Ninja Mono -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Toshiba
  • MSRP: ¥8800
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ninja Cadets

Ninja Mono


Ninja Mono
© Toshiba

What They Say

The Review!
This was the first DVD I ever bought. I managed to grab this one the same time I bought my machine back in December 96 (I was still living in Japan at the time). Actually, it was the sight of this disc on the shelf at Best Denki that sold a DVD player that day! It also has the honor of being the absolute first anime DVD ever released by any company anyplace.

Produced by Youmex/AIC, and released by Toshiba-EMI, Ninja Mono is a fun show with just the right blend of action and humor. Set in medieval Japan, the show begins with a fierce attack on a ninja stronghold. A rival clan is attempting to capture an infant princess in the hopes of destroying the clan altogether. However, the young princess is secreted away by a trusted ninja to a nearby village where she is raised as one of their own. Several years afterward, she is part of a group of six young ninjas, three male and three female, out to prove themselves on a quest designed to test their prowess as full ninjas. None are aware of the old conflict, let alone that one of them is a princess! Their mission: to enter Byakuro Castle and acquire the ancient scrolls of power stored within. Not an easy task when three evil ninjas hound their footsteps -- bent on killing the princess at all cost.

The video encoding on this disc is excellent throughout. AIC used this disc as a technology demo to see how anime would translate to DVD, and it really shines through. There are no signs of pixellation, artifacting or other video problems whatsoever. The audio is presented in linear PCM stereo, basically just like the LD release. Despite this, it is very clean and crisp with no noted problems.

The disc runs sixty minutes, and includes both episodes of the two-part series. The menu on the disc is utilitarian, it works well but isn't especially fancy. You can hop to various parts of the disc quickly, and it also boasts a nice photo gallery of cel artwork of the show's characters. The DVD itself comes packaged in a standard CD jewel box (like the early domestic Pioneer discs, though sans the cardboard box), which after seeing the keepcases coming out these days might wind up being a bit of a disappointment. The plus side is you can store it in a standard CD rack though. It has a nice four-page booklet with color artwork and liner notes; it also contains the lyrics to the theme song.

Overall, I recommend this disc if you are interested in anime with a sense of humor, ala Tenchi-Muyo. The show has some great scenes in it, and is a lot of fun to watch, without ever getting too deep. One of my favorites involves Matsuri's incredible fear of frogs; it's just too much!

Ninja Mono is to be released domestically (on VHS) by Media Blasters as get this "Ninja Cadets" in early 1999. Highly improbable that it will make it to domestic DVD anytime soon based on this, so import is the only way to go. It's a bit pricey though, probably the major downfall of this otherwise solid title.

Japanese Language,Art Gallery

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