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.
Let's go back to our old friends at Madhouse in their attempts to adapt Marvel comics. I've already looked at Blade, which was okay, but let's look at another attempt. In this case, the X-men, a super hero team that hasn't been well written in the comics proper since Chris Claremont's run ended. Which is a pity since Claremont's run made them my favourite super hero team. It's not like they've gotten all bad writers either. They got Grant Morrison and he can do really well when writing original works or when given proper oversight. Unfortunately, they let him off his leash for his run on the book and he piddled on everything, as Grant Morrison is wont to do. Can Madhouse succeed where so many have failed? I'm going to go full blown nerd and take a look.
Our tale opens up with the very end of the Dark Phoenix Saga, which is a bad sign right off the bat. The saga worked in the comics, well the first time it was used, because there was a lot of build up, time to get invested and because it was done in a time when super heroes almost never died and when characters stayed dead as opposed to coming back in a couple months. But this has no build up at all. If you don't know the comics then you have no reason to care about what's happening and if you do you've probably gotten used to seeing Jean die at this point and it just doesn't affect you anymore, whether you like her as a character or not. During the fight, the X-men notice that Jean was being manipulated by the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, which they just refer to as the Inner Circle in this. A year passes and Xavier summons Cyclops, Beast, Wolverine & Storm to the Institute because he finds out there's something strange going on in Japan. There's a region where neither Cerebro nor Xavier can scan and mutants there are going missing.
There are quite a few issues in this, some more minor and some significant. I'll go over them one by one, in no particular order, not including the mishandling of the Dark Phoenix Saga since I already talked about it. For starters, this series has a lot of short, dumb moments. Beast giving a squid a microphone that enables it to speak English, the characters standing around talking and expositing when they should be taking action, the villains having a good chance to kill the heroes but not bothering because they haven't finished going over the details of their evil plan yet, Cyclops' motorcycle that fires missiles and laser beams. Why does a guy who can fire solar powered optic blasts need a weapon-laden motorcycle? Does he just have a laser fetish? Wouldn't that be like Wolverine's motorcycle having claws? He can just hit the stud on his glove or bring one hand up to his visor. Oh, wait his costume in this doesn't have the glove button. The field leader of the X-men, Everyone, he gets rid of his iconic costume for something that looks terrible and doesn't have one of its most useful features. That was surely a smart decision. Those aren't even all the little dumb moments. There's a scene where they're trudging through a blizzard, freezing and shuddering. The problem being that Storm can control the weather. She should be able to banish something like this in seconds so that they can do what they need to do. There's also a scene where they're in the Blackbird and a flying mutant attacks them. Who do they send to fight a flying mutant in mid-air, while traveling at a rapid velocity? No, it's not the person who can fly. They send Wolverine. Yeah, his healing factor isn't going to save him if he falls off of a flying jet. Hell, Cyclops had to slow his descent to save his life when Proteus threw him off a cliff and this is going to be a lot worse of a fall then that.
Moving on to the bigger problems, there's a lot of lazy writing in this. Early on, Storm gets weakened from using her powers a bit and it feels like a flimsy excuse to take her out of the fight. The problem is that anyone who knows the character knows that she doesn't weaken that fast. She once brought a massive storm to Latveria that threatened to destroy Doom's castle and warped the weather for dozens of kilometres and she only became tired when dispelling it. If you don't know the character it just makes her look ineffectual, which isn't an ideal way to portray one of your heroes in a serious work. Beast also gets an electronic scanner that does whatever the plot needs it to do. Then we've got Mastermind, who's the leader of the Hellfire Club in this for some reason. Did they not want to use Sebastian Shaw because that one terrible film made him a nazi? They add telepathy to his powers, even though he's never had telepathy in the comics, and he's, apparently, strong enough that he can manipulate the minds of two different mutants who are supposedly the most powerful telepaths in existence. How exactly does he manage that when he's supposed to be far less powerful than them? Never explained. Then we have our continuity problems. When talking to Hisako, a new character, Storm tells her about how she was lost and couldn't control her powers properly until meeting Xavier. Except that she had full control over them and was revered as a Goddess when Xavier went to recruit her to rescue the original X-men from Krakoa. Why even change that detail? Then we've got the problem with the major conflict. It's basically a rehashing of the Proteus plot line, except done ineptly. The secondary mutation thing is stupid. Yes, I know they did it in the comics too, and it was stupid there too. The climax is just really weak.
On the positive side, they do handle the conflict with Emma Frost joining the X-men somewhat competently.
This series has some characters who were interesting and well developed... in the comics. You wouldn't know it to watch them here. They come across as pretty one-dimensional and a lot of their dialogue is stilted. To make matters worse, their habit of standing around rambling about how “they should do something” while not actually taking action makes them look like a group of incompetent morons. Xavier gets it the worst since we find out that he has yet another kid he never knew about. Dude, use a damn condom. The villains aren't any better. Mastermind and his group get a really good opportunity to kill the X-men but they take so long to get around to it that the X-men escape. Our secondary villains, the U-men, are just stupid and evil for the evils. They're like a 90s dark and gritty take on badly written Silver Age villains who never got developed . We have Grant Morrison to thank for this stain on the X-men's Rogues Gallery, and I do hope that someone rubbed his nose in it and told him that he was being bad. Otherwise he'll never learn. On a slightly positive note, there is some stuff with Emma Frost acting as a teacher to Hisako that's pretty decent.
I will give the series some credit on this one. There's a lot about the art that's really well detailed and done. Unlike the Blade anime, they actually get Wolverine's brutish appearance basically right. Although he's still too tall and his height fluctuates from scene to scene. Seriously, they make him roughly as tall as Storm and she's supposed to be a good twenty centimetres, or eight inches, taller than him. Speaking of messing up with Storm, they get her eye colour wrong in this. Although the X-men do, for the most part, look like themselves. I will, however, say that the art really fails when it comes to facial expressions. The major characters spend the bulk of their time grimacing, snarling or just looking generally grim even when nothing bad is happening. Are super heroes not allowed to have fun ever? They also made the bold choice of using the worst costumes the X-men have ever sported. See, there was a time when Marvel decided that super hero costumes couldn't be colourful or visually appealing, they had to be stupid looking and with really muted colours. In this case, mostly black with a little bit of dull yellow. The one exception is Emma Frost, who gets a costume so ridiculously fan-servicey that it makes her White Queen attire look prudish. The fight scenes are mixed. Some of them work pretty well, others are a garbled mess where you can barely tell what's happening.
The cast they get in this isn't bad, but they don't exactly give their best performances. I don't blame Tamura Yukari, Hisakawa Aya, Morikawa Toshiyuki or any of the other actors for that. They're just playing a group of perpetually snarling people who don't have any emotional depth. Because that's the route Madhouse decided to take. The music isn't bad either, but it is kind of dull.
There are a few scenes between Emma Frost and Hisako where Hisako seems to be a bit “hot for teacher” but that's the extent of the ho-yay for the series. A possible schoolgirl's crush.
This series is really bad. The story line is riddled with problems, both small and huge, without having anything to make up for them. The characters are insultingly one-dimensional, particularly if you're a fan of the comics. The art is the best part of the series and even it has its share of issues. The voice acting is passable but not good. If you want to see the X-men at their best, track down anything from Chris Claremont's run. It lasted nearly two decades so there's a lot there. Alternatively, you could look for the 90s cartoon from Saban Entertainment. If you want to see them at their worst... well, this isn't as bad as House of M, but it wouldn't be a bad choice. My final rating is a 2/10. Next week, Ankoku Cat.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.