Tony Stark, CEO of a large weapons manufacturer, physicist, engineer, and brilliant inventor, is wounded by shrapnel from one of his own weapons. While held captive by terrorists, he develops the Iron Man Suit and escapes. From that day on, he vows not to waste his second chance at life and to change the world for the better. For that purpose, he comes to Japan.
In Lab 23 in Japan, great strides have been taken to develop, and build, a unique power station which does not run on fossil fuels, the Arc Station. Stark intends to join this project, and, for that, he is ready to announce his retirement as Iron Man. At the same time, he will also announce the Mass-produced Iron Men, to which he will pass on his duties. However, during the ceremonies, Stark is suddenly attacked by combat mecha belonging to an organization known as Zodiac.
This is my first-ever review on an anime... but this anime is sooo bad and disappointing that I really need to say something about it...
Let's see... when I first heard of an Iron Man anime, I was REALLY excited to say the least - especially with the first Iron Man movie (which totally blows my mind)
Then I started watching it... all 12 episodes and let me tell you this, if someone ever hands you this anime and tell you to watch it... DON'T!!!...
I will only review on the story itself... not the mediocre art, not the badass music nor the terrible character...
It started out okay... I kinda liked the opening... where it showed his achievements from a child to a teen then to an adult and how they inserted scenes of when he escaped from captivity using the first Iron Man suit he made.
When I watched the first episode... I was expecting it to be based in America... but... no... it ended up with Tony Stark in Japan? Strange as it is, I could still take it since technically this IS ANIME... lolxx....
Anyways... as the episode progresses... and it was when the ball starts rolling downhill... Fighting Mechs.... and what's this? Mind-Control? WTH? Are we watching X-Men now? I mean seriously is there any other BETTER ideas they could come up with?! Basing it in Japan is okay... but the whole crappy fighting Zodiac-who-wants-to-take-over-the-world is sooo unoriginal.... =.="
And the worst of it all is that they even brought up someone who is supposedly DEAD! What the heck? When did the episode go so wrong? How did it go so wrong? Why did it go so wrong?
And another thing I noticed is that most and I do mean MOST of the time Iron Man gets his ass handed to him so badly during the last six of the episodes that it's a miracle he's still THE Iron Man!
And the scene where the girl transforms/morphs/flashes... donning an armor... how did that happen? What technology is that? Nanotechnology!?Power Rangers?! Iron Man couldn't even do that! If he could, Tony Stark could just shout out loud whenever he wants to and ta-dah! Iron-Man Armor ON!
Normally there are animes that have good episodes and bad episodes (fillers for example) but this really takes the cake... It's so bad that and I quote "You rather have a buffalo take a diarhoea dump in your ear"
12 episodes they made... 12 episodes I watched... 12 episodes screwed so badly and in the crap hole they sunk...
As you may know, I’m not one of those people that get pessimistic about the Marvel/Madhouse collaboration anime series. It’s a bit of a head scratcher and it does seem like a good idea at the time to introduce an American comic book character to Japanese audiences in anime form and since the Iron Man movies and Marvel itself has been in full popularity, it would make sense for them to cash in or foray into anime territory. Now seeing that this is the first of the Marvel Anime that ran, you figure this would be a new experience to me, but it isn’t since
I already reviewed the Blade anime, considering I put that one in more importance than the others.
Tony Stark is a physicist, an engineer, and the CEO of a major arms manufacturing company. On a battlefield he is injured from his own weapons and taken prisoner by terrorists. In order to keep his own heart beating, he creates the Ironman Suit and escapes. Once free, Stark decides to dedicate his life to pursuing world peace with the Ironman technology, so he moves to Japan to use the resources of "Lab 23," home of the world's first Arc Reactor. Wanting to devote himself fully to this research, Stark decides to retire as Ironman and announce the mass-production of suits to fulfill his duties. But at the announcement ceremony he is attacked by the mysterious organization known as "Zodiac," and his plans have to change.
The plot of this show takes place somewhere in the Iron Man movie universe like it’s filler that the first movie cuts itself from and that’s what it felt like to me. It felt like something the writers just made up on the spot as it never really progresses but it’s just the “this evil organization wants to take over the world with Iron Man’s power” storyline that makes the whole anime weak in the story development and the fact most of it is very uninteresting and can put you to sleep most of the time. Believe me, I fell asleep twice watching the series. Plus, I’m getting some vibes that is almost similar towards the movie, but slightly altered and less improved, much like Ho Yinsen, the scientist who helped Tony with the design of the Iron Man while he was held hostage in a cave by terrorists.
Tony Stark as a character in here isn’t much like him in other counterparts. He just seems more downplayed and uncharacteristic as if you feel nothing about him nor care nothing about what happens to him. The other characters are basically stock characters with the ally who gets used to him later on, the scientist who may or may not be a love interest despite Pepper Potts being in the anime, too, although it wasn’t applied that Stark and Potts were a couple yet in the show but I digress, there’s nothing remarkably interesting about the characters in here.
The animation / art & designs of the show that Madhouse made ranges from OK to mediocre, starting with the design of Tony Stark, in which he kind of looks like an unmasked villain (if he had a cape, that is) you see in Sailor Moon or any other shounen anime. It all looks so shiny like the characters are either plastic-looking or that they bathe in body wax. The music is very stock guitar/ “epic-sounding” music that is much like action American cartoons nowadays, which is what it’s supposed to do but it all sounds a bit lacking to me.
The English dub did brought an unusual voice to the character of Iron Man and that is Adrian Pasdar playing the title character. Now I’m not expecting a Robert Downey Jr.-like performance (just like I wasn’t expecting a Wesley Snipes-like performance in the Blade Anime) but he was a bit stiff in the first part of the series and a bit mediocre in the second half. That and knowing Wolverine makes an appearance in this and it’s voiced by Milo Ventimiglia, just to them to know ‘yes, Wolverine has an anime coming up, too’. Oh, and both of the actors I mentioned were also in that show “Heroes” and they play superheroes. *awkward laughter* OK, I’m done. In short, the dub was less than stellar but it’ll do.
FINAL VERDICT: Yeah, this is boring. That’s the simple way of putting it, I don’t know if I should call it bad or anything like that. However, if you’re curious about the anime and you frankly want to go in without any expectations at all, then go right ahead.
I've talked about Madhouse's Marvel anime a couple times before. There was Blade, which was decent, and X-men, which was a complete and utter pile of shit. Since we're focusing on hero anime this month, it seems like an ideal time to delve further into Madhouse's takes on super heroes. This time we'll look at the first Marvel anime, Iron Man.
Our narrative opens with industrialist Tony Stark heading to Japan. His plan is to retire as Iron Man and get a reactor up and running that will provide free, clean energy to everyone in the nation. He needs plutonium to get it going, but it's
totally clean. Don't question it. Things take a turn when Cobra... I mean Zodiac, a ruthless terrorist organisation bent on world domination arrives on the scene and begins making life difficult for Tony. We know all about them because they were in that Avengers cartoon I reviewed.
Let's begin with what's wrong with the series, and there's a significant amount. The first noticeable issue with the narrative is that it's very clumsy and inconsistent. To use an example, Stark seems confused in the first two episodes when the name Zodiac comes up but in the third he's able to explain exactly what their organisation is like an expert with no explanation for how he learned all about it. Incidentally, the early villains introduce themselves as Zodiac but the others just show up and don't say shit. Like Zodiac just decided "he gets it, no need to do that any more." There's also an episode where Tony takes great pains to get into space including attaching boosters to his armour and hitching a ride in a jet but very shortly after that his armour goes out of control and he just goes into space without any difficulties. I guess that's all he needed, a lack of proper control. That makes things easier. Then we have the mastermind behind Zodiac. He takes great pains to try to deceive others and cover up his involvement but then he just says "fuck it" and makes a huge villain speech in front of everyone and we aren't talking about the situation changes and then he does it. The situation is the same when he's trying to frame Tony versus when he says "nope, I was evil the whole time."
There are also a lot of issues that come up from Tony behaving in a way that makes no sense, but I'll go into that in painstaking detail when I talk about how bad the characterisation is. I will say that another issue lies in how obvious the whole plot line is. You can easily predict every twist the story takes based on cursory experience with more action-oriented fiction. And it seems to be a deliberate decision because a lot of their reveals are just weak and lazily written as though the writers expect everyone in the audience to see it coming and are just rushing through it. It's like they didn't care.
I'll start with the lesser character issues before moving on to the big one, which is our hero himself. First off, the antagonists are dreadful. Madhouse tries to go with the "well-intentioned extremist" route we see used in strong portrayals of characters like Magneto, or Poison Ivy. The trouble is, they're really bad at it and we end up with villains who come across as bitter assholes who want other people to suffer because they have.
We also get the world's worst reporter as a major supporting character. Seriously, this useless dumbass has no journalistic instincts. She gets an interview with Tony and can't think of even the most obvious questions to ask him. Okay, he's announced he's retiring and that he wants to provide this free energy. You could ask "are you going to be subsidised for this energy and if so, how much will it cost the taxpayers?" "If the energy isn't going to cause any pollutants, why are you using plutonium?" "If we aren't going to be paying for this energy, how much is it going to be costing you and will it be sustainable?" You could also go with retirement based questions. "Who will be taking your place with the Avengers?" "Are you worried that your old enemies will decide to take revenge against you?" The point is, there are a lot of really obvious questions, Nanami.
Now, let's move on to Tony. The big issue with him is that he comes across as completely insufferable and obnoxious. It's like whoever Madhouse got to write this hates Iron Man and decided to portray him as an arrogant, lecherous, entitled moron. And this is supposed to be our hero. The one we look up to and care about.
Now, I did promise to go into details about the actions he takes that make no sense and they do tie into just how much of an idiot he comes across as here. There are a lot of examples and I want to talk about every single major one.
First off, he decides that he'll retire. Now, in the comics when he did that he gave he Iron Man suit to someone he knew, trusted and who had acted as Iron Man to help him keep his identity secret. Which made sense and gave us James Rhodes, a fantastic character, to carry on the legacy. In this, he has three different dudes and they all have to share one suit. Why not have suits for everybody? To make things worse, Tony meets them for the first time during the series. So, how did he decide on them? Did he just tell his intern, Karen, to give the job to the three strapping lads who would look best in the armour? We're expected to believe he cares so little for his legacy that he couldn't be bothered to meet his replacements until after they'd been decided.
He also has his specialised new Iron Man Dio suit for these three guys to share, but he has no way to track it or shut it down if it goes missing or gets stolen. Which happens in the very first episode. He must have really trusted those three guys he never met before.
Tony just has trash security in this in general. His computers get hacked multiple times. His shipment of radioactive material gets targeted multiple times. His station is targeted by hostile forces multiple times and in every single instance his adversaries seem to have no real difficulty and yet we never see him do a bloody thing about it.
The second big one comes when he decides he'll look into the loss of his plutonium shipment himself, in spite of the Japanese government telling him to stay out of it. Not only that, but he doesn't use his high tech helmet to record everything he sees in order to give him some evidence of what happened if things go wrong. Things get even worse when he starts pursuing the culprits in his car. Not in the powerful armour that can fly and easily catch a speeding vehicle, in his car. Now, you might be thinking "maybe he was just being discreet" but that argument doesn't work because he shoots missiles from his car at theirs. And he has to change out of his suit to get in his car and chase after them and then change back into it later which just makes it take longer for no good reason.
This is one aspect where I can mostly give the series credit. The Zodiac robots have interesting designs, the characters look good, except for Wolverine who has the same trash design he had in Blade. The action sequences aren't great. They tend to be pretty one-sided, usually with Tony taking a beating before something happens that causes him to rebound and easily dispatch his foe. They aren't bad though.
The acting isn't bad. They got some strong actors, Itou Sizuka especially. Unfortunately, the writing doesn't allow for strong performances and we end up with good actors doing passably. The music is kind of dull. Which has been a general thing with Takahashi Tetsuya's soundtracks for all these Marvel anime.
There isn't any. Tony is only lecherous towards women, including the ones who work for him because he is a major creep in this.
Areas of Improvement:
1. Lose the whole retirement angle. This leads to a lot of dumb moments and it gets immediately forgotten about after the first episode. Just have the first big antagonist use his former experience with Stark to build his own Iron Man suit.
2. Stark shouldn't creep on his employees. Sure, have him be a bit flirtatious but let the man be a professional towards the women working for him. He'll come across as a lot less horrible that way.
3. Keep things consistent. If you want to explain to us who Zodiac is after Tony's been confused about it, have it explained to him by someone who he asked to look into it. If you want to show him make it into space with difficulty, don't make it easy later. If the major antagonist is going to use subterfuge, even when he's in an advantageous situation, have him keep using it. It makes no sense to switch just because "well, the audience knows who he is now." This is basic.
I know there are a lot more problems, but I think fixing those three would help immensely.
One thing I will say, this isn't as bad as X-men was. It's still pretty bad. It's full of holes, Tony Stark is a complete wanker in it and it's just not entertaining to watch. Ultimately, I give it a 3/10. If you want to see an animated Iron Man, I'd pick the old cartoon from the mid-90s over this.
First Impression & Bias:
So Stan Lee, if asking for coffee was not enough this time your asking for a Ironman adaption? Well, I know why you didn't show your face in this show that is for sure!
Now, I actually expected something solid out of this. I never really watched that many marvel shows, and hell if I ever read them. Yet, despite being a novice to the realm of American comics, this show was boring and predictable from the start. If the horrendous animation was not bad enough, for some reason they made Tony Stark a not so lovable character.
Episode Scores: -,-,-,-,6,5,8,7,7,7,7,4
Tony Stark sets off to get his ass owned in Japan, and boy does he. Building his 'arc reactor' to bring world peace he is constantly portrayed as the evil against Japan and fights the evil Zodiac! Yes, the evil Zodiac has a thing against Stark as they screw him over every episode and result in a bad guy of the week style. Some are not that bad actually, while others are just bad. The animation of the show in general is fine, but the fights are bland and just plain boring. The events surrounding the evil robots are cool and engaging yet when it comes to fight you roll your eyes as either Ironman or his foe gets instantly steamrolled.
The whole show is episodic, yet the things that stick around are like maggots. The novice reporter who does nothing but stalk Tony around, nonchalantly appear, and somehow either gets in the way or lends him a hand doing menial chores. As to her existence I can only surmise it is to annoy the hell out of views and add a 'capable' woman who isn't afraid to stick her head into danger. The assistant whom Tony falls in love with, this time, has brains, but pissed me off just as much for some reason. There is also the main villain, whom remains unnamed for spoilers, that despite being the role model for peace in Tony's eyes in some poor thought up way totally reverses his character. To tell the truth the only character that I enjoyed was Sakarai.
For being an attempt to bridge marvel into anime this is pretty much a failure. While the fans will be crying to sleep for a while it will never impress anyone. It didn't impress me, and I am giving this an average out of 10.
While America sees plenty of anime on its shores, you might be surprised at how many American shows make it to Japan. From on-screen comic book heroes, to cult classic flicks, these 11 American shows and films have some "interesting" anime adaptations.