A post from my old time Marvel blog concerning the Japanese opening title sequences to the 1992 X-MEn cartoon.
Spent a good part of last night reliving elements of my sordid past in the form of opening credits to a bevy of Japanese giant robot shows from the ’70s, ’80s & ’90s I found posted on YouTube and elsewhere. And I also came across the following tidbit that I’m going to share with you.
As some of you may remember from the dim, murky days of 1992 (and I’ve never felt older writing a sentence in my life), Marvel’s first major success in the animation market was the X-MEN cartoon which ran on Fox for a number of years. While the quality of the animation itself was hit-or-miss, the storylines and characters remained very faithful to the comics of the period, and it’s one of the stronger translations of a Marvel property to another medium on that basis.
Well, when the series was translated and syndicated in Japan a couple years later, the Japanese created their own opening title sequences for them (rather than using the American version with the incessant Da-Da-Da-Da-DAAA-Da-Da theme song.) There were two seasons’ worth, and they’re the closest you’re ever likely to get to seeing Jim Lee’s work animated.
The show itself was kind of fun to watch in Japanese as well, as they cast the voice actors to indigenous type-roles. So Jubilee sounds like your basic “cute anime girl”, Cyclops like your “main hero”, Wolverine the “gruff tough guy” and Gambit the “rival”, all staples of Anime at the time when the show was brought over.