Batman: anime bandwagon or the future of anime?


Batman: Gotham Knight is a collection of 6 short films by acclaimed anime studios that’s coming to DVD this summer. Yeah, what The Animatrix was to The Matrix film series, this will be to the new Batman movies.

I have a lot of conflicting emotions about this – and all I’ve seen of it is a short trailer that looks very awesome and very violent. I think this project may represent a whole bunch of things simultaneously:

This is DC Comics jumping on the anime bandwagon. Anime is hot and Batman could use some of that hotness. Doing this can extend the reach of the character to new audiences both in North American and Japan.

This is also anime coming full circle. Not only were some of the first anime and manga artists heavily influenced by American animation, Tatsunoko drew heavily from established super heroes for their Gatchaman characters. But while Superman and Batman have struggled to remain relevant, anime has brought illustrated storytelling into the 21st century.

This could also be the future of anime as the global village draws us closer together. World cultures are cross-pollinating and as much as that can mean a loss of individual identity, the combined product could be astonishing. That said, both The Animatrix and Afro Samurai were style above substance.

Anime has much more to do with the types of stories and how they’re told than how they look. The challenge in keeping anime relevant for the next generation will be holding on to that truth.

All that fancy talk aside, I am a big Batman fan and can’t wait to see this.


3 comments so far

  1. Karmic-Angel on

    That is pretty exciting for all of us, but have you seen the action figures? Check out Batgirl!

  2. Jalisa on

    I must admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Animatrix, although I was thoroughly impressed with it from an artistic stand point.

    I’m a big Batman fan as well, and being the silly little fangirl that I am, I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain the high-pitched squeal that came out of me after watching that trailer!!

    I love how they’re using different styles and incorporating them with the different stories. Also the villain choices that they used to maintain the “anime-like themes”. I mean, the could have chosen the more popular villains like The Joker, or Mr. Freeze, but they chose characters that can really bring out the internal and external struggles that Batman faces, and I can really appreciate that.

  3. Brian on

    Big batman fan. Not a devoted reader to the comics, but have several of the trade paperbacks. I have the batman symbol tatooed on my left tricep. Extremely excited that their making this dvd. I have been waiting for a longtime for a Batman series in this genre for a longtime. Tired of all the other animated series targeting towards kids on saturday mornings.

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