There had been rumblings for a while around this “wild west infinity” that we all like to call the internet of a “Batman meets anime” project going on. Nothing was ever confirmed, or any weight really thrown at it other than the usual, “Whoa! That would be awesome if done right,” usuals. I can vaguely remember the talks dying off not too long after the original rumor had spread like a wild-fire. Then in October (of this year) at New York Comic Con there was a short clip shown to attendees, which both confirmed said rumblings, and thrusting those who got to see it into this Japanese hyper-stylized world of the “Caped Crusader”.
Of course, nothing was put online and it left us (who didn’t get to see it) floundering– until now!
BATMAN NINJA off of my first initial reaction, looks amazing!
You see the intense and stylized anime qualities brought out in just the two-minute long teaser that was shown at NYCC, and you’d expect as much since the story was written by Kazuki Nakashima (Head Writer of KILL LA KILL). I feel like Nakashima has a good understanding of Batman’s character, and the relationship between him and the Joker in the way that we can see the translated versions. The dynamic seems accurate, and plausible under this new set of parameters that is this Feudal Japan world he’s set up.
Now, there were a few things that I don’t quite care for. The overall animation to me seems a bit rushed. It doesn’t have the cleanest look to it, but I can understand the stylistic choice to go with it. I think it does fit the world Nakashima is going for.
The other issue being the character design. This being a personal preference. I do think that Takashi Okazaki (Writer and Illustrator of AFRO SAMURAI) did a great job to fit the story at hand. The designs overall perfectly fit the world, and that for me outweighs my nitpickiness of not liking how Jason Todd/Red Hood and Damian Wayne/Robin look.
This will definitely be must watch material when it comes out, and definitely broadens DC Comics‘ horizon as they’re branching out to and taking advantage of their fans in the East. I’m curious to see how well this does, and what will come next.
BATMAN NINJA will be released sometime next year (2018) on Blu-Ray and DVD, so pay close attention.