Posted by psgels on 27 March 2011 with categories: Wolverine




Let me start this review with a message to everyone who didn’t give Wolverine a chance because of Iron Man: it’s really not bad!

Wolverine and Iron Man are completely different series. They were written by different people, directed with different people and have completely different purposes. Iron Man was just crap in nearly every single way. Wolverine however was a simple but very effective action series that knew exactly what it was and what it wanted to be.

It’s a series that doesn’t have the biggest budget, but still manages to create consistently good action throughout its airtime. Nearly every episode delivers plenty of action to keep you busy, while avoiding the Dragonball Z syndrome of dragging out by changing set-ups and locations often enough to keep things dynamic. This certainly is no show that shows people just standing at the same place and talking to each other. Wolverine is a very simple character: don’t think; just do. This allows the series to be constantly moving, preventing it from getting stale.

In comparison to Iron Man, Wolverine actually has a continuous story instead of an incoherent mess that will turn off just about everyone. It’s a simple one: it basically revolves around saving a damsel in distress and all, but the creators throw in just enough extra spices to make it interesting and keep the action going. Some of the characters have a bigger story than others, but together they actually make a pretty enjoyable cast that is hot blooded, but perfect for a simple action series.

That simplicity is obviously also the biggest flaw of this series, because you really don’t want to watch this series for its depth. Wolverine is action and more action, and it only has its story and characters in order to support this action, and not the other way around. And don’t worry, it’s not like it has a cast of idiots like with Iron Man, but everyone remains pretty simple and doesn’t break many barriers. The characters in Wolverine are likable because they’re cool and charismatic, not because they’re particularly easy to identify with or anything. Like I said, the main plot of the show revolves around a damsel in distress.

Madhouse has a unique visual style, but lately I’ve noticed that they have trouble with making their characters act. The acting in Wolverine is quite stiff at times, which has a lot to do with the animators being unable to create dynamic facial expressions for the characters. The screenplay is excellent, though: it does exactly what a simple action series needs to do.

There is only one point where Wolverine was really better than any other series this season: its soundtrack and the use of it. Bold, versatile and excellent at making the action even better.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Lots of action, and does this well, knowing how to balance it out with its plot.
Characters: 8/10 – Simple, but effective and likable.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Awesome soundtrack. Animation has a lot of weaknesses, but still remains pretty solid for an action series.
Setting: 8/10 – The backstory actually does what it needs to do to make this series interesting for a full 12 episodes.

Suggestions:
Ultraviolet: Code 044
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
High School of the Dead

8 Responses

  1. Oersted says:

    Oh, I was already considering to give it another shot by your favorable comments through the season (specially to hear that soundtrack on action).

    It’s not exactly my usual cup of tea, but hey, some brainless entertainment is nice as well. As long as the show does this without looking just silly and assuming the viewer is so too, I mean.

  2. Tomtom says:

    I also enjoyed this show for what it was. Seems we’ll have to keep waiting for a ‘real’ anime homage to one of the coolest and most iconic Marvel action heroes of all time, though.

  3. Isotopesam says:

    Your review is spot-on. However, I wouldn’t score it that high – 70-80% range. The lack story depth drove me again from this anime series.

  4. EINSOF says:

    I loved this adaption, very well done. Wolverine’s original back-story involved alot about japan so i figured they’d do it well. with the X-men anime coming, I’m wondering if they’ll show “Lady Deathstrike” which is Yuriko. the girl he battled to save. i get excited thinking about it. nice review.

  5. EINSOF says:

    Ah sry, this is Mariko. so ive got the “riko” part mixed up. looks like Wolverines had a longer history with japan then i knew of. better read up more on it.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Einsof — Logan has a long history with Japan in the comic books. Indeed, it was his near wedding to Mariko in X-Men that introduced me to Japanese honorifics like “-san” and “-sama” (though I had no clue what they meant back then). I never owned the early-80’s Wolverine series this anime was initially based off of before branching off on its own path but if you read that series plus some of the X-Men she’s in (#118 is where Wolverine meets Mariko and she’s in a few issues after that before issue #172 where Logan and Mariko are to be married and that storyline goes for a few issues), you’ll get a much different and more interesting story IMO.

  7. Jason says:

    watch the series online holy shit its awesome and the ending is true to gritty wolverine stories

  8. Turo says:

    I have to disagree about the soundtrack… During action scenes they just played the same simple and boring heavy guitar riffs all over again.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.

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