Ittoki is a good boy, an overachiever who listens to his mom and excels in, well, basically everything. He’s athletic, good at school, kind, and did I already mention athletic? Ittoki is fit to the point that he’s able to do backflips over an out-of-control truck careening in his direction. But he’s also entered that stage of adolescence where he wants more: Ittoki wants a “youth,” full of fun, romance, and all those other memorable events that add spark to your life as you leave middle school and enter high school. There’s just one problem—well, a few actually. Maybe that girl that just confessed to you isn’t what she seems. Maybe deceiving your mom is leading you onto a literally precarious path. And maybe your entire life is built on an ancient tradition still very much alive in modern-day Japan and is on the verge of all-out war.
Maybe you’re the next heir of a shinobi clan.
I hope I didn’t spoil anything. After all, the title of this series is literally “Ninja Ittoki.” Bland title aside, this episode was way more fun than it should have been. What I mean is that while it’s heavy on the tropes and features a bland script, the voice acting, action scenes, and music are full of energy and a youthful exuberance that matches the characterization of its teenage protagonist. This tone is expressed even in the mundane activity of most of the episode, which is arranged to lead viewers into thinking this tale may be about Ittoki learning to live out his best youth under the thumb of his kind but strict mother. We all know, of course, that this is actually a series about shinobi, and while viewers won’t quite forget that at any point, the subtle irreverence it shows for the romcom and ninja genres alike is enough to distract viewers into just going along for the ride. But then the battles pick up, and five minutes of slam-bang action (with a little bit of humor, as well) follows. This anime is going to be very entertaining, not least because it is a DMM.com original. It’s kind of in the realm of gaming adaptations, but seems like it could be among the stronger of these, being produced under the guidance of Troyca. Yes, there are mouth flaps that don’t quite match and heads that are about 5% too big for the bodies that hold them up, but the action scenes were nice! If you don’t think or criticize too much and just let the energy pull you in, Shinobi no Ittoki might just be that fun series that sneaks into your otherwise overabundant watch list this fall.
Shinobi no Ittoki can be streamed on Crunchyroll.