The time is the 16th century and Chidori, a young ninja of the Iga clan, is sent to serve as an agent of the warlord Oda Nobunaga. Chidori is young but with skills that rival those of ninja masters–and herein lies some of the most entertaining points of Ninja Girl & Samurai Master.
Note: This article contains spoilers for Ninja Girl & Samurai Master.
Ninja Girl & Samurai Master is a short-form comedy about Chidori serving under Oda Nobunaga, one of the greatest generals of Japan’s Sengoku period. And as we are soon shown, Chidori is totally badass.
As she leaves her village, her master notes that Chidori is quite capable albeit somewhat ditzy, to which Chidori, already almost out of sight, responds by yelling back at her master that “ditzy” is a little much. In this way we are shown both Chidori’s superior prowess as a ninja and the fact that she despite said skills, she doesn’t consider herself as superior. And that’s what makes Chidori so entertaining to watch.
Throughout the series, we get to see Chidori casually do things like bypass security, defeat a spear-wielding master, and more–all as a byproduct of focusing on something else. And yet, for Chidori, the fact that she does them so casually is not something to gloat about. For her, her feats of ninja badassery are things she can do because she was trained to do them. She does them because, you know, that’s what she does. She’s not out to prove anything. This coupled with her naïve nature results in endless fun.
One of my favorite instances is when Chidori is sent to spy on Imagawa Yoshimoto, a powerful feudal lord and enemy of Oda Nobunaga. As Imagawa plans his strategy, he vocalizes his contempt for Nobunaga—something Chidori takes personal offense to. In response, she retaliates by drawing on Imagawa’s face after he has fallen asleep.
Upon returning to Nobunaga, Chidori is congratulated for a job well done. As she walks away, proud of being praised by her master, Nobunaga quietly laments that he should have just had Chidori assassinate Imagawa instead of spy on him.
It’s not so much that Chidori is a badass as the fact that the people around her don’t realize just how good she is. It’s this lighthearted tone that makes Ninja Girl & Samurai Master a joy to watch every time.
Ninja Girl & Samurai Master can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.