Over the past three decades, nerds of all kinds have been blessed with some truly excellent animation. From Western to Eastern styles, we have been spoiled as fans, and it seems like that will not be stopping anytime soon. We have even had some crossover, with American superheroes getting the Japanese anime style treatment. To be honest, I prefer it.
Now, I do not have anything against the animation styles that BATMAN BEYOND or JUSTICE LEAGUE had, they were fantastic compared to a lot of what we get with popular superhero cartoons. Although, I will say that the Spider-Man and X-Men animated series from the 90’s did not age as gracefully as BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES; but, that is besides to point.
The Few, but Great, Superhero Anime Crossovers
In 2009, I got my wish when I saw that IRON MAN and WOLVERINE were getting an anime series on the now defunct G4 TV network. I was not disappointed when the shows aired. It was stylish and intense and the way they moved and fought worked so well for these characters. Then, they made the X-MEN anime, which was even better than the first two shows.
Seeing these characters in such a brilliantly executed manner was so satisfying. We got one more series, BLADE, and two animated films and that was it.
It has been four years since we have gotten anything like that from Marvel. DC has given us TEEN TITANS and the film, BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT, but that is it. All of these shows and films from both companies have ranged from good to spectacular. The question now is; why not do more?
Is There Potential?
Netflix has just put out their exclusive CASTLEVANIA anime, and it’s common knowledge among nerds that Marvel/Disney has a deal with Netflix for shows like DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES. Why not put out a new anime maybe starring Spider-Man or Moon Knight? There is a huge roster of Marvel characters that would thrive in the form of anime, and DC probably has even more!
In 2009, there were rumors and some concept art for a Nightwing anime series on Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network eventually decided to pass in favor of YOUNG JUSTICE (and I am not complaining).
It could be argued that now would be the perfect time to revitalize that show. If not for Cartoon Network, maybe for the new CW streaming service that the TITANS live action series is set to debut on. Or maybe even on HBO as a more mature series.
It Is Time For A New Age of Superhero Animation
Every time one of the Big Two (DC and Marvel) have dipped their feet into the world of anime, it’s been freakin’ awesome. The fact that they have not tried again by now is obscene, especially for DC. The addition of an accessible anime style series starring these familiar characters, you can bring new audiences to both mediums.
Classic, American style cartoon fans who loved JUSTICE LEAGUE and YOUNG JUSTICE can get into the new, eastern style of animation and check out more anime. Vice versa, classic anime faithfuls can enjoy Marvel and DC shows in the style they love most.
Perhaps, we could see one of the smaller comic companies like IMAGE or VALIANT tackle an anime style series for their characters and outdo the Big Two. What are some Comic properties you would love to see as an anime?