Mega Man is one of the most iconic characters in video game history, the star of dozens of games across multiple series including many classics of the golden-age “platforming” genre. But while the character is a well-merchandised icon in Japan (where he’s known as “Rock Man”) and continues to appear in games to this day, the franchise has struggled to remain relevant in an ever changing age of game development – with many fans hoping that the announcement of a new animated series based on the characters would provide the shot in the arm it needed to get back into the spotlight.
Now, the first plot details and image have appeared online, revealing a very different Mega Man in Capcom’s upcoming animated TV series than those same fans may have been expecting.
The original Mega Man series was an anime/manga-twinged riff on futuristic robot stories, centered on the conflict between a pair of scientists. When the evil Dr. Wily reprograms a group of industrial robots into soldiers to help him conquer the world, his benevolent rival Dr. Light converts household robot “Rock” into the combat-ready Mega Man to defeat them by way of a special design that allows him to adapt and use the weapons of defeated foes. These adventures would eventually encompass ten “classic style” installments over three decades, along with the future-set “Mega Man X” series and a slew of other spin-offs and subseries.
The new animated series, however, will be leaving that scenario behind in favor of a new backstory cast in the mold of a more traditional superhero setup, but with a robot twist: The new storyline will follow the exploits of Aki Light, a “robot schoolboy” living in Silicon City who is can secretly convert into an armored, combat-ready form as Mega Man. It is not known at this point whether any other characters from the games like Dr. Light, Dr. Wily or any of the traditional “Robot Master” enemies will appear in the series; though Mega Man’s dog Rush is apparently present and accounted for. You can check out the new Mega Man’s design, below.
Man of Action Entertainment (Ben 10), along with DHX Entertainment and Dentsu Inc., are producing the new Mega Man animated TV series, with an elementary school crowd being the show’s demographic target. However, the producers believe that the series will also appeal to the character’s longtime fans from the games, citing “[Mega Man’s] unflinching wide-eyed optimism and an over-the-top sense of humor” as having been preserved from the original version. A feature film adaptation of the Mega Man property, supposedly not connected to the new animated TV show, is also being considered by Fox.
The new Mega Man animated TV series is slated to debut in 2017, in time to commemorate the Mega Man franchise’s 30th anniversary.