“Wolverine” is a 12 episode TV series, which ran in Japan from January, 2011 through March, 2011. It's due to be shown in the US in July, 2011. Its character designs are by Hisashi Abe (“Peacock King”, “Twilight Of the Dark Master”, “Pet Shop Of Horrors”), and its Art Director was Katsushi Aoki (Art Director “Lensman”, “Running Man”, “Cyber City Oedo”, Background Art “Barefoot Gen”, “Dagger Of Kamui”, “Wicked City”, “Spriggan”)
Everyone’s favorite, nigh-invincible mutant, Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, heads to Japan after finding out that his one-true-love Mariko Yashida is going to be forced by her father, the Japanese Yakuza King, Shingen Yashida, into a loveless political marriage to the vile crime boss, Hideki Kurohagi, the master of the immoral, lawless island of thieves, Madripoor; uniting Asia’s two most powerful crime families. To free Mariko from her father’s scheme, Logan teams up with the skintight-leather-jumpsuit wearing, vengeance-seeking assassin, Yukio, and ultimately, Shigen’s servant, the samurai mutant, Kikyo; as he fights his way through his longtime enemy, the nearly indestructible, “carbonadium” coil furnished killer, Omega Red; Madripoor’s island deity, Vadhaka; an entire island of thugs; and Mariko’s own father, Shingen, who’s strikes are so fast that he uses the very air around him to slice through flesh and bone.
Luckily, Frank Miller’s famous 1982 Wolverine mini-series was set in Japan, and gives Madhouse Studio an excellent reason to put him there. The first episode is amazingly well paced. It manages to pack Wolverine’s back story and the main thrust of the plot into one installment, while still delivering slick, badass, action scenes. Unfortunately, later episodes don’t do so well. By the end, too much time seems to have been used up; and Wolvy and friends are hurtled toward the final showdown, left to take on the series’ major antagonists, with almost no budget left for decent fight animation, as the show careens towards its climax. While he’s not the same gruff, short, mean, and gnarly character from Marvel comics, I enjoyed this representation of Wolverine. His looks are recognizably X-Men movie Hugh Jackman-ish and his character is very reminiscent of the cocky, hardass good guy leads from Madhouse anime of yesteryear, like “Cyber City Oedo”, “Midnight Eye Goku”, and “Ninja Scroll”.