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August 2018 marked the debut of a brand new animated Mega Man series, titled Mega Man: Fully Charged. The show recently premiered on the Cartoon Network. It follows the adventures of a boy robot named Aki Light who can transform into a powerful fighting warrior called Mega Man.
As Mega Man he defends Silicon City from the attacks and destruction of renegade robots. Like the video game source material, Mega Man (or Aki), was created by a brilliant scientist named Dr. Light. Also staying true to the Mega Man mythos, the protagonist defends with his mega buster canon and has the ability to replicate the powers and weapons of his enemies.
One notable change in the series so far is that the villainous robots that Mega Man faces are commanded by an individual called Sgt. Night (and not by Dr. Wily who was the main villain from the classic video game series and 1994 cartoon). I am unsure whether Wily will show up in the new series or not.
The aesthetic of the show is extremely colorful and vivid. The Mega Man character especially stands out in his trademark blue armor, aspects of his suit continuously glowing with a bright sheen. This brilliant platelet certainly makes the show engaging from a visual aspect. The action sequences only further emphasize this, as wonderful bursts of color shimmer across the screen. The action itself is also decently executed.
The inclusion of music from the original Mega Man games that is featured during certain scenes is another excellent and enjoyable attribute of the show. For long-time fans of the games/character, it will certainly evoke a rush of nostalgia and familiarity! Several scenes feature ''fans'' of Mega Man enthusiastically chanting for their hero as he does battle.
These were endearing and highlighted the need for Mega Man as a champion and protector. As the show is centered around the protagonist as hero, such segments are paramount in accenting this and drawing the viewer in.
The show also deserves credit for staying true to who Mega Man is. It opens with the title character describing the attributes that make up a hero. Similar themes have run throughout both the classic and Mega Man X series.
As Mega Man is indeed a long-running franchise, it is important for the character to retain these principal traits that have been well established throughout the franchise history.
One criticism I must make is that the dialogue is a bit too cheesy at certain times. Although, this does not render the show completely unwatchable for die-hard adult Mega Man fans (as many children shows are just that... unwatchable and unbearable).
However, with the franchise dating back to 1987, it would have been preferred to try and tailor the dialogue a bit more so it would appeal to both adults and kids alike. Certainly, a balance of that kind is not beyond scope. That being said, I did find myself laughing lightly and smiling at some of the jokes and humor.
Furthermore, the cheesiness is not constant. There is also an undeniable charm about the whole thing and only the most cynical of viewers would be able to completely fault the series.
Overall, Mega Man: Fully Charged is a more than adequate addition to the Mega Man expanded universe. It is by no means perfect or exceptional. However, there are aspects here that should more than please the long-time fans and even recruit a new generation of kids as well.
For that alone the show deserves some praise, as it will serve as a platform to showcase the iconic Mega Man to a new audience!