DC Universe Animated Original Movies - BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT

Matt Donabie continues our regular look back at the range of DC Comics animated movies. Today he revisits 2008s Batman: Gotham Knight.

Now this is a surprisingly interesting experiment.

Batman: Gotham Knight was the first DVD release to feature Batman using authentic Japanese anime. It was released to tie in with the 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight, and is a six story anthology, each around 12 minutes long. They all tell a tale that takes place between 2005's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, though it is not officially considered to be part of Christopher Nolan's Batman film series.

Just like the Nolan films, Batman: Gotham Knight shows us a dark, unpleasant Gotham. There is corruption and crime, from low level thugs to organised crime leaders. Batman is the symbol of hope and change for the city. All of the segments are pretty good. We have an interesting story involving some skater teenagers who all say they saw Batman, and describe three very different versions of what the Dark Knight is. We also have Batman fighting against the Russian and Italian Mafia who are in the middle of a gang war; fighting in the sewers against Scarecrow and Killer Croc; testing a new bit of equipment; a flashback story set in India; and finally we have the Dark Knight stopping Deadshot killing Lt. Gordon.

We're unlikely to ever see Killer Croc troubling a live action Batman, and so that's an interesting villain to include here, and one which the storytellers have attempted to make more believable. Depending on how you accept these kind of origin changes, will help to make your mind up if you like this Killer Croc or not, but I enjoyed their take.

We have the great Kevin Conroy reprising his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne, which is always wonderful. The overall look of this release is wonderful too. Such an interesting combination of American and Japanese ideas combined rather well together. The storytelling and action is excellent, and all of the segments come from very good writers and directors - including David S. Goyer, the writer of Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Each segment is interlinked in some way, and this just adds to the strength of the overall viewing experience.

The only improvement I could suggest for this is that some of the segments could've been longer, a couple of them could easily have stretched to 30 minutes and presented us with a fuller, more rounded story. But with the quality of animation and storytelling included in Batman: Gotham Knight, you certainly don't feel short changed. An essential addition to any collection.

Superman: Doomsday
Justice League: The New Frontier
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern: First Flight
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Batman: Under The Red Hood
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
All-Star Superman
Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
Batman: Year One
Justice League: Doom
Superman vs The Elite
Superman: Unbound
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox 
Batman: Assault on Arkham
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