C2E2: Wolverine Anime Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 21st, 2011 at 8:46 pm,

Wolverine Anime Review C2E2: Wolverine Anime Review

This weekend at the C2E2 convention in Chicago, Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Executive Vice President, Head of Television, showed off a boatload of footage from several upcoming Marvel animated shows. One of the things Loeb shared with attendees was the first full episode of Marvel Anime: Wolverine.

Marvel Anime has been in development for three years and consists of four different series: X-Men, Wolverine, Iron Man, and Blade. Iron Man was the first show on air, and has already completed a full season in Japan. Wolverine is the second show, and is nearing the end of its first season. Both shows will be getting their premieres on American television on G4 later this year.

Although I’m sure there are plenty of illegal downloads available on the Web, the screening of Marvel Anime: Wolverine was a nice treat for C2E2 attendees because it was the first time the show had been shown in the United States with subtitles. Read on for our review of the pilot episode.

Marvel Anime: Wolverine focuses on Logan’s younger days in Japan and his relationship with Mariko Yashida, the daughter of Japanese crime boss Lord Shingen. Those familiar with Wolverine’s comic book history will note that Logan’s relationship with Mariko is a critical part of the character’s backstory, and Marvel Anime: Wolverine touches on the same basic narrative from the comics.

Wolverine Anime 02 C2E2: Wolverine Anime Review

In the opening scene of the pilot episode, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) operatives kidnap Mariko while she is with Logan in New York City. The scene offers the first glimpse of the action in the show, and it doesn’t disappoint (if you’re a fan of anime). Logan doesn’t get to whip out the claws until later in the episode, but when he does it’s definitely satisfying.

Sometime after Mariko is kidnapped, Logan saves a Japanese detective named Tesshin Asano. Asano came to New York City to tell Wolverine about Mariko. As in the comics, her father is forcing her to marry against her will. In this show, Mariko is being forced to marry Hideki Kurohagi, the head of AIM.

Asano convinces Logan to return to Japan to help aid in his investigation against Shingen. Once back in Tokyo, Logan sneaks into Shingen’s compound, but is caught and challenged to a one-on-one fight with the aging crime boss, who is also an expert swordsman. This fight is one of the best parts of the episode, and really demonstrates how Marvel Anime will be different than any of the other Marvel animated series in TV. It’s violent, it’s fast, and it’s definitely anime.

Speaking of which, I should preface the rest of my review by saying that, if you’re not a fan of anime, you probably won’t enjoy Marvel Anime. That might seem obvious, but it’s worth saying. Personally, I’m not a huge anime guy. I like some of it, and certainly respect it as a genre, but it’s just not my thing.

That being said, I thought Marvel Anime: Wolverine was well done, particularly the action sequences. It’s certainly odd seeing Wolverine in anime style, but I have a feeling that there’s a huge segment of fans who will be really into the artwork on the show. You can tell that Marvel gave Madhouse (the Japanese animation studio behind Marvel Anime) free rein to reinvent the character – and they ran with it. You should be fairly warned: the Wolverine anime probably takes the biggest liberties with the design of the title character. If you can’t tell from the images, this is NOT the Wolverine you know.

Wolverine 01 C2E2: Wolverine Anime Review

So, will American audiences connect with the show? I’m not sure. With its fanboy demographic, G4 is definitely the right channel for the anime Wolverine. Still, the genre is definitely for a niche audience. Here’s a test: Go and watch the trailer for the Marvel Anime: X-Men series. If you like the look and feel of that, you’ll probably enjoy Marvel Anime: Wolverine.

This probably won’t be something I’ll tune into regularly when it comes to TV this summer, but I definitely give Marvel credit for thinking outside of the box when it comes to its properties. Will you be watching Marvel Anime?

Check back for updates on when, specifically, G4 will beginning the Marvel Anime series this summer.

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  1. Nope. Not watching it. I can’t STAND Anime. PERIOD. That’s all I will say.

  2. I don’t go looking for anime, but I like it from what I have seen in TV and film. Considering the current two most popular anime, i.e. Naruto and Bleach, the animation style in these Marvel Anime seems like a more intense form of the style and direction imployed in Bleach. It would have been been better if they had taken the more subdued art style of Naruto.

    But the question is why did they decide on this endeavor anyway. This is an American character, not a Japanese character. This redesign only causes a loss of the character’s identity and identification. I follow Naruto, and have never once thought that it should have been made in America. These reworked Marvel stories should have kept their original art styles and been infused with a little bit of Japanese culture in order to make them more personable to the targeted demographic.

    Imagine: Person A goes to Person B and says I like Wolverine and hands the oblivous Person B a Anime styled picture of Wolverine. Person B would say: that’s not Wolverine and why did a Japanese animater steal the Wolverine concept by sticking knives between his fingers.

    I am also not sure I will be watching this. Not because it anime, but because the latest image of Wolverine that I have stuck in my mind is the little idiot from Super Hero Squad. I don’t need anymore variations.

      • The Creators of Avatar the last airbender are not asian. Also for those of you out there who are concerned about the change in wolverines look please go read a comic. There are constant variations in the way he has been drawn over the years and im not just talking about his clothing im talking jaw structure, head shape, sideburn length, etc. And this anime version is very similar to wolverine from the wolverine origins annual in which he returns to Japan. If it has sideburns and six adamantium claws its probably wolverine.

  3. Wasn’t this series of the marvel anime the most anime-y? I heard the others (ironman, xmen, Blade) were a bit dialed down on the anime style.

  4. Wow, a svelte smooth moving pretty-boy ninja-type Wolverine. WHAT???

    A Wolverine is small, stout, hairy, ugly animal, with claws and the demeanor of a polar bear chewing a bee hive.

    So this Wolverine should more appropriately be called Weasel or maybe Ferret or how about Mink. LOL

  5. Yeah there were so many ways they could have gone with Wolvereen in the anime style and this was one of the least desirable ones. I personally watch a lot of Anime but even I can’t sanction this version.

  6. Uh the last two pictures are from the early beta forms of the series.

  7. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are not from the anime in its current form. its from test footage from 2009. Which is very strange that this is a new review of a first episode of something that has been out for a while (currently on episode 10 of 12) and features old screencaps.

    Either way, the anime is a lot better than i anticipated, considerin i, like others, wasnt impressed with the earlier test footage. Overall, not a bad adaptation. Warren Ellis’ enlisted help does Marvel and Madhouse favors.

    I’m looking more forward to the X-Men adaptation, which will feature more conventional looks for the characters.

    • The first pic is still the current Wolverine, and I’ve gone in and replaced the 2nd & 3rd pics. We’ll let the readers judge the character design for themselves. :-)

    • Thanks Kofi for making the changes. Jeph Loeb made a point to mention Warren Ellis’ inspiration on the series. For me, the look of the character isn’t really that big of an issue, because it fits the genre. I’m just not as into the style of story-telling.

  8. I watched the subbed anime, its CRAP.



  9. Looking forward to seeing more, and its always cool to see a different take on something

  10. I don’t know. It just doesn’t look like Wolverine to me. I like anime, so I might give this a shot.

  11. Don’t like the look of it at all and not because it’s anime, then there is Thor: Tales of Asgard, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and The Super Hero Squad Show. Why is it DC seam to be able to put out a steady flow of good quality animated movies while marvel give us this. I liked Hulk Vs and Planet Hulk and there is so many more good characters that they could use, DC nearly always use batman and superman but at least there putting out new movies RANT OVER!!!!

  12. In fairness I thought once I’d watched a few episodes it was pretty cool. Wolverine dosen’t look the same but then there’s some marvel comics artists I thought got the look a lot worse before. As for the Japanese taking a western character and changing it to suit their culture, 2 thoughts; firstly, isn’t wolverine highly affiliated with eastern culture anyway? He spent a great deal of time in Japan in the comics, had 2 japanese wives I believe, and in fact he was at one point a samurai. Secondly, screw you America, we all know you’re going to ruin the live action Akira, not to mention already messing up ‘remakes’ of good world cinema because the demographics are too thick to read subtitles. You can see how it feels for a change :P

  13. Am I lazy to want this dubbed lol

    • yes.

  14. not liking wolverine drawn and acting like a hipster

  15. The changes are welcome in my book. Just another of countless takes on the character. Like Batman Gotham Knight, an awesome and fitting anime adaptation of a bad ass American character who is more than at home in Japanese anime. Great show, check it out.