The New Batman Ninja Anime: What We Know So Far

Both DC and Marvel have launched a number of projects that made use of Japanese visual style as well as other Japanese elements. Some of these projects have been successful. Others, not so much. The latest example from DC seems to be Batman Ninja, which will be an anime movie with some rather well-known names involved in the project.

What Do We Know about Batman Ninja?

For starters, Batman Ninja will not be featuring either an ancient Japanese version of Batman or ancient Japanese versions of his friends and foes. Instead, it will see Batman and Robin time-traveling to the Sengoku Jidai, which was a time when central authority had collapsed in Japan, with the result that numerous Japanese rulers fought one another for the right to rule over the land. There, the two will be fighting some rather familiar faces from Batman’s cast of rogues, with examples including but not limited to Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Gorilla Grodd. Said individuals will remain recognizable as themselves, but will also be using ancient Japanese arms and armor with their own sense of aesthetics laid over them. In particular, it is amusing to note that Gorilla Grodd will be receiving particular attention when it comes to his costuming for the simple reason that he happens to be the director Mizusaki Jumpei’s personal favorite.

So far, there has not been a great deal of information released about Batman Ninja. Still, not a lot is not the same as none, as shown by the fact that we know that Batman and the Joker will be getting into a rooftop swordfight at one point. Furthermore, we know that Batman will be wearing samurai armor, whereas the Joker will be wearing something much better-suited for the courts. As a result, one cannot help but wonder whether the Joker will be blackening his teeth as well, which was a historical practice of the time that was popular with the nobles in the courts but less so with the people fighting for the right to rule out in the provinces.

Regardless, what is more interesting is that we know a fair bit about the people who are involved in the project. For example, the character designer will be Okazaki Takashi, who some people might recognize from his work on Afro Samurai, which has resulted in an anime series, a video game, and even an upcoming live-action movie. Furthermore, the writer is Nakashima Kazuki, who has worked on the writing for a wide range of anime series, with examples ranging from Re: Cutie Honey to Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill. Finally, the director is as mentioned, a man named Mizusaki Jumpei, who worked on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Summed up, this is a fair amount of talent brought together under the umbrella of the same project, which bodes well for the future of Batman Ninja.

Batman Ninja is expected to see release in 2018 via DVD and Blu-Ray. As a result, while there is limited information available about the movie at the moment, there should be more coming out in the not so distant future as marketing ramps up. It remains to be seen whether it will be worth watching or not, but it looks like it has potential, not least because its premise is new but thoroughly representative of superhero comics at their core.

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