Review: “Mega Man Fully Charged” is a Derivative and Unimpressive Adaptation of the Mega Man Franchise
“Mega Man Fully Charged” is the latest animated adaptation of the “Mega Man” video game series. While not the worst animated TV series of its kind, it is still a highly-derivative and painfully mediocre show that does little to improve the unimpressive track record of “Mega Man” in animation.
The character of Mega Man previously had a handful of animated TV series in the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as a role in the 1980s cartoon “Captain N: The Game Master.” Now, this American/Canadian/Japanese co-production is an attempt to update “the Blue Bomber” for a new generation. Unfortunately, the result brings nothing new to the table and lacks the unique fun of its video game source material.
Rather than the usual alter ego of Rock, this time the role of Mega Man is held by Aki, the adoptive robotic son of Dr. Light. Living with an adoptive sister named Tsuna, Aki must balance the challenges of daily life while defending the city from an onslaught of malfunctioning robots.
If the premise sounds familiar, that’s because the show has less in common with the video games and more with the numerous action series with a premise that boils down to “wake up, go to school, save the world.” Man of Action seems to have mashed up the franchise with their own work on the “Ben 10” franchise, along with elements of numerous other animated works involving robots. In terms of faithfulness to the source material, the show arguably has more in common with the infamous box art to the original 1987 video game than any of their contents.
The plots of each episode are relatively standard fluff for action shows of this type, and the voice acting has an admittedly talented cast shout almost every single line of dialogue in an increasingly grating way. The animation looks noticeably worse than some of the video games, despite numerous advances in technology since the games began being released in 3D.
However, the biggest disappointment with the show is the idea that Dentsu wanted to make a “Mega Man” adaptation that could be enjoyed by newcomers and fans of the games. Instead, the series has been met with lukewarm reception from new viewers and resounding backlash from fans of the games for the liberties taken with the source material.
Overall, “Mega Man Fully Charged” is a series that isn’t totally awful, but offers little to recommend to anyone. If you’ve seen any other show with this premise, you’ve essentially seen this one. There are thankfully new Mega Man games coming soon, so there’s little reason to spend time with a show that seems stuck on low power mode.
Verdict: .5 out of 5 stars.
Review By Steven Pryor
At a Glance:
Mega Man Fully Charged (2018)
Starring the voices of Vincent Tong, Michael Adamthwaite, Caitlin Barstow and Garry Chalk
Developed by Man of Action Studios and Dentsu (Based on the video game series by Capcom)