Catwoman is one of the most iconic female villains in the DC Universe and is known for being Bruce Wayne’s love interest in the Batman Universe. Her sexy femme fatale style, spy-like skills, and penchant for doing things like stealing priceless gems for a good cause 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 film under Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics. The movie is titled Catwoman: Hunted. But is Catwoman the Hunter or the Prey? The film centers around a jewel heist gone wrong. Catwoman ends up facing off against other villains, the police and Batwoman.
Anime fans were excited to hear about Catwoman getting an anime-style movie, but wondered what this would mean exactly. I’m here to give you my Top 10 reasons why Catwoman: Hunted lived up to the hype of being an anime-style movie. It’s a must-watch for any anime fan and fan of the DC Comic Universe.
10. Yutaka Yamada composes a jazzy Cowboy Bebop-esque opening song
As soon as the edgy opening credits began 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 with a catchy, jazzy opening song.
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 gained over 130 million views 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 that ended with a box office profit of 51 million USD. That same year, Eminem sampled Yamada’s Glassy Sky from Tokyo Ghoul on his song Good Guy in his Kamikaze album. In 2019, he won the 43rd Japan Academy Film Prize for Outstanding Music Score for his work on the mega-hit action film Kingdom by Sony Pictures. 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 worked with Riot Games (League of Legends) for the film project Spirit Blossom.
9. Catwoman’s anime-style character design
The movie begins 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 school, purple “Catwoman costume” reminiscent of the costume seen in the earliest issues of the DC Comics.
Immediately, I noticed how anime-like Selina Kyle looked with her big green eyes, tiny nose, and petite physique. It was like looking at Catwoman anime fan art but in a good way. I think it’s the perfect anime interpretation of Catwoman that could have come into being.
Catwoman immediately cozies up to Gotham City mobster, Black Mask, (no relation lol) in order to gain admittance to the exclusive masquerade. Black Mask wants to join Leviathan and has brought the Cat’s Eye Emerald as his 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 adorable cat Isis.
It’s just not an anime without an adorable mascot or pet!
7. Anime characters can take a beating
Catwoman manages to steal the gem with a little Catherine Zeta Jones’s flair (using acrobatics to avoid red lasers like in her movie Entrapment) and some Harrison Ford, Temple of Doom smarts with a swapping of the gem for a cute, little, black cat toy. After that, she manages to escape her pursuers in a furious car chase.
Unfortunately, Batwoman gets in her way and causes Catwoman to total her gorgeous, purple Jaguar XKE (that poor car!). Catwoman is mainly unscathed, which just shows you how indestructible anime characters are. Minerva’s minion, Tobias Whale, recovers the emerald, but Minerva decides that Catwoman must be made an example of and eliminated.
6. There is a “hot springs” scene
When Catwoman regains consciousness she discovers that she’s on a plane to Shanghai along with Interpol agents Julia Pennyworth, King Faraday, and Batwoman. Batwoman and the agents reveal that the emerald has been 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 amnesty for her past crimes. Catwoman agrees to the deal and proceeds to flirt with Batwoman in order to steal her phone back to make an important phone call. Catwoman calls her friend Holly and asks about the status of some girls in her care (yes, there are some “yuri” aka girls love vibes in this Catwoman movie).
All of a sudden, Catwoman is seen taking a luxurious bubble bath, 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 to have several hot springs scenes was Tenchi Muyo. After Tenchi, there is at least one hot springs scene in every anime series or movie.
5. A ninja cat girl shows up
Catwoman and Batwoman discover Leviathan’s headquarters and prepare to infiltrate it, however, a ninja with a grinning cat mask appears to stand in their way. Anime fans know it’s not really an anime if you don’t have at least one 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 hired assassin. Her partner, Nosferata, who is also a hired assassin, joins her in fighting Catwoman and Batwoman. Unfortunately, their fight gets out of hand and they end up crashing through the glass roof into the center of Leviathan headquarters where a meeting was taking place.
4. There is a villain named Mr. Yakuza
We learn that Leviathan’s members are composed of the following cartel bosses: Doctor Tzin-Tzin, Mister Yakuza, La Dama, Moxie Mannheim, and now Black Mask. In case it’s too confusing, Mr. Yakuza is the leader of the Japanese crime cartel. (Yakuza literally means Japanese mafia). His minions 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 Catwoman and Batwoman decide to don some mecha fighting suits in order to do battle against them. And really, with director and artist Shinsuke Terasawa at the helm of this movie it really should have come as no surprise. Shinsuke Terasawa is known for having directed Mobile Suit Gundam and Akira! This is also why the movie is filled with so much action and suspense.
2. The martial arts fighting sequences
Catwoman and Batwoman manage to defeat the cartel bosses and Whale, and the criminals are arrested. Catwoman gets her pardon and seems to shrug off the fact that Minerva is still at large. At one point, Catwoman makes a funny face, pulling her lower eyelid and sticking her tongue out – this is a very classic anime gesture.
In another scene, Catwoman is surrounded by a group of ninjas from the League of Assassins that were sent after her by Talia al Ghul. Batwoman shows up to help her and the two of them defeat 52 ninjas. This was obviously just an excuse to show Catwoman doing some great martial arts and getting to show off how flexible she is!
Talia grows enraged that her ninjas were defeated so easily and decided 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 him up using some sticks of dynamite.
1. There’s a cat girl…wait, there’s another one 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 to break up one of Leviathan’s human trafficking rings in Sochi and had deliberately targeted Leviathan out of vengeance for the trafficked girls’ plight. Catwoman defeats Minerva, manages to steal the emerald right out from under the noses of the Interpol agents, and decides to take a little trip to London in order to “pick up a few things at the Tower”. Something sparkly, perhaps?
Overall, Catwoman: Hunted was a great anime-style movie and I look forward to seeing more anime-style movies produced by Warner Bros. and DC Comics if they will 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 via HBO MAX (I watched it last night, May 11, 2022) and it is now available on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD (since February 8, 2022).
Still on the fence about watching? The movie has an impressive cast line up with Elizabeth Gillies (Victorious) voicing 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 film with Team Inoue.
Watch the official trailer here: