DC Animated Universe

"Night of the Ninja" is the thirty-fifth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on October 26, 1992. It revolves around a former, fellow martial arts rival of Bruce Wayne's, who comes to Gotham City to get revenge for being exiled from the dojo that he and Bruce studied in.


Disgruntled Robin

Disgruntled over his constant loss to Bruce, Dick Grayson shows him how he really feels.

Things seem normal at Wayne Cosmetics until a ninja arrives and steals the money from the safe. Security arrives and the ninja instantly makes his way to the roof. There, he easily disarms the guard and escapes.

Meanwhile, Bruce and Dick spar with one another but Bruce clearly has the advantage over his protégé. Dick becomes disgruntled with his ineffectiveness, but before Bruce can tutor him, Alfred arrives and reports that a Wayne Enterprises company has been robbed. Dick notes that it's the sixth one in two weeks. Bruce corrects him saying it's the seventh, and Dick makes a face behind his back.

Bruce goes to investigate the crime and sees that the criminal has left behind a throwing star. This reminds him of his time training in Japan in which he lost a sparring match to a fellow student, Kyodai Ken. Bruce is suddenly brought back to the present when Summer Gleeson asks him a few questions but he leaves without answering.

Back in the Batcave, Batman gets into the Batmobile, leaving Dick behind. He notes that something is bothering Bruce so much, he can't say what it is.

While Batman drives through Gotham, he recalls the events that occurred after his loss: Setting up a ring of candles, he trained by blowing them out using only the wind from his attacks. Yoru arrives and says that Bruce appears to be obsessed. Bruce insists that he has to be the best and Yoru assures him that his loss can teach him more than if he won.

Kyodai Ken subdues Batman

Kyodai Ken prepares to kill a disabled Batman.

In the present, the ninja arrives at another Wayne Enterprises building and finds that Batman is waiting for him. He gives Batman a chance to leave as he has no business with him but Batman refuses. The two fight for a while but the ninja shoots him with a gas pellet rendering him unable to fight. The ninja prepares to deliver a fatal strike with his sword, but Robin arrives and saves him. The ninja tries to run but Robin throws a Batarang at him. The ninja escapes but his costume is torn revealing the tattoo belonging to Kyodai Ken.

Meanwhile, Summer Gleeson decides she wants to learn more about Bruce and resolves to "pop over at the Wayne Charities reception".

Back at Wayne Manor, Dick talks to Alfred about Bruce's worry about Kyodai Ken. Alfred reveals that Kyodai was the only student that was consistently able to beat Bruce and Dick realizes that Bruce is worried he can't beat his old rival.

Bruce goes to his Charity reception and looks over a sword on display. This induces another flashback in which Kyodai Ken attempts to steal a five-hundred-year-old sword from the Dojo. However, Bruce catches him, and the two prepare to fight. However, Yoru arrives and stops the fight. Angered over the attempted theft, he expels Kyodai from the Dojo. Blaming Bruce for his dishonor, Kyodai vows to take all that he holds dear and kill him.

His mind returning to the present Bruce leaves the room and is followed out by Summer, who insists that she has a job to do. She explains that she did some research and knows that he stayed in Japan for a while and asks if Bruce thinks that his time in Japan has anything to do with the recent thefts. However, before Bruce can answer, Kyodai, disguised as a chauffeur, hits both Bruce and Summer with a gas pellet and kidnaps them.

The two awaken in a storage warehouse where they are accosted by Kyodai, who reveals that he has been targeting Bruce's businesses to steal his bank codes and transfer his funds into his own accounts, thereby robbing him of all his assets in revenge for his expulsion from the dojo, before killing him. However, Robin, who was concerned about Bruce, arrives and accidentally activates an alarm. Distracted, Kyodai goes to investigate and fights Robin for a while. Robin is able to hold up his own, but Kyodai cuts a leg from a water tower and pushes it over washing Robin away.

Bruce and Kyodai Ken fight

Bruce Wayne and Kyodai Ken fight again for the first time in years.

The distraction does work, however, and Bruce manages to cut himself free of his bonds. Kyodai arrives shortly afterward, and Bruce gets into a fighting stance. Amused, Kyodai discards his sword and attacks. Realizing that he can't show his fighting prowess to Summer, Bruce takes a beating while Kyodai considers him to have gone soft. Fortunately, Robin arrives and knocks over a rolled-up carpet covering Summer and giving Bruce a chance to unleash his full potential. No longer having to hold back, Bruce, at the same time masking his voice, pummels Kyodai into submission. Realizing he's outmatched, Kyodai grabs a statue, breaks a window, and jumps into the river below.

In the morning, Bruce explains that he told Summer that Batman arrived and beat Kyodai. He also feels that there is no need to worry if Kyodai returns as he now knows he can beat him. As a final token, he finally thanks Dick for his help.


Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production notes[]

  • Being a martial artist himself, Kevin Altieri was disappointed with this episode's animation. He and story board artist Brad Rader both studied Akido and tried to make the fight moves as realistic as possible. Unfortunately, the product delivered by Sunrise fell flat.[1]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • In one scene, a guard's flashlight is cut in half and the battery is cut in half as well. Batteries are filled with acid, but no fluid spills from the battery.


  • In addition to the main plot facing Bruce against Kyodai is the subplot examining Bruce's changing relationship with Dick first established in "Robin's Reckoning". In the sparring scene at the beginning, Bruce is the clear superior, and unsparing in his bouts with Dick. Also, his tension over Kyodai's return leads him to be brusque and uncommunicative toward him. It is later when Dick thinks to protect Batman's identity from Summer Gleason so he can confront Kyodai that Bruce thanks Dick and lets it be known he is not a useless character, admitting that Kyodai might not have otherwise been foiled had it not been for Dick's snap judgment. While this mends their relationship for the time being, the tension still lingers underneath and foreshadows their falling out in later years. Their relationship was already tested in "Robin's Reckoning", and then begins to truly fall apart in the The New Batman Adventures episode "Old Wounds" before Dick makes peace with Bruce and continues to fight by his side as Nightwing, albeit occasionally.
  • During the training scene, we see that while Bruce Wayne is a black belt, Dick is only a green belt. Another reference to the color belts is made when Kyodai derisively remarks "even a white belt" could have made crisper moves than Bruce's.
  • This episode is one of only two episodes to show Bruce Wayne during the period of his life when he was training to be Batman. The other was "Zatanna," which made reference to this episode when Bruce rebuffed Zatanna's advances, saying he was getting ready to travel to Japan to further his studies.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. Alfred
Chao-Li Chi Yoru
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Bob Ito The Ninja
Buster Jones Night Manager
Harry (uncredited)
Loren Lester Robin


Dick: (After being thrown to the mat) Sorry. Some of us aren't perfect.

Yoru: The match is over. Kyodai is the victor.
Kyodai: Don't be depressed, Wayne-San. You're not bad for a rich man's pampered son. (laughs)
(Yoru lunges at him and throws him to the ground)
Yoru: There is always someone better, Kyodai Ken! Now apologize for your remark.

Yoru: You practice as a man obsessed.
Bruce: Huh?
(He turns and sees Yoru, and bows respectfully)
Bruce: I'm not good enough Yoru Sensei. I lost.
Yoru: Everyone loses now and again.
Bruce: I have to be the best there is, no matter what it takes!
Yoru: Defeat can be more instructive than victory.

Kyodai: So, the famous Batman. I am honored. However, my business is not with you. Leave and you may live. Stay, and... (draws his sword).

Robin: (To Kyodai) Listen, dipstick, Batman's my pal. He can be a jerk sometimes but you got to love him. And nobody tries to filet him when I'm around.
Kyodai: (to Batman) Another time, then.

Robin: You okay?
Batman: I'm fine. C'mon. There's nothing more to do here. (starts to walk away)
Robin: (imitating Batman) Thanks for saving my bacon, Robin. (as himself) Hey, no problemo, Batman.

Robin: I thought Samurai lived by a code of honor. That gas gun wasn't exactly according to Hoyle.
Batman: He's not Samurai. He's a ninja. They're spies and assassins. Their only code is to get the job done.

Kyodai: The rich man awakens. Remember me?
Bruce: I remember you, Kyodai.
Kyodai: You should remember the man you ruined. I was forced to become a thief after I was cast out of the dojo.
Bruce: As I remember it, being a thief was what got you thrown out in the first place.
Kyodai: Of course, you never had to worry about money, Wayne—a social parasite feeding off of others. Flabby, soft, weak. It is too easy to defeat you.

Kyodai: Isn't it past your bedtime, boy?
Robin: Let's just see who's going sleepy-bye in the next couple of minutes, huh?
Kyodai: This isn't the movies, boy!

Summer: Stop it! Can't you see he's no match for you?!
Kyodai: He never was.

(Bruce fights back and scores a hit on Kyodai)
Kyodai: Gotten a second wind, have you? Good! This will make your defeat all the more satisfying!
Bruce: (Batman voice) Shut up and fight.


  1. "Episode Guide" - Cinefantastique Vol. 24 #6/Vol. 25 #1 (February 1994)