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Batman in the world of katan, samurai and furs! Looks as cool as it sounds.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 1
In comics of history from the category “and if” (what if) has long become commonplace. They allow the authors to give vent to their fantasies and throw familiar characters in completely unexpected situations. Cartoons based on comic books are gradually adopting a similar practice – which only is the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. The plot of Batman Ninja is from this category: “but if Batman gets into medieval Japan?”. In terms of action, style and filing with the Japanese director-debutant Juniper Mizusaki, the best animated picture in the history of DC turned out to be, yes, better than Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and The Dark Knight Returns.
A full-length cartoon (although technically it’s still an anime) was announced in the fall of 2017 and already then aroused surprise. Settling of feudal Japan and the design of superheroes and supervillains of DC reworked under it looked pretentious and even wild. The trailer also did not inspire much confidence, because it looked too chaotic, and someone could scare away the copious use of computer graphics.
On the other hand, the creators caused respect. For the design of the characters answered Takashi Okazaki, known for his unusual stylistics, which is clearly visible in Afro Samurai and Furi. The script was written by Kazuki Nakashima, the lead screenwriter of the absolutely crazy anime Kill La Kill and the world’s best fur-series Gurren Lagann. As a composer, spoke South Canno, known for Psycho-Pass and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. And perhaps for director Mizusaki “Batman-ninja” became the first full-fledged work.
All the excitement was in vain, because the team of authors received a reference work – and for fans of both Western animation and eastern.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 2
The tie is as follows: in the hospital of Arkham Gorilla, Grod built a time machine, but Batman, who arrived not in time, confuses all his plans, because of which the whole building collapses in the style of Nolan’s “Beginning” and falls into feudal Japan. The Dark Knight sucks the last one into the temporary funnel, but in another dimension two years have passed. Joker, Poison Ivy, Two-faced, Penguin and Deadshoot are fighting for the title of shogun. And Batman has to sort out the consequences of this conflict of transatlantic villains.
But all these story lines will open much later – the viewer from the first seconds thrown into the wildest action. Bets from the very beginning are bullied high enough, but the authors not only manage to sustain the pace, but also time and time to impress our imagination. Almost every minute there is something exploding, someone is fighting, and around there is a formless madness involving the characters of DC.
And you suddenly find yourself that a strange idea that sounds strange works perfectly in the format of an animation tape. And there are enough oddities here: there is a Bat-Ninja clan and Samurai helmets with the Joker’s face, and active use of firearms in an era when it was not developed yet. But the disunited at first glance details are added to a breathtaking extravaganza, a real rampage on the screen.
Characters have gone far beyond praise. Takashi Okazaki proved that he has more talent. After watching, you want a separate series of comics with a local design. Heroes and villains recognize their trademark features, but the artist allowed himself some liberties like the cute Jokker’s mustache. Eastern elements perfectly blended into the images, complementing the characters and habits of the characters. Unless Robin’s shaven head looks somewhat repulsive.
Separately, I would like to praise the female characters, which are represented here by the Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. The Japanese are known for their unhealthy passion for young girls in anime, but this time managed to do without frills. We need such “Gotham Sirens”! The girls turned out bright and memorable, let the same Ivy appears on the screen for only a few minutes and does not play a special role.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 7
As well as many other characters, which in addition to the appearance of anything special do not stand out. Neither the Beth family represented here by Alfred, Knighting, Red Cowl, Red Robin and Robin, nor villains can surprise you with interesting types or elaborate. The local monkey-friend Robin has individuality and screen time more than some villains. However, this does not feel omission, but it reminds us of battles with secondary villains in anime-senen. They can be anything, and claims to them should not be presented. After all, the main action unfolds between the protagonist and the antagonist.
In their role we have here Batman and Joker. And let their conflict this time be without revelations, but how it is delivered! You from the first dialogue understand that before you – sworn enemies, experiencing an irrational attraction to each other, doomed to eternal battle without a winner. During their skirmishes it becomes obvious that all other characters are introduced only for a change, so as not to turn the full-length fight into a fight between the Dark Knight and the criminal prince of Gotham, even then it would look great.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Picture 8
And the closer the final, the more the degree of insanity grows. Walking palaces that turn into robots to unite into an even larger robot! Thousands of monkeys gathering in one big samurai monkey! Constantly formed and disintegrating criminal alliances. Betbog, in the end (yes, that’s the kind of term that flashes here). The creators gave us the present Japanese madness, uncomplicated by anything, but they managed to successfully cross it with the originally western characters.
The more curious it is to watch Batman and his team, who are surprised at everything that happens not less than us. It turned out a little mockery of the audience, which even after all the previous cartoons DC may not be ready for Batman Ninja. In the anime in general, enough self-irony, like ridicule villainish cliches and template actions Batman.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 9
The authors were perfectly aware of why they even started creating such a crazy cartoon. To amaze and entertain! Therefore, we are not loaded with extra morals and moralizing, completely immersing ourselves in furious battles, full of explosions and the clang of katan. Feelings from this little with what can be compared.
But if you dig a little deeper, it turns out that we have here is not an action for the sake of an action. Firstly, we received dozens of references to the most diverse manifestations of pop culture and anime, classical and not very much. “Gundam”, “Tramp Kenshin”, “Matrix”, a lot of “Joe” (director Mizusaki was the producer of this series) – to find the next dispatch here is very nice. Easter eggs are completely unobtrusive, but perfectly complement the overall picture. Against the backdrop of the recent “The first player will get ready” so generally look exemplary.
Secondly, the Japanese would not be themselves if they did not insert a pinch of profound monologues. They convey the inner torment of Batman, who realizes that without his high-tech gadgets, he practically can not do anything in a strange era for him. In the end, it turns out almost a parable about adaptation (in all senses of the word), the Japanese legend in a new way.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 10
And all this with a beautiful visual component. Trailers have not transferred half of the local beauties. Landscapes and backdrops are painted in the style of classical painting of Japan ukiyo-e, the locals are created completely by hand, but the characters DC as if for contrast recreated using computer graphics. You can only complain to the low frame rate during the motion, because of which the scenes with a lot of action are torn. But even in time you get used to it and start to perceive it as part of the overall style.
The music of South Cannes played a part in the common idea. In terms of the soundtrack anime indisputably win from Western cartoons, and here we have yet another proof of this thesis. And the composer combined classical orchestral motives of the West with unusual combinations of musical instruments of the East, having received as a result melodies which sound familiar, but all the same are remembered. And only a rap track in the middle for an inappropriate electronic bit seems completely superfluous. And still greatly upsetting the absence of Mark Hamill in the English voice acting.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 11
With all the thrash and triumph of the action, one scene stands out. It is even painted in full watercolor colors, as if in tribute to the anime from Ghibli “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.” In this scene, in just a few minutes, we were reminded of the events of A Death in the Family, once again demonstrated a close relationship between Batman and the Joker, as well as between the Joker and Harley Quinn. The episode differs even in the general mood from the rest of the story, and after it you can no longer perceive Batman Ninja as before.
After all, he gives us to understand that before us is not a simple DC attempt to cash in on the popularity of Japanese animation, that the full-length was not created from the principle “and let’s do Batman with anime stamps, cool.” Batman Ninja is a bold experiment, which, to everyone’s delight, proved successful. The cartoon does everything, that from it is required, and even it is more, lifting a bar of animation tapes on superheroes on absolutely inaccessible height.
Review of the anime Batman Ninja. The best animation about superheroes. – Image 12
While the DC is not very good with the cable car, the animation department continues to surprise us with new and new masterpieces. After Batman Ninja, it’s completely unclear how the subsequent cartoons will be able to at least approach its level, it’s not even about “surpassing” the speech.
An animated film takes all the best from the traditions of the West and the East, combining them in incredible combinations, which we could not even dream of even in the wildest fantasies. Everything is good in it, and it’s unfortunate that he was released right away to watch the house, because on big screens the drive of Batman’s trip to Japan would look even better.
Batman Ninja has all chances to become the new Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, who at one time also presented the Japanese approach to entertainment to the world and attracted even more fans to the popular franchise. He wants to advise absolutely everyone, even people, far from superheroes, anime and cartoons in general. And this is the best indicator of how great the story of Batman we got.