Review: X-Men Anime DVD

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Posted by G-Man (18881 posts) - - Show Bio

When it comes to animated adventures of the X-Men, many hold near to their hearts the series from the 90s. Recently we also had the short lived Wolverine and the X-Men series. I recall hearing rumblings of an X-Men anime series back in the late 90s but wasn't sure if it really happened. All I had seen was the opening credits on youtube but was immediately fascinated.

Marvel Animation has joined forces with Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan and Madhouse to bring us several Marvel characters in the anime style. The shows aired on G4 but are now making their way to DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The first 12 episodes of the X-Men series and Iron Man series have been released today. (I'll post thoughts on the Iron Man series later).

The premise involves the X-Men dealing with the death of a certain member of the team. This leads to the team going their separate ways. A year later, they are called back to help search for a missing child (a character from the comics as well). This leads the team to Japan where they deal with the U-Men as well as the Inner Circle in later episodes (the Inner Circle is basically the Hellfire Club).

== TEASER ==

The is something to be said about the style of the animation. It immediately adds a different feel to the characters.

The DVD gives you the choice of watching in Japanese with subtitles or an English-dubbed version. Just make a note that it defaults to the Japanese with English subtitles each time you pop the DVD in your player.

The English voice actors are a mixed bag. They each do their roles well but I definitely felt some were miscast. Professor X and Beast were great. Wolverine and Cyclops were good for the most part. The voice of Storm just never felt right to me.

You can check out some of the voice acting as well as the fast paced and frantic action contained in the series in this clip.

The series isn't perfect but is absolutely worth watching. The characters and situations are familiar but you have the anime-feel to it. You have to look at this as an alternate reality version of the team. It's a different take, a different interpretation and that's what makes it interesting. You have an idea what to expect but you never really know for sure until the episode is over.

Besides some voice casting issues, I would have liked to see other villains thrown into the mix. The end credits show villains like Juggernaut and Mystique but we pretty much just get the U-Men and Inner Circle.

I suppose it's to be expected (unfortunately) but I thought some of the female characters were drawn in a slightly ridiculous manner. Let's just say there were a couple things that really stood out. With the quality of the animation, the story and the action, I just don't think it's necessary to add extreme proportions to the characters.

Overall, it's an enjoyable show. I'm glad it's been released on DVD as I didn't watch it when it aired on G4. My big questions is will there be more? I would love to see the series continue and for the stories to flesh out into other areas.

I will post a review on the Iron Man anime and don't forget we're giving away copies to both Iron Man and X-Men on DVD through Sunday, April 29. Go here for more details.

#1 Posted by CODYSF (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is a epicfail for comic fans

#2 Posted by HolySerpent (12806 posts) - - Show Bio
#3 Posted by x_29 (2274 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought it was a pretty decent, enjoyable series as well.

#4 Posted by Zomboid (740 posts) - - Show Bio

If you take this series for what it is, it's not that bad, and personally I thought it was the best of the Marvel anime. You just can't take it too seriously as a comic fan.

#5 Posted by Uncanny_Doom (481 posts) - - Show Bio

This was the only Marvel Anime that was at all decent, but I didn't think it was anything beyond that. Wolverine was terrible and Iron Man was pretty bad too. I didn't even bother with Blade.

#6 Posted by UrbanChill (232 posts) - - Show Bio

didnt watch it for the simple fact that it was based off of american media and comics yet animated overseas as a japanese show and then converted over for an american audience

i dont mean to come off as racist but i feel as if this show was for those maybe not as familiar with the comics in japan rather than those like us who are in america

but mind you i could be wrong because i didnt watch the show

#7 Posted by DIOMJK (155 posts) - - Show Bio

Better than Wolverine. Bishoujo Logan? Garbage.

#8 Posted by Bestostero (5590 posts) - - Show Bio

This was the best Marvel anime series imo...i didnt like the Iron Man and Wolverine as much, and i never saw Blade unfortunately.

#9 Posted by BlackArmor (6138 posts) - - Show Bio

@Zomboid said:

If you take this series for what it is, it's not that bad, and personally I thought it was the best of the Marvel anime. You just can't take it too seriously as a comic fan.

#10 Posted by Blood1991 (8082 posts) - - Show Bio

@Uncanny_Doom said:

This was the only Marvel Anime that was at all decent, but I didn't think it was anything beyond that. Wolverine was terrible and Iron Man was pretty bad too. I didn't even bother with Blade.

Pretty much all this. The X-Women all seemed so out of character....

#11 Posted by Rixec (378 posts) - - Show Bio

The whole series was amazing and I hope to win it! >D

#12 Posted by pspin (894 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked this as an alternate universe show, it wasn't perfect but it was fun.

#13 Posted by Aeroman (495 posts) - - Show Bio

i only watched because steve blum got to be wolverine again that's all

#14 Posted by saoakden (1021 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the show but idk y but Wolverine's look from Wolverine to X-Men felt really werid to me. In his series he looked decent with the sleveless shirt, jacket and jeans to his X-men outfit. His hairdue however kinda bugged me and Idk y.

#15 Posted by KidSupreme (826 posts) - - Show Bio

@CODYSF said:

This show is a epicfail for comic fans

#16 Posted by MrMazz (1062 posts) - - Show Bio

This show was FAR better than the Wolverine Anime but still pretty terrible.

Online
#17 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

Seems like something you would find on Adult Swim to be honest, but I actually mean that as a compliment. I'd give it a try! :)

#18 Posted by pikahyper (12694 posts) - - Show Bio

eh I didn't like it, it felt a lot like Astonishing X-Men but I had to give it up after four episodes, I preferred the Iron Man anime out of all of the Marvel anime's, Wolverine was iffy but I watched all of it, I gave up on Blade after one episode.

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#19 Posted by Inverno (13284 posts) - - Show Bio

You have to watch this as alternate reality version of the team

I am sorry Tony, but they said the same thing about Dragonball Evolution...

#20 Posted by sentryman555 (824 posts) - - Show Bio

@CaioTrubat said:

You have to watch this as alternate reality version of the team

I am sorry Tony, but they said the same thing about Dragonball Evolution...

at least the x-men are still the x-men in this and not going to high school.......

#21 Posted by sentryman555 (824 posts) - - Show Bio

Why does Jean Grey have to be dead in all the x-men shows now -_-.

#22 Edited by VioletPhoenix (306 posts) - - Show Bio

i was so pumped for this show but have to admit it was a letdown when I saw it, it didn't have the amazing factor like the other x-men shows. Ok I hated it.

#23 Posted by wowylied (238 posts) - - Show Bio
#24 Posted by birdcantfly15 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

They need to make a mature American x-men show. Almost at the level that Hulk vs Wolverine was. They swore a little, they drew blood, they had actual guns...

#25 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3404 posts) - - Show Bio

@CODYSF said:

This show is a epicfail for comic fans

I certainly say this is a fail for anime fans. Airing it on G4 in place of places people actually watch anime is silly. I have no reason to invest in buying these DVDs when I haven't had the chance to sample what the show has to offer anywhere. There are legal streaming sites. Why should I buy this over anime series that are hosted on websites that let me sample the show? Marvel just doesn't seem to know who they are marketing this to. Though, you're also kind of seeing that in how they market their comics.

The animation quality isn't even up to par with what Madhouse can really do. Not to say this looks bad but........dated. It looks as if someone at Marvel pointed at BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT, and said make it look like that. Forgetting that Madhouse has made serious leaps since then. DEATH NOTE looks a lot better than the samples I've seen. If you want to see really good quality anime they've recently made. Check out BLACK LAGOON and HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD.

@sentryman555 said:

@CaioTrubat said:

You have to watch this as alternate reality version of the team

I am sorry Tony, but they said the same thing about Dragonball Evolution...

at least the x-men are still the x-men in this and not going to high school.......

That was X-MEN EVOLUTION. Which brought us X-23. DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION is still a $#@&ing abomination. I once saw a website tried to interview people who saw the movie outside a theater. No one for hours went either in or out.

I think the mistake that Marvel keeps making with their animation projects are they are always just doing alternative takes on their stories. If they wanted to make an anime series, they should have done more of what anime actually does. They animate the story from the manga. Marvel should have just selected a story arc for Madhouse to animate. They hired a rather famous animations studio and didn't let them really do what they excel at. I looked up the previous work on the director and script writers. It put it in one way. They didn't give this to their A team.

The DVD gives you the choice of watching in Japanese with subtitles or an English-dubbed version. Just make a note that it defaults to the Japanese with English subtitles each time you pop the DVD in your player.

I was rather shocked to read that the DVD defaults to the Japanese voice work. In all the dubbed anime I have, it defaults to English. That's a seriously weird take.

#26 Posted by MyraMyraMyra (296 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked the anime. Some of the characters were different to their comic counterparts, but I didn't really think of it as them being out of character. I just thought of them as alternate versions of these characters. The characters are never exactly the same in adaptations. For instance, Rogue and Pyro from the X-Men movies hardly resemble the Rogue and Pyro from the comics, but I wouldn't call either character bad. They're just reimagined versions of the comic characters, altered just enough to feel more like Japanese anime characters.

All that matters to me is that I liked the slightly different take on these characters. The anime version of Emma was missing the trademark skankiness and sarcasm of the comic book Emma, but I did like this portrayal of Emma as well - she was serious, haughty, and compassionte beneath her hard surface, which made her very likable. Similarly, the bubbly and down-to-earth Storm bore little resemblance to the stately Storm from the comics, but I liked her anyhow (fortunately, I watched the show with the Japanese cast, I've heard that her English voice actress was horrible). And Dandy-Beast! What could be cooler than Dandy-Beast?

Anyways. I agree that the show wasn't perfect, but I did really enjoy it. The animation was spectacular, it had a beautiful score, and I found the plot intriguing. I liked it how it managed to be a character-oriented show which also had a suspenseful mystery plot and decent action scenes.

#27 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

"suppose it's to be expected (unfortunately) but I thought some of the female characters were drawn in a slightly ridiculous manner. Let's just say there were a couple things that really stood out." That's a shocker. Emma Frost is nothing but a thinly disguised centerfold.

#28 Posted by ssejllenrad (12790 posts) - - Show Bio

I kinda liked it...

#29 Posted by BoyWander (319 posts) - - Show Bio

When you say that the females were drawn in a ridiculous manner, you know that comics do the exact same thing. Big boobs, tiny waists and such are common among comics around the world. It's not a big shocker. It is one of the most common super-powers. Big boobs and the ability to have them not get in the heroines way.

#30 Posted by jubilee042 (1345 posts) - - Show Bio

i liked it

#31 Posted by Hysteria (388 posts) - - Show Bio

I would buy this but its not available in the UK yet

#32 Posted by deadpool25mm (615 posts) - - Show Bio

@wowylied: LOLOLOL hahaha thats awesome!

#33 Posted by Iron Fist Angel (232 posts) - - Show Bio

@CODYSF said:

This show is a epicfail for comic fans

Agreed. I usually like almost anything X-men related but I cannot get into this show at all.

#34 Posted by revbucky (306 posts) - - Show Bio

Sounds interesting.

#35 Posted by PhoenixoftheTides (3628 posts) - - Show Bio

@MrMazz said:

This show was FAR better than the Wolverine Anime but still pretty terrible.

Yep. I didn't like the art style and the story was boring. Also, IIRC, Emma couldn't use her telepathy against any of the enemies offensively, which was lame. But Japanese anime is, for the most part, all about objectifying and disempowering women so I shouldn't have been surprised.

#36 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3404 posts) - - Show Bio

@PhoenixoftheTides said:

But Japanese anime is, for the most part, all about objectifying and disempowering women so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Spoken as someone with little more experience in anime than what they have heard other people say about it. There are entire genres dedicated to female readers. It's just that most of those are never published in the US. Why? Maybe because the US audience at large wont buy them because they can't accept the idea. There are more series in Japan made for women than all the comic titles for women put together. Don't try and make this just about anime.

As if comics are about empowering women in general. Have you see Batgirl lately, Starfire, or anything by Greg Land. Women are constantly being used as plot points in comics, and how many women in comics today that are under a D cup? Check for glass houses before you go throwing stones.

There is the series ONE PIECE. That has very little fanservice, and is easily one of the largest selling manga in Japan. On average, it sells over 2 Million with each new release. That has several strong female characters. BLACK LAGOON is almost nothing but really strong women kicking a serious amount of ass. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST is both written and illustrated by a woman, and was one of the highest selling series in Japan during it's time. That has a lot of great female characters. SOUL EATER is an action manga series where the lead protagonist is a women. I could go on with series that have very strong women.

#37 Posted by jhazzroucher (16500 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Storm. : )!

X-Men anime episode 1
#38 Edited by nakobass (50 posts) - - Show Bio

Huge Anime Fan myself, And I loved this Anime version of X-men. Truly was the best of all the Marvel Anime project. This made me a fan of Armor. Going to buy my copy right now. Don't forget to check out all the cameos (Deadpool) and the setup for a Season 2 at the end.

#39 Edited by nakobass (50 posts) - - Show Bio

As a huge Anime Fan myself, I loved this version of the X-men, Truly the best of all the Marvel Anime projects. This show made me a fan of Armor. Going to buy my copy today. Don't forget to check out all the cameos(Deadpool) and possible teaser for Season 2 at the end.

#40 Posted by movieartman (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

@nakobass: agreed sir

#41 Posted by movieartman (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

Here is What i Want! i want a animated movie that is written like a american Cartoon or comic, but just give it the hard edged badass animation style of this type of Anime

i think the best example of that mixture was the Supurb Deadshot Sequence of Batman Gotham Knight that animation was amazing.

#42 Posted by Dedpool (375 posts) - - Show Bio

Enjoyed the X-men anime. It was like a Japanese take on the Proteus saga, and added the U-men and Mastermind for fun. I really liked seeing armor in action as well. This one is my second favorite, with Blade being at the top. Iron man is 3rd and Wolverine last.

#43 Edited by djotaku (415 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait.....American comics already have ridiculously large breasted women. (most common super power)You're saying they made it so much bigger that you actually noticed? wow.....just wow......

#44 Posted by wmwadeii (3253 posts) - - Show Bio

@djotaku said:

Wait.....American comics already have ridiculously large breasted women. (most common super power)You're saying they made it so much bigger that you actually noticed? wow.....just wow......

I was thinking the same when I read the review. How big is too big. I really hate it when they are showing teenagers in comics and they are abnormally large as well. Not everyone wants to see big boob, especially on a 13 year old super hero.

OT- I don't know if I will buy these DVD and unfortunately due to the whole Comcast owning G4 and DirecTv not wanting to pay them as much as they want I never got to see them. I hope they show up streaming on Netflix like the rest of Marvel's Animated.

#45 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4530 posts) - - Show Bio

The art has never looked better they should keep it going, I'm also happy to not see Rogue here, I'm not a fan. Would like to see Nightcrawler and Colossus.

#46 Edited by PhoenixoftheTides (3628 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt said:

@PhoenixoftheTides said:

But Japanese anime is, for the most part, all about objectifying and disempowering women so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Spoken as someone with little more experience in anime than what they have heard other people say about it. There are entire genres dedicated to female readers. It's just that most of those are never published in the US. Why? Maybe because the US audience at large wont buy them because they can't accept the idea. There are more series in Japan made for women than all the comic titles for women put together. Don't try and make this just about anime.

As if comics are about empowering women in general. Have you see Batgirl lately, Starfire, or anything by Greg Land. Women are constantly being used as plot points in comics, and how many women in comics today that are under a D cup? Check for glass houses before you go throwing stones.

There is the series ONE PIECE. That has very little fanservice, and is easily one of the largest selling manga in Japan. On average, it sells over 2 Million with each new release. That has several strong female characters. BLACK LAGOON is almost nothing but really strong women kicking a serious amount of ass. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST is both written and illustrated by a woman, and was one of the highest selling series in Japan during it's time. That has a lot of great female characters. SOUL EATER is an action manga series where the lead protagonist is a women. I could go on with series that have very strong women.

Actually, no. I've seen tons of anime. I grew up near Chinatown in New York City where there were stores selling tapes of the shows. I grew up watching anime and have been exposed to Akira, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Ranma 1/2, One Piece, My Neighbor Totoro, Ghost In the Shell and many others. Even female-oriented anime (and I assume you mean 'manga', as well, since you referred to publishing) often glamorizes a woman being weak, emotional, frail and weak personally or getting strength from relationships. The key point being that most of the anime I referenced and the manga we tend to hear about are the good ones. Just because we can name examples of good manga or anime that breaks the stereotype doesn't disprove the general point that most manga and anime is crappy or sexist. Yes, there are entire anime/manga genres devoted to female readers but there are a lot of comics devoted to erotic art, fanservice and featuring overly-endowed women. Many of the genres devoted to female readers revolve around dating, and in some, the women takes a passive role that is glorified by the characters she is surrounded by.

There are good manga/anime, so/so manga/anime and bad or nonsensical manga/anime, and I find in general that high quality manga/anime is outnumbered by the vast pile of shlock that exists on TV/in newsstands. Amazing mangaka such as Rumiko Takahashia, Naoko Takeuchi, Chiho Saito and etc IMHO are largely overshadowed by the piles of crappy series with bad art, bad storylines and vapid characters.

By the way, I'm not throwing stones from a glass house at all. I criticize many comics and characters for misogyny, sexism and blatant objectification. I'm not singling anime/manga out for special treatment. However in the States, no matter how skimpy the clothes of the heroines or female characters, we don't have cartoons such as Rapeman or genres of comics celebrating that type of character, such as Bondage Fairies and it's ilk.

I may have made my statement too strong implying that most of Japanese anime is misogynistic but I will at least say that ignoring the general atmosphere of the culture of anime in Japan, and not seeing that a lot of very bad, misogynistic attitudes are present even in famous anime and manga (such as Fist of the Northstar) is a mistake. We may disagree about the quality of anime in general, but I at least have spent a great deal of time reading anime and manga, and have come to my opinion after years of being a fan of some of the best examples of those genres.

#47 Posted by Killer_of_trolls (1851 posts) - - Show Bio

everybody that commented on this page is saying complete and utter bullshit.

so I am gonna have to balance out the retardness of the subjectivity, I am gonna point out only one retaded little thing that made me facepalm: Cyclops riding a motorcycle that shoots laser beams. good night.

#48 Posted by musim (47 posts) - - Show Bio

I know you're not criticizing it by bringing up the question if its too different, but at the same time that's always been the case when translating X-Men to a screen. The 90's cartoon was really the closet to the comics as far as plot beats go and it wasn't all that great. X-Men Evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men were fantastic but completely different from their comic counterparts. While X-Men Evolution had the essence of some of the characters down, Wolverine and the X-Men ditched off any and all personality and event similarities in favor of just keeping the costumes. In a way, I would argue the X-Men anime series is the most true to the franchise outside of the 90's Fox series.

#49 Posted by kaleb2470 (14 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm so sick of the foggy, bleary animation. It makes me feel drowsy, like I constantly just woke up.

#50 Posted by The Impersonator (5620 posts) - - Show Bio

@CODYSF said:

This show is a epicfail for comic fans

It isn't. The series may be different but it was still enjoyable.

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