The idea that Batman exists as a stealthy, gadget-wielding, contemporary crime-fighting nocturnal ninja may seem like a given at this point, but it’s a fairly recent trope that was ignited by movie and comic book reinventions, and far from the 1939 vision of the costumed rope-swinging detective of creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger. However, upcoming anime Batman Ninja not only embraces said trope, but creatively utilises it as the basis for an inventive interpretation of the mythology.
After months of teases, going back to July at San Diego Comic-Con, the Batman Ninja trailer has arrived, or, should I say trailers, since two of them were released!
Have a watch below…
Video of 『ニンジャバットマン』 New York Comic Con公開映像【2018年劇場公開予定】
Video of 『ニンジャバットマン』 日本用トレーラー【2018年劇場公開予定】
As we can see, Gotham City has been traded for a highly-stylised quasi-historical version of feudal Japan, where Batman’s crime-fighting endeavor sees him take the form of an armored, sword-swinging samurai/ninja hybrid. The solitary, honor-based lifestyle of the samurai suit Bruce Wayne well here, and we can see that he’ll face a traditional DC Comics rogues gallery consisting of Catwoman, Two-Face, Gorilla Grodd and, most notably, the Joker, who exists here as a purple-armor-clad cackling samurai whose skills easily match that of Batman’s.
Batman Ninja is the brainchild of writer Kazu Nakashima (Futagashira) and designer Takashi Okazaki (Samurai Jack). Junpei Mizusaki will serve as director, breaking a long hiatus from 2005 anime Zoo.
With the feature being in Japanese with English subtitles, Kôichi Yamadera will voice Batman and Wataru Takagi will voice the Joker.
Batman Ninja poster
Here’s the teaser poster for Batman Ninja, showing the familiar sight of a mid-air Batman, only decked out in his ninja gear and ready to wreak havoc amongst the criminals and general ne’er-do-wells that dare to deal out injustices in his version of feudal Japan.
Batman Ninja release date
While Batman Ninja has yet to announce a specific release date, the feature is expected to arrive on DVD/Blu-ray sometime in 2018.