"Batman Ninja" Animated Release Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by James Harvey, Apr 24, 2018.

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Batman Ninja - Rate and Discuss this Epic DC Animated Movie!

  1. *****

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  2. ****1/2

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  3. ****

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  4. ***1/2

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  6. **1/2

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  7. **

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  8. *1/2

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  10. 1/2

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  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
    Staff Member Administrator Moderator Reporter

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    You think you've heard all the Batman stories? Think again.

    [​IMG]
    Batman Ninja
    Studio:
    Warner Bros. Animation
    Release Date: April 24, 2018 - Digital; May 8, 2018 - Blu-ray/DVD

    Synopsis: Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transports many of Batman’s worst enemies to feudal Japan – along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies – including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family – to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.

    The visually stunning Batman Ninja is the creative result of 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) produced the original movie with Warner Bros. Japan. The script was then reinterpreted and rewritten for English-language distribution by award-winning screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai). Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

    Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) and Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) lead an impressive cast as the voices of Batman and the Joker, respectively. Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo franchise) and Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke) supply the voices of the antagonist & protagonist’s closest allies – Catwoman and Harley Quinn, respectively – while Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy) provides the gruff-yet-sophisticated tones of Gorilla Grodd, a villain who must team with Batman to achieve his own personal agenda. Other voice actors include Bat-family members Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Robin, Adam Croasdell (Reign) as Nightwing and Alfred, and Will Friedle (Boy Meets World) as Red Robin, and the Rogue’s gallery also features Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Penguin and Eric Bauza (The Adventures of Puss in Boots) as Two-Face. Doing double duty is Tatasciore as Deathstroke, Strong as Poison Ivy, and Friedle as Red Hood.

    Batman Ninja Bonus Content:
    -"East / West Batman" (Featurette) – Batman meets the anime medium, as this documentary looks into some of the Western tropes and archetypes, meshed into the world of feudal Japan. East meets West, swords, samurai and giant robots, all playing into the clash between Batman and his Rogues gallery.
    -"Batman: Made in Japan" (Featurette) – To make a special film about Batman requires just the right artist to bring the mix of style and energy that is unmistakably anime. The filmmakers discuss the Japanese character models, influences and design that create a fusion experience into this hyper real world.
    -"New York Comic Con Presents Batman Ninja" – Meet the talented filmmakers behind Batman Ninja as they discuss their inspirations and challenges in bringing an anime version of Batman to life during a panel discussion unveiling Batman Ninja during New York Comic Con 2017.
    Note: Bonus content may vary between Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD editions.

    Discuss the Batman Ninja animated release here!

    Please note this talkback is for both the Batman Ninja animated feature and all aspects of the assorted home media releases. Discussion for both are now housed in one single talkback discussion thread. Spoilers are also allowed, so those who have yet to see the movie may want to avoid this thread until they have.


    Note: Remember, we appreciate and encourage discussion, but please keep your posts civil, relevant and insightful. Please do not post any improper or inflammatory material, as we will issue warnings if we believe it necessary. And remember to keep the discussion ON-TOPIC!
     
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  2. Elias Lachenal

    Elias Lachenal New Member

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    Just seen it ...

    and I freakin' LLLLLLOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVEEEEE IT!!!

    I LOVE HOW CRAZY it IS!!

    the animation is top notch and GREAT as expected by any great anime!!

    Batman has Never looked THIS good and BEAUTIFUL!!

    theres a LOT of homages to BATMAN and anime genre mix together and its a LOT of Crazy FUN!!

    A LOT of WTF moments BUT when it get serious.. it DAMN gets SERIOUS!!

    I want Sequels!!

    And I HOPE this Time We get a more traditional Batman story in this type of animation.

    I also LOVE the main theme and score!

    PERFECT for Me!

    Only thing I can think of that's sorta Bad was I'm not into much w/ Tony Hale Joker voice.. and one sequence w/ an out of place song .. but other than that.. that's just Me..

    HIGHLY recommended!!
     
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  3. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    Here's a spoiler-free review of Batman Ninja by Julian Roman at MovieWeb.
     
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  4. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe more people aren't talking about this movie. It's such a wild and fun movie. I like that the trailers don't really give anything away and only hint at how crazy this movie gets. It's a fun time for sure but I can see why some fans might not like it because it is a little goofy,
     
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  5. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    Well, WW, some of us won't actually be seeing Batman Ninja before it releases next month on Blu-ray and DVD.
     
  6. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    True, but there is a fair amount who purchase digital. I purchase both when I can afford it to show a little extra support for the movies. Then again discussion is always quiet around here now sometimes so I assume its just that too. There is a part of the movie about halfway through that I am curious what people will say about it.
     
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  7. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    I thought this was a lot of fun. There were a few moments where it got a little more ridiculous than I expected (I didn't mind the giant robots/transforming castles, but those monkeys surprised me), but overall it was still pretty awesome. The story was good, easy enough to follow but still with some pretty nice surprises spread throughout. I especially liked the way Joker and Harley tricked Batman into thinking they reformed, I thought that was a pretty clever idea and just added to the overall wackiness of the movie.

    The action scenes looked great, and there were plenty of them. I liked how just about each character got a chance to fight, even if some of those were kind of short. But still enjoyable enough for me. The characters all looked great (but if I had to pick, Catwoman was my favorite design from the movie), even if Damian had a pretty weird hair-do. They also had a nice mix of characters - both good and bad. Some of the villains didn't really do much, apart from Joker & Harley, and Grodd but I still liked their inclusion and designs.

    All in all, I enjoyed the movie. I wouldn't mind seeing more movies in this style in the future. Whether it's a sequel to this or a project starring other DC Comics heroes. In a way, it kind of reminded me of the Batman Unlimited line of movies, but the unique style used here probably made this a little more entertaining.
     
  8. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little surprised that no one seems to be drawing comparisons between Batman Ninja and Batman: Gotham Knight, though the latter was more of a joint-effort between Warner Bros. Animation and Japan.
     
  9. DarkAngel

    DarkAngel Lord Vader

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    So is this in Japanese with English subtitles, or are there two versions?
     
  10. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    The original cast is Japanese. There is an English-language dub cast. The Blu-ray/DVD should have both English and Japanese w/subtitles.

    EDIT (05/02): We've Got This Covered has a less-than-glowing review by Eric Joseph of Batman Ninja. You can't please everybody, though I'm sure he raises some reasonable complaints.
     
    #10 Otaku-sempai, Apr 29, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  11. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
    Staff Member Administrator Moderator Reporter

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    For those interested, The World's Finest has posted its review of the Batman Ninja animated feature (Blu-ray release review coming soon!). To check it out, click the image below!

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. GWOtaku

    GWOtaku Moderator
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  13. 2010GT4.6V8

    2010GT4.6V8 New Member

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    Most of the animation was great! Big robots in the pre-industrial Japan not so great. Batman and the others adapting to his and their situation great! Would have like to see them train and adapt to the ninja style. Batman losing his gloves a little silly since he would leave his finger prints all over the place and even back then they knew how to decpher them. Remember Sherlock Holmes is from this era! silly!
     
  14. DarkAngel

    DarkAngel Lord Vader

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    Ah, yes, thank you! That's what I had read before, prompting my earlier question of whether there were two versions. I hope it does play very differently in Japanese.

    Also, in the English version, I found Joker shrill and grating. I hope the Japanese actor is...well, less than that.
     
  15. Otaku-sempai

    Otaku-sempai Well-Known Member

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    This is supposed to be set during the Warring States Period (the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century). Bruce would not be concerned with leaving fingerprints in feudal Japan at least 400 years in the past.

    Batman Ninja is outrageously over-the-top, but in a good way. I am glad that it didn't include even more anime tropes (such as the Magical Girl); the writers were pushing the envelop as it was. I haven't watched all the bonus features yet, but I've decided I like the Japanese dub with subtitles better than the English-language dub (though the acting's fine; I just prefer the original script).
     
    #15 Otaku-sempai, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  16. DarkAngel

    DarkAngel Lord Vader

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    I do agree with some of his points. For instance, as noted above, I didn't care for the Joker voice actor either (in English version) and, like Eric, was cringing during many of his scenes. I also agree that a lot of the dialogue was bad.

    On the other hand, I'm puzzled by his claim that he was expecting something much different/better/cooler based on the trailer. He criticizes the movies for cramming so much in, for its different visual takes/interpretations of the characters, for the frequent bizarre turns the movie takes. This was all on display in the trailer. So many of the characters were shown, it was clear they were drawn/styled different, and it was so obvious they'd be doing so many different things in the movie. I expected that going in (and therefore perhaps not the most coherent, streamlined story) based on the trailer.

    Also, as a reviewer, I think there has to be an appreciation of different styles/approaches. So, as the article GWOtaku quoted above discusses, the Japanese approach to animated feature seems to involve visuals/animation first and then creating the dialogue/story after. More emphasis on storytelling through the visuals. So, naturally, dialogue might not be stressed as much (or be of incredible quality). Not fair to assume a Western approach and criticize something for an intentionally different way of storytelling.

    I'm not that familiar with anime, but I'm guessing much of what we see in Batman Ninja was an homage to other Japanese animated features/cartoons, or applying that approach to Batman. From what little I now of that, it seemed authentic/true to that approach. Seems like that should be the way to judge this, rather than comparing this to typical DC animated features or the usual American/western approach to animated works. Someone's who more knowledgable can correct me if I'm wrong.

    The animation here was better than what I'm used to seeing in these DC movies. I loved the style, found the images beautiful. I loved the premise (Batman rogues gallery carving up feudal Japan, warring -- kind of a No Man's Land transplanted to the past). I just loved seeing Batman's "sons" together in this.

    If I'm to criticize anything, it's that elements/arcs felt rushed. For instance, I don't think they set up Batman's dilemma or internal process well (of joining Grodd because of his feeling of vulnerability in losing his tech), and then just as they were revealing this, it was in the scene that was resolving it. I'd have liked more to time to appreciate Batman's situation with resolution later in the movie. Similarly, the idea of Joker/Harley losing their memories of their evil pasts and living as good farmers...all done in one scene that ends with it reversed. Again, it would have been nice to see this play out over a good chunk of movie rather than all in one scene.

    There was some danger of Batman appearing dumb, which I think is exactly what Joker called him (falling for the same tricks Joker has pulled a million times, oddly being overly dependent on his tech when traditionally he's very much been all about his honed body/mind, falling for the Joker/farmer thing/accepting it with too much trust, being way too trusting in general (Joker, Grodd, Selina).

    I probably would have preferred something less over-the-top. Given the time period, something more reliant on martial arts, stealth, ninja/samurai. Given the presence of Batman's team here, for instance, I'd have loved a story involving Batman and the rest infiltrating Joker's fortress, fighting through Joker's men, utilizing team strengths and their training.

    But, that being said, and as I mentioned above, I knew what to expect based on the trailer and quite enjoyed this. Had a lot of spark to it. Looked fantastic. I'm sure I missed most of the little nods/references, but I liked Catwoman wanting to return "back to the future". I liked Joker's reference to picking yourself back up again, seeming like a nod to Nolan's Batman. And, also, Joker's delight at Batman dropping him only to have Batman snag him with his grappler a la The Dark Knight.

    I'm looking forward to watching this again, but with Japanese voice track. Haven't checked the disc, but I'm hoping there's a commentary track, too.

    EDIT: I like this review better than the "We Got this Covered" review. He gives it a C+, but takes a more balanced approach and acknowledges/understands the influences/intent better.
     
    #16 DarkAngel, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

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