In the 1990's, anime was not as plentiful and available as it is in this modern era of simulcasting so fans would take pretty much whatever they could get their hands on which is why for so many fans, Ninja Scroll is a title that holds a special place in their hearts.
First released as a movie in 1993 (it got a TV sequel in 2003), Ninja Scroll is a 94 minute feature which follows Jubei, a wandering swordsman who saves a young female ninja from being raped by demonic humans. Eventually their paths cross again and the pair are sent on a mission to investigate the murder of an entire village and the truth behind the demons who are hiding in plain sight among the humans of the world.
Perhaps you loved Ninja Scroll and want to see more titles like it or perhaps you hated Ninja Scroll but want to see titles that are similar but not quite as horrifically violent. Regardless, we've come up with six alternatives to get your anime ninja fix!
Similar Anime to Ninja Scroll / Similar Anime to Juubee Ninpuuchou
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2005 – Sept. 2005
If you're into the blood and violence of Ninja Scroll and want more of the same, this is the very first title that you should be looking towards. In this 2005 series, the setting is 1614 AD and two rival ninja clans are fighting to the death for the possession of a scroll. The last clan standing will not only get to see their enemies destroyed forever but will also receive the backing of the Tokugawa government for the next thousand years.
In many ways (but not all) one could consider Basilisk to be a spiritual successor to Ninja Scroll. As mentioned previously, the series is filled to the brim with all the blood, violence and murder that you could possibly want while also delivering a solid story that has lived on in the hearts and minds of fans since it was first released a little over a decade ago.
Basilisk - Box Set Trailer
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2010 – Dec. 2010
If you're not as into the blood and violence of Ninja Scroll but still want to see impressive action sequences, look towards the 2010 series Katanagatari created by the same man who brought you the Monogatari series. In this series, the setting is the Edo era and the hero is a martial arts master living in exile named Yasuri Shichika. Under the orders of a general and master strategist named Togame, he leaves his home and goes on a quest to find the twelve treasured swords made by the master swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki.
One thing that Ninja Scroll had that Katanagatari also possesses are amazing action sequences that get you on the edge of your seat and leave you craving more, more, more. In every episode, Katanagatari delivers the action with heart pounding martial arts, satisfying death sequences and a great story filled with twists and turns just for good measure.
Katanagatari special report 3
3.Yotoden: Chronicle of the Warlord Period (Sengoku Kitan Youtouden)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: May 1987 – Nov. 1988
Predating Ninja Scroll by a good six years, Yotoden is a three episode OVA series which features samurais, ninjas and plenty of action scenes which are fueled by a desire for revenge! The story for this title features a young female ninja who manages to escape her village as it is destroyed by Lord Nobunaga. Carrying only a mystical short sword, she swears to take down Nobunaga and get her revenge. Soon she is joined by two other ninja who also carry mystical weapons and the trio set out on their mission.
Ninjas seeking revenge and having to go through demons to get it is a pretty common theme in martial arts anime and this release is absolutely no different in that regard. If you loved the darkness of Ninja Scroll and want to get some more of that action on your screen, this is not a bad direction to look.
Wrath Of The Ninja: The Yotoden Movie 1998 Movie Trailer
Any Animes Like Ninja Scroll / Any Animes Like Juubee Ninpuuchou ?
4. Sword For Truth (Shuranosuke Zanmaken: Shikamamon no Otoko)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Dec. 1990
Another title that predates the subject of this article by a couple of years, this is another entry that pits samurai vs. ninja. The hero of this one (if you want to call him that) is Shurannosuke Sakiki, a masterless samurai with unrivaled sword skills. One day he is hired by the Nakura Clan to rescue a princess from the Seki Ninja.
While Ninja Scroll features ninjas as the heroes, they are the villains in this movie which makes it just slightly different from many of the other titles on this list. That doesn't sever the basic threads that ties the titles together though which is hyper action from start to finish.
Sword for Truth
5. Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X)
- Episodes: 94
- Aired: Jan. 1996 – Sept. 1998
Getting away from ninjas specifically, how about samurai? One of the most famous samurai anime in history is Rurouni Kenshin and there's a very good reason for that. Originally airing in 1996 and lasting for an impressive 94 episodes, Rurouni Kenshin won fans around the world in the years following its original airing as anime became more popular with fans around the world.
In this series, the story follows a former assassin named Kenshin who is now a wanderer in the Meiji era. Upon entering a small town, he is mistaken for a bandit who is using his former name which eventually leads to him moving into a small dojo and making new friends. If you're looking for ninja action, you'll want to look towards the second season (also known as the Kyoto Arc) which features ninjas and samurais alike doing fierce battle against each other often times to the death.
In this arc, Kenshin teams up with the Oniwaban clan of ninjas in order to take on an old foe from the war who is still out for blood. Our plucky hero must channel his inner demons and bring back the man he used to be in order to defeat the evil villain who is causing death and destruction wherever he goes.
Rurouni Kenshin Original Trailer るろうに剣心 (Samurai X)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2007 – Oct. 2007
And now we've come full circle and are back to the violence. Originally airing in 2007, this is one of the most violent series of the last decade and will make even the most hardened of gore fans a little queasy at times. The story takes place in the Edo era and features a tournament held by Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga. In this particular tournament, real swords are to be used and one of the matches features a one armed fighter named Fujiki Gennosuke and a blind fighter named Irako Seigen. Both of these fighters come from the same discipline and are eager to prove themselves worthy of being the next successor.
As with other entries in this list, this isn't strictly a ninja series but more warriors who are skilled in various forms of martial arts. To appreciate one though it's often good to appreciate the other and Shigurui will help you do just that.
Shigurui: Death Frenzy - trailer
Ninja anime will always be a common thing for fans to be able to turn on. Just like cowboys are engrained into the history of the United States, ninja and samurai are engrained into the history of Japan. Now go forth young warrior and peruse the titles that we have laid down in front of you!