Stories mostly have a basis in the past. They come and go but the past continues to provide fascinating tales.

House of Ninjas is a new Japanese series, now streaming on Netflix. As the name suggests, it is rooted in Japan’s ancient love for ‘Ninjas.’

Eight episodes constitute a length of seven and a half hours.

Does the show – supposed to be high on action and suspense – deliver? Here is my review.

House of Ninjas Synopsis

The Tawara family, the last known Shinobis, are forced to go on a mission to eliminate the threat of Fuma Ninjas. 

However, this time, the stakes are high and the enemies are tougher.

Image Credits: Netflix

Directed by Dave Boyle, the series stars Kento Kaku (Haru), Yosuke Eguchi (Soichi), Tae Kimura (Yoko), Kengo Kora (Gaku), Aju Makita (Nagi), Nobuko Miyamoto (Grandma), Tomorowo Taguchi (Hamashima), Riho Yoshioka (Karen), Tokio Emoto (Oki), Tenta Banka (Riku), Takayuki Yamada (Tsujioka), and others.

What Works for House of Ninjas?

Japan’s history has been witness to the ‘Ninja phenomenon.’ Over the years, the idea found its voice in cartoons, anime, movies, and TV shows.

Even with numerous creations already there, House of Ninjas appears refreshing. 

The concept of putting the last Ninja clan in the regular mix and then individually propelling each member of the family towards a common goal is effortlessly presented.

It follows the Tawara family, residing like a normal household, which has given up on their Ninja duties after successfully finishing their rival clan six years ago. 

However, when a new Shinobi threat shows up, and a larger conspiracy erupts, the family is forced to step out of their homes and put up a fight.

The show’s storyline has all the features of a scintillating outing, from family dynamics to action sequences.

It has a delectable frame of emotional connection that makes the tale intriguing from a humane point of view.

The drama is sustainable while the suspense never becomes trite. House of Ninjas continuously offers captivation through a mysteriously dark ambiance.

Image Credits: Netflix

Its power-packed action scenes add thrill to an already growing bag of trepidations. Hand combats are brutal and the sword-fights feel breathtaking.

Some of the chase scenes are engrossingly depicted. You’d specifically love the swift movements of the characters, a feature we typically associate with Ninjas.

The best part about the action is it always stays grounded in realism. There is no exaggerated wilderness or absurdity with every punch and kick putting up a genuine front.

Moreover, the menacing background score makes the series ferocious, especially when seen together with the ominous atmosphere.

House of Ninjas is not all about action and thrill. It is also sweet and endearing on several occasions. The family union gives rise to a certain camaraderie between members.

The soulfulness is furthered by the cheerful music that plays in the backdrop. Songs are mostly tender and calm, but they do have pacing qualities that help the Japanese series.

Lastly, House of Ninjas’ cinematography is terrific. The people behind the lens have done a commendable job in maintaining continuity in shots.

The flashback switches are expertly panned and planned. The transitions are superb as well. 

How are the Performances?

Kento Kaku curtails according to the requirements of Haru, the character he plays in House of Ninjas. His restricted mien is a prominent high spot of his portrayal.

The sweet, held-back, and affable depiction by the actor adds authenticity to the role. Kaku enjoys the screen and aces the plot design masterfully.

I loved how he remained expressionless and still ably conveyed the essence of the moment at multiple points in the series.

Yosuke Eguchi as Soichi does extremely well to lead the Ninja Family. You are likely to connect with him on a deeper level, thanks to the subtle sentimental value he brings along.

Image Credits: Netflix

Tae Kimura is charming as Yoko. She delivers a strong act in House of Ninjas. 

Her playful screen presence strengthens the show’s dynamics and brings a change from seriousness to some light-hearted, polite scenes. 

Kengo Kora’s display of Gaku is intense and fiery. It’s his facial variations that change the wrapping of his character. The actor ably transforms from one trait to another.

Aju Makita is Nagi in the show. She hones a subdued act where an amiable charisma stays with her throughout. Aju never cancels her expressions even if she is in the background.

It helps in touching the viewer in so many ways.

Riho Yoshioka impresses as Karen. A gritty journalist, she maneuvers the frames comfortably while maintaining a friendly countenance.

Her determined personality enhances the appeal of House of Ninjas.

Tenta Banka is the sweetest person in the whole cast. As Riku, the little kid puts a smile on your face with his adorable execution. 

What Doesn’t Work for House of Ninjas?

Sometimes, the plot wants to be too brutal but it stops just a step away from being so. 

It feels like the makers have put a lever that comes into action whenever things start becoming too dark or violent.

Furthermore, occasional bumps in the middle hamper the series. That’s when slight marks of predictability start showing up (only slight).

Image Credits: Netflix

The creation sheds its fresh image and puts the viewer in the “been there, seen that,” frame of mind.

In the end, there are traces of authoritative male protectionism in the storyline. The female leads never get to entirely take matters into their own hand.

Even when they do, you have a male lead coming around to save them. This stops House of Ninjas from achieving what it could have.

The level playing field gets restricted. We have seen in the recent past how this could elevate a story to unimaginable heights. 

Stream or Skip?

House of Ninjas is a definite watch and is right there in the list of the best Japanese shows. There are no reasons to miss it, specifically if you are a fan of action shows.

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