Recap: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, Episode 13 – Fired Up! Ninja Sports Fest

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Grandpa explains Kyuuemon was a very talented ninja long ago and considered letting her follow in his footsteps. But she began to fear her own power and in the end chose the wrong path. Kinji says he will not choose the wrong path.

Grandpa points out that Kinji is making friends with the grandkids he’s supposed to be fighting to become a pupil. He doesn’t want to take on a student who is so easily swayed.

Only one person can be the Last Ninja. And that isn’t something you can learn in school.

Meanwhile, Kyuuemon has just brought back to life Tsugomori Masakage. She introduces herself as the Master’s page and fills him in on what’s going on. Kyuuemon says they should be collecting lots of fear, but Masakage says there’s no rush, especially with the Master right here.

He waves his staff and Kibaoni appears in a large puddle on the floor.

Kibaoni wishes them well.

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The elder cousins are hanging out at the dojomanse. A bored Takaharu wants something to make him hot. Fuuka and Nagi arrive home from school.

Nagi asks Yakumo to help him with his English homework, but Yakkun says homework is something he must do himself. Nagi asks Star-san who’s hiding in the walls. But a henshined Kinji says he will no longer be of service to them and should only be considered an assassin. He poofs away, leaving his gold apron.

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Takaharu sees a flyer Fuuka and Nagi were given earlier in town for a Ninja Sports Fest. That’s hot! He wants them all to join.

They head over to the park for the start of the games. Representing the Igasaki Clan, Takaharu leads everyone in the pledge to participate fair and square.

Fuuka notes that they seem to be the only ones participating in the festival, but Kasumi points out that is not the case. They see the three other ninja clans hiding behind trees. But the Igasaki Clan does not hide. They cheer.

Meanwhile, one of the games officials enters the main tent. Oops. He’s a Jukkarage. And this Sports Festival is all the work of Masakage. Kyuuemon appears and says this is no time to be playing. But Masakage says a bit of playing is important in all strategies.

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The first event is Tree Flag. Whoever grabs the flag from the top of the tree first, wins. Two members from each clan compete with Takaharu and Yakumo representing theirs.

As they run towards the tree, they see this is also an obstacle course. Yakumo challenges his Taka-nii. But as they swing through the trees, they suddenly get cut down. They quickly henge before they hit the ground.

It’s Kinji, but they slip away from him. Takaharu manages to win the event.

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The second event is the Big Rolling Ball. Teams must roll a big ball through the tunnels while also avoiding a huge boulder from crushing them.

Takaharu decides to take the boulder on himself and he holds it back. But Kinji pops in again to take advantage of Takaharu being open. He ducks out of the way and Kinji manages to smash the boulder to bits.

They continue through the tunnels and they end up winning again.

Time for lunch. But Takaharu says he forgot the drinks. That’s okay, Nagi says. He’ll go buy some.

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On the way, Nagi sees Star-san up a tree and says he should join them. Kinji says they’re his targets, it’d be strange for them to be hanging out.

Nagi asks why they sudden character change. Kinji’s already a strange ninja anyway.

That sends Kinji falling down to the ground. Nagi hurries over to help him up. He asks Nagi if he really is strange and Nagi says yes, super.

Kinji gets up, but he drops his photo again. Nagi picks it up and asks who they are.

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They walk to the soda machine together as Kinji explains the photo is of him, his brother and father. His father and brother were Youkai hunters. Kinda like us? Nagi says.

Kinji asks Nagi if the others asked him to get them drinks. But Nagi says no, he just assumed they’d all want one. Kinji watches as Nagi buys drinks according to what he knows his cousins would want.

“And since you’re family, you know these things without saying so?”
“Nah, not really. I never really thought about it. It was same for you too, right Star-san?”

Kinji says no because a Youkai killed his father and brother when he was still young. “I’ve never known what it’s like to have a family.”

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Nagi apologizes for bringing up a sad memory. But Kinji says it’s okay. His goal is to become a greater Youkai hunter than his father and brother. That’s why he wants to be the Last Ninja-sama’s student. So it’d be best for them not to get along.

Nagi says he understands, but maybe that is not possible.

Suddenly, they see two of the games officials walk by… and they turn into Jukkarage!

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The third event, a Four-Legged Race, is about to begin. Nagi and Kinji come running to tell them the games officials are Kibaoni’s men.

Since the cat’s out of the bag, the men morph back into Jukkarage. Yakumo and Kasumi expected such a thing and set up a trap. But so did Masakage. All the ninja teams at the starting line get trapped in the kusudama ball, including Yakumo, Kasumi and Fuuka.

Masakage appears and introduces himself as the Master’s chief strategist. Takaharu and Nagi prepare to henge, but Masakage sends a blast their way. “No need to hurry to your deaths,” he says.

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Masakage takes a pair of running shoes and turns them into Youkai Yamawarawara. He wants to race the Ninningers and set a new record. Masakage says the prize will be to free the ninjas.

They get back on the starting line and the Four-Legged Race begins. But Takaharu, Nagi and Kinji are having trouble getting in sync. Nagi sees Yamawarawara is cheating since the two Jukkarages he’s tied with are actually just dummies.

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Nagi tells Takaharu to let him be in the middle. Nagi takes the lead and they start to work much better together. They manage to catch up to Yamawarawara, but Masakage continues to throw obstacles at them, including sending what appears to be Yakumo, Kasumi and Fuuka, henshined, to attack them.

The guys try avoiding them, but Takaharu says they have no choice but to strike them down. Nagi and Kinji say that’s dangerous and will hurt them, but Takaharu says he’ll apologize later.

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Takaharu swings, but they end up only being illusions. They continue on the race and again catch up to Yamawarawara.

It’s a photo finish, but the guys win. Takaharu quickly goes to break the ninjas free.

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Kinji says it’s a good thing they were illusions earlier, but it would’ve been a disaster if they weren’t. Yeah, Takaharu says, but no matter what, they always have to fight as hard as they can. Yakumo and Kasumi add that ninjas must not worry and even if they’re family, they don’t hold back.

Yamawarawara is ready to finish this so Yakumo, Kasumi and Fuuka henge.

Nagi tells Star-san to join them and be obliges.

They first fight off the Jukkarage before Takaharu and Kinji work together to take on Yamawarawara and finish him off.

Kyuuemon embiggens Yamawarawara and Takaharu and Kinji both hop onto their respective –marus.

Yamawarawara’s speed is too much for them, but the others arrive with their OtomoNin and they quickly combine to form King ShurikenJin. They make easy work of the Youkai.

Masakage is amused by the display of the Ninningers. But he suddenly turns and points his staff at Kyuuemon.

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“What is the meaning of this?”
“You may have fooled Gabi, but not me. There is no page named Izayoi in our army. I will not ask your identity nor ultimate goal. But if you attempt anything, you’re dead.”

Back at the dojomanse, Kinji says Nagi helped him understand that they can fight even if they are close. So Kinji can help with his English homework now? Nope, Kinji says.

Grandpa pops in as a blowup doll and tells them Masakage won’t be as easy as Gabi Raizou. First, they must awaken the Sky OtomoNin and tame them. The one to tame them will be the most qualified to be the Last Ninja. In other words, the one whom he will entrust the Finishing Shuriken of the End to.

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Episode Thoughts

A fun episode. I like that it was a pseudo-Nagi focus and that he was the one Kinji opened up to about his family. But I wish we did get a little more on Kinji’s backstory. It was almost done in passing and really was almost only used to get to the moral of the ninja story: “You can still spar with family members without holding back.”

That’s a fine lesson to have, but I guess I would’ve liked a little deeper look into Kinji’s motivations. Hopefully we get to that in the future.

Masakage has an amazing design. And I guess with Gabi Raizou’s demise and the revelation that Kyuuemon was Grandpa’s student, Masakage confronting her is the logical next step. Should be interesting to see how they unravel Kyuuemon’s true identity and origin.

New stock footage for the henge sequence!

And with all this Last Ninja stuff, I really hope it doesn’t end up being Takaharu. Isn’t it really cliché to just have the Red Ranger be the star? I hope they either throw a curveball and let Kasumi (or someone else) be the Last Ninja or the Last Ninja isn’t just one person and it’ll need to be the bond of them all that will take down the Big Bad at the end of the season. That’d be much better and would fit very nicely with the whole family theme.

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