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A Warrior’s Life is a Lonely One

Ninja Kamui Ep 4 Review

I can’t speak from personal experience, but it seems like working in a profession that involves violence can be hard on one’s loved ones. From those in the military to those working in law enforcement, there’s always the worry that you or your loved one might not come home one night. Some people make peace with that in their way, but others aren’t able to. And as this episode reveals, both Higan and Moriss have this in common.

Tragic Backstory Time

The episode picks up where things left off, with Higan getting a call from an unknown person. The only hints as to their identity are that they know Higan’s a ninja, and they know a poem only other ninjas know. However, that takes a backseat when it segues into some of Agent Moriss’ backstory. As it turns out, the man once had a wife and daughter, and they loved each other very much. Then Moriss started putting his job first, which meant that he was late getting the news that a sleeping driver killed his daughter. As a result, his wife couldn’t take him from being there anymore, and they presumably went their separate ways.

It all falls apart right when he needs it. #NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 3, 2024

This moment does a lot to show why Moriss is so devoted to his job, even to his detriment. Losing his daughter, who looked up to him as her hero, took a significant toll on him, to the point where he kept a drawing she made on him at all times. He’s doing all of this to avoid his grief and to atone for his failure to be there for his family, similar to what Higan went through in the first episode. 

Love blossoms in the battlefield. #NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 3, 2024

As the episode continues, we get another flashback, this time to the life of Higan, his future wife, Mari, and their comrade, Zai, in their lives as ninjas. Besides swearing to uphold a code of never betraying their clan or revealing the secret technique they each get, they also swore to detach themselves from everyone, even their comrades. However, Higan fell in love with Mari, and the two broke the code. It’s a nice contrast to Agent Moriss and how he chose his role as an FBI Agent at the cost of his family. When you look at it like that, he and Higan are like two sides of the same coin. Both are skilled and driven, but one chose his job over his family, while the other chose his family over his job. Yet both ended up having tragic outcomes. Maybe they were meant to become allies.

Infiltration of AUZA City

Ain’t no ninja or jutsu messing up his fade. #NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 3, 2024

While this episode shows us more of AUZA’s inner circle (who are as eccentric as that of Shinra’s board of directors), the person who stands out the most is Zai. We get a glimpse of how cold and ruthless he is when he kills his former swordmaster, but there’s more to it. The flashback reveals they swore oaths of loyalty to each other over cups of sake. In Japanese culture, exchanging sake cups is considered a way to foster loyalty and celebrate significant milestones. So, it’s likely that when Higan and Mari left the clan, Zai took that as a personal betrayal.

The sharing of tea is a bond. Joe probably wants an energy drink. #NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 3, 2024

Now, Higan’s actions have cost him Mari and their son. And the only way to bring down his former comrades is to get inside AUZA City.

Higan’s infiltration of AUZA City reminds me of the most challenging stealth missions in games like Assassin’s Creed, made even more complicated when he can’t kill anyone without tipping off the guards. That doesn’t matter in the end, though. Right as he’s about to get into the city, Zai’s there to stop him. And the episode ends at that.

If we want to see what happens next, we must wait a week. But when the time comes, Higan will have to run a gauntlet of foes. Even more ninja battles are coming!!

I Give “Episode 4” a 3/5

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