Marvel Superheroes And Their Japanese Adaptations:
The Japanese Entertainment Industry is very diverse and different compared to the conventional Pop Culture Industry of the West. So there is seldom chance of any instances where both the industries cross paths with each other. But there have been times when it has happened. Even though rare, these intersections have given rise to some pretty cool Japanese themed adaptations of prominent Marvel Superheroes that any anime or superhero fan cannot dare to miss. If you have not watched them yet, we suggest you take a look at this list and start watching them ASAP.
1. Aianman – Iron Man
Iron Man was the first of the Japanese adaptations to get a working title and released in Japan. The series was directed by Yuzo Sato and the storyline was written by Warren Ellis. It has a total of 12 episodes. In this series, Tony Stark travels to Japan fur the unveiling of prototype Iron Man armor and a first of its kind Arc Reactor technology. The prototype armor soon goes rogue and starts creating a ruckus. It is up to Tony Stark to stop the rogue robot. JSDF operative Captain Nagato Sakurai helps Iron Man with his Ramon Zero armor made by the Japanese Military. The series also sees the return of the Zodiac, a military terrorist group and Ho Yinsen, who is now working for the evil organization.
2. Uruvarin – Wolverine
The Wolverine anime series aired on the 7th of January 2011. In the United States, it premiered on the 29th of July, 2011. The show had a worldwide release a short while later. Jamie Simone, who also helped in the screen-play and was the voice director for Aianman, returned to help the 12 episode series become a reality. Wolverine learns that his long-time romantic interest – Mariko Yashida, is under confinement by her own father and is being forced to marry Hideki Kurohagi.
Mariko’s father is Lord Shingen Yashida, a powerful business tycoon and leader of the Crime Syndicate called Kuzuryu. Wolverine takes it upon himself to defeat Shingen and rescue Mariko.
3. Ekkusumen – X-Men
The X-Men anime series was released on Animax on the 1st of April, 2011. Like the rest of the shows, the X-Men series also comprised of 12 episodes and featured prominent mutant superheroes like Wolverine, Beast, Storm, and Cyclops. The story takes the X-Men to Japan right after the superhero team is left releasing from the aftermath of Jean Grey, who was killed after she became the Dark Phoenix.
The X-Men realize that the U-Men have kidnapped a young Indian mutant that goes by the name Indra. It is later revealed that the U-Men are kidnapping mutants and harvesting them for their organs. There is also the problem of Damon Hall Syndrome in Japan – where some mutants undergo deadly secondary mutations and the X-Men have a race against time to stop it all from happening.
4. Bureido – Blade
The Blade series is special because it is written by Kenta Fukusaku, the son of the legendary Kinji Fukusaku. The series is 12 episodes long and takes Blade aka the Day Walker deep inside Japanese territory. The blade is currently chasing a group of vampires that are hiding out in Japan. There he finds out that Deacon Frost, the vampire that killed his mother, is actually alive and had faked his death. Japan is also on the verge of being taken over by a mysterious group of vampires that have infiltrated the highest levels of Japanese leadership and call themselves – the Existence. The series is packed with amazing action sequences and is pretty dark compared to the rest of the adaptations.
5. Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
Marvel Disk Wars can be considered the first true Japanese adaptation of the Marvel superhero universe. It had little to no supervision from Marvel and the Japanese producers, as well as directors, had a lot of creative freedom to make the show. Doctor Nozomu Akatsuki has developed a technology called the Digital Identity Securement Kit or DISK for short, with the help of Tony Stark.
Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers are presenting the DISK technology to be a viable option to capture and securely transport highly dangerous super-villains when Loki enters the scene and uses the same DISKs to trap the Avengers instead. Nozomu’s three children than band together to gather up all the superhero and super villain DISKs in order to make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands.
6. Marvel Future Avengers
Marvel Future Avengers came into existence after Mad House Studios joined forces with Walt Disney Japan to make an anime television series based on Marvel Comics. The story of Marvel Future Avengers follows three superhuman children named Chloe, Makoto, and Adi. They were trained by the international terrorist outfit called Hydra and were brainwashed to believe that Hydra is a force for good and the Avengers are the world’s true enemies.
The trio soon learns the real truth and defect to the Avengers, who decide to take them in and train them on how to be real superheroes. Matters are further complicated when Bruno, another genetically modified Super Human enters the scene and the Avengers uncover a secret Hydra project called Emerald Rain.
7. Hulk: The Manga
One of the oldest entries in our list, Hulk: The Manga was published in 197o and 1971. The publication house got the idea for a Hulk manga after a previous Spiderman manga became a major hit amongst the Japanese readers. The Hulk Manga was less fortunate compared to his counterparts, only having been reprinted once more before the entire line was discontinued due to poor sales. It is still a major piece of history for pop culture enthusiasts since it marks the first foray of American Comic Book Culture into the world of the Japanese Manga.
8. Spider-Man: The Manga
We have seen so many different versions of Spider-Man as of now that we have stopped caring to count. There was bound to be a Japanese version of Spider-Man one day or another. The Manga industry got a head start when they told the story of Yu Komori, a brilliant who is bitten by a radioactive spider and turns into the wall-crawling vigilante superhero called Spider-Man.
The storyline reflects the American Spider-Man’s character development arc and has a lot of similar supporting characters. The English language version of the Manga was reprinted by Marvel Comics and was a success. Kosei Ono was the original writer for the series but after a while, Ono left and Kazumasa Hirai took over the role of writing the future storylines for the Manga series.
9. Wolverine: Prodigal Son
Wolverine: Prodigal Son took the internet by storm when Marvel announced plans for tying up with a Manga studio to release a story arc of Wolverine in the popular Japanese format. The hype was what sold the first thousand copies of the Manga. Wolverine: Prodigal Son had a pretty decent storyline but it was not even a fraction of what a typical Wolverine comic book entailed in the American Publications. The second phase of the Wolverine ‘Ameri-Manga’ project was soon abandoned after 2009, when the Wolverine Manga was released, proved that it was a failed concept.
10. X-Men: Misfits
X-Men: Misfits is an original English language manga released under the supervision of Dave Roman, who also wrote the storyline for the same. The artwork is credited to Anzu. X-Men: Misfits incorporates both slice of life and action-adventure elements. It tells the story of Kitty Pryde aka Shadow Cat of the X-Men. When Kitty first discovered she is a mutant, she was already seen as an outcast in her school.
Professor Charles Xavier takes her into the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters and she begins life anew in a place too strange for her liking. Her journey towards becoming a superhero involves being the only female of her batch and the Hell Fire Club – a group of violent mutants that Kitty soon lands up in after a series of bad choices.