OK, we are into one of the last Marvel Anime series for me to review (Yeah, yeah, I know the Blade anime was the last one but I already reviewed that one first) and of course, this one is about the X-Men, one of Marvel’s first team of mutant superheroes created at the time of Civil Rights Movement and also touching upon reflecting social issues that are still present to this very day. The comic book series is created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby and the franchise lasted over 50 years and counting, spawning over countless animated TV series, videogames and of course, the popular film franchise that’s still going today with the (at the time of writing this review) upcoming movie Days of Future Past and Apocalypse in 2016.
Following the death of Jean Grey (who was being controlled by the Inner Circle), the X-Men are reassembled by Professor X to travel to Japan following the abduction of Armor and face the U-Men, who are abducting young mutants in order to harvest their organs. During their fight with the U-Men, the X-Men discover that some of the mutants in Japan are suffering from the “Damon Hall Syndrome”, which causes problems for mutants during their second mutation. The X-Men must also deal with the next plot of the Inner Circle.
Yeah, I got to be honest, I didn’t went in the show with the highest expectations considering most of the Marvel Anime shows are mainly below average or just dull but in here, there was a slight change of pace of what I thought in these shows. First off, this is a superhero team series as opposed to the earlier solo projects like Iron Man, Wolverine, & Blade. It gives much more focus to all of the characters without one single character dominating the whole series and it is refreshing to hear that. Story wise, it’s rather just the comeback of them after what happened to Jean Grey, which is pretty much the appetizer of the series although it felt like something that could’ve been animated beforehand but that whole incident was still addressed in later episodes, although I do expect the whole after effect on most—-well, some characters. I did expect that the whole Jean Grey death effecting on Cyclops plotline because…….well, it happened in the comics. Bottom line, the story is mainly paint-by-the-numbers and sort of the same thing I’m seeing with these anime adaptations.
And onto characters, you got the X-Men in the following of Wolverine, Cyclops, Beast, Storm, Professor X, and new recruit Armor alongside Emma Frost and like I’ve said, they were spread around for development but looking back at a little info from the comics, some character personalities aren’t the way they’re in the comics (although I can say as somebody who hasn’t read or is attached to them, I didn’t felt as bothered but I can sense something off with them).
Animation is quite gracefully detailed and colorful, plus it is a major improvement from Wolverine and Madhouse managed to animate some action in there and the character designs are very similar to mostly the ones in either the comics and some of the live-action movies. Musically, once again it’s so and so with their very cliché action music, from the opening to the ending and it’s not so surprising.
The dub………Oh, this is actually one of the better ones from the Marvel anime franchise. For one thing, I prefer Steve Blum as Wolverine than Milo Ventigimilia because the guy sounds more plausible as him anyway. Fred Tatasciore was actually good as Beast; I’m delighted to say that Stephanie Sheh fits her role as Armor but the roles I’m really not feeling as much are Cam Clarke as Professor X (I think he wasn’t trying to be Patrick Stewart but and maybe Scott Porter as Cyclops but I’m iffy on Danielle Nicolet as Storm.
FINAL VERDICT: Yeah, it helped that I lowered my expectations of this and while saying this is the most decent Marvel anime adaptation, that’s not saying much. It doesn’t suck but it isn’t exactly that worthy of high praise (it wasn’t in the first place). Would I say I would recommend it? Well, not exactly. Maybe something to watch only once and that’s it.
And for the last time, this Marvel Anime is rated…
PLANET TYRO RATING: Low VANILLA
MARVEL ANIME: X-MEN is available to own on DVD via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and streaming options are available on Crackle.
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the Marvel goodness in one format.
MARVEL ANIME: X-MEN – animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT