Ninja Slayer Part 5 was a bit of a different experience for me. Thus far, every part (or volume) I’ve reviewed for the series felt different than what I saw when I watched the TRIGGER anime adaptation last year. Ninja Slayer Part 5 is different in that it’s not different from the TRIGGER adaptation. It’s almost like I was reading still frames from the series. Excluding the fact that the style is totally different and some small story elements anyway.
Ninja Slayer Part 5 follows Ninja Slayer and a hacker named Nancy as they infiltrate the darkest parts of Neo Saitama’s netscape. Ninja Slayer is searching for the cure to the Takeuchi virus afflicting Master Dragon Gendoso while Nancy is using the opportunity to dig up as much information as she can.
It’s important to note that Nancy is a journalist, which apparently in the city of Neo Saitama makes her something of a combination of a journalist, hacker, and a spy. After a brief meeting, the duo is attacked in reality as well as the cyber world by agents of the Soukai Syndicate (or Soukaiya), including one of the “Soukai Six Gates” named Daedalus.
Nancy devisse a plan to infilitrate Plant No.1 of the Soukaiya, where she believes the dark data file she seeks is stored along with the cure to the Takeuchi virus. Nancy successfully infiltrates the Plant by posing as a prostitute ordered by the director and using sex appeal to charm the guards. Basically, she gets them with the “Honeypot“.
Hot on the trail of Nancy and Ninja Slayer are two bio-ninjas of the Survivor dojo: Forest Sawatari and Notorious. The world of Ninja Slayer is full of bizarre characters and the Survivor dojo ninjas are no exception. Notorious has four arms as incredibly proud of his abilities as a bio-ninja. Sawatari seems to have been driven insane by the ninja spirit that inhabits him. Specifically, Sawatari has flashbacks to the Vietnam war even though he didn’t fight in it. Also, Sawatari is totally obsessed with Nancy and calls her his wife.
Ninja Slayer proceeds to kick the shit out of Sawatari, murder Notorious, and then get locked in battle with a rejuvenated, full flashback stricken Sawatari that attacks him with bamboo. At the same time, Nancy is locked in a cyber battle with Daedalus. I’ll said it; Daedalus is a fucking creep. He’s there to protect the data but seems a lot more concerned with forcing himself on Nancy, which is wrong even if it’s only in the digital world. Just in the nick of time, Ninja Slayer comes to Nancy’s aid and the duo begin their final showdown with Daedalus.
Unfortunately, this volume has no resolution. It leaves us on a cliffhanger. But it’s another solid entry into the world of Ninja Slayer. I enjoyed most of the characters introduced in this volume, save Daedalus (whom we’re supposed to hate) and to a certain degree Nancy.
I really enjoy the character of Nancy. She’s a journalist driven by good intentions. She’s smart and gifted at hacking, even if she has to get doped up to do it. I just don’t like some of the treatment of her character. It’s kind of a shame to see a character with those strong traits get crippled by how much she’s sexualized.
I’m not even going to touch her appearance or attire, I’ll leave that as creative decisions by the creators. But the fact that two big characters in this one volume just drool all over themselves when it comes to Nancy and that seems to be a large motivation for their actions kind of pisses me off. Crazed sexual content isn’t new to Ninja Slayer, it’s been there from the beginning. It just saddens me a bit when it’s a character that’s meant to have depth is reduced to something akin to a plate of meat for other characters because she’s a woman.
You could argue that it’s meant to make those characters appear more savage, state that our protagonist Ninja Slayer doesn’t view her in that way and is meant to represent the side of good. But it still demeans Nancy as a character and it’s bullshit to think that a female character has to receive that sort of treatment just to fit in to a story.
To reiterate, I enjoyed Ninja Slayer Part 5. I know that’s not surprising considering I’d like it just because it’s subtitle is “One Minute Before the Tanuki”. But it’s a good step forward for the series; Ninja Slayer has returned and joins a new entertaining cast of characters in a new story arc. If you’ve liked the series so far, I highly recommend you pick this one up as well.
Original Work: Bradley Bond, Philip Ninj@ Morzez
Art: Yuki Yogo
Script: Yoshiaki Tabata
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Original Production:Keiran O’Leary
Translation: Christian Storms, HCL
Release Date: June 21, 2016Tweet