The last few episodes of Wolverine have been, to say the least, taxing on both my mind, and my patience. While I’ve been buoyed by the series’ laughably bad moments, for the most part, my brain has merely stood by in stunned silence as Wolverine showed him that it wasn’t always boring and mediocre, but it could be exceptionally stupid as well. The last two episodes, however, have pushed me even closer to my breaking point, as Wolverine’s writers, production and animation staff have kicked reality to the curb, gone beyond the impossible, and somehow care even less about their own show then they had previously.
More of Wolverine’s bad writing, bad animation and bad everything, and my last desperate stand against it all, after the break!
The episode continues where the last one left off, with Omega Red, the Soviet supervillian-serial killer-monster of the week bursting through the wall, resuming the fight Wolverine inexplicably ran away from the week before. A few minutes of pointless banter later, (“You’re wrecking the neighborhood, bub!”, “It’s your own damn fault!”) Wolverine hits the enemy’s weak point for massive damage, and ends the fight in a single move. Why it took him two episodes to realize the giant blinking Darth Vader-esque box on Omega Red’s chest was the weak point, I’ll never know.
The plot starts to move forward again, even if Wolverine’s definition of moving forward is ‘introduce another pointless obstacle, wasting everyone’s time.’ Shingen (the Big Bad, in case anyone forgot,) finally decides that maybe staying in Japan isn’t the best idea, and hops on a plane to Madripoor, also known as the giant Island full of criminals. Wolverine, meanwhile, arrives at Shingen’s abandoned mansion and realizes that he probably should have spent a little less time d*cking around, and a little more time trying to rescue his fiancé, about three episodes too late.
Of course, he doesn’t head there right away, as that would be far too obvious. Instead, he finds the samurai-mutant -assassin from Episode 3, and they have another fight. “To Fight,” as defined by Wolverine, however, means ‘2 minutes of reused *claws hitting something* frames, with one or two seconds of animation in between each one.’ This is then followed by a 5 minute chase scene to pad for time*.
*Episode 5’s chase scene defies belief: in the middle of a fight with the aforementioned Samutanassasin, Wolverine just stops and runs away. . . through a Zen garden, to some nearby walls and rooftops, to the top of a small office building, up the side of an even larger office building, and to a helipad on the roof of that building, so the fight can resume again.*
Before Wolverine can finish his fight, Omega Red shows back up again, having been revived for no apparent reason by some shadowy figures I couldn’t be bothered to care about. Their fight, thank god, takes only a few seconds, as Omega Red has the exact same weakness he did in the last fight, and Wolverine decided to stop being an idiot.
Episode 5 ends with the writers concluding that the viewers have been jerked around too much: this time the samurai-assassin chooses to just walk out of the plot completely, as Cyclops of X-Men fame shows up in a giant fancy looking jet to take Logan to Madripoor.
The start of Episode 6 would seem to imply some forward movement in the plot, as Logan is finally out of Japan, and on his way to Madripoor, where the plot can begin. Don’t be fooled. All Cyclops winds up doing is giving Wolverine and Xena a free ride to Madripoor. . . not like they could have used his help, or the giant super-advanced jet plane with enough firepower to level the island twice over.
Once they get there, they run into some mooks who were deemed too silly looking for Waterworld, and Wolverine runs away, leaving the not-invulnerable part of the team to take on the band of murderers. On the bright side, this gives Yukio (formerly known as Xena,) the chance to actually do something productive. This also gives Wolverine the opportunity to meet his next plucky female companion (does Logan think he’s The Doctor or something?), named Minh.
They exposite about her being part of some resistance force, Wolverine has continues to have no plan, and rushes straight into a confrontation with a giant weird Chinese golem thing summoned by one of Shingen’s allies (the tech-based one, confusingly enough. Cue ‘cliffhanger.’
Wolverine has the same problems it always had: the poor animation is only the tip of the iceberg. Its characters are undeveloped and uninteresting, it loses track of the plot with frustrating regularity, and the various tangents it goes on are uninteresting and boring at that. The pacing is the worst of it all: villains are introduced at the end of each episode, only to run away halfway through the next episode, and reappear in the second half of the episode after that, to fill in the gap left by THAT episode’s retreating monster of the week.
Wolverine does so much wrong that I’ve become convinced that there is no actual series to review. There is nothing to be gained by reviewing any subsequent episodes: by this point, anyone still watching Wolverine (myself included,) has no expectations for the rest of the series, good or bad. My own prediction is that Wolverine will simply peter along for the rest of its run, with its quality staying exactly the same as it has been, which is to say, terrible.
While a series like that may be entertaining to watch, and even to rage about with friends, it is not worthy of review. I personally will continue watching Wolverine, but as of this writing, I am dropping it. Doing otherwise would be either masochistic, or petty.
X-Men the Anime, Spring 2011. Need I say more?
Wolverine 5 & 6
Plot Advancement: 2/5
Episode Plot: 1/5
Animation Quality: 1/5
Episode Plot: 1/5
Animation Quality: 1/5