Iron Man anime 02 review and thoughts

Man, it’s…pretty…cool!

Personal antagonistic feelings against the Hollywood Machine and Madhouse’s lack of interest of doing a second season of Claymore, I was not really impressed with Iron Man anime episode one. A lot of writers, including Todd Ciolek from ANN, felt much the same way. It was rather ordinary, predictable and pardon me for saying it, quite fucking boring. It was cliche laden with a forgetable soundtrack and frankly, forgetable characters, including Tony Stark as an anime character.

It’s odd, but episode two gave me a completely different impression.

What doesn’t change for me is the soundtrack. It’s still quite forgetable. No one sings the OP or the ED, it’s just musical scores. The show settles in the “plot of the week” pattern with the “quest of the week” act by the heroine, whose design turnes from yeeeew into butt ugly. However, for some strange unknown reason, the pacing of the show felt right. The actions taken by the anime version Tony Stark click with me and his heroics, though predictable and simple, in conjunction with the no-brainer plot (of course the ship would attacked and of course the plutonium would be missing), actually works for me. There’s a sense of going back to the basics of a classic superhero adventure, with easy to identify villians (something that nearly never happen in the anime that I like to watch) and a simple to follow story (when was the last time I watched an anime with a simple to follow story).

It works, it just works. The car chase, the superhero battling it out with the monster/enemy of the week, the uncomplicated dialogue, the hero saves the day and clearing up his name…somehow, it all works. Sure, we know the plot is really nothing impressive and everything looks like standard run-of-the-mill Japanified American cartoon (remember Transformers were drawn by the Japanese) and we see the Japanese-style influenced western design, but everything is solid, if not spectacular.

Maybe I’m just looking for something simple, old fashioned and easy to digest. After all, my life in the 00’s has been way too fucking complex and the world seems to turn upside down every three months.

It’s nice to be able to sit down, relax, and watching a clean, un-moe, tsundere & high school drama free show that you know the hero will save the day and the heroine will continue to pursue the hero. The anime version of Tony Stark is almost a little too old fashioned for me.

Too bad Nanami’s design is still fugly. She makes Tony Stark looking like a bishonen. And I’d have to say that he looks just right, with the right amount of manliness and sophistication.

And to think I was going to not even bother with the show based on my personal prejudice! What a turn around! I’m actually hoping for more of the same in episode 3.

6 thoughts on “Iron Man anime 02 review and thoughts”

  1. >”She makes Tony Stark looking like a bishonen.”

    Best line ever, and completely accurate! I don’t know what happened to her character design, but it completely threw me off. And it’s not because they can’t draw women properly either, as both Pepper and the cool scientist lady in episode #1 looked fine. I’m so glad Tony Stark blew her off in the car when she started acting like a stereotypical reporter. But aside from this disappointing female lead, I’m enjoying the anime a lot.

    1. @f0calizer – It’s really not bad. To a critic and an anime veteran like me, it’s not great, but if things keep going like in episode 2, I may even give it a hearty recommendation.

  2. The anime looks quite action driven.. and it is trying to introduce the Japanese – an American hero. I remember Maruyama had comments about it at his Otakon talk. Is it going to impress Japanese, probably not, but Madhouse is trying to go for globalization unity..

  3. You know, after watching episode 2 myself…I have to agree. It was a big improvement over episode 1. The pacing was much smoother and the action sequences were quite well-directed. The dialogue is still wooden and the characters flat, but it felt much more…watchable.

    I could have sworn I’ve seen the kind of character design on Nanami on some other anime before—those super-circular eyes—though one thing that is weird is the really pronounced shadows on all the characters. Can’t quite think of the title right now though that it resembles—Rideback, maybe?

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