Mega Man Episode 1: "The Beginning" --or-- "Sorry, I Don't Speak German"

Catch the episode here.

Ah, the intro, where more budget went into 1 minute than the entire show. It's not at all a bad opening, either; maybe a little too fast-paced, and the recycled animation is aplenty, but it's energetic enough for the kids and the melody's just a banger. Once that song is over, though....eugh.

This is basically the origin story for the Blue Bomber, interlaid in another story of Dr. Wily and the six Robot Masters from the taking over Kennedy International Airport (his reasoning is that controlling the airspace will let him control the city, even though there's....two other airports in NYC? Not only is it high-class terrorism, but it's pointless high-class terrorism!) For what it's worth, I'm actually surprised at how faithful to the original games this is. Not that the games had much in the way of story, mind you, but Mega Man's origins are almost exactly like they are in the main MM canon and the designs are pretty much line-for-line how they are to the originals.....well, mostly. Instead of the blobby, animesque character builds from the classic series, Ruby-Spears opted for more athletic builds, and while I prefer the former designs, I can see how the produces probably wanted to appeal more to its American audience and boost those toy sales (as we'll see here throughout the series, it ain't a Saturday morning cartoon if it doesn't bend over backwards for cheap action figures). That's not to say there aren't any changes at all, unfortunately...

-In the games, Mega Man takes the weapon of a Robot Master he defeats and uses it as an edge over the next Robot Master. Here, however, all he has to do is touch them to copy their weapon, at which point the Robot Master loses their weapon and becomes a sitting duck. Maybe it's just because I want some catharsis over some of the bosses being pains in the ass even with their weaknesses in the games, but I'm left wishing the RMs don't lose their weapons at all so the fights don't become boring and one-sided once Mega Man gives them the bad touch.
-Unable to move from the past, Ruby-Spears basically turned Rush into a robotic Scooby-Doo, speaking mangled English and eating Scooby Sn-sorry, Battery Biscuits. Also, Eddie, the robot helper introduced in the fourth game that gives Mega Man useful items, now talks and has the voice of a strangled Marvin the Martian. Why do we need this much comic relief. Stop it.
-Roll, instead of being a simple housekeeper, for Dr. Light, can now take care of herself on the battlefield with her own....vacuum cleaner arm cannon? Mixed feelings on those gender roles, but sure, whatever, she's useful now. Makes me wonder why she didn't opt to become a SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT! like Mega Man, though.
-Proto Man's a recurring character as Wily's main robot, but boy, did they fuck him up! I admit that his stoic, mysterious personality probably comes more from 7 and 8, not to mention the Archie Comics, all of which came after the cartoon's last episode, but here, he basically has the same personality as Mega Man except his switch broke off on Jerkass Mode. Overall just very annoying to listen to.
-Buuuuut he's at least more pleasant on the ears than Dr. Wily. His personality is basically the same, but here, he has an extremely thick German accent. I don't know why everyone loves Scott McNeil's performance, he's almost incomprehensible at times!
-Proto Man and Wily are both buffoons. In a scene where Mega Man and Roll are chained up in Wily's castle, Mega Man threatens that Light's "Super Warriors" are on their way to "rearrange your ugly features", and that he can tell Wily how to defeat them if he's let go....and guess what happens. Forget the fact that if these Warriors were really on their way, Mega Man would keep them and a secret or at the very least not reveal the cavalry's weaknesses, but there's no reason that he couldn't have said it while he was still chained up! Also, this cartoon implies that Wily barely knows a thing about robotics; most of his evil misdeeds in this episode haven't been creating things, but stealing them, whether it was Proto Man, Dr. Light's plans, the MM1 Robot Masters, or Mega Man and Roll, like he's fucking Dr. Light's personal IRS agent. He also implies that for every robot Dr. Light builds, he'll simply snatch them up and reprogram them. Just build your own evil robots, hackjob.

And did I mention that this was a 90s cartoon? Trust me, it hasn't aged a bit since then. Not just the fact that no piece of media in the last 20 years has unironically used the term "fancy pants", but there's sexism in this cartoon! Robot sexism! First, Mega Man says, after Roll suggests fighting with him, "I don't need any girl robots getting in my way!", with Roll throwing back a "aLl MeN aRe ThE sAmE". How progressive! All in all. this episode was....fine, I guess? It was accurate to the games, but none of the jokes landed with me and the action was subpar at least. Not that I expected much of anything better, since any 90s cartoon that wasn't Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network was generally just a toy commercial. Let's see if any of the next 25 episodes make me want to go out and buy a Guts Man action figure.
Agree with you on how Megaman's power stealing shit works in the cartoon, it doesn't make for very interesting action and actually makes for less of it happening. But then again, this is a low budget 90s cartoon, so that was probably the deciding factor in why it works like it does here!

I can absolutely see why they'd make Protoman Wily's lackey, seeing as that was the case in 3 and he was being passed off as a villain again in 5 (which was assumedly the most recent when the show was in its planning stages even if the show aired after 6 came out). He also makes for a useful character to have in a show narrative since Bass didn't exist at the time and he could be played as an equal villain to Megaman. It's simply more convenient to use him as a character that way even if they had to bend things a bit.

Also Wily's German accent in the cartoon is amazing fuck you. But also un-fuck you for doing a better writeup than Drei.

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i mean yeah i’m fine with proto man being a villain

i just think he’s a boring dumbass

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