Iron Man Anime: Initial Thoughts

East meets West mashup projects are always fun. Though I’m not sure if the same can be said for the Iron Man anime.

Part of a four-part project, Iron Man is the first of four Marvel titles to be adapted into a 12 episode short series by Madhouse animation. Now for the most part, mini-series are fun little bite-sized shows meant to tell a simple yet meaningful story over its short run of episodes. In the case with the Marvel anime project, however, it seems like even that much will come off as quite the hurdle. Since the project’s announcement two years ago, it was clear that fans would be split in opinion, some all for the jump to anime adaptations, while others preferring such liberties with some characters not be taken at all. With the four announced series to be Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade, the field was set, viewers waiting to see just how well the project would start.

Enter the Iron Man anime. Let me just start by saying that I’ve never been the biggest of Iron Man fans. Growing up while Marvel’s ‘90s animated adaptations of their bigger titles were airing, Iron Man seemed the most distant of characters to me, having practically nothing of interest to my five year old self. He was some kind of businessman, who according to any and all pop culture at the time automatically made him a douche character that I didn’t want any part in. Still, I guess it’s better than changing him to some kind of teenage rich-kid in an attempt to appeal to the kiddies in a Nicktoons show 14 years following its original animated series.

I don't think anyone was ready for this.

Back to the anime at hand, protagonist Tony Stark’s made it to Japan with some kind of “go green” project that viewers were probably only half-listening to in anticipation for a fight scene. Still being known for a company that specialized in weaponry, however, it seems like all of Japan is a bit skeptical about Stark, believing he has some kind of ulterior motives. Though as much such was said, you’d find it rather hard to believe considering how well he wins over a crowd in an act of showboating involving his new Iron Man suit, the Dio, alongside some airplanes.

The Dio has been made in anticipation for Stark’s retirement as Iron Man, apparently already having some Japanese people in mind to pilot the new suit. But in typical superhero fashion, something goes wrong in the middle of his showboating and Stark is forced to abandon the suit to be recovered by his men at a later time. With apparently no men to pick him up, he takes advantage of his situation and gets a lift from conveniently close to the site of his crash spunky girl reporter whose actual name probably won’t matter in the long run.

Following the awkward car interview to his place, Stark arrives to his place where his men (er, I guess lady and three men) report in on the Dio. Completely ignoring the fact that something went wrong with the suit, one of the pilots tries it on only to be “brainwashed” (yeah, I don’t get it, either) by the suit which pulls an Evangelion and goes into berserker mode, killing the other two pilots and escaping HQ. Being prepared for anything, Stark dons his original suit and catches up with the rogue Dio only to meet up with Scorpion—part of the Zodiac organization and apparent baddie of the series.

Even ignoring the fact the Zodiac will more than likely be made up of 11 more villains, spanning the remaining 11 episodes in the series, the Iron Man anime just feels rather stiff, lacking any kind of charm that’s expected of well-written American action animations as well as any crazy-awesome fight scenes expected of even your most standard shonen anime. In that sense it reminds me a lot of Cubix… except with less creepy character designs and not Korean.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

One Response to Iron Man Anime: Initial Thoughts

  1. Pingback: DaemonCorps: 2010 in review « DaemonCorps

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