We all know who Iron Man is. We all know what he does in life. And we’re all wondering what’s the big story behind this anime adaptation.
The first half of the series follows a monster-of-the-week formula where in Iron Man will have to beat up every Zodiac mech. You expect 12 of them based on the astrology signs. But no, the only ones mentioned are Scorpio, Cancer, Tarsus (who, at my dismay, is supposed to be the leader, according to the comics), Virgo and Sagittarius. All the other mechs are nameless. The second half tells about Yinsen who came back from the dead and became Tony’s opponent. That’s the only good part of the story. Others are blah.
The problem of this show is that there is little or no connection to the movies or the comics. So, it’s a stand-alone story since they redo the origins of Iron Man. And that’s why most Marvel fans felt disappointed about it because the story, no matter how hard it tries to be complicated, is too simple. Plus, they are a lot of plot holes here too like for example: How did Tony knew about Logan? How the hell did Iron Man survive in space without the special coating (in that hacker episode)?
The ending itself is more of a downer. Why? There’s no closure at all. Yeah sure, the bad guy is defeated. But what happens now? Will Tony continue to retire, stay in Japan or do things God who knows what he will do?
Good side of it is that it has two amazing original characters: Nagato Sakurai and Dr. Chika Tanaka. I may be biased but Sakurai is one of the characters I liked the most here. But I blame the writers for dragging him too much already. I wish that he and Tony could be good friends despite the short span of time. Chika is also a good character. I have a gut feeling that she may end up as Tony’s love interest which she is already. But her revelation in the last episode is kind of lame.
Bad side is that Zodiac (despite one pretentious anime "critic" said that it’s an original anime organization) is not the Zodiac that I have read in the comics. This Zodiac is purely standard evil organization bent on world domination and has nameless mooks. So, the original characters of this organization never existed here except by name. Another disappointment is that it is very obvious that one character is a villain by standard just by looking at his design. So, no surprise.
Of course, everyone expects a crossover of Marvel characters in this show. But we only got Wolverine and that’s all. Pepper Potts shows up here too but only on computer. So, don’t expect Nick Fury, War Marchine or the Avengers or Iron Man’s archenemies to show up here. Oh, did Stan Lee show up here? No.
About Tony, well, a lot of people complain about Tony’s characterization here. I don’t have to judge that since Tony retains his womanizing and jerkass traits here. But honestly, Tony is not my favorite Marvel character despite that he’s played by Robert Downey Jr. and voiced by Keiji Fujiwara. As I said in the past posts, I’ll never forgive him for what he had done in the Civil War.[spoiler warning for those who don’t read the comics] He got what he deserved when S.H.I.E.L.D. shut down giving Norman Osborn a chance to rise for power.
CGI is overused and abused here. Srsly, on the suits. What happened to hand-drawn ones shown in the early trailer? The character designs were a bit off. The proportions most especially the noses are weird. And the design of the suits are too bulky.
I have nothing to say here except the music is cool. But there’s a lot of soundtrack dissonance here and some of the scenes don’t suit with the background music being played.
The voice acting is great. I applauded Keiji Fujiwara and the cast for the effort.
I had mixed feelings on the enjoyment. Some episodes were great but srsly, there are 3 episodes which I despised such as episode 3, that episode about that hacker, that episode about that psychic girl and the last episode. The episodes about Yinsen is great though but I felt bad that his character was dragged slightly. But srsly, there is an amount which is very ridiculous. So, I might be enjoying and pissed at it at the same time.
This show may vary on your mileage. Some people hate it. Some people love it. It disappoints most Marvel comic fans and it doesn’t bring much interest to those non-Marvel fans. I don’t consider this a great shows due to the flaws. I know a lot of anime bloggers detest this show. But I have to remind this. This show will be aired on the US next year. So, yes, you get that this has a Western feeling. I’m pretty sure that otakus who detest Western cartoons will not appreciate it. But when this show will aired on the US, we’ll find out if American viewers who were not otakus will either like this or hate this. Besides, I bet those kiddies who like watching Saturday morning cartoons will find this enjoyable.
I’m a bit disappointed how Madhouse produce here. I know that they did a great job on Death Note, Cardcaptor Sakura, Highschool of the Dead and Tatami Galaxy. But it seems that Iron Man be considered to be one of their worst shows. I think they didn’t properly managed this which is why the result is like this. Anyway, there’s still Wolverine, Blade and X-Men and also Supernatural. So, we still have to wait and see.
I don’t have a specific recommendation for this. But I’ll ask you to watch it on your own risk whether you’re a Marvel fan or not. Haters gonna hate, that’s for sure. Like I said, this will be shown in American TV and I bet American viewers most especially the kids who are fans of Iron Man will enjoy it.
Highs: Cool OST, great voice acting
Lows: Simple storyline, little connection to the Marvel universe, too much plot holes, characterization is dragged