Once upon a time, being a ninja meant something. You had to be silent, skilled, ruthless, careful and precise. And if you failed, you had to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). And this was some serious thing, don’t underestimate it. That actof suicide was the last thing you’d ever do, so if you screwed it up, you’d be remembered as the ninja who couldn’t even impale himself. I mean, imagine you’re in front of your sensai and you’ve just shoved your kitana up into your chest through your stomach. If you miss your heart, you might be there for a while. The sensai would be like, “hey, i don’t have all day” and you’d be like “i’m almost dead, if you could just, like, twist my sword or something, that would be totally sweet”. Except you’d say it in Japanese, so it would be more like “Buru sera, kominga jari bukino ru”.
Today’s ninjas, if they can be called that, are so weak. No longer having the honored tradition behind them, they are forced to take up other jobs. Most notably, Ninja Burger, though they were quick to go out of business, too, after all the members committed seppuku when they failed to deliver in 30 minutes. Ninjas are quick, but not even they can beat rush hour traffic.
Now, let’s say you found a sensai to work for. Back in the day, you’d have to sneak past samurai and break their necks or something wicked. Hiding in shadows, you’d face formidable foes who are properly trained to fight to defend themselves. But now, nobody even knows about ninjas or anything like that. You might be called to kill some tobacco executive or child porn distributor. And you wouldn’t need to do anything stealthy at all. You could just walk into a McDonalds and someone would be like, “nifty jammies, my man”. No alarms, no shoguns ready to fuck you up. You could walk over to the bad guy’s booth and just slit his throat mid-McNugget. Where is the honor in this?
Ninjas today have no prestige.