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Review: Batman Ninja Blu-Ray Set

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Travel to the Feudal Era

Although Marvel and DC Superheroes have been part of my life just as long as anime, I never fully looked into comics aside from cartoons adaptations, movies, and video games. My appreciation for Batman came when I first watched The New Batman Adventures following with Batman Beyond, and my love for the caped crusader evolved from there. When Batman Ninja was revealed during New York Comic Con 2017, I was really excited. It’s not the first Batman Japanese media either since there have been manga and anime adaptations in the past. However, what made Batman Ninja special is that it took place in the Feudal era of Japan.

With the script being written by Kazuki Nakashima, who was responsible for Gurren Lagann’s and Kill la Kill, I knew that the movie was going to be awesome. The movie starts off Batman and Catwoman fighting Gorilla Grodd at Arkham Asylum. Batman and Catwoman alongside other notorious villains of the Batman franchise are caught in Grodd's Quake Engine time displacement machine and sent to Feudal Japan.

Batman Ninja (Bluray)
Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
Licensed By: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Released: May 8th, 2018 (NA)
MSRP: $19.99

A few moments after he arrives, he is chased by samurai working for the Joker. While escaping, Batman meets up with Catwoman, who had entered the timeline two years earlier. He learns from her that Penguin, Deathstroke, Poison Ivy and Joker alongside Harley Quinn have moved to Feudal Japan and become feudal lords after deceiving the Sengoku daimyo, battling each other until only one state remains. In order to stop them and go back to the present, Batman and Catwoman with the help of Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hood and Robin must get to the Quake Engine in Arkham Castle.

The plot isn't really out of this world, and it could have definitely been better, especially with the involvement of other villains, but the combination of the Batman story with Japanese history was nothing short of great. 

While the image, and essentially the story is the same in both the English dub and Original Japanese version, it is confirmed that the English (and essentially the Castilian Spanish, Latino Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc,) version’s script is different. In short, the aim of the Japanese version was to make it an anime film while the English version was to make it a Batman film.

What I disliked about the English version was putting lines where it did not belong, killing the mood of the scene, especially with cheesy lines, or just making it more dramatic. However, with the latter, I felt more forgiving since Batman is dramatic, especially when facing the likes of Joker. I definitely felt that they were different characters, especially Batman.

Regardless of the script, which does affect the overall quality of the dub, the dub was quite enjoyable due to the talented work of the likes of Yuri Lowenthal and Tara Strong, both who have experienced with their characters for quite some time.  The Original Japanese version is extraordinary, however, having Koichi Yamadera, Wataru Takagi, Rie Kugimiya, and Daisuke Ono among other very talented seiyuu.

The art style was nothing short of amazing, and that’s thanks to Takashi Okazaki, the creator of Afro Samurai. A lot of the characters, including Batman in his Samurai armor, Deathstroke, Nightwing and Red Robin look really epic. The fight scenes were well choreographed and animated – I really couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. My least favorite is probably Red Hood since he looks unrecognizable. My favorite design easily was Deathstroke's since he reminded me of Date Masamune from Sengoku Basara.

Though the movie has been available digitally for quite some time now, I definitely recommend investing on the Blu-Ray set. While English monolingual individuals might find it the integration of Latino Spanish as well as other European languages, I thought that was personally awesome. Though that would make more sense if the movie was region free – allowing Europeans and Latin Americans to import the movie, however, the movie is not region free as it did not play on my Japanese PS4 and had to resort to using my regular Blu-Ray and North America PlayStation 3.  

The Blu-ray set also has your typical special features like trailers and teasers. I did find it weird that the original Japanese audio is inside the special features, despite you being able to change the movie into Japanese (with Japanese subs even) within the movie. They should have made it part of the Language menu, even if the script was different. For a second I really thought the movie didn’t have the option.

If you’re an anime fan, check out this film. If you’re a hardcore or casual Batman or DC in general fan, then check out this film as well. Regardless of your preference, it will keep you entertained all the way through. Props to Warner Bros. for packing so much into this Blu-ray set. 

[This review is based on a retail copy provided by the publisher.]


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Batman Ninja Blu-ray Set reviewed by Christian Chiok

9

SUPERB

A hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide

 
 
 

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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures


 



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