Another of the Marvel Comics anime arrived and it was a pleasure to watch, specially being a huge fan of the X-Men universe. As you can expect the anime seems to follow a continuity with the X-Men movies, so Magneto is locked in jail and he is not the main villain in this story arc. Directed by Fuminori Kizaki (Afro Samurai) we get a nice dvd set with a total of 12 episodes of mutant action!
Taking place right after the tragic events leading to the death of Jean Grey, the X-Men are in shambles, the team reunites again and visits Japan to investigate strange disappearances of young mutants in that region, along with a strange energy that’s blocking Cerebro capabilities to track mutants in that region of the country.
As the X-Men start the search for the young mutants, they discover the U-Men are related to the mystery, and the horrors involved in the abductions. There we will met a young girl Hisako Ichiki, she possess the ability to produce a psionic energy armor around her body, along with her they find a captive Emma Frost who is not very welcome to the group due to their ties with the Inner Circle (see The Dark Phoenix Saga)
Both, Emma and Hisako decide to join the X-Men in search of the truth, and the truth behind all the mysteries will be truly shocking and may lead to the end of the planet earth as a new omega level mutant goes wild.
By the most part Mad House did a great job with the animation and delivers quality most of the time. Character design is not entirely bad, but to be honest i wish the uniform design was more like the comics, they lacked a lot of the respective “X” style that even the movies portrayed.
The art style from Fuminori Kizaki is very distinctive specially with the villains, and for sure will be of the liking of Afro Samurai fans.
The intro has a good beat but then again no lyrics (same as Ironman) which in my opinion takes away points from the anime, I can understand the need to keep it attractive to an american audience into anime who may not be a fan of J-music overall.
Other than that sound effects and voice acting are top notch, whatever is your cup of tea sub or dub both audio tracks are good, we have Scott Porter (The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, Caprica) lending his voice to Cyclops in the english version.
This 2-disc set contains all 12 episodes plus nice bonus features including a special talk session with the director’s of the X-Men and Blade Marvel Anime, The Marvel Anime Universe, Re-Examining The X-Men and X-Men, A Team of Outsiders.
Audio; Japanese, English 5.1 Dolby Digital. Subtitles; English, English SDH
What they did right
Starting the first episode of the anime by tying it with the end of the Dark Phoenix saga with the X-Men live action movies was a wise decision by the director Fuminori Kizaki (Afro Samurai)giving us old fans of the comic and newcomers to the X-Men universe a good starting point for the series.
Wolverine is a badass, Storm looks very sexy and Cyclops is the emo he’s always been, just like in the movies, and that it’s all good! *winks*
What they did wrong
May not be exactly wrong perse, can understand they had to adapt the story and change certain characters from the Marvel universe to be appealing for a japanese audience that may not be familiar with the comics, still i’m not sure this was completely necessary.
So probably giving us a new villain that’s new to the Marvel universe could have been much better without messing with the continuity of the comics, something purist and followers of the comics may not like. Then again like in most cases this could be seen as a parallel universe.
X-Men anime is very dynamic and it’s sure to bring action to the fan of the comics, so if you love Marvel comics, liked the movies but are new to the anime, this show is a good option to approach the genre. No, Beast will not fly and sign the “nyan cat” song… thanks for reading!
We give the anime 8 riceballs out of ten!
**A review copy was provided by the publisher for this review