Fresh off the heels of the success of the Iron Man franchise, Madhouse studios finally unveiled their take on the series by airing the first episode of the Iron Man anime series. The first of twelve episodes aired in the states this week and I wanted to let all of you, who might have missed it, to see if it is worth your time. Tony Stark of Stark Industries is building a energy generator in Japan and so he discussed the new project with the defense minister. But all is not easy for the billionaire, as his venture into the Eastern Pacific is not met with as much enthusiasm as he hoped. At the end of the episode, Stark’s suit brainwashes its pilot and escapes, not before atomizing two other test pilots. We’re also introduced to two new characters. I won’t go into too much detail but there is a lot of elements that were covered in the running time.
I won’t beat around the bush, The Iron Man anime’s first episode, “Enter Iron Man,” doesn’t break any new ground to produce any ‘wow’ moments that we were all hoping for. Madhouse went with a sharpy look that was reminiscent of Shigurui and they used a palette of bold colors and shiny lighting. Even I was a bit apprehensive at first, but after seeing the episode as a whole, I can say that the lighting and coloring of the show is just right to capture the tone of the series. I am anxious to see future episodes of the series and how this art style will be incorporated to heighten future fight and action scenes.
However, the down side is the same faults that plagued Iron Man 2; the fight scenes. Very anti-climatic and hoo-hum, the action in this episode was extremely minor. While on the subject of minor, the music in the episode is exactly the same throughout and I couldn’t help but think Madhouse got lazy in this aspect. To compare, I LOVED the first Iron Man movie but hated the second, and now I am a bit weary since I’m not sure how a Japanese studio will work the character. The first episode was enough to whet my appetite, but wasn’t bad enough for me to write it off altogether. All in all, I am still fairly excited to see where this series will go. Look for a complete series breakdown and full grade rating when the full series is wrapped up in early 2011.