When most fans think of Rockman X manga, they think of Yoshihiro Iwamoto. And quite rightfully so, as his work is iconic and the way it established a clear separation of tone between the original Rockman and Rockman X was mind-blowing at the time. I want to write about those mangas in-depth someday, but today is not that day.
No, today I’m writing about another.
As has occurred quinquennially since time immemorial (aka roughly every 5 years since the late nineties), Hitoshi Ariga is hard at work putting out yet another repackaging of his Rockman Megamix manga series. These latest versions of Megamix 1 and 2 and Gigamix 1 and 2 are already available in Japan, while Giga 3 is set to release there later this month. My servbot sense is tingling that Udon is going to be jumping on to bringing these newest compilations stateside. Call it a hunch. Should fans who already have the English editions be excited at the idea?
6/9 is Rokku Day! And the day Rockman 2 happens. I wasn’t expecting too much this year, but we already had a TV show announcement this month and now there’s another game collection coming! Not bad. Now, let’s look at a 20 year old Carddass Card because that’s the kind of thing you came here to see, right?
Happy Rokku Day!
So in two years, we’ll have another Mega Man cartoon… you know, maybe.
It’s the first sign we’ve been given in recent times that Capcom isn’t planning to just sit on the franchise and continue to squeeze out anniversary/nostalgia products. They are attempting to take an active direction, so that’s interesting. Especially that it’s going to be catering to a western demographic. I don’t have an opinion on the company Man of Action Entertainment, or its partner Dentsu Entertainment. I’m pretty sure I haven’t watched anything that either is associated with. Reactions I see from people more familiar with them seem pretty mixed. I’ll just withhold verdict for now and see what happens.
I do imagine that there will be tie-ins galore. You wouldn’t invest the time and money in the animation without thinking about toys and clothes and phone cases and other little plastic things to sell. I think it makes good business sense to get that brand recognition out to the younger generation. I think it’s clear that cartoons can certainly help sell video games, too. Battle Network 4 isn’t the highest selling Mega Man title of the 2000’s because it was such a great game, after all. I hope they can manage to synchronize and plot the game and the cartoon out together, if that’s the direction they are going in. Sonic Boom was good enough to show us what happens if you don’t and have to rush out one or the other.
I also hope that whatever comes out of it is something that I’m still interested in associating with, but I’ve already come to accept that these things will not be made with me in mind. We are living in an age where western cartoons have the capacity to be written for and enjoyed by children and adults alike, but I’m not expecting any miracles. There is potential though.
Regardless of whether this new direction is a future success or short-lived failure, my piles of classic games, sound tracks, art books, comics, and decades old untranslated lore will still be sitting here waiting for me. Even if the new Mega Man isn’t my Mega Man, it’ll be nice if it still connects as somebody’s Mega Man. Then again, if that would mean dooming others to share my fate of winding up old and heartbroken and still obsessed with a children’s franchise, then maybe that isn’t so great…
Oh that reminds me, I guess we have about 2 years then before Archie Mega Man gets cancelled or rebooted to be in line with the new product. Hope that’s enough time to get through all the time travel, Mr. X, and the Stardroids stories, but at the rate it gets interrupted for crossovers, chances aren’t looking so good. Well, it won’t be the first time a Mega Man comic is cut short of its planned scope. It’s practically a tradition.
Back around 1996 when China ran out of Japanese Rockman Carddas cards to import, they decided to make some of their own. Collectible card kingpin Adali took images from Shigeto Ikehara’s popular Rockman mangas (most of which had been released in China already), colored them, slapped some holographic foil on there and ba-da-boom, you’ve got a new cash crop. Now fans could revisit their favorite manga scenes in bright surrealistic color.
The few of these I’ve managed to acquire come from the manga adaptations of Rockman (the first game), Rockman World (1 & 2),and Rockman World 3. Enjoy the adventures of Rockman, Dr. Right, Dr. Wily, Blues, Rush, and Rell! (Dr. Right, Blues, and “Rell” not shown.)
Here’s something I’d been searching for for quite a while. This page from Japanese gaming magazine Marukatsu Famicom‘s coverage of Rockman 3 sheds a little more light on something I have long been musing about regarding Rockman published art.
Translation and analysis beyond.
Punk, Rockman Killer No. 2, is one bad mutha. He has an interesting design that breaks the mold of your average Mega Man boss while also staying true to the series’ style. His unconventional construction has been one of designer Keiji Inafune’s personal favorites (which you can read about in Mega Man Official Complete Works and Mega Man Battle Network Official Complete Works books). In one of his trademark moves, Punk’s unique body can compact itself into a ball that fits between his large shoulder armor plates to perform a powerful flying spin attack. A pretty bad ass transformation to be sure, but that’s nothing compared to the some of the interesting transformations he underwent across different regions back in the nineties.