The spring season of anime in Japan is often one of the biggest new seasons of the year and this coming spring features over thirty new shows and continuing seasons of other recent shows. With so many out there, and a good number of them likely to be simulcast in the US through various distributors, we're going to take a look at them as more and more information comes up with a mini preview of each. The one that's getting the most international buzz this season is the first of a new series of co-productions between Marvel Comics and Madhouse. The two have paired up for four series to be done, with Iron Man being the first in the spring and Wolverine (which is based off of a Chris Claremont and Frank Miller miniseries from years ago) due in the summer.
At this time, fans have only see the proof of concept trailer that Marvel released last summer at Comic Con which garnered a mixture of reactions. Iron Man is a series that should translate well into anime form because of its mechanics and the growth of CG design in the last several years that has helped blend it better and better into the overall animation presentation. Iron Man fans have taken heart by the fact that Warren Ellis is writing all four series and this one in particular. Ellis is no stranger to writing for animation as he garnered a lot of praise during the airing of G.I. Joe: Resolute, which took the kid friendly characters from the old show and toughened them up, had little compunction in killing off several of them and avoided all the trappings that fans mock the original series with. No parachutes to be found there with the bad guys living to fight another day.
Production information for the Iron Man series is still slim, but it's expected to launch in April on Animax with a planned twelve episode season. Marvel has not talked about any US distribution plans at this point as most of their media focus is on the upcoming live action feature Iron Man 2 which is due on May 7th. The only things we've seen is a few bits of pre-production artwork and the trailer, as seen below:
On the plus side, if Iron Man does even reasonably well in Japan and coupled with the live action movie, we're bound to see even more merchandise for old shellhead coming out of there such as this incredibly cute toy:
What's your take? Will this translate well and will it fly well when it arrives in the US? You can find discussion about all the Spring 2010 season shows here.