Batman is enjoying an extended renaissance, with Ben Affleck playing the Dark Knight in the upcoming Justice League movie, as well as in the upcoming project The Batman, a new solo outing for the hero. But there’s more in store for Batman in film form, with a new anime story set to excite fans.
The film’s title led many to believe that the upcoming Batman Ninja would either see the Dark Knight as a ninja in feudal Japan or as a shadowy warrior in present Japan. The film, however, will see the hero time-travel, and perhaps even teleport, from modern-day Gotham to Japan’s Warring States.
It was at the Batman Ninja panel at the recent Comic Con in New York when the film’s creators told the audience that the story would feature a time-travelling Batman. Director Jumpei Mizusaki and Translator Mari Morimoto said that the villains will also travel through time, in order to stage an epic stand off.
The villains will include Catwoman, Two-Face, the Oenguine, Gorilla Grodd, Harley Quinn, and the Joker. Other characters from the Bat universe will be joining the film, such as Nightwing and Robin.
Leo Chu, one of the English-speaking writers, revealed the role that time travel will play in the film. He was asked about working on Afro Samurai with Takashi Okazaki and said that there was a part that the director did in that film which blends traditional and kind of feudal Japan elements with modern technology and traditional technology. Chu said that it is about the high-tech world versus the traditional world and natural world, and how this impacts each villain.
The trailer, which was given an exclusive screening at the event, played with these themes. It showed the tank-style Batmobile riding around feudal Japan, as well at at least one Bat-cycle. Chu did emphasise earlier, however, that the film’s English-language version was a true adaption, as opposed to a literal translation of the original, Japanese script. So the extent of the themes will vary, depending on the version.
While it may be some time before anime truly makes its mark in the mainstream, it enjoys a loyal following among comic book fans. If its popularity continues to grow, however, we may yet see larger cinema chains show anime movies, as well as other industries jump on board.
More recently, anime has seen an increase in popularity in the gaming niche, with card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, and anime based on playing games like No Game No Life. Online casinos, such as the bitcoin-only site, Vegas Casino, offer numerous themed games, and its perhaps only a matter of time before we can enjoy anime on its games page too; the website already has titles themed around Asian pop culture, like Kawaii Kitty.
The modern-day Batman approach, as opposed to one who was born and raised in Warring States Japan, is an intriguing one. However, it also raises numerous questions. How do the characters travel back in time? How do they all get their samurai-style outfits? How are they all able to speak Japanese or is there is an issue with language barriers? Predictably, the panellists weren’t giving much away. We may just have to wait until next year before we find out the answers.