Movies / Animé and Toons

X-Men Anime

By Hervé St-Louis
April 24, 2012 - 17:40

X-Men Anime is the second series from the Japanese experiment between Marvel and Japanese animation studio Madhouse released to DVD today. The series appeared in 2011 on G4. The twelve episodes tell the story of young Japanese mutant girl Armor who is recruited as a junior X-Men along with Emma Frost after having been rescued from the U-Men, a team of anti-mutant activists that perform experiments on mutants and harvest their body parts. There is black spot for mutants in Northern Japan that Professor Xavier’s Cerebro technology cannot access while the area is bursting with mutant activity. It’s up to the X-Men to figure out what’s happening. However, the team was recently shaken with the death of Jean Grey who had turned into Phoenix. Can the X-Men save the day?

This series borrows a lot from X-Men lore and reinterprets it for a Japanese and international audience. Don’t worry, the X-Men feel and look exactly the way one would expect them to. But the best part is seeing them animated with their powers by Japanese animators. Of all the series in the Marvel Anime experiment, I’d argue the X-Men offered the most creative possibilities to play with the designs and looks of the characters and experiment on how to interpret their powers. And the animators did a good job too. My one complaint is that the women’s breasts, like Storm and their buttocks, like Jean Grey are way too exaggerated. I know it sounds sexists, but Storm’s breasts were huge and sagging.  Jean Grey’s ass looked like it stepped out of a Yo Mama’s joke book. Emma Frost didn’t fare all that well either, but she had less cleavage on display. Wolverine looked different than in Iron Man Anime and his own series Wolverine Anime. I’d say I prefer the one in X-Men Anime better.

The plot was a hit and miss. The story is taken straight from X-Men lore. In this case, the Professor Yui Sasaki was a Japanese stand in for Moira MacTaggert. Her son, Takeo Sasaki was really the X-Men foe Legion. I found that there was too much downtime in the stories, especially when the team was back in the United States. Sure it helped built a team dynamic, but that could have occurred if they had been fighting their enemies too.


I guess my biggest problem was that a lot of potential good adventure time was wasted. We didn’t get to see enough fights with the villains and the pacing was just too slow, just like those decompressed comic books. It’s not something that works so well, even in the context of Anime. I would say as a viewer that I didn’t get enough bang for my buck. I wish more would have happened. Too much time was wasted on Cyclops feeling crappy after Jean Grey. Other great X-Men cartoon series of the past, like Wolverine and the X-Men of the classic X-Men cartoon series from the 1990s covered way more material in the same number of episodes. My other criticism is the small cast used in this series.


Although we saw them in cameos, I wish Angel, Rogue, Nightcrawler, and Colossus had been featured at least as guest members. For example, I could have seen one them participating in the training episode with Armor or flying to help Professor X in Japan as he was bringing a backup plane for his team.


  • The X-MEN ANIME features the voice of actor Scott Porter as Cyclops (The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, Caprica). The set includes:
  • Re-Examining The X-Men takes viewers behind-the-scenes of creating X-Men’s mutant tales.
  • X-Men: A Team of Outsiders provides an in-depth exploration of Marvel’s most heroic and infamous mutants.
  • Special Talk Session round table discussion with the creators of Marvel anime'sX-Men and Blade.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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