House Of Ninjas opens to a tune I wasn’t expecting – Crosby Stills Nash & Young’s Our House, while stealthy ninjas are being stealthy, and it’s the last thing I expected to adorn a Japanese drama.
I’m not entirely sure if reading this review will make any of the programme come across as making sense, but early on, we meet Tawara Haru (Kento Kaku) and journalist Ito Karen chancing across each other in a cafe, and one where they cross paths regularly. So, is this a standard romance tale, or a bizarre East Asian drama where a load of weird stuff happens that can rarely be explained? Exactly.
What can easily be explained is that Haru’s parents want him to take over the family business, given that his brother, Gaku, has passed away, as noted by the shrine at home, Haru’s father, especially, laying a guilt trip on his son.
However, when a woman is abducted, while dead bodies are being found by police, there’s… well, a whole load of inexplicable weird stuff happening (yes, you knew that was coming!), while a group of ninjas are never far behind! This includes the family’s young daughter, Nagi (Aju Makita), while the matriarch of the family easily leaps onto the house’s roof in order to fix some slates, so this is clearly quite fanciful.
In fact, some scenes feel more like a Candid Camera sketch, in the way they’re acted out; and, at times, it feels like I’m watching several different programmes spliced together!
Plus, everyone in the family seems to be in on the martian arts actions, but then, I guess…. they’re a house of ninjas.
As an aside, it’s the first time I’ve seen a knife fight in a nightclub! That was fun.
And yes, while I’ve just see two episodes at the time of posting this, House Of Ninjas is fun, but I’m not sure it’s something I can wholly get into. At least you can rest assured I’m avoiding spoilers, because I can’t spoil what I don’t massively understand 😀
Finally, for now, since Netflix upload clips of shows to Youtube, they MUST do one for the opening scenes of the first episode, to Our House, and potentially, like with Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill being used in Stranger Things, they could send it to No.1! I can’t even find it as having been released in the UK, originally, either!
House Of Ninjas is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from tomorrow.
Running time: 50-60 minutes per episode (8 episodes)
Release date: February 15th 2024
Director: Dave Boyle
Developer: Dave Boyle
Story: Takafumi Imai, Kento Kaku, Yoshiaki Murao
Writers: Kanna Kimura, Masahiro Yamaura, Kôta Ôura
Tawara Haru: Kento Kaku
Souichi: Yôsuke Eguchi
Yoko: Tae Kimura
Gaku: Kengo Kôra
Nagi: Aju Makita
Taki: Nobuko Miyamoto
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.