Japan is struck by a mysterious illness and it’s up to Iron Man to figure out who is responsible and save the lives of the afflicted.
The Japanese government suspects that Stark himself is responsible, and it would’ve made for some interesting drama had they not wrapped that up two minutes later. I know, there’s a runtime issue, but it did seem rather abrupt. I guess the implication is that they were locked down for a significant amount of time, but we just cut to Sakurai’s arrival in order to keep the plot moving.
Speaking of plot, the “surprise” reveal from the last episode barely gets a mention. Tony has a brief conversation with Pepper and asks her to dig up all the information on Yinsen that she can find. She’s rather shocked at the request, but Tony has to cut the conversation short as the Zodiac of the week takes center stage.
Sakurai returns, and we get a bit more insight into his character as a result. We learn that he’s part of the SDF (Self Defense Force). Essentially, he’s a sort of high level government…cop, I guess. He apparently has influence as the military stands down on his arrival and he’s able to supercede the lockdown on Stark’s headquarters.
His relationship with Stark seems more amicable, but the writers did try to have them continue to butt heads. It doesn’t work as well as it did the first time.
Sakurai comes out and says that his first priority is the safety of the populace, and Stark then accuses him of being selfish. How is that selfish? Honestly, I don’t understand Stark’s logic here. The fact that he makes Sakurai jump through a couple of hoops before agreeing to help doesn’t exactly paint him as the eager hero. It’s even more perplexing when he tries to take the moral high ground and insinuates that he cares about the safety of the Japanese people more than Sakurai does.
I was also a bit perplexed by the revelation that the affliction wasn’t a virus, but a result of a radiation beam fired from space. Granted, I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way.
I’m also unsure of what was up with Tony’s attempted battle cry as he activated the rockets on his armor. I think Pasdar got confused about which anime he was doing voiceover work for, because that was like something out of Dragonball Z. It doesn’t even make sense, why would Stark do that? There’s no reason for him to yell the way he did under those circumstances, it’s just peculiar is what it is.
I know, I’ve griped about this episode quite a bit, but really, they’re just nitpicks. Barring said nitpicks and the now customary stilted voice acting, the episode was actually decent. It was well paced, Nanami being infected was a surprising twist, and we see Tony at a disadvantage in battle as he has to try and fight in zero gravity. If anything hurt it, it was the limitations of the 22 minute runtime. Maybe giving this 2 parts would’ve given them a bit more breathing room to flesh out some of the plot elements.
Fans of Marvel, as well as anime in general, can catch Iron Man on Friday nights at 10 pm Central on the G4 network.