There are plenty of Batman stories to read, watch, or play. Batman: Ninja is truly a different Batman story. What would it be like if Batman operated in Japan? Ancient Japan that is. In this movie, Batman is transported to Japan in a mission that involves time travel.
Gorilla Grodd created a time machine to use against the villains of Gotham City. Grodd is a villain that is not normally seen in Batman animated movies. Grodd being an antagonist in this film gives the Batman animated movies fresh material. Grodd’s plan is to send the Gotham villains to the past, so Grodd can take over the city. Batman interferes which causes Grodd, Batman, and all of the villains to get sent to the past to Japan.
It’s clearly evident that this film’s stylistic choices are inspired by anime. The animation of the characters is odd. Characters move robotically and rigidly. There are beautiful nature shots in the film, such as rain falling over the forest where Batman keeps his hideout. The character designs are an artistic fusion of Japanese art while keeping true to the DC characters.
The plot makes odd choices in its storytelling. For example, in ancient Japan, the villains create robotic fortresses. There would’ve been no way for this to happen in reality. The robotic fortresses can turn into one gigantic robot if the villains bring the fortresses together. Batman’s idea for stopping the robot is even more absurd. Batman takes Grodd’s device that controls monkeys. He makes the monkeys come together to form a towering monkey. After that, he calls upon bats to combine with the monkeys to make a Batman as tall as the robot. It’s epic, but ridiculous. The movie should’ve played it safe. It could’ve been a stealthy Batman flick where he has to be a ninja in order to take out his foes.
Batman: Ninja is an artsy film with crazy plot choices. I do recommend watching for anime fans. It is something different from the Batman universe. The movie is a fun, over-the-top adventure.
Overall rating: 3/5.