27 May 2013

DVD Series Set Review: "Iron Man" (Anime)

Rated: TV-14 (US) / PG (Canadian Home Video Rating)
Starring: Adrian Pasgar, Eden Riegel, and Laura Bailey
Released: April 24, 2012 (DVD)
Synopsis: Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is planning on creating an Arc Reactor, which will give the world limitless energy.  Sounds good, right? Well, the nefarious Zodiac will stop at nothing to bring him to ruin! With robotic monsters and terrorists attacking both him and innocent Japanese civilians at every turn, will even a smart and powerful man like Tony Stark be able to claim victory?

Plot: 5/5
These thirteen episodes are some of the most engaging ones I've seen in a while.  Just before starting this review, I finished the series by watching the last four episodes one after another; seriously, it was that gripping.  The further you go into the series, the more insane it gets.  If you decide to watch this, you'd better clear your schedule!

Production Values: 4/5
Everything was good in this department, as well...except for one thing.  The animation was stellar; each action sequence, explosion, attack blast, and everything else looked amazing, even on a small iPad screen or my iMac's monitor.  The voice work--in the English dub, at least--was great, too.  The one problem was that the English dub didn't match up with the subtitles/captions on the DVD.  In many cases, the subtitles would have a character say something when, on the dub, he/she wasn't saying anything, or vice versa.  I think the producers of the American DVD need to get to work on syncing those better.

Moral Content:
  • Sex: Nothing worse than two or three kisses and a mild quip or two. 4.5/5
  • Nudity: High-rise dresses, occasional cleavage, and Stark is seen shirtless and naked in the fetal position a few times each.  An insert in the DVD case advertising another show has a woman with her midriff bare on it. 4/5
  • Language: Aside from the first two or three episodes, each one has at least three or four profanities, mostly d-words and h-words, but also both b-words and the a-word as well.  Milder terms, such as "crap" and "heck," are used a time or two. 2/5
  • Drugs: Alcohol is consumed, and people are seen smoking. 3.5/5
  • Violence: Lots of blasts, booms, fights, and such.  Robot enemies are sliced into pieces.  More serious are two scenes where characters get impaled, which causes their deaths.  A small amount of blood is seen in a few episodes, though there is absolutely no gore. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The intensity increases as you go into the series, hence the "TV-14" rating; parents of young children might want to screen this before showing it to their kids. 2.5/5
  • Other: Episodes involving tornadoes and terrorist attacks may hit a nerve in light of the recent events in Boston, Oklahoma, and elsewhere.
Conclusion: Prior to watching this series, I hadn't done anything with anime since I stopped watching Yu-Gi-Oh! during my junior year of high school.  You can imagine my surprise when Iron Man ended up being quite amazing.  Comic book superhero fans who didn't get to see this when it aired on G4 are in for a treat; just keep in mind the above content concerns.

Score: 4.5/5

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