Ever since its introduction a little while back, Mega Man: Fully Charged has been building up all kinds of momentum for its debut on Cartoon Network this month. And while some die-hard fans aren’t too fond of the new art style for the character, Man of Action Entertainment is devoted to delivering an experience that Mega Man lovers of all ages will enjoy.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Man of Action’s Joe Kelly to talk about the origin of the series, as well as what could come next if it’s successful!
First off, who pitched who when it came to the creation of the Mega Man series? Did Capcom come to you or vice versa?
We were approached by Dentsu Entertainment USA, which had already struck a deal with Capcom to make a Mega Man show and then brought co-producer DHX Media in. We were immediately excited about adding a chapter to the 30-year history of an iconic character and jumped on in.
What was the initial pitch for the series? Were you always going for a younger version of the character or did it start out differently?
The show was intended for a younger audience from the start. Mega Man is an ideal superhero for kids. A perfect fit.
Would you say the team are avid fans of the Mega Man games?
Yes. From the writers to the designers to the animators, everyone has a relationship to Mega Man in some form or another. The games informed the world and characters, obviously, but also inspired what we regard to be the greatest asset of the character - the power replication process. Not only does it give us a slew of great powers and looks to play with, thematically it generated a powerful and timely idea. Mega Man doesn't just fight bad guys and throw them in jail. When he replicates a power, he gains insight into a robot's feelings, motives, etc. Sometimes he literally walks in their shoes, which creates a lot of empathy between Mega Man and his foes. So Mega Man is about understanding other people and trying to find common ground first and foremost. It's a great motivator for a hero.
Some fans have critiqued the new art style for the Mega Man series. How did your team come up with this new look for him?
As with every animated show, the art style went through many iterations before we landed where we did with Mega Man: Fully Charged. Capcom specifically asked us not to just copy what they are doing/have done with the franchise. They wanted a show that stood on its own for a new audience. We get it, it's not the thing someone loved and remembered. Instead, it's a way to expose a character that might otherwise sit on a shelf to someone new. That said, the show is packed to the gills with easter eggs, homages and characters from the games, so there is something for everyone who gives it a shot.
Tell us about the story. Does it stay true to the theme of the Mega Man games? Will we see familiar heroes and villains arise?
Again, Capcom encouraged us to explore new ways to tell Mega Man's story, and we did while keeping certain touchstones from the last 30 years intact. Mega Man is a young hero, just learning the ropes. He's got a family. He fights Robot Masters ... to tell you more would spoil it! We promise that there will be familiar faces, though some of them will appear in very unexpected ways.
What did you think about the feedback from your recent San Diego Comic-Con panel?
We thought it went well! Folks at the panel asked great questions. Some comments online were negative as one would expect, but overwhelmingly we got folks who saw the merits of the show, even if they didn't feel it was for them.
Is there a long term goal with the Mega Man series? Could we see an evolution into X someday? Or are you keeping it simple?
There are many long term plans for Mega Man and Co. Can't tell you what, but again there will be recognizable characters in the future that should thrill old and new fans.
Will we see a number of Mega Man’s adversaries over the course of the series? Or are you focusing on a few particular Robot Masters?
Yes. Many adversaries. Many Robot Masters.
With Mega Man 11 coming out soon, are you guys working with Capcom at all on a promotional push for all things Blue Bomber? Or is that not planned yet?
The show and the games occupy different spaces within Capcom, so our focus is on telling great Mega Man stories while they make great games.
Finally, do you think this is the Mega Man comeback that fans and newcomers alike deserve? Or is the best yet to come with the series?0comments
Frankly, Mega Man never "left", hence he doesn't need a comeback. We're pumped to share Mega Man: Fully Charged with the world, and think that the audience will be as passionate about Mega Man as we are, whether they have been there from the beginning or are discovering him for the first time.
Mega Man: Fully Charged debuts on Cartoon Network starting August 5.