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Well, the ninja have to learn their trade somewhere. Rantaro is a little boy who wants to grow up to be a highly trained assassin. So he goes to a ninja school, where he gets to clown around and meet famous people from Japan's civil-war period. Featuring high-profile theme music from bands-of-the-moment Hikaru Genji and Super Monkeys, this lighthearted kids' comedy, based on a manga by Sobei Amako, returned after 91 episodes as New Rantaro (1994), which similarly featured ninja whose favorite food was mushrooms, a warrior forced to work part-time at a launderette, and time out from learning about poisons so the gang can go shopping. Several episodes of the second series were "specials" that ran for almost double the time, and the central cast's best moments were later rereleased in the four-part Rantaro Masterworks series (1996). The same year saw a short Rantaro movie, in which the little ninja, trained for cunning and deceit, must somehow convince his elders that he is not responsible for thefts at the school. Compare to Hattori the Ninja.