Catwoman is one of the most iconic female villains in the DC universe and is known as Bruce Wayne’s love interest in the Batman universe. Her sexy femme fatale style, spy skills and penchant for things like stealing precious gems for charity have won her the hearts of DC Comics fans.
Catwoman has had many live-action interpretations, but this is the first time she’s gotten her own anime-style movie under Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics. The movie is titled Catwoman: Hunted. But is Catwoman the hunter or the prey? The film revolves around a failed jewelry heist. Catwoman must face off against other villains, the police and Batwoman.
Anime fans were excited when they heard that Catwoman was getting an anime-style movie, but wondered what this would mean mean precisely. I’m here to give you my Top 10 Reasons why Catwoman: Hunted lived up to the hype of an anime-esque movie. It is a must-see for any anime fan and fan of the DC Comic Universe.
10. Yutaka Yamada composes a jazzy Cowboy Bebop-esque opening track
As soon as the edgy opening credits kicked in, I immediately thought of the anime series Cowboy Bebop, and its own popular opening song Tank! One of the main reasons Cowboy Bebop became so famous was its great, jazzy music. Yutaka Yamada delivered a catchy, jazzy opening track.
Yutaka Yamada is a Los Angeles-based music composer known for his work on the anime series Tokyo Ghoul, Vinland Saga, and Great Pretender. His haunting soundtracks for Tokyo Ghoul are masterpieces and related videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 130 million times worldwide. He is also known for working on the music for the Netflix series Alice in Borderland.
In 2018, Yamada composed a Chinese film titled Cry Me a Sad River which ended with a box office profit of USD 51 million. That same year, Eminem Yamada’s Glassy Sky from Tokyo sampled Ghoul on his song Good Guy on his Kamikaze album. In 2019 he won the 43rd Japan Academy Film Prize for Outstanding Music Score for his work on Sony Pictures’ mega-hit action film Kingdom. In 2020, Yamada was nominated for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards: Best Score and Best Opening for his work on Wit Studio’s original series Great Pretender. Yamada has also collaborated with Riot Games (League of Legends) for the Spirit Blossom film project.
9. Catwoman Anime Style Character Design
The film opens with Catwoman infiltrating a gangster costume party in Spain hosted by Barbara Minerva, the leader of a crime cartel known as Leviathan. We see Catwoman dressed in an old-fashioned purple “Catwoman costume” reminiscent of the costume seen in the earliest issues of the DC Comics.
I immediately noticed how anime-esque Selina Kyle looked with her big green eyes, small nose and petite physique. It was like watching Catwoman anime fan art, but in a good way. I think it’s the perfect anime interpretation of Catwoman that could have come about.
Catwoman immediately goes to the Gotham City mobster, Black Mask, (no relation lol) to access the exclusive masquerade. Wanting to join Leviathan, Black Mask has brought the Cat’s Eye Emerald as an entrance fee.
8. There is a cute anime mascot pet
Most popular anime series or anime movies have at least one cute animal mascot character with big eyes. In Catwoman: Hunted there is Selina Kyle’s cute cat Isis.
It just isn’t anime without an adorable mascot or pet!
7. Anime characters can take a beating
Catwoman manages to steal the gem with a bit of flair from Catherine Zeta Jones (using acrobatics to dodge red lasers like in her movie Entrapment) and some clever Harrison Ford, Temple of Doom by swapping the gem for a cute, small black cat toy . She then manages to escape from her pursuers in a furious chase.
Unfortunately, Batwoman gets in her way and causes Catwoman to total up her gorgeous purple Jaguar XKE (that poor car!). Catwoman is largely unscathed, which just goes to show you how indestructible anime characters are. Minerva’s henchman, Tobias Whale, regains the emerald, but Minerva decides that Catwoman must be made an example and eliminated.
6. There’s a “Hot Springs” Scene
When Catwoman regains consciousness, she discovers she is on a plane to Shanghai with Interpol agents Julia Pennyworth, King Faraday and Batwoman. Batwoman and the agents reveal that the emerald is rigged as a tracking device.
Their plan was to take down Leviathan’s leaders in one fell swoop. They enlist Catwoman’s help by offering her an amnesty for her past crimes. Catwoman agrees to the deal and flirts with Batwoman to steal her phone back to make an important call. Catwoman calls her friend Holly and asks about the status of some of the girls in her care (yes, there are some “yuri” aka girls like vibes in this Catwoman movie).
Suddenly, Catwoman is seen in a luxurious hot tub, which may seem unnecessary to most viewers. I mean, who takes a bath on a plane? But for anime fans, this all makes perfect sense. What anime movie would be complete without a fan-service hot springs scene?
One of the first anime series with several hot spring scenes was Tenchi Muyo. After Tenchi, there is at least one hot spring scene in every anime series or movie.
5. A ninja cat girl appears
Catwoman and Batwoman discover Leviathan’s headquarters and prepare to infiltrate it, but a ninja in a grinning cat mask seems to stand in their way. Anime fans know it’s not really an anime if you don’t at least have one a ninja thrown into the mix. Even the superhero anime series One Punch Man has a character called Speed of Sound Sonic (no relation to the Hedgehog) and he calls himself a “Modern Ninja”.
The ninja’s name is Cheshire and she’s a hit man. Her partner, Nosferata, who is also a hit man, joins her in the fight against Catwoman and Batwoman. Unfortunately, their fight spirals out of control and they end up through the glass roof in the center of Leviathan headquarters where a meeting was taking place.
4. There is a villain named Mr. Yakuza
We learn that the members of Leviathan consist of the following cartel bosses: Doctor Tzin-Tzin, Mister Yakuza, La Dama, Moxie Mannheim and now Black Mask. Just in case it’s too confusing, Mr. Yakuza is the leader of the Japanese crime cartel. (Yakuza literally means Japanese mafia). His followers are equipped with, you guessed it, samurai swords.
3. There are Mobile Suit Gundams, er, Mecha Suits
No anime is truly complete without a giant robot. In this case, the villains fighting against Catwoman and Batwoman decide to don mecha battle suits to fight against them. And really, with director and artist Shinsuke Terasawa at the helm of this movie, it really shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Shinsuke Terasawa is known for directing Mobile Suit Gundam and Akira! This is also the reason why the film has so much action and suspense.
2. The martial arts fight scenes
Catwoman and Batwoman manage to defeat the cartel bosses and Whale, and the criminals are arrested. Catwoman is pardoned and appears to shrug at the fact that Minerva is still free. At one point, Catwoman makes a funny face, pulls her lower lid and sticks out her tongue – this is a very classic anime gesture.
In another scene, Catwoman is surrounded by a group of ninjas from the League of Assassins sent after her by Talia al Ghul. Batwoman appears to help her and together they defeat 52 ninjas. Obviously this was just an excuse to show Catwoman some great martial arts and show how flexible she is!
Talia becomes enraged that her ninjas have been defeated so easily and decides to drop the zombie Solomon Grundy on Catwoman’s head. Catwoman is forced to fight the zombie, but manages to defeat him when she blows it up using some sticks of dynamite.
1. There’s a cat girl…wait, there’s another and another
As if there weren’t enough ‘cat girls’ in Catwoman: Hunted with Catwoman herself and the cat-masked ninja Cheshire, they decided to throw in one last cat girl. Apparently, Minerva’s true identity is a werecheetah, and in her final battle against Catwoman, she transforms into her cheetah form.
During the intense battle, we discover that Selina helped break up one of Leviathan’s human trafficking gangs in Sochi and had deliberately targeted Leviathan in revenge for the trafficked girls’ fate. Catwoman defeats Minerva, steals the emerald in front of the Interpol agents, and decides to take a trip to London to “pick up a few things at the Tower.” Maybe something sparkly?
Overall, Catwoman: Hunted was a great anime-style movie and I’m looking forward to seeing more anime-style movies produced by Warner Bros. and DC Comics, if they’re going to be like this one. What did you all think of the movie? Let us know in the comments below!
The movie Catwoman: Hunted is currently streaming on HBO MAX (I watched it last night May 11, 2022) and is now available on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD (as of February 8, 2022).
Still unsure about watching? The film has an impressive cast lineup with Elizabeth Gillies (Victorious) as Catwoman, Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as Batwoman, Steve Blum as Solomon Grundy, Zehra Fazal as Talia al Ghul and Nosferatu, Jonathan Banks as Black Mask. , Keith David as Tobias Whale and Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday and Boss Maxie and more! OLM, the Japanese animation studio behind the Pokemon series, provided their animation services for the movie with Team Inoue.
Watch the official trailer here: