Fact: Ninjas are awesome. You show me a boy who didn’t grow up loving ninjas and I’ll show you a communist. I trained everyday during my summer break between 6th and 7th grade to be a ninja. I was the best ninja in my countryside neighborhood, I promise you that much. Here’s my list of ninjas I grew up idolizing or just think are badass in general.
5. Hattori Hanzo
What’s awesome about Japan’s pop culture is that most of it’s real. Hanzo was a famous tactician and spear fighter in 16th century Japan. So successful was Hanzo that he still lives on in pop culture today. Appearing in anime, TV shows, and even video games, his legacy gets around. Famously played by Sonny Chiba in a show called Shadow Warriors, every season he portrayed his son. Quentin Tarantino resurrected the actor to play the character one more time, crafting steel for The Bride to wield in her quest to Kill Bill.
I’ve professed my love of Final Fantasy VI before, and the integral role this character could play in the latter half of the game. Like every character in FFVI, Shadow has a unique ability, Throw. He can hurtle any item from your inventory at an enemy. I always thought this was the quickest way to flush hard earned gold down the toilet. His dog, Interceptor, randomly attacking in battle made up for it though. Shadow randomly leaving your group for a time and his mysterious background only hinted at via random dreams gave him an undeniable mystic.
Marvel’s resident badass, Betsy Braddock. Able to create energy weapons along with being a powerful telepath all while having amazing hair, Psylocke is pure awesome. Her best role to date was in the recently ended Uncanny X-Force. It’s likely we’ll see her on screen again, hopefully better than she was in X-Men: Last Stand. Fun fact, she’s actually British and inhabits the body of Kwannon, a Japanese mutant. I won’t pretend to understand that. Her new body apparently came with the ability to keep thongs in place though.
2. Ryu Hayabusa
I won’t lie, I’ve raged at quite a few games in my day; none more so than Ninja Gaiden. Holy f’en crap that game is hard. Beating the Xbox version on hard is on my greatest gaming accomplishment. While the newer games continued to have diminishing returns, the original NES games are just as fun. Ryu throws shurikens, runs up walls and uses a katana all while regularly punching the women of Dead or Alive in their comically large boobs. Ninja.
You had to know this was coming. Batman is the ultimate ninja. He uses theatrics, distractions and fear, all while having access to every ninja weapon he’d ever need. Best. Ninja. Ever. He’s so ninja he’s taken down the entire Justice League, including Superman, multiple times. Batman.
Don’t like my list? Shut up. You suck. Comment below!