With both Iron Man and Wolverine wrapping up, we move on to the third of the four franchises that Marvel decided to adapt to the anime format.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the art style is drastically different compared to the other two series. Logan, in particular, has ditched the “bishie” look and looks more like his comic book counterpart. Ventimiglia even sits this one out as Steven Blum, who has voiced Logan in a few earlier animated adaptations, reprises the role.
Speaking of voice acting, they did a really good job here. Pretty much everyone sounds like who they’re supposed to. Storm is probably the weakest link, as she sounds a bit too Buffy like, but all in all, I was impressed with how everyone fared.
I’m not too crazy about the art style. I like that the characters do strongly resemble their comic counterparts (drawing heavily from the way they appeared during Grant Morrison’s run), but there are points where they just look weird. Logan’s eyes are a prime example of this as they just seem to be black beads. Xavier has the basic look down, but his face just looked odd. It’s probably something I’ll get used to as the series progresses, but as of now, I’m a little on the fence about it.
The writing is much, much better than what we saw in the other two series. Even though this episode was basically setup for the general story, it was far more character driven and the drama that the writers were striving for actually works rather well. I don’t want to oversell it, since we are only one episode in, but this looks to be the strongest of the series on that particular front.
As for where this fits into general continuity, I don’t think it does. Logan has a line early on, saying that he was supposed to catch a flight to Madripoor, but that could just be coincidence. Honestly, even if that was intended to be a continuity nod, I think it would just make things more confusing. Until I’m definitively shown otherwise, I’m going to operate on the assumption that this series is its own thing and has no connection to the two series I watched before.
The series premise is fairly simple, as the X-Men travel to Japan to find a missing mutant girl. Things are made interesting when Xavier reveals that something seems to be blocking his attempts to scan the area with Cerebro.
The first half of the episode recounts the climax to the Dark Phoenix saga, showing Jean sacrificing herself and showing the team splitting up to deal with the grief on their own. The rest of the episode just shows the team getting back together to investigate said mystery, with Cyclops being the most stubborn of the group. It was necessary setup to get the ball rolling, but setup is still setup.
This series is off to a surprisingly strong start and I am eager to see how the series plays out from here. It wasn’t perfect, but there was a lot that was done well here and it looks like they upped the ante in terms of both voice acting and writing. I have a feeling that this will turn out to be a good series.
Marvel and anime fans in the local Wichita area can catch X-Men on Friday nights at 10 pm Central on the G4 network.