Director – Junpei Mizusaki (Zoo)
Starring – Roger Craig Smith (The Powerpuff Girls, The Son of Bigfoot), Fred Tatasciore (Team America: World Police, Supernatural), and Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Rhett and Link’s Buddy System)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 4/5
I’m not much on anime. I do enjoy the two Vampire Hunter D films but that is the extent of my anime viewing. Most of you know that I recently found interest in the DC animated films and I’ve been lucky enough to review a few of them lately. Not long ago I got wind of a new animated film, Batman Ninja.
I read the synopsis for it and it sounded fucking awesome. I had no idea it was originally an anime but I still requested it. Closer to launch images and trailers started to appear online. I was a little skeptical at first but now I’m glad I stuck with it. This was the most fun I’d had with a movie in a long, long time.
**Spoiler Alert** the film follows Batman and several of Gotham’s villains as they are teleported to Feudal Japan thanks to Gorilla Grodd’s time traveling machine. Batman arrives two years after everyone else and with that time they each took over a specific territory. Joker has plans of taking over all of Japan but Gorilla Grodd has been using all the villains as pawns for an even bigger plan that could be the end of all mankind if Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Nightwing doesn’t stop him.**Spoiler Alert**
I’m still relatively new to the DC animated universe but I know that they fuckin kill it with their releases. All the other film’s I’ve seen to date were fantastic but none were nowhere near as fucking epic as Batman Ninja. I felt like a kid again watching milestone chapters in my favorite shows growing up Beavis and Butthead Do Americaand Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. I found myself sliding off the couch and sitting in the floor like a kid again watching the film in amazement.
The voice acting in this one is probably my least favorite out of the film’s I’ve seen so far. It is leagues above Christian Slater in Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay but that’s not saying much. The voice acting is very unenergetic and boring for the most part. They have no emotional range and create no atmosphere unlike most of the other animated films I had seen.
The story for this one took me back to my youth. I was born in the mid 80s and grew up in the 90s so I lived the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When their live action films was announced I flipped my shit like most of the other kids my age but by the time the third film rolled around people were sick of it. Not me and I loved the third film in the series. Seeing the turtles in a halfshell taken back in time was amazing. I got that same excitement seeing Batman and other Gotham locals find themselves in Japan.
It was a huge reach with the story but that is what I like about it. They could have kept it safe and just cashed in on the name alone with a mediocre film but they went above that to deliver an unforgettable story and when you think you’ve seen it all with the film the movie changes it up. We go from one absurd moment to another and then, boom! We find ourselves in the middle of a sentai showdown Batman style. This was the moment that left me geeking out. I loved how the story is so far out there. Sure, there is plot holes and inconsistencies but its a fucking billionaire that fights crime in high-tech tights. You learn to live with it.
Finally, the animation for this one is not your typical animation style seen in the U.S. or the western world. They style is much different but works very well for the film. Overall, Batman Ninja may not be for everyone but it was for me. I fucking loved it. The story was not something I was expecting and brought together so many things from my childhood. Check this out and soon!