Wolverine User Reviews

Wolverine is an anime series in the X-Men franchise
Write a Review 2 user reviews Average score of 3.5 / 10 for Wolverine
Wolverine - Reviewed Reviewed by SamFury on July 3, 2011. SamFury has written 27 reviews. His/her last review was for Humanity Has Declined. 86 out of 86 users recommend his reviews. 3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.

Vitals

Wolverine
Television; 12 Episodes
Genre: Action, Martial-Arts
Produced: Madhouse, Marvel

Review

Off the heels of a mixed reception of Iron Man , Marvel and Madhouse are at it again for the second installment of the Marvel Anime project. The acclaimed Japanese studio of Trigun fame is looking to redeem itself with this outing  
 
Wolverine follows the trend of showcasing a character that has been pushed into Western fame recently, with the release of the X-Men movies. While the Wolverine spin off was a disjointed effort, it cemented him as a pop culture anti-hero. With the sting of Iron Man's wounds fresh on their minds, both studios have to deliver, to heat up the lukewarm responses. Do they learn from their past mistakes or just commit the same sins all over again? The answer is a little bit of both. 
 
Wolverine a.k.a. James Howlett is a man on a mission. His girlfriend Mariko Yashida has been kidnapped by her father and forced into a marriage that will broker the flourishing of two crime families. So he's going to go save her... in Japan. Wolverine favors a more linear and cohesive structure instead of Iron Man' s quasi serialized. It works in the respect that it focuses the plot and gives the overall tale some sort of direction. Helping with the overall pacing of the series, each episode feels full and unrushed. This doesn't solve the whole host of issues with the rest of the story.
 
While its commendable that Madhouse dug into Marvel's history to bring Mariko Yashida, Omega Red and the Principality of Madripoor into the fold, they are not fully realized. Take for instance the relationship of Wolverine and Mariko. They substantiate the entire romance in a single scene at the beginning of the series, trying to make us believe that the two shared some great love of epic proportions. This poor scripting deflates the entire narrative. Why the hell does Wolverine care so much about this woman, that for all we know, only shared one boat ride with him? Explanation: Best one night stand ever!
 
Similar holes such as this rear their ugly heads throughout. Its difficult to understand the motivations of the cast, who seem to be acting arbitrarily. This is a symptom of the flat characterization and poor writing. One liners interwoven between melodramatic dialogue does not build a solid foundation for character development.
 
Wolverine ’s greatest offense is the irreverence to its namesake's character. Its as if they pureed a Wikipedia of his life into the mold of the typical anime anti-hero. None of the extensive arms and martial arts training of Weapon X was taken into consideration, let alone his massive combat IQ. He just teeters between brute and mildly clever.
 
Production values also seem a bit lackluster for Madhouse. The character design is uninspired, most of the cast modeled after the feudal era in Japan. Logan himself has obscene sideburns and a hideous red biker jacket (which can heal just as fast as him from bullet holes and knife wounds). The action direction comes off as awkward. While there is blood, cutaways and odd camera angles are used to hide the fatal wounds. There are some great action scenes, such as a series of fights between Omega Red and Wolverine, but others stutter from the above choices.

Aurally, the voice acting and sound direction lack personality. Rikia Koyama, playing the eponymous hero, sounds awkward as he tried to recreate the iconic growl. He doesn't really get settled into the role till the end of the series where most of his dialogue is screaming out the names of the people he is trying to rescue from disaster. His lack of charisma really deters the show from being engaging. The soundtrack on the other hand is the pastiche of guitars and orchestral melodies that were commonplace in Iron Man , forgettable at best.
 
I can't believe I am saying this again but Madhouse and Marvel have disappointed me. If you’re just looking for some decent action then take a chance with Wolverine , just don't go in expecting the opera. It more akin to late night local access cable. With X-Men next up at bat, lets just hope both these companies don't strike out at the plate.
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