Part of what makes Batman such a compelling character is how he blends a number of different genres. In addition to being a caped superhero in the grand American comic book tradition and “the world’s greatest detective,” he’s also essentially a ninja, stalking his prey by moonlight, leaping to the attack from rooftops, and melting away into the darkness when the battle is done.
Really, the only thing keeping Batman from feeling like a full-fledged ninja is that his regular haunt, Gotham City, is too modern and western for an authentic-feeling ninja tale. So the solution is to transport Batman (and a few friends and foes) back to feudal-era Japan, which is what’s happening in the upcoming anime production "Batman Ninja."
For extra anime authenticity, "Batman Ninja" even has a different title in Japan, where it’s called "Ninja Batman."
The trailer glosses over the technical details of the time travel, chalking it up to “an unexpected chemical reaction.” Regardless of the process involved, Batman finds himself in the Sengoku Period, a time when Japan had no central government and was instead ruled by regional warlords who sought to snatch each other’s territory by any means available. That sounds right up the alley of Batman’s longtime nemesis the Joker, who installs himself as such a warlord and declares himself “Devil King of the 6th Heaven,” echoing a similar title often assigned to real-life ruthless samurai Oda Nobunaga.
But Batman isn’t alone in this fight, as he’s joined by Catwoman and other allies including Robin, who sports a shaved-temples-with-topknot hairstyle. Opposing them are the Joker’s army of masked samurai and his usual consort, Harley Quinn.
As a refined member of upper-crust society, Bruce Wayne is, of course, skilled in the tea ceremony.
And as a ninja, Batman of course runs ninja-style too, and now carries Bat-kunai throwing knives.
Aside from the Japanese setting, there’s a lot of Japanese talent involved in the production. Takashi Okazaki, creator of "Afro Samurai," is handling character designs, and the script is by Kazuki Nakashima, who played a key role in crafting the stories for "Gurren Lagann" and "Kill la Kill." And if Batman’s Japanese voice sounds familiar, it’s because that’s Koichi Yamadera, the voice of "Cowboy Bebop’s" leading man Spike, or, if you go back further in anime history, "Ranma 1/2’s Ryoga."
"Batman Ninja" is scheduled for a home video release sometime in 2018, and we’re looking forward to delivering on the awesome action potential of its steampunk swordfights, as well as letting us know what’s up with the gorilla that shows up in the middle of the preview.
Source, images: YouTube/ワーナー ブラザース 公式チャンネル
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