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An RPG big enough for a man--but you get to play it as a hot chick!
—A line from a magazine ad for the game.

Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja is a Roguelike RPG for the Nintendo DS published by Atlus. A young Ninja named Izuna is looking for a place to find home after her clan's old master fired them, believing ninja no longer have a place in the modern world. They eventually settle on an out-of-the-way village, when Izuna's "grandboss", Gen-an, wanders into one of the local caves. In the process of rescuing him, she manages to make several gods very angry, and has to retrieve several magical orbs to help the now-cursed natives from various afflictions and bring them back to normal.

While the game has received middling reviews (praised for its quirky characters and storyline, but criticized for not utilizing the DS' features to their full potential), it gained a decent enough cult following to receive a sequel, entitled Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns.

Izuna and Shino have also made cameo appearances as Secret Characters in Rondo of Swords and Windy X Windam, two other games developed by Success Corp.

Tropes used in Izuna Legend of the Unemployed Ninja include:
  • A-Cup Angst: Shino. She's not particularly happy about her chest, especially since her own little sister beats her out in bust size.
  • Animal Motifs: Five of the gods in the first game. Shuuichi's a snake, Fuuka a bird, Kagen a bear, Suiren a fish. Utsuho's is hard to pin down, though it's been theorized that he's a frog.
  • Berserk Button: Shino is quite aware of how unendowed she is. If anybody else attempts to remind her, she'll have them get a glimpse of Hell.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Ichika, who wants a husband who is stronger than she is. The only problem is that she's way too strong. She does marry in the end, though.
  • Big Eater: Izuna.
  • Bishonen: Utsuho (also a White-Haired Pretty Boy) and Hiyoshimaru. The second game gives us Abyss as well as Mitsumoto, once his mask comes off.
  • Blow You Away: The Tengu can use wind attacks to transport you to a random part of the dungeon floor. The "Reppu" talisman also utilizes wind power, but it only blows enemies into walls. Naturally, Fuuka has these powers as well, since she's the wind goddess.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Himiko in the second game.
  • Breakable Weapons: Anything you find can be broken if used too much.
  • The Chew Toy: Mitsumoto, who gets on the receiving end of a lot of Izuna's teasing. Gen-an, too, no thanks to Izuna's meddling.
  • The Chosen One: In the second game, both Izuna and Shizune are revealed to be the only human beings capable of allowing gods to leave the areas where they are enshrined.
  • Combination Attack: A major addition to gameplay in Izuna 2. Certain combinations of characters can pull off unique and more powerful ones.
  • Continuing Is Painful: As expected of a roguelike, but much more forgiving than is traditional for the genre. Dying will only cost you your on-hand inventory and money, not your experience.
  • Cool Big Sis: Shino to Izuna and Shizune. Corona in the second game is a Hot-Blooded Big Sis bordering on Mama Bear when she finds out that you "bullied" her younger siblings Stella and Alte.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Grimla in the second game is the goddess of death, but isn't particularly a bad person. Abyss is the god of darkness, but he's more of a Jerkass than outright evil.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Corona.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Izuna beats the six Eastern gods in the first game, she is able to make them her party members in the second.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Takushiki is a champion of this.
  • Expy: Take one look at Baldur from the second game and try not to confuse him with Major Armstrong. Shino's costume is somewhat reminiscent of Sheena's, but altered to play down her lack of breasts and focus on other features.
    • Izuna resembles Haruko Haruhara. She has the red suit, goggles, yellow scarf and personality.
  • Flunky Boss: All of them.
  • Genki Girl: Izuna, Shizune, Suzume.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Izuna wears a set of bizarre, triangular goggles solely for the fact that Shino gave them to her, which make her look like some sort of ninja Catgirl.
  • Gonk: Lord Mugen in the second game.
  • Gratuitous English: Shizune in the second game. Justified in that she spent many years in an (presumably) English-speaking country.
  • Heel Face Turn: The Six Gods from the original game, though only one truly counted as a villain.
  • Heel Realization: After being defeated in the first game, Takushiki realizes how much of an asshole he's been.
  • Hero Antagonist/Punch Clock Villain: The five Gods under Takushiki in the first game, who go along with his Disproportionate Retribution plan only because they have to obey him.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Priest.
  • Hidden Eyes: Mitsumoto. However, a hidden event in Izuna 2 ends with his hood coming off. Shino does this a bit in the second game.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja
  • Hot-Blooded: Kagen, God of Fire (naturally). Izuna is a little bit Hot-Blooded herself.
  • Hot Springs Sequence: Hidden in the second game.
  • Hulk Speak: Baldur, western god of light.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Ume. In the second game, there are at least three elderly innkeepers in the various towns, all of whom share the name Ume and look and sound exactly alike.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One (from the first game):

 Woman-Crazy NPC: (on Izuna trying to flirt with him) All I see is a snot-nosed brat!

Izuna: I'm not snot-nosed!

  • Item Crafting: Careful use of talismans and the Burn-In Flame will allow you to power up your weapons and armor to crazy levels. If you try to overload them, though, they'll break.
  • Jerkass: Abyss in the second game.
  • Joke Character: Mitsumoto. In the second game, his tag attacks are like Dan Hibiki took the Otoko Michi Up to Eleven.
  • Kick Chick: Fuuka. Unlike the other characters, she can only equip shoes as weapons.
  • Kill It with Water: Suiren.
  • The Ladette: Ichika.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of the Izuna 2 comics (One too many questions) is an hilarious lampshading of world map-related RPG clichés.
  • Lethal Lava Land
  • Light Is Not Good: In the second game, half of the Western gods are associated with light (Baldur with light in general, Alte with moonlight, Stella with starlight, and Corona with sunlight), and yet not a one of them is the kind of person you could say is particularly "good". Baldur is something of a Brute, Alte and Stella are a pair of Jerkass Tricksters, and Corona has an overwhelming temper and is not likely to forgive a slight, especially if it involves her younger siblings.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Mitsumoto and Lord Mugen.
  • Marathon Level: The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in the first game is 40 floors deep, culminating in a very tough battle with possessed Gen-an.
  • Meido: Shizune in the second game. Once she joins the party, she becomes something of a Ninja Maid, using the same tools as everybody else.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Izuna.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Izuna defeats an angry god at the beginning of the game for punishing her grandfather for wandering into the village's cave...and then makes all of the other gods in the area put curses on the villagers in retaliation. Guess who's gotta do the cleanup once her clan members become affected by the curse, too? Yup.
  • Ninja
  • Nintendo Hard: Easier than PC Roguelikes, but still harder than anything like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. This was addressed in the second game with a number of additional features, the most prominent of which was allowing two player-characters to enter a dungeon at one time.
  • No Fourth Wall: Someone had lots of fun while writing this game.
  • Older Than They Look: Suiren, Goddess of Water.
  • Playing with Fire: Kagen.
    • Lampshaded in the online comics for the second game: see here, click on Boredom, and just go through the comic. Said comic also includes Mitsumoto *playing* Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. Despite being in it. Ow, my brain.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: All the gods.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shino and Shizune, though they're both generally nice people.
  • Ronin: Ninja variant, hence the title of the series.
  • Samurai: Shuuchi, God of Earth.
  • Scary Scarecrows: They can even cause Fear status.
  • Shout-Out: There are many, for example:
    • There is an enemy, called Chibi Marimo, which, after eating a mushroom, becomes a stronger enemy called Suppaa Marimo (Super Marimo in the English version), a shout out to Nintendo's mascot character. When the Chibi Marimo is first encountered, letting it do this will likely result in your death.
      • It can further power up to becoming a Rainbow Marimo. What are you trying to imply, Success Corp?
      • That it's invincible.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Izuna.
  • Straight Man: Shino.
  • Underground Monkey
  • Wake Up Call Boss: Fuuka in the first game, since her special attack will put Izuna into the "confused" status if you get near her. Unless you've properly prepared items to take her on, she easily becomes That One Boss.
  • We Buy Anything
  • Weapon of Choice: One of the major differences between characters in the second game is what they can work with from choices of swords, bracers, claws, bows, boots, throwing weapons, and dolls.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Ironically, the person closest to this is Anima, the Western goddess of life.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: In the first game, you'd think you've won after defeating Takushiki, as everyone in the village whose curses you fix congratulates you for saving them. However, there's still one path in Kamiari Village that has yet to be explored after that, which leads to the final storyline dungeon.