Anime is usually the creation of original idea or adapted from an existing manga. There is however, a growing part that has taken some Western ideas and adapted them to anime. One of the easiest is to take the superheros. With the announcement of the anime move Batman: Ninja, I decided to look at how these characters who were translated into the anime world.
The Dark Knight
In Ninja Batman is transported from Gotham to Feudal Japan. He is not alone, as both some of his allies and enemies come with him. From the trailer, we see a Batman who is dressed in the armor of a samurai and using a sword. Deathstroke uses old looking guns, which would be almost impossible to beat in the time period. The most fascinating character is the Joker, who looks like a psychotic shogun. The character designs are from the creator of Afro Samurai, which had some of the most beautiful and realistic artwork.
The character of Batman is a prime candidate for this interpretation. Batman can been seen as a ninja, as he hides in the shadows and uses martial arts to fight his foes. It would be harder for a super powered hero such as Superman in this scenario, since his powers would be amplified in this time period. The real question is how this story happens, as it appears that Batman has been sent back in time, not a new version of him.
The Last Laugh
The biggest strength of the Batman universe has always been it’s villains and Ninja brings most of the favorites. The Joker fits right in with his purple armor and his hair long and wild. I thought of a demon mask that has a smiling demon face looking out. Harley Quinn sports a ruffled collar in something Shakespeare would wear. All the characters seem to be finding the time appropriate outfits to fit into this time period.
One of the oddest choices was the inclusion of Gorilla Grodd. At first, I saw him as also added character. But thinking about Japan, his character does makes sense. Animals are seen as spiritual creatures in Japan and an animal based character would make sense. How he fits in with the other villains plans remains to be seen, but his character has the look of an invading force from the West.
The Final Fight
Batman Ninja looks to be a fresh take on the Batman mythos. One of my favorite series from DC has always been the Elseworlds, where different versions of the heroes are shown. This trailer makes me think that this could have been a comic book from that series. It will be released in Japan next year, bu hope that the English version is not too far behind. I must also give props to the Japanese voice actors, who make the characters come alive. It might be one of the anime that I will watch subtitled instead of dubbed.