Total # of Volumes: 1
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Languages: English VHS, Japanese w/subtitles VHS, or Multilingual DVD
Video: 4:3 NTSC Standard Aspect Ratio
Audio: Dolby Digital
American Release Status: Unavailable
Creator: Eiji Suganuma
Director: Eiji Suganuma
Character Designer: Eiji Suganuma
Music: Takeo Miratsu
Animation Director: Fumitomo Kizaki
Animation Studio: AIC
American Producers: Anime Works
Title: Ninja Cadets
Running Time: 60
Number of Episodes On This Volume: 2
1: Episode 1
2: Episode 2
The story, set in feudal Japan, opens with the attack on the castle belonging to the Byakuro clan. The Kabusu clan has sent ninjas and a huge , mechanical monster to destroy the Byakuro. As the machine's arms tear the castle to pieces, the ninja dash through the building, kill all they encounter.
Upstairs, a retainer burst into the lord's chamber and asks what they should do. The lord instructs his loyal warrior that he is to find the princess and flee with her. And that he is to make sure that she is always safe and never falls into the hands of the evil Kabusu. The swordsman acknowledges the order and, as he prepares to leave, one the arms of the monstrous machine tears through the room killing the lord and terribly wounding the knight.
Time passes and we find a young female ninja leaping from branch to branch in the forest. She is pursuing a beast and tosses darts at it. She then dives down for a killing blow but finds that she has struck a log instead. "A dummy?" she asks. Then the creature pops up behind her and the fight resumes. A moment later, the combatants splash into a nearby stream. When they surface, the ninja slams her fist into the stomach of the beast while another young, sword wielding lady slices its head from above. The creature topples over dead.
Back on shore, the two girls argue over who should get credit for the kill. The first girl, Matsuri, claims that it was her punch while the second girl, Sakura, counters that her sword delivered the final blow. Their argument builds until they are engulfed in a explosion of black powder. This is the work of Hayashi, who with Pochi, have been observing the girls from the nearby brush. The girls demand why Hayashi did that and he explains that he was only following the orders of their master, Kaoru. Just then, they all hear the cry of Yume, who has just set lunch out for everyone. They all leave to eat.
As they sit eating, Kaoru tells his assembled students that they will be taking their final exam to become ninja tomorrow. Matsuri and Sakura express concern about the training of Yume but Yume tells them not to worry, for if she does not become a ninja, she would be just as happy as Kaoru's wife. This draws chagrin from the two girls.
The later that night, Kaoru sits in counsel with his father, the same man who had been charged with saving the princess and protecting her. They discuss the need of locating the secret scroll that is the greatest treasure of the Byakuro clan. They know that in the hands of the princess, it would the clan the most powerful in the world. Outside , though, a spy sits and overhears the conversation.
The next morning, the group assembles and receives their final instructions in preparation for the exam. They are to be broken into pairs and are to infiltrate the Byakuro Castle and find as many scrolls as possible. They may keep the scrolls as plunder after the competition. They may as sabotage the other teams, if they like. Then the pairings are announced. Hayashi is teamed with Matsuri, Pochi with Sakura and Kaoru with Yume. The group then heads off.
Meanwhile, high up on a cliff top, a trio of mean looking mercenaries listen to the report of the spy. They congratulate the cleverness of the Byakuro clan in training their precious princess as a ninja. Their instructions are to locate the princess and capture her but they face one problem. The identity of the princess still unknown. All they have is the knowledge that the true princess bears a cross shaped birthmark on her shoulder.
Back on the road, the three teams are making progress. But then a shrill scream from Yume breaks the calm. They turn armed and ready but it is not danger she has found but a tea house. So the gang tops for refreshments. Matsuri, feeling that this not how true ninjas behave, stands off to one side while the rest sip tea and munch rice cakes. She then feels something on her leg and looks down to see a large frog climbing up her leg. She ruins screaming back to the tea house and begins to fling anything in reach at the toad. The last thing she tosses is Sakura.
After snacking, they hit the road once more and set off across the woods for a certain checkpoint. That night, they camp near a hot spring and the girls take the time to bathe. The mercenaries, who have been shadowing the group, see this as the perfect time to identify the princess. As they work their way closer, Yume leaves the pool. Now there is Matsuri and Sakura in the spring. Matsuri tries to apologize, (somewhat awkwardly), for her earlier behavior and asks if Sakura still hurts. Sakura tells her to forget about it but Matsuri is unwilling to let the matter rest. The spies see a cross shaped mark on the shoulder of Sakura (left there as a result of the accident?) and target her as the princess. Unaware of their visitors, the two girls continue to squabble all the way back to camp. There they announce that they will be going on without each other and tell their teammates to prepare to leave in morning.
The next morning, everyone rises to learn that Matsuri and Hayashi have already left. Sakura and Pochi eat a quick breakfast and dash off to make up the time. Meanwhile, Hayashi is complaining to Matsuri,as they walk, about skipping breakfast. Sakura and Pochi speed through the forest but encounter strange monsters. These monsters have been summoned by one the mercenaries and are targeted at Sakura. They quickly dispatch the spirits and continue on. The two other mercenaries are not happy with the failure of the spells and threaten their partner. He decides to use his last and most powerful spell, which he believes will defeat the young ninjas though it requires the sacrifice of his own life.
While this is happening, Hayashi and Matsuri have arrived at the checkpoint. They don't have a plan on how to pass through but get in line, intending to solve the problem once inside. Elsewhere, Kaoru and Yume are making progress but during a rest stop, Yume wonders aloud if there is some other way besides becoming a ninja to find peace. She tells Kaoru that all she wants is to be with him. Back in the forest, Sakura and Pochi have encountered the result of the final spell of the mercenary. It is in the form of a huge spider and the twosome find themselves struggling to defeat the creature.
But help arrives in the form of Kaoru and Yume. Kaoru frees the trapped Sakura and instructs everyone to flee as the monster evolves into an even greater beast.The group takes off running. Inside the checkpoint, the attempt to bluff their way pass the guards is not going very well for Matsuri and Hayashi. Things final fall apart when one of the guards fondles one of Matsuri's breasts and she pounds him in return. Hayashi quickly lets loose with a cloud of smoke and they prepare to flee. It is then that the others arrive at the checkpoint with the monster hot on their tails.
The group battles together against the monster, except for Yume, who Kaoru instructs to hide. They each use their unique skill to strike at the beast and the battle is soon won. After the fighting as stopped, Kaoru looks for Yume and finds her standing before one the mercenaries. He steps towards them but is stopped by the other hired solider. "What should I do with him?" he asks. The tall woman says that she will make Kaoru work for them just has she has down with Yume. She raises her hand and holds it over Kaoru's head and begins her spell. Kaoru is powerless to resist but grips his throwing star so tightly that blood begins to drip from his hand.
Back on the bridge, Sakura wonders aloud about Kaoru and Yume. Matsuri assures that all is find and urges her to catch up with the guys. With one last look back, she goes to join the gang. This is where the first episode ends.
Episode two opens with Matsuri and Sakura playfully clashing with each other as they continue their approach the castle. Yume and Kaoru are still not to be found.Soon the group reaches a cliff and they spilt up to take different paths.
Matsuri and Hayashi choose to try to use a network of cave to sneak towards the castle while Sakura and Pochi travel overland. That night, Sakura prepares dinner, which is not palatable. Pochi wishes aloud for Yume and soon she and Kaoru appear out of the forest. But they are still under the spell.
The next evening, the three teams arrive at the castle. Sakura and Pochi use a rope to infiltrate the stronghold but as they are climbing up, the mercenary orders the spellbound Yume to cut the line. Pochi and Sakura barely escape. Meanwhile, Matsuri and Hayashi have stormed(unintentionally) the front gate and begin a comic series of events that last the remainder of the episode. Time after time, they end up in dead ends or blunder into enemy troops.
Meanwhile, Sakura and Pochi manage to get in but Pochi falls through some rotten floorboards and is separated from Sakura. Sakura continues on in the search for the scroll room and soon encounters Yume. She is unaware of Yume's condition and is shocked when Yume attacks. She dodges the blows and tries to escape. This leads her to the scroll room, where the door is blocked by Kaoru. At first, she thinks she has found help, but Kaoru joins the attack against her.
Then one of the mercenaries attacks and Sakura finds herself heavily outnumbered. But Pochi arrives just in time and soon thereafter, Matsuri and Hayashi blast their way in. The mercenary flees and the ninja race into the scroll room.
But the last mercenary is waiting for them and she quickly knocks both Matsuri and Hayashi unconscious. She also tosses Pochi across the room. Once again, Sakura seems trapped and alone. But Pochi recovers and uses a magic scroll to become a mythic lion beast. He attacks the magic user and they tussle. Then a huge rumbling is felt and an enormous arm come crashing through the room. It is the other mercenary, at the helm of the mechanical monster from the opening of the first episode.
The battle then splits. Hayashi, Matsuri and Pochi fight the monster, while the mercenary, with Yume and Kaoru, battle Sakura. The fight seesaws back and forth. At one moment, Pochi uses another magic scroll and transforms into a huge frog monster. He and machine wrestle. Eventually, Hayashi and Pochi defeat the machine.
Up on the roof, the female mercenary and Sakura wage a fierce sword fight. Finally, Sakura lands a telling blow, slicing the lady's right shoulder. She leaps to escape, landing on the arm of the destroyed machine. There she faces the last mercenary, who swears to kill her. Trapped, Sakura reaches into her belt and whips out the single scroll she recovered from the scroll room. She holds it to her lips and releases the spell. Her body is wrapped in light and bright beam erupts skyward. The power expands outward and sweeps everything into it. Soon the storm passes, leaving behind ruins.
In the light of morning, the surviving ninjas survey the damage. Matsuri searches in vain for a magic scroll and Pochi wonders about the fate of Yume and Kaoru.Sakura wonders to herself about the ability to summon such great power. Is she the lost princess? This is where the episode and video end.