With the success of “The Avengers” this past weekend, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment doesn’t need help moving their “Iron Man Anime” DVD release. Anything featuring one of the main characters from the blockbuster hit will no doubt be flying off the shelves for the foreseeable future. There’s nothing like a good marketing team who knows the art of tie-in merchandise.
The two-disc set features a Tony Stark with a new goal in life. In order to make up for years of supplying the military with weapons of mass destruction, he turns his attentions to supplying the world with unlimited free energy. He travels to Japan in order to build a new nuclear reactor to power the project, but comes up against opposition by the country’s government and media. Stark must also use his Iron Man alter ego to fend off repeated attacks by a mysterious group called Zodiac.
The first thing that guarantees fanboys a quality animated product is the name attached to it. Warren Ellis guided and wrote the story for the series. He penned “Iron Man: Extremis,” which is highly regarded by comic book readers worldwide. Ellis is also a New York Times bestselling author.
The classic anime style for this series is provided by Madhouse. It’s visually striking and keeps your eyes glued to the screen with plenty of spectacular aerial battles, explosions, and frantic action to keep you busy. People into anime will love this. Iron Man enthusiasts will be excited to see their favorite character adapted to this ultra-violent world he’s been dropped into.
The only thing that stands out as odd with this release is the voice dubbing. The English voiceovers are mediocre at best. I flipped over to the Japanese audio track and it sounded more dramatic. Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) does a great job as Tony Stark, but overall the English audio still lacks the conviction of the Japanese.
There are a few special features in this two-disc set. Disc one has two featurettes including the 10-minute “The Marvel Anime Universe: Re-Imagining Iron Man” and the 5-minute “Voicing Tony Stark: Interview with Keiji Fujiwara.” The first one is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the animated project. It includes interviews with the crew who worked on the film. The second disc features two more featurettes entitled “21st Century Hero: The Technology Iron Man” and a Special Cross Talk round table discussion with the Iron Man and Wolverine anime series creators.
Clocking in at 287 minutes, there’s plenty of “Iron Man Anime” to keep fans busy for a while. Great battles are fought between Iron Man and his evil counterpart that will have you jumping up and down in excitement. This is a worthy edition to any Marvel movie collector. Unfortunately, it was only released in a DVD format and no Blu-ray is available for now.
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