Years ago, an attack on Byakuro castle left many dead. A loyal guard managed to escape with the princess who was only a baby at the time. Now years later, she is amongst six ninja trainees about to embark on their last mission before they become full fledged ninja. The goal is simple: infiltrate a castle and obtain a scroll. The one with the most significant scroll wins.
On the way there, things become more difficult as they encounter members from a rival ninja clan. Their goal is to take the princess. They know she's among the trainees, but there are three women. So which one is the princess?
I had this bad feeling about Ninja Cadets. Over the years I can't recall hearing anything good about it. By the end I was amazed I didn't hate it like I thought I would. Is it a forgotten classic? No. It's got issues yeah, but it's not that bad.
Not bad for a 90s action anime anyway. The big problem with Ninja Cadets is trying an action comedy formula that doesn't work very well. It's a bit too violent to be a fluff comedy. Comedy antics (which aren't particularly funny) make it too silly to be a serious martial arts title.
The rest isn't too bad, it just doesn't go far enough. Characters aren't very deep, but could certainly go in interesting directions if given the time to develop. Likewise the story ends up being rather linear, mainly because Ninja Cadets is preoccupied with the comedy and action. Yet something about the story made me feel this could go somewhere. Then it didn't. It concludes well enough to be the end of a chapter, but not of an entire story. That's the main reason you'll want to avoid Ninja Cadets: it doesn't have much of an ending. That aside I don't think it was that bad, but there's a heck of a lot better stuff you could be watching.
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