Dr. Wily is Beyond Help Now

ROCKMAN OAV- Wishing on a Star

     Mega Man/Rockman and animation seem like they'd go together like peanut butter and jelly, at least stylistically. Having a big head and superpowers was enough for the Power Puff Girls, after all. But for some reason, whenever Capcom stamps their sign of approval for someone else to go make a cartoon about him things... go awry. Look at Captain N, where he became a pudgy, froglike midget. And green. Or the strange (also American) animated series where he was suddenly about six foot three and started doing a lot of pushups. Course, the Mega cartoon wasn't all bad in spite of Superfriends-proportioned goofs and Rush adapting sub-Scooby Doo speech pattern. (RUFF! RUFF! RIGHT BACK! MESSAGES!! AWOOO!!)

      So, here's a chance for Capcom to show how they really envision their hero in animation. A chance to prove that Rockman can do more than just fight through eight nonlinear stages and a final castle-like one. All under the wise, unerring eye of Capcom.

     In a nutshell, Dr. Wily's diabolical plan in this story is to use his satellite to launch meteors with rocket boosters at the Earth. We join Rockman, already conveniently at Wily's fortress and saving us from about four hours of beating Robot Masters one by one (assuming said Robot Masters would be tackled one by one in half hour episodes, as is typical 'battle anime's' bent.) After making it on board the skull-adorned satellite, Wily entrusts this most dire security breach to...


     Granted, Sniper Joes were annoying. But somehow I don't think that bringing him and his jillion identical brothers out of retirement would really deter Mega er, Rockman, having gotten this far, especially since the Joes all show up without their Annoying Shields. But they appeared to have brought Gravity Man for backup! Which would have proved interesting instead of merely sad if he too didn't fall to his death when Rockman shot the catwalk from under them. (Other Robot Masters in passing cameos include Stone Man doing zero-G construction work. Wily's a tactical genius, remember.) As Rockman storms forward determinedly, we suddenly learn that it's just a kid, playing Rockman on his NE- er-FAMICOM. His little sister insists that he come downstairs to partake in the New Years' festivities, but the little boy is far too into the game ot listen. So we jump back to the game world, where Rockman starts missing and making awkwards movements, thanks to the siblings wrestling over the controller. Said jostling and kicking of the console creates a hole in the space time continuum-

(This might be a good stopping point if you have a headache or are easily irritated by cartoon logic.)

-sending Rockman hurtling into their bedroom! The kids take this in stride, really. I'd be more excited or horrified myself, depending on what it was that just burst out of my screen. And within three more lines of dialogue, the sister is back to teasing the boy about his 'otoshidama, which causes them to both storm downstairs and abandon the confused young robot who just appeared in their rooms. Just like any of us normal folk would.

     Meanwhile, Dr. Wily has been sling-shat in another direction entirely and somehow materializes in Dr. Light's Lab. Maybe in the past. Who knows. It's here that the episode's literal Plot Device is revealed- a Time Machine! Called The Time Machine! Dr. Wily chloroforms both the good Doctor and Roll (chloroform apparently works on robots now) and deduces the purpose of the machine when he sees a screen requesting input for time and date. I assume he has the same reaction whenever there's a power outage and his VCR needs to be reset. Roll suddenly shakes off the effects of the sleeping drug and hops into the Time Machine to give Wily a well-earned throttling, but he just gasses her again. Yes, even acknowledging that it didn't work 'as well' on her because she's a robot. Frankly it's a miracle that it worked 'at all' on her- because she's a robot. It's here that things really pick up being weird.

     Meanwhile, back on Real Earth, Rockman is having another lesson pertaining to Japanese holidays. On the day of the festival to ward off evil oni (come on, it wasn't that bad a game, was it?) Wily suddenly appears on live TV, terrorizing downtown... Japan with his robot from the opening. A robot which is now obviously Oni-like. So evidently, not only does Dr. Light's machine allow him to travel freely in time and space, but across the dimension into the real world. Glad they brought that in. Really. Rockman rushes to the rescue and while battling the Oni-bot, sees a meteorite falling for the city, which he takes care of with relatively little trouble. Wily shares some inane villain banter and makes sure to show off his captive (holding her up by the front of the dress, even) then escapes into a time hole again. Rockman, with the sudden aid of Rush, gets some rad goggles and a time surfboard to chase Wily with.

     And now, the oddest tangent of all to appear in this episode. We see Kid Sister and her friends in the midst of a party on Girls' Day (yet another Japanese holiday.) As they partake of the sake or whatever is in their elaborate cupboard, Wily's head pokes in through the ceiling and leers. Though nothing is said to make this seem like anything more than some kind of loopy, off-kilter prank, it comes off as amazingly creepy. Between the "This is Girl's Day! The boys have to leave us alone" setup and his creepy little face... ugh. It's just a bizarre, useless scene. As Big Brother and his friends storm in with baseball equipment, Wily retreats back into the time hole, taunting them by saying "I've got the Time Machine~!" Take comfort though. You're allowed to forget the whole thing happened as it has no bearing on anything. Ever. It's just a self-contained, neat and tidy padding sequence tinged with whispers of pedophelia. As if a boy hopping about in blue underpants wasn't giving some people ideas already.


      Meanwhile, in the time stream, Roll slips free of her handcuffs and begins strangling Dr. Wily again. She's seriously coming off as more heroic than her brother who was up to now stuck in humorous fish out of water mode. Wily finally makes a somewhat wise decision and ditches his feisty prisoner, who slams into Rockman and knocks them out of the time stream. They coincidentally fall out of the sky and into the koinobori (fish shaped banner things) that Kid and Sis were setting up for Boy's Day. So, Rock and Roll fall back to Kid's house to regroup. By this point, the dimensional fabric is now a thin soup, so it's no big deal when Dr. Light sends Beat, Eddie, Blues(Protoman) and Rush (again?) through the TV. Apparently Wily's revised plan is to use his skull-adorned space station to lob asteroids at the Earth, only this time with the express purpose of making it kind of ironic when the people of Japan wish on stars on yet another holiday. Let me pitch a more familiar version for my fellow Westerners: Dr. Wily now has control over time, space and dimensions. He uses this to transport his evil fortress to the real world and lob meteors at us on say... Arbor Day. But not before making pit stops on Martin Luther King Day and President's Day. So, clearly, he's dangerous and must be stopped. Their master plan, you ask? Attacking head-on in a cumbersome attack shuttle built around Rush. Fighting stupid with stupid makes sense, I guess.

     I must say that Blues is a lot friendlier than I expected him to be. As opposed to cryptically coming and going, helping as he pleases, he sticks close to Rockman and smiles all the time. And that voice is totally different than what I expected. Granted he's only a little 'older' than Rockman, but he really needs a deeper voice or something. He's also missing his gun and shield, which probably isn't helping his image either. So, they all set off into space and predictably beat Wily's robot army. Most notably, Blues hijacks one Meteor Missile and rams it into another one. For christ's sakes, he's unarmed! Rockman beats Wily's oni robot by utilizing the time honored principle that 'if it flashes- it's a weak spot.' And as Wily begs and grovels not to be stranded in space, Rock graciously spares him, but makes sure to blow up the time traveling part of the capsule.

     In the end, they all get back to Earth and head back into the game world. And as they all wave goodbye to their superfluous young friends, we notice that Wily's gotten a hand free of his ropes and is gleefully waving as well. Happy ending? A little too happy, one may think...


Of course, it won't be a party until the Gimp shows up.

Roll is actually a violent and abusive little robot girl who manages to do more to beat Wily than Rock.

"Look, we're entering the atmosphere."