The video game industry was on the rise after it was saved single handedly by Nintendo and their mustachioed mascot. What followed was the need to market several popular characters and market they did. The Mario Bros got their own series after successful sales of their first two games. Other video game properties and characters soon followed. There were hits and there were misses. And Devildriver1313 is gonna tell you about a hit. Welcome to Awesome Cartoons! Now have a look back at Mega Man, the animated series.
When he was introduced in 1987 by Capcom, Mega Man rose quickly up the ladder despite poor sales of his first title. The following releases featuring the Blue Bomber were more successful, enough to earn him a spot on the airwaves. Mega Man debuted in his own Saturday morning series in 1994, produced by Ruby-Spears in association with Capcom. The series followed Mega Man in his constant fight against the villainous Dr. Wily and his evil robots. Many familiar faces appear in the series including his sister Roll, faithful robo-pooch Rush, handy helper Eddie and, of course, his creator, Thomas Light. The premiere episode pretty much tells Mega Man’s story from his days as Doctor Light’s assistant Rock who decides to stand up to Wily after Wily, who is Dr. Light’s former assistant, stole and reprogrammed Light’s robots. Dr. Light rebuilds Rock in the fighting robot Mega Man. Following the pilot episode, Mega Man thwarts Wily’s various plans a la “Super Friends.”
AWESOMENESS!! Say what you want, I like the character designs. So Mega Man does not resemble the art work. So Roll is not in her signature red dress. But this is a step up from his depiction in “Captain N: The Game Master”. Even though in the latter series, his size was kept small, Mega Man was colored teal/green rather than his signature blue. “Captain N” Mega Man resembled his North America box art for the first game. For the 1994 series, Mega Man retains his blue coloration albeit he has an older appearance and is taller. Roll is significantly different as she wears a red and yellow jumpsuit instead of a red dress but at least she still has her pony tail. Nonetheless, the animation was crisp and smooth, especially in the opening sequence of each episode. Unlike the Captain N series, Mega Man and the other robots resemble their videogame counterparts more so than their depictions in the Nintendo based series even though they are fully human-sized. Each episode was packed with a good balance of action and humor. Most notably is that Mega Man cracked jokes and had pretty good one-liners. What is entertaining still is that Mega Man’s voice closely sounds like Dragon Ball Z hero Goku, which is ironic considering both characters are voiced by Ian James Corlett who voiced Goku in the original Funimation dub of DBZ’s first 67 episodes. And let’s not leave out that rocking intro. The mix of guitar with techno elements worked well with the intro and was used at moments throughout the series since it became something of Mega Man’s theme whenever he rushes into action.
WHY WE WATCHED!! With Mega Man becoming nearly as recognizable as Mario, it was only natural that we watched the animated series for a different perspective beyond the games. Other shows at the time, such as Dragon Ball Z and the Tick, that also blended action and comedy made the Mega Man series that much more enjoyable. Plus, there were many Dragon Ball Z tie-ins, such as the rivalry between Mega Man and Proto Man with the latter aspiring to be better than the Blue Bomber.
Sadly, Mega Man’s adventures came to an end after two seasons despite consistent high ratings. The decision was handed down from Capcom, most likely due to merchandising pressures from toy-manufacturing partner Bandai cutting several toy lines due to poor sales, including action figures based on Dragon Ball. An official soundtrack was released that featured artists such as Sugar Ray. Nearly all of the background music was reused in the early 2000s Westwood Media dub of Dragon Ball Z, which covered episodes 108 to 276. Though his adventure was short lived, Mega Man was an enjoyable cartoon and one of the rare video game based shows that did not fail to stay faithful to the source material.
Mega Man animated series intro!