While it's not scheduled to air in America until sometime later this year, the Marvel Anime series Wolverine has debuted and we've gone through it and pulled a few images from it to whet your appetite before it hits G4. The initial promo created by Madhouse a couple of years ago alongside the Iron Man promos didn't earn the show a lot of fans, but Madhouse was quick to point out once they found out about the reaction that it wasn't a final design but rather a proof of concept more than anything else. With the very long haired and too thin Wolverine shown in it, fans reactions were understandable.
The first episode of the series brings us to a time where Logan is drawn back to Japan to rescue Mariko from her father. At this point in his history, it's to set up his great Japan adventure that helped truly define the character in the 80's where he gained his concepts of honor and family. The episode deals with him going into household and intending to take Mariko back but he ends up fighting her father with wooden swords and he's soundly defeated, not understanding what's going on and why he wasn't able to take down an old man.
The opening episode covers a lot of ground that takes us back to the early 80's incarnation of Logan. He's rough, somewhat easily riled and a bit more animalistic. The episode brings in Mariko and Logan easily enough and it also introduces A.I.M. to the show as the background villain organization through which various ties will emerge. Wolverine kills off several people in the episode, A.I.M. and yakuza alike, and it's got a fair share of bloody but it's not exploitative violence with entrails all over the place.
The show brings in some good mythos pieces both through the main episode and the opening and closing sequences. Wolverine is definitely more beefed up here with some serious muscle but not over exaggerated either. Madripoor is given a nod in name and visuals, Logan's chugging down some solid Canadian beer and there's flashes of images to his Weapon X days when he was created. Time is spent in New York and Tokyo and the episode teases that Yukio will define the second episode.
A.I.M. minions abound in this anime design
Wolverine goes against Mariko's father with a proper bamboo sword
The claws figure into the show properly
The lovely Mariko