Hey, this is Patrick, beckoning you back to the mysteries, secrets, and behind the scenes info for my web show OTAKU-VERSE ZERO.
Some of the more ardent among you may have noticed that it’s been a while since the last time I updated this here Secrets of the Otaku-Verse column. That’s because I’ve been busy committing acts of subterfuge and skullduggery as part of my new life as… A NINJA!
Episodes 3 and 4 of Season Two (embedded here) saw Yuu Asakawa and myself learning the tricks of the shadow warrior trade within the hallowed halls of the Jidai Academy, an actual ninja dojo located in the unassuming Tokyo suburb of Tabata.
From the minute I met a badly hungover Yuu Asakawa at the station, to meeting an unlikely lady ninja named Ms. Vanessa, to finally suiting up in a full ninja uniform, this turned out to be the genuinely weirdest time I’ve ever spent working on OVZ. It was a long shoot and unfolded very much as this two-part episode plays out; in hushed, reverent tones punctuated by insane fits of laugher.
I’ve never really studied martial arts or ninjitsu before—aside from watching Sonny Chiba ninja movies and reading the book Ninja Attack!—so this was a very big learning experience for me. As more weapons and killing techniques were revealed by the head ninja, Yuu seemed to perk up more and more. They really ought to try and find a way to turn the stuff of ninja into an over the counter hangover cure!
But to be honest, the greatest moment on location took place off screen. During some downtime, and still in our ninja duds, Yuu and I peeped out the window facing the normal everyday street outside. Someone passing by on a bicycle got an eyeful of two ninja peering back at him. Now’s your turn to learn the ways of the force… I mean, ninjitsu… by watching our two-part trip to the Jidai Academy!
Patrick Macias is the editor in chief of Otaku USA magazine. His blog can be found online at www.patrickmacias.blogs.com