When Batman is caught in Gorilla Grodd’s Quake Engine time displacement machine, he arrives in feudal Japan only to discover that a host of super villains – including the Joker – have already installed themselves as feudal lords. However if you thought that Batman Ninja was going to be just another Elsewhere story, where our favourite good- and bad-guys are reimagined in other places, other times, then think again.
Batman Ninja is a collision of East meets West – Gotham meets Battle Of The Planets.
The stunning visuals come from a trio of anime’s finest filmmakers – director Jumpei Mizusaki (opening animation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), writer Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), and character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai). But while Batman Ninja looks incredible, it’s the storytelling that will leave you reeling. Expect full-throttle anime. Expect castles that transform into walking robots, monkey troops that morph into giant samurais, and bat swarms that merge to form bat-god avatars.
Batman Ninja doesn’t always succeed as a viewing experience. There are scenes that will have you grinning and air-punching. At other times, the weird just gets wearisome, and you’ll end up clock-watching. The storyline is messy and the pacing is off – probably because the original Japanese script was reinterpreted and rewritten for English-language distribution. (The blu-ray includes the original Japanese audio so that fans can enjoy both experiences.)
But for all its jarring cuts and WTF moments, sometimes a film comes along that you simply have to admire for the sheer, breathtaking crazy beauty of the thing. Batman Ninja is as mad as a bag of greased weasels. Love or hate it, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
BATMAN NINJA is out on Digital Download now and available on Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray & DVD May 14th.