Zai talking to Mari in a flashback from Ninja Kamui Episode 11

I’m Ready for More Shonen Anime References in ‘Ninja Kamui’ Episode 12

A clash between Zai and Higan was inevitable in Ninja Kamui, but what we didn’t expect was for Zai to secretly be exactly like Zenitsu from Demon Slayer. Zai is no coward, but tell me he’s not Zenitsu when his secret art is also named “thunderclap.”

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The cherry on top is that Zai can launch attacks at lightning speed the same way Zenitsu does with his signature seventh form of thunderbreathing: thunderclap. If you think Demon Slayer is the only reference here, Higan also unleashed his secret art. I was half expecting him to scream either “domain expansion” from Jujutsu Kaisen or “bankai” from Bleach—he didn’t, but the effects were the same. Higan’s secret art, “serenity,” fine-tunes the body’s senses and enhances physical strength. 

So we’ve watched 11 episodes of Ninja Kamui and caught not one but three other anime references in a single fight scene. What’s next? Is Yamaji doing a shadow clone jutsu? Who knows, but we’ll be able to watch Ninja Kamui episode 12 on April 28, 2024, on Adult Swim in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the U.K.

Humor aside, the last episode of Ninja Kamui was a little surprising. Yamaji and AUZA have both turned against each other and are battling it out for world dominance. Only one will be left standing. But, just as Joseph (evil tech CEO) was about to perish, his bodyguard Dilly chose to protect him. Something is going on between the two of them, but it’s one of the few times we see Joseph care about another person beyond himself and his plans to rule the world.

It’s almost endearing if you try to forget AUZA’s corruption. But if there’s one thing we can take away from all of this, it’s that more ninjas might defect from Yamaji in pursuit of their own principles.

(featured image: Adult Swim)


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.