Please, take half!



Rantarou is the main character of this series. He's the son of a poor, common ninja, and he enters Ninjutsu Gakuen vowing to become an elite ninja. But despite his initial determination, he is still usually found cracking jokes in class with Kirimaru and Shinbei, although at least in the anime Rantarou is probably the most responsible of the three. His vision isn't very good, but he's got fast legs.


Kirimaru is obsessed with money. He can probably hear a 5 zeni coin fall to the ground from 100 meters away. He always has part-time jobs, usually more than he can handle. He gets lousy grades, and when he isn't trying to wheedle money out of someone, he's always making bad jokes. He doesn't have a family or home, so he stays with Doi-sensei when school is out.


Shinbei is the son of a wealthy merchant. He's a short, pudgy boy with a constantly runny nose (which actually comes in handy sometimes - see the picture to the left). When he has a bad hair day, his hair sticks up like a porcupine's quills and can literally be used as a weapon. He is also not very bright, and bad at almost everything except eating.


Yamada Denzou is the "jitsugi" or field technique and methodology teacher for Ichinen-hagumi. Basically, this means that he teaches them how to do the things that ninjas do. Yamada-sensei is often the butt of jokes (sometimes literally). He also seems to really enjoy dressing up as a woman. He is 46 years old, and is married with one son (Rikichi - see Friends and Family).


Doi Hansuke is the classroom teacher for Ichinen-hagumi. He likes explosives, hates chikuwa (and other fish-paste food items), and has dead aim when it comes to throwing chalk at people. He is 25, and single. He is also one of the most handsome teachers in the school. When school is on vacation, he looks after Kirimaru and gets stuck "helping" Kirimaru with his part-time jobs. Doi-sensei is sometimes driven to tears of frustration by his class. Having taught school myself, I completely understand how he feels.



Ichinen-hagumi (lit. first year "ha" class) is the class that Rantarou, Kirimaru, and Shinbei are part of. At the beginning of the series there are nine students in hagumi (including the troublesome trio), but the class eventually grows to include eleven students. Early in the anime there are usually twelve students pictured, even before the new students arrived, meaning that the animators added extra students to the class. However, in the second anime series they seem to get the number of students right more often. The other students in hagumi (from left to right, first row in the manga picture) are Kingo, Isuke, Shouzaemon, Heidayuu, Kisanta, (second row) Torawake, Danzou, and Sanjirou.


Of these eight, four have more significant roles and better definied characteristics than the others. Shouzaemon is the class president, the smartest kid in the class, and the most responsible. Sometimes he's also a little annoying.


Kisanta was the first of the two transfer students to enter the class. His most distinguishing characteristic is his love of slugs. He literally has tens, perhaps hundreds of slugs that he keeps as pets and has given names.


Kingo was the second transfer student. He first arrived at the school looking for his father's killer. However, he later found out that his father, a samurai, had only faked his death in order to make his son become a strong man.


The fourth student who stands out is Danzou. Danzou's father hires out horses to people for transporting goods, etc., and at one point was fighting to get rid of some rediculous toll gates that were erected along the road to his town. Danzou also has a major role in the Nintama Rantarou movie.


Isuke shares a room with Shouzaemon, and the two of them seem to be good friends.


Heidayuu gets more speaking lines than the other three "minor" hagumi characters.


Sanjirou has very few scenes in the anime.


It took hours and hours of searching through video tapes to find a decent picture of Torawaka to put on this webpage.

Please return to the character introduction.

Level 2: Who's Who