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Batman Gotham Knight
Reviewer: Aaron Murphy 02/13/2010

Review:
Composed of six different shorts by six acclaimed directors, Batman Gotham Knight takes a look at Batman from a host of viewpoints doing what he does best, fighting crime. With a whole array of different art styles, animation techniques and storytelling elements, each tale brings with it a completely new story. From overblown myths about Batman being anything from a shadow to a robot, from tales of a burly Batman fighting crime against Killer Croc, Deadshot and Scarecrow to a much smaller bishounen Bruce Wayne testing out new gadgets, there’s a little something for everyone.
 
That, however, is also part of the problem. There’s nothing filling in Batman Gotham Knights, not with six completely unrelated stories that only last for about twelve minutes apiece. It’s like going out to dinner and just eating appetizers. And even though they all try to give us something a bit different, there’s only so much you can do in such a short span of time. Thus each episode has pretty much the same setup, consisting of Batman fighting against those who would do evil deeds, along with a couple of interesting and not so interesting events along the way. Which is fine, I don’t really expect much more, but you can hardly even setup an episode in twelve minutes, let alone execute something intelligent and gripping. Batman Gotham Knight is more a showcase of animation and technical prowess than a movie focused on giving us quality Batman content.
 
If nothing else, at least some of the shorts do try and give us something more imaginative every now and again. Such as the first one, which tells of an epic battle between Batman and a masked villain from the viewpoints of three street kids, all of whom greatly embellish their own stories to make them sound all the more awesome. We first see Batman as a shadow, then as a robot and finally as a human sized bat before the mask of exaggeration is lost and we see a bloodied and haggard man in a deadly struggle to stop a criminal. It’s at least an interesting way to tell a rather dull story, even if the idea of it was taken from an old Batman episode. At any rate, as you continue on the subsequent episodes bring Gordon and Alfred into the mix along with the usual police department problems, assassination attempts, sewer mutants, etc. It’s exactly the type of content you would expect to see, just without the quality storytelling one would like to have.
 
Putting the content aside, Batman Gotham Knight looks absolutely stunning. It’s one of the most beautiful releases I have seen, especially if you watch it in Blu-ray. While the character designs are sometimes iffy, like when they have them all done in that horrible Tekkon Kinkreet style (which makes it look like they had a five year old do the character designs), the animation and backgrounds just completely make up for their other shortfalls. Everyone should watch this just to gasp at the splendor of it all, and given its sizable budget, you should have the time to visually take it all in while you are listening to the English dub. With Kevin Conroy taking his usual place as the voice of the animated Batman/Bruce Wayne, you’re only doing yourself a disservice to listen to it in another language.  In fact, most of the voice actors hail from American cartoons, many reprising their roles from previous Batman animated series, so this is really an audio treat.
 
As a fan of Batman in general, I was quite excited about the release of Batman Gotham Knight. Sadly the end product didn’t live up to what I hoped it would be, but at least the technicals are great even if the quality of the content is about what you would expect from a Saturday morning cartoon… though that may be giving it too much credit.
 
Miscellaneous:
Who the hell gives up a technological innovation that can make you impervious to small arms fire?!?! Come now Bruce, you can certainly figure out a way to keep them from ricocheting into people!
 
Truly if you have a Blu-ray player you should pick this up just to look at the backgrounds. They are nothing short of breathtaking.

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Batman Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight
Batman Gotham Knight
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Review Title:
Batman Gotham Knight
Type:
OVA
Episodes:
6
Duration:
76 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2008
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Action, Martial Arts, Mecha,
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