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Super Crooks Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
Super Crooks is a Netflix Original anime series directed by Motonobu Hori and written by Dai Satō and is based on the Icon Comics miniseries created by Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu. Supervillain Johnny Bolt (Kenjiro Tsuda) embarks on the most dangerous heist of his career when the legendary thief known as The Heat runs afoul of the supervillain organization, the Network. Johnny intends to rob the private casino of Christopher Matts—a.k.a. the world’s greatest supervillain, “The Bastard”—and steal his entire fortune to help out The Heat. To do so, he recruits a gaggle of supervillains, including his psychic girlfriend Kasey (Maaya Sakamoto), TK McCabe, a telekinetic pickpocket, Forecast, who can manipulate the weather, Roddy and Sammy Diesel, twin brothers with an accelerated healing factor, The Ghost, a gentleman thief who can turn intangible, and the Gladiator, a superhero who Johnny blackmails into joining his heist.
This is the second of Millar’s comics to be adapted under his deal with Netflix, following Jupiter’s Legacy. Whereas Jupiter’s Legacy was hampered by a glacial narrative, unengaging characters, and the fact that previous superhero adaptations had done a better job with the themes it attempted to tackle, Super Crooks has one of the most inventive hooks that I’ve seen in a comic book adaptation. It’s essentially My Hero Academia meets Ocean’s 11. Ironically, most of the heroes from Jupiter’s Legacy appear throughout the series, which left me wondering if perhaps that series would have worked better as an anime.
Another surprise: the events of the original miniseries don’t take place until the last four episodes. This lets Sato expand upon the original text, with Millar providing a backstory for the Crooks and Yu designing their younger selves alongside character designer Takashi Mitani. Unfortunately, this is a bit of a double-edged sword. While events such as Johnny’s childhood and a previous heist involving the Crooks trying to break into a superhero team’s headquarters provide more context for their ultimate heist, I would have liked to see some time dedicated to Johnny and Kasey meeting in the past as their relationship is a huge part of the series. I also grew annoyed that episodes would often repeat information established in a previous installment. At times, it felt like Sato didn’t trust the audience to follow along.
However, I must applaud Sato for crafting a narrative that avoids the dreaded “Netflix bloat,” with 13 30-minute installments keeping a steady pace while dealing out plenty of character development and action. The Crooks are some of the most compelling supervillains I’ve seen in a minute; though Johnny’s a crook, he genuinely loves Kasey and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Kasey shares the same sentiment but isn’t willing to put up with Johnny’s shenanigans landing him in Supermax jail. The Heat also mentored Kasey, and she sees him as a bit of a father figure; Johnny also warms up to the older man, affectionally referring to him as “Gramps.” The rest of the Crooks bounce off each other very well—the Ghost’s refined manner leads him to butt heads with Johnny, and the Diesel Brothers are intensely uncouth.
Animation for the series is handled by Studio Bones, who is best known for their work on My Hero Academia and Fullmetal Alchemist. Fans of those series will go nuts over the action sequences here. Hori gets creative with the use of superpowers, especially where the sociopathic superhero Praetorian is considered. He has over 200 abilities and manifests them at random, leading to intense fight sequences with Johnny and the rest of the Crooks. The Diesel Brothers’ ability to regenerate also results in sequences that test the amount of punishment the human body can take; it’ll also test how strong viewers’ stomachs are. Another sequence where Johnny and his supervillain friends rob a string of jewelry stores finds them racing through the streets of San Francisco, avoiding the police and a pair of superheroes-with one hero transforming into a massive Superball and cracking the pavement with each bounce.
Super Crooks blends a creative premise with equally creative animation, resulting in a fast-paced, funny, and extremely entertaining anime series. If you are a fan of Invincible or The Suicide Squad, this series will be right up your alley. I hope that Millar looks at what made this series work and keeps it in mind when crafting future adaptations of his works.
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