Ryu is the last of his clan, known as the Ninja Dragon. Years ago he fought in a fateful battle to decide the fate of mankind, and emerged victorious over his clans age old enemy: the demons. While Ryu did win, that power is never truly sealed, and an attack one night suggests evil is brewing and may have its sights set on him.
A scientist announces that he has found the cure for cancer, but Ryu senses something else. Ryu's friend Robert is also investigating this scientist, and discovers gruesome human experiments. With an army of genetically engineered monsters, stopping him won't be easy. If he harnesses the power of the demon realm he may become unstoppable. Dr Friedman did however make one mistake: never kidnap the girlfriend of an uber ninja.
This anime is loosely based off of the video game franchise of the same name. I know Ryu you say, so where's Kasumi? Hold on there cowboy, you're way ahead of yourself. Ninja Gaiden started out as an arcade game brawler where a Ninja comes to the United States to beat the crap out of this gang/cult for his vacation. When ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, it evolved to a strange game where these Ninja fight age old demons - main ninja being Ryu of course. Ryu goes on to fight demons, more demons, and eventually even aliens. It wasn't until years later that Ryu made an appearance in the Tecmo game Dead or Alive. So anyway this anime goes back to the original 8-bit Nintendo game line - somewhere around Ninja Gaiden II.
This anime is about 50 minutes long. 20-30 minutes of it is 'blah blah blah' incomprehensible story. Robert is this guy who used to be in the army but apparently runs a newspaper along with two other cohorts. Ryu is a simple man who runs a "Japanese Shop" in the city, along with his girl Irene. There's this evil scientist, a bit of the plot unfolds, then everyone joins in to assault the secret research laboratory.
It is obvious that the intent of this anime was to capitalize off the game and make an action (horror) type anime. The characters are probably supposed to be based off ones already developed in the game, but even knowing that it's hard to like anyone. There's also a plot twist, but sadly there isn't really enough plot to twist.
Ryu is the stoic bad ass protagonist with no personality, like one of those "I only live to fight" sort of characters. Then there is Irene; the girl hopelessly devoted to Ryu for no apparent reason. "I'll always be waiting... for the day you come back to me." I'm serious, she actually says that. Anyway the anime plays it self out in the action based gore fest that was common in many 80s anime. Ninja Gaiden doesn't offer anything unique enough to make it stand out and now it's just dated.
At least animation wise, it's actually not that bad. Other than that it's a shoddy attempt to capitalize on something most people don't even understand the context of. Better to avoid this one as there isn't much to see here that isn't done far better elsewhere.
Robert: Everybody's like that. We like fighting, we like alcohol, and we like women. Some of us even like men.
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