What is Inverse Ninja Law?

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Inverse Ninja Law is a term used in movie scripts.

In a movie, TV show or comic book, the more villains the hero faces, the less likely they are to harm the hero. On the other hand, if there is only one enemy or villain, the fight, battle or struggle lasts much longer. In a one-on-one fight, a villain is more likely to harm the hero than a large group of enemies.

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The origin of this unwritten rule is unknown. However, it is a frequently preferred method in many storytelling methods from movies to TV series. According to this law, the hero, who has a large number of opponents, easily defeats all of them, but the fight against a single enemy lasts for minutes and the hero probably suffers the most damage in this process.

A Cliché in Cinema: Inverse Ninja Law

Ters Ninja Kanunu Nedir?
© Warner Bros. Pictures

The Inverse Ninja Law is also known by many different names. The most well-known of these is the Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu. It states that in any martial art, there is a certain and limited amount of ninjutsu given to each side. Imagine that this ninjutsu resides in a single ninja. And that it is divided among a hundred ninjas. As a result of this logic, a single ninja poses a lethal threat, while an army of ninjas is just soldiers going to their deaths.

This cliché is often encountered in fight and adventure movies where the action never lets up. This scenario element is used to make the story more interesting and can be better understood with examples.

In Face/Off, one of the best adventure movies, during Caster Troy’s fight against Sean Archer, the main villain’s sidekicks can be killed one by one or two by two, while the fight against Archer himself becomes quite difficult. First in the church, then on a speedboat and finally on land.

In one of Quentin Tarantino‘s authorial works, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, the main protagonist, The Bride, slays countless members of the Crazy 88 gang. The hero’s most difficult and protracted struggle is with O-Ren Ishii.

In the cult sci-fi series of cinema, The Matrix movies, the Reverse Ninja Law makes a long-lasting appearance. In the second movie of the series, Matrix Reloaded (2003), the main hero Neo is able to deal with hundreds of copies of Agent Smith, who cloned him. However, in the third movie of the series, Matrix Revolutions, he cannot win against a single Smith.

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In Yesilcam, we encounter similar examples in many movies such as Kara Murat, Malkocoglu and Tarkan.

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