Another Marvel Comics franchise crosses the sea and is presented in the format of anime, this time we speak of none other than Ironman. Yes, it is up to billionaire genius Tony Stark to fight villains in the land of the rising sun.
In this release of two DVD’s with a total of 12 episodes with action MAD House and Marvel brings to the fans.
The anime takes place right after the movie, in which Tony Stark decides to start his new project in Japan, an Arc Reactor. Promising to bring revolutionary technology that will provide free energy without pollution to all the world and Japan is the right place to start.
Being an outsider and having a black history as a weapons dealer this wont be an easy feat for Tony Stark and the Japanese will not have an open mind toward their plans at the beginning. This will not be the only challenge he will face in this his new journey.
Also he is introducing the world to the new armor “Iron Man Dio” which will be used by a new Stark Industries pilot, as Tony announces he is retiring as Iron Man and will not use his armor anymore.
But every utopian dream has an end, a terrorist group known as Zodiac steals the new armor and threatens to destroy the power plant, Tony is forced to use his armor again and fight this evil menace.
The Ironman armors CG animations are top notch and have great design quality, although the armor design may appear simple sometimes the artists wanted to give the armor an anime air to it which works like a charm.
Enemy mecha design is not bad but could have been better, they were inspired by enemies from the american comics but is hard to find a resemblance (there is none) unless you are a die hard fan to catch the reference.
Character design and standard animation is a mix of feelings for me, while some characters and animation sequences look nice, others are just bland.
Tony Stark looks much younger than the movies, he got a sweet face lift or OMG time paradox!
Opening with catchy rhythm but nothing that will get stuck in your head after a while, there are no lyrics and i get the feeling they tried to keep the intro in a western style like in U.S animations.
Other than that voice acting is very good, in the English track we have Adrian Pasnar (Heroes, Castle, Profit) lending his voice to Tony Stark. The Japanese audio is also quite good and my personal favorite with Keiji Fujiwara as Tony Stark, he also worked in the live action movie so he already had the mindset of how the main character should sound like
This 2-disc set contains all 12 episodes plus bonus features that was a delight to watch, these include: Re-Imagining Iron Man, 21st Century Hero: The Technology of Iron Man, Special Cross Talk with the different directors of other Marvel Anime shows that is so worth to watch and an interview with the actor Keiji Fujiwara.
Audio; Japanese, English 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles; English, English SDH
What they did right
The anime is full of fast paced action and good fights, the armor looks stunning and really fits so well in the anime genre.
The anime gives us a brief glimpse into the past of the protagonist, and the origin of the armor, which links to anime and movies in the same universe, events in this series could take place shortly after the first movie. This is good because if you did not see the movies this gives you a starting point to the origins of Iron Man.
What they did wrong
Let me start with Nanami, I’m honest.. I hate her. What could have been a good addition to the anime ended in a pale and poorly executed version of Louise Lane from Superman (yes I know, they are DC) and appears to be a shy fangirl that’s after Tony Stark all the time.
Nanami is constantly overwhelmed by Tony, and seems like Tony is always throwing bones to her, she really never unveils a mystery due to her ability at all and fails in the category of a poor support character at the most.
This journalist girl doesn’t have much charisma nor a personality to shine on her own. Other characters like her boss which is also a Jonah James wannabe or the photographer that’s always with her serve as a poorly executed comic relief characters in the end.
Iron Man Anime is not the best out there but is not bad either. There are details that can be improved or that could be done in different ways, this includes poorly developed characters that should not be in the anime at all (im looking at you Nanami …) that make some scenes boring, a poor contrast with the quality of fights.
By no means this makes it a bad anime but takes away the gold from the show, also classic and known enemies from the comics are msised and could have been a huge asset to the anime. Check it out and you may find it enjoyable, especially if you’re a fan of Iron Man comics.
We give the anime 6.8 rice balls out of 10
**A review copy was provided by the publisher for this review