Genre: Action/Adventure
Format: 12 Episodes
Allegiance: Madhouse/Marvel
Director: Yuzo Sato
Vintage: 2011
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
Tony Stark is the brilliant engineer, physicist, and owner of Stark Industries, a major arms manufacturing company. During a demonstration of his products, he is taken prisoner by terrorists who demand that he create weapons for their use, and in the process he is fatally injured. To save himself and escape, he creates the Iron Man suit. After his escape, Tony dedicates his life to pursuing World Peace using his suit. To aid this goal, he moves to Japan and begins construction on the world’s first Arc Reactor and sets up Lab 23 to monitor and research it, while simultaneously announcing the mass production of Iron Man suits so he can retire and focus on the research fully. However, as the announcement of the Iron Man Dio line is being made, a mysterious organization known as the Zodiac attacks and takes over Dio, forcing Tony Stark to don his old red-and-gold in order to stop them.

Field Agent Report by: Drake
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
8.25
8.00
8.50
9.25
7.50
Overall 8.00
(not an average)

Iron Man is the first in a series of anime from Studio Madhouse adapting characters from the Marvel Universe. When the announcement was made of an Iron Man anime, I was really skeptical. I was unsure of what to expect, especially since I am a fan of the Iron Man superhero. However, I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised by the overall product.

The story is pretty simple and straightforward, following a kill-a-Zodiac-every-episode formula, although it is noticeably disjointed in transitions between episodes. However, what makes this anime stick out among other anime is the amount of detail put into the backstory of Tony’s origins as Iron Man coming back to haunt him. It definitely makes up for the supporting cast, who for the most part are dull and two-dimensional. However, that’s not to say that all the other characters are like this; Yinsen and Sakurai are wonderful characters that really complement Tony’s character.

However, one of the biggest pluses of Iron Man is just how beautiful the animation is; it’s completely top-notch and simply gorgeous. Some critics feel that the CGI animation for the armor is poorly done, but I have no issues with the CGI animation, and it looks okay in my opinion. It isn’t the absolute best, but it’s definitely not terrible. The music also goes a long way in setting the mood. While it isn’t quite at the same level as the music in the American Iron Man films, it does the job well enough.

In the end, there are some definite areas that need work in future collaboration projects from Madhouse and Marvel. However, this is a good first collaboration from the two companies, and I hope that Wolverine will build on the foundation laid out so far. If it fails, I will be quite disappointed—particularly since Wolverine ranks higher on my list of favorite superheroes than Iron Man does.