Batman: Gotham Knight is an anime-inspired collection of short stories that involve the dark knight. What you might not have known is that these stories were originally intended to be in the continuity for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. They are supposedly set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight as we see Batman learning his craft. If you don’t know this it’s not clear, especially watching it today when Batman has a common style across movies, tv shows, and games.
Check out the trailer below to get an idea of the style.
Each story is written by and directed by different people. Each individual brings a different style that culminates each story into an experimental package. In the first story, we see Batman through the eyes of some skater kids who each perceive what Batman is in different ways, and all are abstract. The second story follows two detectives that are handed a criminal that was brought into the station by Batman. One is a skeptic of Batman until they find themselves in the middle of a shootout. I would have loved if all six stories were similar to these two because it’s fascinating to see different viewpoints from the people of Gotham and what their relationship to Batman is. However, the next four stories give us interesting character insights into Batman. The third story, for example, shows Bruce Wayne getting a new gadget that shields him from bullets, but as Bruce finds there is a price to using this gadget. Each story is around fifteen minutes each and there’s something to adore from each one. Overall, Batman: Arkham Knight plays like a solid experimental film, more for fans than non-fans.
This title was the first title from a boxset celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Batman. It contains eighteen animated films across nineteen discs. The special features on Batman: Gotham Knight includes a forty-minute documentary on the creator of Batman in Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story. I found it really interesting to see Bob Kane was similar to his creation of Bruce Wayne in life, and he was just as big as a character as Stan Lee. So if you do pick up the Blu-ray check out that feature. There is another thirty-minute feature on the villains of Batman in A Mirror for the Bat, which is fine, but I didn’t learn anything I didn’t know already about them.
I look forward to seeing the rest of the animated films from the DC Universe in this celebratory year for the Dark Knight.
Next Batman: Year One