For those of you who don't keep up with live-action superhero shows made for tiny Japanese children, Kamen Rider Gaim is the latest in the long-runing series of Kamen Rider shows. Focused on young Kouta Kazuraba, the show revolves around a secret power struggle within Zawame City, a community dominated by the massive Yggdrasil corporation, and the monsters that are emerging from the mysterious Helheim Forest to battle the Armored Riders who have unlocked the power of the forest's fruit. And it's also apparently taking place in Gotham City.

See, in the latest episode of the series, we finally got a glimpse of an actual map of Zawame City, and it turned out that it's just Eliot R. Brown's map of Gotham, in use at DC since 1998, turned on its side. And I am delighted by this news.


Gotham City map, DC Comics


Yyyyyup. That's Gotham all right. Just with fewer bridges and, one assumes, a slightly lower number of homicides by clown poison.

It actually makes sense in a way, considering that Kouta is driven to fight crime by the sight of his parents murdered in an alley when he was a child, who takes on a costumed identity to strike fear into the hearts of -- wait, no, sorry. Got my notes mixed up. Kouta's actually a perpetually unemployed former member of a dance crew who uses a high-tech belt and magic fruit to turn into a fruit-themed samurai who fights against monsters in a series of battles loosely inspired by 16th-century Japanese political struggles. But, you know, you can probably see the similarities.

Really though, whether this is the result of someone on Gaim's crew being a Batman fan or whether they just Googled "fictional island city map" and popped it in there, I really like seeing it. Not just because I'm a fan of both franchises, but because I really like the metaphorical idea that Japan's tokusatsu heroes are like just like American superheroes turned sideways.

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