Batman Ninja appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a strong visual presentation.
At all times, sharpness remained terrific. Virtually no softness crept into the image, so we got a tight, well-defined package.
Though some of the fine pencil lines could look a little jagged, those instances were very minor and rare. Overall, the image lacked issues in that regard, and it also suffered from no shimmering, edge haloes or source flaws.
Given all its wild visuals, Ninja boasted a dynamic palette that happily deviated from the usual trend toward orange and teal. The movie’s colors went with a nice variety of hues, all of which appeared lively and bold.
Blacks seemed deep and dark, while low-light shots presented nice smoothness and clarity. This ended up as a solid image.
Though not quite as good, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack added punch to the proceedings. With all sorts of chaos and mayhem on display, the mix opened up well and used the various speakers to create a lively sonic environment.
That said, I thought the mix could’ve provided better integration. While we got a lot of action, the elements didn’t always mesh as well as I’d prefer. Still, the soundfield fared well as a whole, even if it could’ve used a better sense of movement and connection.
Audio worked fine, with speech that came across as natural and concise. Music appeared vivid and full, as the score remained well-depicted.
Effects added spark to the material and showed nice accuracy and depth, with warm, tight bass. The minor awkwardness of the soundfield took this to a “B”, but it was still a pretty good mix.
Note that the Blu-ray also includes the film’s original Japanese audio. Normally I’d use that as the basis on my review, but unfortunately, Ninja failed to give the Japanese track the lossless treatment, and I default toward the highest quality version. While I’m happy to get the original mix, it should’ve been DTS-HD MA 5.1.
A few extras appear, and a featurette called East/West Batman runs 17 minutes, 33 seconds. It offers comments from DC Entertainment Creative Director Mike Carlin, DC Entertainment Interactive and Entertainment VP Ames Kirshen, screenwriter Kazuki Nakashima, character designer Takashi “Bob” Okazaki, producers/English screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric S. Garcia and director Jumpei Misuzaki.
“East” looks at story/characters as well as the integration of Batman into the feudal Japanese setting, visual/animation styles, audio, and animation. This becomes a generally good look at the production, albeit one without a ton of real depth.
Batman: Made in Japan fills 14 minutes, three seconds with info from Chu, Carlin, Garcia, Kirshen, Okazaki, Mizusaki, Nakashima. In this show, we learn about visual choices, influences, and animation. “Japan” expands on “East” and becomes another fairly useful program.
Next we get New York Comic Con Presents Batman Ninja. A 49-minute, two-second piece, this offers a panel with Nakashima, Okazaki, Mizusaki, Chu, and Garcia.
The participants discuss the project’s roots and development, story/characters, animation, the English adaptation, music, cast/performances, and related topics. This tends toward the promotional side, but we still get a decent array of insights.
The disc opens with an ad for Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. Trailers tosses in an ad for Justice League.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Ninja. It includes the Comic Con reel but lacks the other extras.
The Dark Knight meets anime via the wild Batman Ninja. Goofy but still dramatic and exciting, the movie works much better than I expected. The Blu-ray brings us excellent visuals along with generally good audio and a few informative bonus materials. A clever twist on the characters, Ninja becomes a fun ride.