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Batman’s Next Film Takes Him Back to Anime to Fight the Yakuza

Batman’s Next Film Takes Him Back to Anime to Fight the Yakuza


Image: Warner Bros./DC Comics

Back in 2018, WB released the CG movie Batman Ninja, its first real foray into anime from production company YamtoWorks and Kamikaze Douga. In the years since, there’s been a lot of animated Batman movies, and you’d be fair in thinking Ninja was just an interesting one-off to have in the Bat-library. And you would end up being wrong about its status as a one-and-done, because it turns out there’s a sequel in the works.

Dubbed Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League, the sequel will once again see Batman travel back to feudal Japan to deal with a new period-appropriate threat. While plot specifics are currently under wraps, WB did reveal through the film’s website that Koichi Yamadera would return to play Batman in the Japanese dub, and that it’d once again be directed by Junpei Mizusaki. Production-wise, the key creatives from the first film—namely writer Kazuki Nakashima (Promare), character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai), composer Yugo Kanno (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean), and co-director Shinji Takagi—are all returning alongside Mizusaki.

At the time of its release, Batman Ninja was fairly well-received, mostly for how well it adapted the Dark Knight and his entourage and villains for the feudal period. It was later adapted into a manga that won Best Comic at the Seiun Awards, and also inspired a short-lived stage play in 2021. The sequel comes as WB is trying to bring DC characters into the anime space with the Suicide Squad: Isekai series airing in Japan this July.

That same month, WB will have a panel at Anime Expo on July 4. Hopefully we get a first look at the film there, and an actual look at how Batman’s war against the Yakuza in whatever year he’s been pulled into this time.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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