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Random Nerdery: Batman Ninja, Awaken Akira, Godzilla

A Japanese take on the Caped Crusader, fans pay homage to an iconic anime movie, and the Big G himself comes back to Netflix.
Batman Ninja - Junpei Mizusaki
The Bat family takes a vacation in feudal Japan

Random Nerdery is a regular Opus feature covering the latest nerdiness from the worlds of film, TV, literature, comic books, video games, technology, web development, and more.

Batman and Friends Go Ninja in DC’s New Animated Title

With the notable exception of 2017’s Wonder Woman, DC’s live action films have been routinely underwhelming. DC’s animated titles, on the other hand, are much more enjoyable, from series like Justice League Unlimited and the recently renewed Young Justice to original movies including Justice League: War, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

DC’s latest animated title, Batman Ninja, offers just what the title claims. Sent back in time to feudal Japan, Batman and his allies find themselves squaring off against Joker and a host of other villains who have reshaped Japan in their image.

Written and directed by Japanese filmmakers, including Junpei Mizusaki (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), Kazuki Nakashima (Kill la Kill), and Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai), Batman Ninja looks utterly ridiculous and over the top… and I can’t wait to see it.

Awaken Akira Fan Film Celebrates the Iconic Anime

Akira is one of the most iconic anime films of all time, and along with Ghost in the Shell, helped introduce westerners to the medium’s darker, more serious side. Awaken Akira is a short fan film by filmmakers Ash Thorp and Zaoeyo that pays tribute to some of the original Akira’s most iconic scenes (e.g., its ominous cityscapes).

The project’s website contains a lot of behind-the-scenes info about the short film’s creation, which makes it clear that Awaken Akira was a true labor of love. As an added bonus, the short boasts music by Pilotpriest that pays homage to Shoji Yamashiro’s original Akira score.

On a related note, I’ve finally begun reading the Akira manga. I’m only two volumes in, and there are already some noticeable differences with the movie, with various characters getting more detailed story arcs in the manga’s pages. What’s particularly striking is how well the anime translated Katsuhiro Otomo’s artwork, which is routinely lovely and detailed. Via

Godzilla Returns to Netflix for Round Two

Earlier this year, Netflix began streaming Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, an anime movie that found the last remnants of humanity battling the iconic monster 20,000 years in the future. That movie ended on a cliffhanger, with humanity having awakened an even bigger, meaner Godzilla.

The second film in the trilogy, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, arrives in Japanese theatres later this month, which means it’ll probably start streaming on Netflix this summer. Based on the above trailer, I’m guessing that several other iconic Godzilla monsters — e.g., Mothra and Mechagodzilla — will make appearances in one form or another. Which will be good, because Godzilla himself seems to have gained even more devastating powers in the ensuing millennia.

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