Wednesday, January 3, 2018


So I talked about Batman Gotham Knight in a post last year.  Now I've learned another Anime Batman project is in the works, Batman Ninja.

I'll check it out.  But I feel that it like Gotham Knight but in a different way is still based on a limited idea of what Anime is from people who don't watch much of it, stereotypes it still has in some circles based on what got localized in the 90s.

I'm not that interested in seeing Batman in old Japan, as far as Batman as a period piece goes I still don't think we've gotten that right keeping him in the west yet since I don't share the reverence many have for Gotham by Gaslight.

First off lots of Anime is set outside Japan, so I'm curious how a Japanese Anime studio would Animate Batman in his usual setting.  But if you want to put Batman in Japan, put him in modern urban Japan, he need not be any more "Ninja" then he usually is.

I've been a Nerd of some sort all my life.  Batman is my oldest fandom, Anime is kind of my latest.  Perhaps that my interest in Anime is so relatively new means it might be a fad I'll move beyond.  But I don't think so, once I discovered what Anime is really capable of, I felt like I found what I'd been looking for all along.  So there possibly is no one more interested in the idea of bringing Batman and Anime together then me.

Since Batman can be re-imagined a number of different ways, there is no one way to do Anime Batman right.  Still I have my preferences that I feel I should share.  And I will share them by mentioning Anime that already exist that appeal to me in ways that overlap with what I like about Batman, and/or want from future Batman stories.

My absolute favorite Anime, is still the show that is in a sense my first Anime Anime, Noir.  Given what I said above it's perhaps no coincidence that what got me into Anime was one that made me think of Batman.  It's very title is based on how it harkens back to the same roots as Batman, Film Noirs and French Pulp Crime Fiction.  When I first watched it I felt like it was something Nolan could direct.  Chloe's movements often have a very Batman like quality to them.

And there are other Anime of a similar Genre to Noir, like Canaan or it's Bee Train sisters.

But then in a different way there is Kara no Kyoukai.  In Digibro's first video on Kara no Kyokai he talked about how the first film does a great job at giving the city personalty.  And that is something Batman stories always try to do with Gotham, which Nerdwriter did a video on., YMMV on their successes and failures.

Many fans lament how post No Man's Land Gotham isn't really "Gothic" anymore, but rather a more realistically modern city.  But that is I feel a superficial definition of what Gothic means.  Yes Gothic originally refereed to a style of late medieval European architecture, Gothic Romance however as a genre moved beyond that.  Tyler Tichelaar likes to talk about how the origins of modern Urban fiction are tied to moving the tropes of Gothic Romance to a then contemporary setting.  And that of course overlaps with what I talked about in The Mysteries of Gotham.

And so perhaps giving a Gothic personality to a truly modern urban environment is exactly where  Anime like Kara no Kyoukai and other Light Novels Digibro would call Faust style Light Novels, are more successful then a lot of post No Man's Land Batman stories.

I can't exactly leave out Lupin III, since I already talked about how the original Lupin is also a literary ancestor of Batman.  But in terms of style, most Lupin III is either goofier then I prefer my Batman, or going for more of a retro style then I technically want for Batman.  In the latter category is The Woman called Fujiko Mine.  Fujiko is beyond any shadow of a doubt the Catwoman of Anime.

I may add more to this post in the future.  Naturally sometimes stuff slips my mind.

But one thing I like about Anime is how much Genre stuff there is with female leads, or at least nearly gender even casts.  Batman Ninja is looking to be another Batman cartoon where it's mostly only the males of the Batman Family who will be joining him besides Catwoman.  I really want Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain to finally get a spotlight in Batman animation.  How perfect it could have been for that to also be a Batman Anime, but alas it is not to be.

Update August 2018: I can't believe I forgot to mention Death Note. Subtract the Supernatrual elements and it has a lot of Batman qualities.  There have been some fan trailers of it to Nolan's Batman films.  Chief Yagami is the closest thing Anime has to a Jim Gordon, and Misa Amane has a very similar appeal to Harley Quinn, though so do Yenderes like Yuno Gasai.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the nod to me, though I think you know far more about it than I do. Fascinating stuff.