Friday, February 12, 2021

Here Are the Scans From the Cancelled 1992 Mega Man Anime


The development cels from the cancelled 1992 Mega Man anime have safely arrived. And as promised, we've scanned them in high-resolution for everyone to enjoy. They're absolutely gorgeous.

That said, you can download 'em here or check 'em out after the break below!

 



Acquiring these materials from this lost and previously-unknown anime project was a collaborative effort among myself, Rock Miyabi and max6464646464. What's more, there were dozens of fans who participated in the crowd fund initiative. Needless to say, maybe, but we're greatly humbled by everyone's passion and spirit to preserve Mega Man history. Good things happen when we work together!

Now, if you're just joining us and have no idea why these cels are so significant, here's the gist of it...

When we first came in contact with these materials, we speculated that they belonged to an early incarnation of the Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon. The focus on Guts Man, Cut Man and Proto Man as the primary villains, among other curious details, fueled the thought. We soon learned, though, that wasn't the case.

Nobuyoshi Habara, a decorated animation director and character designer, replied to one of my threads on Twitter and confirmed that he personally drew two of three cels. According to Habara, these pieces belonged to an unrealized 1992 Rockman TV anime project that was in development at Ashi Productions. Had it come to fruition, the show would have been the very first animated Mega Man adaptation.

Unfortunately, the project ceased development early on in the "planning phase". No actual animation of the project exists -- what you see is all that every was. For now, that is. (More on that in a moment). Habara said that, after the project stopped, Ashi Productions moved on to produce an unrelated short film about traffic safety for children. 


Now, after acquiring these materials, we were surprised to learn that one cel held a secret. Flip it over and boom --  a faded, Xerox copy of Mega Man's character model sheet. This, too, was a product of Habara. 

Pretty neat, right? And I gotta say, we're pretty confident that there's even more materials related to this ill-fated project out there.

There's a lot more to see and learn from this fascinating project. And I assure you, this will not be the last you hear from it

Stay tuned and ... thank you ALL again!

14 comments:

  1. No, Thank you, Protodude.

    I do have a question that is off topic, but I've had a hard time finding an answer to.

    Do you know if the original MegaMan 2 music originally intended for the later Wily stages can be heard anywhere? I'm dying to know what that would have sounded like. For anyone that can provide me information, thank you in advance.

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  2. Great seeing these scanned, thanks a bunch!

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  3. Cool stuff, a shame this never happened. Always wished there was a good, anime adaptation of Rockman, not counting the american cartoons. The closest thing will probably always be the RM8 intro, which is basically what Id want it to look and be like with a tone that mirrors Arigas mega/gigamix manga. Thats something Id go back and watch on a regular basis.

    But its just a dream at this point, even if one was made now, itd be cheaply made with that generic modern animation style and probably be a big misfire on the tone as well. So it is what it is.

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    1. 100% agree. The anime cut scenes in mm8 were amazing. They really embodied the spirit of mega man for me. That game gets an unfair bum rap

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    2. @victory mushashi: Oh definitely. Xebec did a fantastic job on those cutscenes, much like they did on X3's PlayStation opening, the cutscenes for X4 and Maverick Hunter X, and The Day of Sigma (though that was a joint effort with Production I.G). I also agree that Mega Man 8 is a great title. It's regularly hated by the "8-bit only!" part of the fandom and people only remember it for the hurr hurr bad dub, even though it was dubbed in English in Japan, not the U.S., as some clueless idiots still seem to think.

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  4. I'm so glad we ended up winning this. Looks amazing! I was really scared that this one would also get sabotaged, but we came out on top. Good job, everyone! And thank you, Protodude for rallying us!

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  5. Just try to imagine the episode "Curse of the Lion Men" with this art style

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    1. I'm really really really curious to know what Robot Masters could had appeared. Guts Man and Cut Man where confirmed.
      But what about the others? What about Bubble Man who was only in Captain N: The Game Master and Flash Man who still hasn't been seen in any animated series, same thing for Skull Man? I wonder how Air Man would had looked? It's pretty obvious that Elec Man would had appeared.

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  6. I would have totally watched this. :(

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  7. truly a real shame. hope at some point we get another mega man anime(like a promotional one for megaman 12 at least maybe in 11/megaman 8's style.:3)as i would've like to have seen this and the original pilot.(just would've changed cut man,dr light & proto mans chin a bit.lol)

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    1. A Mega Man Anime, done right, would be great. I can't stress that enough. The "done right" part is key.

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  8. I'm really really really curious to know what Robot Masters could had appeared. Guts Man and Cut Man where confirmed.
    But what about the others? What about Bubble Man who was only in Captain N: The Game Master and Flash Man who still hasn't been seen in any animated series, same thing for Skull Man? I wonder how Air Man would had looked? It's pretty obvious that Elec Man would had appeared.

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  9. Truly a fascinating discovery now that it's been explained in more detail. It's a shame the production shut down. You'd think Mega Man was making enough in numbers at the time to warrant completing an anime series, but I guess they felt it was either too expensive to keep going or perhaps they couldn't cobble together a story that would last a season or two. Still, I imagine with the persistence of folks eager to learn more, we might be able to dig up more on this mysterious anime that could have been.

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    1. Which Robot Master would you have wanted to see? For me it's Flash Man.

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