Episode 8 – Ninja Kamui

How would you rate episode 8 of
Ninja Kamui ?

Community score: 3.6

After the heights of last week’s episode, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one, but rather than ramping things up, it seems to have slowed down even further for the time being. Thankfully this isn’t a bad thing, as doing so has allowed the show to continue fleshing out the cast more. Although when I say cast, I mostly mean Emma, who continues to be this show’s MVP, and Mike who finally gets something to do again after being relegated to B-plot status for the last few episodes.

As always, we’ve got a cool ninja fight to talk about first. This week’s features center around Higan and Emma getting ambushed by Big D when they look for a way to enhance Higan’s fancy new tokusatsu suit. It’s more of a tease than anything else since it was cut short, but it features Big D using giant robot centipedes to aid him in the fight, which is one of those things that’s just weird enough to circle back to being incredible. It’s also established that Big D has a strong sense of honor and wants to defeat Higan in a proper duel since he sees him as a traitor to be struck down. It’s not a whole lot of characterization, but it’s at least better than Lil’s sadism as erotica shtick, so I’m a lot more
willing to get behind it, and hopefully the eventual rematch will be fun.

In the meantime, Emma and Higan opt to escape from Auza City for the time being, and this leads Higan to become more curious about why Emma seems so driven to help him. According to her, while she does want to fulfill the promise she made to Mari, she’s mostly doing it for herself as it gives her a sense of purpose and a reason to keep going. While this seems to be a sticking point with Higan, who’s still having trouble seeing anything past his rage, it also contrasts pretty well with what we learn about Mike in this episode as he tells the hacker guy he’s been running around with that he’s compelled by a pretty similar sense of duty even outside the scope of his job.

This all leads to the gang getting back together again as Emma, Mike, and Higan are all reunited (the hacker guy is still there too). Mike and Emma have a heart-to-heart regarding Emma’s true identity. Despite only teaming up with him to do her work as a spy, it seems like Emma did come to care for the big guy, as evidenced by a flashback where he tries to instill in her the importance of being able to rely on your partner since they’re almost like family. The family bit is something that Emma has a hard time accepting given her circumstances. It leads to Mike drunkenly serenading her at karaoke about the importance of trust which is probably the single funniest thing the show has done and is the biggest highlight of the episode.

What makes it even funnier is that this worked, and seems to have been the point where he won her over. With all that in mind, Emma doesn’t expect Mike to forgive her for her betrayal, but for his part, he seems to be more upset that she felt like she couldn’t rely on him. This leads to the two of them opening up to each other about their pasts and how they’ve managed to find a sense of purpose beyond the pain they experienced. It’s a nice moment for the two of them. It also just further highlights how much Higan has become the least interesting character in his show as this lesson isn’t one that he’s learned quite yet, and only serves to show how shallow his current motivations are. Thankfully, getting all this is starting to make me more confident he will learn something from them. While I’m not expecting the result to give the show as much substance as it has style, I’m at least hoping we’ll get more reasons to root for Higan beyond seeing how much cool violence he can inflict.

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Ninja Kamui airs on Adult Swim and streams on Max.