ROCKM-er, MEGA MAN
OAV 2: Appearance in Japan
long after posting my take on the first installment of Capcom's Rockman
OAV (that's original animation video, if that acronym confused you the
first time), the second episode went up for download at my favorite
torrent site. Later the same day, the 34th episode of GaoGaiGar came
out too, so it was a good day for fansubs. So, here we go again, with
more of Rockman's real-world adventures in part two, "Appearance
fansubbers placed a helpful bit of information at the beginning of the
tape which tries to explain the intent of the OAV series: it was supposed
to be a tie-in with the American cartoon, in spite of having nothing
to really do with each other. Rockman is referred to as 'Mega Man' in
both the subtitle track and Japanese voice track, which is definitely
a nod towards a US release which didn't go through. Even though they
say that the OAV's had a dubbed version, I saw the subtitled edition.
Interestingly the credits at the end of the episode list all of the
American voice actors, which proves that Scott McNeil can get jobs before
the Japanese production even ends.
start off on a high note, with Mega Man plowing his way through the
Robot Masters of Mega Man V. It's a cool sequence, fast paced and pretty
faithful to the feel of the games. Unfortunately, it turns out to be
the little boy playing the game. Again. Yes, the second OAV effectively
starts from the beginning, and actually feels more like it should have
come first. This time, it's simply a school night and Big Brother has
been putting off his homework and just playing Mega Man V all day. His
mother orders him to bed, so he pauses the game and rushes to his desk
to get started on his homework.
domestic scene between Mom and Dad takes place to establish the typical
Japanese family's day- father comes home at about 12 at night, and I
guess the mother of the family stays up all night fueled by caffeine
and guilt. In the old days, the Japanese had to get by on guilt alone!
Ah, modern convenience. The sum of this little diversion is that they
decided not to check in on the kids. Which means that when we cut back
to the bedroom, their decision will have no effect on what's about to
happen. Meaning the dinner conversation was just padding.
anyway, Big Brother (incidentally named Yuuta, which is quicker than
typing our Big Brother every time) finishes his homework, and instead
of going to bed decides to try his hand at finishing the game. Seriously,
Capcom- plug the product as much as you like, but this kid's fixation
on that game is downright obsessive. Yuuta must have grown
up to make those some of those fifteen-minute power-play NES movies
circling the net. (This from someone who played Star Tropics overnight
as a kid.) As Mega Man's about to make the final shot, Yuuta finally
collapses from exhaustion and somehow manages to pause/freeze the game
while falling over. Again, this kid's got a problem.
on the flip side of the screen, Wily is taunting the paused Mega Man,
and takes advantage of the situation to kill him. I mean, escape from
the game world. Which he does without any sort of freak lightning storms
or jostling of the physical console, you know, the usual things that
cause people to jump from your TV screen. Wily emerges in Yuuta's room,
and stealthily flings himself out a window. For a mad scientist
from another dimension, you'd really expect him to have a more elaborate
escape plan, or at least some rope. Villains always have rope
handy for tying up heroes/heroines.
long after this, Yuuta discovers the Wily-shaped hole in the ground
outside his window and comes to the only logical conclusion: Dr. Wily
jumped out of the TV and into the real world! And fortunately for him,
he's in the one situation where that could conceivably be the answer.
So, he unpauses the game, and both Mega Man and Rush appear in his room.
That much accomplished, we get some more fun exposition and flat jokes
as Mega Man meets Yuuta's parents, learns that Tokyo is the biggest
city in Japan, and rides a train to Father's office halfway before jumping
out a window and riding Rush to the middle of the crowded city. A friendly
but thoroughly confused policeman gives Mega Man directions to the amusement
park, where Wily is having a conveniently televised rampage.
the scene, we see hundreds of lesser Mega enemies (Metools, Sniper Joes)
uh... 'rampaging.' By which we mean standing around in the open. Or
frolicking on the rides. Wily, you sick bastard. After some
lame attempts to attack our hero, all of the enemies group together
around the ferris wheel and start merging into one giant robot. "BUUUUSHIIIIDOOO!!
Man tries using Star Man's shield against it, of all things. Needless
to say he fails, and is forced to run away while Wily takes the opportunity
to deliver about three minutes of stock villain chatter. Mega finds
his way to Yuuta's school and bangs on the window to ask him to turn
the game back on so he can recharge his weapon energy. Yuuta is of course,
stuck in class, so Mega man sits on top of the building and ogles Akane
(Little Sis) and the other girls in their burumas. (Gym shorts.)
Soccer and baseball are sure popular in Japan, he deduces from watching
a single group of kids on a playground for all of two minutes. Then
Samurai Man starts approaching the school, having followed the same
plot points that lead Mega Man there in the first place (having no idea
how Tokyo was laid out, or where his school would be having gone with
the father instead.) After Wily scares off the kids, Mega Man uses the
Charge Kick to unwittingly reference the war crime that is Mega Man
Soccer and somehow break apart Samurai Man. In spite of his earlier
claim that he was out of weapon energy.
hasn't been on screen for much of the episode, so you might be wondering
when he does something stupidly improbable. Well, when cornered following
the defeat of Samurai Man, he suddenly reveals his secret- "Didn't
you know that I'm a Japanese ninja!" With that, he throws off his
lab coat and changes into a ninja costume, then escapes with the aid
of a couple smoke bombs.
I may quote Duke Togo: "..."
passing out from expending too much energy, or by some effect of the
gas (as we saw in the previous episode, robots are as susceptible to
sleeping gas as be-fleshed humans), Mega Man is saved by the kids. They
try to feed him to get his strength up, but Yuuta remembers he has to
eat from energy cans. So, after way too much thought on the matter,
they skip after-school study (juku) and carry him home for reinforcements.
leaps from the TV and delivers both annoying banter and energy cans.
Then Mega Man begins to search for Wily, with the help of Yuuta, who
suddenly becomes a tourist's guide. They sightsee up and down the entire
main island, spouting off facts like "Because Japan is long, different
sections have different seasons!" and "There aren't any samurai
here!"; and light-heartedly knocking over skiers(!). Mega Man pauses
to wink at some kimono girls, too. After this ten minute tourism commercial,
they finally realize that Wily is probably at Mt. Fuji. Which is about
where they started. Way to sightsee while the world is in crisis, guys.
Actually, wait- this IS Dr. Wily we're talking about. He may build some
diabolical robots, but he'll end up locking them in their rooms. Take
your time. Have some Taiyaki or something.
Mt. Fuji, Wily predicts correctly that Japan will be the first country
controlled by robots. To celebrate the advent of Aibo and Asimo, he
creates magma-powered Magma Men, who then run amok in the general area
around the volcano. Mega Man shows up and fights them to a head with
the Tidal Wave blaster, while Akane calls for more game world reinforcements
in the form of Beat and Protoman. Whoopty-doo. After escaping and leaving
the rest of the Magma Men to Protoman, Mega Man blasts into Wily's fortress
and makes short work of all three Dark Man robots (The guy who impersonated
Protoman in Mega Man V, if that doesn't ring a bell) and fights to Wily's
lair, where he has a good old fashioned session of indiscriminate killing
vs. the Robot Masters again.
Wily reveals his escape rocket and proceeds to well, escape. Yuuta shows
up with the TV and Famicom, however. As the rocket blasts off, Protoman
and Beat just turn it around and send it flying back into the TV. Yeah,
without killing anyone. I'm disappointed too. Wily returned to the game
world, we're free to have a nice dinner at home and the usual farewell
as they return to the cartridge themselves. And once again, as our heroes
wave to the kids, Wily sneaks into the picture and waves too, with his
usual "Not even I really know what I'm gonna do next! 'Cuz I'm
in a suitable conclusion, the end credits roll over Megaman walking
along to the tune of an indescribably lousy song called "LOVE FOR
ROCK" by Andy Koyama. It's kind of a slow, rock anthem-y number
with lyrics mainly about doors and the power to open them.
I'm feelin' down
And have nowhere to go
Just can't find a way
To open the door
They came along
To help me and to go
To give me courage
To open every door
guess is as good as mine. So, I can only wonder what's in store for
us in the third OAV installment. Wily will probably put on a dress since
he hasn't already. Still, the Rockman OAV's thus far are heads above
the Darkstalkers and Street Fighter cartoons.