“Batman, along with his allies and adversaries, finds himself transported from modern Gotham City to feudal Japan.”
Take in mind this film is not part of the WB/DC animation story arcs that have been created, such as Justice League: War, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox, and so forth. This is an original standalone take on Batman directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, who is famous for directing a majority of the Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure TV openings, with character designs by Takashi Okazaki, the manga artist of the famed, Afro Samurai, and top it all off with Kazuki Nakashima the writer of such hits as RE: Cutey Honey, Gurren Lagann, and Kill la Kill. Now absorb all that was given to you just now and put it in a semi cel-shaded animated universe with expectedly heavy Japanese takes on the Bat-mythos…
This feels as though it was heavily inspired by DC Nation’s, Shanghai Batman, a series of three short episodes featuring Batman, Catwoman, and Bane in China, with garb, and stylistic influences to match. This film [Batman Ninja] is easily the Japanese equivalent. Was it any good? Well, to be honest it felt like cutscenes from an over-the-top video game, that happened to change art styles a few times, only to bring you back to the “meat” of the story. The story itself felt loose, and simple, but not very easy to follow with every scene feeling like the end of the main story. The only reason why it’s “not very easy to follow” is the simple fact is that it feels like too many ideas are thrown in the pot to allow it to give the feeling that there is one main plot. There were too many “cool for coolness’ sake” moments, but at the same time… they were REALLY cool (and silly), but not good enough to give the story that complete feeling. The voice cast was solid, with Tara Strong handling more that one character at a time as always. Roger Craig Smith’s Batman was strong, but Tony Hale’s Joker kept taking me out of the film. There was a nice surprise, hearing Will Friedle’s voice in the Batman universe again. If you don’t know who that is, he was Terry McGuiness in Batman Beyond. Overall it’s a fun movie, especially if you are a particular ninja/samurai anime fan, while some will be turned away with how different this film is.
The all-new, feature-length animated film arrives on Digital starting April 24, 2018, and Blu-ray™ Steelbook, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on May 8, 2018.