Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
"Forgive me doctor, but I find it somewhat implausible that a woman with your extensive background in mutant research could claim ignorance in this matter. Look at this girl. Maybe it's time you told us exactly what kind of research it is you are doing here."
Marvel's latest attempt at making an animated X-Men series comes as a part of Marvel Anime. The Marvel Anime consists of four series, which also include Iron Man, Wolverine, and Blade, all of these lasting for twelve episodes each. In the specific case of X-Men, the quality is top notch, easily beating out the excellent original X-Men series from the nineties, and the inferior series that came afterwards. This is because the producers of the new anime series respectfully treat the viewers like die hard fans. This means there is no time wasted on re-introducing characters, no revisiting old feuds, and no obnoxious kid characters that are intended for the younger audiences to identify with.
To be fair, there is one kid character, Armor, but she is tolerable, and provides a reason for the X-Men to be in Japan. The series is set one year after the death of Jean Grey, and just like in Wolverine and the X-Men, the team has disbanded. But this is where the similarities between the two series end. In this anime universe, Cyclops finally dealt with his grief, and resumes leadership of the X-Men, now consisting only of him, Wolverine, Storm, and Beast. Over the episodes, the team accepted Emma Frost and Armor, but not with some reaction from Cyclops. With Armor's involvement, the X-Men found themselves doing some investigation in Northern Japan.
This specific region has thrown the X-Men some mystery. There was the tangling with the U-Men, the blocking of Cerebro, Sasaki's reticence, the secondary mutations, and Emma Frost seeing Mastermind for a moment. One of the best moments of the episode, was Beast's interrogation of Sasaki. Unlike past animated portrayals of Beast, this anime version of him comes off as more assertive. And as it turned out, Beast is right in his approach. Something foul has gone on, and it is creating a disturbing effect. Genetic mutation is not just about getting powers. It is also about the interference of other people, and the terrifying results that come from this combination. This episode, looks at the ugliness of it all, throws in great character interactions, and a good deal of suspense and curiosity as to what is happening. The appearance of Mastermind is a reminder that Emma Frost's past is catching up to her, indicating that both the present struggle in Japan and the past involving the Inner Circle are going to cross paths.