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Anime / Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers

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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), Disney, and Marvel Comics.

Based off Marvel's popular Avengers franchise, the series sees Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Thor, 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 Akatsuki and his brother Hikaru 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 one the few superheroes left completely free and Iron Man only able to function with Akira's help, it's up to the kids to find the rest of the heroes in the world until they can be freed.

Though otherwise not related, July 22, 2017, saw the premiere of a new Marvel anime collaboration, called Marvel Future Avengers, that once again features the Avengers (same line-up as Disk Wars) teaming up with young, heroic teenagers who are the viewpoint protagonists, this time as mentors and with the teens having powers of their own. The series currently airs on Japanese satellite channel DLife.

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.
    • While she's never been unattractive, this is probably Wasp's best-looking Animated Adaptation.
  • Adapted Out: Besides the Avengers, most of Marvel's well-known heroes and villains are present in the series at some point. The Fantastic Four however, also one of Marvels A-list superhero teams, are surprisingly absent (potentially due to rights issues), as well as their most well-known adversary Dr. Doom.
  • Adaptational Villainy: This version of Loki is far worse than his canon comic book counterpart.
  • Age Lift: Tony Stark looks a bit younger than 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.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The anime ends 3 months later, when Iron Man visits Akira's school to tell him of another impeding threat.
  • 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.
  • Back for the Finale: Spider-Man, Giant-Man, Blade, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Samurai, and Mandarin all come back to help out the Avengers during the series finale.
  • Bald of Authority: Nick Fury, the head of SHIELD, is portrayed as a bald black man.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Joel, who acts like stereotypically The 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.
  • Book Ends: The anime begins with Akira at school, it ends with him once again at school but this time gets a call from Iron man telling him he needs his help.
  • 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". There are several aversions as well, Magneto, Blade, and the Guardians of the Galaxy just to name a few.
  • 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.
  • Degraded Boss: or degraded dragon in this case; the Celebrity Five, Loki's five dragons, are demoted to ordinary faceless mooks once Red Skull takes their biocodes and drafts them into Hydra. And they hate it.
  • Description Cut: Used dramatically 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.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: what Red Skull intends to create.
  • Enemy Mine: Magneto helps the X-Men defeat 3 Sentinels guarding Loki's ice palace since he too considers Loki a threat, and hates the Sentinels even more than he hates the X-Men.
    • Likewise, after the Celebrity Five have their biocodes stolen by Red Skull and are forced by him to become Hydra footsoldiers, they team up with Ed and Hulk to destroy one of Red Skulls 5 bases since they hate their current jobs.
  • Evil Genius: One of Loki's minions, Tim Gillian, refers to himself this way.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Silver Samurai and Mandarin vs Loki during the final episode, both since they won't allow anyone other than themselves to defeat Iron Man.
  • Fantastic Racism: Mutants are once again hated and feared, but 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.
  • Friend to All Children: Wasp suggests to Hulk that she thinks might make him more approachable to kids. Hulk 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 make 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 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 quite 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.
    • Also, almost every single character uses WESTERN naming conventions and names for almost everything, with there being very few instances of Japanese signage. It's almost a case of Gratuitous JAPANESE...
  • 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 old headphones around his neck to go with his skull-and-crossbones nit cap to help reinforce his aloof nature.
  • 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 suppressed 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.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Red Skull's ultimate weapon is a giant robot.
  • 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:
    • Japanese:
    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!"
    • English:
    Iron Man: "Suit up! It's on!"
    Thor: "For the glory of Asgard!"
    Captain America: "Courage, honor, freedom, and hope!"
    Hulk: "SMASH!!" (or he just roars).
    Wasp: "Villains in town? Let's take them down!"
  • 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.
  • Kill Sat: SHIELD has one named Blue Javelin. Ultron attempts to hack it so he can use it to destroy Techno Isle, forcing Iron Man to destroy the satellite first.
  • 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.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Red Skull uses Hikaru as a hostage to force Thor to fight the other Avengers. Ten episodes later, Baron Blood takes control of Chris, Ed, Hikaru, and Jessica, convincing them to attack Blade.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than Marvel's previous anime collaborations, which were aimed at the Seinen demographic. It does air on Disney XD after all.
  • 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 Men: 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.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: During Red Skull's arc (episode 23 - 33), Skull gives his supervillain team, the Masters of Evil a powerup with the Dimension Sphere, which grants each villain new powers and enhances their old ones. To counter this, Iron Man invents a new weapon, the Build Up Armor, for the Avengers.
  • 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. Later, Red Skull turns out to have a Mole inside SHIELD as well (hence why he knew about Hawkeye and Falcon's plan to rescue an abducted scientist), but his/her identity is not revealed.
    • The seemingly benign reporter Rosetta Riley is a member of Loki's gang.
  • Mole in Charge: Senator Robert Winters of the World Security Council takes over SHIELD and arrests Nick Fury on the grounds of collaborating with the villains, but Robert is 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 three Captain America movies and The Incredible Hulk (2008), respectively.
    • The First Episode is named "The Mightiest of Heroes".
    • The children are forced to leave America by the Superhero Registration Act.
    • Dummy, Tony Stark's bumbling mechanical arm assistant, makes several cameos in the series.
    • One of the things Loki tells a brainwashed 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.
    • The Mandarin's design is clearly inspired by the version seen in Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
  • 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. Of course, it ends up to be a 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The "Celebrity Five", the masked minions who work for Loki. Each of them serves 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.
  • 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.
    • Deadpool introduces himself as "the emissary from Hell", a la Japanese Spider-Man.
  • 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. Also seen among the villains, where Rosetta Riley is the only female member of the Celebrity Five.
  • Snake People: King Cobra can assume this kind of form.
  • 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.
  • "Super Sentai" Stance: episode 18, the 4 members of the Wrecking Crew introduce themselves with one of these.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Dimension Sphere is this for the Cosmic Cube from the comics.
  • Telepathic Sprinklers: When fighting Brother Blood and his vampires in a museum, Blade uses a single lighter to trigger all the sprinkler systems, which he filled with holy water beforehand.
  • 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 fluent English used by the DISK computer) is in Japanese.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While most of the superheroes the Avengers meet during the series come Back for the Finale, the X-Men are not seen or mentioned again after their story arc is over. What makes it this trope is that, when they were last seen, Cyclops and Beast were still trapped in DISKs, thus leaving it unknown if they were ever fully released or not.
  • 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 to show the fruits of his and Akira and Hikaru's father's work to his sons.
    • This is lampshaded by Pepper when she sardonically tells Tony off for holding the presentation at a prison.
    • 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 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.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Celebrity Five’s Enemy Mine with Ed and Hulk turns out to secretly be this. If Ed and Hulk succeed in destroying the Gaia Anchor, Red Skull’s plan will be thwarted. If they fail, they will most likely get killed. Either way, at least one of the people that the Five despise will suffer.

Alternative Title(s): Marvel Disc Wars The Avengers