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Checkered Ninja 03
Hi there! This is a personal project where I tried to imagine the visual direction for a potential third movie of the franchise Checkered Ninja based on a personal idea.

Short summary of Checkered Ninja
The young boy, Ash, gets a checkered ninja doll from his Uncle Stewart as a birthday present. The checkered Ninja doll, turns out to be possessed with a rap-jawed Japanese spirit, who challenges Ash's perception of what he can and cannot do.

My idea:
Ash meets a new girl in the neighborhood, Sakura, who is protected and held captive against her will by an ancient Japanese samurai spirit Itsumo Mamoru. Itsumo Mamoru is tortured for not being able to protect her ancestors and he has now dedicated his full life purpose to protecting her. Whatever it takes.
Concept Development

Below you can see my concept development process of the Shinto shrine location. Going from final concept piece, to character exploration and early development.

The final version of one of my sketches. I loved this scenery and the vibrant and nostalgic mood. I wanted to clarify the architecture and give a bit more depth and detail.


Scenario #2: Imagining Ash's first encounter with the Spirit at sundown. This time using more natural colors.


I imagined that this could be the first time where he figures out that that there are other spirits than Nakamura. 

Scenario #1: In this sketch, I wanted to explore a scene, where Sakura is going to the shrine for the first time to meet her protective spirit.

I was aiming for a warm and nostalgic mood, to show that she fondly remembers her first encounter with the spirit.

Scenario #3: Ash comes into the shrine. Although he has not yet discovered the protective spirit (Itsumo Mamoru)

He is just trying to find his way through the darkness using his phone.

Tried to create an ominous, but playful mood 

More props created using 3D modeling with a paintover in photoshop.

Rough layout sketch of the environment drawing inspiration from references

3 Stages of development going from concept to textured 3d model. At the mid-stage i realized that I needed to bring out a more gloomy and indifferent personality of the character.

I tried to capture the design of the Checkered Ninja characters and explore how I could reflect the personality of the character visually. While also making her an interesting counterpart to Aske the main character. 

The protective spirit, "Itsumo Mamoru", is a damaged spirit, who failed in protecting Sakura's mother. He is full of resentment towards himself and is unwilling to change. He has sworn to keep Sakura where he can protect her.


I made him to be a Samurai Spirit, and counterpart to the ninja, Nakamura.

Early Exploration of the Itsumo Mamoru character.

A turnaround of the character Sakura.

The idea her is that she seems low-key cool on the surface, a bit indifferent perhaps. But she struggles to become happier but is unable to change her circumstances.

Props. Drawn and painted over in photoshop.

Earliest stage of the project. Simple sketches and a collection of keywords, summarizing the overall idea and direction.

Thanks for looking through this little project of mine. It means a lot to me.

I hope it gives you some inspiration and sparks some more ideas for your own project.

Appreciate it a lot

- Sincerely Jesper 

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