List of ninja films

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The following is a list of films where at least one ninja character appears as a significant plot element.

Japanese (live-action)[edit]

Series[edit]

  • Azumi (2003) and Azumi 2: Death or Love (2005)
  • Chō Ninja Tai Inazuma! (2006–2007): A direct-to-video series.
  • Castle of Owls (Ninja Hichō: Fukurō No Shiro) (1963) and its remake Owls' Castle (Fukurō no Shiro) (1999)
  • Enoken no Sarutobi Sasuke Arya Arya no Maki (1937) and Enoken no Sarutobi Sasuke Doron Doron no Maki (1938)
  • Kage no Gundan: Hattori Hanzō (1980) and Shin Kage no Gundan I-VI (2003–2005): A movie and six direct-to-video episodes connected to the TV series Shadow Warriors.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Ōkami) (1972-1974): A series of six films. Remade as TV movie Lone Wolf and Child in 1984, and TV movie Lone Wolf and Cub: Assassin on the Road to Hell in 1989.
  • Memoirs of a Lady Ninja (Onmitsu Kunoichi Retsuden: Himerareta Onna Shinobi) (2009) and Memoirs of a Lady Ninja 2 (2011)
  • Nine-One: Female Ninja Supernatural Beast Legend (Nine-One: Kunoichi Yoju Densetsu) (1995) and Nine-One II: Demon Beast City (Nine-One II: Maju Toshi) (1996)
  • Ninja, a Band of Assassins (Shinobi no Mono) (1962–1966): A series of eight films.[2]
  • Ninjutsu Sanada-Jō (1960) and Ninjutsu Ōsaka-Jō (1961)
  • Ninjutsu-tsukai to Sannin Musume (1961) and Ninjutsu-Tsukai to Sannin Musume: Megitsune Henge (1961)
  • On Patrol (Ukyonosuke Junsatsu-Ki) (1963) and its sequel Purple Killer (Murasaki Ukyonosuke Gyaku Ichimonji Giri) (1964)
  • Sarutobi Sasuke and the Army of Darkness (Sarutobi Sasuke Yami no Gundan) (2004–2005): A series of four films about Sarutobi Sasuke.
  • Seventeen Ninja (Jūshichinin no Ninja) (1963, TV movie remake in 1990) and Seventeen Ninja: The Great Battle (Jūshichinin no Ninja: Dai Kessen) (1966)
  • Shadow Hunters (Kage Gari) (1972, TV movie remakes in 1983 and 1992) and Shadow Hunters: Hero's Gun (Kage Gari: Hoero Taihō) (1972).
  • Shinobi: The Law of Shinobi (2002), Shinobi 2: Runaway (2002), Shinobi 3: Hidden Techniques (2003) and Shinobi 4: A Way Out (2003)
  • Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (1958), Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke Rōgoku no Himegimi (1958) and Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke: Tenkū no Hakuba (1958)
  • The Black Hooded Man (Gozonji Kaiketsu Kurozukin Maguna no Hitomi) and The Black Hooded Man 2 (Gozonji Kaiketsu Kurozukin Dai-Niwa Shinsengumi Tsuigeki) (1955), also the remake The Black Hood (Kaiketsu Kurozukin) (1959)
  • The Detective Fencer (Onmitsu Kenshi) (1964) and The Detective Fencer 2 (Zoku Onmitsu Kenshi) (1964): Two films based on the TV series The Samurai (Onmitsu Kenshi).
  • The Executioner (Chokugeki! Jigoku-ken) (1974) and The Executioner II: Karate Inferno (Chokugeki Jigoku-ken Dai Gyakuten) (1974): Two films about a modern day Kōga ninja.
  • The Ninja Hunt (Ninja Gari) (1964, TV movie remake in 1982)
  • The Purple Hooded Man (Murasaki Zukin): Along with its sequels, Purple Hood: The Mystery of Gold (Murasaki Zukin: Ogon no Himitsu) (1958) and The Mysterious Purple Hood (Hengen Murasaki Zukin) (1963).
  • Tobidasu Bōken Eiga: Aka Kage (1969) and its remake Red Shadow (Aka Kage) (2001).
  • Yagyū Bugeichō: Two films Yagyu Secret Scrolls (1957–1958), nine films Yagyu Chronicles (1961–1964), and five TV movies Yagyu Bugeicho (1990–1992).

Films based on the Ninpō-chō novels by Futaro Yamada:

English title Japanese title Year Original story
Edo Ninja Scroll: Seven Shadows Edo Ninpō-chō Nanatsu no Kage 1963 "Edo Ninpō-chō"
Moonshadow Ninja Scroll: Twenty-One Eyes Tsukikage Ninpō-chō Nijūichi no Me 1963 "Ninja Tsukikage-shō" {1}
Women Ninjas Kunoichi Ninpō 1964 "Kunoichi Ninpō" {1}
The Spying Sorceress Kunoichi Keshō 1964 "Gedō Ninpō-chō" {1}
Ninja Chushingura Ninpō Chūshingura 1965 "Ninpō Chūshingura" {1}
Furai Ninpo-cho Fūrai Ninpō-chō 1965 "Fūrai Ninpō-chō" {1}
Furai Ninpo-cho 2 Fūrai Ninpō-chō Happo Yabure 1968 "Fūrai Ninpō-chō" {2}
The Secret of the Fylfot Shinobi no Manji 1968 "Shinobi no Manji"
Samurai Reincarnation Makai Tenshō 1981 "Makai Tenshō" {1}
Ninja Wars Iga Ninpō-chō 1982 "Iga Ninpō-chō"
Female Ninja Chushingura Kunoichi Chūshingura 1983 "Ninpō Chūshingura" {2}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles 1: Protecting the Royal Embryo Kunoichi Ninpō-chō 1991 "Kunoichi Ninpō" {2}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles 2: Secret of the Christian Bells Kunoichi Ninpō-chō II Seishōjo no Hihō 1992 "Gedō Ninpō-chō" {2}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles 3: Sacred Book of Sexual Positions Kunoichi Ninpō-chō III Higi Densetsu no Kai 1993 "Higisho Sōdatsu"
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles 4: Rebel Forces at the Threshold Kunoichi Ninpō-chō IV Chūshingura Hishō 1994 "Ninpō Chūshingura" {3}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles 5: Secret Story of Jiraiya Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Jiraiya Hishō 1995 "Jiraiya Ninpō-chō"
Lady Ninja: Reflections of Darkness Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Ninja Tsukikage-shō 1996 "Ninja Tsukikage-shō" {2}
Reborn from Hell: Samurai Armageddon Makai Tenshō 1996 "Makai Tenshō" {2}
Reborn from Hell II: Jubei's Revenge Makai Tenshō II 1996 "Makai Tenshō" {3}
Lady Ninja Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Yagyū Gaiden 1998 "Yagyū Ninpō-chō" {1}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles: Legend of Yagyu Part 1 Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Yagyū Gaiden Edo Bana Jigoku-Hen 1998 "Yagyū Ninpō-chō" {2}
Female Ninjas Magic Chronicles: Legend of Yagyu Part 2 Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Yagyū Gaiden Aizu Yuki Jigoku-Hen 1998 "Yagyū Ninpō-chō" {3}
Samurai Resurrection Makai Tenshō 2003 "Makai Tenshō" {4}
Shinobi: Heart Under Blade Shinobi - Heart Under Blade - 2005 "Kōga Ninpō-chō"
Lady Ninja: Reflections of Darkness Kunoichi Ninpō-chō Kage no Tsuki 2011 "Ninja Tsukikage-shō" {3}

Silent films[edit]

The first ninja movies were silent films, including the Koga Unōn Ninjutsu Kogaryū (1916, possibly the first ever ninja film) and many others, such as the series Genkotsu to Ninjutsu (1920–21), four movies titled Sarutobi Sasuke (1918–1922), and the films Gotō Matabei Ninjutsu Yaburi (1921), Hotaiko Gozen no Nînjutsu Kurabe (1920), Ninjutsu Chōji (1917), Ninjutsu Daisūke (1922), Ninjutsu Jîrai (1921), Ninjutsu Jūyushi (1917 and 1923), Ninjutsu Kirigakure Sen'emon (1922), Ninjutsu Sanyushi (1922), Nyō Ninjutsu (1917), and Sarutobi no Ninjutsu (1924).

Erotic films[edit]

There are numerous softcore ninja films (in addition to innumerable hardcore-pornographic costume movies, often featuring BDSM motives), including the series: Injū Gakuen (La Blue Girl Live, three films), Kunoichi Ninpō-den (Ninja Vixens, at least nine films) and Sanada Kunoichi Ninpō-den: Kasumi (Lady Ninja Kasumi, at least three films), and Kōshoku Kunoichi, Lady Ninja Kaede (Kunoichi Youen Den Kaede), Sexy Ninjas (Sanada Kunoichi Ninpō-den) and Sultry Assassin (Tsuyakenkaku) of at least two films each.

Japanese (anime)[edit]

For ninja non-lead appearances in anime films and OVA series, see the manga and anime section of the main article.

Naruto films: Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow (2004), Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel (2005), Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom (2006), Naruto Shippuden the Movie (2007), Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds (2008), Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire (2009), Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower (2010), Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison (2011), Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie (2012).

OAV miniseries[edit]

  • Blood Reign: Curse of the Yoma (1989): Short drama/mythology OAV series set in the feudal Japan.
  • Blood Shadow (Guren) / Crimson Lotus (2001): A hentai anime.[3]
  • Gatchaman (1994)
  • Hininden Gausu (2005): A hentai anime.
  • Karakuri Ninja Girl (1996): A hentai anime.
  • La Blue Girl: Several hentai miniseries: Injû Gakuen (1989), Shin Injū Gakuen - La Blue Girl (1993), Lady Blue (1994), La Blue Girl Returns (2001).
  • Ninja Cadets (Ninja者 Ninja Mono?) (1996): A short comedy series about a group of ninja-in-training in feudal Japan.
  • Ninja Resurrection (魔界転生?, Makai Tenshō: Jigoku-hen) trans. Demonic Resurrection: Portrait of Hell (1987): Based on the novel by Futaro Yamada.
  • Samurai XXX (Yoka no Ken) (2004): A hentai anime.[4]
  • Shadow (Hyper Shinobi Animation: Shadow) (2004): A hentai anime.
  • Yōtōden (1987): A historical fantasy story of three members of destroyed ninja clans who embark to stop the demonic Oda Nobunaga (also made into a feature film version).

American films[edit]

Series[edit]

Other films[edit]

Independent and short films[edit]

There is a number of U.S. independent and short films, including A Ninja Pays Half My Rent (2003), Assassin (2013), Beneath the Mask: Portrait of an American Ninja (2005), Elektra: The Hand & The Devil (2009), How to Cope with Rejection (2010),[7] Irish American Ninja (2005), Lonely Dragon (2006), Ninja Apocalypse! (2007), Ninja Janitors (2014), Ninja Mission 2000 (2000), Ninja Star in the Eye (2006), Ninjas vs. Zombies (2008), Office Ninja (2014), Sins of the Dragon (2012), Super Ninja Bikini Babes (2007) and Undercut (2004).

Godfrey Ho films[edit]

Many "Ninja"-titled Z-movies were written and/or directed by the Hong Kong-based low budget director Godfrey Ho. Scores of films credited to Ho contain the word "Ninja" in their titles such as Full Metal Ninja, Golden Ninja Warrior, Ninja Death Squad, Ninja Destroyer, Ninja in the Killing Fields, Ninja Operation: Licensed to Terminate, Ninja: Silent Assassin, Ninja Terminator, Ninja The Protector, Ninja Strike Force, Ninja the Violent Sorcerer, Rage of Ninja, The Ninja Squad, The Ultimate Ninja, Vampire Raiders: Ninja Queen, and Zombie vs. Ninja, released mostly between 1984 and 1990.[8] Their exact number is unknown due to confusion over Ho's multiple pseudonyms and the probability that some of these films have been released under more than one title. Ho's "cut and paste" technique of creating his ninja movies involved shooting a large amount of largely random ninja combat and interstitial footage that would be spliced with existing footage from incomplete or abandoned Asian films, many of which were not martial arts films; as a result, these films often appear to have two parallel storylines. The films were recorded without sound, so although the gweilo actors spoke English while recording their lines, they were dubbed over by other voice actors.

Minor roles[edit]

Ninja characters appear in minor roles in many films, including 24 Hours to Midnight, Action Her00?, Backfire!, Blind Fury, Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls, Bloodbath, Bloodsucking Pharaohs in Pittsburgh, Bowfinger, Brighton Wok: The Legend of Ganja Boxing, Bugi Fiction, Bullet of Life, Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, Cats & Dogs, Date Number One, Do or Die, Double Dragon, Dragon Fire, Expect No Mercy, Fight Ring, Flying Naked, Girl With Gun, Guns, Knock Outs, Kung Fu Rascals, Kung Phooey, Last Hurrah for Chivalry, Legend of the Tsunami Warrior, L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach, Let's Talk About Sex, Licence to Kill, My Lucky Stars, Nikos, Ong Bak 2, Ong Bak 3, Operation Dance Sensation, Operation Las Vegas, Order of the Eagle, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Pervirella, Pineapple Express, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, Prison-A-Go-Go!, Puppet Master: Axis of Evil, Reel Guerrillas, RoboCop 3, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Sci-Fighter, Sidekicks, Speed Racer, Stereo Future, Super Tromette Action Movie Go!, Taxi 2, Tekken, The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, The Adventures of El Frenetico and Go Girl, The Crow: City of Angels, The Killer Elite, The King Maker, The Last Action Hero, The Last Samurai, The Master of Disguise, The Roller Blade Seven, The Samurai of Strongsville, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, Thunderman, Toad Warrior, Torrente 3: El Protector, Trading Mom, Trailer: The Movie!, Two's a Mob, Violent Shit III, War, Who Makes Movies?, X-Men: The Last Stand, Zatoichi.

Miscellaneous[edit]

There are a number of films featuring characters that are often mistaken for ninja, or whose title and/or artwork and/or trailer has misrepresented the presence of ninja in them.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Short Film KAGE". Kage-japan.com. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. ^ "S H I N O B I N O M O N O". Shinobinomono.oninohana.com. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  3. ^ "THEM Anime Reviews 4.0 - Blood Shadow". Themanime.org. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Samurai XXX". Mania.com. Retrieved 2012-11-14. 
  5. ^ "'Ninja 2' Is Coming!". Movies.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  6. ^ http://hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=12381&display_set=eng
  7. ^ "How to Cope with Rejection". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  8. ^ Godfrey Ho at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]