Batman: Gotham Knight

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┬áto 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.

Batman_Gotham_Knight_001

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.

Batman_80th_Anniversary

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

Robert Ring

Erased (2016)

I’ve started to take an interest in Anime. I’ve only seen a handful of them over the years although it was playing narrative-rich anime games that finally made me enjoy the genre. Thanks, Danganronpa and Yakuza! I did a quick browse of some good anime shows, and this one caught my eye. Little did I know, that I would find this show to be exceptional.

Erased_2016

Erased is about a twenty-nine-year-old guy, Satoru. Satoru is a guy who’s been working a pizza delivery job while trying to make it as a manga artist. Satoru is also gifted with an ability he calls ‘Revival’. When he sees a blue butterfly move past him, he is taken back one to five minutes. In that time someone is going to die, and Satoru is the only one who can change the outcome if he is quick. Sometimes this will be detrimental to his health because he will throw himself on the line to save someone. By the end of the first episode, we see a tragic event happen that sends Satoru back to when he was ten years old. We find out when Satoru was ten; three girls were kidnapped and murdered over a couple of months. The serial killer is believed to be in the present, and for some reason, the ‘Revival’ has brought him back to try to change things, if he can.

Erased_2016 2

I watched Erased like a long movie across two nights. There are only twelve episodes, and the whole series can be viewed in under five hours. Whenever I see Anime, for the most part, the style seems absurd and unbelievable. However, in Erased the story feels real and natural, even with time travel as a significant factor. It can jump from cute and romantic, to suspenseful at the drop of a hat.

If you’re still on the fence, think Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl with school kids, time travel and a serial killer. The show can currently be found on Netflix in Australia and the UK, and Hulu in the US.

Robert Ring