To be perfectly honest with you, I really wasn’t paying much attention to Batman Ninja. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t watch any of the trailers or footage before seeing the movie this weekend. I knew it was a Batman anime with character designs from the creator of Afro Samurai, but that was about it. Boy was I in for a ridiculous surprise.
The story of Batman Ninja starts in the present day where Batman and Catwoman are at Arkham Aslyum where Gorilla Grodd is setting off a device he created. It ends up sending Batman, as well as five of his villains and most of the Bat-family back to Feudal Japan. There the Joker rules one part of the country, while The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and Deathstoke rule over the rest of it and the five are vying for control of Japan. Batman, for some reason, arrives two years later than everyone else and immediately sets out to stop the Joker using the best Batmobile ever (seriously it’s awesome).
After a big setback, he joins forces with a Bat ninja clan who also has Damian, Jason, Tim, and Dick in their ranks. Batman learns the way of the ninja to become Ninja Batman.
One of my friends commented at the end of the movie how it’s simultaneously the best and worst Batman movie ever. This movie takes the craziness that the 60’s Batman series had, quadruples it, and sets it in the modern status quo for Batman where his son is Robin. I can not stress to you how absolutely insane this movie is. Imagine the craziest Batman anime you can think of, with all of the crazy anime tropes (no not those, this is a PG-13 movie), and even then it wouldn’t match how nuts this gets. It’s an escalating level of crazy, just when you think it can’t go any more insane…it does.
It really may not be for everyone, but all day after seeing it I could only think about how I couldn’t wait to see it again. It’s absolutely the most unique Batman story ever put to screen, and it’s one that internet is probably going to meme to death. The character designs will also inspire some pretty awesome cosplay at the big conventions, and I expect to see some Batman Ninja cosplayers in San Diego this July (I really love Deathstroke’s design in this).
Even if they don’t like anime, every Batman fan at least should see Batman Ninja once. If only to say they’ve seen the most insane take on Batman and his villains in the history of the character.
Jeremy has been active on the web since the 90s. He’s written for sites such as IGN and Furious Fanboys and even once worked on Star Wars Galaxies (RIP). A long time ago in a galaxy far far away he used to Podcast about Star Wars with friends.