In the wake of DC announcing a Batman-themed anime movie which mashes up the style of Batman with the style of Afro Samurai, but what if I told you this wasn’t the Dark Knights first foray in anime?
The 2000s saw big media companies acknowledging the popularity of anime and manga. I think that’s mostly down to how in the early 2000s more anime were being dubbed to a higher standard and were raking in money like Pokémon and Digimon.
Manga was starting to break through top. To capitalise companies began to try and do their own manga and anime products. Tokyopop published a few spin-off manga of popular TV shows like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and CSI.
Marvel even tried a few manga style artists out on the new books with some manga troupes like Sentinel, a tale of a boy befriending one of the mutant-hunting robots. They also did the Mangaverse (something I occasionally talk about) which saw popular Marvel Heroes re-imagined like a manga.
Most of this wasn’t hugely successful and most of it became an obscure collector’s item.
One of DC’s attempts are cashing in on the trend was around 2008, and was a tie-in to one of the most influential superhero movies of the decade, The Dark Knight.
In terms of format, like Halo Legends, Batman Gotham Knight was 6 loosely connected short stories by different animation studios linked by a mystery the Dark Knight most solve.
Batman the Animated Series actor, Kevin Conroy came back to voice Batman as well. I must say, out of all the superhero and anime mashups I’ve seen. This is my favourite. Combining anime style action with one of the best combat superheroes works so well and they way most tales capture the gothic and sometimes nightmarish vibe of Gotham is just perfect.
With each story being unique and fleshing out the world of the Dark Knight, I find it so enthralling. So, with it now on Amazon Prime and probably ending up on that new streaming service DC have been talking about, I’d suggest you give it a watch before Batman Ninja.