Posted by psgels on 30 October 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This week, I would like to rant a bit. On the downright lazy job that Madhouse did on Iron Man. They’re usually known for their imaginative and well thought out series. They had the freedom to really go anywhere, and yet they chose this. There’s something wrong with just about every part of this series apart from the music. The soundtrack really is wasted on such a series.

Starting with the visuals. I know that it’s shallow, and I usually only dismiss character-designs when they’re too generic. But dammit, when your main character looks like a freaking GOAT, that’s where I draw the line here. Tony Stark, a suave businessman with a ton of experience, looks ridiculously stupid, and the rest of the cast also doesn’t look much better. It really looks like a cheap outsourced series where no real effort went into making this look good, where most of the action is simply CG because it’s easier to animate.

Not to mention that the action scenes themselves don’t make any sense. This episode took place in space. You know, an open world with nothing in the way. And yet this episode dared to pull off the fact that you can hide from the vision of your enemy. TWICE.

As for the plot, I usually don’t have anything against episodic series. Iron Man is a bad example, though: it’s just a string of random unrelated cases that Iron Man has to solve. Only one of them really dealt with Tony’s past, for the rest it was all filler: nothing showed anything new about the characters, nothing really fleshed them out, and nothing really built up to the rest of the series. If the stories themselves were good, then this could be forgiven, but… they’re crap.

This episode… what exactly where the bad guys thinking? They put in a huge amount of money and effort in order to launch a parasite satellite that somehow can manage to beam into people and have them cough up blue blood. Leaving aside how ridiculously impossible this is, what baffles me the most is what they want to achieve with this: people end up coughing blue blood, and yet when they’re brought to a hospital and rest for a while they turn out completely fine. I mean, if I were to design such a thing, I’d at least make some kind of beam that is… you know… deadly and stuff. On top of that, they didn’t even hit the guy they meant to hit, thanks to Stark’s radiation shield. I mean, there are the kinds of stupid villains who screw up during a shoplift, but wasting so much money on something completely pointless. That really takes the cake here.

We’re five episodes into the series now, and what do we really know? The reporter still is as annoying as ever, Tony likes to go after women and his assistant is perfect in her preparation. Oh, and that there are some guys after Tony’s life for some reason. There’s no depth, no effort at all is spent asking “why”: we’re just spoonfed everything without much of a coherence between anything. I mean, I can forgive a cheap budget, but you can write a good story with any kind of budget: there are no excuses for such a sloppy script.

And the worst thing is… that we haven’t even gotten started yet. Is it known at this point whether or not Wolverine, the X-Men and Blade will also have the same staff here? That would be pretty disastrous. And it’s not like series based on comic books are doomed to fail here, because there have been a number of good examples throughout the years: Ultraviolet, Batman and Witchblade put down very respectable anime that stood on their own, and even beyond that there are the Animatrix and Power Puff Girls, which also translated very well to anime. And yet, we first had Heroman, and now this. I’m not really sure what went wrong in 2010, but they all just feel so dumbed down and safe, taking so little risks. It’s a bloody shame.
Rating: — (Bad)

6 Responses

  1. mds says:

    err..I think you’ll post an entry about Index II or Zakuro or something for this week’s kaleidoscope …. – -

  2. Nayrael says:

    I agree: I don’t understand either what the authors are thinking here: it is like they are not trying at all.

  3. Morgoth says:

    Yeah, one can really only agree to that: This series is just… dumb. And by the bye: Madhouse did interpret the comics very freely, meaning they did it in a way that totally went against some core concepts of the comic series and didn’t make any sense.

  4. BananaHammock says:

    Hiding from something in space isn’t particularly hard to be honest. Aside from the obvious sense of vertigo one could receive, actually seeing something that’s not extremely large or hot requires it to be rather close; this is due to light photons having little to refract/reflect off of into your retina, causing quite a large portion of space to be simple darkness.

  5. Tsubaki says:

    Hmm…what i think is that the guys from Marvel held Madhouse back on this one. How much creative freedom did Madhouse actually have? Was it Marvel that had the most control over this project?

    I’m just wondering what really went wrong here. It’s too bad though, since i was looking forward to this series myself.

  6. Souther says:

    I’d call it profoundly mediocre rather than out right bad, but I guess this is one of those cases where you’re probably being too harsh. I’m approaching it with the same expectations as I’d approach any superhero comic book (if I were reading anything from that genre, which I’m not).

    @Tsubaki: We know that Warren Ellis wrote the story outline (for Iron Man and all the other projects) and Madhouse wrote the scripts themselves.

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  • hal
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 09:21 PM)
    I can also say, that there may be some romantic feelings by some of the companions of her later on, but honestly it’s more admiration and respect than actual love. And she also has no romantic feelings for the other characters (Though I assume there will be development with hak in the future)
  • hal
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 09:18 PM)
    @Vincent: As a manga reader of Yona I can definitely say, that the romance isn’t really the main point of the story. It’s a fantasy adventure story. With hints of romance, but up to where I read (ch48) there was no romantic development. At all. Yona grows into a strong independent woman throughout the story. She really is a well written character.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:58 PM)
    @ninjarealist I saw the reverse harem within the first 10 minutes. Tbh, the reverse harem isn’t my gripe. The characters are so boring. If you’re going to rip-off K-dramas, at least do it right.
  • Vincent
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:55 PM)
    @Bam you know it. I just cannot stand to watch Akatsuki when I have four dramas on my watch list.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:31 PM)
    @Vincent The first episode of Akatsuki no Yona was definitely the worst. The second was OK but the third episode was the best one by far. I’m still not sure what to think. If there are a lot more episodes as good as the third one then it could be a really good series. If there are a lot more episodes as mediocre as the first one, then it’s going to be a very mediocre series indeed.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:24 PM)
    As much as I liked Parasytes manga, I needed to read up to volume three before I really properly got into it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:23 PM)
    @Bam:That woman who showed up in this weeks episode ends up being one of the best characters in the series.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:22 PM)
    Parasyte 03: it was decent. This monster of the week might be getting a little stale, but I believe they are using it to set up the plot and open the story by introducing some pivotal characters. The body transformations remain pretty entertaining. This show plays a lot of its tropes straight, but at least does them in a competent way.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:18 PM)
    Cross Ange has pretty much ascended to the most anticipated show of the season.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 08:08 PM)
    @Vincent: like Jumong m8? ;-)

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