Fans react to the new Batman Ninja sequel teaser trailer

DC gives a first look at Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League
Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League Teaser Trailer | DC
Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League Teaser Trailer | DC / DC

At Anime Expo 2024, DC has given fans a first look at Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League, the sequel to the original 2018 Batman Ninja anime movie by debuting the movie's first teaser trailer. After being revealed to the crowds in attendance at the Anime Expo, the teaser has been shared on DC and Warner Animation's official YouTube channels and social media accounts.

Based on the social media reactions to the teaser reveal, the fanbase is responding to the surprise announcement with anything from bewilderment to excitement.

While some fans are reacting negatively to the reveal of Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League, for the most part, the fanbase is positive, if not exactly enthusiastic. This is pretty consistent with the reception of the original Batman Ninja, which currently has a 5.6 fan rating on IMDB and a 6.08 on MyAnimeList, indicating a consensus that the original Batman Ninja was slightly above average, but not exceptional.

On the whole, Batman Ninja is stylish enough and has a unique premise that makes it worth watching at least once, though the pacing has issues and the most interesting aspect of transporting well-known superheroes to feudal Japan isn't really explored in detail. Hopefully, Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League improves on these shortcomings. At the very least, the trailer shows that it's likely to nail the unique visual style again.

Although specific plot details are still sparse at this point, based on the information presented in the teaser, it appears that Batman will once again contend with a disruption of time and space, leading to present-day Gotham and feudal-era Japan colliding. The original Batman Ninja had Batman, the Bat Family, and several supervillains from Arkham transported into the past in a superhero isekai story. The sequel seems to involve several characters based on feudal Japanese versions of other DC heroes being transported forward through time into Gotham, with time-displaced versions of Green Lantern, Aquaman, Flash, and Wonder Woman all glimpsed in the trailer.

Based on the information revealed as of this writing, Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League will see the return of most of the production team behind the original. Director Junpei Mizusaki (the producer of the Star Wars Visions anime anthology series with Disney) and writer Kazuki Nakashima (writer of Studio Trigger's Kill la Kill and BNA: Brand New Animal) are returning in the same roles for the sequel. Similarly, Koichi Yamadera (the voice of Spike in Cowboy Bebop and Beerus in Dragon Ball Super) returns to voice Batman. The rest of the voice cast has not yet been revealed.

DC's latest anime adaptation

While the announcement of Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League surprised many fans, it's important to remember that animation has been a major part of DC's content strategy for decades. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the DC Animated Universe produced some of the most popular superhero cartoons of all time with its Batman, Superman, and Justice League anime series. DC and Warner Animation have also regularly produced direct-to-DVD movies since the 1990s.

Since first co-producing the original Batman Ninja with a Japanese production team, DC has started adapting its other comics for anime. The 10-episode anime series Suicide Squad ISEKAI was announced in 2023 and is currently streaming. The announcement of a Batman Ninja sequel has surprised many fans, the announcement is consistent with both DC's longstanding history or animated adaptations and its recent strategy of anime co-productions with Japanese teams.

Catch up with the original Batman Ninja

While fans wait for the release of Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League, there are plenty of options for catching up with the first Batman Ninja. The movie is available for digital rental and purchase on platforms including YouTube, Google Play Movies, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. DC summarizes the movie on its official website as follows:

"Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd’s time displacement machine transports many of Batman’s worst enemies to feudal Japan—along with the Dark Knight and a few of his allies. The villains take over the forms of the feudal lords that rule the divided land, with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions. As his traditional high-tech weaponry is exhausted almost immediately, Batman must rely on his intellect and his allies—including Catwoman and the extended Bat-family—to restore order to the land, and return to present-day Gotham City.

The visually stunning Batman Ninja is the creative result of a trio of anime’s finest filmmakers: director Jumpei Mizusaki (Opening animation of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), writer Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), and character designer Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) produced the original movie with Warner Bros. Japan. The script was then reinterpreted and rewritten for English-language distribution by award-winning screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai). Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers." official summary

All of the announcements made about Batman Ninja vs. Yakuza League so far have been posted to the movie's official website, available in both English and Japanese. As of this writing, a release date has not yet been announced. Stay tuned to Anime Away for more information as it becomes available.

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