ZoCo Curiosity: Pirate vs Ninja

Oh, you didn’t know this was a thing? The Pirate vs Ninja debate has been raging for nearly two decades. And I get why–they’re both super cool, yet opposite. As soon as someone brought this up in the studio, we were instantly curious. Naturally, the ZoCo team did some investigating and chose their sides.

Team Ninja or Pirate?

Slack conversation

The team was divided on the subject

Let’s break it down.


These guys (and gals) are masters of disguise. They move in the shadows, undetected, and take out their enemies in a blink of an eye. They’re trained in the art of ninjutsu, which involves a variety of skills like hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and espionage. And, let’s be honest, they have some very cool and deadly weapons–shurikens, katanas, smoke bombs, and more.




They’re experts at blending in with their surroundings, making them difficult to detect. They could sneak up on you without you ever knowing they were there. And don’t forget their martial arts training, so they are very dangerous in close proximity. Add a point for the element of surprise.

And Ninjas are simply iconic. They’re a symbol of Japanese culture and are known around the world for their mysterious and deadly ways. 



On the other hand, we have the swashbuckling pirates. These salty dogs are known for their love of adventure, treasure, and rum. They sail the high seas, pillaging and plundering wherever they go.

They’re skilled sailors who are able to navigate treacherous waters and outsmart their enemies, and they’ll let you know about it. They’re the opposite of the subtle and secretive ways of the Ninja, flying the famous Jolly Roger flag proudly. 


Jolly Roger Pirate flag


Pirates have their own unique arsenal as well, relying on the cutlass, the most famous sword on the seas, pistols, and cannons. You can expect brute force when encountering a pirate, and they’re not going to hesitate. 

We also know a lot more about Pirates. They were so notorious that everyone knows their characters and stories–peg legs, eye patches, and parrots included. They are a symbol of freedom and adventure, romanticized in popular culture and literature.

The verdict.

The debate of Pirate vs Ninja is a complex and multifaceted one. They both have rich histories and fascinating cultural representations, and each have their own distinct strengths and weaknesses. Here is where we stand:


Who wins the fight: Ninjas

Who wins the popularity contest: Pirates


What say you, matey? Do you agree? Let us know your choice on social @ZoCoDesign

Stay Curious.

But wait, there’s more!

After reading this, you must be curious: how do Ninjas move so quietly, anyway? Well, here is a “how to walk like a Ninja” infographic you can use to practice for yourself. Keep at it and you’ll be able to sneak out of any meeting or presentation completely unseen.


How to walk like a ninja infographic

Eric Trimble