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Batman Ninja | Animated film (Japanese)

For starters, Batman Ninja is a 2018 Japanese Animated film. There is also an English version, but I personally don't mind Japanese seeing as I watch most of my anime in Japanese (with English subtitles) pretty much. Anyway, this was interesting in so many ways. The film starts off with Batman and Catwoman fighting Gorilla Grodd; however, not only are they unable to defeat him, but they are also sent into the past to ancient Japan - thanks to Grodd's Quake Engine time displacement machine. Immediately, Batman is greeted by samurai trying to take his head as ordered by their master - who later turns out to be the Joker.


In all fairness, it probably didn't help that Batman pretty much stuck out like a sore thumb here.


Especially seeing as Batman was in a suit and all.


Anyway, one of the few things I found interesting was how Batman was going to face the challenges of fighting and maneuvering around. After all, his 21st-century technology was slightly useless here. And Batman found that out pretty quickly.


Especially when Batman was attempting to flee the oncoming herd of samurai, yet he was unable to escape with his grappling hook because there weren't any trees at the time for him to do so. However, once he got away, Batman ends up crossing paths with Catwoman. Catwoman then explained the situation to Batman. She informs Batman that Gothan's city's criminals have become feudal lords, seeing as they arrived two years earlier than Batman due to Batman being in the outermost area affected by Grodd's Quake Engine.


Batman also learns that Red Hood, Nightwing, and Robin are already present.


Another thing I found interesting was the designs. It was nice seeing their Japanese-inspired appearances; I daresay the topknot added a nice touch to Joker here. Not to mention Catwoman looked pretty adorable in her design as well.





Batman's was a bit disturbing - given that he had the bat symbol cut on the top of his hair. But besides that, it was nice seeing his as well. Oh, and Robin's hair design was disturbing for obvious reasons; it didn't do him any justice at all, but it was still pretty funny nonetheless.


Anyway, I want to admit that I kinda fangirled when I realized that Gorilla Grodd had the same voice actor as Dio from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in the Japanese animated version. This stuck out to me immediately when we got to hear Gorilla Grodd. It was honestly a rather nice surprise given that I am somewhat obsessed with Dio. Nevertheless, we start to see more of Gorilla Grodd seeing as Batman seeks him out in order to take down the Joker and Harley Quinn.


This is where Batman teams up with Gorilla Grodd, Catwoman, the Bat Clan, and the Bat family. I think he mostly reached out to Gorilla Grodd to not only try to return to Gotham, but Batman was also trying to scoop up as many allies as possible. After all, Batman wasn't confident enough to take down Joker due to the environment and the restrictions he faced. Even still, things weren't as they seemed because Gorilla Grodd revealed his alliance with two-face in the midst of the showdown on the river and thus threw everything off.


Among everything else, we get a mix of some mecha elements when we see the villains mobilizing their castle robots. Now, this is interesting to me because I never really watched anything with mecha in it. At least that I'm aware of. It just never really seemed my speed. Maybe if I watched a really good mecha anime my mind would change, but I was just never drawn to it and actively avoided it.


Anyway, I really liked seeing Batman coming to terms that he was going to have to adapt to the surrounding customs in order to stand more of a chance against the Joker. For some reason, I really love seeing characters going through internal struggles as well as being put in situations where they have to adapt or conform. Personally, I feel like that's really great writing. Characters that don't ever struggle or face any type of conflict aren't really entertaining if you ask me, they're boring and unrealistic. Therefore, it's harder to get invested and attached. Not to mention, the character doesn't really grow or advance under those types of conditions.


I think this is one of the reasons I enjoy Shonen anime so much. I love seeing characters faced with tough problems and I love seeing how they overcome them. We see this with Naruto, Luffy, Eren, and so many other characters. Naruto wants to become Hokage and has to face and overcome being a jinchuriki as well as the hate and challenges that come with that. Luffy wants to become a pirate king and has so many others to compete with it and it's definitely not an easy goal. Eren was fighting to survive at one point and now is taking matters into his own hands. I mean I think it showcases the growth and strength of the characters if they're able to overcome it. But that's me.


Moving on, I will say that I really enjoyed the art style, especially the art style in the scene with Joker, Harley Quinn, and Red Hood. Red Hood basically doesn't buy their act nor does he believe that they're innocent or that they've forgotten anything. He beats them and interrogates them and is stopped by Batman himself when things quickly escalate. Batman, being Batman, leaves them be and instructs Red Hood to do the same; however, Red Hood's inkling is later on revealed to be right on the money.


Afterward, Joker shows up during an all-out war between Gorilla Grodd and the other criminals aka the feudal lords. As to be expected, Gorilla Grodd uses his mind control on them so as to rule the world. Then an all-out mecha fight breaks out and Joker & Harley Quinn intervenes. Whatever was in those smoke bombs seemed to make everyone come back to reality and Joker wasted no time in taking control of the situation. At this point, Batman and the others are on their way to where all the action is and is surprised to see Joker seeing as he was supposed to have lost his memories. Now at first, I was wondering how Batman and company were going to handle mecha castles and fight against them - especially after Joker took over and made all the feudal lords and their respective mecha castles combine.


But here's where Gorilla Grodd comes into play again and this time he doesn't betray Batman and the others because Batman actually ended up saving him from Joker. So Gorilla Grodd offers up his army of monkeys that were initially going to help him rule the world and they all combine in order to face the giant mecha tower. At this point, things were feeling very power-ranger like and though it was a bit over the top, I liked it. Though cute, the giant monkeys weren't able to compete against the giant mecha castle and this is where the rest of the Bat Clan shows up to aid the fight and things eventually turn in their favor as the bats that accompanied the Bat Clan end up combining with the monkeys to form a giant Batman.

This leads to the opening they all needed and eventually, everyone kind of splits up and takes on an opponent, of course leaving Batman to handle the Joker. Eventually, the Joker is defeated and at the very end of the film, Gorilla Grodd activates the Quake Engine and they all return to their time.


To be honest, I don't think I have any complaints though I will admit that I was slightly confused when Batman teamed up with Gorilla Grodd the first time. I mean he's a villain after all and I felt like Batman should've seen the betrayal coming a mile away, but that's about it really as far as complaints go at least. I really enjoyed the concept and the art style, and it was nice seeing Batman in a different element. The icing on the cake for me would definitely have to be the Japanese voice acting; I definitely wasn't disappointed and it made this film like 10x better.


If you're looking for a different experience with Batman altogether, I'd say that this is a pretty good film to watch.

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