A quiet announcement was made last week as was Anime Expo hosting a special panel Warner Bros. Japan and WIT Studio on July 3rd. For those that may not know WIT Studio is a Japanese anime studio based in Tokyo. The company is best known for handling the anime production of Spy x Family, Ranking of Kings, and the first three season of Attack on Titan. They also have a history of working on anime movies such as Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us.
Given that their panel at Anime Expo is titled “Warner Bros. Japan and WIT Studio: New Anime Project” we don’t officially know if what Warner Bros Discovery brand this will involve and if this will be a new TV series or movie anime. But there is high possibility that we will be getting a new anime based around a DC Comics character.
This won’t be the first time we’ve gotten an anime based on a DC Comics property. Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go are heavily inspired by anime. Batman Ninja was an anime movie with Afro Samurai creator, Takashi Okazaki, handling the character designs. With that in mind, and in anticipation of the Warner Bros. Japan and WIT Studio panel at Anime Expo, I’ve put together five DC Comics properties that would make perfect animes.
Possibly the easiest slam dunk for a character and franchise that can easily fit with the anime world is Wonder Woman. Anime has a long history of utilizing Greek mythology in modern and historic settings such as in Saint Seiya, Record of Ragnarok, and Fate/Zero. Like those series, with Wonder Woman studios like WIT Studio can play with a lot of how Greek mythology is adapted in the DC Universe.
Wonder Woman also has a large cast of characters that are largely unknown beyond what we got in the first two movies. A full TV anime series can finally give time to Wonder Woman’s large cast of characters development time they’ve only ever seen in comic books. Characters like Nubia, Donna Troy, and Artemis can make early core cast to start. From there we can have arcs that explore not only Greek mythology but specifically DC Comics version of the Amazons that we know are spread across the world.
While DC Comics has attempted to delve into the magic corner of their universe we haven’t seen it as successful as other things. That is where an anime with Zatanna as the lead can help. There has been a ton of magic-based animes and they are very popular. Most recently, we’ve seen how Mashle: Magic and Muscle getting an anime adaption helped it go from a manga series. Mashle’s manga was announced to have been have been cancelled in March 2022 with but is still being published as of June 2023, with its ongoing final arc running for over a year.
Like what we’ve seen with Mashle, a Zatanna anime can lift the DC Universe magic corner to a greater level of popularity. Zatanna already has shown she can carry an anime-style story with her Webtoon comic series that just wrapped up its 52-chapter run on WEBTOON. That series set a foundation of what can inspire what an anime take on Zatanna can be. A studio like WIT Studio can have the creative room to develop the magic corner’s mythology with the villains to other magic-based superheroes like John Constantine and Raven.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
If there is one thing that anime excels at it is having series with assemble cast. Specifically, when it comes to animes with a young cast of kids in high school or young adults around the college age. Right away the Teen Titans and Young Justice fit that mold but we’ve had animated series around them plenty. The other DC Comics franchise that would fit perfectly would be the Legion Of Super-Heroes.
The Legion of Super-Heroes have wide range types of character the interactions within the team. From those with already developed bonds to new heroes joining the team to distant characters like Brainiac 5, there is plenty there that can tap into the young adult group dynamic that we see all the time in anime. Legion of Super-Heroes also give room to explore what the legacy of the Justice League generation while building out what the distant future of the DC Universe looks like.
CASSANDRA CAIN: BATGIRL
We know DC Comics like having some the Batman franchise involved in all of their projects. When it comes to anime Cassandra Cain is by far the best character to pick. Specifically, because you can tell her origin story and tie it into the League of Assassins given her parents, David Cain and Lady Shiva, background. The series can open with Cassandra escaping her father and going to Batman and Oracle about a greater conspiracy she learned with the League of Assassins. From there Barbara Gordon can become Cassandra’s mentor and train her as Batgirl while dealing with the League of Assassins.
With the League of Assassins further drama can be added with altering Jason Todd’s story for Cassandra learns Jason is working as a silent assassin for Talia Al Ghul. This is a story made for the drama we see in shonen anime that can be play out in a new way while still leading to Jason becoming Red Hood.
Similar to Wonder Woman, Aquaman’s mythos is made for anime. Aquaman has both the exploration and magic elements that fit with anime so well. From creatures to other underwater cities and tribes, there so much with the underwater world to explore.
Then there is Aquaman’s rogues gallery. When it comes to rogues gallery Aquaman has only ever had Black Manta and Ocean Master as getting any form of attention outside of comics. This makes the rogues gallery more of a blank slate as there won’t be the expectation that Batman or Superman’s villains would have in what roles they would/should serve. That creates more room for how you tell Aquaman and other characters, like Mera, Garth, Jackson Hyde, and Tula, are told as Atlantis mythos is explored in the DC Universe
SOURCE: Anime Expo