Ninjas Ninjas Ninjas! You Only Live Twice (Lewis Gilbert, 1967)

James Bond, the pride of Britain, fakes his death so he can travel to Japan, dress up as a Japanese person, sneer at women who he is not attracted to and kill whoever crosses his path. Part of this patriotic agenda is teaming up with a bunch of ninjas lead by his Japanese counterpart Tiger Tanaka. These range from traditional ninjas and samurai to modern gadget ‘n’ gun wielding assassins. Their moment to shine, however, is when they assault the villainous Blofeld’s secret volcano lair. It’s a Bond movie, so gore is as limited as problematic racial and sexual politics are abundant, but it is nice to see ninjas pop up and shine in a mainstream western movie a good fifteen years before they were popularised.

Ninja Abilities – Race changing

Ninja Kit – Sword, Kendo sticks, shuriken, pistols, machine guns, rocket bullets, cigarette rocket launcher, grenades, abseiling kit, plastic explosive.

Ninja Colours – Blue/grey

Notable Ninja Kills – Hack ‘n’ slash (bloodless, but oddly brutal in this context)

Ninja Activity? – Low (In the training ground scene ninjas are costume-less)

Ninja Mythology - Every ninja clan has a secret Sean Connery and here is a tip in case you want to spot one; they’ll be the one wearing racist make-up.

Overall rating - 3/10

Wondering what the hell you just read? Check out the introduction that explains everything you need to know about this column here!


  1. Wow you stink! No wonder we get depressing, sterile crap now because people like you are obsessed with things to be offended about, not how cool this was, the technical aspect, innovation and creativity - but no lets concentrate about social sensibilities back in the day in a 1960's James Bond movie. I'm Asian and I grew up with my family and we love this movie but I guess we have people like you to remind us to be angry miserable dolts with a perpetual axe to grind.


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