For Your Viewing Pleasure: The Anime & Manga Realm of Mega Man

Back in August, members of The Mega Man Network, Stardroids.net, and Rockman.EXE Online gathered at Otakon to host a panel called "The Anime & Manga Realm of Mega Man," in which we took a look back at the Blue Bomber's history in both comic and animated form, from both sides of the Pacific. There was even video taken of the panel, so it could live on forever! Some of you demanded to see these videos, but we held out until we could provide the full experience at once. As it turns out, that actually wound up taking a while, but now? It is done.

Courtesy of Hardcore Hecxz, here is what went down at the convention:

In addition, for those interested, here is the off-screen video taken of Stardroids.net's Mega Man 9 Endless Mode Battle Tournament:

For the rest of what happened at OtaRockman 2010, you can find our full report here.

Will you be taking part next year?

Check Out These Robot Master Sculptures

I have to give props to anyone who goes to the effort of immortalizing me in sculpture. A fellow by the name Awasai has created a variety of Ariga-styled Robot Master effigies for you to enjoy. Only thing I could ever make in clay is rainbow colored spaghetti, and I had a convenient press device for that. Check out individual pics of Awasai's creations in his gallery. Via Protodude's Rockman Corner

More on Ariga in Toronto, Plus the Megavent

Recently, we brought you news of Mega Man Megamix creator Hitoshi Ariga making an appearance at this month's FanExpo Canada. Today, our friends at UDON have passed along the official word regarding the event, as well as another taking place in Toronto for those who cannot make it to the convention. First, in addition to the aforementioned Q&A panel on Sunday, August 29th, from 4pm to 5pm in room #203D, Ariga will also be at the UDON booth signing autographs throughout the rest of the show.

However, if for some reason you're in Toronto and can't make it to FanExpo (tickets aren't exactly cheap), there is still good news.

UDON Entertainment, the Japan Foundation, The Beguiling, and A&C Games are teaming together to present an event known as “Mega Man! Megamix! Megavent!” It will be held in Ariga's honor at the Japan Foundation prior to FanExpo at 7pm on Thursday, August 26th, and will be free to attend. However, space is limited to 100 people, thus necessitating RSVP.

The Japan Foundation is located on the second floor at 131 Bloor Street West, and you can RSVP your desire to attend by calling (416) 966-1600 ext. 103, or by doing so online here.

At this event, they will debut the newest volume of Mega Man Megamix, with the first volume available as well.

“We’re truly honoured to welcome Ariga-San to Toronto,” said event organizer and The Beguiling manager, Christopher Butcher, in a press release. “His work is very energetic and passionate, and it’s fantastic to see the games I remember investing so many hours into brought to comics! I think both fans of Mr. Ariga’s work on the MEGA MAN MEGAMIX manga, and fans of the Mega Man video games in general, are very fortunate to be able to meet him and will enjoy the event.”

While the doors open at 7pm, the event proper will begin at 7:30pm, during which Ariga will give a speech (in Japanese, via an English interpreter). Following that, he will take questions from the audience, as well as sign autographs for all of those in attendance.

And, in addition to the Megamix manga and its creator, Mega Man video games will be available to play and purchase, courtesy of A&C Games.

With that said, we at The Mega Man Network would just like to welcome Mr. Ariga to Toronto and North America, and we look forward to the event!

Mega Manga Updates: Delays, Delays, Delays

The alignment of our real-world 21st century years with the 200X timeline inhabited early on by Rock and company seems to have affected and distorted the chronological placement of the manga adaptations which chronicle his adventures, resulting in mass hysteria. That, or there have simply been some delays in the production process, and people are wanting to know what's happening. Whatever.

In either case, it appears that patience is a virtue... specifically, your patience will be a virtue for both Hitoshi Ariga and UDON Entertainment.

In the case of the former, Protodude has reported that the third volume of Rockman Gigamix (the second of which is pictured at right) has been bumped from it's planned July release to sometime in mid-September. Fortunately, in revealing the delay, online retailers Fukkan and Tanomi also disclosed the price: 1,200 Yen (roughly $13.85 USD).

Details on the story/stories contained within are few, save for that it will continue where the second volume left off, with more volume 3 details are expected to surface via Ariga's blog. And if you're in no mood to wait for UDON to announce an English version, you can learn what happened there over on the Rockman Perfect Memories forum.

And speaking of UDON, the second volumes of Mega Man Megamix and Mega Man ZX were slated for releases in May and early July, respectively, but neither made the cut. And while new information had not been provided, save to say that they were in the process of being approved by various parties involved in their production, Protodude did some digging and found that UDON has updated their release schedule to show that both titles are on track for a release sometime this month. Hopefully managing editor Matt Moylan will have more concrete release dates for us soon.

In addition, the third volume of Megamix is still penciled in for a September release, but will it make it in time?

In Baltimore This Weekend: OtaRockman at Otakon

This weekend in Baltimore, Maryland, from Friday, July 30th to Sunday, August 1st, will be Otakon. And what has become a part of the annual Otakon experience for many a Mega Man/Rockman fan is the gathering of like-minded individuals known affectionately as "OtaRockman." Each year, a fans tend to converge for cosplay photos and Mega Man gaming tournaments, with the time and place usually to be determined at the show (as Otakon tends to keep a rather fluid schedule; it's usually held behind or near the Starbucks kiosk at the main entrance). This year, the gathering begins at 11am on Saturday.

In previous years, Mega Man Battle Network games were the order of the day for tournaments, but host Terra Stardroid has decided to shake things up this year with a Mega Man 9 tournament in which you see how far you can go in Endless Mode within five minutes.

And yes, there will be trophies for the victors... or at least, there should be, if all goes according to plan. For your chance to be a champion, be at the OtaRockman gathering at noon on Saturday.

On Saturday at 8pm in Panel 6 (Hilton Key Ballroom 1-6) (date/location may be subject to change) will be the panel "The Anime & Manga Realm of Mega Man," hosted by myself, Tabby, Terra Stardroid, Robo Nanya, and Ryouko of Rockman.EXE Online:

For the past two years our focused group of Mega Man lovers have presented comprehensive panels at Otakon, all about our famous blue bomber. This year, we have dedicated ourselves to bringing forth all the facts and interesting tidbits about the adaptations of Mega Man into both the manga and anime forms. Several of them never made it to our shores, so we're sure you'll experience something new and exciting! As always, we'll also be doing our raffle for some unbelievable prizes. Don't miss it!

We even got a "Best Panel Award" (and the photograph you see at right) from Ending B, so give it a shot if you're in the area this weekend!

What unbelievable prizes will there be? Suffice to say that we once again have the support of our friends Matt Moylan and UDON Entertainment and JGonzo of Capcom Unity, but beyond that? It's a surprise!

And if you'd like to make plans for meeting with others at the event, we have a forum thread dedicated to that right here.

Even Mega Man Gets a Day Off

We got a quick heads-up from UDON today. Mega Man ZX Vol. 1, scheduled to release this week on June 2nd, has been pushed back to the next day, the 3rd. The reason being is all books are shipping a day late due to today being Memorial Day. Ah well, what's one more day? Incidentally, while not Mega Man related, if you're a fan of Hitoshi Ariga's work then you should check out Mimimi, which is available for digital download on Amazon for $2.99. It may not be about Mega Man, but it still has cats and robots from the sound of it, and it looks adorable. Even if you don't own a Kindle, you can get a PC Kindle app from Amazon for free.

Megamix's Hitoshi Ariga Now Answers Your Questions!

Mega Man mastermind Keiji Inafune has had his chance to answer questions from the fans... twice, even. Now, it's time for the maestro of Mega Man Megamix to take his turn at bat, courtesy of the Capcom Unity and the Blue Bomber's 22nd birthday celebration held back in December of last year. Here is what he had to say, and JGonzo from Capcom notes that #3 will likely thrill our very own resident zippo, Heat Man:

1) Oakie620 asks: What inspired your work on Mega Man Megamix? And do you have any interest in working on manga based on another Mega Man series such as X, Zero, ZX, Legends, Battle Network or Star Force?

Ariga-san:

I was originally a manga artist for a magazine called Comic Bom Bom published by Kodansha in Japan. I mainly worked on one-shot mangas but also worked on 4-panel Mega Man manga at a time. I received many positive reviews for those works, and the publisher asked me to work on the Rockman Tanjo Densetsu (direct translation: Legendary of the Birth of Mega Man). I started to receive more work from Kodansha, and one day they brought me a one-shot Mega Man feature for a Comic Bom Bom extra edition. That was the Mega Man Remix which eventually served the basis for Mega Man Megamix. There had had already been a Mega Man serial manga in the original Comic Bom Bom issues, written by Shigeto Ikehara. His manga was initially created to serve as a game strategy guide. I loved the detailed illustration of his work. His being the original, I thought mine should be somewhat different as a special version. Hence, I paid a special attention the art design to differentiate it from his work. I designed the robots slightly different from the original art including Mega Man himself.

What influenced me most was the Gundam serial manga by Kazuhisa Kondo in Comic Bom Bom. In Kondo’s Gundam manga, Mobile Suit I saw in the TV animation was illustrated in more detail with an additional maintenance hatch. That impressed me quite a bit who was then an elementary school kid. To add details to modify the original forms has become quite common nowadays, like you see in the Gundam figurines. I think that it was Kondo who established the trend of “turning the original art into more elaborate one”. I thought it was a great idea to adapt Kondo’s concept into my art. After discussing the idea with the editor, I worked on Mega Man to add more details along with all the robots created by both Dr. Light and Dr. Wily and submitted them to Capcom for approval. From then on, Inafune-san was in charge of overseeing the character design directly. He gave me feedbacks and we worked together to gradually add more robots.

I’ve always liked those independent robots compared to human controlled vehicular robots. Mega Man was my favorite game of all times, so being a young artist, I felt very passionate about drawing Mega Man manga. I poured all the energy into the work. That is how Mega Man Megamix got started.

Well, I would really love to work on other Mega Man series, but there are so many great artists out there already working on some of the Mega Man series so I don’t know if I get a chance to work on another one. No one has created an epic manga based on Mega Man Legend so if would love to work on that.

2) Eduardo asks: I like drawing the character from time to time, so I have a minor problem when looking at the blade in Forte's helm, in my understanding, the entirety of the yellow (inside) of the blades is one smooth concave shape, and the whole outer side (black) of the blades is convex, some artist draw it angled somewhere atop of the helm, then only the back-half is convex, and the front half is either plane or concave, wich is the accurate one? or is it all just perspective?

Ariga-san:

I, too, have a hard time drawing Forte. I also really like his helm, but I admit that it’s really hard to draw it in a three-dimension form. I think Capcom has the answer for this one, but ultimately, I think it’s the best to draw it however you like it as an artist.

3) Cory asks: Who was your most favorite Mega Man Character to draw in the comics and why?

Ariga-san:

My favorite is Heat Man. Out of all the boss characters, I think he is the best. I must say I like almost everything about the character, namely the tackle action, sound effects, and even the stage music in the game. Whenever I draw Heat Man, it reminds me of the time I was deeply enthralled by the video games. I also like Dr. Wily. He’s evil but somehow lovable and very “humanly” character. Dr. Light, on the other hand, is always well-behaved, but seems too controlled to get loosen up.

4) Koop asks: Ariga-san, when you write your stories for Megamix/Gigamix/etc, where do you get the inspiration for each of the different characters' personalities?

Ariga-san:

The characters didn’t have much of a personality in the early stage of the development, but they had more of functionalities for robots. (For example, Cut Man was designed for outdoor work so he’s rain resistant etc.) So I imagined each personality based on his moves from the game. I brainstormed the story for the manga while playing the game, fighting each boss character over and over. For instance, I determined Skull Man’s personality based on the fact that he doesn’t move until the player takes the first move. I also got inspirations from the weapons they use. I had conversations in my head, “If this is his weapon, his personality could be like…” and so on. Flash Man must have a mean bone since he stops time and attacks. From mid-dated to later-day Mega Man robots, there had been some personalities officially fixed from the game, so if their characteristics didn’t conflict with the overall Megamix world, I tried to stick to the official settings. There are bosses from Mega Man 5 that are a bit prankish though…

5) Mikael asks: What had specifically inspired you to become an artist/illustrator?

Ariga-san:

One day I just found myself lost in drawing. I’ve always liked to draw since I was little. I was so moved by New World by Osamu Tezuka and inspired to become a manga artist. I had never realized until then that manga artists could tell such great stories. Something so great can come out of manga. I aspired to create a grandeur world and tell my own story through my manga. That desire has led me where I am today.

Hopefully that third question doesn't give Heat a big head. In any event, we're not sure if more questions and answers will be forthcoming as they were with Inafune, but if they do, we'll be sure to let you know here.

Thanks once again to Capcom Unity for hosting these Q&A for us-- that is, for the Mega Man fandom-- as well as Mr. Ariga and Mr. Inafune for taking the time to provide these answers.

Those whose questions were picked are going to receive a reward of "mega bonus unity points" to be used on the auctions that are exclusive to Capcom Unity members-- consider that a good reason to sign up, should something like this come around again.

Mega Man Megamix Arrives Wednesday; Final Preview Page Emerges

Now that this battle station is fully-armed and operational once again, we can now bring you the final preview page of UDON's Mega Man Megamix Volume 1, which will be available in comic shops everywhere this Wednesday. This last preview page gives us details of a fan-favorite Robot Master whose past is more mysterious than many of us at first thought:

Click to enlarge.

UDON Managing Editor Matt Moylan informs us that while comic shops will have the book, other retailers such as Amazon should be shipping the book "any time" as well.

And for those skeptical that this is really it, Mr. Moylan offers the following image as proof of the finished book's existence:

Click to enlarge.

You might notice that Megamix does not sit alone here; in fact, arriving at comic shops this Wednesday will also be the first issue of UDON's Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, and I'm sure they would love it if you all would give that a shot as well. After all, you never know when some of the artists might decide to sneak in something of interest.

Your Latest Mega Man Megamix Robot Master Profile

The first volume of UDON's Mega Man Megamix is only one week away from release, and as promised, they have passed along another preview page from the book's profile section:

Click to enlarge.

Did any of you guess correctly?

Mega Man Megamix Pre-Release Placation

Last week, we delivered the sad news that the first volume of UDON's Mega Man Megamix is facing a slight delay, with its release now scheduled for February 24th, 2010. In the meantime, so as to avoid a robot revolution of their own, they are offering some preview pages from the profile section of the book. Last week, we got to learn why Quick Man is so darn quick. This week, we discover how it seems a handful of leaves can survive attacks that would leave most cities reduced to rubble:

Click to enlarge.

Check back with us next week for the third preview page. Any guess as to who it might be? I'm going to say Metal Man.

Comic Book Resources Interviews UDON's Matt Moylan for Mega Man Megamix

UDON Entertainment Editor Matt Moylan wanted us to let you know that he has a new interview with Comic Book Resources, in which he talks about the upcoming Mega Man Megamix manga, which will at long last see its first volume released in North America to an English-reading audience on the 27th of January, 2010. Subsequently, volumes two and three will be released in April and July, respectively. In the article, Moylan discusses (among other things) Ariga's work and the stories within, the process of bringing it over, and why it had not happened sooner. If that wasn't enough, CBR also has several exclusive preview pages available for your perusal.

On top of all that, he gives us a clue of what to expect from UDON on the manga front in the future: "if these first two Mega Man series do well, there are several other Mega Man manga titles we have our eye on. At the top of our list would be 'Mega Man Gigamix,' Hitoshi Ariga's long-awaited follow up to 'Megamix.' This series has just begun in Japan, and fans are already singing 'Gigamix's' praises."

Without further ado, go check it out. And, if you've gotten your hands on either the Mega Man Official Complete Works or the Mega Man X Official Complete Works, be sure to tell him what you think of them in this thread of our forum!

Oh, and you heard it here (well, in the interview) first: Heat Man is officially "just-plain-nuts."

Commence Drooling: Gigamix Postcards

Certainly, Turbo Man may be facing a little bit of an indignity at the moment, but never fear, for Hitoshi Ariga is here to make all wrong things right! Those who purchased the recently-released Rockman Gigamix from certain retailers in Japan received a nice little bonus: postcards featuring more, exclusive art from Ariga. And one person who managed to acquire all three, Dark Messiah, has decided to share:

Click for a larger view.

If by some chance you are in a position to get one (or more) of these cards, the left comes from e-Capcom, the right from Tanomikumo, and the awesome middle card comes from Fukkan.

I can't help but wonder if Ariga's version of Turbo Man can actually transform in a realistic fashion. After all, he has dabbled in TransFormers: Galaxy Force, so maybe...

In any case, I suppose now is as good a time as any to begin begging and pleading to UDON to include these in the English version of Gigamix when it eventually arrives.

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Ariga comments on character submissions, gives us some pointers

A few days ago, we posted that Hitoshi Ariga was taking applications for fan created characters to appear as "throwaway characters" in upcoming issues of Rockman Gigamix. So far he is purely delighted about the number of submissions that have come in so far, including those from outside of Japan. However, Ariga also feels there may have been a little something lost in translation. For that reason, he wants to give us some specific pointers to keep in mind when submitting entries from now on:

  • Please do not enter robots created by Dr. Light and Dr. Wily.
  • The chosen robots that appear will not be villains.
  • The chosen robots that appear will not face Rockman.
  • They are defense robots who are protecting the Earth from enemies from space.
  • The storyline for the upcoming Gigamix issues is set in stone, so these characters will not have any impact in the story.
  • The robots will not do anything in particular in the comic, and probably will not have any lines.
  • It is possible the robots will be destroyed the moment they appear (so don't expect the selected robots to do anything cool).
  • Not every robot submitted can be used, unfortunately.

He also makes a point that should he select any robot who was entered with the intention of being a Wily robot or the like will not have such a background in the comic and apologizes. Now of course, I made it pretty clear in the last post these would be throw away characters, and there was no point in making a character overly cool or with a deep background. But I can't blame people for wanting to enter their cherished designs, even if it's just to show off. Just remember that this is Ariga's work, and I imagine he's slightly embarrassed to bring this up. Then again, I do feel most non-Japanese entrants had the right idea, and plenty of Japanese entrants are "Something Man" entries themselves. Nevertheless, Ariga could have easily ignored non-Japanese entries as well, so I think this is rather big of him.

Anyway, just keep those points in mind and keep the submissions coming!

Ariga opens "Moburobo" oekaki; get your character in upcoming Rockman Gigamix

OB1254982028527Ariga recently released the first volume of his new Rockman comic series Rockman Gigamix last week. Now he is looking for fan-made designs to use as extras in the remaining two volumes of Gigamix to come. And how is he taking applications? With oekaki! With this oekaki board, you can draw your character entry on the spot or upload an image you've already created by other means. So what are the conditions for entry? Well, Ariga himself says to just have fun with it. Bear in mind, though, these are just extras, or rather "yarareyaku," which so far as I can tell means "for the purpose of being destroyed," so basically scrubs. Therefore there's not much point in creating the most bad ass awesome character you can think of - he's probably going to appear in just one or two panels with a bunch of other characters before being wiped out! Also, I'm certain drawing anything gross or offensive won't get you anywhere.

If you're unfamiliar with oekaki, you may want to try out on our own board first (and I imagine our oekaki gang will be excited about this news, too). The Moburobo board uses only Shi Painter and Shi Painter Pro. And of course, it will be in Japanese, but you probably only need to draw your image, and then enter a title, description and your name. Perhaps I will make a simple guide if I try to enter a character myself.

But hey, how cool would it be to have your own character appear in a Rockman Gigamix comic? Very cool! So by all means, give it a shot. Besides, I love stuff like this. It's always a chance for us outside Japan to show our support for Rockman/Mega Man!

Thanks to Fireman for the tip.

Update: Now that I've had time to check out the site a little, I've found it's extremely simple to put up your pic (as I'm sure some readers have found already). Unless you're really dying to draw your image from scratch in the oekaki applet, just go here to upload your own picture. The fields are all in English, so no confusion! And you don't need a password to upload a picture. That field is for you to create your own password, so you can go back and update your post if you wish.

Also, pictures need to be in JPG, GIF or PNG format, no greater than 400 x 400 in dimension, and no greater than 100KB in file size. If your picture isn't uploading, one of more of these things may be the problem.

Ariga's Rockman Megamix Reprints Coming 5/26

Coming on May 26th to Japan will be the second reprints of the first two volumes from the Rockman Megamix manga by artist Hitoshi Ariga. Preorders are now being taken on Amazon of Japan for these 1,600 Yen (approximately $15) books. For collectors, the big draw here is the new covers made for the books by Ariga himself. You can compare them to the previous covers shown in the link above.

Curiously, there has yet to be a reprint of the Rockman Remix manga that I'm aware of; I think some of the contents were taken for the new versions of Megamix, but the Rockman X Megamissions manga has not been among them, from what I've heard.

With any luck, Udon's recent announcement of bringing Rockman manga to America will yield these tomes. And if so, hopefully we'll get the whole lot of stories, both old and new, Classic and X.

It would also be nice if they had some sort of cover galleries as well. Or even all-new covers by Ariga, but that might be asking a bit much. That said, does anyone have a preference of covers for these stories?

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Ariga plans "Rockman Development Secrets" in next Megamix

Hitoshi Ariga, creator of the Rockman Megamix manga series, recently updated his blog, apologizing over not talking about the new Megamix in the works for a while and announcing a feature he intends to include. It is a special digest called "Rockman Development Secrets - The Men who Created Rockman-" which will presumably reveal information about Rockman's development. Ariga states he's wanted to make a separate book along these lines for as long as 15 years ago, but due to various circumstances he is only able to now publish the information like this. Additionally Ariga plans to make a bonus comic, "Secrets of the Rockman Development Secrets -The Man who Depicts the Men who Created Rockman-" which seems to be a fictionalized account of working with Inafune and Rockman's other developers. Naturally Ariga is very excited, and hopes to bring more info sooner than later. It should all be pretty interesting.

News Credit: Rock Miyabi

GameSide Magazine with Exclusive Ariga Rockman 9 Pinup

Rockman 9 Pin Up

Japanese magazine GameSide celebrated the release of Rockman 9 with an awesome pin up done by the talented Hitoshi Ariga.  It features Rockman, Blues and the Robot Masters of the game. The artwork is a two page spread, and limited to 2,000 copies of the issue. (I would kill for a full sized scan of this...)

Also, according to Protodude, Ariga sat down with the editors and apparently revealed the new MegaMix manuscript. I can't wait!

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

New Year Tidings from Ariga Brings Megamix 4 Update

Hitoshi Ariga, writer/artist for the popular Rockman Megamix and Rockman Remix manga (among others, such as The Big O) has bestowed upon fans a double-helping of New Year's tidings. First, he's crafted the New Year's card (aka "nengajou") you see at right, as is apparently a customary tradition for many a game developer and artist in Japan. You can find his original post for it here, if it suits your purposes.

But perhaps of greater interest is the new which has accompanies the card, a small status update on his latest Rockman manga volume, Rockman Megamix 4. As he apologizes for still not yet being able to speak of the manga directly, Ariga reassures the fans that he is indeed working very hard on the next installment. As it stands, he cannot comment on it due to the publisher seemingly reserving the right to make all forthcoming announcements about the book. But in spite of this, he is hopeful for a release sometime this year.

One can only wonder what this new book will include, and which characters we will see rendered in his distinct style.

News Credit: Radix, via Protoman's Home Page