10 Anime Inspired By Comic Books

The world is in a superhero frenzy, but it didn’t just start recently. Ever since the early 2000s with hits like spider-man and X Men, the world has been obsessed with superheroes and comic books alike. However, it isn’t just Western pop culture that loves avengers and Batman. These franchises and stories have migrated all the way to places like Japan, leading to some of the most genius collaborations of anime and comic books.

RELATED: The 10 Best Animated Batman Films, Ranked According To IMDb

These anime take the core of superhero mythos and blend them with the unique stylings of visionary anime directors. They are welcome additions to the pop culture phenomenon.

10 Batman: Gotham Knight Is Christopher Nolan Meets Anime

screenshot of batman in gotham knight animated movie

Batman: Gotham Knight is an anthology comic book released in 2008 as unofficially a part of the Christopher NolanBatman film trilogy. The anthology was a collaboration between Warner Brothers and a variety of anime studios including Madhouse, Production IG, Bee Train, and Studio 4C.

Batman: Gotham Knight is a series of short films took the grounded storytelling approach of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films and combined it with the heightened visuals of the anime medium. With its unique twist of genres, Batman: Gotham Knight is beloved by fans across the globe.

9 Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Had Global Appeal

Marvel Disk Wars The Avengers Iron Man Wasp Hulk Thor and Captain America in anime form.

Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers is an anime tv series produced as a collaboration between Toei Animation, known for their work on one piece and dragon ball, and Walt Disney Company Japan. The series is based on the Marvel Comics universe and premiered in April of 2014.

Largely used as a way to sell toys to the Japanese market, Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers was targeted primarily towards young boys aged 6 to 12. While not the most highly acclaimed anime series, Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers demonstrated the global appeal of a franchise like avengers.

8 Iron Man Brought Back A Fan-Favorite Character

Anime Iron Man Anime Flight

Marvel Anime was a collaboration between the Japanese anime studio Madhouse and Marvel Entertainment. Premiering in the year 2010, Marvel Anime‘s first series was a 12-episode run following Hombre de Hierro in his journey to Japan to produce a new arc reactor power station.

RELATED: 10 Marvel Comics That Would Make Great Animated Movies

Marvel Anime sees Iron Man facing off against one of his own suits of armor gone rogue, piloted by Ho Yinsen with the aid of a terrorist group known as the Zodiac. For fans of the 2008 Hombre de Hierro movie, this was a welcome addition to the Hombre de Hierro mythos.

7 Wolverine Already Had Roots In Japanese Culture


Alongside Hombre de Hierro, Wolverines was the second 12-episode anime series to premiere as part of the Marvel Anime collaboration between Marvel Entertainment and Madhouse studio. Wolverine has a long history interwoven with the culture of Japan, making him a prime target for an anime adaptation.

This installation of Marvel Anime saw Wolverine traveling to Japan to reunite with his girlfriend, Mariko Yashida, and to face off against her crime syndicate father. Wolverine has often taken the role of a samurai-like figure in comics and this anime is no different, leading to a variety of stellar fights that fans have come to love.

6 X-Men Was Perfect For An Anime Team-Up

wolverine, cyclops and armor in the 2011 x-men anime

X Men was the third 12-episode anime series to premiere as part of the Marvel Anime collaboration between Marvel Entertainment and Madhouse studio. The series follows shortly after the events of the dark phoenix saga, which brought the death of Jean Grey. Mourning their loss, the remnants of the X-Men, including Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Beast, travel to Japan to face off against the U-Men. While there, they set out to save young Japanese mutants from the Damon Hall Syndrome, an issue that would cause problems for mutants during their second mutation.

5 Blade Continued The Tradition Of Anime Vampire Hunters

Marvel Anime: Blade from Sony Pictures Television

Blade was the fourth and final 12-episode anime series that premiered as part of the Marvel Anime collaboration between Marvel Entertainment and Madhouse studio. The final anime series introduced the vampire-hunter to the world of anime.

RELATED: Marvel: 5 Anime Vampires Blade Would Slay (& 5 That Would Beat Him)

However, this is a trope well known to anime fans who have their own beloved vampire-themed anti-hero in the form of Vampire Hunter D. The mediums blend perfectly as fans watched Blade battle the iconic Deacon Frost and a mysterious, new organization of vampires known simply as “Existence.”

4 Heroman Brought Stan Lee To The World Of Anime


Heroman was a Japanese manga created by Stan Lee in 2009 that ran for 5 volumes until 2011. The series was further adapted into an anime less than a year later by Studio Bones, now known for their work on hits such as My Hero Academia.

RELATED: 10 Amazing Anime Set Outside Japan

Heroman followed an orphaned American boy and his companion toy robot called Heybo. When Heybo was struck by lightning one day, he transformed into a giant robot known as Heroman. Together the two of them set out to become Earth’s only defense against evil insectoid aliens.

3 Batman Ninja Was A Refreshing Change For The Old Franchise

batman ninja is a Japanese anime film released in 2018 directed by Junpei Mizusaki and animated by YamatoWorks. The anime film saw the titular Batman sent back through time to feudal Japan where he faced off against his most iconic foes in traditional Japanese aesthetics.

Alongside him, Batman was joined by the likes of Catwoman, Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin himself. Together they navigated the foreign lands to overcome and defeat Gotham’s most dangerous criminals, now seated as feudal lords. batman ninja is generally well regarded by fans and considered a much-needed attempt at bringing a unique vision to the DC mythos.

two Marvel Future Avengers Introduced New Characters To The Marvel Mythos

Team from Marvel Future Avengers

Marvel Future Avengers is a multi-season anime that premiered in 2017 as a collaboration between studio Madhouse and Walt Disney Japan. Based on the Marvel Comics Universe, the series followed three teenagers who were raised by Hydra to become supervillains and defeat the Avengers.

Each possessing their own unique ability, the three eventually realize Hydra’s manipulative ways and set out to join Tony Stark and the Avengers. Marvel Future Avengers is poorly reviewed according to sites like MyAnimeList, but generally seems to be well-liked among its younger fans.

1 The Reflection Was Stan Lee’s Last Anime

The reflection

The reflection was a 12-episode anime series produced by Studio Deen and co-created by writer Stan Lee and director Hiroshi Nagahama that premiered in 2017. The series was heavily inspired by the iconic works of Stan Lee in his time at Marvel and sought to create a new superhero myth for anime fans of Japan to enjoy.

The reflection follows a variety of characters, including X-On, I-Guy, and Eleanor Evans, following a mysterious event called “The Reflection” that gave incredible superpowers to various individuals throughout the world.

NEXT: 10 Anime Based On DC Comics

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