Who doesn’t like ninjas, right? They’re super cool with their mysterious aura, clever tricks, and secret techniques that make anime action scenes thrilling.
And what’s even better is their incredible versatility, as in this list you’ll find series set in feudal Japan showcasing ninjas in their traditional form, as well as others in modern settings and even comedies.
So, sit back, snack in hand, and enjoy this list of the best ninja anime.
Table of Contents
16. Ayakashi Triangle
Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered even if you’re in the mood for a cute series filled with comedy and romance, alongside your ninja adventures.
For you, we present Ayakashi Triangle, a 12-episode series from 2023 that is currently ongoing.
Matsuri Kazamaki is an exorcist ninja who battles ayakashi, malevolent spirits. He is dedicated to protecting Suzu, a childhood friend and ayakashi medium. That’s what makes her so attractive to these evil beings.
Ayakashi Triangle is the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy ninja action along with lighthearted comedy and romantic moments, allowing you to temporarily set aside violence and drama.
15. Ninja Slayer
Ninja Slayer is a web anime produced by the renowned Studio Trigger, the same animators behind Kill la Kill and Gurren Lagann, released in 2015 with 26 episodes.
In feudal Japan, ninjas were regarded as fearsome and highly influential figures. However, as centuries passed and society evolved into a futuristic world, ninjas seemed to lose their iconic status.
That is until one of them awakens in the city of Neo Saitama, transcending the ages, and feeling compelled to restore honor by setting things right!
To be honest, it’s a bit challenging to describe this series. It’s truly unique, especially in terms of its experimental animation style.
We highly recommend this series to those seeking something different and innovative. In that regard, you won’t be disappointed.
14. Brave 10
The Battle of Sekigahara, which took place in the flower of the Sengoku period, decreeing its end, is over.
Ninja Saizou Kirigakure one day runs into Isa Nami, a priestess targeted by assassins whose temple was destroyed on the orders of Yukimura Sanada.
The 2 will join forces, and a mystery related to the girl’s mysterious powers will be revealed, along with why she is being hunted down.
Brave 10 is an anime that presents undeniable flaws, such as a mediocre cast of characters and a story that often results in quite clichè.
But despite these shortcomings, this anime manages to be entertaining thanks to its well-executed action scenes and a plot that, while somewhat straightforward as we mentioned, flows smoothly.
13. Flame of Recca
Flame of Recca is an excellent vintage-style fighting anime from 1997, spanning 42 episodes.
Recca is an enthusiastic young boy who’s deeply obsessed with ninjas, to the point where he sees himself as one.
One fateful day, Recca encounters Yanagi, a girl with unusual healing abilities. He takes it upon himself to protect her as if she were his princess and he, her ninja.
However, their lives soon become entangled in a complex web of mysteries, as mysterious individuals covet Yanagi’s powers, and Recca discovers his abilities.
Flame of Recca is a highly recommended anime if you look for a blend of ninjas, vintage vibes, and unique powers, all set in a modern backdrop.
It might not be the most conventional ninja anime, but perhaps it’s worth a shot precisely because of that, right?
12. Ninja Resurrection
Ninja Resurrection is a two-episode short series from 1998 characterized by some dark, horror-filled, and violent themes.
Jubei is a ninja contracted by the Japanese government to free a small town under the rule of a man revered as the new Jesus.
However, Jubei soon discovers that this mission will involve battling demons in a terrible battle for survival.
If you’re in search of a short yet intense series with a heavy emphasis on dark and horror elements, along with plenty of action and violence, Ninja Resurrection might be your choice, no doubt.
11. Sengoku Basara
Sengoku Basara is a 2009 anime adaptation of the videogame of the same name, which diligently portrays the story of Oda Nobunaga during the Sengoku period in an accurate and historically inspired manner.
This anime vividly captures the military conflicts of ancient Japan, characterized by fragmented provinces and intense battles.
At its core, the series revolves around Oda Nobunaga, known as the Sixth Demon King, who possesses a relentless ambition to conquer and reunite the chaotic country under his rule.
However, he encounters formidable adversaries in the form of Yukimura Sanada and Masamune Date, two young generals who forge an unlikely alliance to resist Oda’s unstoppable armies.
If you have an interest in delving into the story of one of the greatest and most influential figures in Japanese history through anime, it’s a great pick.
But Sengoku Basara is more choral anime than you might think, as it also dives into the characters around Oda Nobunaga, including a lot of cool ninjas.
10. Ninja Hattori-Kun
Ninja Hattori-kun is a series that, despite everything, we couldn’t leave out of this list due to its iconic status. It’s an incredibly popular series in Japan, running from 1981 onwards for a total of 694 episodes.
There was also a remake of the series in 2012, but it didn’t quite achieve the same success.
Ken Misoba is a 10-year-old elementary school boy who one day befriends Hattori Kanzo, a young ninja who eventually becomes a part of his family.
Hattori uses his secret ninja techniques to help Ken solve his daily problems.
Ninja Hattori-kun shares many similarities with Doraemon, as you may have already noticed.
While it might not be the most popular choice on this list, it would have been a disservice not to include it.
9. Black Fox
Black Fox, released in 2019, is a movie that blends ninjas into a modern Sci-Fi setting, creating an intriguing fusion.
Rikka resides on the outskirts of a futuristic city and is the eldest daughter of a ninja clan, destined to become its leader. However, she has always admired her father, a scientist.
But one fateful day, their home is attacked, and Rikka finds herself in a corner. Could this be the moment when her latent powers awaken?
Its story is as unique, as its unexpected twists and its beautifully crafted setting. Plus, it boasts exceptional animations, so why not give it a chance?
8. Nabari no Ou
Nabari no Ou is another anime on this list that falls into the category of ninja-themed anime set in the modern world. It was released in 2008 and consists of 26 episodes.
In this series, ninjas in the contemporary world live double lives, concealing their true identities but remaining ever vigilant for action when necessary.
The protagonist is Miharu Rokujo, a middle school boy who harbors within him the most powerful ninja techniques ever created throughout history.
This naturally leads to numerous complications, with ninja clans aiming to protect him and others seeking to seize his power.
Nabari no Ou is a solid choice if you’re interested in a blend of ninjas, a modern setting, intricate plot twists, and animations typical of the 2000s.
7. The Dagger of Kamui
The Dagger of Kamui is a fantastic vintage anime movie about ninjas released in 1985 and based on a series of Japanese novels.
The main character is Jiro, a boy who was adopted when he was just an infant by a family that found him in a boat along with The Dagger of Kamui.
But at the age of 13, he is falsely accused of the murder of his adopted family, leaving him with a burning desire for revenge.
Jiro is taken in by the monk Tenkai, who trains him to become an assassin, but little does he know that soon a dense web of mysteries will begin to unravel…
The Dagger of Kamui is an excellent choice if you are seeking a movie with ninjas, action, mystery, and adventure, while it also features some fantastic vintage animations that perfectly match the setting of the story.
Gintama is one of the most popular and unique anime in recent years, consisting of 357 episodes and based on Hideaki Sorachi’s manga of the same name.
The series follows the adventures of Gintoki, Shimpachi, and Kagura, 3 boys who make up the Yorozuya handyman agency.
The whole story is set in a world where an alternative ancient feudal Japan has been conquered by aliens and is now confronted with a major technological advancement imposed by the invaders.
Gintama makes demented comedy its strong point, basing entire sagas on utterly silly pretexts and never failing to throw in the laughs.
But every now and then, to break the seriousness, we will also have serious, action-packed story arcs.
But if we had to pick a single word to describe Gintama, it would undoubtedly be mayhem. And amidst this delightful chaos, you can expect to encounter a lot of ninjas as well.
Katanagatari is a little gem of anime that combines the elements of an ancient Japanese narrative with a compelling love story and a lot of action.
The series follows the adventures of a swordsman and strategist as they embark on a quest to locate the twelve most formidable swords in feudal Japan, set during the Edo period.
The main protagonist, Shichika Yasuri, hails from the renowned Kyotoryu family, revered for their extraordinary unarmed combat technique.
Togame, the strategist, accompanies Shichika on their mission, enlisting his aid in safeguarding her while encouraging him to fall in love with her along the way.
However, as the story unfolds, their relationship evolves into something much deeper and profound beyond their initial arrangement.
Katanagatari is an underrated little masterpiece that we highly recommend you explore.
While Katanagatari isn’t focused on ninjas, you will see many who will challenge the two protagonists.
4. Hell’s Paradise
Hell’s Paradise is one of the latest anime releases, with its first season concluding just recently.
The legendary ninja Gabimaru, who people think can’t die, is in prison waiting for an executioner to kill him with no will to live anymore. But then, when an executioner named Asaemon comes and offers him a deal.
If Gabimaru goes on a dangerous mission to find the secret of eternal life in a magical place, he might be able to see his wife, the only light in his dark life, again. This makes him remember his past, reigniting his will.
Hell’s Paradise is a great action/combat anime adapted from a manga featured in Shonen Jump. At the same time, it delves into more mature themes compared to other similar series, so wait before labeling it.
Although its plot might seem simple, it’s far from ordinary, just like its premise.
In addition to its graphic violence and intense gore, it delves deep into character psychology and their backstories, all within a captivating fantasy world full of dangers and scary creatures.
Basilisk is an anime from 2005 that falls within the genre of intense anime set in feudal Japan, featuring violence, honor, and dark elements.
The story centers around two rival ninja clans, Iga and Koga, who have been locked in a long-standing conflict. The fragile peace is maintained only by a non-aggression order issued by the Shogunate.
However, tensions escalate when forbidden love blossoms between two individuals from opposing clans. Matters come to a head when the Shogun commands the clans to select their finest warriors for a tournament to determine the victor and end the dispute.
Basilisk is an excellent anime that is full of exciting and raw sword fights and unexpected plot twists.
If you’re a fan of the sword-fighting anime and ninja genre and want to watch something that’s focused on action, then Basilisk is an excellent choice that you’ll love.
2. Ninja Scroll
Ninja Scroll stands as one of the most iconic works in the realm of ninja-themed anime, and it’s simoly a must-watch if you’re a fan of this genre. And to clarify, as you may already noticed there’s both a movie and an animated series based on Ninja Scroll.
The original 1993 movie, inspired by Japanese short stories, is a cult classic that we highly recommend. The series instead, released many years later, takes inspiration from the movie and continues its storyline.
While our top recommendation is the movie, the series also offers additional adventures within the same universe, although it’s generally considered to be of lower quality compared to the original.
The narrative revolves around the journey of the wandering ninja Jubei Kibagami, a skilled warrior who becomes entangled in a battle against the Demons of Kimon.
These demons are led by the immortal Genma, who seeks to execute a sinister plan to conquer Japan.
However, this description only scratches the tip of the iceberg, as the story unfolds with a plethora of characters, twists, and more waiting to be discovered.
1. Naruto Series
We don’t need elaborate introductions for Naruto, do we? After all, we’re talking about one of the most iconic series ever, known even to people who don’t watch anime.
The story follows the journey of a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki, who is burdened with the label of being the host of the Nine-tailed Fox, the cause of destruction in his village years ago.
As a result, he is treated with disdain and rejection by the villagers, making his past dark and difficult.
But Naruto’s goal is to become the Hokage, the leader of the village, and earn the respect of everyone.
Love it or hate it, but there’s no denying that Naruto is the icon of ninja anime of our time.
Ask anyone you want, and we’ll bet you a drink that if you inquire about the first ninja-themed anime that comes to mind for 5 different people, at least 4 out of 5 will mention Naruto.