Saturday, March 12, 2011

Six-Year Anniversary of Rockman Theatrical Film

Six years ago today, the first (and currently only) Rockman theatrical film graced silver screens in Japan. Rockman EXE: The Program of Light And Darkness is nothing short of a series milestone.

The film, an adaptation of the Rockman EXE Stream television series, released in theaters back in 2005, billed alongside the Duel Masters feature film, Curse of the Deathphoenix. Original assumed to be a true-blue crossover, the movie is, for the most part, stand-alone, with a plot based heavily around the happenings of Rockman EXE Stream. As such, the film didn't see an international release as Stream was never dubbed nor syndicated outside of Japan by ShoPro/Viz.

Despite the lack of an (official) international release, the film was a moderate financial success domestically. By year's end, The Program of Light And Darkness went on to garner $7,606,77 at the box office, even beating out the likes of other populated animated features at the time such as Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation. 

The film's success is due in part to a decent sized marketing campaign headed by Capcom. The publisher released a series of official goods and paraphernalia to raise awareness for the film, even going so far as to produce a limited edition version of the then-latest game in the series, Rockman EXE 5.  Dubbed, "Rockman EXE 5: Movie Edition", the game was a re-packaged version of Team Colonel, bundled with some nifty extra goodies, complete with an all new slip on on box cover. Today, the game remains as one of the most sought after collectibles.

For English speaking fans, an unofficial subbed version of the movie is widely available online via Torrent and video streaming sites. Interestingly, Capcom nor Xebec have not taken action against this freely available version. A quick Google search can yield to some surprising results.

Now six-years later, The Program of Light and Darkness proudly stands firm as the only official Rockman movie released in theaters. The lifelong dream for some of us, seeing the Blue Bomber on the big screen, finally came to fruition.  But, let's be honest, this isn't quite the film adaption many were hoping. When word originally hit the scene that Capcom was in the midst of producing a Mega Man film, many, and I mean MANY fans at the time were expecting something along the lines of a classic series movie. Alas, fate had other plans.

With Capcom gearing up to take on Hollywood once again with a new Resident Evil and Devil May Cry films, perhaps we may yet see the Blue Bomber's return to theaters.


  1. And a possible french subbed version from a fansub group i know well, will use the DVD RAW i found myself...
    Good times.

  2. The EXE era was a strange one. I personally don't think we'll ever see another official Rockman film being produced anytime soon. We won't see another one until the franchise is either profitable enough to make one and/or Capcom takes the franchise seriously enough to put serious effort in the marketing department.

    Last time I checked, MM9/10 weren't that heavily marketed, and MMU seems to be in limbo overall.

    At the most, we'll probably see a Legends film. That's still a stretch, though. Our current best chance at a second movie died with the SSR/Star Force series.

  3. Long short story : We need a movie based off SSR 3

  4. What's the story behind how Duel Masters and Boktai were connected with Rockman Exe more or less?

    I never quite understood why they decided to promote each other in such a fashion.

  5. @Anon:

    I'm not sure about the whole Boktai-Rockman crossover deals, but I do know that DuelMasters and Rockman EXE were made by the same companies in terms of the animated series.

    Not to mention, a majority of the VAs were shared between each other. So I guess it was just an easy way to market them both together.

    On another note, I think a series based on SSR3, or a movie, would be really cool. Or at least, a story based on the Mu Metal stuff that the post-story segment in SSR3 hinted towards.

  6. I own this on DVD. I thought it was a good enough movie.
    Forte-cross Rockman.EXE FTW!

  7. Oh EXE, you and the many merchandise that spawned really makes you a special branch in the Rockman tree. Too bad Capcom got cocky and instantly tried to make SSR the next cashcow... and well...

    @anon1: I believe EXE shared the same kid's block hour with Duel Masters. This little marketing plot led for the series to crossover with each other like I show here:

    For Boktai, Kojima's kid likes EXE, stuff happened, and tadah! One of the most unique game crossovers ever.

  8. @ First Anon:

    Both franchises had manga featured in CoroCoro Comics.

  9. Personally I found the movie underwhelming, but it was nice seeing a Mega Man movie.

    And I agree with you, HRaE.

  10. As long as they don't make a live-action MM film, I'm cool. The moment I find out they're making an official live-action MM film, imma find every Capcom employee and pimp slap them.

  11. We need a movie on the transition between Classic and X, or a movie on the transition between X and Zero. AS LONG as it has good voice acting. (Iris's death comes to mind).

  12. You know, This makes me think or two reasons as to why Megaman isnt getting another movie.
    1. It;s not exactly movie material imo. Sure, You can make a series based on the games, but making an entire movie with a different plot? That'd be hard.
    2. I think capcoms actually inching WAY from rockman, for whatever reason. It kind of sickens me that capcom is usually known for the blue bomber, Yet not a lot of people even know that Megaman.EXE = Hub, or other things kinda key to any of the series.

  13. I wish it was longer. It was pretty much a glorified episode, and I was looking forward to it being epic. (Dude, EXE on the big screen? DUUDE.)

    But the animation was glorious.

  14. @ZeroX: Personally, I believe that whole "Cataclysm" nonsense & the desire to "Bridge the Classic & X series" would be better off as a side-story in Ariga's Megaman manga. I honestly didn't see any profit in trying to fit it anywhere else: not a movie, not an animated series (including japan's), and ESPECIALLY NOT IN THE GAMES THEMSELVES.

  15. blah blah X ERA ANIME blah blah IT WOULD KICK ALL ELSE blah blah DO IT OH PLEASE blah blah

  16. Come to think of it, the X ERA guy does have the right idea.

    I actually could see a Rockman Online movie being made...

  17. Id rather keep Megaman away from Hollywood thank you very much...

    At least until we see how Steven Spielberg's Ghost in the Shell movie turns out anyway.

    It would also be best animooted. Unfortunately, Classic Rock just doesnt work as well IRL.

    (that doesnt mean Eddie Lebron's movie wasnt cool, it was... but it was still not exactly the kind of movie we've been waiting for all this time. though it does come close)

  18. Watched Astro Boy the other day. It was well done!

    Wish we'd got a CGI Megaman/EXE film.


Keep it friendly. Disparaging, belittling and derogatory comments are not permitted.