Video game based cartoons are thankfully few and far between. Some are perversions with many being outright atrocities. Occasionally, there’s a decent one, but even then they’re not that good. Mega Man falls into the latter. Based on the popular Capcom game, Mega Man is surprisingly descent, for a video game cartoon.
Mega Man is a staple of the NES. It only stands to reason he’d eventually see life in another medium. The story follows the basics of the game. Dr. Light (or Right if you’re from Japan) and Dr. Wily create Reploids (robots) to perform basic functions. Wily, true to his name, goes all evil, steals the research, and creates Proto Man. Light creates Rock, Roll, Guts Man, Cut Man, and some other poorly named creations. Blah, blah, blah, Rock becomes Mega Man, battling Dr. Wily along with his sister Roll and dog Rush.
If you’ve ever played a Mega Man game, it’s basically that, only more story oriented. If you’ve played a Mega Man game and wondering how they could spin that tale into a cartoon, you’re not alone. The show overall was a mixed bag. Airing from ’94 – ’95, and based on a Japanese property, the show was anime-lite. Anime wasn’t mainstream outside of Japan yet, giving the show the same feel many other ‘hidden’ anime at the time had, like Voltron or Dragonball Z. Watching it now these anime-isms are painfully apparent.
The general character design was bothersome. Mega Man looked too human, with muscular contours and definition. He’s a robot, not a guy in a suit. Not that I expect him to look like his normal, squat video game self, but seeing those features stretched out to fullsize proportions was off putting. The rest of the Reploids looked descent though. Keeping uniform, the voice acting was a mix of descent to terrible. Nothing that was an outrage mind you, just the type of blase work typical for the time.
Easily the best episode of the show was “Mega X.” Mavericks from the future return to the past to steal resources. Mega Man is unable to damage them due to their futuristic upgrades. Arriving just in the nick of time, Mega Man X (who’s at least 4 ft taller than Mega Man) returns to the past as well in pursuit of the Mavericks. Why wasn’t this the show?
Despite the modernly perceived shortcomings, the show was quite successful for the time, garnering high ratings. Showing their eternally tightfisted nature, Capcom cancelled the series, refusing to spend more money on production. And gamers thought Capcom was ignoring Mega Man now.
Mega Man is a descent show I suppose. My nostalgia for the games constantly confuses my perception. When not watching, I reflect on it more fondly. After viewing an episode or two though, I remember it’s not that good. At least he’s hands down better than the Captain N version.
Remember this as fondly as I do? Think they could do better? Comment below!
In addition to THN’s Saturday Morning Cartoons and Nerd at the Movies, Tony writes for his own site, thecredhulk.com, about comics, video games, movies, TV and more, six days a week. You can follow his updates on Facebook or Twitter. Drop by and tell ‘em hi.
“For fighting robots, Mega Man!” – That’s deep yo.