The Iron Man Anime: Comic Book Silliness

Oct 28 2010

Iron Man anime screenshot

© Marvel, Madhouse

I’m two episodes into the recent Iron Man anime, and I’m having trouble.

The story builds slowly, so I’m reserving judgment there. My main problems with the show are two-fold:

There are only two major characters: Tony and the nervous female reporter Nanami. Pepper has only appeared once to my memory, and that was on a video phone call. That is one of the interesting elements of the show: Tony is cut off from his normal support network as he visits Japan, and the Japanese have their own opinions of his antics.

But the lack of characters mean that I have to enjoy Tony’s arrogance or Nanami’s worrying. They both make for interesting characters, but not as the sole focus for 30 or 60 minutes, especially when Tony’s still in relative control.

The action sequences are also, well, accurate to the comic book (what little I know of the comic book, that is). The battles are relatively short and brutal, as befits large, complex machines blasting away at each other.

Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of time with Tony and Nanami. And this show features typical modern Madhouse character animation: perfectly serviceable, but dull. This just just isn’t very interesting to look at most of the time.

I’m still watching it, but mostly because I want to see if the story develops in interesting directions. Considering that Warren Ellis provided the story, I have high hopes. And the characters are accurate; Tony is arrogant and smart, with a bias for action.

It’s just not very entertaining, at this point.

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