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Choose your own animus!


'What’s an “Animus”?’ asked Mad Dog.

Literally, it means “animating spirit” – that’s the essence of your core being, the spirit that defines you as a person,' answered Yazuki. 'But it can also mean “animosity” which is why the animal shadows only usually come out in confrontational situations. For centuries, Ninja have looked to the earth for inspiration in ways to live and fight. This is why you see us all giving off animal shadows. We each study the species that mean most to us. We each have an “Animus” that is unique...'

Choose your animus below,   and see 
which animus other readers are!

Choose your animus!

























"Just as I was thinking I would never find my animus, I caught sight of my shadow and laughed out loud. I'd thrown myself onto the floor in frustration - my head resting on one arm and waving the other to cool myself down. There on the wall was the perfectly formed shadow of a cat, curled up - with a swishing tail! ...I even heard myself purr!"

- Hattori Hachi:  Revenge of Praying Mantis



A praying mantis is a master of disguise – its camouflage is supremely important because it has so many enemies. It has strong forearms with overlapping spines. It waits indefinitely, not moving, until – crack! – it springs and captures prey, breaks their neck to paralyse them – then devours them before they’re even dead. They are carnivores who will devour their own species. The female will even eat her own partner once they've mated and, as hatchlings, thier first meal is often one of their siblings.


For centuries, ravens have been persecuted by man, perhaps because they used to feed on corpses on gallows (ugh!) and have all-black plumage. The raven is thought to be an evil omen with strange powers... I'd never thought much at all about ravens until my adventure in book 2 - but coming face to face with the evil Kataki warrior "Raven" was even scarier than my encounter with Praying Mantis in book 1! Raven flies through the air with his nijutsu hang-gliding wings and has talons he uses to tear at people's flesh. He swoops down and steals lambs to eat and some say he'll even eat humans...


Rat Kings are well documented in folklore, a cluster of rats whose tails grow together, bonded by mud or excrement. The tails join the rats in a big wheel, all facing out, spinning round as they move, spreading disease and wreaking havoc. Yazuki suspected right away that the Kataki had come up with their worst possible aggressor...

Subpages (1): Which animus you are ...