In the year of 20XX, a young boy by the name of Netto Hikari receives a very special gift as he enters the 5th grade. His very own customized net navi, Rockman! Despite Rockman's small size and far more responsible personality, the two boys quickly become the best of friends. A net navi is designed to guide his operator from the inside of his or her PErsonal Terminal, or simply PET for short. Children and adults alike enjoy friendly "Net Battles", where they spar their navis against each other to prove their worth.
I've enjoyed the Mega Man Battle Network series ever since middle school, so I decided to investigate the animated series motivated by my desire to merge my anime and gaming hobbies. What followed was a long couple of months trudging through its over 50 episodes, after which I admittedly missed having it around. The bottom line is that Rockman.EXE is very much a low budget commercial to boost toy and game sales, and while it isn't the worst kids show I've ever seen, there isn't much of worth the be found here.
(Please note: I interchange the English and Japanese character names Rockman/Mega Man and Netto/Lan
This show is not pretty to look at. The animation ranges from abhorrent to just below actual quality, but most of the time occupies a space that isn't good enough to praise but isn't bad enough to nitpick. A handful of fight scenes throughout the series look genuinely cool and fluid, and were probably only afforded with the money they saved by heavily reusing a few stock footage clips in nearly every episode. Of course, I can't expect too much from a Studio Xebec production in the early digital age, and as such I was prepared for the massive amounts of conspicuous CG. Some of the stock CG animations look pretty nice, but a few episodes which feature fully rendered 3D characters and environments just hurt to look at. I did appreciate Xebec borrowing a satellite model from their prior production of Zoids Shin Seiki Zero for a quick cameo, even if it is another apparent cost saving measure. Another side note is that the only character exclusively animated in 3D is a virtual pop star eerily prophetic of the later popularity of Vocaloids.
I was not enthralled by the audio while I watched this series, but upon closer inspection I really like the soundtrack. The Japanese voice work isn't terrible, but it's about as cheesey as you would expect from a children's animated product of this caliber. The only standout voice that really annoyed me was Dekao, who sounds like a precursor to Black Clover's Asta. The theme song is kind of bland, but it definitely grew on me over the many weeks I listened to it in my car. Once I gave the soundtrack a dedicated listen, I was so intrigued I had to insert the following mini-album review.
I think the soundtrack operates better on a budget than the show overall. For the most part it seems like they only afforded one guy with a high end arranger keyboard, with minimal live instrumentation. It sounds like I'm playing Pokemon XD, or if you lower the bit rate, Pokemon Emerald. The synthesized guitars, horns, strings, and what not were all probably top of the line at the time, but maintain a distinctly synthetic texture that I absolutely adore. The battle compositions are charging and harrowing, and the friendly pieces for Netto-tachi are goofy and fun. My favorite tracks are Lan and Rockman's themes, with wide piano chords that send me flying through the futuristic series of tubes that the Net Navis inhabit. Overall, I think the music is much more sound than the writing or animation, and my best Google research tells me it was composed by one Kohei Wada. Thanks, probably Wada-sensei.
I was not disappointed by the story or characters, but only because I never had high expectations for either. Like so many other long running series, the characters have to remain static to keep kids coming back every week for more of the same shenanigans. That means almost no character growth, and minimal development. The Team Rocket analogue is arguably more developed than our main cast, with one of them even having an emotionally moving backstory. In general, the Net Navis are more competent people than the humans in the show, because many of them are just idiotic for comedic effect. A handful of characters like Dekao and the Battle Network iteration of Rush really grated my nerves, but overall they weren't so terrible that I actively hated all of them *coughlikeEvangelioncough*.
The plot itself is sparse, with a tournament arc early on leading to a global threat that is quickly forgotten for episodic hijinx. Most episodes consist of our heroes throwing Rockman at whatever new goofball villain they meet, all the while pestering everyone and each other. The progression of Lan and Rockman learning new techniques is dismally slow, so I don't even want to imagine what it would be like to watch this weekly. However, in the second half they began to introduce Rockman's action-figure-variant power ups, which I greatly appreciated. Don't get too hung up on seemingly important plot threads, because you're unlikely to get any kind of satisfying conclusion. Even the last episode is a poor finale at best, likely because they had already been approved for the second season.
So, who should watch Rockman.EXE? I can really only recommend this series to huge fans of the game, or those desperately in need of something to watch who have exhausted all better options.
Megaman one of the most beloved video game franchises, with many years of good games and being a very well known character, some other forms of media had to be created and so an anime was broadcasted in the year 2002. It was a time where Megaman had a strong support from Capcom and gave different spin offs from the original saga but still maintaining the feel of what made Megaman so great. One of this spin offs is the Battle Network series which it had a good run on GBA and made this anime to be created possible, so let's see how this series
does by its own.
The story is very simple an evil organization called World Three, (WWW), wants to take over the world with the use of new technologies from the year 20XX that has made every single device connected to the internet possible, which is what Dr Wily wants to achieve. But it is time for our heroes Megaman and Netto to stop this from happening with the help of his friends and family.
The story is not complicated but it is very fast paced in the first episodes, it shows you the rush of how important is this new interconnected world and the problems on how it can go to chaos if it is controlled by someone. Which is one of the main problems of this series, the story wants to rush it during the first half which makes you feel excited and always ready for action but then it starts going downhill when they want to show you the second half of this story. It was way too long for what should have been and the way they tried to have some character development from part of the humans is just way too cliche and very annoying sometimes,also the filler is very present and wanted to expose things that simply could have been avoided. There is an episode where they do Mario Kart style episode and another on how bad an unimportant maid sucks and her job.So it shows that they didn't have idea on how to finish it after the battle and important evil vs good moments were finished, which leads to a stressful watch if you want to conclude this first season.
The animation is very fair, it was the time when computers were helping animators to pull this job quickly, which you can see in many 3D elements of the series which gives a nice touch to the interface of the internet world they have and that was booming during those years. Also the 2D animation is simple but it has its own identity that are very similar to the art work this game is based.
The opening simply kicks ass. The intro is very pumped and wants you to get excited for the the battles of the show. The endings are nice but not very memorable. The BGM is sometimes kinda lacking and just appears when the battles are going on, although this ones are good.
Voice characters are ok for the most part everybody does their work perfectly and there are any annoyance among then when they say their dialogues.
They are ok, but nothing stands out, we have the typical hero which wants to do things right, the best female friend, the silent rival that wants to be the best, the dorky side character that believes he is the main rival, a rich girl that gets everything and more. The highlights are the Net Navis, which are the main company of this characters. They are really cool and the battles when they face each other lets you see how they are personality wise and give you and great inside on how they attack and their abilities. My favorites being Megaman, Bass, Skullman and Magicman.
It is a very standard series. It has really good battles and nice action going on here and there. But it can get tedious at times with unnecesary filler.
Thanks for reading this review,
P.D. Sorry if there are some errors, English is not my first language.
Henshin a go go baby! Transformation is a staple in many genres of anime, from fighting to magical girl. The sacred rule of transformation is that no other character is allowed is interrupt while you power up to your next form, so of course you want to make things spiffy with a henshin sequence.