X-Men '97 Directors Unpacks the Show's Anime Influences

It seems the original X-Men animated series wanted to lean on anime as well.

X-Men is back, and the Marvel team has never looked so good. Over on Disney+, the superheroes have made a comeback courtesy of X-Men '97. The animated revival hones in on the highs of X-Men: The Animated Series with a few big updates. And recently, two of the show's directors weighed in on its anime influences.

Speaking with ComicBook, Eli Yonemura and Chase Conley broke down their aspirations for X-Men '97. It was there the duo touched upon anime's influence in the series, and it is littered everywhere.

"Chase [Conley] and I talked about that first off, when we both were signed on. We said there's a lot that we want to take from the original series, but there's also so much more from eighties, nineties animation. One of the biggest things that even Larry Houston talks about on the original was being restricted by budget. But then you go over, and you look at the Japanese animation that was coming out at the time, and I'm sure that they were restricted by budgets as well. But look at them. Look at them. They're gorgeous," Yonemura shared.

"We both grew up with that as well. And Larry talked about how he was even referencing that stuff as much as he could that it meant, 'Oh. Good. So we're all in the same mind frame here that 'Let's just bring that to the X-Men. We've got this budget now thanks to Marvel. Let's show some cool shit.'"

Adding in, Conley admitted the directors behind X-Men '97 conferred with Houston about the revival as the director of X-Men: The Animated Series opened his doors. It was there the team learned Houston had his own anime aspirations for the X-Men team.

"It was cool, especially even with Larry [Houston] when we had a dinner, and then he came in for an edit. And he was like, "You're making the show that I wish I would've been able to make." Because of the restrictions that Emi mentioned, he was really influenced," Conley shared.

"He had seen Ninja Scroll. He was really into that. But at the time, it was schedule was crazy. Budget was very limited. And I think also the talent base at the time, they came from a different school of thought, whereas now, the market has shifted. The audience is much more in tune with somewhat more cinematic staging I think when it comes to certain series, because of anime."

If you have watched X-Men '97, you can definitely tell the series leans into some of anime's innovations. From familiar storyboarding to character composition, the team behind X-Men '97 is using anime as a way to elevate the Marvel series. And given how well the show is performing, it seems the influence is paying off. 

What do you think about X-Men '97 so far? Have you picked up on its anime influences? Let us know what you think in the comments below as well as on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me up @MeganPetersCB to share your take!