The Anime Pulse #20: The Impending MEGA MAN Disaster

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Anime Pulse. I was going to do another column, showing off some of my favorite fan art as well as some of my own hand drawings, but I’m going to put that column on the back burner because something happened that I just want to let loose and rant about.

Capcom has teamed up with FOX to make a Mega Man movie.

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First off… wait, what? Mega Man is a VIDEO GAME and this is an ANIME column! Yes, but There is plenty of Mega Man anime out there from the Wish Upon A Star OVA to the Rockman.EXE series and even the Ryuusei no Rockman anime series. Some of the games like Rockman X3 had anime intros for the bosses and we even got anime cut scenes in the Rockman ZX series as well.

I call that justified!

Plus, I’m also going to be touching on a subject that should probably get its own column, but I’m going to tie it in here… which is subs vs dubs. Now how is that going to relate to an American-made movie? Read on my friends.

First and foremost, as much as an anime fan that I am… I am a much bigger Mega Man fan. In fact, Mega Man is my Lord and Saviour…. well.. maybe not THAT drastic, but it’s safe to say that I love the character and the franchise to death. How much do I love it, you ask?

Well, I am just missing three games in order to own every single U.S. released Mega Man game. Those three are: Mega Man: The Wily Wars for The Mega Drive, Mega Man for the Game Gear, and Mega Man Zero Collection. The latter is relatively cheap while the first two are pretty damn expensive. I own a couple of Japanese Mega Man games such as Ryuusei no Rockman 2, Rockman XOver, and Rockman.EXE 3: Black. I also own many fan games and ROM hacks on my pc.

As for books, I own the entire Mega Man NT Warrior manga series, the entire Megamix and Gigamix manga series and every single art book released by UDON. I am missing the Archie Comics, though.. but one day when I have enough expendable capital, I will get those. I also own a plethora of Mega Man figures spanning across all the series.

On my PC, I have every Mega Man anime episode.. I even own the Ruby Spears Cartoon and the Wish Upon A Star OVA on DVD. I have the English PAL version of Mega Man Star Force on DVD and I even went so far as to hack my DVD player to make it Region 0 so I could watch it. I have GB upon GB of fan art on my PC and I also own every single OST to every Mega Man game ever created along with copies of fan albums from Overclocked Remix, The Megas, The Protomen, and many others. On top of that, I have GB upon GB of music remixes from the Mega Man series.

I also own a few items like a Mega Man mouse pad, and E-Tank coffee mug, a plushie, and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous swag.

So… TL;DR: I’m a huge fan.

Being the fan that I am, you’d think that I would be jumping for joy like a thirteen year old girl at a One Direction concert with the advent of this news, but I’m not. In fact, I am completely RAGING inside and seething with hatred over this announcement.

But why? Hollywood is finally giving us what we’ve wanted for decades.. Mega Man on the big screen!

Yes… you are right… they are, but here’s the problem. If this movie were being made twenty years ago, I would be that girl at the One Direction concert… but I’m not because this movie is being made in 2015. I have not enjoyed a movie that has come out in quite some time because I cannot simply enjoy what I’m watching due to massive… and I do mean MASSIVE… amounts of CGI that is used in films today. Not to mention that the quality of acting, I believe, has diminished greatly over the past couple of decades and the people who could truly sell you on a character are few and far between. Not to mention, Hollywood doesn’t exactly have the best track record of sticking to the source material.. or even obeying their own laws that they put into a film.

I mean.. who remembers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (aka. April O’Neil and How Shredder Killed My Parents and oh, by the way.. Here’s Some Turtles) where the turtles bent construction grade steel, but yet, can safely ride around in a van and not have it crush under their combined weight?

Who remembers Megan Fox in Transformers? Actually, I think the better question here would be to ask who would like to forget Megan Fox in Transformers?

Bottom line is.. all of these comic book and superhero movie adaptations have been pretty atrocious. It doesn’t capture the imagination like movies a couple of decades ago where yes, there was CGI, but a lot of it was integrated into the REAL WORLD.. not some CG artist’s landscape superimposed onto a green screen.. So what is going to make Mega Man any different? It’s going to fall prey to sub-par acting, overusage of CGI, and it’s probably not even going to follow the story of the games. I don’t want something that’s going to take liberties with the story… I want the damn story. I want Dr. Light and Dr. Wily working together and Wily becoming jealous of Light getting all the credit. I want Wily to steal Light’s robots and try to take over the world with them. I want to see an actual Skull Fortress and not something made up in Maya or 3DS Max. I’d like to see detailed sets inside the fortress and I want real people inside the robot master suits and not something with 50 billion movable shiny parts like Transformers had.

Twenty years ago.. we’d get all of that… today… nope.. why hand craft a costume and stick someone in it when you can just have some random dude with a week’s worth of pizza and 5 Hour Energy just make it up behind a keyboard, mouse, and a WACOM tablet?

And now for the segue!

It’s these trends that have driven me away from American movies and into Japanese anime movies. I don’t have to worry about CGI sticking out like a sore thumb because pretty much everything in an anime movie is CGI.. everything fits. On the subject of voice acting, I really like the way Japan presents its expressions. It’s something that can’t be duplicated here in the United States. Some of the emotions they can achieve is something even the best American actors could only dream of doing.

Now I know what you’re going to say. Yes, there is bad voice acting in Japan, too. In fact, a lot of people in Japan have stated that there is some really terrible voice acting in anime and us Americans don’t really pick up on it because we don’t speak Japanese.

However, I think the flipside is actually true in the fact that it is because we can’t understand it that it makes it much more enjoyable to us. Sometimes the Japanese voice acting… to us, at least… is so good, that we prefer to watch anime and movies with sub-titles rather than the English dub. To be fair, though, there are some English dubs out there that are pretty good. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Death Note (if you can get past the potato chip line), Desert Punk, and Witch Hunter Robin all had some pretty damn good dubs to the point where I would prefer watching them in English than Japanese.

There’s also the fair point that Tristan Gallant brought up on one of his YouTube videos that first impressions can make or break a series. If you start watching an anime in Japanese, most people find it harder to watch it in English because our minds have already imprinted what the characters should sound like. The same holds true in reverse… if you’ve solely watched an anime in English, you might not like the Japanese version because, in your mind, you already have the idea of what the character should sound like.

But there are also dubs that are SO terrible (Excel Saga, for example), that you just give up and watch it in Japanese just because.

Back to my point though… I have seen a LOT of amazing anime movies in the past ten years. Pretty much anything Hayao Miyazaki or Makoto Shinkai has made… Origins: Spirits of the Past, Sword of the Stranger, Grave of the Fireflies, King of Thorn, the list goes on. Whether or not I can understand the voice acting or the language is irrelevant. The stories told in those movies have far surpassed anything I’ve seen out of Hollywood in twice the time.

I feel like this column will just end up in a never-ending cycle of hatred so I’m going to end it here. I think you all see my point by now.

In summation… I’m not looking forward to Mega Man… especially with Fox in the driver’s seat. I mean, you saw that they did with Fantastic Four, right? Yeah…

Anyway, do you guys agree with what I’m saying? Do you have a different take on it? Let me know! Leave a comment below, drop a line to my email: joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net, leave us a post on Facebook, or follow and DM me on Twitter @PulseIn

Until next time.

Ja ne!

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.