- Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English, Japanese
- Subtitles: English
- Dubbed: English
- Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Release Date: April 24 2012
- Run Time: 285 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- ASIN: B007549XLG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,975 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Marvel Anime: X-Men - Complete Series
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The X-MEN are reunited following the death of a teammate and are summoned by Charles Xavier to Japan following the abduction of Hisako Ichiki. There, they confront the U-MEN, a lunatic cult that steals and transplants mutant organs to further strengthen their own army, and the battle for justice is on.
Wolverine, Cyclops, and a core group of Marvel Comics' venerable X-Men head to Japan to prevent a mutant uprising in Marvel Anime: X-Men, a stylish revamp of the long-running franchise that's strong on action, if less so on plotting. That's an unfortunate situation, especially given the brand's history of complex and mature storylines; here, the action hinges largely around the capture of Armor/Hisako Ichiki by the mutant-eugenics squad the U-Men as part of their plan to create a mutant super-army. From there, the story splinters into subplots involving the Inner Circle's Emma Frost and Mastermind, as well as the rise of a mysterious condition affecting mutants across Japan. The disparate elements never quite jell into a cohesive story arc, leaving much of the storytelling weight to rest on the numerous action sequences, which are plentiful and animated with kinetic power by the animation studio Madhouse, which partnered with Marvel for X-Men and three other franchise revamps (Iron Man, Blade, and Wolverine). X-Men is unfortunately the most lightweight of the quartet, suffering from weak characterizations, dull antagonists (the U-Men, while unpleasant, are second-string villains when compared to the operatic heights of Magneto, among others), and some unfortunate anime renderings, most notably on Storm, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost, who are built along decidedly titillating (and therefore sophomoric) lines. Sadly, the final episode suggests that the second season of X-Men would introduce some of its classic heels, but it remains unreleased at this time. The two-disc X-Men set includes both the original Japanese audio track (with subtitles) and the English-language dub, which features Scott Porter as Cyclops and a host of veteran voice-over talent, including Steven Blum, Travis Willingham, and Michael Sinterniklaas. The set is rounded out by a handful of making-of featurettes, all driven by interviews with the animation team. --Paul Gaita
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On the plus side, on a purely technical level the animation is superb. About as subtle as a tattoo of a flaming skull, but technically superb. Oh, and almost all of the chicks are drawn with giant racks, too. And when I say "giant", I really do mean giant. The kind that in the real world could only be achieved with truly industrial quantities of silicone.
Actually, aside from the fact that everyone keeps their clothes on, the style of animation here is very much in the mould of high-budget R-rated anime. I'm not just talking about the spandex-clad chests - there's also the splatter and the gore. Measured purely in terms of screen time, the amount of violence in this show is probably about the same as you'd find in any other superhero cartoon. However, the feel and the texture of that violence is very different from what many viewers will be used to. There's something positively gratuitous about the way it's drawn. Indeed, it could almost be described as erotic... If that's your thing.
And yet, despite all the violence and the chicks with the giant racks, the truth is that this has to be one of the most profoundly boring pieces of television I've ever seen. The problem is... Well, let me explain with a story.
I remember back when I was about seven years old and I thought Star Wars was the greatest movie ever made. I also thought that because the best parts of Star Wars were the space battles, wouldn't Star Wars be even better if it was just one long space battle?
Of course, I now know that it simply doesn't work that way. However technically impressive, however visually awe-inspiring, those climactic battles only mean something when we're emotionally invested in the characters. If we fundamentally just don't care about Luke Skywalker or the world he inhabits, we also won't care that much when - or indeed if - he blows up the Death Star. The special effects are reduced to being _just_ special effects. An impressive technical achievement to be sure, but nothing more than that.
Unfortunately, that's the way it is with this show.
In this series, in place of real character development all we get are emotional histrionics. In place of real storytelling, scenes of gratuitous violence are interspersed with lengthy and turgid exposition. And in those very rare, brief moments when things aren't gratuitously violent, histrionic, or even turgid, everyone suddenly becomes inanely bright and cheery for no apparent reason.
The honest truth is that at no point did I find myself caring about the characters in this story even the tiniest little bit. The animators could have drawn us an episode in which every single one was fed slowly into a meat-grinder and it'd barely have rated a yawn.
Frankly, I would just have found it as unutterably boring as every other episode in the series.
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