Japanese Anime is simply wild. That is one of the facts of life: death, taxes, Instagram models selling protein, and Japanese anime being flat-out bonkers. So when you apply that style of animation to a character as iconic as Batman, I can only imagine what the result will be. And if this trailer is any indication, that result is going to be the Dark Knight unlike we’ve ever seen him.
Japanese anime is known for being quite graphic so it will be interesting to see what rating this ends up receiving. Despite being a cartoon, that doesn’t mean the content isn’t mature: last year Warner Bros. released an animated version of the Batman graphic novel classic The Killing Jokes that received an R-rating.
As fans of the character know, the direct-to-DVD animation miss are the most consistent Batman motion picture interpretation going these days (looking at you, DCEU), so hopefully this eccentric, yet definitely interesting project will continue that consistent quality we’ve come to expect.
Veep and Arrested Development star Tony Hale voices The Joker in this feature alongside Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo) as Catwoman, Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke) as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and Fred Tatasciore (Family Guy) as Gorilla Grodd and Deathstroke, rounding out the English dubbing of this Warner Bros. Japan original.
Directed by Jumpei Mizusaki (opening animation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure) and written by Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), the story finds Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transporting Batman, a few of his allies, and many of his worst enemies to feudal Japan. The comics costumes get a Japanese makeover as the villains take over the forms of feudal lords ruling the divided land, led by The Joker himself. Batman, meanwhile, loses his high-tech weaponry in the time jump and is forced to rely on his intellect and pure brawn to bring these baddies down.
The feature-length animated film arrives on Digital starting April 24, 2018, and Blu-ray and DVD on May 8, 2018.