What They Say:
Endgame – Tony learns the truth beyond Zodiac and must become Iron Man once more.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Iron Man went big towards the end with how Kuroda finally revealed his true colors about being involved with Zodiac and throwing the whole country of Japan into turmoil by taking it over in order to use it as a launching point for a new world order. While using the gimmick of his being the only surviving member of the Diet, he’s able to authorize martial law and other measures in order to cement his position. That doesn’t go over well with some though, both within Japan and without, as even the US government is sending a tersely worded letter about the expulsion of their diplomats and how the military bases are being blockaded. It’s, for lack of a better word, very comic-bookie with the way it deals with things in such a basic way.
Zodiac itself does takes things up a few levels though with what it does after doing this cementing of power, including the complete destruction of one of the military bases with all of its ships, storage facilities and more in a big way. Kuroda’s had some long term plans to be sure here, but he’s classic villain in not sticking around to see some of them through. Tony’s discovery about the truth of what Chika has done is one of those moments since she was someone that Kuroda set into place quiet awhile ago and there is some decent material to it since Chika was pretty much my favorite character after Tony himself here and I liked seeing how they got along together over the progression of the series. It goes kind of goofy with what Kuroda did to her, but it’s still one of the better moments.
In true, good comic book form, we do get a solid fight here involving Kuroda and Tony in their respective suits as Kuroda realizes it’s a “you have to do it yourself” kind of moment. He has some some history that he’s holding against Tony and American’s in general with what happened in World War II and using that as a motivation certainly makes sense and works well, but it’s something that needed to have its foundations laid out more clearly earlier in the show, something that could have been ideal for forging the story in a stronger way beyond just a fight of the week. Things do go big in the end here though in the right way and it does manage a stronger personal connection than we saw in the Wolverine series as Chika becomes instrumental in helping Tony, who himself is able to come across well and in a more personable way here.
While Iron Man as a series has its issues, especially the Zodiac enemy of the week problem, what allow it to work better than its companion series of Wolverine is that the character was a lot easier to connect with because it wasn’t a constant focus on fighting, more fighting and even more fighting in order to achieve a goal. It is just a difference in the characters personalities, but the storyline for Iron Man really managed to work the characters involved better to make it far more interesting. There are problems to be sure with things, including the really awkward design of the Arc Station here with its location, but when looked at as a whole, Iron Man definitely is the show that is more accessible, fun and well done of the Marvel Anime series so far. It’s not the best Madhouse has to offer by a long shot, but it’s the one that feels like they had some real fun doing.