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Aska, the Face-Changing Ninja Among Ninjas

Ninja Kamui Ep 7 Review

When Ninja Kamui started, I didn’t think much of Emma. I thought that she was going to be a secondary character, the young rookie that worked with Agent Morriss. The last two episodes threw that out the window, revealing them to be an elaborate deception. Not only was she a Ninja, but worked from within to bring down the Clan and AUZA. Emma isn’t even her real name; it’s Aska (we think). In the previous episode, Aska told Higan her desire to help him stemmed from the bond she had with his late wife. However, it didn’t dive too much into it due to the oncoming threat from AUZA and the need to get the Kamui suit ready. Now that the threat’s been dealt with, though, Aska dives into her backstory, giving us more info about the entire story. And while some people may not like them, I enjoy flashbacks. 

Higan Sends AUZA a Message

With all the time the anime spent hyping it up last episode, it seemed like the follow-up would focus on showing off the Kamui. We would spend most of the air-time seeing how powerful it would be with Higan using it. As it turns out, the Kamui is powerful. So powerful, in fact, that Higan managed to defeat Lil’, the depraved sadist with dwarfism, in a few minutes. It wasn’t even a fight; it was a curb stomp.

“So this what a real ninja is like”#NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 24, 2024

The whole thing was a bittersweet experience, though more sweet than bitter. While its short length means viewers have to wait to see the titular Kamui’s full capabilities, seeing the depraved Lil’ get brought down was still satisfying. And, while we don’t see it, the fact that Higan sent AUZA his severed head shows how badly they messed up. They had the chance to kill him before, but they wanted to know how he came back from death. The irony is that that was never even his own doing. It was thanks to Aska that that happened. And, as Aska herself tells Higan, the technique wasn’t hers to begin with. It was Mari’s!

In other words, Aska played them all by putting them in this position. 

Aska, the Ninja Who Watches Other Ninjas

With the battle over and a reprieve granted, Aska explains her history with Mari to Higan and, by extension, the audience. As a kid, a terrible accident mutilated her face so severely that her parents abandoned her rather than live with her disfigurement. The previous leader of the Ninja Clan took her in, raised her, and taught her how to use makeup to disguise herself as anyone. More importantly, he gave Aska a particular task: she would watch any potential head of the Clan and kill them if she found them wanting. She would be the Watcher who looked after other Ninjas.

It’s not that bad…all she needs are some wrinkle creams.#NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 24, 2024

She should’ve done that to Yamaji years ago if that’s true. However, after Yamaji brought the Ninjas under AUZA’s control and let in outsiders who only cared about their fighting techniques, like Lil’, she knew that was a bad idea. So, while those loyal to the old ways fell in line or deserted, she stayed behind to bring them down from within. It was a smart move, but it wasn’t enough to save Mari. 

As for Mari, she was Aska’s mentor as a Ninja, but their relationship became more than that. Mari became Aska’s friend, appreciating her face for what it was and not seeing it as hideous. She was the only person she told about her being pregnant with Higan’s child. Despite being ordered to kill her for deserting, Aska couldn’t bring herself to do it. She chose her forbidden friendship with Mari over the cold detachment that Ninjas were meant to have.

DON’T EAT THAT BUG!#NinjaKamui #Toonami

— Toonami Faithful (@ToonamiNews) March 24, 2024

This moment was the best part of the episode. It showed how wrong the Ninjas’ ways of thinking could be when it came to bonds. Besides, they can’t justify it when they allowed unworthy people like Lil’ join them. 

Aska is Helping Higan to Fulfill her Duty

In short, Aska’s helping Higan out for two reasons. Firstly, she’s doing it out of loyalty to Mari, which is admirable. Secondly, she’s doing it because she knows that she can’t fulfill her job as the Watcher on her own. The fact that she lost to Lil’ while buying time for Higan demonstrates how, for all her training, she can’t handle the AUZA-backed Ninjas alone. But Higan can with the Kamui.

For the time being, it appears that Higan can trust Aska. Even if he didn’t, he has little choice. He’s in the heart of AUZA’s territory, and Yamaji (and likely AUZA) are about to unleash their master plan. I don’t know what it is, but given the Shinra and Abstergo vibes AUZA gives off, it’s not good for anyone. 

With only four episodes left in the series until it ends, the time has come for Ninja Kamui to start ramping up the action. Here’s hoping that the final quarter delivers on the action that we want to see. 

I Give “Episode 7” a 4/5

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