The Art of Deception

In the face of the death of physical media, DVD and Bluray packaging continues to be, let’s say… inventive… in its methods of persuasion.

Hey, deception was a legit ninja skill, right?

As ninja movie fans we’ve all been duped by shinobi-fied covers to VHS or DVDs of vanilla kung-fu fare shamelessly retitled “Ninja-something-or-other.” These, however, step the game up a notch — one ninja movie camouflaged as another!

Note this new label for the Scott Adkins vehicle NINJA, deliberately biting on the much wider known NINJA ASSASSIN.


Who can keep either of these 2009 films straight anyway, just buy them both!


It’s one thing for an indie movie to “align itself for marketing shorthand” to another bigger film coming out at the same time, but THIS is another story altogether:


This recent overseas label for the Hiroyuki Sanada / Conan Lee slugfest NINJA IN THE DRAGON’S DEN strives for recognition and relevance from the video gamers of the world by shamelessly crowbarring-in a stolen rendering of Sega’s Kage-Maru from Virtua Fighter.


But they re-color him black so he looks more like Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden.


Us non-gamers will also recognize Ryu Hayabusa from his hit indie film Alien vs. Ninja!



Laughable as this chicanery, these hijinks, might be, I do love the idea of Virtua Fighter (and even Matrix) fanatics possibly getting duped, then being subjected to some old-school ninja fare that was… ewww, shot on FILM… that those of us longer in the tooth would consider superior.

If only a small percentage of those victims stick with it, maybe some new fans of old-school ninja media are born?

HA HA HAHAHAHAH HA! Made myself laugh… Like anyone under 40 is going to buy physical media!!!

In fact, ignore this whole post.

I’m going to go fool around with my abacus and listen to player piano reels.

Bare-Armed Ninja

Something that came out the 80s and lived on into the 90’s was the bare-armed body-building look for ninja, a mutation driven by the painted covers of Ninja Magazine and video game package art. These roided-up shinobi sacrificed protection for an intimidating gun show, and cared not that the well-oiled sheen of those muscles did-in whatever stealth they were hoping to achieve.

And here’s another mutation from the video game world, the French Foreign Legion flapped hood.

Nintendo ninja and muscle madness!

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Nifty post by Andrew Case over at Dreams of the Red King. A 1989 issue of Nintendo Power magazine — LAME ninja on cover, nice art for interior spreads.

Man, that is such a 1989 ninja suit...

OK people, answer me this: why are so many painted and illustrated ninja from the video game industry sleeveless or shirtless? Cases in point:

Well, maybe they learned it from magazines like these:

TAKI: video game heroine comes to 1:6 scale

I’m not a video game guy in the least, but man do I love the elevated place lady ninja have in that realm. If only movies followed suit more often…

Taki is a twin short-sword wielding kunoichi from Soul Calibur, famed mainly for her ridiculous gravity defying breasts. Seriously, a Russian auto-show model or Tamba Bay strip-club pole dancer would look at this girl and say ‘give me a break honey…’ But, such is the freedom of the pixelated world, and why not cater to your core audience?

Sixth-scale figure specialists Triad Toys have a superb quality 12″ licensed figure of Taki available, and there’s a great review by Michael Crawford via MWC Toys here. I love the 1:6 format, and kitbash stuff as often as my wallet will afford (which is not often). This one’s on my short list.