REVIEW: ‘Shinobi no Ittoki,’ Episode 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1

Shinobi no Ittoki is an action anime produced by Troyca. Ittoki Sakuraba seemed like any other school boy with a mother who had high expectations of him. He was diligent with his studies, and his free time was filled with sports and studying for school. But when he veers off his controlled schedule one day, he discovers he is a part of a larger and far more dangerous world in Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1.

The bulk of this series opener establishes Ittoki’s character and how he spends his days as he closes out his time in middle school and begins preparing for the next challenge in life, high school. Except for how rigorously his time is planned out for him, with gymnastics, cram school, and more constantly eating up his free time, Ittoki would seem like just any other student. He seems pleasant enough, as his brief interactions with his classmates show him to be nice and charming, if in a mildly awkward way.

Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1 takes a hard right turn, though, when Ittoki disobeys his mother’s wishes and ditches some of his lessons to go out on a date with an unknown girl. While visiting the girl’s home, Ittoki is suddenly beset by ninjas bent on killing him, and this leads him to discover that he is a critical part of an ancient order of ninjas living in secret in the modern world.

I have to admit, most of the time, for me, this sort of setup usually does nothing. Generally used with fantasy series, the “secret magical world none of us realize is all around us” trope is thoroughly overused for me. However, secret ninja clans are operating in the shadows; ok, I can get behind this. While I’m sure, my overly analytical brain will find numerous moments where I’ll catch myself muttering about how nobody noticed X thing happen, focusing on ninjas for a hidden world story is new enough that I’m willing to suspend my disbelief. Plus, ninjas are cool.

Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1 also helps me have more faith in the series than I otherwise might, thanks to how reasonably it presents Ittoki. Rather than lean into the awkward loner trope, Ittoki feels like a well-adjusted, normal kid. At least until the ninjas show up, this may not seem like much, but the demonstration that not every character will be extreme means a lot to me. I appreciate anime’s willingness to lean into its themes, but sometimes it can lean too hard on exaggerations.

The animation style used here looks good but is nothing new or eye-catching. The visuals do a great job of delivering the early slice-of-life elements while transitioning smoothly into high-octane ninja attacks.

When all is said and done, Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1 showcases a lot of promise and has me hopeful that the show will deliver a fun adventure for Ittoki as he navigates the new waters he finds himself swimming in.

Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Shinobi no Ittoki Episode 1 showcases a lot of promise and has me hopeful that the show will deliver a fun adventure for Ittoki as he navigates the new waters he finds himself swimming in.

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