The X-Men are reunited following the death of a teammate, and are summoned by Charles Xavier to Japan following the abduction of Hisako Ichiki (Armor). There, they confront the U-Men, a lunatic cult that steals and transplants mutant organs to further strengthen their own army, and the battle for justice is on.
I'm a huge X-men fan. What makes that rough for me is that I'm also a big believer in canon and continuity. In other words, movies like Wolverine: Origins and the First Class movies just make me angry, as a fan that spends half the time trying to get backstories right. Which is why I was so happy with the two X-men based anime, Wolverine and X-men. They were perfectly done, perfectly converted from West to East.
STORY: I had to laugh out loud. When the anime started it was like reliving my childhood, watching an updated (and non-English) version of X-men: The Animated Series.
The thing about continuity in comics that are long running is that you can't simply can't explain things like the Phoenix in 5 minutes. So they manipulate stories, characters, and the like to use them in their own way and kinda make sense. Having the X-men go to Japan to rescue a Japanese young mutant made sense! And by the end of the anime we essentially had the Astonishing X-men line up.
Also, the story focuses on a 'line that was popular in the earlier comics: People hate mutants. That's just not a plot that's touched on much anymore (mainly due to the lack of mutants in the comicsverse), and it's a classic. It was good to see.
Art: Again, old school X-men TAS reminiscent. It's a more mature style then most anime, but it's also more Western. Especially the T and A. Reminded me quite a bit of Jim Lee's work.
Sound: So dramatic! Fit the story very well.
Character: Wow, the banter between Wolverine and Cyclops (or Cyclopsu if you want to get technical) was great. Characters were pretty close to their comic book counterparts, all the way down to Jean begging to be killed, Cyclops being emo, Beast the genius, etc. Storm could have been improved upon but frankly I liked the difference in anime Storm versus comic book Storm. She had a very cool look to her. And Wolverine was just awesome; and I'm saying that as someone who is not generally a Wolverine fan.
Enjoyment: I seriously enjoyed this anime and it ties in to the Wolverine anime pretty well. I'm very glad Marvel had a heavy hand in making it, wish they'd put so much devotion into their movies too. I recommend this anime for X-men fans and those new to X-men alike.
I am torn on writing this review. Primarily because i used to be an avid fan of the comic book way back when i was younger, and the X-men have been my fav comic book group for so long. I really don't know where to star with this one.
Upon writing this review, i had just finished watching the 4th episode, since it is the latest release. I'll prob revise this again after the series finished so this review is my initial impressions of this Anime.
To start off, i can see that this is way better than the wolverine anime in terms of overall impression. I was never really at ease with the wolverine anime since it really was a far departure form the original american series. With this one, it feel s like the animators had adopted the Ultimate version of x-men where its a bit darker than the other forms of x-men comics. It also shows in the art and all the characters are fairly serious and stern looking.
In anycase here is my initial assessment of the Series, as of 4 episodes.
Story - 7: - So far i have given this a 7. Its been just 4 episodes but the story arc seems interesting. Almost original storyline, but i cant say since i am no more versed in the x-men lore. Other guys would prob comment on the storyline better if it was similar to any other arc in the x-men comic series. But so fat it very good. Without giving any spoilers for the ones who haven't watched it, Events happen one year after jean grey (phoenix) dies and the x-men goes on their separate ways, only to be brought back together by Prof X because of a series of suspicious evens.
Art - 8: - I gave this an 8. Its not your standard anime. But its not your typical western art also. Its funny to think that its almost a mix of the two. In the end i like the anime art of this one, a bit dark and brooding. It gives another dimension to where the story is going, Its a serious anime that needs a darker art direction i say. On a side note, i like the animation on this one opposed to the wolverine anime, but thats just my opinion.
Sound - 8: - I gave this one an 8. I like the intro, music. No singing, just background music and fits well within the contents of the anime. Altho, aside from the music, I kinda feel a disconnect with the voices of each characters. Years of watching this series made by westerners had drilled into my brain on how each characters should sound like. It was a bit rough for me in the beginning, but u get used to it as you watch episodes. On another side note, first time i heard Prof X's voice, i distinctly remember saying to myself, that Prof X sounds very much like Mr. Miyagi from the karate kid, but thats just prob me.
Characters - 9: - I cant say much about this one. Its the X-men, and i love the X-men. The main characters at least have remained true to the original. Wolverine still pisses people of. Storm still is the voice of reason, Prof X is still the mentor person, so on and so forth. There are a few characters that strayed of a bit, but not to much like Emma Frost and a few others but its understandable.
Enjoyment - 7: - Here is where it gets interesting. Your definition of enjoyment might differ from mine. Enjoyment is a 7 because its a serious anime. No laughing parts here, so if your looking for a good time laughing this is not the anime for you. But i fairly enjoy this type of series, but it only gets a 7 NOW because, well because the anime i watched before this one is Needless, and that was one funny anime, just need some time to adjust my brain to a more serious mode.
Overall - 7: - Overall for now is a 7. I have to finish the anime first then revise this review. But in my opinion, it could only jump one spot its either going to be a 6, or go up to an 8. It all pretty much depends how the story will unfold, it might even stay at 7. All in all, if your a fan of the X-men, i say this is worth watching. If your not, you might not like the serious tone or the characters of this Anime. As always, download the first episode, if you dont like itm you'll prob not like the rest of it.read more
I’m not gonna elaborate anything else about this anime; I’m going straight to the point. By the way I don’t have any access to any X-Men comic books both old and new, besides we don’t get a lot of those here in Mexico, and if we Mexicans do, it cost a fortune. So, my review is based upon the 8th episode of this anime that I’ve watched, with some comparison with the usual X-Men US animated series that I’ve also watched. By, there are a couple of more episode to go,how it goes, I just making a guess.
Story- mediocre 5.
So, this X-men simply another Marvel Franchise and it follows the same as that of usual X-Men Marvel US animated series, only this is more of a 12 part mini-series that an episode. Another difference are the villains, because this Japanize version uses a different bunch of villains as compare to the US version in which the main antagonists always involves either Magneto, Saber-toothed, Col. Stryker, Mystic, Apocalypse and the Sentinels. However, Here, it is the lesser known Jason Wyngarde or better know as “Mastermind” who is the main villain, surly, the battle will probably involve a lot of psionics . But, the main protagonist are first facing off some other antagonist like the “U-Men,” and Yui Sasaki’s rouge experiments, before they encounter the so called “Inner Circle.”
Sound- mediocre 5.
Well, the soundtrack is the usual action packed theme normally associated with the cast.
Art- good 7.
Well, I like the way which 2 of characters were drawn and resembles that of actors who played the role, X-Men the movie. We have Storm who looks like actress Haille Berry who played the same role in X-Men 2, Cyclops who resembles actor James Marsden from the same movie. However, Wolverine resembles more like actor Benicio del Toro who played a werewolf from the movie ‘Wolf,” the Beast has a same outline of the Beast in the recent movie “X-Men First Class.” Professor Xavier X looks like the slimmer version of the villain Shingen from “Wolverine” the anime. However, Emma Frost has a different look, compared to the Emma Frost that I’ve seem from Wolverine the Movie, but she is similar to the Emma Frost from the movie “X-Men First Class.” Everything else is symmetrically good.
Characters – Mediocre 5.
So, what does this anime have? Well, we have the usual main cast from every X-Men US animated series, and I probably need not mention them. However, there is Ichiki Hisako who is the only addition to the X-men, who is also called “Amour,’ she’s Emma’s student and confidant and not much is gonna be known about her. There are the “U-Men,” whom are the primary villains of this Japanize X-men anime, only this time they’re not mutants but a bunch of super genius mad scientists. There Yui Sasaki and her rouge experiments that serves as the secondary villains. There is also the “inner Circle” which Emma Frost used to belong. And it is obvious that they are the main villains which the X-Men will have to deal with
Enjoyment _ Mediocre 5.
What do you guys think?
Overall –mediocre 5.
Well, to me this is just another X-Men animation, in fact I would have prefer to watch this dubbed than subbed. But, then again this mini-series should be given a benefit of a doubt and just watch it 'til the end, and it’s highly recommended to all ages 12 and above…….children, who are 11 and below should be put on PG.
Part of a 4-series deal between Marvel and Madhouse, I eagerly anticipated the X-men anime. Based off a comic that features my favorite Marvel Comic team, the X-men anime focuses on the titular group as they re-form several years after the death of a teammate (for your comic fans, guess who gets to kick the bucket). In the process of investigating the exploits of a psychotic cult known as the U-Men, the X-men recruit two new female teammates and discover there's more to the U-Men's plot then meets the eye . . .
Story (6/10): The story of the X-men anime is a mish-mash of various comic book story-lines, only set in Japan instead of the U.S. The story is fairly well-structured, and each episode leaves viewers guessing at what the outcome of the next episode will be. It keeps you hooked to the end, and the flaws that crop up here and there won't dissuade viewers from seeing this one to the end.
Unfortunately, Warren Ellis's yarn just doesn't weave into a great story. As characters, the U-Men are pretty bland, only defined by how despicable their schemes are. Their enigmatic leader has a lot of gravitas, but even he's bland as far as egomaniacs go. Pacing is also pretty bad, with big twists happening with little lead-up provided by the conversations between characters. One mysterious organization from the comics that gets some backstory in the show doesn't really make a proper appearance in this show, despite having build-up. In addition, one of the most popular X-men stories that ends up incorporated in this series lacks weight here because one of the key characters involved, as well as his relationship to a main in the series, isn't properly developed. While emotional ties made the original arc, it doesn't really work well here, and the climax is unsatisfying because of it.
On a more minor note, the X-men roster in this anime (Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Storm, and later Emma Frost and Armor) is a bit odd. Comic book fans will inevitably find the roster odd, as the main cast basically feels like a fragmented version of the New X-men from the Chris Claremont days. On the plus side, the writer carefully plants mythology nods and characters to appease comic fans (which I certainly appreciated).
Art (8/10): Madhouse delivers a visual experience fitting of the X-men. Characters are rendered with lush detail that emphasizes darker colors to match with the grimmer atmosphere of the series. Even Wolverine's crazy-hair (which took a BIT for me to get used to), is faithful to his comic design. Aside from some ridiculous proportions on the part of the female characters, all of the character designs satisfied my desire to see well-proportioned characters in anime every so often. Each major/minor character design is also distinct, and the villains in particular get some really freaky yet cool-looking designs.
Background are drop-dead gorgeous from the front lawn of the X-mansion to the holo-screens brimming with detailed English text. The colors also compliment the series' tone very well, supplying dark colors in much the same way the palette does. The animation, meanwhile, is good. Fight scenes are intricate and fast-paced, though a couple do turn into shaky-cam messes. The only time this quality slips is during casual conversation scenes. It's a bit limited, and relies too much on the voice actors to sell the characters.
Sound (7/10): The opening and ending themes in this series are cool, but lack the staying power that the 90s X-men series' theme had. The music is fine, but so standard, I rarely ever took notice of it.
The voice cast, on the other hand, is impressive. I only saw a little bit of the Japanese vocals, and I feel the voices lacked the character and distinctiveness needed to give the X-men justice. The English cast, on the other hand, is superb. Scott Porter gives a solid performance as Cyclops, blending his leadership experience, angst, and new found cynicism into each of his lines. Steve Blum and Fred Tatasciore steal the show as Wolverine and Beast. Here, Steve Blum is not only re-visiting his anime roots, but playing a character he's acted for years, resulting in a smooth, grizzly performance that fits the adamantium berserker perfectly. Fred Tatasciore, meanwhile, voices a Beast that embodies his scientific skill and trademark wit very well. Storm's actress exudes confidence and the motherly affection trademark of the character. Finally, Stephenie Sheh as newcomer Armor is great casting, as she sells the high school girl adjusting to the role of a X-man, yet still trying to be confident, extraordinarily well.
Emma Frost, however, was fairly forgettable. Her wispy, slightly icy delivery didn't have the punch that Kari Wahlgren's brilliant, very British performance in Wolverine and the X-men did. Meanwhile, Cam Clarke's Professor X is too ordinary to be worth mentioning. The extras and minor villains are fine but aren't particularly memorable. I can't give away who the major villain is, but Travis Willingham gives him a LOT of flair and sometimes, almost made me forget at the core of it, his character is kinda bland.
Character (8/10): As an X-men series, the central goal of the writer is to effectively show the comradery of the team. Warren Ellis does that excellently here.
From Cyclops and Wolverine's pool games, to Storm and Wolverine's contrasting personalities, and Beast and Cyclops' casual friendship, this series captures the dynamic between the X-men pitch perfectly. Each character feels thought-out and realized, and there reactions to newcomer Armor are very in-character. As for the character herself, I was surprised to find she was no way near as annoying as Jubilee in the 90s X-men series (though, her forced importance to the final conflict is a bit irritating and fanficy in nature) and was actually compelling in her own way. Professor X's characterization doesn't break any new ground, but Warren Ellis effectively relays his personality as well.
Unfortunately, Emma Frost is bland, and at odd with her comics persona. This wouldn't necessarily be unwarranted if her discovered morality was fleshed-out, but the character almost takes her turn to good as understandable. We get some peeks into the loneliness she felt as a mutant, but her turn to good still doesn't ring true. It's never sufficiently laid out why she betrayed the group of villains she belongs to, so I was never really sold on nice, mentor to Armor Emma.
The same could be said for the villains. Despite being visually interesting and having cool abilities, none of them really had much character. I suppose this isn't much of a problem for a quirky mini-boss squad, but this problem carries over to our big bad as well. Despite how cool his design and voice is, his scheme comes off as crazy and doesn't really mesh with his character aside from him just being evil. While evil overlords are fine, not enough time is given to his growth as a person, especially considering the myth arc he has.
There are two significant characters who I can't get too much in to because of spoilers. One is a scientist who taught Armor at a school similar to Xavier's in the past. Her personality is based off a character in the comics, and Warren Ellis tries desperately to convince us she's a strong character. And while I'll say she's well-justified, for how significant this person is, I never really connected with her. Meanwhile, the other character who plays a significant part in the climax really doesn't get any character and comes off as a one-dimensional macguffin.
Enjoyment (8/10): The biggest reason I enjoyed X-men was because of how loyal it was to the characters. The show looks and feels like a contemporary Marvel Comics story (but with more Japan) and gets the characters better than most of the modern comics do. I was intrigued by the plot and wanted to continue to watch it just to find out how it all ended up. I enjoyed Madhouse's well-directed fight scenes, and the friendly banter amongts the characters. Heck, I even enjoyed the token newbie female character more than I thought it would. Even if the plot lacked weight thanks to its flat villains, the mystery surrounding their intention was fun, and I felt Warren Ellis tried his hardest to sell each of the personalities in this stories.
Overall (8/10): I would absolutely recommend this series to X-men/Marvel Comic fans, as well as people not familiar with Marvel but are fans with anime. Its villains are severely short-changed, but the main cast is so likable and true to the pathos set up by the comics, I connected to them instantly. The fight scenes also put the characters abilities on display nicely. Sure, it's got several flaws, but it's a strong story that sells the colorful characters well.read more
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.