When you head over to a recent news post at Cartoon Brew, you will learn that there currently is a truly intruiging project in the works: Batman Animated. Or better Batman animated by Japanese Directors. Or in other words: Batman Anime.
Out of all the superheroes we have today I find Batman the most interesting one (I gladly ignore the abysmal series of the 60s *shudder*). For the most part this is due to his darker nature and hence darker tone/atmosphere of the stories that revolve around him (I gladly ignore the abysmal Batman Forever and Batman&Robin movies *shudder*). Personally I always understood Batman to some degree as the total opposite of Superman. Ok, this sounds a little bit harsh towards the red and blue flying muscle, yet for me Superman was always too…well, clean, normal, well-behaved and over-powered (Side Note: never was a big comic reader).
I think and believe that this very dark nature helped this franchise to stay alive since its birth. As you can see from m writing above the franchise surrounding this winged avenger had some hiccups in the last decades. Heck, when I think about it it is a marvel (pun NOT intended) that the franchise is still alive today after so many trashy failures. On the other hand it seems that each big failure was only the drawback before the next big step (60s series -> 80s movie; 90s movies -> restart).
When you look at Batman and look at the anime industry and their kind of story telling one has to wonder why it took so long to combine the powers of those two worlds. The various guys in the YouTube video are spot on when they say that in anime most heroes are often enough anti-heroes and the stories generally darker. This is one of the elements that draw me to eastern animation for some time now. And of course, they are also spot on with the sense of Destiny which looms in many of not all “superheroes”/action anime series whereas rather often the “heroes” don’t want to have their destiny or responsibility.
Now the project itself, Gotham Night, is not one single movie, but a series of six shorts. When this rings a bell you are good because it is a similar approach to the Animatrix, which also was made by Japanese Animation Directors. Yet it seems that this time all six shorts will be more interewined than the single parts of Animatrix (with exception of Second Rennaisance which consists of two parts).
Quality wise there is nothing to say except: wow. If you watch this “trailer” closely you can see the work that goes and went into the prodcution: fluid animation, great character designs with new approaches and ideas, as well as a stunning art direction regarding Gotham City itself. Sadly there is a small fly in the ointment which is the somehow weird character design approach in one of the shorts.
Nevertheless I cannot wait to see this new approach to the Batman Franchise. And if the sources are right this DVD is due to sale just at or shortly before the release of the next Batman movie.
So, July I am waiting for you…