Ninja Girls, Vol. 1
written by Hosana Tanaka
Ever since he was born, Raizo has had a horn growing from his head. Wait–a horn?! You’re joking, right? Nope, that horn is proof of a closely guarded secret: Raizo is the offspring of the late Lord Katana, illegitimate or not, and heir to the Katana Clan, which has, unfortunately, been decimated by the treacherous and cruel Lord Kabuki Seigan.
Growing up, Raizo was ostracized by everyone in his home village, who treated him like garbage, a monster. He was certain he would never be able to meet a nice girl who would love him for who he was and not what he looked like. Everything changes, however, when he finds a lovely young girl passed out in a nearby river. He nurses her back to health, but before he can see her on her way, his life is threatened by warriors sent by Seigan with orders to kill the boy with the horn on his head. Lo and behold, the girl, named Kagari, is a kunoichi, a female ninja assigned to protect him by his late family, one of four, actually. Kagari’s abilities are…unusual. Her Iga-Ninpo Shintaigo requires the man she loves to watch her closely in the midst of battle. This alone exposes Raizo to countless dangers, not to mention some suggestive and awkward situations, which only add to the entertainment quality of this series.
As Raizo prepares to journey throughout Sengoku Era Japan to seek a way to restore his nobility, he comes across two more who call themselves his “underlings,” the level-headed markswoman with the “Rasengan” Wizard Eye (no confusing it, Naruto fans), Kisarabi, and the work-avoiding homosexual, Himemaru, whose name is ironic, yet suitable–“hime” means “princess” and “–maru” is part of a boy’s name. But even with these three warriors at his side, he cannot take his eyes off them for a second, because Lord Seigan is hot on his trail, and has taken a personal, twisted interest in Kagari, and her power of Shintaigo, or Conjuction of God and Body.
This series is characterized by the traces of fanservice and projected (partial) nudity that accompanies the feelings of Raizo’s kunoichi “servants.” Some might think there’s too much, while others may think there’s too little. I think there’s just the right amount to allow for slightly older teens to read it, and it would still be appropriate.
This manga is not quite for beginners in manga fandom, who would be advised to read Naruto, a very popular ninja series before picking this one up.