Hanzo National Academy is, to outside observers, an ordinary if prestigious prep school. However, there is a secret curriculum at this school, sponsored by the national government, to train promising young candidates in shinobido -- the way of the ninja. Of the more than 1000 students at the academy, five cute young girls have been selected for this program to become agents of justice for their country. But not all ninja work for just and righteous masters, and their struggle against evil -- not to mention with everyday teenage life -- has only just begun.
Senran Kagura is an action beat-'em-up game starring a team of ninja-in-training high school girls. The story is broken up into missions, which generally involve beating up on waves of enemy ninja in classic side-scrolling fashion, with various other objectives depending on the stage. It is possible to switch between the five members of the team between missions; however, some missions can only be tackled with specific characters.
Each girl has their own unique sets of combos and attacks, earns experience and levels up separately, and can be dressed up in numerous unlockable outfits. Outfits take damage and can be destroyed in battle, which affects the character's abilities; there is even a special "inochigake" ("life on the line") state where the character rips off their own clothing, granting them a boost in attack power for a short time, and giving additional bonuses if a mission is cleared in this state.