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.