The Gay Ninja Show: Still Gay

You know that gay show about emo ninjas I stopped watching approximately two years ago? Well I recently decided to give Nabari no Ou another chance.

Every so often I fumble a show, that is to say, I drop it unintentionally. Such was the fate of Nabari no Ou upon its licensing. I cared so little about the show that I simply forgot it existed when fansubs stopped coming out. Fast forward two years. Since I’m currently in no condition to watch a complete series, I’d been browsing some streaming sites for series I’d half-finished. After coming across Slam Dunk and Eyeshield 21 on Crunchyroll, I moved over to Hulu where I found Nabari no Ou (along with Higurashi and Claymore!). I would’ve stayed on Crunchyroll a bit longer if not for their sleazy business tactics. Their master plan for selling premium memberships: bombard freeloaders the most annoying Skittles ads in the universe until they pay up.

I used to love Skittles. When I was little I pretended they were gummiberries. Now I’m never buying Skittles again.

As I was saying, Nabari no Ou is really emo and gay. Sasuke tried out for the show but got rejected for being too straight and self-assured. FUNimation deliberately downplayed the gaiety, instead choosing to advertise the show from the action-comedy angle. Effective? Hell yeah, the trailer looks fucking awesome. Misleading? Grossly.

You just saw half of the action in the entire show.

The action isn’t bad; it’s just non-existant for large stretches. The show is more of a drama than anything else. There’s about a 20:1 ratio of feelings scenes to fight scenes. Instead of bloodthirsty hardcore ninja battles, you get anorexic, brooding girly-men with hair in their eyes whining about their insecurities. The main character doesn’t know any ninja techniques. His only skill is manipulating onlookers with moé.

The teacher has black hair, so you might think he’s Japanese until you find out he’s Irish. The adversary-turned-ally points his fingers to unleash a forbidden technique known as kira.

There are only two unambiguously male character designs: a guy with sideburns and a guy with a goatee. Naturally, both are bad guys, because men are evil.

Harem? No, unless it’s a gay harem. Everyone in this pictures is supposedly male.

Like far too many series nowadays, Nabari no Ou got an anime-original ending because the manga is still running. I could tell without having to look it up. Characters were irrelevant, like that immortal guy and that elegant psycho blind chick. Issues were unresolved. Deaths came a little too easily. All are classic signs of a cop-out ending. I’d neglect it under the forward progress rule, but it’s not enough to change the final grade.

Final Grade: ~

Though the ending of the ninja side of the show left much to be desired, the ending of the drama side was well done. The dramatic moments throughout the series were compelling at times, just not enough to justify all the feelings talk.

Would the manga be better? I’m honestly tempted to skim it. Despite the characters looking girly and wanting to sodomize each other, the cast overall is pretty strong. The plot had potential as well.

64 Replies to “The Gay Ninja Show: Still Gay”

  1. I had never heard of this series until now. After reading your review, I’m glad I had never heard of this series until now. It sounds absolutely terrible. Now if I could only forget I ever read this article, I could go on living in ignorant bliss.

    • All you stupid freaks wouldn’t know a good anime + manga
      if one smacked you upside the head! Nabari no ou isn’t meant to
      be all about fighting it’s meant to be more about fingering out who’s
      worth fighting for. And if you can’t understand that then your all clearly guys.

  2. I fumbled this one as well when it got licensed and all the takedowns happened. It was pretty gay as I recall. Someday I’ll probably finish it because I can’t say I hated it.

    I haven’t read that far into the manga but as of the first book it is fairly dead-on with the series.

    • Good, saves me the trouble of starting at the beginning. The series felt like it was the type that was true to the manga until a few episodes from the end. It explains why there were so many unresolved issues and useless characters.

  3. I watched the first 4 eps back when it was airing, and liked things about it, but I got too bored by all the infodumping in ep 4 to continue. I’ve considered picking it up again though for the sole fact that Miharu is played by Rie Kugimiya. And maybe because I want to rape him >.>

    • I don’t remember any infodumping, but it was two years ago, so there’s a lot I don’t remember.

      Miharu certainly sounded like a girl. Maybe it was Rie, maybe it wasn’t. The only voice actress I can recognize with any consistency is Mamiko Noto.

  4. I personally, enjoyed this show. Apparently, not enough to finish it, though. I’ll have to make a visit to Hulu.

    Also, if you pay the premium membership on Crunchyroll, you’ll get no ads and an award every time you watch a new show (I’m not kidding). Plus, it plays on the PS3.

    • Someone too cheap to buy a premium Crunchyroll membership is probably too cheap to have a PS3. Case in point: me. The PS3 is almost five years old though. That’s usually around when I buy a “new” system.

  5. I recommending using Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox. I get no pop-up ads on crunchyroll and any other sites, and it blocks even most embedded ads.

  6. That funimation trailer honestly makes me want to watch it, because it does look pretty damn good.

    However, I just can’t stomach girly men, and God knows that I hate when people talk about their feelings. Personally, I don’t have feelings, cuz feelings are gay:

    • The trailer looks awesome. It’s a shame it’s nothing like the show.

      Even for a regular show there was too much drama, and we’re talking about ninjas here. Under no circumstances should ninjas ever have feelings. What do they think they are, robots?

  7. On the one hand: It has hot guys wearing bakerboy hats in it.

    On the other hand: ANN summary sounds boring.

    Hrm, decisions, decisions…

    • On the one hand: Unless you have hands you’re not telling me about, my writing has not influenced your decision in any way.

      On the other hand: I now know what those hats of yours are called, even if you accidentally said they were on “hot guys” instead of “guys who look like 12-year-old girls.”

      Your comment made me sadder but wiser.

      • Okay, now I feel bad. I’m sorry. If I had any Gummiberries, I would send them to you. (They don’t sell them around here anymore, unless you want Jelly Babies ( )? Though I’m guessing, after looking at those images, you probably don’t.)

        For the record, though: your writing did make me want to check out this hitherto unheard of by me series (esp. the lines ‘anorexic, brooding girly-men [but nonetheless men, not shouta bait] with hair in their eyes whining about their insecurities’ and ‘the ending of the drama side was well done. The dramatic moments […] were compelling at times’. You are talking to a Fruits Basket fan). However, the trailer didn’t work for me either (bloody Funimation grr) and I wanted to know more about the plot, hence the ANN cross-referencing.

        Incidentally, Bakerboy hats are fucking fantastic. They look good in virtually all fabrics, colours and patterns, and they suit pretty much everyone, got loads of ’em myself (compact, but also roomy enough for stuffing long hair into). In short, they are all kinds off Win. And no I don’t work for Accessorize ( If I did, I’d be broke. And they’d never get their staff discount card back. Ever.

        • I hope Jelly Babies are at least as delicious as they are creepy.

          I heard the entire Sohma family tried out for Nabari no Ou, but they were all rejected for being overweight.

          I can’t trust people with Bakerboy hats. Makes you look like you’re hiding something. Nobody’s head could be that big. They also look like they’d fall off easily. I prefer hats with a lower center of gravity.

          • To be honest, I can’t remember, it was too hard to eat them without feeling like a cannibal.

            I watched the first epi. I thought the first 5-10 mins were promising. Then I got increasingly annoyed with megane guy and the boy who cried moe. However, the hot teacher made things bearable, until I started wincing every time he busted a move, thinking he was gona bust one of his toothpick limbs. (You were right, the Sohma boys would completely kick their arses. Even Ayame). However, I kept watching, waiting for Mr Bakerboy hat to appear. But. He. Didn’t. GRR.

            In short: it was too vague, too slow paced and too boring. The BL stuff wasn’t even fangirl-worthy, it was just lame. In shorter: I’ll never doubt you again.

            Until you review the next girly looking show.

  8. “This video contains content from Funimation Entertainment, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

    Oh, fiddlesticks.

  9. Ah I remember the quest to find subs of this when it got licensed – not because I enjoyed it, but rather because I just wanted it finished and out of the way! Normally the Inner Fangirl is all over these angsty, ambigiously gay shows, but Nabari was a bit to emo and whiney even for her!

    Still the action was good when it happened, and I liked the character designs. The fact the teacher is meant to be Irish still amuses me though.

    • Tobari Durandal Kumohira (雲平・帷・デュランダル, Kumohira Tobari Dyurandaru?) is Miharu Rokujou’s and Koichi Aizawa’s 25-year-old teacher in the front world, the world that is unaware of Nabari. Born in Ireland, he was forced by his grandfather, a “Japan otaku” and “ninja fanatic”, to go to Japan and learn to become a ninja.

      There you go. The show is amusing from the otaku angle at times, like with that one guy who’s always playing dating sims.

  10. Ah man!I have been wanting to see Nabari since long!!
    Its main character seemed really cool in the pic!
    Plus the soundtracks are by Ooshima Michiru (who composed the awesome 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist soundtracks)
    I really hope I enjoy the anime!!

  11. When I saw the title of this post, I automatically assumed it was about Naruto. As I clicked on it, I was already formulating my comment: “Still not as gay as Nabari no Ou!” And then I saw it WAS about Nabari no Ou… which, incidentally, I just started re-watching/finishing, since I’d gotten through about twenty episodes when it was licensed.

    I would argue that the manga is gutsier than the show is… or at least it was when I stopped reading (it got licensed, so I decided to just switch over to the official releases). The manga-ka actually did stuff in it that I never thought she actually would.

    • Naruto is A Gay Ninja Show. Nabari no Ou is THE Gay Ninja Show.

      The manga-ka actually did stuff in it that I never thought she actually would.

      Gay rape? Necrophilia? Please do something to limit my imagination.

      • Nah, nothing like that, she just actually did what she said she would, something a lot of manga-ka could really take a hint from. I’m trying really hard to not spoil it, though, its a fairly important plot-point. I’m also assuming she didn’t backtrack on it a few chapters later.

        Good point about the difference between Naruto and Nabari no Ou. Also, though: Miharu > Naruto. Miharu gets big points for not being a total retard, though, so that may be damning with faint praise. But I really did like what I read of the manga and what I’ve seen of the TV show, so I don’t really mean it that way.

  12. I don’t even know why the blonde chick is present in Nabari no Ou. It’s not like most guys watch this kind of stuff. And I’ve heard that the lack of action is a common complaint.

    You know what other show has a trailer that looks completely badass? Birdy the Might Decode. Too bad it has a shitty title. But the presence of a female lead in a bathing suit means that at least it won’t be completely gay.

    • Isn’t the blonde chick a self-insert character for female viewers? It fulfills the common female fantasy of living in a world full of gay guys. I never saw her as eye candy for male viewers; then again, I usually go for older women, like that mind-reading chick.

      Birdy is another show I fumbled around the same time. I’m getting on it right after I’m done with Spice & Wolf.

      • I always assumed there was no way she could be a self-insert character because she was blonde and not overtly an everygirl. In the male version of shows like this the self-insert is always really bland and unnoticeable. Guess it’s different for guys.

        Being a girl, if I’m gonna watch a show about gay guys, I don’t want any girls in there. That would defeat the purpose.

        • Yeah, I feel the same way about guys on lesbian shows. All that straightness ruins everything.

          Raimei had brown eyes, if that’s enough to drag a blonde girl back down to normal in anime. In any case, I’d say Miharu makes a much better female self-insert character. Theory #2: she’s there for the brother-sister relationship. Maybe a brother-brother relationship wouldn’t be as appealing to girls, but that’s probably not true, and Raikou was given a little brother figure anyway. I give up.

  13. I remember trying to watch that show but I couldn’t even make it pass the introduction. I don’t remember ninjas controlling giant tentacle things that come out of the ground. From reading over this post I guess I was lucky.

    • It lasted about 3 seconds and never happened again. Like I said, it’s the most misleading trailer in the universe. The trailer might even be a ninja in disguise.

  14. Oh yes this show. I watched this and thought it was okay until…


    they made friends with the ‘bad guys’, the blonde girl gets her plot resolved in a fairly quick and anti-climatic fashion, and the main character runs off with the the guy with magical cancer.


    I think I’ve been at episode 22/26 of this show for about a year. Time to move it from On-Hold to Droppped on MAL I think.

    • I accidentally had the show listed as completed. It was a factor in my decision to complete the show for real. I advise you to officially drop the show and never look back.

  15. Fuck you ass hole, those Skittles commercials are awesome. Will probably start watching anime on crunchyroll for the promise of Skittle ads before a show.

  16. I haven’t watched this show and did not plan to do that anytime soon.
    What’s sad was when I tried to watch the trailer you put up above, it said the clip was blocked for my country and all I could watch was that sock commercials.

  17. I hate you. I was slowly re-watching the episodes I’d watched when it aired with the idea of finishing it off finally. Your post made me go back and start watching it at a faster pace, and I just finished it and cried into my fucking keyboard because I am a raging loser. Ugh, if you hadn’t posted about it, I could’ve delayed that embarrassing behavior until after I started living on my own and not had a room-mate ask me what the hell was wrong with me and start freaking out… only for me to say I’d watched something sad. That was a cartoon. Geez.

    • Wow, you are a loser. However, it’s nice to have someone backing up my opinion that the ending was dramatic. I wasn’t a big enough loser to cry about it though.

    • OMG! I’m A snivelling wreck whenever I
      watch Nabari. I’m so glad I’m not the only
      loser who dos that! The only difference is I cried
      into my cat, so in away that makes me more of a loser then you.

  18. In the manga: Miharu actually used powers, there was more action and comedy, emo-guy was an emo-guygirl for realz – he had both girl and guy bits, apparently.

    Much more awesome. Still probably not your thing.

  19. I have to agree that the anime of Nabari no Ou sucks. The beginning was so dragging (to me anyway). It even reminds me of Soul Eater, forcibly finished even though I love SE (I hate the ending of its anime is LAME, LAME, LAME!!!).

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