Monday, October 1, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Anime: Wolverine

Marvel Anime: Wolverine is the second show in the Marvel Anime project. It had 12 episodes total and was released in 2011.
Marvel Anime: Wolverine
Of all of the Marvel Anime projects, this is perhaps the one that makes the most sense. Wolverine has direction connections with Japan from the comics and this show builds directly upon those roots. Instead of reinventing Wolverine as Japanese the show keeps his Canadian origin and we first see him in New York. For the most part, Wolverine is largely unchanged. He has enhanced healing, metal claws, and heightened senses. Although his berzerker rages seem tamed down (he never gets uncontrollable) and his claws don't seem to be made of adamantium (at one point steel armor deflects them).

The writers take pains to connect Wolverine to established continuity. At one point, Cyclops briefly shows up flying the Blackbird. Omega Red is the lone recognizable big-name villain (along with the organization AIM). SHIELD also makes an appearance in the show. And Wolverine ends up in Madripore a time or two.

The overall story is pretty simple: Wolverine's long time love, Mariko, is being forced into an arranged marriage by her warrior father. Wolverine sets out to free her and gets into a lot of fights along the way.

The action itself is 100% typical anime. Characters leap into the air while lines of movement zip past in the background. Still shots are held while the camera pans over them. Characters react in slow motion. You get the picture. Wolverine's claws were used a bit awkwardly, I thought, when going up against a sword. Frequently Wolverine and his opponent will stand with their blades crossed and I would wonder why his opponent just doesn't push his blade down Wolverine's claws and directly into his hand.

The content is pretty bloody and violent and it is better off for it. The creators take great advantage of Wolverine's healing powers and then mangle him every chance they get. At one point his entire chest is split open. At another point he's nearly cut in half and his half sags away from his body with an arm hanging limply at his side. After this happens battle after battle, however, you get to get the idea that Wolverine may not be a very good fighter after all.

The dialogue is absolutely atrocious. Essentially, the writers relied upon one cliche after another. This eliminates any possibility of you taking the show seriously. There are some moments that seem like they should be genuinely emotional moments but I just couldn't bring myself to care when the dialogue is incredibly predicable.

If you can actually sit through the entire series the ending provides a great twist. Frankly, the ending is the best thing about the series and not just because it is over. The ending really came as a shock to me but ultimately fails to capitalize on the twist.

1LR REVIEW - 10 out of 20! It's a Miss!

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