Or Bat-Karuta.

For details on the game Karuta, check out this Wiki page  or years ago, I wrote about some Kamen Rider Karuta.Or maybe they are Menko cards, I'm not sure. (I'm going to ask some coworkers about it.)

I picked up the first of these cards years ago at a Flea Market in Tokyo. バットマン (Batman) is in a pretty poor condition so it definitely got plenty of play-time from some kid.

I put this card away for safe keeping, forgot where it was and finally found it again. Since I also located these other four cards I picked up last year, I thought it was time to talk about them.

This villain looks like he belongs in a Fleischer Superman Cartoon, not against the green-garbed Caped Crusader.

This one looks like the Batman of the 50s when he was always off fighting Aliens.

A ginger-haired Robin shows up to battle some bad guys. If you click the pic, you may be able to make out the sign, "TV Presents LIFE STORY featuring Bruce Wayne." I'm guessing it was a hoax and Batman had to save the day rather than have his secret identity exposed.

Here they are fighting a Bird-Man and a Cat-Man. Not sure what is going on but that's a story I'd like to read.

Here is the Bat-Manga theme, which alas never transpired.

AND an entire episode in Japanese!

We only got sporadic episodes of Batman: Brave and the Bold final season over here. Was this originally broadcast in Japanese in America?

If you look carefully at the villain, he looks an awful lot like the guy in the second card above and the theme song is similar to 8-Man.

Speaking of Bat-Manga and 8-Man, the style of that video is akin to Jiro Kuwata, the creator of 8-Man and the author of the 60s Manga version of Batman. I'd love to get my hands on a copy of that Manga but I'm sure it is WAY out of my price range. Here is a snippet of it.

I have to admit that I've never seen 8-Man. It must have surfaced on American TV in '65 but never made it to my screen. Here is the original series opener. Look familiar?

Here is the Americanized version, Tobor the 8th-Man (8-Man) theme (in English).

Sing along!
There's a prehistoric monster
That came from outer space
Created by the Martians
To destroy the human race.
The FBI is helpless,
It's twenty stories tall.
What can we do? Who can we call?
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Faster than a rocket.
Quicker than a jet.
He's the mighty robot.
He's the one to get.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Quick, call Tobor, the mightiest robot of them all!

This revised version of 8-Man from 1991 is called 8-Man After.

Hey, there's a live version of 8-Man. Too bad it's dubbed. I'd like to see a subtitled version.
8マン・すべての寂しい夜のために Eitoman - Subete no Sabishī Yoru no Tame ni = 8-Man for all the Lonely Night.

I've been searching the Used Book Stores for ages looking for Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan. It looks like I may have go to Amazon. Here's a review by the author, Chip Kidd.

Holy Manga, Batman! The Jiro Kuwata books have been collected and are for sale on Amazon!

What has recently shown up on the Bat-front these days? Not Batman, but the JOKER!

Too bad these capsules are 4$ a pop, otherwise I'd get them all.

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