Batman Ninja Blu Ray Review (Warner Bros)
Batman Ninja is a 2018 anime film directed by Junpei Mizusaki (Zoo). Takashi Okazaki, the creator of Afro Samurai is the character designer for the film. Development for this project was started in 2014. It was released direct to video in America & it’s getting a theatrical release in Japan. Both the English & Japanese versions of the film are completely different. Batman (played by: Roger Craig Smith from Batman Unlimited, Justice League Action, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, & Sonic Boom) takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s (played by: Fred Tatasciore from The Death of Superman, DC Super Hero Girls, & Justice League Action) time displacement machine transports various villains of The Dark Knight which include The Joker (played by: Tony Hale from Arrested Development, Yoga Hosers, Veep, Chuck, & American Ultra), Harley Quinn (played by: Tara Strong from Batman Ninja, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, & Batman: The Killing Joke), Poison Ivy (played by: Tara Strong from Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, New Teen Titans, Beware the Batman, & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), Two-Face (played by: Eric Bauza from Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash, DC Nation’s Farm League, Black Dynamite, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & G.I. Joe: Resolute), Penguin (played by: Tom Kenny from SpongeBob SquarePants, DC Super Hero Girls, Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash, & Green Lantern: The Animated Series), Deathstroke (played by: Fred Tatasciore from Justice League Dark, Son of Batman, & Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem), & Bane (played by: Kenta Miyake from Overlord, Pokémon, & Power Rangers Lost Galaxy) to feudal Japan.
Batman is joined by allies Catwoman (played by: Grey Griffin from Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain, DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games, & Justice League: Gods and Monsters), Nightwing (played by: Adam Croasdell from Preacher, Reign, & Hatchet Hour), Robin (played by: Yuri Lowenthal from Batman Unlimited, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), Red Hood (played by: Yuri Lowenthal from Young Justice & Night Watch), & Red Robin (played by: Will Friedle from Boy Meets World, Batman Beyond, Justice League Unlimited, Batman: Gotham Knight, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants, & Green Arrow) there to fight off their rivals. Alfred Pennyworth (played by: Adam Croasdell from Bond, James Bond) has built a Batcave where they have been sent. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land. The Joker takes the lead with his high-tech weaponry. Gorilla Grodd has other plans to take over the throne from him. Eian (played by: Matthew Yang King from Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Species III, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Numb3rs, & 24) the leader of the Bat Clan of Hida offers his assistance to the superheroes against the threat of his homeland. Batman & his allies must use their skills to go against these evil powers battling to control everything around. The heroes want to restore order & return to present day Gotham City!!!! The Japanese voice talents include: Kôichi Yamadera (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust), Wataru Takagi (Naruto: Shippûden), Ai Kakuma (), Rie Kugimiya (Gintama), Atsuko Tanaka (Ghost in the Shell), Daisuke Ono (Attack on Titan), Hôchû Ôtsuka (Ajin), Takehito Koyasu (Gintama), Toshiyuki Morikawa (Resident Evil: Damnation), & many others.
Batman Ninja is nothing like anything DC Comics has produced before when it comes to animation. The Anime & Japanese style is adapted for this feature. It looks CRAZY, I love how these original films take Batman & the DC universe places they would never go! Each known character has a completely different style to them here. This is a truly unique vision when it comes to your favorite heroes & villains of Gotham. It’s a breathe of fresh air compared to the more typical story lines & atmospheres in most versions when it comes to these type of presentations. It’s something that could get more people into this franchise with the Samurai & Ninja additions to it. It’s also basically a double feature because both versions on here are nothing alike in tone. The English one is more over the top & the Japanese version is very serious. I really enjoyed the differences between the two. I think it’s great to have an alternate option every time for this. Expect more action & entertainment going into this rather than story. DC Comics & Warner Bros have done some amazing work on this. They continue to evolve all these characters in different situations every time!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation. This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks fantastic in HD! It’s so colorful & it just pops out of the screen. The style really grabs your attention & you don’t want to look away once it starts. You get 7 different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1,French: Dolby Digital 5.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, Catalan: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1! Like I mentioned above both the English & Japanese versions have completely different tones. If you want a more silly over the top vibe, go with the English. If you want something more serious, go with the Japanese. It also includes subtitles for English, English SDH, French, German SDH, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, & Swedish.
Let’s talk about the special features on this release. As I mentioned above, the “original Japanese version” is very different from the English version. It listed as an extra on here. “East/West Batman” is a 17 minute featurette that includes various production & crew members discussing Batman adapting to the Japanese culture in this feature. They chat about the some of the differences between America & Japan. They bring up some confrontations have a video game final boss fight vibe. They talk about various other things from the production. “Batman: Made in Japan” is a 14 minute featurette includes various production & crew members talking about this had to be Anime & how it worked so well with this feature. They bring up the influences of Frank Miller & Afro Samurai. They discuss the changes made to the characters especially Robin. They mention this story would never been made in live action. They chat about it being more action based than dialogue. They talk about the technology used in this. They cover various other things from the production.
“New York Comic Con Presents Batman Ninja” is a 49 minute panel with Screenwriter Kazuki Nakashima, Screenwriter Leo Chu, Screenwriter Eric Garcia, Character Designer Takashi Okazaki,& Director Junpei Mizusaki moderated by the awesome Gary Miereanu! This was made way before the film was released so they couldn’t really give out much details about the project. They discuss about the origin of Batmantalk about how popular The Dark Knight is in Japan. They give the basic plot for the film without spoiling anything for the crowd. They talk about the screenplay & how the characters are still similar to what they are in America. They bring up about mixing everyone up & having them sharing scenes together. They mention their favorite characters in this. They go into details about the fight scenes in this. They do a Q & A with the crowd. They discuss all kinds of other stuff during the event. Last but not least, it has trailers for 4K & Justice League. It also includes a DVD & digital copy of the film. This was lots of fun so it comes highly recommended from me!