The year is 2017. Video games are mocking presidents, popular sci-fi franchises are falling into the uncanny valley, but most importantly (of course), on the year of his 30th birthday, our favorite Blue Bomber is nowhere to be found. That was until, what is currently an unconfirmed leak for the upcoming Mega Man cartoon appeared.
While it's not confirmed, it's believed that Mega Man is currently in development and set for a 2017 launch with a 26-episode first season. The show will be made by Man Of Action Entertainment, whose past and current works include Ben 10, Generator Rex, Marvel's Ultimate Spider-man, Marvel's Avengers Assemble, and will be adapting Big Hero 6 to series. It's an impressive pedigree of work.
And then there's the aforementioned leak which you should definitely watch:
Fans can argue if this is a leak or a fan video (and many will hope it's the latter), but what cannot be denied is both the quality of the animation and the similarity to the official concept art of MegaMan. If it is official, what do we make of what we've seen so far?
The Leaked Intro Is Worrisome
The thirty-second intro makes one thing very clear: this is a departure from the source material. Having MegaMan shout "Mega-nize Me!" to morph into MegaMan, Power Ranger-style, is a big departure from the classic series. In the original, when Rock became MegaMan, from then on he was just MegaMan.
Duncan Rouleau of Man of Action Entertainment said differently:
"The Mega Man that you knew and fell in love with is still going to be the same Mega Man. He's going to be the younger version of him (because there's been a couple of different versions of him over the years), a lot of familiar villains and some new ones -- some major new ones."
An official press release statement about the show from May of last year (that's how long it's been since there's been official news) states:
"The series will star a young and otherwise normal robot named Aki Light with a secret power: He can become Mega Man, "the world's first robot super-hero." Set in Silicon City, the series showcases Aki's struggle to maintain his superheroic duties on top of his everyday life. He'll be joined by familiar characters like Rush, along with newcomers with names like Mega Mini."
What's the life of a "normal robot"? I have a feeling this means MegaMan will be going to school rather than helping Dr. Light and Roll in the lab.
Another Leaked Video Shows Some Promise
If you were skeptical about the show, the video that was taken down showed us one major thing: the action looks promising. In the clip it showed Mega Man throwing down with Fire Man (shown above) and later Drill Man made an appearance. While brief you can also catch a glimpse of Aki Light morphing into Mega Man, Power Rangers style.
Other than the "morphing", everything else in that teaser was what I wanted to see. It gave me hope. Too bad it's been taken down.
It's worth noting that there's two MegaMan games for the DS that featured human protagonists that could "megamerge" with biometal into a "MegaMan." However it was never MegaMan himself - he was a robot.
If You Want The Show To Happen, That's Still Likely
If you enjoyed the clip and are hoping this is proof the show is still in the works despite no official announcements in a while, there might be good news. The previously leaked MegaMan clip was recently taken down due to a copyright claim from: "Dentsu Entertainment USA, INC..". A public document off their website, dated May 26th, 2016, states:
Dentsu Entertainment USA and DHX will manage all global rights for the new Mega Man animated series. Distribution and licensing in the United States will be handled by DHX in collaboration with Dentsu Entertainment USA.
While this second leaked clip included teasers for several others cartoons that appeared to be upcoming shows airing for an international network, Dentsu's website shows no involvement with any other upcoming programs beyond Mega Man. With this video haven been taken down on March 27, 2017, it shows that Dentsu is actively protecting the brand, likely because the show will see a release.
This isn't the first adaption of Mega Man to TV. Another existed in the 90s and was more faithful to the game series. But the 2017 series will prove more crucial to the franchise's future. There hasn't been any new titles in several years, and the best #Capcom has done was re-release classic games (some not particularly well done ports for mobile).
It'll be up to this show, in whatever form it takes, to bring the Blue Bomber back into the mainstream. As fans we can only hope this show succeeds and leads to what we really want, new games!
What are your thoughts on the intro? Are you looking forward to the upcoming series, whenever that may be? Let me know in the comments!