Friday, January 26, 2007

ninjas are cool

Planners are always on the lookout for some examples of pattern recognition. Writing the previous post about Pucca, it reminded me of some other cool ninja stuff I came across over the years.
The first one, of course, was Samurai Kid (Kaze no Fujimaru): I used to be a big fan as a young boy. Samurai Kid was a boy who was raised by a samurai who taught him the art of ninji-tsu, doing cool stuff such as controlling the wind (he could create a twister with a single raise of his finger), and multiplying himself to confound his opponents (thanks for softindigoeyes for pointing me to this).

But then Hollywood produced the infamous American Ninja series, and ninjas started to get a bad rap. Eventually, it got parodied by the late Chris Farley, in the hilarious comedy Beverly Hills Ninja.
But ninjas are resilient, they always appear from nowhere when you least expect. We couldn't forget, of course, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for example.
More recently, some other productions are helping to revive the ninja legend.
One is the French cartoon (French??), Shuriken School (for those not fluent in ninja-speak, shuriken is that sharp, star-shaped ninja blade, which they throw with incomparable skill to kill their opponents). The Jetix webiste says that, "along with your usual Maths and English lessons, you can learn to be a Ninja and melt into walls, fly over rooftops, or disappear in a cloud of smoke". How cool is that?
Naruto, on the other hand, is for the more serious-minded ninja fan, definitely not the "cute ninja" type.
But a serious ninja fan will only be satisfied with a pilgrimage to the Ninja Museum, in Iga-Ueno, Japan, complete with secret passages and ninja paraphernalia.
You get to see ninja weapons...
...and some ninja demonstrations.
But the best part is that to get to the museum, you can take this charming ninja train.
Do you know any other cool ninja stuff?

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