As if Wolverine and the X-Men didn’t mutate (bad pun) Logan’s image enough, now they had to throw it overboard.
Wolverine is Marvel’s second attempt at trying to milk the fans with a lifeless action flick that ends up being nothing other than an insult to the homonymous character. It further proves how they should spend their precious funds on making something new and exciting instead of throwing a name in the title and expecting people to buy it no matter how bad it is. And it is very bad.
First of all, the lead character doesn’t look bestial enough, and I don’t mean the sexual deviance. In the west, he is portrayed as rather grumpy, unshaved, and rude character while in the anime he is this young bishonen with a taste for fashion. Meaning, he looks far less GAR. And as if that isn’t enough, nothing of his past is shown in the show. You know, all those events in the recent live action films and how he is old enough to be your grandfather. It’s as if he is a completely different character who shares the same claw weapon, but is otherwise gayer and has no backdrop story.
In fact, the only flashback we have about him, is fighting with Omega Red. Yes, there is Omega Red in this series and he is presented as a useless grunt, a minor sub-boss just to stall time and attempt to make the fans feel like this is really Wolverine. Yeah, right…
Anyways, the story is about Logan’s woman being kidnapped by some yakuza organization, and so he heads to beat the crap out of them and save her… Did I just describe the average story of an 80’s beat ’em up videogame? Maybe there is more to it? Like a mystery, or a plot twist, or generally something more than just this pitiful excuse of a scenario… Nope, it’s just that. Was someone actually paid for the script or did they just play Double Dragon with one player before sitting down to write the whole plot in 10 seconds?
So what exactly is Logan doing for 12 episodes if the story is two lines long? Well, look at that, he is fighting random goons and is constantly saved by a chick. Yes, that’s right, the mighty Wolverine in need of a woman to save him all the time. And she is not even a powerful mutant either; she is a mediocre fighter who throws chakram every time the plot requires for Logan to end a battle that lasts too long. Other than that, she is nothing but fan service.
Storytelling is dreadful. Every scene is dragged to last as much as possible and the outcome of a battle or a dialogue is completely random. I mean, Logan had a hard time beating Omega Red for 3 whole episodes and finally did it only because that chick remembered she had a throwing weapon. But the second time Omega returns brand new to fight him again, he gives out this oath of vengeance that makes you think he is now more powerful than ever and that the rematch will be even harder. Guess what; he got defeated in 3 seconds and without even the need for the chick to use her chakrams. I guess Logan gained 125 levels in a few hours and scored a critical. What a load of crap…
The second goon he faces is this samurai assassin, who sprouts swords out of his palm. Is he a mutant or Harry Potter to be able to do that? I think Wolverine takes place in the Darker Than Black universe, where superpowers are more loose in their logic. And why introduce this new guy with zero characterization when there is always Silver Samurai? Oh well, Omega Red had a face that made him look like a kabuki theatre actor, and his weapons were tentacles. Who needs Silver Samurai after that XD ?
Anyways, Logan fights this stunt samurai in, like, 4 different occasions and in the end he becomes his ally because another goon hits a girl. He had a code of honour you see, to always avenge those who hit little girls. I guess being paid to kill innocent family men has nothing to do with it. What a load of poop…
That said third goon is a generic robot statue which ejects javelins. And no, it wasn’t a Sentinel; just some generic robot guardian in some castle. It was hard enough to withstand any attack but then it opened its mouth and the rest is history. So much for super enhanced technology if they can’t even come up with a simple face guard.
And did I tell you about another yakuza organization aiding Logan in his attack on the enemy palace? It was not done so to take out a powerful competitor but because the leaders of the group want to avenge the death of one of their own. But of course; if it weren’t for that detail they wouldn’t have a reason to destroy their major opponent; would they now? What a something of something…
The facepalms don’t end here; no sir they don’t. Out of nowhere appears Cyclops as cameo to take Logan on a trip. He was used as nothing but foreshadow for the upcoming X-Men anime in the same fashion Logan himself was cameo in Iron Man. Do I see a pattern forming here? But whatever; he was completely useless to the plot; he conveniently appeared after the battle was over. And apparently we couldn’t have a nice team up with him and Logan fighting an empowered Omega Red or the robot guardian, despite the show’s constant attempts to slow down the pacing with dragged action as much as possible.
If there is an improvement over that dreadful series that is called Iron Man, was how the action is a lot more exciting. Iron Man would mostly throw energy beams from afar and block incoming attacks with his armour. Logan on the other hand fights with hand-to-hand attacks, which are far cooler. He also doesn’t have super hard armour surrounding his body and all arrays of bullets pierce him all the time, covering him in blood and bruises. He of course heals almost immediately but it is still cooler this way. Plus, he performs several acrobatics and uses basic martial arts in battle, when Iron Man would just fly in the air.
Other than that, the action is still lifeless, as the amount of time it takes for a simple attack to take place is dragged out to last three times the normal, with the characters standing frozen and looking at each other. Plus, the transition from one scene to another is usually off, as the combatants have different poses and positions in each one. Most grunts he faces are cannon fodder and the rest are beaten because some weak chick constantly throws metallic thingies at them which somehow are more effective than Wolverine’s super claws. And as for Logan, he can beat a hundred goons only because he is healing super fast but as soon as weakling throws a tiny poison dart from behind, he is out cold. Also, for no apparent reason he is able to defeat far more powerful opponents than him after a couple of attempts. I guess he grows stronger faster than the Saiyans. Hooray for tactics, it’s all random mumbo-jumbo!
The music score is of the exact same quality and volume with Iron Man, which means I DIDN’T LIKE IT! It doesn’t feel passionate enough to excite me and the dialogues are nothing of importance to the story, since it is so simple and linear that you could watch the whole thing in mute.
Bottom line, it was all one big failure that only manages to damage the image of Marvel and anime in general. Avoid at all costs.
Onwards to X-Men. Third time’s a charm.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 4/10
General Artwork 0/2 (looks lifeless)
Character Figures 1/2 (gay)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 0/2 (crude)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (lifeless)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 2/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 0/2 (dull)
Complexity 0/2 (none)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 2/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 0/2 (gay)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (messy)
Catharsis 0/2 (messy)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch it)
Memorability 1/4 (no reason to remember it)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks lifeless)
Sound 1/2 (sounds ok)
Story 0/3 (generic)
Characters 0/4 (robots)