Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash! (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 28, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” will appeal to fans of the video game series and those who enjoy action-driven anime series with a lot of fan service. It’s not one of the more deeper anime series in this genre but it is entertaining thanks to its diverse characters and their special abilities. If you are interested in a ninja story with well-endowed female fighters that can kick butt, then “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is for you!
Image courtesy of © 2014 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!
DURATION: 12 Episodes (300 Minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese and English DolbyTrue HD 2.0, Subtitles: English
RATED: Suggested 17+
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Originally Created by Kenichiro Takaki
Original Story by Yukinori Kitajima
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka
Music by Ruka Kawada
Character Design: Takashi Torii
Art Director: Shinji Kawaai
Art Director: Shigeto Koyama, Yuji Kaneko
Anime Production: Artland
Featuring the following voice talent:
Asami Imai/Alexis Tipton as Ikaruga
Hitomi Harada/Felecia Angelle as Asuka
Kaori Mizuhashi/Bryn Apprill as Yagyuu
Yu Kobayashi/Brittney Karbowski as Katsuragi
Yuka Iguchi/Megan Shipman as Hibari
Ai Kayano/Trina Nishimura as Yomi
Eri Kitamura/Monica Rial as Homura
Juurouta Kosugi/Phil Parsons as Dougen
Kanehira Yamamoto/Bill Brooks as Hanzo
Keiji Fujiwara/Phillip Weber as Kiriya
Megumi Toguchi/Teri Rogers as Haruka
Ryoko Shiraishi/Kara Edwards as Hikage
Saori Goto/Lara Woodhull as Mirai
Suzuko Mimori/Lydia Mackay as Suzune
Asuka and her friends may look like any other girls at Hanzo Academy, but they’re secretly studying the ancient art of Ninjutsu! While other students do their homework, Asuka and the gang push their beautiful bodies to the breaking point in pursuit of their perfect form. Life is one sexy sparring session after another until a deviously demented rival clan of evil ninjas ambushes the Hanzo hotties – and steals their sacred ninja scroll.
Faced with their toughest – and most well-rounded – enemies ever, Asuka and her fellow deadly divas will have to go further than they’ve ever gone before to prove they’ve mastered the art of full frontal combat!
Back in 2011, the action 3DS video game “Senran Kagura: Shojo-tachi no Shinei” was created.
The video game would lead to “Senran Kagura Burst” for the Nintendo 3DS and for the PS Vita, a 3D fighting game titled “Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus: Shojo-tachi no Shomei” was created and followed by an iOS and Android game titled “Senran Kagura NewWave”.
The video game series has received a lot of attention due to its well-endowed female characters and the popularity of the series would lead to several manga adaptations and an anime adaptation titled “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” courtesy of Artland in Jan. through March 2013.
And now, the TV series will be released on Blu-ray +DVD courtesy of FUNimation.
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” introduces us to a group of female shinobi who are secretly trained in the art of ninjitsu. But these shinobi must keep their skills a secret to the world and attend Hanzo Academy and were created by the Japanese government to counter other ninjas hired by corporations and politicians.
These ninjas from Hanzo Academy include the following characters:
- Asuka – The protagonist who has problems passing her examination exam. She wants to be like her grandfather and become a great ninja.
- Ikaruga – A mature, third year student who is serious about becoming a ninja.
- Katsuragi – The blonde member of the group who is very perverted and can’t help herself grabbing onto Asuka’s breasts. Katsuragi wants to be the strongest ninja and is trying to re-establish her family’s lost honor.
- Yagyu – The ninja prodigy who cares for Hibari. Known for wearing an eyepatch, she cares for Hibari because of a tragedy from her past.
- Hibari – A first year student of the group who is childish and clumsy.
- Kiriya-Sensei – The teacher of the shinobi students.
- Hanzo – Asuka’s grandfather and the founder of the academy and honored as a great ninja. But he chose to create his own sushi restaurant.
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is a series that compliments the video games with its CG character designs. While characters are well-shaded and backgrounds that are primarily Japanese homes and CG. The series may not be the greatest but it does give fans what they expect and that is many scenes of fan service.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is presented in Japanese and English Dolby TrueHD 2.0. While the series is well-acted for both Japanese and English soundtracks, the lossless soundtrack is primarily front-channel driven. Dialogue is crystal clear with the English soundtrack adding a more edgy feel to it with adult humor compared to its Japanese counterpart.
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!″ comes with the following special features:
- Episode 4 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Brittney Karbowski (voice of Katsuragi).
- Episode 10 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR Engineer Chris George and Megan Shipman (voice of Hibari).
- Promotional Videos – (5:25) Japanese PV for “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!”.
- Japanese Commercials
- Textless Opening and Closing Songs
- U.S. Trailer – FUNimation theatrical trailer for “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!”.
“Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is a series that pays tribute to those familiar with the Nintendo 3DS and Sony Vita video games.
And part of the appeal to the video game series is because the characters are well-endowed fighters and the constant scenes of fan service.
From panty shots, partial clothing and adult situations, the series is no less an extension of the video game series and focuses on the primary members of Hanzo Academy being trained in the ninja arts but encountering other rival ninjas and using their own personal skills and becoming a team.
While the first half of the series features the group encountering dark shinobi or the girls taking part in training, the second half establishes the rival group of Hanzou Academy and that is the members of Homura Gurentai (a.k.a. the Serpent Squad).
By episode 10, we start to learn about the rival school from the Serpent Squad which consists of Homura, Yomi, Hikage, Mirai, Haruka and Suzune and why these girls chose to become dark shinobi and how their is a connection between the Serpent Squad leader and Kiriya-sensei.
For the most part, the animation for “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is nicely done. The battles are pretty extreme, while backgrounds are nicely detailed and well-painted for a TV series and Artland did a good job in bringing these characters from the video game to the anime series.
But while the storyline of the series is quite simplistic and for the most part enjoyable if you are into fan service/action-driven anime series, compared to similar series with a lot of fan service and action such as “Ikkitousen” or even “Sekirei”, “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is a bit tame. Sure, you have your fair share of well-endowed characters with glistening boobs and your usual scenes of booby grabbing and panty shots, but it’s the video game tie-in that made me interested in this anime series.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good and well-shaded. Colors are vibrant and backgrounds are well-painted. But it’s important to note that this is a television series, so there is a hint of softness. As for audio, the series features a Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Japanese and English soundtrack, with the English adaptation having a slight edge because of its more Western dialogue and the writers giving the characters a slight edge especially with characters such as Katsuragi.
And as for special features, you get two audio commentaries, promotional video, Japanese commercial and textless opening and ending themes.
Overall, “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” will appeal to fans of the video game series and those who enjoy action-driven anime series with a lot of fan service.
It’s not one of the more deeper anime series in this genre but it is entertaining thanks to its diverse characters and their special abilities.
If you are interested in a ninja story with well-endowed female fighters that can kick butt, then “Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash!” is for you!
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