I managed to get my sweaty little hands on the first six episodes of Wolverine the Anime produced by Japanese studio Madhouse Productions in conjunction with Marvel, because I needed to see for myself what all the hype (and complaints) were about.  We’ve all heard about this anime; it’s the second series in Madhouse’s  adaptation of some of Marvel’s biggest comic book lines (Iron Man the Anime came out first last year and now X-Men is slated to be the third in the series).

[Spoiler Alert]

Wolverine the Anime features a younger Wolverine in his adventures in Japan in pursuit of his true love, Mariko Yashida.  Episode 1 begins with Mariko being kidnapped by her father’s gang in order to arrange a political marriage between her and the scion of a rival gang that controls the seedy island nation of Madripoor.  Wolverine travels to Japan and has a showdown with Mariko’s father Yashida Shingen.

In Episode 2, Logan manages to escape from Shingen’s clutches with the help of a Japanese friend named Asano and a mysterious woman who is later revealed to be Yukio, a fixture in the Wolverine series since Chris Claremont introduced her in the “From the Ashes” storyline.  Asano later turns up dead and Wolverine is framed for the murder.

In Episode 3, Wolverine has a showdown with an assassin named Mikage Kikyo who appears to have an adamantium samurai sword that comes out of his hands, not unlike Wolverine’s adamantium claws.  Wolverine and Yukio manage to escape, but Mariko is still being held captive by her father.  Check out some screengrabs below.  Honestly, this is not Wolverine at his finest (in fact, the character looks more like the Hugh Jackman Wolverine then the comic book version), but I’ve seen worse.  Much, much worse.  Plus, you get to see Wolverine drinking “Canadian Gold” beer in the first episode!