Celebrate! Rockman Manga Artists Contribute Original Anniversary Art to R20+5

1ee7fc38 Rockman Unity has shared some more of the new artwork added to the R20+5: Rockman and Rockman X Official Complete Works art book, each by a different Rockman manga artist celebrating the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary. Above, you can see the contribution of Ryo Takamisaki, who you might remember as the creator of the Rockman.EXE manga that was localized here by Viz as MegaMan NT Warrior.

Read on to see Hitoshi Ariga (Mega Man Megamix and Mega Man Gigamix) and Yoshihiro Iwamoto's (Rockman X) respective pieces. Thanks for the tip, Oakie620!



From 1UP: Mega Man's Comic Career & The Social Retrospective

Finishing off this week's 1UP Cover Story, "Mega Man: 25 Years of Theme-Park Levels and Stolen Robot Powers," is a two-story main event for the weekend.

First up is Jeremy Parish's "Mega Man: The Social Retrospective," which is described as "a randomly irreverent trip through the history of Capcom's robot hero." This collects the many posts made over the past month in celebration of the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary on 1UP's Tumblr account, with lots of fun tidbits and images.

The other story is one we've alluded to throughout the week, "Mega Man's Comic Career: The Good, The Bad, The Bizarre." Here, Nadia Oxford and I look back at the past and the present, the good and the bad, and overall some of the most noteworthy instances of Mega Man in print. It's by no means a thorough list, but rather provides some of the high and lowlights of his career.

Special thanks go out to Ian Flynn and the Archie Comics crew, UDON Entertainment, and Dr. Neko for my part, while Nadia would like to extend thanks to The Mechanical Maniacs and Rodrigo Shin for hers.

And that's it for 1UP's Mega Man Cover Story this week; we hope you've enjoyed it!

Happy Birthday to Hitoshi Ariga

Today marks the birthday of Mr. Hitoshi Ariga, and we just wanted to wish him the happiest one he could possibly have (and maybe a job working for Capcom heading up the Mega Man brand). For those who have been living under one of Guts Man's rocks, or are simply fresh off the assembly line, Ariga is a longstanding fan-favorite artist who has worked with Mega Man-- or Rockman, if you would like to be technical-- for many years. Beginning with Rockman Remix, which included a couple of Classic Rockman tales in addition to an adaptation of one of Bandai's Rockman X MegaMission card sets, he has created a number of other manga based on the Blue Bomber, filling out a series of three Rockman Megamix and three Rockman Gigamix volumes.

More recently, much of his work has been adapted under the Mega Man name and released in North America by UDON Entertainment. Furthermore, his was the guiding hand which brought together the R20 art compilation, known better to some as the Mega Man Official Complete Works and Mega Man X Official Complete Works, also released in North America by UDON. He has also developed short manga and illustrations for the Rockman 9 Arrange Soundtrack, ZX Tunes, and Chiptuned Rockman.

In addition, he also designed the Robot Masters Dynamo Man and Burner Man for Mega Man & Bass, for which he also designed the Super Famicom box art. Outside of Mega Man, some might recognize his work from the Star Wars and The Big O manga.

Suffice to say, he's done quite a bit. He even gave us all a special treat on his first visit to North America in 2010, when answered questions and showed us his idea for how Bass and Ice Man's hair would look.

Now that you know what the man has done and that it's his big day, there's just one thing left for you to do: If you're a deviantART member, go there and wish him a happy birthday (and maybe check out some of the works he's posted there). Or, if you're on Twitter, you can wish him well there, too.

The TMMN Megacast #005: Sounds Like a Robot Farting

Okay, okay, so I was a bit late on this one! In this fantastical Megacast, the Not Ready for Podcast Players get into a whole heaping discussion of Mega Man X3, as it was this month's Mega Man Games Club game. We discuss all areas including the challenge, enemy design, music and features. Truth be told, I don't think we come off as very fond of the game.

Additional thrilling talk includes a review of the Rockman 1~6 Rock Arrange Album, and UDON's Mega Man Megamix manga trilogy (try saying that three times fast!) released last year. And I also have interesting issues getting sound bites to work.

Music featured at the break is Blizzard Buffalo by Armcannon, which was Jesse's pick. Oh, and there could be a little contest of some sort. Maybe! Might have to listen to see.

Update: Congrats to Ginrei for winning a copy of Mega Man Megamix Vol. 3!




Hitoshi Ariga's Panel from Fan Expo, Featuring Helmetless Bass

Well, this is nothing short of a bit embarrassing on my part. As you may recall, we told you back in August that to celebrate the release of Mega Man Megamix to a North American audience, UDON was bringing its creator, Hitoshi Ariga, over for FanExpo Canada. There, he would meet and greet fans, as well as host a very special panel.

I was fortunate enough to attend the panel, and even got to ask a few questions of the man himself. I even snapped some pictures!

Unfortunately, while the panel went well, things on my end were anything but, and my hopes of providing a good accounting of the event for The Mega Man Network pretty much wound up dashed.

For starters, I had hoped to record the panel, but as I would soon discover, my recently-purchased iPhone would fail to do so. Let this be a lesson to those with cats: never leave your phone charging where they can easily reach the USB cord. The phone itself soon stopped working, so I was unable to even operate the device to retrieve them.

Oh, and the day following the convention, I found myself afflicted with a kidney stone. I will spare you the details, but between that and the phone not working, I eventually forgot about the whole thing.

But, in the spirit of us finally bringing you the Otakon 2010 panel "The Anime and Manga Ream of Mega Man," we bring you some bits of interest from the event held earlier this year.

I was going through my phone's picture album earlier, and it turns out that it wasn't a total wash; some of the pictures actually survived. Most aren't very good, given the nature of the phone camera itself, but here are a few mildly-decent ones.

The first isn't much to speak of, but came from the honorary Megavent held just prior to FanExpo:

The next one came from the panel itself. I honestly cannot remember what he is doing:

And finally, something of a treat: during the panel's Q&A, I asked about what Bass might look like in a civilian form, and he later produced this at the request of another fan:

Of course, it may not come as a surprise to some of you-- clearly, I wasn't the only one with plans to report back from the event, just the only one who failed miserably in the task.

In addition to a chibi-Treble, you can also see an image of "casual" Proto Man, and even what Ariga believes Ice Man is hiding beneath that parka of his. On top of that, one lucky fan (not me; I said "lucky," after all) got to take home this piece as the result of a ticket raffle.

As for the panel itself, I had hoped to at least post some of the more interesting Q&A portions, but sadly, those have long since been forgotten. Fortunately, via an UDON blog post I completely missed while incapacitated, it appears that Jamie Coville of TheComicBooks.com managed to record the thing, and you can find the MP3 of it here.

Of course, Mega Man isn't the only thing Ariga is involved in, and so he does answer some questions related to other things throughout, such as The Big O. Nonetheless, here are some of the Mega Man-related questions I was fortunate enough to ask:

LBD: There are about seven different iterations of Mega Man; if given the opportunity, would you be interested in creating your own version of Mega Man?

Ariga (via translator Michelle Hayashi): As a huge fan of the series, he would like to make his own, but he kind of enjoys more taking what's there and giving it his own spin. As games go, he knows how hard it is to make games, so he would rather leave that work to other people and play the games they produce.

But if they were willing to use his ideas, he would be happy to provide them with many, many ideas of his own.

LBD: We just heard about how you came up with Blues in his civilian identity; do you think we'll ever get to see Forte in a civilian-type form?

Ariga: Since Forte is a full-on combat robot, he says "I doubt it."

He says Forte really would probably not have an everyday life-type scenario, and he probably would not even try to blend in to the human society. And just considering Forte's personality, it would probably be impossible for him to blend in to human society.

LBD: I'm curious... Maverick Hunter Axl: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Ariga: He's kind of in the middle; he thinks it could have been thumbs-up, but maybe if they had done a little bit more with it...

He feels like they wasted a good opportunity there.

Be sure to listen to the full interview to learn who his least-favorite character is, what age he portrays the characters in his manga, how he came up with Proto Man's civilian form, and who he loves-- and hates-- to draw the most, among many other questions.

A Little Bonus Megamix Preview

Hey folks, in all the excitement of Mega Man Universe this past weekend, I'd forgotten that Mega Man Megamix Vol. 2 and Mega Man ZX Vol. 2 are hitting stores September 8th... tomorrow! As a special reminder, UDON's Matt Moylan has provided us with this extra Megamix 2 preview "just for the Mega Man sites." Aww Matt, you're too good to us. Check out the previews below, and go pick up the latest comics tomorrow![gallery link="file" orderby="title"]

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!

See Ariga and Swaile at FanExpo Canada

This news is a little late in coming; honestly, I thought we had already reported it, but nope.* For those interested, fan-favorite Mega Man manga artist Hitoshi Ariga is scheduled to appear at FanExpo Canada, which takes place from August 27th to 29th, courtesy of our friends at UDON Entertainment.

In addition to Mega Man Megamix, Ariga was responsible for the art in the manga adaptation of the anime series The Big O (as seen at right), as well as helping put together the massive R20 artbook, which saw release here as Mega Man Official Complete Works and Mega Man X Official Complete Works.

As of August 12th, Ariga's part in the Expo will be to host a Q&A session at 4pm on Sunday in Room #203D.

In addition to Ariga, the voice of Lan Hikari in the MegaMan NT Warrior anime, Brad Swaile, will also be in attendance. Swaile, who has also voiced Light Yagami in Death Note and Quatre Winner in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, will be packing a much busier schedule than Ariga, too.

At 5:30pm on Friday, Swaile will be hosting an autograph session in Room DD, and another on Saturday at 2pm in Area BB. Following that, he'll have a "Meet Voice Actor Brad Swaile" event at 3:30pm in Room #104D. And finally, at 4:30pm on Sunday, he'll have yet another autograph session in Signing Area AA.

Of course, there is much more to see at FanExpo. In addition to anime, there is also gaming, comic books, sci-fi, and even horror. You can find out all about it here.

* I think UDON may have been planning to pass along an announcement, hence the wait, but it's already on the FanExpo website. And as Bass likes to say, "he who hesitates is lost," so we've decided to go ahead and run the story.

Mega Manga Updates: Delays, Delay-Oh, Nevermind

I understand your tortured souls, everyone. How much the waiting gets to you, the madness it induces. But at least now we know when we're waiting to. UDON's managing editor Matt Moylan has given us word today that both Mega Man Megamix vol. 2 and Mega Man ZX vol. 2 will be releasing simultaneously on September 8th. These are the absolute, concrete dates, but it might do well to keep your fingers crossed, too. You can also head over to UDON for some great preview images of both comics. If you're big fans of the Mega Man manga, then these are definitely worth the wait! Thanks, Matt!

Mega Man Megamix Vol. 1 in Review

The first of many Mega Man manga brought to you by UDON - Mega Man Megamix Vol. 1 - has released in comic book stores and should be hitting other book stores soon if not already. Chances are if you read this site, you're probably not sitting on the fence about getting a copy. But who knows, maybe you need a little insight. Well AWD! who runs Starfield Creations (and is a close pal of mine) has such a review that may entice you. Aside from going over the comic in a general stance, AWD! also makes comparisons of the book to previous editions that sold in Japan. Here's a little snippet to give you the bottom-line:

What can I say? The book is a fantastic take on the series as a whole. At first, All I could really think to myself was: finally! We “non-linguist” types can appreciate the story along with the pretty pictures. The story is given a much darker and action-packed take, as we are more akin to the younger audience target featured in the games. But let’s face it, we WANTED it to be taken more seriously, and Ariga certainly delivered.

Mega Man Megamix is sounding pretty cool. If not available in your local book store, you can always try Amazon.

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.

Slight Delay for Mega Man Megamix

A quick word from our friends at UDON:

Unfortunately Mega Man Megamix Vol.1 took a longer than expected to get approved by our licensor(we’ll just have to submit future volumes sooner), so it will be a little later than we hoped for. The final release date is Feb 24th, 2010.

To tide everyone over, here’s a new preview page from the profile section of the book. We’ll be releasing one of these each week until the book is out, so stay tuned to your favorite mega news sites!

Matt Moylan

Managing Editor

UDON Entertainment

Click to enlarge.

Check back with us every Tuesday for a new page.

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."

Mega Man Megamix Vol. 1 press release, preview

Despite some concerns about the release dates of the Mega Man Official Complete Works books, UDON is still pushing ahead with releases, now announcing the release of volume one of Hitoshi Ariga's Mega Man Megamix in this press release. And there are some previews too! Click the thumbnails for full size.




UDON brings classic Mega Man Manga to English readers

Toronto, ON – Dec 1, 2009 –  Of all the characters in CAPCOM®’s vast videogame library, arguably none is more recognizable worldwide than Mega Man. With more than 100 video games to his name, Mega Man is among  the most iconic figures of gaming, but despite this, the original blue bomber’s Japanese manga adventures have never been available to English readers. UDON has decided to rectify that, with the release of Mega Man Megamix Vol. 1 in January 2010.

Written and drawn by mangaka Hitoshi Ariga, the Megamix manga is a 3-volume series beloved for its stupendous artwork and exciting stories. Outside of Japan, Mega Man fans have dreamed of one day being able to enjoy these adventures… and now they finally can!

The series features appearances by all the franchise regulars like Proto Man, Dr. Wily, Dr. Light, Bass & Treble, Rush, Roll, and tons of villainous Robot Masters! UDON has gone directly to Megamix creator Hitoshi Ariga to obtain the original artwork files for the series, and ensure the best localization possible. Each volume of Megamix is also packed with character profiles, sketches, gag strips, and creator interviews. This is a series no Mega Man fan would dare miss out on!

Mega Man Megamix Vol.1 arrives January 27th, 2010 everywhere manga is sold. For more updates stay tuned to www.UDONentertainment.com.