Image source: ワーナー ブラザース 公式チャンネル on YouTube

It’s probably not what you expected a DC superhero anime to look like, but it’s darn fun.

Image Source: 「秘密結社 鷹の爪」公式 on Twitter

Flash animated anime Eagle Talon has been running off and on in Japan for the past decade—and to great success. A comedic deconstruction of superhero stories, it follows the titular “evil” secret organization as they try to take over the world—only to be routinely foiled by the superhero, Deluxe Fighter. The twist, however, is that Eagle Talon’s ultimate goal is world peace and Deluxe Fighter is little more than a corrupt bully with superpowers.

The latest feature film in the franchise, DC Superheroes vs Eagle Talon, crosses over with the DC Comics universe—the Justice League to be specific—and the results are expectedly hilarious.

Image Source: 映画 DC鷹の爪 公式 on Twitter

The story begins as Joker and Harley come to Japan. Their evil plan? To “make a movie.” And to do so, they bring penguin along to finance the project. Instead of bringing all their evil supervillain gadgets with them, however, the DC villains simply buy all of Eagle Talon’s equipment at a yard sale.

Of course, the Justice League soon follows, not content to let Joker have free reign upon an unsuspecting Tokyo. Unfortunately for the team, they are down a man as Batman’s angsty nature has caused him to retire from being a hero and make children’s anime instead.

Now, you may be thinking, what chance to Joker, Harley Quinn, and the Penguin have against the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg? The answer? Fourth-wall breaking humor.

For the entire runtime of the movie, there is a gauge on the right side of the screen that slowly depletes. It signifies the remaining budget of the film. When the Justice League attacks the Joker and his mooks in all their dynamic superhero glory, the budget plummets. Soon, the superheroes are nothing more than a child’s crayon drawings—with the personalities and strength to match.


Image Source: 「秘密結社 鷹の爪」公式 on Twitter

The Joker knows he’s in a flash-animated movie with a small budget, not a major Warner Brothers motion picture. He is more than willing to work inside—and thus exploit—the comedic rules of the world of Eagle Talon to get what he wants. Moreover, as the Joker and his group are self-funded thanks to the Penguin, he doesn’t have to worry about budget problems anyway.

Without Batman to come up with a plan to stop the Joker and the team unable to use their powers without devolving into scribbles, the Justice League has no choice but to team up with Eagle Talon and find a budget solution to their problems. The result is as funny as it sounds.

Image Source: 「秘密結社 鷹の爪」公式 on Twitter

There are three types of jokes in DC Superheroes vs Eagle Talon. The first are the superhero-centric ones—like when Eagle Talon travels back in time to prevent the death of Batman’s parents and turn him into a momma’s boy instead. The second are Japanese cultural jokes—i.e., making fun of the ineffectivity of the government or the troubles with entering the Japanese work force. The final type of jokes are Japanese word play jokes—namely stuff dealing with homonyms or changing a single letter of a word to make is completely (and comically) different.

Superhero fans will no doubt get the superhero-related jokes; however, the other types rely on how much you know about Japanese culture (especially current pop culture) and the Japanese language. The thing about Eagle Talon is, the jokes come so fast and so constantly, that even if you laugh at only a third of the jokes, you’ll still be laughing several times a minute.

Image Source: 映画 DC鷹の爪 公式 on Twitter

If you like DC’s heroes even a little bit, you should definitely give DC Superheroes vs Eagle Talon a try. Watching our famous heroes deal with a fourth-wall breaking, superhero deconstructing world is simply a laugh riot. And if you happen to know a little bit about Japan as well, the fun will only increase.

Image Source: 映画 DC鷹の爪 公式 on Twitter

DC Superheroes vs Eagle Talon was released in Japanese theaters on October 21, 2017. There’s currently no word on a Western release. Eagle Talon can be seen with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.

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