Saturday, 2 October 2010

Iron Man - Episode 1

I have to be frank here - I don't really give a monkey about Iron Man as a franchise.  I've never bothered watching the movies, reading the comic or anything along those lines.  But what's that?  They're making an Iron Man anime?  Oh well, I guess I'll watch that.

One can only imagine where Tony Stark's other hand is...
Anyhow, although this show does assume some level of familiarity with the wider franchise it doesn't seem like too much of a barrier to entry from this opening episode, which sees Tony Stark arriving in Japan (surprise, surprise!  I guess America is still in ruins from the Skrugg?) to work on some new-fangled reactor that can create energy for free with no waste or emissions - truly the stuff of bullshit science dreams.

Along with this move to Japan comes the news that Stark is planning to retire as Iron Man, and to that end he's looking towards building a production model of his suit, codenamed "Dio" (so no showing off there then).  Stark is surprisingly open about these plans, not only to the Japanese defence minister, but also to the press, but as the episode progresses it looks as though any thoughts of retirement might have to be put on hold as Dio malfunctions (or, more likely, was sabotaged), in turn revealing that Tony Stark is going to have some formidable enemies to face soon enough, never mind the subject of public trust.

Apart from a big glob of action towards the end of the episode, this was actually a pretty slow start for Iron Man, which preferred to focus on reminding us what a womanising douchebag Tony Stark is, genius of business and engineering that he is.  Of course, Stark's character isn't unique to this anime, but it does make it difficult to care about a "superhero" who was more than deserving of at least one slap in this single episode alone.  Of course, there's plenty of room for the series to rise above this and bring us some intriguing and action-packed stories, so I'm certainly not casting judgement based upon this episode alone, but improvement will certainly be required from this run-of-the-mill outing which felt as mediocre as it was clumsily cut.

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