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Ninja Tai is a Japanese anime series based on Ninja Hattori by Fujiko Fujo. The show is about a ninja named Tai from the Ancient Village who comes to the present to learn the life of his master, Roney Ferguson. The cartoon aired in TV Tokyo in March 18, 2012 and was English dubbed by Ocean Group (the opening theme still intact) and aires on Cartoon Network on March 30, 2012.
20 episodes have already been finished in production and are airing in a dvd called "Ninja Tai: The Complete 1st Season" and all of the 20 episodes are planning to air on CN.
The show's second season aired in April 18, 2012 featuring a new animation style and featured a brand new plotline. The series ended in July 9, 2012 due to copyrights with Bruno for it's shorts, because the Bruno series is airing on The Hub.
A movie was made titled "Mori Tai no Ninja" that aired in TV Tokyo, animated by MediaWorks Animation. Luckily, it was unlikely that the special would be translted into English, but it did, only available in DVD stores as "Ninja Tai: The Movie". The movie uses the Indonesian opening for the show. The movie is about Tai finally meaning his original trailer Masta Shuzonu (Will Smith) along with his friends Don Ninjado (Antonio Banderas) and Chiu Shimazu (Cameron Diaz). None of the original characters appear in the movie, not even Shinzo.
On July 3, 2013; a special aired in Nick India titled "Ninja Tai X" returning the characters once more but facing an evil enemy known as Shisharo. Ocean Group made it into English with Canadian actors instead due to arguments with Disney and aired in The Hub as a special.
10-year old Roney Ferguson befriends an ancient ninja from the past who asks him to be his master in which he lives with the Ferguson's family.
A back-up segment was made, animated in French called "Zig and Sharko", a silent comedy series about Zig who tries to eat a mermaid named Marina. Anothe rsegment was added at the last episode and during the movie and specials called "Bruno" about a Mexican street performer until the second season premiered due to the spin-off's popularity.
At the show's second season, a gas called mythical gas, was spread on most of the characters giving them supernatural powers. The show gained more ratings for the second season and introduced the main characters on the fictional band "Ninja Tai & the Sukiyaki Team". Because of copyright issues with The Hub's original series Bruno and the Banana Bunch because the Ninja Tai's first season featured seven minute Bruno shorts, the series had to come to the end, leaving 18 episodes unaired. The last episode featured the gang losing their powers but gaining them back.
- Kanzo Hattori/Tai Dozu (voice: Junko Hori, English voice: Brendan Meyer, Sam Vincent): The protagonist of the series, at the age of 11, born in the past, who time travels to the present to help his master. Kanzo's weakness is his fear of frogs and tends to meddle to other people's business. In the second season, he gained the ability to use electrical shocks.
- Sh'inichi Mitsuba/Roney Ferguson (voice: Masako Sugaya, English voice: Dylan Riley Snyder, Brian Drummond): A 10-year old average boy who goes to middle school, does poor with his studies and has a crush on Yumiko (Rose). He wishes to become an actor. In the second season, he has shapeshifing abilities.
- Shinzo Hattori/Farley Drexel "Wing" Dozu (voice: Yuka Mita, English voice: G Hannelius, Andrea Libman): Kanzo's younger brother. A good point is that Kanzo is called "Hattori" (surname) and Shinzo is called his regular name (in the English version, no one calls Shinzo his first name "Farley-Drexel" except his brother), accompaning his catchphrase "Don't call me Farley" which was dropped in the second season. He is a ninja in training and can cry very loud. In the second season, he has super speed, presumbly due to his young hyperactive age.
- Tsubame/Swallow (voice: Fuyumi Shirashi, English voice: Gig Morton, Tabitha St. Germain): A female ninja who has a major crush on Tai and wishes to marry him. She wears pink colored robes and her specialty is her woodwind instruments to make anyone fall asleep. She hates most of the guys (except Tai) and Yummiko. Her parents are hippies; Windbear and Oceanbird. In the second season, she has a multilingual tongue, able to speak in several languages and animal tongues.
- Kumuzou Kemumaki/Drago Yakihito (voice: Kaneta Kimotsuki, English voice: Kel Mitchell, Phil LaMarr, David Kaye): The main antagonist of the series. He usually causes most of the trouble and blames it on his cat, Kagechiyo. Kemumaki and Sh'inichi tend to win the heart of Yummiko. He wears green colored robes. He is raised by monks in a temple (orphanage in English version). Kel Mitchell, of Kenan and Kel, does his voice in the style of Rob Dydrek and Dean Martin but was replaced with Phil LaMarr in the second season. In the second season, he has fire powers.
- Kagechiyo/Grinz (voice: Eiko Yamanda, English voice: Eddie Garvar, impersonaitng John Byner, Lee Tockar): The talking cat friend of Kemumaki who causes mischif and is known for his facial expression similar to the Joker from Batman. He always carries out some tasks but usually fails. In the second season, he has ice abilities.
- Yumeko Kawai/Rose Daisy (voice: Runa Akiyama, English voice: Brenda Song, Tara Strong): The girl who is the classmate of Sh'nichi (Rony), Hattori (Tai) and Kemumaki (Drago) which they all have a crush on causing a fight (Tai fights less often because he has a secret crush). Her father is a rich tycoon and her mother is a chef. In the second season, she can turn into half bird and have super sonic screeches.
- Koike-sensei/Mr. Clark (voice: Issei Futamata, English voice: John DiMaggio, Scott McNeil): Sh'nichi's teacher who usually scolds him like Nobita's teacher does to Nobita in Doraemon. His English name is based on famous teacher, Ron Clark.
- Zig: A hyena who plans to eat Marina.
- Marina: A mermaid who lives in a house at the bottom of the sea and stays in daytime at a rock.
- Sharko: A shark who protects Marina from Zig.
- Bruno (Bruno cartoon series; voice: Ari Orikasa, Spanish voice: Jesus Guzman, English voice: Mona Marshall) A Mexican street performer who looks like a mime and performs like a clown. He stars in his own series of the same name from Japan, Mexico and the United States and currently has a spin-off. He was removed in the second season due to copyright issues which was also the reason for the show to end.
- Yasuo Tanaka/Creto Origini (voice: Yasuhiro Takato, English voice: Ask a Ninja, Peter Kelamis): A green skinned ninja demon who lives in the Mountain of the Deep Village and seems to know Hattori. His name is based on the word "cretin" and "onigiri" (a Japanese treat, rice ball).
- Suneo Hanakawa/Darwood Kaye (voice: Tomokazu Seki, English voice: Ryan Higa, Matt Hill): The fox-faced rich kid who tends to bully some of the characters' with his weath and his brand new toys. In the English dub, he seeems to be based on Waldo of Our Gang and in the Spanish version, he's based on Quico from El Chavo. Higa modled his voice after one of his popular characters, R-Dizzle (a gangsta rapper). He only made two appearances because Higa signed a deal with Nickelodeon for his cartoon, California Rollers.
- Takeshi Goda/Hugh Mongos (voice: Subaru Kimuda, English voice: Kevin Michael Richardson, Lee Tockar): Known by the nickname "Gian" from English word "giant" (changed to Huge or Humungous in English version) is the local bully who is a lovable oaf in the inside, thinking he's a great singer and denying that his singing voice is bad, even though his singing voice is bad.
- Nobisuke Nobi/Korey Lynnminn (voice: Sachi Matsumoto, English voice: Danny Cooksey): An outsider who enjoys watching nature and sometimes enjoys public cable-access television. He also likes playing with matches without permission.
- Hidetoshi Dekisugi/Brian "The Brain" Cranium (voice: Shihoko Hagino, English voice: Maurice LaMarche, Matt Hill): Sh'nichi's classmate who is extremley smart and gets good grades on tests. His name means "brilliant over-achiever" and his surname means "over acheving". His name in the English version is based on the Brain from Arthur and Pinky & the Brain (who LaMarche also voices).
- Pukko/Zero Stringz (voice: Yuka Mita, English voice: Logan Miller): A rock-star musician who sports a haircut similar to the Beatles. Miller's voice role is based on his acting role in I'm in the Band, which explains why some of his musical guitar talents from the show is used on Zero.
- Pig: A mute character, he is an anthropomorphical pig who appears through the sidelines and often guides the gang with his magical abilities of body language and gestures.
- Jinepi/Rhombus (voice: Yoku Shjioya, English voice: Corey Burton, Scott McCord): A mystical ninja who carries magical dust that transports any ninja into a parallelouniverse. In the second season, he can concure up the underworld. Leo Howard was originally for the role but turned it down.
Movie only characters
- Don Ninjado (English voice: Antonio Banderas): A warrior who uses the Sharkatanas to battle. Banderas was already in production with Nickelodeon's California Rollers movie when doing Ninjado.
- Shuzonu-sensei/Masta Shuzonu the Great (English voice: Will Smith): Ninja Tai's original master until Tai accidentally time travled himself.
- Chui Shimazu (English voice: Cameron Diaz): Ninja Tai's crush in feudal Japan.
- Kogeta (English voice: Danny Cooksey): A funny trickster who time traveled Ninja Tai in the first place to present day Japan.
- Sir Mortimer (English voice: Malcolm McDowell): An Englishman from the Renaissance era who immegrated to the Edo period of Japan to collect the rare silks.
- Dokuchi/Poison Blood (English voice: Cheech Marin): The main antagonist of the film. An evil warlock that was imprisoned in the grounds but came back to destroy the world.
The theme song is not in English; the pilot episode and movie's theme song is sung in Japanese while the regular episodes are sung in Hindi language and the Christmas specials themes are sung in Spanish. The reason was because since Fujiko Fujo was involved in the project and they refuse to involve any anime in English, the theme song has to remain non-English for it to be broadcasted. On the show's second season, only on Boomerang, a brand new theme song and a new opening sequence was made for children's viewers.
The opening sequence consists of Tai doing many ninja techniques and involving Zig trying to eat Marina but fails cutting back to Tai doing a back flip and striking a pose.
The Hindi languaged promo for Cartoon Network reached through the internet media.
The movie featured the opening for the Indonesian dub.
Ninja Tai X
A movie produced by MediaWorks Animation located in Mumbai, India; produced for Japanese television and Indian television. It aired on TV Tokyo on June 30, 2013 and Nick India on July 1, 2013. Ocean Group produced an English version but due to copyrights with Disney using their actors had to use Canadian actors. It aired on The Hub on July 3, 2013 and it was the last project of Ninja Tai.
Despite rumors, this does not hint of a continuation of the series as director Joseph Smith states on Twitter:
"Ninja Tai is a popular anime cartoon about a ninja. The show was canceled because of low ratings and because one of the segments later got it's own show and became high rated. Originally, we would continue the show but The Hub and Nick India would not allow it so this would be the series finale of Ninja Tai and the show is canceled. Thank you and have a nice day".
The plot focuses Ninja Tai trying to defeat Shibusen, an evil Japanese demon warrior (voice of Terry Klassen) who is the sworn enemy of his father. The film ended with him being destroyed and Tai reuniting with his father at last.