Monday, August 22, 2011

Should Marvel Look Into Making an X-23 Anime?

This question keeps crossing my mind occasionally.  It is the perfect marriage considering the ample amount of similiar teen anime characters out there that have thrived in japanese media and have gone through many similiar story beats.  Granted these are universal story points to characters of these natures, so it's not like Japan has any singular claim to these character tropes.  That being said, the recent Marvel animes have hinted at the fact that these won't be the last.  That those initial 4 are simply the potential firstwave of many more to come.

Personally I'd adore an Academy X anime, as it's right up Japan's alley anyway with the characters and ages used (Japan loves their lolis and singers so Dazzler and Pixie need to find a way to reach those screens as well as the arrogant self-righteous hypocritical Surge), but more directly currently I'm curious about an X-23 solo anime.

The recent Bishoujo statue nuances just scream perfection design-wise from what we've already seen from the Marvel Anime line-up.  So it's really not that far of a stretch.  What truly sells this idea though, is the objectification of X-23 herself, and how women tend to be treated in Japan.  I'm not talking about mistreatment that's by far worse in 3rd world countries, I'm talking about the simple things.  The phantom train gropers, the love hotels, the maid cafe industry, the entire idol industry in japan, and the list can go on and on.  Every culture has a downside, and for Japan, it really is the treatment of women that by large goes unreported as it's just so commonplace no one says or does anything about it.  Heck, in many instances if you so much as talk loudly on a train car, that train car will empty as riding in silence is the norm.

X-23's current ongoing explores these aspects worldwide, most seemingly focusing on the states, but with someone so new to understanding the world at large, and seeing that things are so... wrong at times compared to the common courtesy and culture this character herself was educated to know worldwide, it does raise interesting situational ideas with traveling to Japan.

The fluid action sure doesn't hurt, though I do have to agree with Alt-Tab on prefering someone like Monty Oum on choreography and done in CG, with the right person behind the studio on writing this really couldn't go wrong in animated form of any kind.  Slight reimaginings not being an issue, but the burgeoning understanding of newly empowered woman about life, others perceptions, and how people treat each other could be a very thought provoking look inside the world at large no matter the culture it occurs in.  The slightly reimagined aspect just gives them more story leeway as what's expected from an animated series.  With the direction proposed, it would need someone highly understanding of the plight of women in many countries.  The leap from comic page to tv screen could be the perfect medium for Marjorie Liu's understanding and eye for detail to situations.  At this point after reading the last issue, I'm not sure if any writer quite gets Laura as well as she currently does(albeit still not perfect, but damn near).

X-23 is a character that can take Japan by storm.  They also don't have the same tv limitations and expectations the states do, so truly this region may be the best outlet for such a foray outside of say premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime.  So long as it got picked up for TV stateside, I'd definitely be in full support of this.  Especially if it just foregoes the overabundant origin that has no business taking place in Japan, and dives straight into subtle flashback usages for this 'slightly reimagined X-23' while she pursues her quest that led her to Japan to begin with.  A show packed with psychology, action, and makes you question everyday treatment you normally just don't even truly see because it's just so commonplace.

Besides, with the current trend of the english dubs with great stars, you know they'd try and get Summer Glau to do the dubbed voice, preferably both voices as X-23 is a character that needs to be able to slip into any native tongue naturally and at will.

Sure they could do many other high profile stars to fill the role that'd work just as well, but someone really needs to throw a bone to the Summer Glau as X-23 fans as a live portrayal at the current suggested ages just isn't practical and could harm the suspension of disbelief with the amount of Hollywood tricks needed to make it work.  Tricks such as using older side characters to make the star seem younger than she is.  So for an origin story, or even out in the world story of a character under 20, that makes every other actor or actress needing to be 10-30 years over whatever the star is.  I'm not a sure a 50-60 year old Gambit sounds all that appealing, and it also damages the 20 something naivete' of the Facility doctors themselves, like Laura's mother.  At least that's the main issue I see to casting a live action Laura Kinney. Unless you totally fubar the story up, which would harm audience expectations, and no, I do not consider X-Men First Class as fubaring the story up but that's a discussion best saved for another day (can you say XFC dvd release day?).  An animated one on the other hand does not have any of those issues associated.  It's simply how powerful the voice itself is, and that's something Summer Glau has in spades.

With X-23's current bishoujo statue hitting the market in March, and her world wide appearance in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, even an ongoing comic currently, this would be something that just screams to be done giving it just 10-13 episodes like the others to test the waters and reception.  Besides, who really wants another Wolverine anime?  Not that the current one is bad, but let's give some exposure to Marvel's other rich heritage of characters.  X-23's being exposed to the full Marvel Universe in her ongoing, so Marvel needs to step up more and help expose X-23 to the world audience at large.  Plus it'd make it much easier to segue from an X-23 solo series to an Academy X: New X-Men anime to replace the previous X-Men anime.  Then that just leaves expanding Ironman's to focus on Rescue and War Machine, with Blade's slot being left open for something to focus on Marvel's occult library of characters(Dr. Strange among many others).  Of course I wouldn't be adverse to an Avengers anime, or Peter David's X-Factor, or Heroes for Hire, or Marvel Divas, or whatever else Marvel and Madhouse could agree upon.

What do you all think? Should Marvel give it the go around? Or do you think the next Marvel Animes should be something entirely different? If so, what?

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