Iron Man Anime Episode 1 Review

We were at the panel that premiereed the Iron Man Anime, the colloration effort between Marvel and Madhouse. Having not seen the Iron Man movie nor having not read the comic, I have limited interest in the franchise. That said, I’ll begin with the plot and the review. Those who want to be surprised, don’t read the plot part. Also see Anime News Network’s review, written by Todd Ciolek.

The Plot:

Tony Stark of Stark Industries is building a energy generator in Japan and so he discussed the new project with the defense minister. He meets Tanaka Chika (Chika Tanaka) of Lab 23, the group that he contracted to do the work. As a hot shot millionaire, he hits on her right away. In any case, he’s asked about the possibility of being the Iron Man and defend justice in Japan. He reveals a new line of Iron Man suits called Iron Man Dio.

Being a showoff, he performs the test flight by himself rather than allowing the newly recruited pilots to do their thing. Something goes wrong in the middle of the demonstration and he has to return the Iron Man Dio suit to Lab 23. Meanwhile, he asks the pretty reporter Ota Nanami (Nanami Ota) to drive him home. Ota is a stumbling gal and their first encounter resulted in a slap in his face. This time, she blushes and is unable to get a real interview done.

Back at the Lab, the new Iron Man Dio suit malfunctions and it breaks out of the lab. Tony Stark once again dresses up as the hero and chases it down. Just when he has everything under control, he’s attacked by an Alien-look-like-suit (yes, that kind of Alien) from an organization called Scorpio, and though he is able to defeat the enemy, he’s warned by the enemy that it’s far from over.

My Impression:

Well, what can I say? I thought the first episode was plain by Madhouse standards. I’m not a comic guy and probably never will be. I don’t know if it would make a difference had I read the comic or watched the movie. As an anime fan, I can’t say I was super impressed with the personality of the characters or the pacing of the show. There was nothing wrong with the pacing itself but the first episode wasn’t as impressive as I wish it were. The animation was nice and the part of the different parts of the suit closing was impressive.

The music was rather medicore. I wish they used the Black Sabbath Music for it but I guess that wasn’t meant to be. The characters were one-dimensional and predictable. The anime cliches are added for humor value but it wasn’t funny. The audience certainly didn’t laugh much, if at all. We all cheered at the end of course but hype failure is hype failure. We were told to cheer for the camera even when we were waiting in line. What, press waiting in line? You bet! Being a press at Comicon is a joke. But of courrrrse! XD

So, the way I see it, not epic fail but definitely a hype fail. It doesn’t meet my expectations of what Madhouse can do and I doubt I will follow this one when it comes out. FYI, I dropped Heroman. It was a childish bore.

Bottomline: 6.5/10

2 thoughts on “Iron Man Anime Episode 1 Review”

  1. Having seen the movies, but not having read the comics, my interest in this is of medium level. The first Iron Man was my all time favorite superhero movie, while the second was severely lacking in comparison.
    My main concern for this show, however, is that Iron Man is extremely American, if you catch my meaning. I’m not sure how a Japanese studio will work the character. I’ve seen Heroman and I have to say, I’m not impressed.
    But I will keep an open mind. That’s all one can do.
    Thanks for the post!

    1. I’ll be fair – great animation with good details and awesome movement and all (I’m not an animation professional so I don’t know the terms). Having Itou Shizuka as the clumsy girl is very cute. The drawing is like Heroman – the style is Americanized, kind of like these 80’s cartoon.
      The plot and the beginning are medicore. Perhaps they’re considered good by American animation story standards but as an anime veteran, I immediate saw that the plot was predictable. Having cliched characters certainly don’t help much. Having said all that, things may very well get better when more episodes come out. I get the feeling, however, that with your average American superhero storyline binding, it will probably not be a great show for anime watchers.

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