Synonyms: Rockman Remix, Megaman Remix, Mega Man Remix, Megaman Megamix, Rockman Mega Mix, Mega Man Mega Mix, Rockman's Birth, Orders to Destroy R, Metal Heart, Return of the God of Death, Holiday of Soldiers, Power Battle, The Strongest Enemy to Date
While it's no secret that I am a major fan of the Rockman series, Megamix offers a fresh new take on the popular franchise while keeping what made the series so beloved. The first thing you'll notice is the distinct visual style.
Hitoshi Ariga offers a very "updated" design for the robots while not entirely redesigning them. A lot of small details add a bit more complexity to the simple Rockman style. The characters themselves are also given a lot more personality. As lots of the robot masters aren't given a lot of backstory in the games, Ariga had a lot to work with and
gave them diverse and fun personalities that would suit their designs.
The story takes a more mature look at Rockman. This iteration of the blue robot deals with such topics as death and the purpose of existence. However, there are also a lot of very light-hearted chapters as well, such as what would happen if robot masters worked at a theme park as a part time job.
I will probably buy anything with the word "Mega Man" printed on it (except NT Warrior. If .hack//SIGN didn't exist, maybe), and Mega Man has the best overall run in anime/manga of any other video game character. Megamix is yet another great title to add to the fold.
This three volume manga captures the spirit and stories of the first six Megaman games in a matter of chapters, and then some. It's tried and true to it's game counterpart, fleshing out the battles of each set of robot masters from the various games. The dialouge immerses you even further when characters like the tag team
of Guts Man and Cut Man get to speak.
Hitoshi Ariga even makes that wacky storyling involving Dr. Cossack and his daughter enjoyable, an arc that mildly disappointed me in MM4. This is a great testament to his writing, as the Robot Masters like Quick Man, Elec Man, and Skull Man flourish with personality that doesn't get a chance to happen in the video games outside of bios in the instruction booklet, and adds new demonsions to the plot, instilling a new sense of importance to the battles as opposed to just watching Rock lay waste to an opponent and moving on to the next fight. Support characters like Roll, Cossack's daughter Malinka, even Rush and Beat are all fantastically utilized and kept from just being mere cameos. Or course, Dr. Wily never misses a step, retaining every bit of near-brain dead mad scientist schtick that makes him so great.
The art is beautiful, giving off the feeling of the Saturday morning cartoons I used to watch as a child. Sometimes, the action can get a little cluttered on some smaller panels, but overall it can be pretty easy to overlook this. Outside of that, it's pretty easy on the eyes. Levels of shading in even some of the darker moments don't obscure the visuals and the buildings and most of the backgrounds are very vibrant and detailed.
IN CLOSING: Hardcore fans of MegaMan won't be disappointed by this, and casual fans might be encouraged to go purchase a copy of the Mega Man Collection. It's well-written, beautifully rendered, and just a blast to read. The extras after the stories are just icing on the cake. I highly recommend this to Capcom fans, and I think it's one of UDON's stronger releases to date.
OVERALL SCORE: 9 out of 10
PROS: A very strong adaptation and homage to the iconic platform series
CONS: Very little of Bass and Treble. Centaur Man, Tomohawk Man, Top Man and Yamato Man (I'm sorry, but these guys kinda make me shake my head. Everybody runs out ideas, I know, but what power exactly would you try to aquire to beat a Centaur Man? The Saddle Shot from Jockey Man?)