Anime: Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
aka: Marvel Disc Wars The Avengers
Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers
, is a Shōnen superhero anime
series created as a collaboration between Toei Animation
(makers of the venerable Sailor Moon
, Pretty Cure
, One Piece
, and Dragon Ball Cash Cow Franchises
, and Marvel Comics
Based off Marvel's popular Avengers
franchise, the series sees Captain America
, Iron Man
, Incredible Hulk
, and The Wasp
teaming up with a group of teens to track down the world's superheroes, who have been locked away in special DISKs by Loki
The series is the third collaboration between Marvel and the Toei Company
after their Spider-Man Tokusatsu
series and The Tomb of Dracula Made-for-TV Movie
. It is also Marvel's third anime collaboration after the above-mentioned Dracula
film and the Marvel Anime
project done with Madhouse
. Additionally, it is the fourth Avengers Animated Adaptation
after The Avengers: United They Stand
, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
, and Avengers Assemble
The story begins when Tony Stark is revealing a new technology called DISKs to the public. The technology is meant to make the holding and rehabilitation of supervillains safer and easier. Most of the world's most famous superheroes are present. Meanwhile, a boy from Japan named Akira and his brother go to visit their father, who has been away from home working on the technology, and a group of teenagers get lost at the event.
Loki quickly crashes the party and manages to get the upper hand when he takes Pepper Potts hostage. He promptly steals the disks for himself and imprisons almost all of the heroes present, hoping to use the Disk technology to force them to work for him. However, to command the disks, one has to have a "bio code" installed in them, and an odd chain of events leads to Akira and the others receiving the bio codes instead of Loki. Now, with Spider-Man being just about the only superhero left completely free and Iron Man only able to function with Akira's help, its up to the kids to find the rest of the heroes in the world until they can be freed.
Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Distillation: The show takes elements from the original, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Wolverine is a fair bit more youthful-looking here than in the original universe, and has none of the excessive body-hair the man is known for.
- Age Lift: Tony Stark looks a bit younger then in most adaptations (at least, in adaptations where he isn't supposed to be a teenager). For example, his facial hair is limited to a tuft on his chin. This was probably done to make him not appear so much older than the Shounen Hero lead, Akira.
- And I Must Scream: Averted. The heroes and villains don't show much concern over being trapped in DISKs. They'd very much like to get out of them, but they're a lot better off than people who usually tend to get trapped in these kinds of things.
- Anime Hair: The show's version of Iron Fist notably sports this.
- Ascended Fanboy: Edward is a big fan of superheroes, and his favorite is Captain America. He even runs a web-site dedicated to them. Of course, he ends up partnered with The Hulk.
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Nick Fury, the head of SHIELD.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Joel, who acts like a stereotypical Rock Star. He also sat back and watched with a gleeful grin as Abomination stalked and quite possibly killed a SHIELD agent meant to watch over Chris.
- Big Brother Mentor: To the five kids, Spider-Man.
- Big Eater: Such a concept is no stranger to The Hulk, as seen in the first episode where's he's eating an armful of fruit at Tony Stark's party.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: It's no coincidence that this trope shows up at the same time Deadpool drops by.
- The Cameo: Agent Coulson appeared as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that happens to be entertaining the people who won a tour of The Raft through a Stark Industries contest in the first episode.
- Calling Your Attacks: Used here, with such notable examples being Wasp's "Wasp Sting" and Cyclops' "Optic Blast!" Though there are some more forced ones, with Cap's just yelling "Shield Throw".
- Canon Foreigner: The Avengers five teenaged partners, Loki's minions, the Celebrity Five, and Senator Robert, a member of the World Security Council and Loki's secret identity.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Hawkeye looks just like a blonde Jeremy Renner.
- Description Cut: Used in a dramatic fashion in the second episode, when Captain America defiantly states that those who "believe in justice" and "walk the path of righteousness" will stand against Loki...while cutting to Chris, who is alone and on the verge of walking away from the effort to help save the heroes.
- Evil Genius: One of Loki's minions, Tim Gillian, refers to himself this way.
- Fantastic Racism: Mutants are once again hated and feared, but in an interesting bit of Genre Savvy, the kids just don't get why they get all of the hate while people like Thor, Wasp, Iron Man and Spider-Man wander around and are considered heroes.
- Five-Bad Band: The "Celebrity Five", the masked minions who work for Loki. Each of them serve as an Evil Counterpart to the kids, and specialize in summoning a specific class of villain. They also all have day jobs that their work as evildoers conflicts with.
- Friend to All Children: Wasp makes a suggestion to Hulk that she thinks might make him more approachable to kids. Hulk actually is keen on the idea until Wasp herself spelled it out for him that she was just kidding.
- Five-Episode Pilot: The first Story Arc, detailing the Raft breakout, lasted three episodes. Additionally, it takes six episodes to bring the team itself together.
- Foreshadowing: Hikaru receives several shots or cold openings that makes it look like they are betraying the team. Guess what happens in Episode 32...
- Fun with Acronyms: According to Tony in the first episode, "DISK" is actually an abbreviation for "Digital Identity Securement Kit".
- Gender Flip: This show's version of Death Adder from the Serpent Society is a woman, like in the Ultimate Marvel incarnation, rather than a man in the main Marvel Universe.
- Gratuitous English: There's quiet a bit of it in this series. For example, Tony Stark, as voiced by Hanawa Eiji, gratuitously uttered "ladies and gentlemen!" in the 1st episode. All examples of Calling Your Attacks are an example of this.
- Gotta Catch Them All: The plot involves the Avengers and their partners traveling the globe to rescue the captured superheroes and villains after they get scattered throughout the world.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Chris has a pair of big ol' headphones around his neck to go with his skull-and-crossbones nit cap to help reinforce his aloof nature.
- Hot Scoop: Rosetta Riley, of the suspiciously specifically named "Big News Channel". She's actually one of Loki's minions.
- Hour of Power: The biocodes installed in Akira and the other children are incomplete, and as a result, the heroes they are partnered with can only be released for a few minutes at a time. Once their Activity Time Limit runs out, they return to their DISKs and cannot be released again until the children recover. Since the heroes first becoming partnered to the children, Tony and Pepper have discovered that said time limit has steadily begun to increase.
- I Die Free: Even with his Healing Factor surpressed and badly wounded by Baron Zemo, Deadpool refuses to go into a DISK, saying he would rather die free.
- I Have Your Wife: Loki and his allies force the heroes to submit to being sealed inside DISKs by holding Pepper Potts hostage.
- International Co Production: Between Marvel and Toei Animation, with Bandai as a partner developing the toyline.
- In the Name of the Moon: This being an anime, all of the heroes have one after being released from their DISKs via D-Smash:
Iron Man: "It's party time!"
Thor: "In the name of Mjolnir!"
Captain America: "Soldiers! March on without fear!"
Hulk: "SMASH!!" (or he just roars).
Wasp: "Together! We will shoot down evil!"
- Japanese Pronouns: Used as part of characterization. For example, MODOK uses ore-sama, as a testament to his immense ego. Deadpool uniquely uses ore-chan.
- Kick the Dog: The Wrecker wastes no time in beating the stuffing out of Tony once he's been forced to surrender.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The kids themselves, as they're closer to the target age group than the heroes themselves.
- Spider-Man also serves as this, what with his being notably younger than the other heroes and the only one not trapped in a DISK or partnered up with anyone.
- We've seen plenty of the Hulk, but nothing of Bruce Banner. Naturally, the youngest of the kids, Edward, gets paired up with the Hulk.
- Kneel Before Zod: This is Loki's first command to Thor once the heroes are forced to surrender. Loki even mentioned that I Always Wanted to Say That.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Akira is the main character and Iron Man's partner. In true anime hero fashion, Akira's clothes and Iron Man's armor are both red.
- Lighter and Softer: Than Marvel's previous anime collaborations, which were aimed at the Seinen demographic.
- Magic from Technology: Loki's minions say the villain Diablo is controlling the Hulk through magic, but Diablo corrects them, telling them he does it through Alchemy.
- Tim notably states that he wants to unlock all the secrets of magic by recreating them through technology.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Loki's minions all wear masks to hide their true identities. Justified by the fact that they all have rather prominent jobs.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The heroes and the kids alike get a huge one in Episode 22. They're fighting against Loki who's drawing power from all of the DISKs he and his minions have acquired. In mid-battle, their Activity Time Limit runs out, and the heroes start returning to their DISKs.
- Merchandise-Driven: The show was launched with a tie-in toyline centered around Bandai's POG-like DISK-based Bachicombat game, and all then disks used in the show are based on the ones in the toyline. Additionally, the transformable disks in the toyline appear in the second version of the show's ending animation.
- Miles Gloriosus: Such a concept is no stranger to Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. Pepper Potts is of course embarrassed by it, but Akira takes the flash and flair with awe.
- The Mole: One of Loki's minions, Tim Gillian, is a SHIELD scientist aboard the Hellicarrier, and is thus able to keep Fury and the rest of SHIELD from intervening to stop Loki's plans in the second episode.
- Likewise, the seemingly benign reporter Rosetta Riley is actually a member of Loki's gang.
- Mole in Charge: Senator Robert of the World Security Council takes over SHIELD and arrests Nick Fury on the grounds of collaborating with the villains, but Robert is actually Loki in disguise.
- My Greatest Failure: Cap still isn't over Bucky's death, and it's affecting how he treats Chris.
- Mythology Gag:
- Akira wears a red hoodie with the number "1962" on it. 1962 was the year Spider-Man debuted in Amazing Fantasy.
- The lineup of heroes are the founding members of the Avengers, save for Captain America replacing Ant-Man.
- The kids wielding Captain America and the Hulk's Disks are named Chris and Ed as a nod to Chris Evans and Edward Norton, the actors who played Cap and Hulk in the two Captain America movies and The Incredible Hulk, respectively.
- The First Episode is named "The Mightiest of Heroes".
- Dummy, Tony Stark's bumbling mechanical arm assistant, makes several cameos in the series.
- One of the things Loki tell a brainwash hulk is that his friends plan to send him to a desolate planet.
- When some Japanese teens mistake a Beta Ray Bill action figure for Thor, Ed corrects them and gives a fair Info Dump on Bill.
- Noodle Incident: Tony's "secret night in Miami", alluded to by War Machine when the kids recover his DISK in episode 13. He tells a serenely angry Pepper that "It was just business, not a date!"
- Not Himself: Spider-Man suddenly shows up again in episode 35 acting much crueler and more violent... Why yes he's wearing a black costume, why do you ask?
- "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: "Let's end this! D-Smash!" (Said after saying the next episode title.)
- Opt Out: Chris does this in episode 19. He leaves the group on account of his relationship with Captain America not going the way he wants it to.note The others try to stop him and call him out on his selfish decision, but it doesn't stick and he leaves anyway. Time will tell whether it really sticks or whether he ends up going through a 10-Minute Retirement.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The "Celebrity Five", the masked minions who work for Loki. Each of them serve as an Evil Counterpart to the kids, and specialize in summoning a specific class of villain. They also all have day jobs that their work as evildoers conflicts with.
- Sealed Good in a Can: Most of the world's superheroes have been trapped inside specialized containment DISKs. Of course, so are the supervillains, making this also an example of Sealed Evil in a Can.
- Ship Sinking: Akira's friendship with Noriko had about thirty minutes in-universe to develop, then Hikaru showed up. That's gotta be a record.
- Shout-Out: Tony's nickname for Akira, "Samurai Boy", is a reference to a certain director of samurai movies the kid shares a name with, Akira Kurosawa.
- Sleep Mode Size: Whenever recovering inside their DISKs, the Avengers can only interact with the outside world through small holograms after having their personal DISK set on one of the kids' specialized armbands.
- The Smurfette Principle: The Wasp is the only female Avenger; likewise, of the five kids, Jessica is the only girl.
- When the X-Men show up, Storm is the only female member. Though Noriko does end up joining them later.
- Snake People: King Cobra can assume this kind of form.
- Spoiled Sweet: Jessica is noted to be from a rich family, yet she is quick to strike up friendly conversations with the aloof Chris and shy and introverted Ed. This verges on becoming a Subverted Trope when she reveals that she was only helping everyone out out of a sense of "noblesse oblige", but she was actually nervous about letting others become her friend.
- Super Registration Act: One becomes enforced by the president under the orders of Senator Robert in the ninth episode, but the Avengers and the kids work around it by taking refuge in Japan.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: To defeat the Lizard, Iron Man uses a his "Ultimate Unibeam", which takes more than ten seconds to use.
- This Is Gonna Suck: The expression on Iron Man's face pretty much screams this when he sees that Deadpool has shown up.
- Translation Convention: Of the non-Japanese characters, only Iron Man could reasonably be expected to know any Japanese, being an international businessman (Cap probably wouldn't, given that he operated on the European front of World War II). All dialogue (aside from Calling Your Attacks, Gratuitous English, and the Surprisingly Good English used by the DISK computer) is in Japanese.
- Unexpected Character: The first trailer shows some longtime Marvel mainstays like War Machine, Venom, and the Green Goblin, but also contains some truly obscure choices like the Fixer and Death Adder. However, Venom, Death Adder, and Fixer have yet to appear in the actual show.
- Pepper Potts turns out to be fairly important as the kids' "handler" as well. Likewise, Agent Coulson appears in the first episode as a SHIELD tour guide.
- Noriko Ashida, aka "Surge", one of the newer members of the X-Men, later shows up after the group moves to Japan. Much like the use of Armor in the X-Men anime, she was probably chosen because the character herself is Japanese.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy appearing might be a mixed bag of unexpectedness among viewers especially considering that their movie just came out. However Fin Fang Foom appearing in the same episode as them is completely unexpected.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Noriko Ashida aka Surge. This time, blue is her natural hair color.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tony Stark got called out twice in the first episode for holding a party to announce his creation to the world and for doing it on an island full of captured supervillains. Both are later justified by the plot, in that the DISKs are specifically designed to imprison supervillains and that he threw a party in order to show the fruits of his and Akira and Hikaru's father's work to his sons.
- Happens in episode 19, when Noriko calls Hikaru out on revealing her status as a mutant after he said he wouldn't. Of course, he didn't and she was actually caught on camera by Stark International's cameras.
- Wolverine Publicity: The Avengers used in the show are the ones from the movie (minus Black Widow and Hawkeye, who both make appearances later). Spider-Man (who is an A-lister in his own right and very big in Japan) and the Wasp are the only non-movie regular characters, at least at the start.
- X Meets Y: The Avengers meets Digimon (Digimon Frontier, to be specific). Alternately, The Avengers meets Monster Rancher with a side of Transformers Armada.