The world is culturally shrinking and everything is interchangeable. It seems strange at first when I see an anime in American superhero context but it really works when you put the right style to the right story. Animatrix is the best example. This in-between sequel of the new Batman is another one.
While we are waiting for The Dark Knight with Keith Ledger as the Joker, Batman: Gotham Knight, released directly to DVD, fills the gap with six short stories about growing-up path of Bruce Wayne and Batman. Six anime directors have ultimate freedom to create their own batman. So what we see is a variety of the interpretations in this universe which is a plus, just like reading different comic books, well, mangas in this case.
There is a little disappointment that the stories focus heavily on him and so there is no room for the villains’ development. It surely puts extra layers to the character but it misses a delicious key ingredient.
One big rant is its marketing. they flag the film as an anime with real anime masters’ hands on. And they make a spin around it. I just want to know how their creative thinking works, especially, the project that brings together the best of both worlds like this. (Remember the remake of Godzilla?) My goodness me, the official website, none of the directors appears or is individually mentioned, not even accredited along with other cast and crew. The best is when Gregory Noveck, SVP Creative Affiars DC Comics, call them “…the Japanese directors…” How so? Isn’t there a trace of cultural imperialism in the corporation?
Batman: Gotham Knight is screening in limited cinema in the special program, Reel Anime 2008.