Batman: The Animated Series 25th Anniversary #35: Night Of The Ninja

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Night Of The Ninja was first broadcasted on October 26, 1992 with a script by Steve Perry and directed by Kevin Alteri.

A mysterious ninja is robbing Wayne Enterprises subsidiaries, and Batman discovers that the ninja is actually his equal in combat. A grudge against Bruce Wayne and skills to match him can only mean one person: Kyodai Ken, an old rival of Wayne’s teacher from his days in Japan, and who was thrown out of the dojo after attempting to rob it, only to be stopped by Wayne. Ken, it turns out, wants revenge.

It’s Batman fighting against a friggin’ ninja, how the hell do you not make that the most awesome thing ever?

Well….at least the fights are pretty cool in this one. I mean, it’s good that we’re now getting to see some of Batman’s early training before he donned the suit coming into play and I guess you can give the episode credit for that.

But other than that, I was not overall impressed with this episode, mostly because of Kyodai Ken, he had the potential to be a really good bad guy from Bruce’s past but all he does is come off as kind of generic and not really have much of a motivation to him, it’s just kind of a typical ninja revenge plot and there’s nothing really exciting about that plot. He just comes off as a generic bad guy.

Again, the fights are nicely done but some of the animation is a little off. Like notice something in this earlier fight scene with Kyodai and Robin:

Did you notice how the water tower changed in one scene? Like in one scene it’s part of the background and then in the next scene, it’s brighter and looks more like it’s going to be part of a scene? Usually, this show does a good job of having the animation move more fluently where you don’t notice when something in the background is about to move but that time, I don’t know what they were thinking.

So, how do you rank an episode like Night Of The Ninja? To me, it’s definitely one of the weaker episodes but at the same time, there is elements to admire about it. The fights are nicely done, there’s a nice little glimpse of Bruce’s early training from the past, but other than that, that’s about it. I wished that the villain was better written because that’s where the episode really stumbles.

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