I was a big fan of Ninja Gaiden games on the NES, especially the third part which I played through on a Russian pirate NES console in the 90’ies. So when I heard that there was an anime OVA for the series, I was quiet exited. Less so after actually watching it. Ryu the main character is quiet bland, which given the prominence of the CIA agent Robert makes you feel like the anime director felt similar. Irene was fundamentally changed from a damsel-in-distress CIA agent to a generic and definitely less compelling damsel-in-distress.
For games that were all about action, the adaptation has not enough and most of it is limited to the second half, with a few kills early on that are over far too soon. Even then, while the animation itself is quiet good, its visually boring and most of the action scenes are more quantity than quality. Not talking about what is drawn, but how everything is staged. For a series of games that are superior in enemy/encounter design and their visuals, the OVA doesn’t even capture an inch of what made these games great.
The rest is unengaging as well. The villain (or villains, there’s a twist later on) like to do their villain monologues, Ryu goes for emotional hero rages, and the whole cliched rest. Anyway, nobody is watching something like this for a great plot, but at least likeable or compelling character would be good to make it watchable. Sadly, with both the action and almost everything else lacking, it’s no wonder this is mostly forgotten.