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Ninku is a shonen manga series that ran from 1993 to 1995. It was also given an animated adaptation in 1995-96. The series follows the adventures of Fuusuke, Aicho and Toji, along with Toji's sister and a penguin. Long ago, a civil war erupted between the imperium and the ninku clan. The ninku were a fierce group of ninja with classical majic ninjutsu, divised into 12 ninku corps. All three of the guys were captains of their respective corps. Eventually the ninku were disbanded as the war went sour and now the remaining three are trying to find a way to defeat the imperium.

Although the show was once dubbed it was never released in the US although it did run on AXN in asia. Only the dubbed movie was ever released in the US. Most the episodes can be found at Veoh but only a few of the beginning episodes will be subbed.

This series is notable for being the inspiration behind Naruto, although some would lean more towards plagiarism, seeing how similar the Rasengen and the Kuatsuken are. Masashi Kishimoto even initially drew Naruto in an outfit similar to Fuusuke.

Also has an ongoing sequel known as Ninku-second stage which started 2005.

Dattebayo has also started to sub the series.


This manga has examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Toji picks up the slack for Aicho and Fuusuke.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Toji's sister, Rihoko. This trait must run in the family.
  • An Ice Person: Kisume
  • Airbourne Aircraft Carrier: Although it doesn't really carry aircraft its almost like a tank.
  • Armour Is Useless: Proven early on when a boastful bad guy gets a gaping hole to his chest.
  • Battle Aura: Fuusuke emits white smoke when it's time to get serious.
  • Badass Grandpa: The Ninku master who true to his name mastered all the known elements.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Mekira
  • Blow You Away: Fuusuke, aka Proto-Naruto. "Wind is my ally. I counter your attack with AIR PRESSURE!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: KUATSUKEN!
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Fuusuke becomes empowered by the almighty sky dragon and kills the final bad guy with a punch.
    • Fuusuke attacks the Tenkuu dragon itself, and survives!
  • Doppleganger Spin: Used by Fuusuke because he is the fastest of the members and specialises on training the muscle groups in his calf.
  • The Determinator: Fuusuke which is really saying something when a 12 year old boy happens to have more will power than the two grown men he has for comrades.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Toji is captain of the snake corp and generally uses earth moves that take the form of a pretty live looking giant snake.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Hiroyuki the supernatural penguin capable of toxic farts and super strength.
  • Eastern Zodiac: The 12 Ninku corps each are named under and animal of these.
  • Hand Seals: Not very often used except for particularly awesome moves and even then they aren't very many sequences.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Most definitely Aicho, who shows his utter disdain for every time Rihoko goes all fangirl on him.
  • Five-Man Band
    • The Hero: Fuusuke, of course
    • The Lancer: Aicho
    • The Big Guy: Toji, although his ability to fix a plane pushes him onto The Smart Guy
    • The Chick: Rihoko also functions as literally The Load, seeing as she has to piggyback on a penguin! in no less than the opening. Heck even the penguin is superhum...just super.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Subverted in that when the clan was still around they covered their faces and wore dark colours. Once they had disbanded Fuusuke wears an ORANGE shirt. And don't even start with Toji.
  • Hellish Pupils: courtesy of the Tenkuu dragon
  • Loin Cloth: Toji.
  • Making a Splash: Kokuro
  • Missing Mom: Fuusuke's mother was taken from him when he was even younger and smaller than he was. that guy ended up being the main bad who was completely distroyed, proving don't mess with Fuusuke.
  • Ninja Brat: He's the protagonist, Fuusuke.
  • Ninja Log: Used in that rare breed of heroic escapes typically reserved for Villain Exit Stage Left.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons represent the purest form of the Ninku art but they aren't physical beings. The ultimate dragon is the Tenkuu Dragon.
  • Outlaw: All Ninku are after they brought the imperium to near ruin considering how few their numbers were in comparison.
  • Playing with Fire: Youkou
  • In a Single Bound: Aicho who was captain of the rooster corp who would probably give blaziken a jump for its money.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Toji
  • Razor Wind: Fuushuriken.
  • Shock and Awe: Col Ajirada.
  • Sinister Minister: Kouchin
  • Spiritual Successor: Naruto came almost 2 years after it.
  • The Empire: The Imperium pretty much runs things.
  • Ugly Cute: Fuusuke has been compared to a frog but who can resist those big doped up eyes.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Toji.
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