In Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Marvel Animation’s X-Men Anime, recently released on DVD, the X-men must put their grief aside as they reunite to embark upon a mission that takes them to Japan to search for a missing girl.
Their travels reveal that far more is going on than a simple missing person case. Mutants have been disappearing all over the area, and this knowledge leads the X-Men to the not-so-imaginatively-named U-Men, a group of lunatics intent on creating its own army.
I can’t compare this series to the comics, since I think the only time I picked up an X-Men comic was to read about Jean Grey and Scott Summers’ wedding, but I feel like I know the characters pretty well through watching the movies and the Saturday morning cartoon that aired years and years ago. (That was when I realized how much I loved Mr. Sinister. His sense of fashion is unparalleled).
So, I’m not an expert by any means, but I’m also not an X-Men newbie. And I think the characterizations of Wolverine and Cyclops were great. Beast, too, I’d say. Wolverine (Logan) has a few great one-liners, and he’s sarcastic and has an attitude. This is in line with how I perceive the character. He’s always such a bad-ass. Cyclops (Scott), in comparison, is the serious one, the leader of the group. And as bland as a cupcake without frosting.
But I’m biased. I’ve never liked Cyclops. And at least for part of this series he’s like a depressed teenage boy, with hair falling over his eyes and tantrums and deep silences. In one scene, he stares up into a sky filled with stars, their light reflecting in his visor. He has a flashback accompanied by the sound of the ocean, drenched in romance and nostalgia. The ocean and music, along with the bluish tint of the scene reminded me of a scene between Yuna and Tidus in Final Fantasy X. Maybe that seems completely random, but it’s what flashed through my mind.
Overall, I liked this series, but I think if I had to choose between it and Iron Man, I’d choose the latter. Plus, I ended up watching it in English rather than in Japanese. I kept hearing the word “mutant” in Japanese but it wasn’t written in the subtitles. This annoyed me too much, and I wondered what else was being left out of the translation, so I had to switch.
In the English version, actor Scott Porter portrays Cyclops (The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, Caprica). Bonus features include:
· Re-Examining The X-Men takes viewers behind-the-scenes of creating X-Men’s mutant tales.
· X-Men: A Team of Outsiders provides an in-depth exploration of Marvel’s most heroic and infamous mutants.
· Special Talk Session round table discussion with the creators of Marvel anime’sX-Men and Blade.
If you’re an X-Men fan, you’ll probably like this series. Even a casual fan like myself can easily enjoy it, at least a little, but if you go into it without any knowledge of the characters, then you probably won’t get much out of it.