly varied and includes some full-page pictures. The character designs are sexy, well proportioned, and lively. The women are strongly varied and look as dangerous as they do sexy. I like the artist’s use of tattoos for many of the characters, especially the tattoos covering Kagari’s entire body when she engages her steel skin ninja technique. Tanaka also does an excellent job conveying comedy with the characters facial expressions.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Raizo is a young man living on his own in the lonely countryside. His mother is dead, he doesn’t have any siblings, he doesn’t know anything about his father, and he has a secret he hides from the outside world. Raizo has a small horn growing from his forehead. Normally, he can hide it with his shaggy hair and a cloth wrapped around his head. However, when he was young, people teased him and called him demon child, so he has always been self-conscious of his body. We were all self-conscious of our bodies as teenagers, but I doubt any of us had to deal with something as bad as an actual demon horn growing out of our foreheads. Not only that, but if anything bad like a disease or famine spread through the nearby community, the towns people would probably be quick to string him up. Hiding his horn is probably the better part of valor.
Even with everything against him, Raizo is still a surprisingly good-natured kid. But his mundane world, minus the whole horn thing, is turned upside down when he discovers a scantily clad ninja girl half-drowned in the river near his house. He quickly takes the woman home and nurses her back to health. Eventually, she realizes Raizo is the last of the Katana family and exactly the person she has been searching for. Being a bastard child allowed him to survive the massacre of the Katana clan by Lord Seigan. Now it is up to the ninja girl, Kagari, and her companions to protect Raizo and reinstate the Katana family. Seems like an improbable feat, but with their ninja techniques (Kagari’s skin becomes hard as steel as long as Raizo can see her) it just might be possible.
This story is cute and has funny moments as Raizo meets two more kunoichi’s sworn to protect him and they begin a journey to find more help. Raizo is good-natured, but always expected he would end up alone because of his horn. Therefore, his awkward interactions with Kagari and the other girls are pretty funny. What I find funnier is the small Buddhist tablet imbued with his mother’s spirit. Raizo carries it with him and she is not shy about scratching out conversations in the dirt or physically smacking him in the face when he is trying to sneak a peek at one of the girls.
Lord Seigan’s female soldiers are a constant threat, but Kagari and the other girls sworn to protect Raizo are probably more dangerous. Raizo’s girls mean well, but Kagari’s jealous love for him and Himemaru’s desire to marry him for wealth, tend to do more damage to Raizo’s psyche and body than any of Lord Seigan’s attacks. Well I can’t say that, Kagari did let Raizo be shot in the neck during one battle. In the end, maybe it is a toss up between which side is more dangerous.
Will Raizo be able to survive both his vassals and enemies attacks? Are there more kunoichi’s he hasn’t met yet and what will their powers be? Lastly, will Lord Seigan want Raizo dead more than he might want Kagari’.
Ninja Girls is a simple comedic story with good art and plenty of ecchi for those who enjoy that. The different powers displayed by Raizo’s kunoichis and Lord Seigan’s soldiers, from an apparently mostly female army, keep the story interesting. Eye candy aside, I most enjoyed Raizo’s mortuary tablet imbued with his mother’s spirit. The little stone tablet smacks Raizo around to keep him in line just as any living mother would, and it is pretty freaking hilarious. The mystery behind Raizo’s horn is an aspect I’m curious to see play out.
With numerous hotties wearing next to nothing, mystical powers and a sexy sniper, I can’t help but be reminded of Kurohime and Grenadier. There are not any shrinking women, but one of Raizo’s kunoichi’s reminds me of Kurohime’s character and Ninja Girls large female cast with one hapless guy reminds me of Grenadier. Overall, Ninja Girls is a light, funny read with good art and plenty of attractive women.