Thursday, November 24, 2011

Original Mega Man Cartoon Pitch Unearthed

At long, long last we have ourselves footage of the elusive promotional video used to pitch the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon before the show was "Americanized". A rare look at what could have been, The Mega Man Homepage has uploaded the original footage in its entirety. And it's awesome.



The promo tape features two-minutes worth of never-before-seen footage of a significantly different Ruby-Spears cartoon. In its early stages, the show featured aesthetics incredibly faithful to the art direction of the games, with a style largely influenced by Keiji Inafune's character designs.

When the show was finally picked up and green-lit into production, however, Ruby-Spears gave it a complete overhaul. The anime style was ditched; suddenly Mega Man became a buffed-up American Super Hero, cheesy one liners and all. Hey, at least the theme song was catchy.

We aren't exactly sure why the art direction changed, but The Mechanical Maniacs' has a pretty good theory: 

"In the early 90's anime hadn't taken off yet. The biggest shows were Batman: the animated Series, X-Men, and Spider-Man. These shows were probably considered Mega Man's main competition and the show we got falls into line with these shows as opposed to any other shows on at the time. Furthermore, if you watch the OVAs, you'll see that they're preoccupied with teaching foreigners about Japanese culture. An admiral attempt, but I don't think it went over very well as many characteristics that might have been deemed "Japanese" were taken out."

Regardless the reason, I'm very happy to finally see this footage with my own eyes. It's a true sight to behold! Bit of a shame this version never came to fruition.

Thanks for the tip, RADIX!

32 comments:

  1. Having actually watched it now--I like it very much. :) THIS is what the OVA should've been.

    ...I just know the rest of the comments will consist of rampant RS-MM-bashing. :(

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  2. Hah, he called Elec Man "Bright Man". XD

    The trailer looks pretty sweet, though! It looks far more action-y and better animated than the finished product we got. Still, despite the flaws of RS-Megaman, you've gotta admit that the 90's cheesiness makes the show enjoyable to watch. It's got the "so bad it's good" quality that makes it worth watching when you need a good laugh.

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  3. Yeah, this looks a whole lot like the Upon a Star OVA. It's very faithful to the original RockMan style and totally what the cartoon should have been. It's sad.

    I'm pretty sure the MMHP said they showed both this clip and the Ruby-Spears version to a focus group of kids who voted and decided which version they liked most. They picked the Ruby-Spears version. Stupid kids...

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  4. Wow! That WAS awesome.

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  5. Oh man, it's always sad to see what could have been. If they had stuck with art more faithful to the games, I think the show would have done better. Hell, this just might have been the "in" that anime needed to access US households.

    Oh well, Ruby-Spears' final product will always be nostalgia gold for me.

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  6. Hey, it looks like some of this promo was reused for the Rockman 7 trailer!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3HY0FusuVQ&feature=related

    And those Yellow Devils look a LOT like the character model from the MM8 intro.

    Funny how they don't know the names of the robots they're talking about. I also like how much of this was reused for the intro .... not surprising, really.

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  7. When WAS that made? Because it gives a solid sales number of 2 and a half million units at that time and I'm curious as to where it relates in terms of game releases.

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  8. Wh-wha... whaaaaaaaat!?

    I swear, if I could go back in time and smack a bitch... I'd smack all the executives who went out of their way to change the art direction of the original MegaMan cartoon. I would have LOVED to have watched that when I was a kid!

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  9. A very awesome promotional video. I remember hearing about it but no one ever found any footage of it. What an EXTREMELY rare find. Glad this promo worked and the finished product we got wasn't so bad. Some episodes were better animated and written than others, but overall, I definitely do not think it should have been cancelled. I also feel the anime style would have worked quite well at the time. I mean, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon and Samurai Pizza Cats were already on US television. Mega Man could have been a pioneer of anime in the mainstream of America. He still somewhat is, though. The show did still retain anime-like elements. Especially in "Mega X".

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  10. Ooh, yeah, this. Glad Mandi found hers.

    I wish I knew what happened to mine; we misplaced it somewhere during a move, before video conversion and uploading was so easy-peasy.

    I really need to do something with my prelim bible, too...

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  11. Wow, WMV. That brings back memories. This video file must be from the 90s or something. I wonder who has the original VHS.

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    Replies
    1. I do.

      And the more you credit Mandi, the less I want to share the rest of it.

      Delete
  12. Man, that was beyond awesome. The animation is so great too! I wonder why they haven't released this as an extra on the Upon a Star DVD, or even the Ruby Spears Box sets =/

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  13. Its so....beautiful.

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  14. The usa version is a crap. This is one we should watch instead. Sighing. It will never happen. By the way, good finding. :)

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  15. Awesome!

    -Gemini Man is mean even with his partners, poor Elec Man. And looks like Pharaoh Man is going to do the same with him. Well, Gemini did shot Spark Man in the show... Maybe he doesn't like electric bots?

    -Dr. Light and Roll in a Wily Capsule II-like vehicle. Is that the Light Capsule? XD

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  16. Your friendly, animated metool.November 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Although this promo is fug-awesome (MM riding back on Cutman's blades then tearing a hole in the ground? Badass.) i'm thinking that it's a bit of a lie. The promo says that RS would still be doing the animation, yet I don't think that they could DO said animation. The OVA's were made by a different company and who's to say that this company didn't make this as well?

    So, either the promo is lying about Ruby-spears doing the great animation, or it's lying that the great animation would be in the finished product at all.

    Still, great promo. I'm glad I finally saw it. (But by the looks of it, I saw big chunks of it in the show's intro, RM7's ad and the shows brodcaster ad)

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  17. You have no idea how long I have been waiting for this THANK YOU!!

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  18. I am pretty sure Ruby Spears didn't do the animation. If they did, they do great anime! But I think the same studio who produced the Rockman game commercials did it. Art style and animation are too similar not to be...unless RS are masters at mimicking.

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  19. I can't watch it for some reason. Can you upload a mirror or something? Anyways thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear that they at least made an attempt for that video.

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  20. @above anon:

    Unfortunately, a mirror is out of my control. Try heading to the site directly:

    http://www.mmhp.net/marketing/Promo.html

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  21. NVM:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzk_VVyIMbo

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  22. If only this was kept... It would have made the show a little more bearable.

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  23. Bad art? What you guys are talking about? Be thankful Ruby-Spears didn't used the Mega Man 1 or 2 box art as reference! (Imagines a yellow middle-aged cyborg cop as main character. Yellow Robocop vs. Robot Masters?)

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  24. I agree with the last Anon. I think Ruby Spears made a great, unique Mega Man experience. It could have been much, much worse like some cartoons at the time, but I find it enjoyable and memorable. Most episodes are enjoyable at least. Some can feel like a "curse".

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  25. A per-episode budget of $300,000 in 1994 dollars... that's about $450,000 in 2011 dollars. What's the average cost of an animated weekly cartoon show?

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  26. This was awesome.... too bad we didn't get a show like it way back when.

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  27. It says that the show would have been produced by RS. That didn't necessarily mean they would be doing the actual animation. It's interesting seeing what might have been, but the plots and writing probably still would have sucked.

    As it is, the show was actually very successful as far as ratings go. It was canceled because Bandai pulled the plug because they weren't happy with toy sales.

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  28. While watching this video, i felt like i had just inserted a Mega Man game on a Sega CD...

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  29. Hi.

    This is years later but that is MY promo which was given to Mandi Paugh 100% without my permission or the permission of the man who got it from Capcom for me. I'm actually really pissed with how far it got when I wasn't supposed to share it, Sean Neese whom I was dating at the time made copies without ever asking me. That's how David Minter got it and that's how it got handed to Mandi apparently. All the copies I see are all missing the small MMX merch promo at the start that gets cut off.. and that's how I know none of them come from my tape. Also, they are horrific copy of a copy of a copy when mine is likely second generation. So there is more to this promo tape that I didn't allow anyone to copy and more I'd probably share if I encode it myself.. but to be honest... I'm not sure if I want to. It's years too late now and I'm pretty pissed at my former friends.

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  30. PS - if you'll credit me though.. you might be able to talk me into an encode :p The way I wanted to share it when I thought I could get away with it.

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    Replies
    1. I'm game for that. Lets get in touch. Full credit to you

      Delete

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