Having enjoyed the two live action “Iron Man” movies, thought it could be interesting to check out the new アイアンマン (Iron Man) series to see what combining an American action superhero with Japanese anime would be like.
Although presented as a Japanese anime, the cooperation of Madhouse and Sony with Marvel Studios results in a series that is very much a hybrid series, mixing anime characteristics with elements from its Western counterpart and the Iron Man character’s American comic book roots.
This mix is a new experience for me and is no doubt intentional, the creators most likely hoping to appeal to both Japanese anime viewers as well as those who are into cartoons or comic books, thus potentially reaching a broader audience.
The first two episodes showed quite polished animation from Madhouse Studios with good 3D CGI for Iron Man and the other suits which are surprisingly detailed in most scenes.
The CGI parts don’t stick out too much compared to the rest of the animation, although it remains noticeable when CGI is blended with normal animation. Gone are the j-pop like opening and ending songs so typical for most anime, here they make way for simple instrumental opening and closing tracks.
Must confess I am not very familiar with the Iron Man comic book lore, know the character primarily from the 2008 live action movie and its recent sequel which I quite enjoyed.
Looks like this new series builds on those recent movies, using the Iron Man suit and Tony Stark’s looks as well as the basic story and spinning its own tale from there.
Although it looks like the second Iron Man movie’s story isn’t taken into the anime time line, it is curious that the new ‘Dio’ suit sports the triangular chest piece as seen in the recent movie.
Do want to make an observation for you to compare the basic design of the original Iron Man suit helmet and the new Dio helmet. The design of the Dio suit is an obvious visual precursor the Dio suit will be a nemesis or ‘evil’ character, the helmet’s more slanted lines, the eyes placed closer together are typical traits for this.
While I did enjoy the action and the series so far seems to have solid production values, must say that the more Western influences do not make the series as appealing to me. Although Fujiwara Keiji does a good job voicing Tony Stark, the anime incarnation does miss that flair Robert Downey Jr brings to the role.
Don’t think I will keep watching with this particular series but do recommend it to fans of mecha or superhero action.