New Anime “Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers”…Taking it too far?

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The animation department hasn’t been Marvel’s strongest suit (DC animation for the win!), but that hasn’t stopped them from churning out cartoons. Marvel Anime made its official debut back in 2010 with Iron Man, and the latest offering is ‘Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers’. It might interest some, but for me it felt like something that shouldn’t have seen the light of day.

The fame of The Avengers can’t be denied, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ruling the box office. So, it makes sense for Marvel to milk the franchise for all it’s worth. Japanese Anime and merchandising is huge. Pokemon, Naruto, One Piece, are some of the numerous examples. The first ever Marvel Anime I saw was Iron Man, back in 2010. It was followed by Wolverine, X-Men (Immensely enjoyable, if you can get past the over sexualizaton of the female body), and then Blade. These series introduced the famous characters in the anime universe. The stories were familiar, and the personalities were almost spot-on. I’ve been anxiously waiting for another season of X-Men. So, when Marvel Disk Wars was announced, it piqued my interest. I thought it would be fun to watch The Avengers battle it out against Loki and other super villains. Having watched the first episode (aired in Japan on 2nd April), I couldn’t believe Marvel’s willingness to sell out their popular characters without any hint of dignity.

The official description of the series reads:

In an all-out battle instigated by Loki, most of Earth’s super heroes and villains have been trapped inside disks—a new technology originally developed as portable security devices for capturing and securing villains around the world.

The Avengers team up with a group of teens to reclaim the scattered disk, and using their special abilities and techniques (waza), thwart Loki’s evil schemes to save the Earth from ultimate destruction.”

If the word ‘disks’ and ‘special abilities and techniques’  tingles your Spidey-senses, then you aren’t alone. What started out as an exciting new Marvel series, soon turned into a huge confusing mess. I couldn’t understand if I was watching Digimon, or Pokemon, or Yu-Gi-Oh, or a combination of every ‘capture the monster’ anime there is.

The Avengers get trapped in these ‘DISKs’/Digital Identification Security Kits (don’t ask me why I would remember something like that after a single watching), and fall into the hands of five kids. Together they have to capture all the Poke’mon…Oh! Sorry. I meant together they have to reclaim all the DISKs from Loki and prevent the destruction of the world. The series seems to be aiming at almost every kind of fan. I saw Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Wasp, Doctor Strange, War Machine, Cyclops, and Beast in the first episode. It wouldn’t be surprising for more heroes to appear, if not in the anime, then surely in the merchandise.

It is obvious Marvel Anime created this series to sell merchandise to children, and probably some grown up Marvel fans, as well. So, if you see kids yelling ‘D-SMASH!’ and throwing around triangular disks, you now know what they are referring to.

I’m not saying the series doesn’t have some good things. As always, the fight sequences are cool, and the personalities of the characters are similar to their comic book counter-parts. Every hero got time to show off their powers. The human kids are interesting as well. They have their own personalities, and I got an idea about the personal journeys they’ll be making from the very first episode.

The Japanese version is already airing on TV Tokyo, and the series is expected to make its Western debut sometime later this year.

Are you ready to see The Avengers like you’ve never seen them before? Trapped in little Poke’balls…I mean, DISKs? Let us know in the comments!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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About the author

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

Comments

  1. This method has been done before with other fandoms. When Twilight was in its hayday, they created a manga series for the books. Supernatural got its own short-lived anime series (I think interest in that series quickly dwindled when Jensen and Jared only voiced one or two episodes before two others took over). It stinks of taking advantage of other mediums for the sake of promoting the property. Commercialism at its finest!

    1. I have nothing against Marvel creating animes…i greatly enjoyed the X-Men anime..the only one, instead of X-Men: The Animated series in which the powers were done justice…and as far as i’ve experienced, the fight sequences are way better in animes, faster, and more destructive…but i was not expecting Marvel to go the ‘Catch em all’ route…like, seriously, Marvel? Poke’Avengers? They even yell out the names of the attacks when they fight…i lol’d when Captain America yelled ‘Shield Throw’…yes, Captain i can see you throwing your shield, or when Thor yelled ‘Lightning Strike’

      A simple anime about the Avengers would’ve been great…but sigh!

      1. Honestly, it really is kind of a funny series (if you take it as a kid’s show), but it feels more like Monsuno than it does Pokémon. Sure, they name their attacks, but That is actually the Japanese traditional way to go. Every anime character names their attacks. Even their live action shows such as Super Sentai (aka “power rangers” in America) name their attacks. (It’s also a heck lot more fun for me, but seriously, Loki’s attack is called “Stick Beam” or something like that.) They also take the whole “treasure hunt” approach to things, but it doesn’t feel too far out of place here. My only complaint is that it takes way too long for it to get started. I mean, Iron Man wasn’t even “captured” until episode 3 and episode 4 is when they’re going to explain the whole Bio-link deal. I can understand leaving a little bit of mystery in a series, but even Digimon and Monsuno got the basics down along with all of their characters within the first one or two episodes.

        I love the fact that they’re finally treating Peter like an actual adult for once. And it seems like he’s going to be playing the mentoring “sage” figure here. (Assuming Nick Furry doesn’t get in the way.)

    2. I agree! The anime is aimed at boys between the ages of 6-12. So it is very much a kid’s show and as such it is shamelessly geared towards selling merchandise. The Pokemon comparison is very apt.

      The premise is a little out there, but if you have seen a fair share of anime you wouldn’t be too surprised (if you do watch anime, you probably know that, for example, the over-sexualized female form is very common and is not something that’s really frowned upon).

      I watched the first episode recently and the story seemed pretty nice. I mean it’s not like Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble have been that much different (both of which can get hard to watch if you don’t connect with your inner 10 year old). They were just geared towards Western sensibilities.

      The day Marvel stops making kids cartoons and takes some chances, we will not get a decent animated series. DC performs a little better, but not by much. Young Justice was awesome, but the latest direct-to-video animated movies were very disappointing. Keeping my fingers crossed CW’s Vixen changes all that.

  2. It honestly cracks me up. It’s like watching an abridged series except with full eps. It’s hilarious if you don’t take it seriously.

    But yes, the main teen even looks like Ash, with a backwards turned back cap.

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