Get Out of the Way, Boys: Harley Quinn Is the Real Star of Suicide Squad Isekai
3 mins read

Get Out of the Way, Boys: Harley Quinn Is the Real Star of Suicide Squad Isekai

On paper, Isekai Suicide Squad makes sense. If any DC Comics heroes seem like a perfect fit for anime, it’s the members of Task Force X, a colorful crew of imprisoned supervillains turned government agents employed by the ruthless leader of A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller.

The first three episodes of the series, which premiered on Max and Hulu on June 27, perfectly capture the visceral, chaotic fun that lies behind the show’s premise: a group of untamed, uncouth antiheroes find themselves in a fantasy world of orcs, knights, swords, and sorcery. Of all the stars in Isekai Suicide SquadBut none shines as brightly and fiercely as Harley Quinn — and that’s because her manic, nightmare-girl energy fits perfectly with the limitless possibilities of anime.

Close-up of anime Harley Quinn with white clown makeup in an orange prison jumpsuit looking excited

Photo: Wit Studio/Warner Bros. Animation

The anarchist, jester-themed supervillain has undergone quite a transformation over the past decade, both in the DC Universe and in popular culture at large. From her first introduction as the Joker’s loving girlfriend in Batman: The Animated Series to her more assertive incarnations in films such as Birds of prey and her own animated spin-off series, Harley Quinn has become an iconic DC character thanks to her cheerful personality, colorful costumes, and an unlimited desire for destruction and mischief.

Of all the members of the Suicide Squad, none of them adjust to the reality of being thrown into another world, completely divorced from their own, as quickly or enthusiastically as she does. When an army of orcs gathers around the crash site of the group’s downed helicopter in Episode 1, Harley rushes into the fight without a moment’s hesitation: “I have no idea where this is or who you freaks are, but you’re not on my side.”

The combat is beautifully executed, highlighting the unique skills and strengths of each member of the Squad, but Harley stands out in particular by using a helicopter pipe as an improvised fighting stick to deliver a devastating kick against her opponents, before throwing it like a spear and leaping into the air to deliver a series of punishing blows in a remarkably balletic fashion.

Harley Quinn in red and black leather costume holding baseball bat in medieval armory

Photo: Wit Studio/Warner Bros. Animation

But even without her fighting style and costumes (which are largely due to Margot Robbie’s acting and her appearance in the animated series, Harley Quinn), Harley is the perfect DC character to adapt into an anime, just because of her relentlessly mischievous personality. In Isekai Suicide SquadHarley seems to be the epitome of a wild anime girl. Delicious in Dungeonis Izutsumi, Man with a chainsawPower, or Black LagoonRevy is an extremely aggressive and outspoken woman who speaks her mind openly, disregards authority, and has a tendency to strike exaggerated poses after beating up anyone unlucky enough to get on her bad side.

It’s too early to tell Isekai Suicide Squad delivers on the promise of its premise and sticks the landing, but at least it’s a great star vehicle for one of DC’s most malleable and intriguing characters. Hopefully, Harley Quinn can jump into even more anime genres. Personally, I’d love to see her in a high school romantic comedy.

Isekai Suicide Squad is available to stream on Max and Hulu. New episodes premiere every Wednesday.