This wonderful flash made anime was created in the early 2000s, and was only available on Atomfilms.com. To say the creators left us hanging is an understatement. However, this is not an attack on the creators, The Ninjai Gang, far from. In fact, understanding that small-scale, grassroots animation projects take triple the time and effort as projects with million dollar budgets, the ambition to create a film to continue the story of this beloved little ninja is an undertaking that is to be admired and celebrated. Look at how long it took us to get Incredibles 2, on a Disney/Pixar budget.
Ninjai took us on a journey of a little ninja boy figuring out who he is and why he has the immeasurable abilities he has. In the 15 or so episodes that graced our computer screens in the early 2000s, none of them gave us much of a clue as to who he might be. We did, however, discover that he has a strong moral compass and incredible ninja skills as he ventured through forest terrain. He often fearlessly looks trouble in the face – even though we hardly see his actual face – and swiftly takes care of any threat. That delightful feeling of watching the most underestimated character in your favorite anime, completely eviscerate an opponent, was commonly shared while watching this little boy fight. It was almost unfair, albeit that his abilities were grossly taken for granted based on his stature.
Anticipation grew with each episode as it was released. Of course, what’s a main character without a fluffy sidekick? The Little Ninja made friends with Little Bird just as the series ended. In 2015, 15 or so episodes were removed from the internet entirely, and even the most tech savvy of us all didn’t screen record any of them. Imagine wanting to relive your childhood or teenage years but all episodes have gone without a trace, with promises of a movie sometime in the future. Imagine wanting to impress your friends with your knowledge of an obscure anime that you know they’ll love, only to find out the link to watch the episodes is no longer anywhere. The episodes have been replaced with a website.
How does it even end?! How could the creators promise us a movie since 2015, without letting us rewatch the episodes that made us fall in love in the first place? Ninjai.com is now one of the only places that prove its existence. Those of us who have seen the episodes are proud to have had that privilege. As such, we would love it if this story could be shared with the world right away. According to the most recent update in 2015, the feature film was in post production, and fans have been patiently waiting ever since.
The Little Ninja has met his fair share of blundering fools and formidable opponents, but the sneak peek of the feature film makes it look like he’ll have his little ninja hands full this go round. Let’s hope fans and fans to be, don’t have much longer to wait. This original story will tear at your heartstrings and keep you at the edge of your seat.
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Sources: Ninjai.com; @ninjaigang on Instagram and YouTube
Article by: Lorisse Alicia Ortiz-Bentiné