The Ninningers find Kyuuemon in the forest. Takaharu goes Chozetsu and they fight him. But Mangetsu also appears with an army of Hyakkarage and two Gashadokuros.
Mangetsu orders them to kill both the ninjas and Kyuuemon.
Kyuuemon manages to poof himself away. Takaharu tells the others to take care of the Hyakkarage and Takaharu hops into Lion Ha-Oh to take care of the Gashadokuros.
But Mangetsu decides to back off and they leave. He asks Masakage to show him all the data that’s been collected of the ninjas so they can have a duel.
The Ninningers receive an invitation to the succession ceremony of the next head of the Kibaoni Clan. They head home to try and figure out what this could be. It might be a trap, but it might also be an opportunity for them to defeat Mangetsu. Either way, it’s a big gamble.
Nagi asks Grandpa what he thinks this all could mean. Grandpa jumps down from the rafters and asks them a question. When you bring a banana to a picnic, do you put it in your bento or eat it for a snack?
The cousins aren’t sure what he’s getting at. But Takaharu says all Grandpa’s asking is for them to think for themselves. They can do things their way and Grandpa will do things his way.
It surprises Grandpa that Takaharu was the first to get it and he poofs away.
Father comes in and says Grandpa was probably shocked Takaharu figured out the riddle before he could lecture them. He tells them that they have entered the final stage of training: Shuhari.
Father explains that a pupil first follows the teachings of their master. Then, the pupil breaks that mold. And eventually the pupil leaves the master. Shurari is the three stages of learning mastery.
The Ninningers have learned the basics of Ninpou, but have also broken away from Grandpa’s model (The Gekiatsu). So now, they must find their own Ninjutsu and once they’ve left Grandpa, they will become full-fledged ninjas.
Masakage explains to Ariake no Kata that Mangetsu is having a ceremony to assume the role of supreme commander in the absence of his father. That excites dear ol’ mom.
The Ninningers arrive and Shishi-Oh says he’s ready to help. But Takaharu says they’re alright for now. Mangetsu gives rise to a four Sealing Shruiken-powered Super Advanced Youkai Shutendouji to battle the Ninningers in a five part duel.
To force the Ninningers to take part, Shutendouji turns the hiding civilians into peanuts which will be eaten if the Ninningers lose.
First round, Yakumo and Shutendouji fight on kites. But Yakumo uses some magic to win this round.
Second round, Kasumi and Shutendouji hop onto their comrades who will act as horses as they try to hit three targets with an arrow. Kasumi hits the first two, but the third target gets pulled up out of the way so she misses. Shutendouji, meanwhile, is taken right to the targets so he can’t miss.
Things are tied as they go to the third round, dancing. Fuuka is excited because this is her speciality. Kinji joins her. But they only get a 90.
Shutendouji and two Hyakkarage dance and they include some interesting acrobatics which gets then a 100.
It’s now 2-1. The fourth round is tug-o-war. Takaharu faces off against Shutendouji. While Shutendouji drinks more sake, Shishi-Oh offers to help Takaharu. But Takaharu says it’s fine and he can do this himself. He takes the rope and wraps it around his waist. With one pull, Shutendouji crosses the center line.
It’s all tied again.
The final round is arm wrestling. Takaharu faces off against Shutendouji. But Shutendouji breathes his sticky drunk breath, pushing Takaharu away. How can they possible take on Shutendouji? Shishi-Oh knows how. He pops out of the brace into his physical form and challenges Shutendouji to fight old man to old man.
Shishi-Oh is not sure why the Ninningers didn’t want his help, but he knows it has something to do with their grandfather.
Takaharu explains that they are working hard to become full ninjas and that they must do so with their own strength. But Shishi-Oh says Grandpa nor Father ever said that.
Anyway, Shishi-Oh locks hands with Shutendouji who breathes on him. But the stinky breath doesn’t get to Shishi-Oh at all since being a heavy drinker himself, he knows the smell well.
Taking Shutendouji by surprise, Shishi-Oh easily beats him and the Ninningers win the duel. The peanuts are turned back into humans and the Ninningers fight off the Hyakkarage.
Kasumi, however, is suspicious of Mangetsu since he hasn’t done anything to them yet after they’ve won.
Shishi-Oh explains that he rampages with them because he sees the potential in them. So why ignore advice from him. Being full-fledged ninjas doesn’t mean they don’t rely on others. When they leave the nest, they must learn to listen to listen to other people’s opinions and to become adults.
Takaharu says he understands and the Ninningers henge.
They fight off Hyakkarage and Jukkarage before turning their attention to Shutendouji.
Shutendouji knocks them around and Takaharu decides to ask Shishi-Oh for help. But Shishi-Oh is too drunk and just falls asleep. But Takaharu gets the idea to use his ninja sempai’s shurikens.
Takaharu combines the Kakuranger, Hurricanger and Jiraiya shurikens for a Legend Nin Violent Slash which takes care of Shutendouji.
The cousins are happy Takaharu has come up with a fresh idea as another step of their development.
Grandfather watches them from a rooftop and gives them a petite bravo for taking another small step.
His hand glows and starts to disappear for a moment before coming back. He says it appears the time has come for them to leave his nest.
Shutendouji embiggens himself and the Ninningers hop into Gekiatsu Dai-Oh.
But suddenly, Shishi-Oh awakens and is forced into Lion Ha-Oh which inexplicably shoots at Gekiatsu Dai-Oh.
Shutendouji explains that this is his power. He can control anyone who breathes in his whole breath, which Shishi-Oh braved earlier.
Suddenly, the other OtomoNin come running on their own too and combine with Lion Ha-Oh to form Ha-Oh ShurikenJin. And at its controls is Mangetsu and five Hyakkarage.
This was Mangetsu’s plan the whole time.
Mangetsu proceeds to attack the Ninningers and they fall after a Mangetsu Buster. A big explosion. Gekiatsu Dai-Oh is in shambles.
Ariake no Kata dances in celebration. Masakage says the master’s prophecy is indeed coming true. He explains that Kibaoni’s return after 444 years would be brought about by his son. So everything is going according to plan.
Shishi-Oh has no idea what is happening around him. Shutendouji knocks him out of Ha-Oh ShurikenJin.
An interesting episode. I think it should’ve been a little more exciting than it was.
The ninja duel stuff was fun, but not when you realize this is Episode 41. They should be getting to the big, heavy stuff now. I don’t know why Mangetsu’s plan wasn’t more of a big shocking twist. I get what the show was trying to do with having the goofy stuff before revealing Mangetsu actually had a sinister plan behind it. They wanted that big shocking moment. But it never really came.
It was an alright twist, but I think it could’ve been handled much better and in a more exciting way. There was no build up whatsoever.
I also feel like Grandpa or Father declaring that the cousins are on their last step to becoming full ninjas was kind of underwhelming too. It’s like they were saying “You are entering the final arc of Ninninger” instead of just letting the story and events themselves project that announcement.
The lack of unmorphed scenes suggests this was one of those weeks the actors were off filming the versus movie. Which might explain the lack of story.
So overall, it was an okay episode and judging from the preview, basically a setup for next week. But I think this episode could’ve been a lot better.