A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this half-hour anime adventure series features some unexpectedly detailed violence, primarily centering on the lead character, who is frequently graphically wounded only to have his injuries heal instantly thanks to his mutant powers. Language is also strong in places ("damn," "son of a bitch"), and there is frequent indulgence in alcohol and cigars. However, the level of violence is consistent with the character's appearances in other media, so young teens and older preteens who have already been exposed to that material will not find anything out of place here.
What's the story?
Based on the Marvel Comics character and breakout star of the blockbuster X-Men film series, WOLVERINE takes its primary inspiration from a classic comics story published in the 1980s, which defined Wolverine (also known as Logan) as a "defeated samurai" type character with a strong moral code and propensity for animalistic violence. In the anime, Logan (Milo Ventimiglia) battles valiantly as his girlfriend, Mariko Yashida, is kidnapped. A year later, he learns Mariko has been taken to Tokyo by her father Shingen, who is the head of a Japanese crime syndicate and a supplier to the global terrorist organization Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Logan pursues his lost love and in doing so enters a dark criminal underworld with no recourse but to fight his way out.
Is it any good?
For fans of comics and action movies, Wolverine is a character who has reached a point of saturation. It doesn't help that he is most often depicted as the same essential collection of cliches -- strong, silent, and vicious, but with a firm code of honor. The Wolverine anime series doesn't significantly alter that formula, but in drawing from one of the character's earliest and most formative stories, it manages to present a classic version of Wolverine with just the right tone of regret and rage.
The Wolverine limited series published in 1982 by writer Chris Claremont and artist Frank Miller (who would later go on to create the media crossover hits 300 and Sin City) transformed the violent cigar-chomping, wisecracking thug into a noble warrior with a tortured, mysterious past. The anime series underplays the costumes and fantastical elements in favor of a more realistic approach; although it's not reinventing any geeky wheels, it does manage to relate its story with conviction and style.
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