During the public presentation event of Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, producers Chihiro Inoue (TV Asahi) and Naomi Takebe (Toei) shared the ideas behind the concept of the new series.
With Kakuranger, their catchprase was “Hiding among people, we slash through evil”, however, the Ninninger have no problem making a blast being ninjas. “I used the paradoxical ‘so what’ attitude as a concept, but what I meant was that their unstoppable breakthrough force could allow them to break this sense of stagnation we feel nowadays, as heroes to cheer on”.
Inoue also highlighted sound. From the henshin sound of the katana (“Nin-nin-nin Nin-ninin-nin!”) to the summoning sound for the mecha (“Wasshoi Ninja!”). He said: “Sounds are very interesting. The opening theme, written by Neko Oikawa, is very hot and intense. The ending, on the other hand, has this festival feel that makes you want to dance. The opening “Let’s go Ninninger” is sung by Yohei Onishi and the ending, “Nanja Monja! Ninja Festival” is sung by Daiki Ise. The dancing steps for the ending were created by Lucky Ikeda, better known for the steps of the immensely popular anime Yokai Watch’s first ending theme “Yokai Exercise No. 1”.
Producer Naomi Takebe presented the series as not unlike a Hollywood movie with an “unthinkable ninja” concept. “We wanted to create a concept of out-there ninjas with a festival robot, dragons, fun sounds and anything fun, anything.” As for the action, Takebe said: “We are paying special attention to things like backflips and spins, things that a human is actually capable of doing. There is certainly wire work, but we wanted to take on the challenge of showing what the human body is capable of achieving.” The suit actors for AkaNinger and AoNinger are newcomers selected as the fresh blood for this season.
The giant robot Shurinkenjin is the “Shuriken Combination” of the ninja-shaped Otomo-nin (Companion Ninja) Shinobimaru, the dragon Otomo-nin Doragomaru, the dog Otomo-nin Wanmaru, the dump car Otomo-nin Dumpmaru and the linear motor train Otomo-nin Byunmaru. These companions to the heroes are summoned with an “Otomo-nin Shuriken”. Shurikenjin can also recombine and transform into ShurikenjinDorago.
In regards of this mecha, Takebe said: “This show’s mecha are a humanoid robot for Red, a dinosaur-like creature for Blue, a car for Yellow, an animal for White and a train for Pink, all different. We wanted to include one of the Super Sentai motifs we have had so far for each.” This idea came from Hiroshi Wakita, special effects director since 1990’s Fiveman, who had grown bored of having the same and suggested putting everything together in the same series. Otomo-nin Shinobimaru “rides” the robo much like a powered exoskeleton, to which Takebe commented that “…it contains 25 years of Tokusatsu know-how, please look forward to it.” Also, the motifs contain a more subtle homage to Japanese culture and everything cool about Japan: ninjutsu and the humanoid robot are martial arts, the dog is representative of the kawaii (cute) culture, the car and the train is Japan’s advanced technology while the dragon will bring western culture and integrate its good aspects.
The enemies are the Kibaoni Army. In order to complete the regeneration of their general Gengetsu Kibaoni, voiced by Mugihito (Neon Genesis Evangelion), the army gathers the “Power of fear” by terrorizing humans.
Kibaoni was originally a warlord defeated by the Iga school of ninjas but returned as a Yokai. Kouten Igasaki, the heroes’ ancestor, had supposedly defeated him using 48 Sealing Shuriken. However, he was brought back.
Kyuemon Izayoi, voiced by Megumi Han (Hunter X Hunter), is Kibaoni’s page. She commands the Yokai and gathers the “Power of fear” in a hyotan gourd container.
Raizo Gabi, voiced by Kenji Matsuda (Kamen Rider Hibiki, Kamen Rider Kiva) is the Army’s spearhead. He lusts for power and has a deep hatred for Iga ninjas.
The Yokai are the monsters tasked with terrorizing the human world to gather the “Power of fear”. They are created by using one of the 48 Sealing Shuriken on an object, which with the mystic power contained in the Shuriken, transforms into a monster. They are assisted by the ashigaru spearmen Hitokarage.
Pamphlets containing lyrics to the opening theme were also presented at the event.
Let’s Go! Ninninger lyrics.
Let’s go! We are the Ninningers
There is no match for us Nin-Japan
Da da da da da da Running through the skies, cutting through the wind
Tall and strong, the five colored promises wave
Embrace the shuriken of justice’s shine
Send it flying into the future
We are serious! We mean it! We are here now!
Let’s go! We are the Ninningers
Transform into anything Nin-Japan
Defeat the enemy of your dreams!
Punish them! Impulse Impulse Impulse
Let’s fly! We are the Ninningers
The fiery bond Nin-Japan
Create it! Shuriken Sentai Ninninger
Shuriken Sentai Ninninger begins on February 15th.
All English translations are accredited to The Tokusatsu Network staff members. Please do not repost without crediting and directly linking back to the original Tokusatsu Network article.