…and a day.
Wow, I knew it was right around this time, but on a whim I double-checked, and it turns out that I created The Rockman/Mega Man Manga Petition five years(and a day) ago on August 29th, 2001.
Since that time, the petition has gained 10,229 signatures, mention in some small blurbs in various anime/manga and video game-related magazines, and has even seen the attention of Viz, who in 2004 began by publishing one version of the Rockman.EXE manga under the name of MegaMan NT Warrior, which is currently awaiting its 10th volume to reach store shelves.
Also of note is the fact that between the time the petition started and the launch of Viz’s manga adaptation, a Canadian company by the name of Dreamwave(which eventually got a little too big for its britches, as they say) acquired the comic book publishing rights to several Capcom properties, and began their own version of a Mega Man comic book.
An original storyline which didn’t really find its way into the hands of its intended audience, and was often scorned by those which it did find, it was an interesting piece in retrospect that left off with the promise of a Mega Man X comic which may or may not ever materialize, as the company soon after went “belly up,” and the status of the rights to the “original” Mega Man universe are perhaps in question at best.
Which means that while Viz can keep cranking out NT Warrior until its very end, whether or not they can even look at anything else besides the follow-up Ryuusei no Rockman is questionable.
And now, today, with nothing new appearing in print regarding the original Mega Man universe, it seems that several fansites such as Dr. Neko’s Lab and Rockman Tanjou have taken matters into their own hands, providing fans of the many generations of heroes to bear the title of “Mega Man(or “Rockman,” if you must)” an outlet in which to view the print adventures of these Blue Bombers in their own native tongue.
From a handfull of fansites providing random scans with little or no context to fully translated, complete narratives, it seems that we have come quite some way in regards to this favored-yet-controversial part of the Rockman/Mega Man franchise. With any luck, work on these stories will continue, and hopefully more will see print in languages that will allow more fans from beyond Japan’s borders to enjoy these tales.