Batman Ninja anime movie turns the Dark Knight into a samurai
The Dark Knight is getting a brand-new, genre-bending look. From some of Japan’s brightest minds in anime — like Jumpei Mizusaki (a producer on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) and Takashi Okazaki (the creator of Afro Samurai) — comes a new trailer for Batman Ninja, an upcoming release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that reimagines the vigilante warrior of Gotham City as a vigilante samurai.
Over the years, classic superhero characters have received similar treatments through fan-made and professional-grade work. With Batman, there was a time in 2012 when Cartoon Network tapped Wolf Smoke, a Chinese animation studio, to create a series of “DC Nation” short films that saw the Caped Crusader as a warrior in 1930s Shanghai. Other such creations live on in action-figure form, like the Samurai Spider-Man figure from Bandai.
Now, the Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Robin, Gorilla Grodd, and other names from the DC lexicon are getting a shogun feel with Batman Ninja, directed by Mizusaki with character designs by Okazaki. The voice cast includes Koichi Yamadera as Batman, Wataru Takagi as Joker, Ai Kakuma as Catwoman, and Rie Kugimiya as Harley.
The new footage was screened for attendees on Friday at Tokyo Comic-Con. Kazuki Nakashima wrote the screenplay, while Yugo Kanno headed music and Kamikaze Douga headed animation production.
Watch the trailer above and the first-look footage from New York Comic Con below.
In this tale, Batman is transported to medieval Japan, where he’s forced to fight against the crazed clown, who’s flaunting a much more stylized (and terrifying) design. Calling himself the “Devil King of the 6th Heaven” and “the most powerful figure in Japan,” Joker is trying to rewrite history and it’s up to Batman to stop him.
Batman Ninja will debut in Japan in 2018.