With the nationwide release of ‘The Dark Knight’ just days away, Warner Bros. released a direct-to-DVD anime film comprised of six anime shorts, each around 12 minutes in length entitled, ‘Batman: Gotham Knight.’ The animated feature was to provide another perspective on the world of Batman that Christopher Nolan created as well as fill in the gap between the events that take place in ‘Batman Begins’ and the upcoming feature.
The most successful short was least action-centric take on the character. The short titled, ‘Work Through Pain’ discusses Bruce Wayne’s appearing desire to seek enlightenment through meditation, to transcend the pain that comes from both the inside and the outside. After a shaman refuses to teach him because he feels that
But for these character studies, there are also action shorts. ‘Crossfire’ and ‘Deadshot’ play with Batman as the Caped Crusader, the heroic vigilante whose purpose is to protect the people. The stories utilize the hyper-real stylized anime medium to fully play up the action potential of Batman as the fighter, the hero. The shorts are fun but, while they sort of touch on Batman’s morals and ethics as a vigilante, they seem to exist mostly to appease the action fans and to introduce characters that will appear in ‘The Dark Knight’ like Sal Maroni. They’re fun, but they don’t seem to add too much other than action pieces.
Overall, ‘Batman: Gotham Knight’ is an interesting approach to continuing this take on Batman through to the next live-action film. The film is sometimes slow and the different looks of the characters from short to short can potentially be jarring in that you don’t get a sense of an overall cohesive piece. And as shorts, they differ in pace and in approach, with some more successful than others. ‘Batman: