Tag: In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki

Akane Class Tier List (In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki)

Akane Class Tier List (In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki)

12 Teams, 36 Kunoichi

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki is an anime about kunoichi (female shinobi) in training. All the girls in the series, except the two teachers, are in Akane Class. This class includes 36 kunoichi split into 12 teams.

You might expect that to mean that there are 12 teams of 3. But, that’s not the case. There are actually 10 teams of 3, 1 team of 2, and 1 team of 4. That breakdown will be important later on in this article when I rank the teams.

But, before we get to that, we need to rank all the girls individually on a tier list. The tier list I used features the following tiers, from best to worst: S, A, B, C, and D.

Akane Class Tier List from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Akane Class Tier List

Obviously, the higher up on the tier list a character is, the better she is. However, I did not rank the girls against each other within each tier. Their placement within the tiers is random.

Also, what metrics did I use to rank the girls? The primary metric is simply their character design. If a character has a design I like more, she’s ranked higher. But, that’s not all. I also took their personalities, jutsu, and even screen time into consideration.

With a quick glance at the tier list, the character design bias seems pretty clear. More colorful characters tend to be toward the top of the list. And the less colorful, more masculine characters tend to be toward the bottom.

S-Tier Kunoichi

The 5 girls I’ve ranked in S-tier are Benisumomo, Mokuren, Shakuyaku, Housenka, and Touwata. That’s right, not a single girl from Dog Team (the main team of the series) made the cut.

Benisumomo is one of my favorite characters of the series. She has a cute character design, of course. But, I also like her personality a lot. She’s one of the strongest kunoichi of Akane class. Most of the other girls think she’s naturally gifted. But, Benisumomo is actually one of the hardest-working students.

Mokuren is my other favorite character. While I like her character design, that’s not the main reason I like her. Instead, I like her personality and ability. Mokuren is a nice girl who acts as the medic of Akane Class. She can heal injuries by slapping people on the forehead.

Mokuren playing with some birds from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Mokuren playing with some birds

Shakuyaku isn’t a character who gets much screen time. Because of that, there’s not much to say about her personality and abilities. We know she’s strong and bad with directions. But, not much aside from that. However, I think she has the best character design in the series.

Housenka is my favorite of the younger girls. Akane Class is split into two groups. There are the older girls and the younger girls. of the younger girls, Housenka is the cutest. I also like that she’s always hyper and likes to play pranks. She’s a fun character.

The final girl in S-Tier is Touwata. She has a bit more of a traditional kunoichi design than most of the other girls. And I think she makes it work. Along with her character design, I like how she always wants to challenge Dog Team for their team name.

A-Tier Kunoichi

6 girls made it into A-tier. They are Azami, Tanpopo, Suzuran, Sazanka, Ume, and Mizubashou.

Azami and Tanpopo can be grouped together. They’re on the same team, but that’s not why. The real reason is that they’re a character pair. You’re never going to see one without the other. And what makes these girls unique is that they’re gals. Because of that, they have fun designs and personalities.

Suzuran is kind of a surprise pick for A-tier. Her design isn’t all that special — though I do still find her cute. Instead, the reason I put her here is her personality. Suzuran, like Mokuren, is a sort of motherly figure. Though, that only extends to Ajisai, whom we’ll get to.

Azami and Tanpopo from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Azami and Tanpopo

Sazanka is the highest-rated girl from the main team of the series. She’s a petite girl with a feisty personality. Before watching In The Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki, I would have put Sazanka in S-tier based on her design. However, her personality isn’t my favorite, so I dropped her down a tier.

Ume is kind of like the A-tier version of Housenka. She’s a cute, younger girl with a lot of energy. And she‘s often seen with Housenka. But, Ume‘s relationships with other characters aren’t as good as Housenka’s.

Finally, we have Mizubashou. I didn’t expect to rank her this high. But, I like her almost librarian look and how she manages her teammates. She’s always doing damage control for Benisumomo and Touwata since they can be a bit abrasive.

B-Tier Kunoichi

The 8 B-tier girls are Ajisai, Fuki, Hagi, Suzushiro, Tsuwabuki, Kibushi, Tachiaoi, and Higiri. B-tier is for the girls who I like enough, but aren’t anything special.

Ajisai is the baby of the kunoichi. She’s the smallest, and possibly youngest girl of Akane Class. But, what makes her a baby is how her teammates treat her. They’re always doing everything for her and giving her sweets.

Fuki is one of Ume’s teammates. Despite their team being made up of only younger girls, Fuki is pretty mature. Or, maybe she only seems that way because of the other two.

Hagi is a depressed-looking girl who always wants to take the safe, predictable route. She’s the exact opposite of her teammate, Higuruma.

Suzushiro has twin tails, and that’s all I actually remember about her. She’s one of the older girls.

Tachiaoi wiping her brow from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Tachiaoi wiping her brow

Tsuwabuki is another one of the older girls. She’s on the same team as Mokuren and Housenka. And she’s often the one Housenka pranks. Tsuwabuki also has a nice character design and is dependable.

Kibushi is cute, which is the only thing I have to say about her. That’s enough to put her in B-tier.

Tachiaoi is a pretty average girl. I was going to put her in C-tier. But, I actually liked her little character arc. She learned to be more dependable as a team leader.

Higiri is on the same team as Suzushiro. And like Suzushiro, I don’t remember anything about Higiri. But, her character design is pretty good.

C-Tier Kunoichi

C-tier has the most girls in it, with 10. These are Asagao, Dokudami, Uikyou, Kikyou, Shion, Tsubaki, Rindou, Sumire, Higuruma, and Hinagiku.

Asagao is one of the four members of Dog Team. She’s a very big girl, but she’s also one of the younger girls. Her favorite activity is eating and she’s not the brightest.

Dokudami is a pretty cool character. Her design resembles an oni and she fights using a club. She’s also one of the strongest characters. But, she’s not cute and I’m not much of a fan of her personality.

Uikyou and Kikyou are twins who make up Snake Team. They do the typical, annoying twin things, like finishing each other’s sentences. Also, they use a jutsu that can hypnotize people.

Shion’s a fairly forgettable character. But, she’s teammates with Suzuran and Ajisai. Like Suzuran, she babies Ajisai.

Kikyou and Uikyou from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Kikyou and Uikyou

Tsubaki is the titular character of the series. Her defining physical trait is that she has the largest forehead. And her defining character trait is that she’s a teacher’s pet.

Rindou, like Dokudami, is a pretty cool character. She’s not cute, though, which is why she’s down here. What I like most about Rindou, though, is her jutsu. She can summon other people, usually Mokuren.

Sumire is another teacher’s pet. She’s the leader of Rooster Team, which means she has to deal with the gals Azami and Tanpopo.

Higuruma is the opposite of Hagi. Their personalities are opposites and the things they want to do are always opposing. Higuruma will want to go climb a mountain while Hagi will want to go home.

I almost put Hinagiku in D-tier. She views herself as the cutest. But, she‘s just annoying.

D-Tier Kunoichi

There are only 7 girls in D-tier. These are Aogiri, Itadori, Hasu, Oniyuri, Mukuge, Kagetsu, and Hototogisu. These girls are the worst of the worst, mostly because they’re not as cute as the others.

Aogiri isn’t cute at all. She dresses like a samurai, which isn’t a cute look, even if I like samurai. And she has an eyepatch. Eyepatches aren’t cute, either.

Itadori has short hair, which she loses points for automatically. But, the worst thing about her is the giant scar on her head.

Hasu is another one of the forgettable characters. And it doesn’t help that she looks very similar to another D-tier character, Mukuge.

Hototogisu, Kagetsu, and Mukuge practicing their music from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Hototogisu, Kagetsu, and Mukuge practicing their music

Oniyuri has some strong male energy, which again, isn’t cute. She’s on the same team as Hinagiku, though. So, I guess it makes sense to pair the most masculine and most feminine characters together.

The final 3 characters of D-tier are all on the same team. These are Mukuge, Kagetsu, and Hototogisu of Rabbit Team. I’m pretty sure these characters are only in a single episode. Well, other than times when they’re just in the background.

They all play instruments and are in a band together. Their episode focused on their band and I couldn’t have cared less about it. The only good thing about them is that Hototogisu is cute. But, not cute enough to overcome the other issues keeping her in D-tier.

Which Team Ranks the Highest?

Now that I’ve put all the girls on a tier list individually, let’s rank the teams from best to worst. I came up with this ranking by averaging the placements of every member of each team.

In the #1 spot, we have Sheep Team, featuring Benisumomo, Touwata, and Mizubashou. This makes sense since both Benisumomo and Touwata are S-tier kunoichi.

Monkey Team is #2. This team includes Mokuren, Tsuwabuki, and Housenka. Mokuren and Housenka are also S-tier kunoichi. But Tsuwabuki is only B-tier.

Rooster Team, made up of Sumire, Azami, and Tanpopo is #3. And Ox team, with Shion, Suzuran, and Ajisai is #4.

We then have a 3-way tie for positions 5, 6, and 7. But, I still decided to rank them based on how I felt. The #5 spot goes to Dokudami, Aogiri, and Shakuyaku of Boar Team. They got this spot because Shakuyaku is an S-tier Kunoichi.

Touwata, Benisumomo, and Mizubashou sleeping from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Touwata, Benisumomo, and Mizubashou sleeping

Tiger team, featuring Fuki, Ume, and Itadori, is #6. And Rat team, with Tachiaoi, Hagi, and Higuruma is #7.

The main team of the series, Dog Team, comes in at #8. The 4 members of this team are Tsubaki, Sazanka, Asagao, and Rindou.

Suzushiro, Higiri, and Hasu of Dragon Team are #9. And after them, we have another tie, this time between the Horse and Snake Teams.

Horse Team, with Kibushi, Hinagiku, and Oniyuri came in 10th. Meanwhile, Uikyou and Kikyou of Snake Team came in 11th.

And in last place, we have Rabbit Team. Mukuge, Kagetsu, and Hototogisu were all in D-tier.


What do you think of my tier list and team rankings? Where would you place the girls of In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki? And which team is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.com.

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In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki anime series cover art
In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki

Series Overview

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki (Kunoichi Tsubaki no Mune no Uchi / くノ一ツバキの胸の内) is a comedy, slice of life anime about ninja. It’s written by Souichirou Yamamoto, whose other works you may be familiar with. He also wrote Teasing Master Takagi-san and When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

This series takes place in an all-female ninja village. Here, young kunoichi (female ninja) train without the distraction of having men around. In fact, the girls of Akane-class have never even seen a man before. They’re taught that men are dangerous monsters that they should avoid at all costs.

But, despite the teachings of Hana-sensei, Tsubaki has a desire to see a man with her own eyes. Although she doesn’t know what men look like — or even what they are — hearing about them makes her feel something. And so, Tsubaki’s goal is to learn more about the forbidden creatures known as men.

Now, while the series is about Tsubaki wanting to learn more about men, that’s probably the worst part. Since this is a slice of life series, there’s not exactly a main plot. So, I felt that Tsubaki’s obsession with men often got in the way of the good content.

What’s the good content of this anime? It’s the cast as a whole. I’ll go into more detail about this later in the review. But, my favorite part of the series is definitely the large cast of unique characters. There are 38 characters, each with their own designs and personalities.

With that said, I also think that the series would be even better if it did have a main plot. What’s better than having a bunch of good characters? Having a bunch of good characters and a good plot for them to participate in.

The Twelve Teams of Akane-Class

Since there are so many characters, let’s quickly go over the 12 teams that contain the 36 students. Most teams have 3 members, with one having 2 and another having 4.

Team Rat is Tachiaoi, Higuruma, and Hagi. Higuruma and Hagi are complete opposites in every way. And as the team leader, Tachiaoi always tries to please both of them.

Team Ox is Shion, Suzuran, and Ajisai. Shion and Suzuran act as the older sisters to Ajisai and treat her as the child she is. But, Ajisai wants them to treat her as their equal.

Team Tiger is Fuki, Itadori, and Ume. It’s one of three teams that don’t have at least one upperclassman in them.

Team Rabbit is Kagetsu, Mukuge, and Hototogisu. They’re all underclassmen and serve as Akane-class’s music group.

Team Dragon is Higiri, Suzushiro, and Hasu. From what I remember, this is the only team without an episode — or part of an episode — dedicated to them.

The 12 teams of Akane-class from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
The 12 teams of Akane-class

Team Snake is Uikyou and Kikyou. They’re identical twins, underclassmen, and perfectly in sync with each other.

Team Horse is Hinagiku, Kibushi, and Oniyuri. Hinagiku believes she’s the cutest girl in the class and cries any time someone else is cuter.

Team Sheep is Benisumomo, Mizubashou, and Touwata. This is probably the hardest-working team of all.

Team Monkey is Mokuren, Tsuwabuki, and Housenka. It serves as the medical team.

Team Rooster is Sumire, Azami, and Tanpopo. Azami and Tanpopo are gyaru, while team leader Sumire is a model student.

Team Dog is Tsubaki, Sazanka, Asagao, and later Rindou. This is the main team of the series. Think of them like Team 7 from Naruto.

Team Boar is Dokudami, Aogiri, and Shakuyaku. This is the strongest team. But, all three have terrible senses of direction.

All That’s Missing Is the Plot

In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki had the potential to be the best anime of the spring season. It could have been better than both Kaguya-sama and Magia Record. But, without a real plot, it didn’t reach its full potential.

As I already mentioned, the characters are the best part of the series. It’s pretty rare to get a cast of characters in an anime of this length that’s as fleshed out as this. This level of characterization is what you’d expect from a series 10 times longer.

Are there other single-cour series that explore their characters to this extent? Of course. But do they have 38 characters? No. In this series, every character has a unique name, appearance, personality, skillset, etc.

And, characterization is a part of world-building. Because we know so much about these characters, we know a lot about their world, too.

Mokuren and Tsubaki having a forehead size competition from the anime series In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki
Mokuren and Tsubaki having a forehead size competition

Something else I like is that the jutsu the characters use isn’t ever explained. Now, if this was a much longer series and the jutsu mattered, I’d want an explanation. I love when we get a breakdown of a power system in a battle shounen series, for example.

But, in this series, the jutsu are more of an extension of the characters who use them. The twins use their bells to put people to sleep. Mokuren slaps people to heal their wounds. Rindou can summon people — usually Mokuren.

It’s implied that anyone can learn to use any of these jutsu. But, that’s not how it works in practice. And I think that goes a long way in making the characters feel unique and the world feel real.

If there was a plot, though, the unique traits of each character would be more important.


I ended up giving In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki a 7/10. It’s a good anime. If it ever gets another season, I’ll definitely watch it. But, I do feel that Yamamoto’s niche of writing rom-coms held it back a bit.

The OP for the series was one of my favorites of the season. Though, the ED(s) are superior. The ED song is the same for every episode. But, a different team sings the ED for each episode, which is a nice touch. Also, the visuals are slightly different depending on the team.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

Check out my Akane Class character tier list article next.