The latest animated outing of the Dark Knight was released digitally on April 24th. Batman Ninja has been a long anticipated, slowly simmering project that began its’ development life all the way back in 2014. Finally, after years of waiting and a percolating marketing campaign, fans can get their hands on a digital copy of the 85 minute, feature length, anime movie. Physical copies will be in stores on May 8th, 2018.
The PG-13 movie pits Bruce Wayne and his allies against the traditional Batman rogues gallery but with a backdrop of the Sengoku period of feudal Japan. Gorilla Grodd transports everyone back in time and, when Batman arrives, finds himself in the middle of a territorial war among Gotham city’s criminal elite.
The style and tonality of this film is a departure from Warner Brothers Animation’s typical offerings. The costume designs are a fantastic re imaging of classic outfits by Takashi Ozasaki (Afro Samurai). Tara Strong reprises her voice acting role as the ever-crazy, ever-lovable Harley Quinn and Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins, Avengers Assemble, Star Wars: Battlefront II) lends his voice for Batman. At just shy of an hour and a half, it is an ideal length for this story to play out although there was one particular scene, done in a Japanese watercolor style, that I could have done without.
As an animated Batman movie, this ranks up there with the best. In fact of the previous few films – namely Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, Batman and Harley Quinn, the Killing Joke and Gotham by Gaslight, this is the best. As an anime genre film, this hits all the familiar beats, even employing some powerful Mecha, this does not disappoint. If you enjoy animated DC movies and if you’re an anime fan, this is a movie you won’t want to miss.
RATING: 9.2 / 10 Stars
Batman Ninja synopsis:
“Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transports many of Batman’s worst enemies to feudal Japan – along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies – including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family – to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.“