If you want to enjoy some classic 90’s OVA animation in a short little burst, then AIC’s 1996 action comedy Ninja Cadets serves this up rather nicely – unfortunately from director Eiji Suganuma’s point of view, there really isn’t any other reason for picking this up though!
Split into two thirty minute episodes, Ninja Cadets throws you into the middle of it, as six young nina cadets are tasked with their final ninja exam – infiltrating Byakkuro Castle and retrieving a powerful scroll from the scroll room. Oh, and one of the cadets is actually secretly the Byakkuro Princess who was forced to flee when only a baby, though she doesn’t know this and it doesn’t really matter all that much in the greater scheme of things, outside of the fact that she should technically be able to trigger the strongest scroll that still resides there.
As the six go on their mission, a group of bandits all of a sudden appear who for no apparent (or rather given) reason, are now searching for the princess, and have decided that she must be in this group of ninja, who they now set off to foil by summoning minor demon creatures to block their path. Oh, and when that fails, to cause the suicide of their summoner so that he can be transformed into a big spider-demon to try again. And when that fails, then there is always mind control or the big robot approach to try.
There really isn’t much of a story to Ninja Cadets and even less in terms of character development. Instead the entire OVA appears to be an excuse for battle sequences and lots of slapstick humour revolving around the high-strung girls in the group, but the events and pacing are just so haphazard that the show feels like a whole lot of pieces stuck together with Prestik putty. Sure there are some amusing bits here and there and some pretty cool fight scenes to take in, but for the most part it really is a bit of a hit and miss.