One of the many “prototype” names given to Rockman was “RainbowMan”, a name that would have reflected Rockman's ability to change his color scheme depending on his current arsenal. Sounds a bit bizarre, but there is actually some interesting history behind the name “RainbowMan.”
Time after time, Rockman creator Keiji Inafune has stated that his childhood has been a huge inspiration for the design of Rockman. Inafune and a majority of the Rockman staff were huge fan of tokusatsu, a popular film genre in Japan that relies heavily on man made special effects (no computers here folks) and the use of costumes and props. Enter RainbowMan.
RainbowMan, or as he's better known is Japan, “RainbowMan of Love”, was a popular tokusatsu super hero in the early '70s, who like Rockman, could change his color scheme to reflect his current abilities.
RainbowMan has the ability to transform himself into one of seven powerful “Dashu” forms, each themed after the days of the week symbols for Japan. (Moon, Fire, Water, Wood, Gold, Earth and Sun)
Without a doubt, Rockman is definitely a homage to RainbowMan, a homage that has lasted for nearly twenty years.
The franchise recently paid tribute to the character in the Rockman.EXE anime: a Net Navi reminiscent of RainbowMan appeared in the nineteenth episode of season one of the anime in the form of “ShiningMan.EXE.” His role was a very small one, lasting only a few seconds before being deleted by his “partner” Blues.EXE.
We salute you RainbowMan, without you, we have no clue as to what abilities Rockman would have had. Thank you!
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