One reason why the character of Batman has endured for 78 years is that he’s so malleable. Sure, there are intrinsic qualities that unite various interpretations such as his superior intellect, martial arts skills and care for his fellow man, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been portrayals on opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, both Adam West and Ben Affleck have brought something very different to the table, but neither man’s efforts were no less valid than the other – and the same sentiment can be extended to comics and animation.
Having said that, the time has come to embrace what the near future will bring. As it turns out, the Caped Crusader will once again venture to the Japanese anime arena, this time with Batman Ninja. And no, it probably has nothing to do with the Dark Knight and dozens of other gifted athletes from his region having to complete a difficult obstacle course, with the chance of advancing to the finals in Las Vegas in hope of conquering Mount Midoriyama. Rather, we’re guessing the film’s title will be key to whatever the plot may be.
If your memory serves you well, then you’ll be able to recall 2008’s Batman: Gotham Knight (pictured), which was a feature-length direct-to-video anime made up of several interconnected shorts produced by various directors. Basically, it bridged the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, providing fan service in a way similar to what The Animatrix did for The Matrix trilogy, or what Dark Fury did for the Riddick movies.
However, odds are that’s where the similarities may end, because we’re told to brace ourselves for an “imaginative take” on Batman and his supporting characters. This could be anything from simple costume changes all the way to reimagined origins, so we’ll have to wait and see what the filmmakers have in store. For all we know, we could be looking at something as radically different as those figures Square Enix made not long ago.
Hopefully, many questions will be answered at next week’s New York Comic Con panel. Here’s the skinny on that:
Warner Bros. Japan and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment team for an eye-popping addition to the Batman animated legacy with Batman Ninja, a spectacular, all-new anime film coming in 2018. Be among the first to witness the premiere of colorful footage from this imaginative take on Batman and many of his connected characters.
Panelists will include director Jumpei Mizusaki, character designer Takashi Okazaki, screenwriter Kazuki Nakashima, English-language screenwriters Leo Chu & Eric Garcia and some potential special guests.
One other thing we’d like to learn about Batman Ninja is that of its actual release date, but they may hold off on that for now. 2018 is a bit vague, so where it may fall is anybody’s guess because it’s not part of Warner Animation’s usual slate.