Though Marvel has been killing it in the movie business, while DC has been flopping, the one area DC had in their pocket was animation. Justice League, Young Justice, Batman TAS, Batman Under the Red Hood (best animated movie to date), Assault on Arkham, Flashpoint Paradox, and I can go on. DC just had animation down. Yeah they had a few stinkers but they were few. And with me being a Batman fan I was willing to give the Batman Ninja movie a look.
Let’s start with what is good
The animation is off the chain. If you are a fan of that Japanese anime style then you will enjoy this. They capture your favorite Batman characters in a unique but favorable style. The batsuit and all of batman’s toys are just awesome. And one area that Japanese animation has down is capturing the fights and you get that in this movie.
On to the review
I did what I could to find some positive lining in this movie and to be honest it was hard. Yeah there are some good nuggets in this movie but the negatives far outweigh the positives. This movie is full of Japanese troupes so much that it takes away from the story. They go as far as to turn this into a Voltron/ Power Rangers movie and not in a good way. This is by far one of the weakest of the DC animations storywise.
Overall I would say this gets a 2.5 out of 5. I really liked the animation style and hope we see some of the fighting animations make it to other DC animations. I did not like the direction that this movie went. I was ok with it being a Batman set in feudal Japan but they took it too far trying to capture all of the troupes. They should have stayed true to the batman mythos versus trying to turn it into what ever that movie was. I was at the gym cringing at the direction that this movie took, especially towards the climax.
I would not suggest going to the theater or paying full price for this movie. But if you are curious to see it renting it is the best way. I think you will enjoy Batman and how they portrayed the Joker. Outside of that this feels like a huge misstep, something DC has been doing a lot of as of late.
With Dark Knights: Medal being an awesome story arc that just completed, DC could have used Batman Ninja and Gotham by Gaslight (another DC misstep) and tied it into the Animated Dark Knights: Medal story arc. People would love to see that brought to animation and those two stories would have made sense (minus the Voltron Batman). If they would have ended the movie with a cutscene of Barbados It would have gotten me excited about the next movie. But as of now DC may just need to give Batman a break unless they are going to bring in some of the recent comic book story arcs.