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Type of site
|Created by||Robert Hamburger (pseudonym)|
The Official Ninja Webpage: Real Ultimate Power is a satire website created in 2002 by the pseudonymous Robert Hamburger. Written using the persona of a 13-year-old boy, the site is a parody of adolescent fascination with Ninjas. Warren St. John, columnist for The New York Times described it as "a satirical ode to the masculine prowess of ninjas".
In 2004, it was chosen by Kensington Books for their inaugural book release in the new fratire genre—non-fiction literature marketed to young men in a politically incorrect and overtly masculine fashion. Due to the website's fan base, the Real Ultimate Power, The Official Ninja Book became a cult hit, selling 35,000 copies in two years. The success of the book prompted Kensington's release of other fratire books by Tucker Max and Maddox.
The Real Ultimate Power website is written under the pseudonym "Robert Hamburger," who was described in 2006 as a Michigan writer in his 20s. The author has declined to be identified, stating that it would diminish the satirical concept of the fictional pre-adolescent boy.
The homepage describes ninjas through three "facts": Number one, Ninjas are mammals; Number two, Ninjas fight all the time; and Number three, the purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people. The three facts became an internet meme which spawned numerous imitation Real Ultimate Power websites dedicated, for example, to Conan O'Brien, liquor store clerks, wizards, and sorority girls.
Other content on the website includes "pump-up" movie scripts and short stories about ninjas. One frequent theme titled "Ninjas versus Pirates" is commonly referenced in video games and other mainstream media. There is a photograph gallery with fan-submitted images, links to other Ninja-related sites, and a forum.
A popular feature is the Hate Mail section. For example, one letter disputed the site's claim to have seen a real ninja on the grounds that "there are less than 50 real ones left, and only 5 live in the US". Regarding the authenticity of the hate mail, the author said that some of the hate email is written by him, while others, such as the ones from an apparent real ninja signed Soke D. Fujita, were authentic.
Real Ultimate Power, The Official Ninja Book (ISBN 978-0-8065-2569-3) was published on July 1, 2004, by Citadel. The book was rejected by 11 publishers before being chosen by Kensington Books, the parent company of Citadel. According to Nielsen BookScan, 35,000 copies were sold by 2006. In 2008 a sequel was released, titled Ghosts/Aliens.
- Warren St. John, "Dude, Here's My Book ", The New York Times, April 16, 2006, pt1
- Warren St. John, "Dude, Here's My Book ", The New York Times, April 16, 2006, pt2
- Maddox, The Alphabet of Manliness, Citadel Press, 2006, pg I, Maddox wrote: Thanks to Robert Hamburger for paving the way for authors such as myself. Without the success of Real Ultimate Power, many authors like me wouldn't have been given a chance.
- Carp, Alex, The Art of Fighting: The Indy talks to Robert, webmaster of "The Official Ninja Webpage.", The College Hill Independent, Brown University, Spring 2003 Archived June 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Citynet Magazine, The Official Real Ultimate Power Parody Directory, Citynet Magazine, June 16, 2002 Archived September 17, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Jesse Thorn, "Interview with Robert Hamburger", The Sound of Young America, Public Radio International, November 29, 2007 Archived February 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Jake Kalish, Santa Vs. Satan: The Official Compendium of Imaginary Fights, Three Rivers Press (2008), pg 141- 146, ISBN 978-0-307-40670-5
- "Real Ultimate Power: The Official Ninja Book", Book Review, Fortean Times, November 2005
- Al Creed, "The Real Ultimate Power", OMG Internet!, TCR Comix, April 28, 2008