UPDATE: Thanks so much for all the comments and +favs!
Check out the rest of the Anime Justice League artwork, including the much requested Injustice Gang! [link]
PLEASE stop asking "Where's Naruto?" or "Where's Luffy" or whatever other characters you were expecting. You can read and respond to my thoughts on that issue right here.
One day, as I was watching DVDs of the awesome Justice League animated series, I wondered... what if?
What if there was a Justice League for anime characters?
And so, I sought to properly assemble a team and paint a piece of artwork based on the classic Justice League artwork by Bruce Timm and Warner Bros Animation seen here: [link] The characters poses, the lighting, the shadows, and the background were all meant to be the same as this original artwork.
My criteria for who from the world of anime would belong in a Justice League was that I wanted all of the members to be classic characters that all anime fans should know, not just new and popular characters, but rather legendary characters that deserved to be there. Wherever possible I wanted the anime characters to fill the same role as the Justice League member they are replacing one way or another, or at least for the different powers and personality archetypes that compose of the Justice League to be mostly represented in this version, even if they are rearranged. I also wanted a wide variety of colors, character designs, and original manga creators to be represented. Not everyone will agree with my choices, mostly because I used more classic characters instead of what is popular right now, but I think those who have a wide knowledge of both anime and comic books will agree that this is what a Justice League of anime should look like!
With that in mind, here is the line up! If you don't recognize any of these characters, don't worry. I'm providing links to information about who everyone is so you can learn about their origins. From left to right they are:
CAPTAIN HARLOCK : [link] Created by Leiji Matsumoto, he is one of the most classic and epic heroes in all of anime. He was actually the last member of the team I decided upon. I knew I needed someone who wore a cape since the pose J'onn J'onzz is in has him holding one. But after picking Harlock, I could see an entire storyline fall into place. Although he isn't an alien and has no actual powers, Harlock would serve the same central role in a Justice League as J'onn J'onzz does. He is the one with knowledge, the one who can unite the other heroes. He is also the darker, more mysterious character, like Batman. I mixed a few of the different character designs and change his black clothing to more of a blue color.
CYBORG 009 : [link] Created by Shotaro Ishinomori, he is Joe Shimamura, the lead character from the very first team of international super heroes. His speed powers are very similar to the Flash, but I would imagine him having more of a serious demeanor in a setting like this, much like Green Lantern. Ishinomori's work is among the most important and interesting in all of anime, and Cyborg 009 is one of his most famous works, so he had to be represented in the League.
CUTIE HONEY : [link] Created by Go Nagai, she is the original kick-ass anime girl! She definitely had to be the one to take Wonder Woman's spot. She also has a limited shape-changing ability, which sort of covers J'onn J'onzz's main power. The design comes from the "Cutie Honey Flash" series, because I liked the colors better, but the face comes from Hideki Anno's "Re: Cutie Honey". She is totally beautiful! Go Nagai is one of the all time greats, and so one of his characters had to be on the League.
GOKU : [link] From Dragon Ball Z, created by Akira Toriyama. Well, who else is going to stand in for Superman? They pretty much have the same origin anyway, and they're both strong goody-two-shoes, so it absolutely had to be Goku! Incidentally, he's the only member of the League who comes from a series that is not named after the main character
LUPIN III : [link] Created by Monkey Punch. Kind of odd to have a thief in the Justice League, but still, he's a classic character who deserves recognition. I don't think he's really a bad guy anyway, and under the right circumstances, he could be a real hero. I put him in Batman's spot since they both use their own ingenuity rather than powers, and he also has the smooth talking and wise cracking attitude of the Flash. He's skinnier than the typical American super hero, so it was hard to make the composition work since he takes up less space than Batman. I did the best I could while still staying true to my intent.
ASTRO BOY : [link] Created by Osamu Tezuka. Come on now, an anime Justice League without The Mighty Atom? Ain't gonna happen! He's the single most famous and important anime character in history, so he had to be here! Although he is standing in Flash's spot, I've decided that he's taking Green Lantern's spot on the team, since they both can fly and shoot beams. I just put him and 009 in these spots because the poses worked better this way. His youthful nature would add a lot to a team like this. I mostly used the 2003 anime design for this, but added the seams around his joints and chest panel from the 80's anime to make him look more robotic. And I found a creative solution to making him stand at Flash's height.
SAILOR MOON : [link] Created by Naoko Takeuchi, she is one of the most recognizable figures in all of anime, especially here in Canada. As another important female anime character, I thought she should be on the team. I put her in this spot because I could make her hold her scepter just like Hawkgirl holds her mace. Originally I had almost finished painting her in her original costume, but then decided that she should have wings, so I painted over it with the Eternal costume instead. The wings help to fill out space and balance out the composition, which was lacking on the right side.
Some characters who didn't make the cut for one reason or another were Devilman, Makoto Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell, and Tetsujin 28. If there was a pet, like the monkey in Super Friends, then it would be replaced by Doremon.
I painted it in Photoshop CS3. I started during the Summer of 2007 and only just finished it this week. Hope you enjoy it and please leave your comments!
I wish this was a real show!
This is really a great artwork and I hope this superhero league to appear on a real show too!I realized my ideal Justice League of anime that many members are the same of the team you designed,but I personally prefer to choose Doraemon and Gegege no kitaro instead of Captain Harlock and Lupin III.
Doraemon is like Green Lantern that their powers and abilities are mostly focused on their props,but his background is probably most similar to Booster Gold if considering all members of the Justice League.Although Doraemon isn't a hero most of the time, but I think his behavior with his companions in Long Story series is still up to hero standards.Maybe he's not a well-trained hero, but I would imagine he can serve as a support role for other members to solve many difficulties, and his friendliness and affinity may serve as a bridge between the other members.
Gegege no kitaro is also a classic character from the dawn of anime in the 60s.He is a super hero living in two worlds of different races on Earth, like Aquaman,his sense of distance from humans is what clearly sets him apart from other members.Also,both of them are descendants of their own race's royal family, and both are able to communicate with certain animals,even that the 3 season kitaro has half human blood just like Aquaman!Another point is that kitaro has many yokai friends,they can provide outside help and even became new member to the league.
Lupin III isn't really a bad guy, he can be a hero's opponent or an anti-hero who like a mix of Batman and Catwoman,but I think it's almost sure that he doesn't want to join Justice League unless he thinks it will help his stealing plans.