It feels strange to talk about this. In today’s streaming world we expect all of the DC titles to end up on HBOMax, all Marvel/Star Wars titles to end up on Disney+ and so forth, but here’s the thing. Contracts take time. Disney just bought Fox and often Netflix signs deals on titles a year or more in advance, so total ownership sometimes takes while. Netflix, for instance, will release 4 Marvel titles (Wolverine, X-Men, Blade and Ironman) on its streaming service as anime titles. Wolverine joins X-Men in release as of last week, but will the Netflix Wolverine amaze fans or leave them wanting?
There are several layers to look at for this show, and each one scores a little differently. First off, Netflix Wolverine is true anime in every sense of the word. The style, artistry, tropes and more follow every anime cliché there is. From an anime standpoint, Wolverine looks very good in most ways as far as anime goes. For those that love true anime, this will go down in the win column for you. The actual animation, coloring and style look superb. The women boast extremely large breasts. They show plenty of gratuitous chest and butt shots. The men are ripped muscularly, and shirts are either missing or left open as much as possible.
For Wolverine, you may ask, does this follow the standard X-men film types of stabby stabby move on? Or does it follow the R-rated version where limbs go flying and blood with it. It tries to walk the line. With all the stabbing and slashing, no limbs go flying or guts spilling. The extent of the blood is some red dots on the screen or a flash of red in the background. The gore is non-existent.
Netflix Wolverine – Not Our Wolverine
Sadly, with the exception of the anime beauty, Wolverine fails from here on. Call this an anime and it sits well, but the minute you tag the name Wolverine onto it, you get a whole lot of negatives. For the lesser characters the anime style works well, but Wolvie himself looks terrible. Hugh Jackman spoiled us a little, but in comic reality Logan only stands 5’3″. He makes up for his small stature with the larger than life attitude. In this series, he looks to stand around 6′ tall and has the body mass of a toothpick. The hair looks similar, but it’s the difference between a frat boy wearing it and a gruff logger/woodsman sporting it.
Then we get to the voice. Wolverine always sounds gruff, mean and growly in most incantations. Not so here. Imagine Keanu Reeves doing the voice, and when Wolverine gets mad, imagine Keanu Reeves doing the Christian Bale Batman voice. In every way it just plain sucks. Not to mention the attitude never quite seems right either. This Wolverine comes across too touchy feely for Mariko.
The other character I had problems with was Yukio. It took forever, and some google searching, to even figure out who she was. We have seen Yukio before. Do these images look familiar?:
That’s right. These are the Yukio characters from X-Men: Wolverine and Deadpool 2. Now both of these were fresh takes on the character and do not resemble the comics. In the comics, Yukio runs around in a tight, black, skinsuit, much like Catwoman. In this series though, the outfit looks to be a one-piece, rubber skinsuit with the front open to nearly the navel with her giant breasts hanging out. The look comes off completely slutty and what’s worse? The character serves absolutely purpose in the series.
Netflix Wolverine – Same Old Story
Okay. Okay. So the animation of a couple characters look bad. Surely the story overpowers a couple small flaws. Nope. Have you seen X-Men: Wolverine? If you have, then you know the plot and story of this anime. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it instead. As maligned as that movie is, I’d watch it over this anime any day.
Wolverine seems like an emotional wuss in this series and what’s worse, he loses almost every single fight. He either gets lucky with an environmental trick or he ‘Hulks out’ near the end of the fight, and by Hulk I mean Hogan not green guy. WWF wrestler, Hulk Hogan, had this schtick where he would lose most of the fight, but near the end he shakes his body and head emphatically. During this ‘Hulk-out’ the punches that laid him out moments before no longer have any effect. Same with Wolverine here.
In the end, skip this title. Netflix’s Wolverine is a terrible property pretty much all the way around. If you truly love hardcore anime, you might find this tolerable, but for those of you who love Logan, do not bother with this title.