You can’t deny that The Avengers is really, really popular, even in Japan. So, Disney decided to draw the kids’ attentions from the Kamen Rider & Super Sentai shows and show them a similar thing with Avengers……. and gimmicks! Yes gimmicks! The essential thing for money making TV shows. But is this new Avengers anime, geared for kids, is good?
There’s actually a lot to say about the first episode. First, the episode isn’t an action packed episode. The only bits of actions are in the beginning and it only lasted seconds. This is more of an introduction episode, where we were introduced to the characters that we knew and some new faces……. which is kids, the main protagonists of the series.
Yeah kids. You know, one thing that I hated about TV shows that involved anything other than children as protagonist, it’s having children as the main focus. Usually in Tokusatsu, my least favorite episode are the ones where children are the guest stars of the episode. Granted this is a kids show and them using kids as protagonist may be a way to help the kids relate more, but I don’t quite like it.
That being said, we get to look at our main protagonist, Akira Akatsuki and his brother, Hikaru Akatsuki. Akira looked like your typical Shonen boy but I gotta say, I mistaken Hikaru for a girl. For an older brother, he looked so feminine that even his stances looked feminine!
So what does Japanese kids have anything to do with western superheroes? Well these two’s father is a scientist working with Tony Stark, and these two have been invited to New York to see him. Stark decides to send in his own private jet to take those kids to see their father. For strange reasons, Stark here is very friendly to those children. While it’s maybe because the father is such a good colleague to Stark and invented something amazing, Stark wanted to give the children a first class treatment as a thank you, I personally think that they made Stark friendly to children because this is a kids show.
Let’s talk about the designs of the show. Since Madhouse isn’t involved, obviously the animations are different and looked kinda bad, for an anime-style. It’s drawings are like Digimon or Stitch!. But at least since it’s an anime, I do like the design, especially Iron Man. Back in Avengers Assemble, a series that was made to look like the movie, Iron doesn’t resemble Iron Man at all. At the very least this one here looks accurate enough to Mark VI. And I liked that he used Mark VI, it’s my favorite Iron Man armor.
One of the controversial parts of the series is that the heroes’ design looks too toyetic and stylized too much. The stylized example is evident on Dr.Strage and Iron Fist, who were given an anime-style hair that’s sure to cause fan outrage. But for me, I actually quite liked these designs. It really shows that this is a Japanese anime that used western superheroes. Yes, Captain America looks the most toyetic out of all due to his futuristic armor, but they didn’t ruin Cap at all. He still wields his shield left-handed, and he still looked Cap. Unless they changed his color scheme to white and red than it’s okay to rage but for now, accept the design.
However, the only design that I don’t like is Stark’s face. He doesn’t look like Stark at all. Mostly because he doesn’t sport the signature goatee, and his face looks childish for a 30-40 year old man. However, they really nailed Peter Parker‘s look.
The collectable gimmick of the show is Digital Identity Securement Kit, shortened to DISKs, described in-show as Prof. Akatsuki’s invention that allows the heroes to capture enemies easily by using the DISKs. It’s basically a ripoff Pokeball. Prof.Akatsuki asks Stark to take all of the DISK’s invention to himself, since he doesn’t want to risk being famous that the villains will target him and his children next. I really liked this idea, furthermore they showed that it wasn’t always Stark who’s the genius, there is other scientist doing their job as well. Or rather they just did that in order to connect the kids with the heroes more.
Stark shows this invention at the Raft, the well known prison in Marvel universe. It was attended by VIPs, celebrities and even heroes, with Cap giving a speech. At the same time, three kids named Edward Grant, Chris Taylor and Jessica Shannon, the other protagonist of the show. Out of all, I think I will like Chris the most, since he looks to be the lone wolf of the group.
Before Cap gives his speech, Thor arrived and warns them about an impending danger. Turns out it was Loki trying to defeat the heroes. But, this convention is attended by a number of superheroes, so Loki is outnumbered. But hey, he is the God of Mischief, and it turns out that he stole some DISKs and used them to summon the enemies, consisting of Baron Zemo, Green Goblin, Abomination, MODOK and many more. So now the tables have turned.
Stark is shocked to see why Loki has the DISKs, and throughout the episode, there are some group staged the villains outbreak and the DISK robbery, and one of them is codenamed Smart Brain. Wait, what?
As this happens, Crimson Dynamo attacks Prof.Akatsuki showing that the enemy may know that Stark is not the true creator of the DISKs. He throws Peter out of the building. But this is not an average Peter. This is Peter Parker, your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! The episode ends Spider-Man preparing to fight Crimson Dynamo, and I don’t really like Spider-Man’s design. It’s the eyes. I always preferred the big round eye.
Anyways I do like the fact that Spider-Man is one of the main characters of the series. Spider-Man is immensely popular in Japan, and with him back in Japanese media, I was hoping for a reference to Spy Darma!
Overall, I’m not judging the first impression of this series yet. It’s mostly because of the episode ending in cliffhanger, and you need to watch the second episode to fully gave the first impression. That being said, for a show that’s geared for kids, I’d say that this show will be profitable and worked, and to me it certainly looked better than the shitfest that is Avengers Assemble. I stopped reviewing that show because it’s just too stupid. I mean, the Avengers fight over a stupid cookie?!