This ‘manifesto’ dictates the intentions of the N-13 Project, detailing its background and an introduction to the Modern Ninja and her Enemies.
The work generated will surround a specific imagined universe or world that may represent either a world that is just like ours thousands of light-years away, or perhaps it will represent our own world but in a different parallel existence. In either case, the world should on first inspection feel much like our own reality, but may feature situations, imagery or any loose concept that is noticeably different or even surreal.
There are at least two major superpowers that both thrive using technology. The background surrounding the two nations will remain loose and anonymous, yet it should be noted that they are in a constant state of war. A strong military presence is maintained therefore, which is perhaps an allegory for our own human savage tendencies. The technological prowess of these humans is seemingly limitless – they have the capacity to develop vast automated cities, communicate over long distances, and have developed futuristic transportation and clothing.
The world on the surface looks very similar to our own, yet there are great cultural differences. The area of gender classification is one area that is different, as gender roles are reversed in many cases. Although ‘equality’ is a utopia that is strived for, women are perceived to be more dominant. While our world has its ‘alpha males’, in this world the alpha female is more common: Although there are cases where men hold positions of authority or control, women usually represent power.
Ultimately, these differences will be explored in a manner that may help to illustrate our own reality’s issues. This is an area that will forever evolve as the project develops.
Ninjas are female soldiers, specifically deployed to infiltrate and spy on their enemies. While (predominantly male) ground troops ‘grunts’ engage in violent open warfare, the Ninjas keep very low profiles, undertaking frequent secret missions coordinated by the ministry. While not a female-exclusive ‘club’, it had been generally assumed women suited the stealthy role better, mainly because of gender dominance described earlier. The Ninja lifestyle, although covert and fraught with danger and peril, is considered to be hugely desirable: the Ninja should be seen in a similar way to a world war II fighter pilot or secret agent: both were admired for their bravery and lifestyle. Compared with the male ground troops, who are seen as very basic, the Ninjas are exotic, almost mythical heroines.
Ninjas receive mission orders in the following ways: Most commonly, they are summoned to a briefing at the N-13 Ninja Headquarters Lancer City and are briefed there. Alternatively, they are made aware of their missions via their data-links whilst out in the field. In both cases, mission orders are given anonymously. The identity of much of the upper-command structure remains unknown for security reasons.
The Ninja is a modern or futuristic version of the ‘Kunoichi’ or ‘Female Ninja’ of feudal Japan. They are skilled in silent infiltration, as well as assassination and combat. They freely embrace technology to improve their abilities: the ‘Ninja Suit’ is intelligent, comprising of form fitting corset and leggings that are individually moulded, tailored for each agent. The suit is littered with sensors, measuring the health and condition of the wearer: it sends the information to wrist-mounted data-links as well as to colour-changing strips on the body of the suit. The suit material is also designed to automatically regenerate in the event it gets ripped or pierced. The suit and its accessories will be important visual elements in the artwork, as they will in time become part of the ‘Ninja image’, and hallmark.
Ninjas are backed-up by dedicated (usually male) support teams, who in some cases monitor the Ninja during their missions, if circumstances permit. In most situations, the support team is responsible for all equipment maintenance, including the Ninja’s complex suit. This ‘link’ from Ninja to base symbolises our own world’s obsession with security and in particular, our need for constant social contact (since the rise of the internet as a form of social communication).
The Ninja represents:
- The ‘good’ (opposing the ‘evil’).
- Strength and Ability.
- ‘Humanity’ (including man’s link with technology).