Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Cartoon Historian Presents: In Defense of the Mega Man Cartoon.

This Is A Cartoon Historian Special Presentation!

Mina: Hey everyone,Mina here. To get us ready for the Big 'Games to Toons' Cartoon Historian episode,Stefan is gonna be giving his defense of the Mega Man Cartoon. In the same manner that he did with the Street Fighter Cartoon. Think of this as a Pre-Game show. Anyway,here's Stefan.

Thank you Mina. What you are about to read is a Defense of the Ruby-Spears Mega Man Cartoon.

In the 90's a Mega Man Cartoon series was created to complement the popularity of the hit Video Game series. However,a lot of fans,including Keiji Inafune himself,were disappointed about what they got.

The Show,despite what others say,isn't that bad. The Show has it's flaws yes,but what Game,Comic,or TV show doesn't?

First I'm gonna talk about the Series Flaws,just to get them out of the way. As well as the other reasons why Mega Man Fans tend to dislike this show. On with the flaws.

The first major flaw is,of course,that Mega Man and Protoman have muscles. The next major flaw is the one that annoyed Everyone,including Keiji Inafune. Protoman was a Bad Guy. I'll talk more about that later.

Another major flaw was the format of the show. Instead of being a cool action show,RS-Mega Man was a typical Saturday Morning one. Complete with corny dialogue,Stupid Animal Antics,inconsistancies,and over the top[and sometimes lame]plot devices.

The Next major flaw would be the artwork quality of Season 2. 5 of the episodes had fairly simplistic artwork. Especially the Curse of the Lionmen episode.

Anyway,the Final major flaw was the fact that Mega Man was called "Mega" all of the time. His name is Rock,not Mega. I was also annoyed by this.

Another reason why the MM fans hate this series is because when they watch it they compare it to the games. This is a problem that provents them from enjoying the series.

Now that all of the Major negatives have been covered...It's time for the Defense.

The first thing to defend is the Artwork.Season 1 had some good awrwork. I like it. However,in some episodes of Season 2,the artwork was simplistic. Plus,muscles and pretty Roll aside,all the characters looked similar to their Game Counterparts. So you can easily tell who they are,Unlike teir Captain N counterparts.

Next Up,I'm gonna defend is the Music. It's well writen and It went with the scenes well. Speaking of the Scenes,while the Storylines were medeocre at best,the Action was pretty damn good. You gotta admit,they were fun to watch.

Another thing I'm gonna defend is the Characters personalities. Considering that their Game Counterparts had little to no personalities to begin with,I'd say the personalities of the characters turned out decent. Except for Protoman's of course.

Also remember this Cartoon was being created in 1992. During this time period,The American versions of the games potrayed Mega Man and Co as Personalitiless. While,in The Japanese games the characters had very little personalities. These said personalities wouldn't begin to develop until Rockman 7.

Also Protoman,for the most part,in the NES games didn't do much. He was either Mega Man's opponent or a Rescuer,nothing else. There's also a chance that the Director and Writers never made it to the final stage of Protoman's fortress in Mega Man 5. This might also explain why RS-Darkman is designed after the 2nd Dark Sentinel and not the The 4th Dark Sentinel aka the Real Darkman.

I don't think they've played completely through Mega Man 3 or 4 either. That has to be the case,because if they Did,Protoman would be a Good Guy instead of a Bad Guy. Protoman is a villain because the writers saw him as one in the games.

They couldn't use Bass,because he wasn't created yet and during the creation of Season 2,which was in 1994,he was in the Planning stages.

The next thing I'm gonna stick up for is the Art Style. Like I stated in my 'Street Fighter Cartoon' defense,Anime wasn't that popular in the U.S. at the time. However,Anime would eventually gain a fan base in 1997,years After the series cancelation.

Not only that,but 8-12 year-olds,the main target demographic,were used to an American look and feel to their cartoons. BTW,did you know that most of the Art and Animation were done overseas in Japan. So believe it or not,the show is part Anime.

And So what if the Cartoon's not Canon. Hell,neither are the Anime OVA or The Mangas. Now if fans would just look past the mentioned flaws,they might come to respect,perhaps even like,this Cartoon series.

You also have to remember that compared to the Cartoons of today,the Mega Man cartoon is kinda cool. And thus concludes the Defense of the Mega Man Cartoon. I hope you all enjoyed this.

Unfortunately,like the Street Fighter fans,some Mega Man fans are just a bunch of purist pricks,closed minded people who hate the show mostly because it's not Japanese and Unlike the games. It's also a shame that Keiji Inafune didn't like this show either. In fact,Keiji Inafune was mostly responsible for the shows cancelation. I'll talk more about that when I'm covering the Mega Man cartoon show.

Luckily,I'm not the Only one who sticks up for this show. Here's my friend and fellow RS-Mega Man defender,General-Radix.

*scene swiches to General-Radix*

General-Radix: Thanks,Cartoon Historian. The following only concerns those "it's not canon!" fantards. The really obvious question is, "Why can't you guys just accept that, as a third-party production, it's not going to perfectly sync up to the canon set in place by CAPCOM?"

General-Radix: The way I see it, they can't accept this because they HAVE to find a way to wedge it into canon; seeing that they can't they declare it crap and bash it relentlessly. Why does it have to fit into canon? Does the fate of Mars hang in the balance? Is this bashing borne from some pathological need to organize?

General-Radix: The most common complaint is, of course, "They changed too many things". This does hold ground--but not much. The basic premise of the Megaman series, at least up to 1994, is "A jailbait blue robot blows up eight robots built by Dr. Wily". Nothing about the general location of these battles (A forest? Hell, that could be Wisconsin). Besides, you can't blame the artists for taking liberties with the designs--you bring me a person with official Rockman (not Mega) artwork back in the early 90s, and I'll show you a perfectly honest and selfless politcian.

General-Radix: The simple fact is, the NES Megaman games prior to 5 didn't have a great deal of story. What was in the manual didn't tell you jack about what actually happens in-game (even MM4 failed to mention Cossack in its intro, if I remember correctly). Shigeto Ikehara's mangizations of the series stray from that premise simply by adding dialogue, to say nothing of Karate-003.

General-Radix: So if Ikehara's manga is generally well-liked despite deviances from the games, why all the cries of "IT AIN'T CANON" directed towards the cartoon? To be honest...I don't know. Hitoshi Ariga's Megamix series is VERY well-received by the entire community, and its stories can only barely fit into game canon. (Granted, his artwork and storytelling are both excellent) Why don't I ever see any "IT'S NOT CANON" complaints flung HIS way? Is it because RS-MM is easier to pick on?

General-Radix: It could be because the adaptation decay is SO strong in RS-MM (though when you think about it, given the US boxarts and minimal plots, there's not THAT much decay--it even addressed the issue of how Megaman could get weapons from a robot he JUST BLEW UP) that purists look at it and say, "That sucketh." But really--isn't comparing differences between products part of the fun of being a fan of something with as much "extras" as Megaman?

General-Radix: RS-MM, at least to me, has some many differences while still retaining the "feel" of Megaman, that it becomes its own canon. That, and it's a fun cartoon, MM or no. So what if Megaman has a ridiculously well-sculpted torso (or at least armour giving him that appearance), Protoman is evil, sarcastic, and vaguely flamboyant, and Roll can *gasp* FIGHT? It's enjoyable, and really shouldn't be treated as "game canon".

General-Radix: Something occurred to me last night. SegaSonic's spinoffs AoStH, SatAM, Archie, and SU all get to be their own canons. Why doesn't RS-MM get that same status, despite being different enough from the source material to be so?

General-Radix: I have found another irrefutable argument to support Ruby-Spears Megaman. It involves another series, Double Dragon. Both Megaman and Double Dragon got cartoons, both frought with adaptation decay. So far, so good.

General-Radix: Let's look at the games being made for each series when the cartoons were still up and running. Megaman saw MM5, MM6, and MMX; Double Dragon saw Battletoads and Double Dragon and Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls. Notice something funny about Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls?

General-Radix: It's based on the cartoon. It's part of the main series, and it's based on the cartoon that is far from perfectly in line with the games. How many entries in the main series did RS-MM get? ZERO.

General-Radix: Take that, haters; RS-Megaman may not have fit the game canon like a glove, but at least it didn't muck up said game canon. (That said, I'm sure the DD cartoon is still enjoyable, ironically or no, and DDV wasn't made by the original company--but it's part of the main DD series, despite clearly being in a canon of its own)

General-Radix: RS-MM also has a page on TV Tropes, which I have contributed to. They mention a ways down that RS-MM was to look like the games, and get a good laugh out of their not sticking with it because of the later anime boom. I'd just like to point something out:

General-Radix: If they ignored the test audiences and went with the game style, the show would probably have been ignored and swiftly canned. I think all the fanbrats who whine about RS-MM not being anime should take that into consideration. I get the impression that they don't realize that anime used to be a niche market in the US.

General-Radix: On another note, I have yet to see a Sue written for RS-Mega. Guess the fangirls prefer jailbait. The worst one has to be shoehorning Bass into the storyline (with optional Treble). I normally wouldn't care--after all, continuity immigrations can be fun--but every goddamned time, not only is he exactly like his game counterpart, but he's little more than a plot device used to facilitate Protoman leaving Wily.

General-Radix: This is especially sad for several reasons: rarely is anything interesting done with Mr. Not A Fish (or maybe that's just because the fics I've seen doing this didn't have any further chapters/entries); he's usually just a worse version of Protoman, meaning of "worse" varying; and it's the "fans"/authors trying to force RS-MM to be a different-looking Capcom MM. The nice thing about MM is that it doesn't suffer from what I call "DBZ Adaptation Syndrome", wherein every third-party production of a given series simply reiterates said series' story. Even I could tolerate only so many dry retellings of the various Sagas.

General-Radix: I do have an RS-Bass; however, he's a non-combatant hacker whose voice rarely rises above "monotone". And it was almost solely to combat the above cliche. Also,Protoman defecting from Wily when done in a way that just stinks of "Stupid Ruby-Spears is stupid and didn't beat MM5 even though Darkman is present and named in the show! LOL". I think the italics says it all, really. (Again, I've used this, but at least built up to it. Plus, Proto had other problems besides Wily)

General-Radix: A sub-cliche would be Wily abusing Proto--which actually makes sense, since the only other way to keep the guy in check (all I've ever seen are tasers and one electro-baton) would be to wear a Ride Armour at all times and ready the pimp arm any time Proto started to speak. Proto would tire of this and "accidentally" screw up a vital component during its maintenance. (Again, one I used--which isn't speaking well of me--but I'd like to think that's it's MASSIVELY toned down from what other authors do)

General-Radix: Protoman swooping in to save Mega's arse. Again, it's the "fans" forcing the show to be like the games. (Granted, the two fics I read that did this were able to justify it, but I'm sure there are many others that don't bother) They tend to forget that Proto would rather fight alongside his bro rather than constantly bail him out game-style. (Jumping in to even the odds, I can let slide)

General-Radix: Realistically, Proto and Roll would run Mega ragged, what with their constantly rushing into danger and all. XD Bashing Roll because of her weapons. Yeah, using kitchen and cleaning stuff is kinda "eh", but seriously--you gotta admire a person, male or female, who can run into a battle with an egg beater or vacuum and come out alive.

General-Radix: Claiming that the production team never finished MM5. (Thanks a lot, Mandi) People who claim that either go entirely off of Mandi's opinion of the series (which I can't help but see as pettily negative), or are still butthurt over Proto being a "bad guy" (wake up call! He was a bad guy until the last few minutes of MM3!) Both parties tend to conveniently forget one detail. One detail whose name we wouldn't know for a while because his name was never given in-game. You know, DARKMAN. It's the gray one, but still--if Ruby-Spears knew about Darkman, they would know that Protoman was framed in MM5. Besides, the route they took gave Proto much more screen time than he has in practically every other media.

General-Radix: Calling Mega and other characters on the show something along the lines of "mutant bodybuilders". I know that he looks a lot bigger in comparison to Capcom-Rock, but Megaman really isn't that ripped (unless you're going by the promotional art/toys). These complainers need to look at actual bodybuilders/Rob Liefeld artwork--Mega is downright soft compared to them.

General-Radix: Complaining about the tiniest little things, like one solar panel on Mega's helmet being a diamond instead of a square (I HAVE SERIOUSLY HEARD THIS ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION). We have a trope for this, and it's called "They Changed It Now It Sucks". Don't expect this vile breed of complainers to have any legitimate complaints, either--just lots of superficial whining.

General-Radix: Incidentally, there was one fellow I talked to that disliked the show for legitimate reasons (not that I agreed with him, but they were valid points nonetheless). But then, he also shifted the blame of its cancellation from Bandai and CoA to the show itself, despite its high ratings.

General-Radix: In conclusion,Bashing RS-MM with the fury of a thousand suns for "not being like the games", but giving the "Upon a Star" OVA a free pass, despite it being different. This is a big fat double standard--the OVA, along with Megamix and the other mangas, are all different from the games, but no one care because they're Japanese. (Not going into quality matters here, people. This is strictly regional) They don't even freaking NOTE the differences in those cases!

General-Radix: This,however,is a whole 'nother rant, so I'll just paraphrase another RPM forumite and myself, respectively: "Hitoshi Ariga has truly captured the spirit of Rockman." "Because Megamix is Japanese." If you know of any others, I'd like to hear of them, so we can all laugh at its potential stupidity.

General-Radix: Back to you Cartoon Historian.

*scene swiches back to Stefan and Mina*

Thank you,Genaral.

Mina: Damn that was long.

But,it was to the point. That's gonna do it for now. See ya next time on The Cartoon Historian.

Mina: Later,guys.

1 comment:

KingsSideCastle said...

I think this was the cartoon that introduced me to Megaman. Nice entry Stefan.