So, this is a thing that I was recently made aware of.
Most people my age have fond memories of Fox’s X-Men cartoon from the early 90’s and one of those fond memories is likely to be the excellent opening theme. For those that don’t remember it, prepare for a treat.
From the ominous driving church bell to the squealing guitars and the building sense of tension it is a classic. It also helpfully shows off every member of the team, their name and their powers so it serves as a useful piece of exposition for anyone coming late to the party.
The show was a big hit and, even more importantly, the accompanying toy line was a massive success. And where money can be made off toys the Japanese aren’t far behind. So the show made the rare move from America to Japan with a Japanese dub.
And the Japanese team promptly took one look at the American intro and decided, nah, not nearly Japanese enough.
Thus was born, this.
It’s impressive that only 3 minutes of screen time could produce quite so much baffling insanity:
- Yes those aliens are brood who do show up in the cartoon (looking nothing like this) but why does Magneto have the ability to summon them from the ground?
- Brutal violence and decapitation!
- Beast can punch the ground hard enough to create earthquakes.
- This shot of Professor Xavier being an absolute pimp.
- Rogue’s super-power appears to be flirting.
- Jubillee and Professor X seem to need to do Katas in order to use their powers.
- Oh and telepathy can repel magnetism, apparently.
- Cable gets his own intro and his super-power appears to be “owns big guns.” (this is not wholly inaccurate). Cable is not a member of the X-Men in this cartoon, he does feature but only as an occasional guest star. I can only imagine that Japanese fans were baffled at why the gun toting guy in the intro didn’t feature in the show.
- Are those phalanx? On motorcycles?
- This amazingly emo bit of Drama with a capital D
- Iceman makes it into the intro? He’s in this show less than cable. Hell, he;s in this show less than Maverick!
And of course
- CRY FOR THE MOON! – which is now officially my favourite Engrish sentence in a Japanese song EVER!