First Impressions: Ninja Collection

co-written with Charlie. you can check out their archive here if you haven’t already.

We spent ten minutes before watching this episode speculating about what it could be. That was the most fun we had.

Anime News Network claims this is a spin-off of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories. We could have used this as an excuse not to write a First Impressions at all, but we already finished writing it before we found this convenient excuse, so now we all get to suffer together!

The style and five minute run-time of Yamishibai doesn’t really translate well for Ninja Collection, which feels like it’s trying to tell a more cohesive story. This feels more like an amateur’s pitch to a larger animation studio than a completed product. The smoke is pretty? If this were the cold open for a larger episode it might be excusable, but we don’t have any time for atmosphere building or even an interesting character habit. A random teenager sees some secondhand smoke. Truly, the most terrifying thing.

The thing has potential. The art style’s decent, and the concept’s not bad, if not terribly original. If it weren’t an actual gotdam fully produced episode, we might buy it for a short run. But without actual animation or time, there’s nothing there to rack up tension or make us give two shits about what’s going on. It’s boring. This was five minutes better spent annoying Charlie’s cat.

Check it out if you have five minutes to spare and really, really like Yamishibai, but unless you’re a hardcore fan we’d give it a skip.

Out of context, this still is almost interesting.

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