Wolverine: The Anime – Episode 1 Review ‘Mariko’

I know what you’re thinking: How can a Wolverine anime be any good, especially with the character now having a link to the Disney empire? But truth be told I was pretty impressed by this show’s first episode and hoped to be equally impressed the following ones. Sure they went the route of having the male lead looking very tall and willowy with almost feminine features in the face, but the amount of kick assery that Logan perpetrates in this episode and his manly voice pretty much erase any misgivings I had about his appearance.

Speed Lines? Check.

I suppose if you’re looking for short and hairy Logan then you should stop reading the review and not watch the show. The rest of you can rest assured though, he’s still a bad ass character and in one scene even beats up some stealth Ninjas whilst drinking a Canandian beer. I know that’s something my colleague Supa Scoot can appreciate.

Now, to the story. It starts off with Wolverine and Mariko Shingen on a sweet yacht being all lovey-dovey with one another in trademark anime fashion. Then, in the perfect way to ruin such a scene, a group of scuba mercenary-types with jet packs erupt from the water to open up with a hail of gunfire on the two lovebirds. Logan uses his body to shield Mariko and then sends her away as his healing factor kicks in to the max. I was a little disappointed to see that they went the movie route of Logan being able to heal himself instantly before our eyes in a matter of seconds. I think his power just works better and makes him a little less invincible when in takes him some time to heal. But for such a fast paced show I eventually accepted that it was for the best.

The next time we see Logan he is meeting with his friend Asano, who I’m to assume is some sort of lawman, whether he be SHIELD or INTERPOL. (He mentions Metro PD) I wouldn’t so much call it a meeting either as Logan rescues Asano from a group of stealth AIM soldiers. AIM of course stands for Advanced Idea Mechanics and they are curiously absent of their trademark bee keeper uniforms. Now they wear what look like fencing outfits…. anyways, moving on. This is the scene where Wolverine unleashes whilst catching his other can of beer at the end of the fight.

The story revolves around Wolverine’s gal pal Mariko having disappeared in between the opening and Asano informing Logan that he has found her being held by her crime boss father Yashida Shingen to marry another crime boss named Hideki who is the man in charge of Madripoor. Madripoor, in case you didn’t know is located near Japan and is a sovereign city-state made up by various criminal organizations. Think Tortuga from Pirates of the Carribean or something. (FYI Madripoor isn’t real) The plan is for Shingen and Hideki to join their forces with Mariko as the glue between their alliance. (yeah that sounded weird.) Logan obviously can’t pass on a chance to rescue Mariko from the marriage and at the same time help Asano and his colleagues. To avoid any confusion, this is not Yuriko the future Lady Deathstrike nor is it Yukio the female ninja. Logan and his Japanese women…

It looks like this will be an ongoing story in the series, so not every review will be such a summary but I thought it best to get everyone up to speed. The episode itself was extremely enjoyable to me. As I said I liked Logan despite his anime man look. He dispatched quite a few guys in true Wolverine fashion and they sure didn’t skimp out on the blood. The fight that Logan has at the end with a certain someone was extremely hardcore and I assure you if you’re an action fan and a Wolverine fan you won’t be disappointed.

The music including the opening title is excellent for the subject matter, it was getting me pretty pumped as Logan popped the claws and unleashed some fury. I should also point out that the show is only in Japanese with English subtitles at the moment on Animax, (G4 has supposedly broadcast an English dub, but I don’t get G4) but honestly I think that will turn out to be for the best. The voices are perfect so far and I see an English dub completely ruining it. If I hear anything even close to “You and all your base are belong to us” I will lose my shit Wolverine style. I will try it out once the show is on DVD dubbed in English but for the most part I am enjoying the Japanese version with subtitles.

I’m giving the first episode a four out of five Snikts for exceeding my expectations with the subject matter and Wolverine’s overall presentation character wise. I expected the animation to be exceptional and it truly was. Join me soon for the episode 2 review!

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