Why House of Ninjas is great for teens -- despite the TV-MA rating

It might be TV-MA, but it's TV Most Awesome for teens.

House of Ninjas 
Image Courtesy Netflix
House of Ninjas Image Courtesy Netflix /
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If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering why House of Ninjas has a TV-MA rating. Sure, it involves some fighting, but the thematic elements and the gore are minimal.

Plus, it’s a funny show, and it’s great for teenagers. I would say tweens as well, but you will want to make sure you have the English audio on rather than just the subtitles as the conversations can move fast for them to read.

The story follows a family of ninjas in Japan. They are out of the ninja game after the death of one of their own, but that doesn’t mean they all want to give up that life. Think of it a little like The Incredibles, where Mr. Incredible just wasn’t happy with his normal life. Well, the mom in this family is very much like Mr. Incredible, except a ninja instead of a superhero.

So if you're wondering if you should sit down with your teens and watch House of Ninjas despite the rating? The answer is unequivocally yes... And here's why.

Why House of Ninjas should be TV-14

To be honest, I’d put House of Ninjas as a TV-14. There is minimal bad language and alcohol or drug use throughout. The most serious elements are the fight scenes, and they are so well choreographed. There is an art to the fight scenes in House of Ninjas, rather than them just being a way to destroy sets (yes, Man of Steel, I’m looking at you) or for the shock factor and to bring in a lot of gore (The Boys is guilty of that).

There are also a lot of lessons for teens to learn. There is an element of grief in the story. The family is trying to move on after the death of one of the children. That death happened partly due to a mistake made by one of his siblings, and that leads to an element of guilt. Teenagers can learn more about healthy grieving and the need to remember their loved ones, but also how to move forward from loss.

The show also depicts the way grief can separate a family. While they live together and they still respect each other, there is a huge disconnect between all of them. There are questions of affairs and neglect. Watching this show with your teen(s) can help to bring up conversations about what it looks like to grieve together, and how to support one another -- rather than making unilateral decisions.

Amid all this drama are conversations about the family using their ninja skills with control and compassion. The characters understand that their fighting skills aren’t to be used all the time. Teens spend a lot of time dealing with their varied emotions as puberty hits. It’s worth having your teenaged family members watch something where emotions are controlled in healthy ways instead of just being pushed to one side.

So ignore the TV-MA rating on House of Ninjas, and sit down with your teens and watch today! You'll have a house of thoughtful, happy teenagers, instead.

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House of Ninjas is available to stream on Netflix.