Ninja Scroll: The Series

ninja scroll the series box set episode guide list
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun creatures, decent story, relatively short

Jubei is almost invincible, rather typical story

ninja scroll the series title card episode guide

Follow Jubei’s Journey?

Jubei Kibagami walks the land without a master, but when he encounters a battle between ninjas in the forest, he suddenly finds himself assigned to protect the Dragon Stone and the Princess of Light.  The Princess of Light is a young woman named Shigure, but even Shigure doesn’t know her destiny.  As the Hiruko Clan and the Kimon Clan seek the Dragon Stone and the Princess, the danger grows…and so do the battles.

Ninja Scroll—The Series (獣兵衛忍風帖「龍宝玉篇」 or Jūbē Ninpūchō Ryūhōgyoku Hen aka Jubei the Wind Ninja: Dragon Stone Story) is an action-adventure fantasy anime.  The series is a follow-up to the 1993 acclaimed anime film Ninja Scroll and aired on WOWOW from April 14, 2003 to July 15, 2003.  The series was released by Madhouse and received English dubbing for international release.

ninja scroll the series episode 1 tragedy in the hidden village ubume kid


Ninja Scroll was recommended to me by a friend.  He loved it, and when I found a used copy of it, I decided to pick it up…and then the series sat.  As I sought to clear out my backlog of TV and movies, my recent renewed interest in anime had me land on Ninja Scroll rather early…and it was an enjoyable turn.

The series is largely adult and doesn’t feature as many of the “kid anime” features that are common (even in the adult shows).  The story is rather basic in that you have a swordsman guarding a woman who has a destiny to unlock, and all parties face insurmountable odds as they face attackers from all sides.

The only problem with this is that Jubei feels rather invincible.  He holds a powerful weapon in his sword and his ability to slash quick while creating an extendable “arm” of himself through the waves it creates.  Even when he’s injured, he gets over it rather quickly.  The last few episodes of the series seek to build the tension, but I sometimes wish that tension was present earlier in the series.

ninja scroll the series episode 8 the fate of rengoku dog man

Remember when a spider-woman sewed you onto a dog? Good times!

The flow of the series in general is just odd.  It keeps introducing fantastic enemies that are more and more horrible…then they quickly kill them.  While most of the creatures in the series could have carried the whole series, it was almost a joke in that these creepy critters could pose so little danger to Jubei…I really wish we had some more of Ubume (and her pop-out kid), Azami (a character who unfortunately is victimized multiple times including a pretty graphic rape scene), and Rengoku who along with the other characters could have been developed more.

There is a fun, standalone episode within the story in which Jubei faces the sins of his past in the wife and child of someone he is responsible for killing.  The series could have been much longer with episodes like this and it is a nice break from the main story, but it also shows you the potential that Ninja Scroll had for having season after season of adventure.

Ninja Scroll is a nice tight anime which can’t be said for all animes that sometimes sprawl for season after season.  It is worth seeking out since it is relatively short, but it also has some great moments, a creepy cast, and (though cliché) story that holds it together.  Join Jubei on his journey of protection!

Ninja Scroll:  The Series—The Complete Series Episode Guide:

ninja scroll the series episode 1 tragedy in the hidden village jubei kibagami

“Tragedy in the Hidden Village”

Episode 1 Tragedy in the Hidden Village Airdate:  04/14/03

Jubei Kibagami finds himself in the middle of a battle between ninjas and finds himself tasked by Roga to return the Dragon Stone to Shigure—The Princess of Light.

ninja scroll the series episode 2 depature gouten shigure


Episode 2 Departure Airdate:  04/21/03

Shigure finds her village destroyed and questioning her future when she encounters Tsubute and Dakuan…but the danger is not over for her.  As Jubei wonders if agreeing to take the Dragon Stone is a mistake, he finds himself targeted by ninja killers who want the stone back.

ninja scroll the series episode 3 forbidden love jyashi

“Forbidden Love”

Episode 3 Forbidden Love Airdate:  04/28/03

The Kimon Shu has dispatched Jyashi and Rengoku to fight Jubei in hopes of obtaining the Dragon Stone and the Princess of Light.  With Jyashi locked in battle, Shigure questions why she is hunted and if Dakuan knows more than he is saying.

ninja scroll the series episode 4 broken stone kitsunebi

“Broken Stone”

Episode 4 Broken Stone Airdate:  05/05/03

Tsubute’s attempt to take the stone for himself ends up with the Dragon Stone being split by Azami’s roots…but Azami is targeted by Kitsunebi who intends to get Azami’s half of the Dragon Stone for the Kimon Clan.

ninja scroll the series episode 5 the diamond child tsubute tatsunosuke

“The Diamond Child”

Episode 5 The Diamond Child Airdate:  05/12/03

Tsubute’s attempt to steal the half of the Dragon Stone leads him to meet “master thief” Tatsunosuke who is being wooed by Aizen of the Kimon Shu.  As Tatsunosuke tries to claim the Dragon Stone for himself, Jubei finds himself a target of an assassin.

ninja scroll the series episode 6 shelter from the rain eye nenmu

“Shelter from the Rain”

Episode 6 Shelter from the Rain Airdate:  05/19/03

Jubei is poisoned in an encounter with a Hiruko Clan assassin named Nenmu.  Seeking shelter to recover from the poisoning, Jubei learns his past might catch up with him in the form of a woman and a son seeking revenge.

ninja scroll the series episode 7 blossom azami kawahori


Episode 7 Blossom Airdate:  05/26/03

The Dragon Stone has been stolen by Azami who could hold the secret to the Dragon Stone’s importance.  With the Dragon Stone in her possession, Azami is targeted by Kimon Clan member Kawahori who wants the stone for himself.

ninja scroll the series episode 8 the fate of rengoku bear arms

“The Fate of Rengoku”

Episode 8 The Fate of Rengoku Airdate:  06/02/03

Rengoku is seeking revenge on Jubei for the death of Jyashi, and her mission to collect the half of the Dragon Stone for her master could take a backseat.  Offered a partnership with a Hiruko Clan warrior named Dakatsu, Rengoku could find the closure she seeks.

ninja scroll the series episode 9 a dragon within zofu parasite jubei

“A Dragon Within”

Episode 9 A Dragon Within Airdate:  06/16/03

Separated from her friends, Shigure learns that her old allies in the Yagyu clan now see her as a liability.  Shigure finds a savior in Zofu who is dealing with his own demon…and Jubei could be his only hope.

ninja scroll the series episode 10 the heart of the hiruko rokai

“The Heart of the Hiruko”

Episode 10 The Heart of the Hiruko Airdate:  06/23/03

A Hiruko ninja named Rokai has vowed to protect his love:  Shigura.  Though Shigura has never met Rokai, Rokai could be the only thing standing between Shigura and Anden Yamidoro.

ninja scroll the series episode 11 yagyu renya jubei

“Yagyu Renya”

Episode 11 Yagyu Renya Airdate:  06/30/03

Shigura is a prisoner of Anden Yamidoro and begins to see the Hiruko in a different light.  Jubei, Tsubute, and Dakuan travel by sea to rescue Sigura and face off against Yagyu Renya who also seeks the Dragon Stone…but there may be another danger lurking on the ship.

ninja scroll the series episode 12 dynasty restoration shigura dragon stone

“Dynasty Restoration”

Episode 12 Dynasty Restoration Airdate:  07/07/03

The end is near as Jubei rescues Shigura, and Shigura prepares to face her destiny at the Hiruko Lands as the Princess of Light, but the threat is not over.

ninja scroll the series episode 13 farewell jubei shigure

“Farwell Jubei”

Episode 13 Farewell Jubei Airdate:  07/14/03

Shigure has a choice to make and her choice could mean the destruction of the world.  Jubei finds himself in battle as time begins to tick away.

Related Links:

Ninja Scroll (1993)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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