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DVD Review: Marvel Anime: X-Men


An anime version of X-Men?! Seriously! How awesome of an idea is that! Why'd it take them so long! And yeah, this is true anime, complete with Japanese dialog and taking place primarily in Northern Japan. Guess it's a good thing that all the X-Men know how to speak fluent Japanese. Yes, there's also an English dialog track on the DVD, but I haven't listed to that yet. The Japanese voice acting felt very natural so I never had a desire to switch over and see what the English dialog sounded like.

The series lasts a total of 12 episodes and is a story arc that completes in the last episode, so thankfully no cliffhanger ending here (although there is a scene after the final end credits which leaves the series open for a sequel). The story feels like it starts up after the end of the second live-action X-Men movie, when Jean Gray is dead and Scott/Cyclops is in mourning. At any rate, there are some strange things going on in Northern Japan regarding mutants and disappearing children, and the weird thing is that Professor X isn't able to detect any mutants at all in that area. So the X-Men head out to investigate. I don't want to give too much away so I'll conclude the story summary there.

The primary X-Men in this series are Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, and Beast. Then two other mutants, Emma Frost and newcomer Armor (Hisako Ichiki). Armor is new, but I would have like to seen some of the other lesser known X-Men instead of the same major characters we always see. And I must point out that both Storm and Frost are drawn with huge breasts, which I know can be typical for anime and I have nothing against large breasts, but honestly in a show like this is can be a bit distracting, especially Frost whose outfit showed pretty much all her cleavage. At least Storm had a bit more clothes on than I'm used to seeing and had her chest completely covered.

There was some good action this series, though at times it seemed a little uneven in regards to exposition. A little more action per episode would have been nice. And the action was much more intense than what'd you see on kid's cartoons, but was still more like PG-13 as there was no blood or gore. For instance, in one scene where Wolverine goes into berserker mode, he stabs a guy with both claws, and we see his claws going toward the screen as if we were the bad guy but don't see them actually entering the body. Then Wolverine tosses the guy off to the side and he lands directly off screen, and starts absolutely pummeling the guy with his claws, but again we don't get to see the claws entering the body as it happens just off screen.

There are a few extra features here. Disc 1 contains "The Marvel Anime Universe, Re-Examining the X-Men" (about 9 minutes of English-speaking people who worked on the project talking about it and X-Men in general) and "X-Men, A Team of Outsiders" (10 minutes of the same people talking about the characters and their dynamic together), and Disc 2 contains "Special Talk Session, Marvel Anime's X-Men and Blade", which is a half hour of some of the Japanese team talking about making the anime. All are good extras, providing additional insight.

The animation was great, it had a good story with some nice action and the entire series is contained in this single, two-disc set, so yeah, I'd recommend checking this one out.

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