As I said, this serial was made in 1943. And as such, it's not surprising to find Batman fighting not the Joker or Two-Face but agents of a wily Japanese spy. That in itself's not so bad -- I've seen a bad Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes in which Holmes fights the Nazis. But it's shocking that it includes whole-hearted endorsement of one of our country's most shameful episodes of that era. At one point early on in the first episode, the camera pans over a street of deserted buildings and closed businesses with Japanese names while the voiceover reads as follows:
"This was part of a foreign land transplanted bodily to America and known as Little Tokyo. Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become virtually a ghost street. But one business survives, eking out a precarious existence on the dimes of curiosity seekers." [i.e., a 'Cave of Horrors' carnival ride which features displays of Japanese atrocities toward American civilians and soldiers]
It's strange and perhaps thought-provoking to realize that the most popular thing FDR did in his presidency --rounding up people and sending them off to concentration camps based on their ethnicity -- is now the most shameful part of his legacy.