It's incredible to think of what a juggernaut Mighty No. 9 has become since Keiji Inafune first announced his Kickstarter to get fan-supported funding for his latest video game concept. With the game still in early development and no plans for a release until sometime in 2015, we've already seen talk of a live-action production being thrown around, and now a familiar face is ready to bring the adventures of Beck and Call to the small screen.
Ruby-Spears Productions, producer of 1994's hit Mega Man animated series, has revealed that they are ready to step into the world of super fighting robots once again with an all-new animated series based on the upcoming Comcept title.
Director Joe Ruby recalls that he and his partner, Ken Spears, had enjoyed working on the original Mega Man cartoon, ranking it among their favorite productions from their company. But though the show had "great ratings" and was the number-one rated children's show in the Nielsen ratings, the axe fell after only two seasons and production of further episodes ceased.
Now, however, they have the opportunity to go back and do it again. "2014 marks the 20th anniversary of when we first produced and aired the Mega Man series," stated a studio rep in an exclusive interview with The Mega Man Network. "And now, with a spiritual successor on the horizon with Mighty No. 9, we're thrilled to be able to create a similar spiritual successor to the original animated series."
"It's like a celebration of the past while looking towards the future," they added.
Presently, the company is working hard on 13 stand-alone 22-minute episodes with the intent of the series being aired in the Fall of 2014, though they noted that the release could be held back until a further date, depending on Comcept's discretion. Additionally, they declined to specify where it will air at this time, only noting that "the landscape of children's television has changed," and that "we're not looking at syndication at this time."
The series will follow the adventures of Beck as he stops weekly schemes involving the other Mighty Numbers' shenanigans, and Call will be on hand to provide him with back-up-- whether he wants it or not.
With the inclusion of Call in a more action-oriented role, the studio intends to "broaden the show" with more "interplay and gags," and hopefully make the show more appealing to girls as well as boys.
Further specifics as to the overall plot are being withheld at the request of Comcept, as they have not given many of the related details from the game themselves. However, it was offered that the show would be a "lighter action series" with some comedy, done in a "retro 80s style."
"Basically, it feels like picking up right where we left off," said the studio rep. "We're very excited to explore the possibilities we weren't able to previously."
Finally, we had to ask just one more question: "Are there any plans to include any Scooby-Doo-esque talking robot dogs in the Mighty No. 9 series?"
The rep gave us a knowing nod while trying to suppress a grin. "No comment at this time."
We'll bring you further news on the Mighty No. 9 animated series-- and the game, too, of course-- as it develops. For now, what do you think of this news? Sound off in the comments!
Update: It has come to our attention that posting this on April 1st might not have been particularly wise, as it seems that no one is ready to believe that this fantastic news is for real. But, as it just so happens, there is a very good reason for this...
We're glad most everyone seemed to enjoy this little nod to both the past and the future, and hope everyone took it in good fun. We tried our best to make it obvious to anyone who was a fan of the original cartoon that this wasn't real, but without being too blatant about it (like by having the rep named "A.F. Daye" or something silly like that).
It came together and the last minute, and we couldn't have done it without the fantastic work of Press Start, whose efforts in emulating the original Ruby-Spears Mega Man character models with the Mighty No. 9 designs might have driven him over the edge. If he ever returns his miniMEGA Tumblr to normal from becoming miniCYRUS, maybe he can share some of his other work from the project (such as Inafune originally standing in for President Lincoln before we went with Jefferson).
In addition, we have to give a huge thanks to M Sipher and ASMzine, whose prior interview with Joe Ruby of Ruby-Spears Productions added significant fuel to the fire of this April Fool's joke. We cannot urge you strongly enough to check it out here and here, where you'll find not only the storyboards and Roll model sheet we based ours on, but numerous others as well, along with some answers to the mysteries of why certain things were presented as they were in the old cartoon. It's a few years old, but a must read, if you haven't already!