Batman Ninja    review by Bobby Blakey

The DC animated universe continues to deliver some amazing films with the most unique trailer coming out recently being Batman Ninja, but up until now it had just been a Japanese trailer. Now the highly anticipated Japanese twist on the Dark Knight is here, but does it live up to the hype or should it have just bowed out of the fight?

Batman Ninja follows 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. Without anything other than the trailer I was already sold just in the theme and art style, but admit I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype I created in my own mind. Thankfully not only did it live up to it, but it blew it away.

Although this film has a story that could work in any mythology of the Batman universe with it book ended with modern aspects of the caped crusader, I still like to look at these as Elseworld’s type stories. This feature goes all in all around with not only the look and story, but using a full Japanese production to bring this unique take to life. The animation is insanely awesome bringing so many familiar elements of the Manga world to the forefront while still being something fresh and new. The character designs are amazing and the attention to detail to bring the full Japanese epic to life is insane. Every character is recognizable but still stands out as something new.

Sure there are many over the top elements here, but it goes all in with all the things that Manga tends to do. The story works great and keeps you engaged while inserting a chaotic array of action that never misses a beat. The big finish to it all is pure beautiful chaos that does not pull any punches to perfectly complete this epic journey. This film won’t necessarily connect with everyone especially the change in animation at one point, but it is a must see for fans of the Dark Knight like you have never seen him before.

In addition to this cool new take on the Dark Knight this release also includes bonus content including featurettes on bringing this film to life. Step into the shadows and grab your copy of Batman Ninja when it hits Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on May 8th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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