If everyone else can use an image from the old cartoon to talk about the new, then why not Zoidberg? Er, me?
The recent announcement of a new Mega Man animated series from Man of Action Entertainment has sent the gaming world spinning, as many have covered the news with thoughts of what they would hope to see from the production. USgamer has gone a bit further with a full-blown editorial from Jeremy Parish on the matter, but the catch is in the title: "I Have No Idea What I Would Even Want from a Mega Man Cartoon."
Indeed, there are myriad possibilities, ranging from which of the seven different Blue Bomber series/stories to cover, as well as how best to do so. Of particular note in Parish's piece are the different possibilities around attempting to adapt the Archie comic book based on the Classic series:
One best-case scenario might be for the new television series to simply adapt Archie's comic work into serial animation. Then again, countless comics-to-cartoon conversions through the years have demonstrated the need for television to take liberties with print source material. Anyone who's ever suffered through filler episodes of a manga-based anime is well aware that what works on the page and makes for a fun five-minute read can feel drawn-out and tedious when stretched to 20 minutes of animation.
More's the pity, because the premium approach to animated adaptations can work. One need look no further than one of Mega Man's '90s contemporaries, Sam Keith's The Maxx, for an example of its potential. MTV created a shockingly good and shockingly faithful cartoon rendition of Keith's psychedelic, feministic deconstruction of superhero comics through careful pacing and a willingness to work within the boundaries of the property.
The other part of it comes back around to what everyone else is thinking: What does this mean for new Mega Man games?
In the short term, I don't think it means anything. This is strictly my opinion, but we've seen ourselves how Capcom USA seems to have a much greater love for the Blue Bomber family than Capcom of Japan. Not to say there aren't folks in Japan who don't appreciate Mega Man, but in the U.S., we've known that -- at least in the past -- it goes right to the top.
I honestly think this project is Capcom USA's baby, and much like the Archie comic book, it's essentially the most they can do without support from the motherland. And so they're doing all they can with it, perhaps in the hopes of raising Mega Man's profile enough that yes, another game might happen. But even then, whether or not that would be a Capcom product or simply made by an outside company as more of a licensed product than a proper new entry (think Bandai's Rockman.EXE WS versus the regular Game Boy Advance games).
Of course, it's too early to determine anything: With the cartoon not slated to hit until 2017, it will probably be a while before we have any idea of what they might do. For all we know, they'll do shorts featuring a different Mega Man series each episode. All we can do until more info comes is speculate.