Review: X-Men

X-Men

Mimi: Like many, I’ve loved X-Men ever since I was a kid. I wasn’t exactly a diehard fan of the comics, but I watched the cartoons and saw all the movies. When I heard that it was getting an anime adaptation, I admit that I was doubtful of it being just as good because of the horrible Iron Man anime. We all know how badly Tony Stark got screwed up. But to my pleasant surprise, X-Men exceeded my expectations with its stunning visuals, dark atmosphere, majestic soundtrack, and nostalgic-feeling characters.

The anime is adventurous, as the X-Men investigate these mysterious incidences happening in a specific region. Mutants are going missing, and Charles is unable to detect any of them. It’s pretty straightforward and predictable. I can’t say that the story is the best part of the series, but when was it ever? It’s all about the super powers, action, and the characters we love so much. The X-Men are well-portrayed, bursting with personality, and develop great along the way. I particularly loved the playful sarcasm between Cyclops and Wolverine.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t say the same about the villains… Let’s just say that Mastermind and the U-Men are nothing compared to Magneto in the other adaptations. If there’s ever going to be a new X-Men anime, it should definitely include him and more mutants.

Alex: Because we decided to do a joint review here, i’m gonna butt in and have my two cents.X-Men is sadly a bit of a letdown when you think about what it should have been.Like Mimi said, the X-Men themselves are brilliant characters, but the anime makes a fatal mistake: it adds a teenager. I didn’t read the comics, I only watched the movies, but they were good movies. But, it’s almost like all the awesome has been toned down.

Like I mentioned, the teenager distracts the focus from the X-Men wayyyy too much, and is a general annoyance to have on the screen. I don’t get how she was accepted into the X-Men so quickly, to be honest. Yet, the worst part.

The villains in this series are terrible. The U-Men had no clue what they were doing or where they were trying to go, and appeared just to hinder the X-Men. Mastermind’s inclusion felt really rushed and really…stupid. He can do anything with hundreds of mutants, so he kidnaps a boy and acts all evil? Yeah…X-Men really lost the plot after Episode 10, and just became stupid and boring, like the other Madhouse anime’s to date.

That’s not to say it isn’t good, though. The first 10 episodes are really good, with amazing animation, characters and some great action scenes. It just…goes a little downhill at the conclusion, which makes it a hard recommendation for me.

Mimi’s Score: 7.5 Meeps out of 10 (Good)

Alex’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)

X-Men Episode 12 [Final]

Destiny

Mimi: A bittersweet, moralistic ending, as you’d expect. It all comes down to Xavier entering Takeo’s mind, and Hisako reaching out to control him. Once Takeo is calm, he disappears into the light with a smile. The power of love and friendship conquers all! Despite being predictable and a little clichéd, this was a decent ending. It was neat to see other familiar mutants chipping in to save people. Even Iron Man made an appearance, though he probably only did so because his own anime sucked, and this was his chance to look cool. =P

Overall, I enjoyed X-Men. It turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. Maybe next time, they can throw in Magneto, kick the story up a notch, and include more mutants. Now that would be even more awesome.

X-Men Episode 11

Revenge

Mimi: This episode was alright. Great action as always, but fairly predictable. Mastermind traps Cyclops in an illusion, which looks just like the first episode when Jean went out of control—nothing special. Cyclops breaks free and is finally able to get over Jean, and Mastermind is done for because he simply can’t control Takeo’s powers. Fortunately, Xavier shows up just in time to help the X-Men. I can just see how this is going to end. At this point, I can’t say much more about the series than what I have already said. Just sit back and enjoy the action~

X-Men Episode 10

Truth

Mimi: Oh yeeeeah! This episode doesn’t waste any time to jump into the action, and the plot also gets a little more interesting here. The whole purpose of Yui’s research was to develop a suppressant that would hold back her son’s epic powers (Takeo), which required mutant organs. She collaborated with the U-Men; they gave her the organs, and she developed a machine that blocks mutant detection while giving them something to work around it in return. Mastermind was in charge of giving Takeo the suppressant, but he never actually did it, and he slowly destroyed Takeo’s mind. Now he is in a position to manipulate Takeo’s powers to take over the world. Muahahahaha.

The mutant that attacks Wolverine and Beast is a little more creative than usual. He has the ability to increase other’s sensitivity to sound, and one simple snap of the finger kills two of Yui’s researchers. And finally, Charles breaks free from that nightmare. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do once he joins the party. Heck, I’m really looking forward to the final battle and to see how the X-Men will pull themselves out of this one. Expecting awesomeness that’s on par with the first episode.

X-Men Episode 9

Mastermind

Mimi: Woot, everything’s finally coming down to the wire! Emma confirms that the mysterious scientist is really Mastermind; he has been projecting the image of a young Japanese man to disguise himself, and he simply wants the power that lies behind those closed doors. Oooooo! He is also the guy who projected the image of Emma behind Jean! GASP! Heh, the way it is revealed isn’t really surprising or exciting, but that’s to be expected considering that the plot and villains have never been that strong.

At the very least, the action is great again. Well, the character designs do look a little funky at times, but putting them aside… I like the scene where Mastermind targets Wolverine, projecting the other X-Men as enemies so that he would attack his own group. It takes a while to bring him back to his senses, but it’s nothing that Cyclops can’t handle while still holding back most of his power. =P I actually can’t wait to write a review for this series. For once, I know exactly what I’m going to say, and I don’t think my score will change. Maybe I’ll start on it early…if I don’t get addicted to Dexter the rest of the month.

X-Men Episode 8

Omen

Mimi: Two of Yui’s researchers go berserk because of the Damon Hall syndrome, and the X-Men pressure her to reveal her secrets about the purple medicine injections. We also get to see more of Xavier’s past with Yui, but I’m not exactly sure about what happened to him at the end… It appears as though he is getting sucked into another dimension, but somebody must be playing with his head.

This series has been pretty decent, but as I think about it, nothing has ever been as amazing or gripping as the first episode. In other words, I haven’t exactly been impressed after that; if anything, this is just enjoyable to watch because I’ve always liked X-Men. I’m hoping for somewhat of an exciting, action-packed finale, which is approaching much sooner than I realized.

X-Men Episode 7

Shock

Mimi: For the most part, this is a slow, talkative episode that throws in a few more clues. Yui talks a little bit about the Sasaki Institute, in which she helped to take care of and guide young mutants, but she seems to be up to something suspicious regarding her research that she’s hiding from the X-Men. Then later, Hisako notices that her ‘birth mark’ on her hand is hurting all of the sudden, Wolverine, Storm, and Beast leave to see if the Blackbird can be retrieved but get a surprise attack instead, and Emma gives Scott a long-needed therapy session.

The most interesting part, I found, was the brief discussion between Yui and Charles; apparently, they had a son who died. Charles didn’t have a clue, and now he’s preparing to travel to the scene in a spare Blackbird. At the end,Yui gets attacked by something out of nowhere and screams….quite weirdly. Heh, I thought that this episode was alright. Not exactly as exciting as the others, and I’m missing the Scott/Logan sarcasm, but the plot is certainly moving along. And am I the only weird person who loves the attention to detail in the character’s smallest/subtle movements? I liked that part when Emma talked about her ‘woman’s intution’ and Hisako blinked three times while slowly turning her head. Just felt kinda realistic, as she really appeared to be in thought.