*POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE BATMAN NINJA*
[Disclaimer: although I like the Batman franchise, I do not claim to know everything about it at all, and although I do try to research beforehand, the information I have might not be completely accurate therefore, if I get facts wrong I apologise, as well as this everything I write is my own opinion therefore I am not saying it is correct]
Batman ninja is a stand-alone Batman movie, which showcases a Japanese take on the Batman franchise, by teleporting Batman, and his friends and family, along with his greatest villains, to feudal japan, it is directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, who is best known for his work on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure as well as the Mega Man franchise, as well as character design by Takashi Okazaki who is the creator of Afro Samurai, (information taken from https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/2/16401524/batman-ninja-anime-afro-samurai-kill-la-kill-jojo-bizarre-adventure and https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-first-trailer-for-the-batman-ninja-anime-is-a-glori-1820907529 which you can follow and read for more information 😀 )
The premise of the film is that Batman, while in a fight with Gorilla Grodd, ends up being sent back to medieval japan when Grodd’s time-displacement machine malfunctions, along with several of his family and friends, as well as his greatest enemies, where he must fight to stop villains such as the Joker, Two-Face, Deathstroke and Poison Ivy from taking over japan, with the help from Nightwing, Robin, Red robin and Red Hood, as well as a few more familiar faces.
Although this film was overall very good in my opinion, there are a few things I feel I should point out, which could have made the film slightly more enjoyable in my opinion, the first of which is the Joker’s English dubbed voice, this comment is sort of a double edged sword in the way that at the beginning of the movie I strongly disliked the Jokers voice as I found it very squeaky and annoying, which very much stood out next the fantastic job of Harley Quinn by Tara Strong, although the Joker voice was not bad it was just a surprise as it was different from the iconic Joker voice I am used to in Batman movies such as Mark Hamill, however throughout the movie Tony Hale’s Joker grew on me and by the end of the movie this was no longer an issue for me.
Another issue for me is that the movie seemed unfinished in places and lots of scenes, felt like they could do with more to them, such as the one on one fight scenes near the end of the movie, the only fight we actually saw in full was Joker vs Batman, and lots of the other villains and side characters didn’t get much screen-time, which seems a shame considering the amount of effort was put into the amazing character designs, I feel this concept might have done better as a fully fledged anime series rather than a film, as it would allow for more character and plot development, especially when it came to the other characters during the 2 year time gap before Batman arrives in Japan.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, especially the visuals and character design, this movie has one of the prettiest art styles I’ve seen in a while, which is most evident in the hand drawn, origami style backgrounds, this feudal Japanese style is such a refreshing change from Batman’s usual dark and gritty, and its so beautifully executed, with a smooth animation style which flows seamlessly throughout the film. As well as this the Japanese elements implemented really work with what the movie creators are trying to achieve with this movie, as it really feels like a true Japanese/anime Batman experience.
The character design is a big part of why this movie works so well, especially with the villains, as Joker especially looks great in this movie, as they have managed to integrate lots of traditional Japanese elements such as Jokers hairstyle and collar, however they have also managed to keep true to what makes Joker … Joker, by keeping his green hair, red lips and purple and green colour scheme. Every character in this movie really works together and looks fantastic.
Another of the many good points of this movie is the soundtrack, as its mostly in the background, and therefore doesn’t take away from the other aspects of the film such as the action scenes and the art style. On another note the plot of this movie is a little eccentric and is definitely different from the plot of most of the Batman animated movies before it, and its filled with loads of anime tropes such as big mechas, cool fight scenes, and rooftop sword fights, which has been really well implemented into the Batman world, and although the plot is kinda crazy, it works and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the film. Overall I feel this movie is pretty great and it’s a must see for both Batman and Anime fans, as it doesn’t really require you to know too much about the Batman comics.