Animated Personality

Thanks to the fine folks at Megaman Outpost, an episode of the American Mega Man cartoon is available for download. Naturally, this excited me. I remember getting up at 6 in the morning for the sole purpose of watching that show. As the 45-meg download trickled along, I was nostalgic, hoping that the show would remind me exactly why I got up early on Saturday mornings. After watching it, though, I can only conclude that I must have been a big fan of lead paint, as well. The show is just so laughably bad that it hurts. I'll save you the long download by giving you a synopsis. I can't promise that it will be any good, but you know what they say, a humorist is only as good as his material. Or not. Just read. Let's start with the opening, which is usually where you'd begin anyway. Now, the animation here is pretty good, actually. It shows Mega Man being put together originally, and shows what he looks like under the armor. There's lots of little motors and metallic gizmos and wires. This is very cool.

And a little scary.

Still, all in all, the intro promises several good things, what with the epic blaster battle between Mega Man and Proto Man, and the nice shots of Light, Wily, and Roll, all set to some of the worst theme music ever. Then the episode title shows up, "The Mega Man In The Moon" -- a pun that awful assures that ill doings are afoot. And only seconds later, our suspicions are confirmed.

Obviously, that girl is talking to Mega Man. But look at Dr. Light. Sure, it appears that he's acknowledging her speaking about her father being a shuttle captain. But look closer, into those eyes, and there's something eerie there. Something not kosher, something odd. A sort of lust-filled gaze, inspired by Light's perversion. Or maybe it's just drawn awkwardly. Hey, if Jerry Falwell can do it, why can't I?

So, basically, this girl's dad is the shuttle captain on a flight to the moon. Fair enough. Mega Man, Roll, Rush, and Light are all there as well. Fair enough, though no explanation is given as to why. I mean, do they just like rockets or what? She is apparently friendly with them. No explanation is given to why she is friends with Mega Man and crew, but again, this is a kid's cartoon.

Of course, Wily's robots have to come in and muck things up. They do this with incredible aptitude, and even more incredibly awful puns, like this little gem from Cut Man. Mega Man decides to go investigate, as the girl's (I am not sure if she even has a name) dad is acting suspicious. Of course, he finds that Wily, along with Proto Man (huh?), Cut Man, Guts Man, and Crystal Man are plotting something on the moon. Naturally.

I am not sure why Proto Man is a villain in this cartoon. Perhaps the writers needed an evil sibling figure to balance out the boy scout nature of Mega Man, or perhaps they've never played the damn games. I am more inclined to believe that it is the latter, because the former requires a degree of psychological acuity and intelligence that this show quite simply is not capable of.

By the way, has Mega Man been working out, or what?

Anyway, the bad guys escape, and Mega Man gets some sort of jetpack to fly to some sort of space station, or something. There he gets into an altercation with the Robot Masters, who hold that one girl hostage, or something, and he backs off and flies back to some other place like a total moron. We then find out that Dr. Wily wants some sort of laser lens for a gigantic laser cannon he has built to hold the world hostage for ONE MEEEELLLION DOLLARS.

Sorry, that will be the last Austin Powers joke for this column.

So, anyway, Wily names this cannon the Alan Parsons Project...

OK, I promise, that was the last one, I swear. Anyway, he invades the base to find the lens, and does so. Mega Man shows up a little too late, and is informed that a bomb is placed on the base. I think. I realize that my summary is jumping around a lot here, but I frankly could not care less. Anyway, he sends for Rush and Roll to come up and help him find the bomb. Or they're sent, anyway. Of course, Rush gets "space-sick" on the way there and is temporarily unable to do his job, with twenty or so seconds left until the bomb goes off.

Never mind that Rush is a robot dog, with no digestive system and no nervous system designed to invoke feelings of nausea. He is here simply to be Scooby-Doo-esque comic relief. That's what the kids are into nowadays, I hear. So, anyway, with ten seconds left, Rush finally finds the bomb. The only problem is that he does this in much longer than ten seconds. And then Mega Man hucks it out into space, where it explodes. Did the bomb want to do this? Probably not, but bombs in television and movies have a lousy union.

So anyway, Wily and goons have made their way to the lunar base by now, bringing along their trademark lousy dialogue with them. Cut Man makes this poetic little comment after knocking a satellite dish onto some cybernetic soldiers. I know Cut Man and the rest are just robots, but even the one in Short Circuit had some range. Wily takes the lens and attaches it to the laser, deciding now is the time to make the prerequisite villain ultimatum to the United Nations, headed up by Rainier Wolfcastle. Meeting with refusal, he fires into... get this... a lake. Whoopty doo. He then threatens to fire at cities next. I am sure this paralyzes the U.N. with fear. Also, laughter.

So, Mega Man and crew arrive on the moon. Megaman flies in on his jet pack and is shot out of the sky. Wily commands Roll and the one girl to land their space shuttle, which they do. Cut Man and Guts Man attempt to thwart them by advancing on them with the terrifying battle cry of "Let's take some prisoners!" Roll tells the girl to run along, and she can take care of this. The robots let the girl by for no apparent reason and go after Roll, only to be held back by... her HAIR DRYER. I swear I am not making this up.

Luckily, Proto Man comes by and stops this idiocy. Then, some stuff happens, and Light tells Mega Man that he can recalibrate a satellite nearby to reflect the laser blast back at Wily, blowing up the cannon. He runs to the satellite control room to do just that, but Guts Man and Cut Man chase after him. Guts Man starts pounding down the door, and Mega Man decides to stop him the only way he can. With metal bars.

I would like to take this time to point out that Guts Man is a robotic war machine capable of smashing tanks like aluminum soda can, and he is getting stopped by a few steel rods. Thank you.

Some other stuff happens, I think Mega Man fought Crystal Man and won somewhere along there, probably before he recalibrated the satellite, but he does that, Wily fires the laser, and it reflects back, destroying the cannon. Wily, Guts Man, Cut Man, and Proto Man all escape. Mega Man just lets them. And that's pretty much it.

There were several times I thought this might be a decent cartoon, if the Robot Masters didn't talk like surfers using words like "dude", "bro", and "sis", if Rush wasn't so stupid, if Mega Man wasn't such a putz, if they had actually named the girl, if the theme song hadn't been so obnoxious, if the writers had put one millisecond of thought into it, you know, it might have been OK. Even so, I can't say I completely hate this show, because it is Mega Man, and if they post another 40-meg episode, I will download it, because I am a Mega Man fan, and my motto is "Baaaa".

- DarkMoogle, who isn't sure he'd like the idea of a Legends anime after this little trip down memory lane

P.S. - Next week is another reader mailbag week. Send me anything. What you did on Love and Peace Day, what you think about what happened on September 11, what you'd like to see in Mega Man X6, cash... just about anything your deranged little minds can come up with, I'll most likely print. I expect some good stuff from my little Fiber junkies, so make me proud.