Ninja Batman 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.
When I first heard that Ninja Batman was going to feature every major protagonist and antagonist from the series, it was a little off-putting. But Junpei Mizusaki masterfully fit them all into the two-hour slot without things feeling rushed. With the OVA taking place in feudal Japan, the biggest question was how the team would handle the looks of the iconic Batman ensemble and Takashi Okazaki answered the bell by giving every character a feudal makeover while still retaining their defining features. The creativity that went into the character design of Ninja Batman was pretty damn dope and the OVA’s visuals only helped the cast stand out even more.
If your’e going to put Batman in ancient Japan it has to be done right and the attention to detail that Kamikaze Douga Studios had when creating this feudal world is simply incredible. The CGI used in the OVA wasn’t the best but somehow worked quite nicely. It brought a pseudo cell-shaded look to the characters that made them standout in every scene. The production quality was middle-tier but the animation in the battles towards the end felt buttery smooth and really helped to bring the fights to life. Visually speaking, Ninja Batman was the breath of fresh air that the Dark Knight needed.
Ninja Batman started off slow but turned things all the way up about halfway through. The cast of characters was a great choice for the OVA but The Joker stole the show, per usual. As one would think, the feudal time period brought about many interesting highlights that would please anime and DC fans alike. My favorite of which had to be when Bruce used the Mudra based hand seals, channeling his inner Uzumaki. Ninja Batman did a ton of things right but it’s biggest W had to be the series of one-on-one battles towards the end that ended with the destined clash between the world’s greatest detective and his ultimate rival. This aesthetic was something the Batman franchise desperately needed and honestly felt like a project that could stem a string of successful sequels based in different time periods. Put this one on your list and get your popcorn ready.
758/1000 Monkey-bat Megazords