Batman Ninja (2018) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Batman Ninja (2018) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Junpei Mizusaki
Starring: Roger Craig Smith, Tony Hale, Tara Strong
Rated: PG-13/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Warner Bros.

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.

Well, I will hand it to DC for once again managing to bring Batman to the animated screen with a new concept that is different. Here, in Batman Ninja, we basically have the anime version of Batman along with his enemies and his friends. I’ll say this much up front, I at least love the animation here. As an anime fan, I can dig the way things look here and just the way the animation flows. I love the look of the movie and think it’s a cool concept in general. People who dig anime and aren’t that into Batman might just find something they like here as the Ninja version of Batman isn’t all that bad in general, but the movie does have a few flaws here and there that hold it down a bit.

The plot here for this one just sort of drags a little too much for my taste here and there. I think the movie takes a few bad turns when it really matters the most and while I love the Joker, this whole ninja and anime stuff doesn’t compliment him as much and some others in general. This just doesn’t feel like the Joker to me. I know some might love this version of him, but I think I’d have pulled back a little bit on it. He feels like he’s out of Tokyo Ghoul or something of that nature instead of the Joker we all know. Batman is the one who makes the transition the best, but he was basically trained by ninja anyway so it fits. The Blu-ray does look pretty amazing, however, and I’m sure you’ll like the way it looks in HD.

Extras

– “East / West Batman” (Featurette) – Batman meets the anime medium, as this documentary looks into some of the Western tropes and archetypes, meshed into the world of feudal Japan. East meets West, swords, samurai and giant robots, all playing into the clash between Batman and his Rogues gallery.
– “Batman: Made in Japan” (Featurette) – To make a special film about Batman requires just the right artist to bring the mix of style and energy that is unmistakably anime. The filmmakers discuss the Japanese character models, influences and design create a fusion experience into this hyper real world.
– “New York Comic Con Presents Batman Ninja” – Meet the talented filmmakers behind Batman Ninja as they discuss their inspirations and challenges in bringing an anime version of Batman to life during a panel discussion unveiling Batman Ninja during New York Comic Con 2017.

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 97%