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!

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MEEEEEEH…..RRYYYYYYYYYYY….. 2012

Remember this? 7804268

In case you're not up on this particularly bit of Japanese meme-ery, we'll let you read Heat's explanation of it from last year, which you can find here. Don't worry, we'll wait.

All done? Great! So as it happens, Rockman X manga artist Yoshihiro Iwamoto has once more continued this little tradition of his, but with a twist! After all, this year's holiday season encompasses the 25th anniversary of the Blue Bomber, and with the two events but a week apart, he couldn't let such a time of two great things coming together go by unnoticed, could he?

So read on for his special one-two much of Mega Man and "Merry Christmas!"

First up, it's Mega Man! Or perhaps more appropriately, "Rockman," as rendered by Iwamoto-- a relatively rare event, all said!

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Accompanying it is the following message:

おはようございます。 折角のクリスマスイヴなのに中耳炎になったようです。 風邪の置き土産のようです。 いや、素人診断ですけどね。 間が悪く振り替え休日なのでお医者さんは明日に。

で、本日はD-Artsロックマンが届くはず。 楽しみ!!

では、今年の分のイラストをアップしておきますね。

良いクリスマスを^^

Run through Google Translator, it says:

Good morning. It seems to otitis media has become a long-awaited Christmas Eve. It's like a souvenir placement of the cold. No, but it is an amateur diagnosis. The doctor to be transferred between the holiday tomorrow so bad.

In, today is D-Arts Rockman must be reached. Fun! !

So keep up the illustration of the minutes of this year.

A good Christmas ^ ^

Update: And from Will Tice in the comments below, a real translation:

Good morning. Even though it's the long-awaited Christmas Eve, it seems I've come down with an ear infection. It's like a parting gift from my cold. Well, it's just an amateur diagnosis. Unluckily, it's a substitute holiday, so I'll see the doctor tomorrow.

Well then, today the D-Arts Rockman is arriving. I'm excited!!

Now then, I'm uploading this year's illustration. Have a good Christmas ^^

But wait-- Here Comes a New Challenger!!!

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ごめんみんな…。 風邪と中耳炎で調子が悪い…^^;

なのでチョイ早いけど…。

今年も楽しいクリスマスを!!

黄色はじゃんけん!!

Google Translated:

I'm sorry ... everyone. Upset with otitis media and cold ... ^ ^;

So early ... but I Choi.

Christmas fun this year!

Yellow rock, paper, scissors! !

Heat could provide a better translation, I'm sure, but it sounds like something about the media has him down, yet he's otherwise in high spirits. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, too, Mr. Iwamoto!

Update: And the rest of Will Tice's translation:

Sorry everyone... I have a cold and ear infection, so my condition isn't great... ^^;

Because of that, I'm rather early, but...

Have a good Christmas this year!!

Yellow rock, paper, scissors!!

Thanks to Ghalheart for the tip!

Source: Iwamoto's Blog

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.

Don't Worry, Ariga is Working On It!

Last year, Hitoshi Ariga mentioned that he was working on a new Mega Man project, but has been pretty silent about it since of course. That's no reason to think nothing is progressing, though. Granted, I know a lot of you are eager and have been pestering at him about it. As a result, Ariga gives us this statement via DeviantArt:

Whoa, now I'm getting ambushed by all kinds of clever questions! Maybe I shouldn't have said anything at all? ;) When we were working to release Gigamix in Japan, it took a long time to get it all together properly and I was grateful for everyone who showed excitement over it. With this new project, I hope I can count on everyone to once again be patient with us as we work to produce something that will delight you!

The one thing I hope you'll all believe is that I love Mega Man with a passion! ... even if most of my tweets lately have been about Pokemon. (lol)

I promise I will make announcements as soon as there is new information I'm allowed to announce! Until then, I hope you'll all stick with me!

In other words, leave the guy be! He's got a family, plus Pokemon Black 2 & White 2 just came out! Like many things Mega Man right now, the info will come out when it's ready to come out.

Of course, by all means continue letting him know how awesome his work is!

News via GoNintendo

Remember that Time Centaur Man Turned Out to Be a Woman?

While we in the west have done pretty well getting translated Mega Man manga these past few years, it still doesn't scratch the surface of all that's been made in Japan. One of the earliest and yet most prolific original Rockman series was by Shigeto Ikehara. Starting in 1992, he wrote episodic manga covering Rockman 4 through Rockman 7, as well as the first three Rockman World titles, all appearing in the monthly Comic BonBon manga magazine. I'm not super knowledgeable of Ikehara's series, but I have to imagine doing the same old stories of Mega Man beating reprogrammed robots and stopping Dr. Wily got a little stale, so he started making things a bit interesting. In the story for Rockman 6, it seems that all of the Robot Masters have their own interests as well as serving Mr. X. Wind Man, in fact, is helping Mega Man out to toughen him up for the inevitable final battle. But the biggest twist of all wasn't when Mr. X turned out to be Dr. Wily, but when Centaur Man turned out to be a woman.

Not only a woman, but Knight Man's lover as well. In the story, Centaur... eh, Man, falls in love with Knight Man for his strength and chivalry. She fears for Knight Man in his fated battle with Mega Man, but at the same time respects his honor and lets him fight. However, when Knight Man is vanquished by Mega Man, Centaur Man doesn't take it too well and angrily seeks our vengeance.

Up to this point, Mega Man has no idea that Centaur Man is a woman, despite her feminine tone (he is a little slow, you know). The light bulb doesn't click until Mega Man breaks her helmet in battle, and her long, blond hair sweeps out. She curses Mega Man for destroying her dreams, and vehemently attacks him. But in the end, despite reluctance, Mega Man finishes her off... using her lover's own weapon.

Even though the series has yet to be officially translated, some western fans have known about Centaur Man's gender bend for a while. The really funny thing is, not having access to a lot of the resources we do today, many fans tried to argue that Centaur Man's womanhood was actual game canon. I recall it being a matter of hot debate, and at times I wasn't even sure myself. But sounder logic prevailed; namely Centaur Man's clearly male voice in the Power Fighters.

At any rate, I am left to wonder what other interesting plot points lie within Ikehara's old manga series. Perhaps some day, a certain noodle-loving comic company will show us. Let's hope!

Fans Culminate to Create Zero 10th Anniversary Compilation

Following in line with Mega Man Zero's 10th anniversary, passionate fans in Japan are putting together something pretty special. It's a community collaboration called the "Rockman Zero 10th Anniversary Anthology." This self published book (aka doujinshi), contains 110 pages of short comics and illustrations by talented Zero fans. What's more, it also has an interview with Serou, the person behind Yama Tai Koku - one of the most prominent makers of Rockman garage kits.

The Anthology is set to go on sale next week via a couple upcoming conventions in Tokyo: COMIC1 on the 30th and SUPER COMIC CITY 21 on May 4th. Later on it will also be available at Comiket 82. The A5 sized compilation will run for ¥1,200. With any luck, it will also see reprinting at major doujin retailers. Otherwise it might become a bit of a rare item.

A tiny bit more of the compilation can be seen on this Pixiv entry, teasing a 16 page comic about Zero fighting Copy X. All in all, what a great way to celebrate Zero's 10th!

Rockman X Resin Kits On Sale Now at Tokyo Hunter

For the collectors out there, an interesting bit of info has been passed our way by Ratchphis. Over at Tokyo Hunter, they are currently having their second "Post Wonder Festival Sale" for Winter 2012. And among the items on sale? Resin kits from 2010 based on Rockman X.

The first item is a 1/6 scale color resin kit by Madhands, based on the Iwamoto manga version of X himself. The other comes from D-X, and is based on how Zero appears in Mega Man X4.

Both are marked down from their original 12,000 yen prices to 10,000, but just because they're on sale doesn't necessarily make them cheap; the currency conversion brings the amount to $123.16 U.S. dollars. So unless you're a seriously hardcore collector, you might want to stick with the D-Arts kits from Bandai instead.

More Merti, More Color

The last time we saw X's manga-nificent gal-pal Merti/Marti/whatever, she was looking a little... well, barren. At least, insofar as her attire was concerned. And truth be told, not much has changed... but, that isn't to say nothing has changed. Courtesy of Auto, we have a new pic (click to enlarge) of the Reploid-mermaid-pirate-Saint Seiya cosplayer (thanks to Auto again for that one), now with all of her colorful paint apps applied.

As you can see, she now has eyes! She also has more blue across her costume, while the red parts from before now carry a snazzy new metallic sheen, with a fade to gold along the... er, wings? Cape? The things which aren't hair and are going down her back.

Of course, as Heat noted previously, it is a garage kit, and so there will be some elbow grease required in order to have a finished product sitting before you. Whether that includes paint and decals (meaning the pic is just for show), we still have no word. But for now, enjoy!

Merti Appears in Color (Primarily Flesh)

H'ooooooh man. We're not gonna need to install an age gate on this site are we? Here is the basic color cast of Yama Tai Koku's Merti garage kit, commissioned by Rockman X manga writer Yoshihiro Iwamoto himself. If you could attend Wonder Fest next month and purchase the kit, this is essentially what you'd end up with without any additional painting. It's not terrible actually; most garage kits come in plain gray. Along with the photo, additional kit details were also revealed on figure site FG. The kit was essentially designed to match the proportions of the D-Arts Rockman X figures. It will include three facial expressions, three hand types, and Merti's spear-like weapon. The joints, which are typical consumer figure joints, must be purchased separately. There is no word on whether or not the kit will come with decals for the finer details, such as eyes. If you do come to Wonder Fest, though, you can get an autograph from Iwamoto himself!

So if you're really looking to grab this kit, you better be prepared for a bit of DIY work. On the other hand, your laziness is essentially being rewarded with more skin than Merti's outfit normally features!

Thanks for the tip, Auto!

Rockman Tanjou Begins Translation Work on Rockman & Forte Manga

It took a long, long time, but as of late, things have been pretty good for fans of Rockman manga... particularly those who cannot speak Japanese. Thanks to the efforts of UDON Entertainment, we've been able to enjoy the works of Mega Man Megamix, Mega Man ZX, and Mega Man Gigamix without need for a Japanese-to-English dictionary. (And Viz helped lighten that load a little with their MegaMan NT Warrior releases, too.)

But, let's face it-- as awesome as their work is, they're a little late to the party. And by that, we mean that there has been over 20 years of Rockman manga released, and even for all their efforts... well, there is simply a lot left out there. Maybe even enough to take another 20 years, should they attempt to get to it all!

And that is where fans have stepped in to help out. While the releases may not be official, or even localized, manga translation group Rockman Tanjou has set forth to translate the manga adaptation of Rockman & Forte, or as some may better know it, Mega Man & Bass. As it stands, this isn't in the cards for UDON, though they'll let the translators know if that should change.

This version sticks to the Japanese names, and retains a more vulgar vocabulary, just so you're warned. With that said, you can find a two-page scan here, with a link to the download here.

Thanks to Furriman for the tip!

MEEEEEEH.....RRYYYYYYYYYYY.....

CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!!  HYAAAAHAHAHHAHAHAAA-

Bit from Mega Man X3 may not seem like he has anything to do with Christmas, but fans of the Rockman X manga by Yoshihiro Iwamoto ought to know differently. An image that has become a meme among Rockman fans is the above frame of Bit, looking rather psychotic and screaming "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!" followed by an insane laugh.

On his homepage, Iwamoto has a yearly tradition of putting up a new, twisted picture of Bit with the infamous yell - this year's even features the Rockman X comic version figure. The quote has also become a typical Christmas greeting among Rockman fans, some of whom do their own Bit artwork. Doesn't it just fill you with warm Christmas cheer?

To be honest, I'm not very knowledgeable of the Rockman X manga series, and I don't know the context behind Bit's holiday outburst - perhaps someone more enlightened can say? Nevertheless, just some fun fan trivia to wish you a happy holiday this year! HYAHAHAHAA!!

Edit: Auto, who was in the mood for some holiday one-upmanship, also has an article up about the meme with an explanation on the context of Bit's Christmas greeting. And it's pretty much just as twisted as you might imagine!

Top image by K