Batman: Gotham Knight

ok so if ya didn't know, it's basically a whole story divided into 6 chapters. each chapter is done by a different anime crew. so, kinda like Animatrix... except not really.

1st chapter: Have I Got A Story For You

it's basically almost exactly like the Legend of the Dark Knight episode from Batman: TAS (which is actually included in the 2nd disc along with 3 more episodes) where these kids tell stories about how they saw Batman and in each of their perspectives, Batman is represented differently. one sees him as this "living shadow" which is exactly how i've always imagined Batman should be animated as, like a wraith. i've always fancied Batman as a vampire myself but that's just me. anyway, another sees him as a Man-Bat-esque monster and the last kid sees him as this robot. overall, it's an okay story. it doesn't really deal with a known villain. just some ninja lookin guy. it's still great to see the different iterations of Batman but i think the Legend of the Dark Knight episode is much much better especially since it actually deals with established versions of Batman in the comic books (like the 50's campy version and the 80's Miller version).

2nd chapter: Crossfire

the story revolves around 2 detectives, Ramirez and Allen. after dropping off a prisoner in jail, Allen, who never liked Batman, started questioning his importance in Gotham. Ramirez who grew up in Gotham defends Batman. the fight escalates and Ramirez skids the car into an abandoned lot. little did they know that the lot they're in is actually the meeting point of 2 feuding gangs (no established villains) who arrives just a few moments after them and both detectives get caught in the crossfire. the Batman in this story is probably the baddest of the bunch and my favorite design of Batman in the film.

3rd chapter: Field Test

it's the weakest of the bunch. both in story and design. Bruce's design is the typical effeminate anime guy with that stupid typical anime hair. he looks so young which is blasphemous. he looks like he could be Robin whom i've always hated. the Batman suit steals a little from Alex Ross' Kingdom Come Batman which looks ok. the story focuses on a new gadget that Fox created that gives Batman's suit this bulletproof energy field. while testing it out during a scuffle with some mobsters (again, no established villains), that said gadget's benefit comes into question.

4th chapter: In Darkness Dwells

the story's pretty straightforward. a Cardinal is kidnapped by Killer Croc. When Batman goes after him, he finds out that the Scarecrow is working with him. the Batman design sticks closely with the Nolan movie version. animation looks great though. that's pretty much all it has going for it.

5th chapter: Working Through Pain

this should be my least favorite story because of how blasphemous the plot is. it's Bruce getting therapy. i think it was Kevin Smith that once said, "If Bruce ever got therapy, that's it. There'd be no more Batman." or something to that effect which is y'know, true. but my fascination with Eastern mysticism and that it deals with Bruce battling himself and the character of Cassandra, the mystic who helps Bruce, who is a magnificent reflection of Batman actually made this story the most interesting to me.

6th chapter: Deadshot

the story deals with, well, Deadshot, a hired assassin whose next target is Lt. Gordon... or so Batman thinks. anyway, it's great to see Batman deal with a character whose main weapon are guns; the very thing that Batman swore to never use. design-wise, it's the most traditional of the bunch.

all in all, the stories are ok. not bad but not great. the chapters doesn't seem to make a cohesive whole. although, i'd gladly get a so so Batman story than none at all and it's always a delight to see another artist's take on my favorite character. the great thing about every chapter? all iterations of Batman/Bruce is voiced than none other than Kevin Conroy, the definitive voice of Batman/Bruce! a great extra on the 1st disc is the sneak peek into the Wonder Woman animated movie coming in Spring 2009. the real treasure of the DVD though is the 2nd disc where there are 2 amazing documentaries: one that focuses on Bob Kane and another that focuses on Batman's rogues gallery. Along with those documentaries are the 4 episodes from the Batman: TAS (Heart of Ice, I Am The Night, Legends of The Dark Knight and Over The Edge).