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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E35 "Night of the Ninja"

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An old rival of Bruce Wayne's training in the martial arts comes back to seek revenge on him.

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Always Someone Better:
    • After Kyodai taunts Bruce about being a pampered rich boy, the sensei tells Kyodai there is always someone better and proceeds to kick his ass.
    • Notably, it's implied that Bruce initially feels this way about Kyodai, which is one of the reasons Kyodai kicks his ass in the first part of their fight. Robin's simply showing up to help arguably helped as much as covering up Summer Gleason with the carpet. Robin and Kyodai also briefly fight to a draw, even though Bruce easily defeated Dick in their sparring match earlier in the episode.
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  • Boring Insult: Kyodai doesn't like it when Summer says he's "a common thief."
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Bruce Wayne has to try and avoid this, holding back in a fight against the Ninja in front of Summer Gleason. She knows that he has some fighting skill, but he doesn't want to give himself away by showing too much skill. The Ninja himself, as Bruce eventually explains, was a risk he would have to take.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Expecting Kyodai to be someone with a vendetta against Bruce Wayne over some dirty business, Summer is disappointed when Kyodai turns out to "just a thief" whose reasons to hate Bruce are Bruce's wealth and the fact that Bruce caught him during a past theft years ago.
  • The Dreaded: A conversation between Dick Grayson and Alfred implies that Bruce is afraid of fighting Kyodai, which is one of the other reasons Kyodai has the upper hand in their fight. Notably, when Dick and Bruce spar early in the episode, Bruce defeats Dick without too much trouble—but Robin has no problem keeping up with Kyodai in their brief fight.
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  • Fighting Fingerprint: Kyodai is able to discover Batman's secret identity by watching him fight.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kyodai's primary distaste for Bruce Wayne is the fact he grew up poor while Bruce Wayne grew up rich.
  • Hand Seals: Kyodai Ken frequently uses this.
  • Insult Backfire: When Summer calls Kyodai "a common thief" he corrects her by saying he's a great thief.
    Kyodai: Not a common thief, woman! A great thief! The best!
  • Martial Arts Uniform: During the flashback scenes at the dojo, and when Bruce and Dick are sparring at the beginning of the episode. Dick is only a green belt to Bruce's black in whichever discipline they're practicing.
  • Metaphorically True: Bruce explains to fellow prisoner Summer that they escaped because Batman arrived and took down the bad guy. Hey, his voice changed so it was mostly true...
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  • Never My Fault: Kyodai blames Bruce for getting him thrown out of the dojo all those years ago, even though it was his own choice to steal from the sensei, which would be a huge dick move to a westerner like Bruce but an unforgivable betrayal by Japanese standards. Kyodai just tries to Hand Wave it by saying that Bruce doesn't "get it" because he was born rich and has never had to worry about money. To no surprise, he became a ninja and a thief as an adult.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Robin calls himself out on this after accidentally tripping an alarm. "Way to go, Dick. Master crime fighter."
    • As Bruce reveals later on in "Day of the Samurai," because he was able to fight Kyodai Ken using the same style he fought him with as Batman earlier in the episode, Kyodai is now able to figure out Bruce's identity.
  • Ninja: Kyodai Ken
  • Non-Answer: When Batman tells Robin that Kyodai is "good" at the martial arts, Robin asks how good he is. Batman reiterates, "Good." (Translation: "Better than me.")
  • Revenge: Summer gets enough facts to figure out someone is seeking revenge on Bruce for something that happened back when Bruce was in Japan and assumes it's about some wrongdoing done by Bruce. Kyodai wants revenge against Bruce for getting him expelled from Yoru's dojo for trying to steal an ancient sword, and Summer's disappointed Kyodai is "just a thief."
  • Secret Chaser: Summer is determine to learn more about the mysterious Ninja who robbed Wayne Enterprises.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After finding himself outmatched, Kyodai destroys a window and flees rather than risk getting caught.
  • Tattooed Crook: The ninja thief Kyodai-Ken has a huge tattoo of a Japanese demon's head on his back.
  • This Is Reality: The title Ninja makes it clear to Dick Grayson that "This isn't the movies, boy!"
  • Underestimating Badassery: Because Bruce is rich, Kyodai doesn't expect him to be much of a fighter.
  • We Will Meet Again: A young Kyodai swears this before fleeing into the night after Bruce stops his theft and gets him expelled from the dojo.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The plot is similar to Die Hard, in which terrorists seize a corporate building and mask their rationale out of disdain for the company's supposed greed and decadence, only to be later revealed the true purpose was to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the high-tech safe.


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