Batman has more memorable, “classic” stories than just about any other single comic-book character. He’s been successfully adapted for film more times, with many story beats jumping over from the page to inform these adaptations. He’s seen perhaps more success in the animated realm than any superhero, including big titles like X-Men, Spider-Man, and Superman.
One of my favorite animated adaptations of the Dark Knight is the Batman: Gotham Knight anthology that brought six different anime directors to Batman’s world, giving us six totally different, visually distinct takes on the vigilante. His latest jaunt into animation might just be the most buck-wild of these yet.
There’s so much happening in this trailer that it can be hard to grasp it all. Batman is trapped in feudal-era Japan where the Joker has gained access to some truly awesome and un-Jokerly power. Batman is without many of his tools, but it seems he has Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood along for the ride, while Joker has his always-present Harley Quinn, as well as SumoBane, Deadshot, Two-Face, and apparently the ultra-genius ape Gorilla Grodd on his side. What is even happening here.
That’s not even making mention of the obligatory giant, feudal-era mech that drops in.
The film is directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, who anime fans might recognize as the director of the extra meme-able Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, while the character designs are handled by Takashi Okazaki of Afro Samurai.
The production team has chosen an interesting visual style for the feature, going with the puppeteered-CGI style of animation seen in stuff like the recent Berserk anime (check out our review of the Berserk game!), but cranked to 11. If these trailers are any indication, it’s going to look really good.
And if you want to see Batman in motion, though, movies like Batman Ninja might be your best bet, as the Matt Reeves-directed Batman film and a Justice League sequel are a couple years out at least. Meanwhile, Batman Ninja will be released digitally on April 24 and on Blu-ray on May 8.