Mega Man Maniax, known as Rockman Maniax (ロックマンマニアックス Rokkuman Maniakkusu) in Japan, is a manga based on the Mega Man series, originally serialized by Hitoshi Ariga in the May 1997 to March 1998 issues of Comic BomBom under the title Rockman Chronicles (ロックマンクロニクル Rokkuman Kuronikuru). Most of the manga is essentially essays by Ariga and a few pages of columnized gag shorts, with numerous projects requiring reader participation. Some of the shorts were included in the first reprints of Mega Man Megamix, and on July 11, 2011, Rockman Maniax was released by Wedge Holdings, including all the serialized works, as well as uncollected short stories and setting documents. It was later reprinted by Fukkan between July 22 and August 20, 2015, as a new edition in two-part volumes, one focused on early works and four-panel manga, and the other on short stories, settings, and interviews.
Mega Man Maniax
The Mega Man Maniax shorts have a variety of content, such as essays and gag comics. Readers could also participate during its original publication, including sending time attacks, suggesting which robot Wily should introduce, and submitting characters to Dr. Auto's Laboratory.
Mega Man Maniax is mainly composed of four sections:
- Talk with Guest Characters: Hitoshi Ariga talks with Mega Man characters.
- Dr. Auto's Laboratory: Auto tries to create one robot in each story, the Dr. Auto Numbers, but they don't work well and accidentally hurt Dr. Light when they explode in the end. Bass later fights against his robots.
- Monthly Justice: Short stories with Duo talking with a Robot Master, which ends with Duo thinking they are doing something wrong and punishing them.
- Dr. Wily's Animal Kingdom: Dr. Wily introduces animal robots in a comical way.
|Vol.||Talk with Guest Characters||Dr. Auto's Laboratory||Monthly Justice||Dr. Wily's Animal Kingdom|
|1||Hitoshi Ariga talks with Mega Man and Dr. Wily.||Auto introduces Suprise Man.||Duo was going to shake hands with Sword Man, but Sword Man accidentally rises the arm with his sword, and Duo throws him far away with an uppercut, leaving his lower half behind.||Dr. Wily introduces Friender and is burned by him.|
|2||Hitoshi Ariga talks with Dr. Cossack and Kalinka||Auto introduces Shake Man, who ends up blending himself and exploding.||Duo recycles Junk Man.||Dr. Wily introduces Tama and is attacked.|
|3||Hitoshi Ariga talks with Roll.||Auto introduces Giga Auto, which explodes and sends Auto and Dr. Light to space.||Duo punches Clown Man.||To Wily's shock, his section was replaced by a Time Attack challenge for Mega Man: Battle & Chase.|
|4||Hitoshi Ariga talks about the mysterious Proto Man with Dr. Light, Dr. Cossack, Kalinka, Bass, and Heat Man, but they are unable to reach a conclusion about him.||As Auto's last creation caused Dr. Light to end in the hospital, he created Message Man to help him recover, but it makes things worse.||Duo is having fun with Bubble Man, Dive Man, Wave Man, and Aqua Man, and punches Aqua Man.||Dr. Wily introduces Moby alongside Dive Man, and they end up being swallowed by the whale. Wily wonders if Pinocchio will rescue them.|
|5||Hitoshi Ariga and the guests continue talking about the mysterious Proto Man.||Auto creates TV Man, and when Cut Man asks where Dr. Light is, he tries TV Man's abilities on him, resulting on another explosion.||Monthy Justice was skipped to show the results of a Mega Man 8 Time Attack, the first place completing in one hour, 11 minutes, and 38 seconds.||Dr. Wily introduces Shirokumachine GTV alongside Freeze Man.|
|6||Ariga, Double, and Dr. Doppler's assistant from Rockman Remix talk about Mega Man X4 in Rockman X Maniax.||?||?||?|
|7||Vol. 7 focuses on Dr. Auto's Laboratory, having Bass fighting against four of the robots created by Auto: Message Man, Suika Man, Sensuikan Man, and Suprise Man.|
|8||Vol. 8 has Bass fighting against the remaining four robots from Dr. Auto: Shake Man, Sexy Man, Giga Auto, and TV Man.|
|Extra||Extra volume included in the compilations.|
Mega Man's Soccer
Mega Man's Soccer (ロックマンズサッカー４コマ劇場) is a large series of many small, comedic comic strips based on Mega Man's Soccer, written during 1994 in Comic BomBom and included in Rockman 4Koma Dai Koushin, the 2003 releases of Mega Man Megamix and the Rockman Maniax compilations. Below are the sections for the comics:
- That Day, That Time, That Place (1 page) - Included in the 2003 Mega Man Megamix release. Ariga writes in a preview right before the strips that the early ones (Run Towards Tomorrow) were released before the actual game did, and he did his best to represent the game using previews from magazines, but unfortunately, after they were published, it turned out much different than the actual game, apologizing for his error.
- Run Towards Tomorrow (明日にむかってはしれ！！ 10 pages) - This series of comic strips start off with Dr. Wily, who wanted to simply challenge Mega Man to a soccer game, but, to his robots from Mega Man 2, he is strangely thrown into jail. Throughout the strips, the Mega Man 2 Wily Numberss try challenging other robots, yet from usually they end up disastrous. In the end, Proto Man gets Dr. Wily out of jail, and shows him that his robots did what he requested, playing soccer and having fun.
- Rockman's FC (ロックマンズFC 5 pages) - Small stories. In one of them the robots from Mega Man 5 and 6 and all the stage enemies complain that they aren't in the game, Roll explaining that only the bosses from the first four games are going to participate. However, she manages to get a way for them to be included by giving them a role as cheerleaders. Most are angry or sad with their role, with only a few, like Star Man, actually enjoying it. The series ends with Ariga playing Rockman's Soccer on the Super Famicom and noticing that his early comic was different from the actual game, apologizing. This series is the only one that was not included in the 2003 Mega Man Megamix.
- Full of Energy, Full of Dreams! (元気いっぱい 夢いっぱい！！ 15 strips) - In this series, the Wily Numbers show off their unique soccer fields, including a top of a train, field of moving gears, and a star field. However, when Mega Man tries them, they usually end up to be unplayable, or just bad environments, and he ends up going home. However, at the end, Wily tries to show off his field, but nobody was there. (Humorously, it was filled with spikes and Appearing Blocks.)
- Enter the Ultimate Team Members!! (最強メンバー登場！！ 5 strips) - In this series, Dr. Wily attempts to beat Mega Man by using several fortress boss characters from the games as players. However, they surprisingly lose easily 38 to nothing, as they were either stationary, flying, or useless in a soccer game.
- Roll's Soccer (ロールちゃんズサッカー 9 strips) - Roll wished to participate in the soccer games, and Mr. X offers her to build several copies of herself to let her participate, secretly having the intention of having her defeat Mega Man. At first, Roll doesn't even know how to play, and she is so nice that she even passes the ball to Mega Man during the game. Everybody is happy, except Mr. X. As a result, he places "Evil Chips" in the copies and makes them evil, but he is discovered when one of the copies is hit in the head and coughs out the chip, with Mega Man attacking Dr. Wily. Afterwards the Roll team became a cheerleader team.
- Rise of the Little Guys!! (Go Minor Characters)!! (下剋上でホイ 【ガンバレザコキャラ】の巻！！ 7 strips) - The story begins with a Met, Gabyoall, and Bomber Pepe watching the others playing soccer, wanting to play soccer themselves. As a result, the Met challenges all of the other robots and the minor characters begin playing. This leads to the Wily Numbers "firing" them, and they willingly quit, but end up on a winning streak and beat them, sending the Wily Numbers into depression.
- Mega Man's Soccer is Eternal (ロックマンズサッカーよ永遠に... 5 strips) - In this last series, the Wily Numbers are still depressed and feeling hopeless, and they refuse to play anymore. As a result, the Mega Man Killers begin to join in the tournament (but they are immediately disqualified as they quit their first match, as they want to only face Mega Man), along with upgraded fortress bosses, the minor characters, and the now undepressed Wily Numbers.
|This section requires expansion.|
Short stories based on the five Game Boy games.
- Rockman de GO! (ロックマンでGO！ 4 pages) - Five short stories, including Wily's robots attempting to form a band, a literal intepretation from the subtitle of Rockman 5: Blues' Trap!?, and Flash Man misusing his Time Stopper.
- Wily Hakase no Dai Hazure!! (ワイリー博士の大ハズレ！！ "Dr. Wily's Biggest Failures!!", 5 strips) - Dr. Wily tries to create new robots such as Armor Man and Bukinashi Man, but his creations don't work well.
- Rush Beat de Tsuppashire (ラッシュビートでつっぱしれ "Rush, Beat, Hold On!!", 5 strips) - Rush and Beat are helping Roll with the shores, and Mega Man summons one of them in the worst moments, like calling Rush while he is washing plates, or calling Beat when he and Rush are lifting a heavy object, causing it to fall on Rush.
- The Hourly Pay Squad, Part-Timers - The Mega Man 5 Numbers call Crystal Man to form up. Crystal Man says he is busy attending customers, but they hung up before hearing him. After making their pose, Star Man asks a kid why he is crying, and he says he lost his balloon. Gyro Man recovers it, and the day is saved thanks to their efforts. Crystal Man is in disbelief that they called him just for that.
- Meow - A little chat between Tango and Beat.
Winter's Cold, Mega Man!!
Winter's Cold, Mega Man!! has eight short stories about winter:
|1||Hot Pot||Dr. Wily calls Mega Man to temporarily put aside their differences and enjoy a delicious oyster hot pot with him, winter being the perfect time for it. Mega Man declines and leaves, saying that he is a robot and doesn't need to eat.|
|2||Snow||Blizzard Man lost track of time while skiing in the snow, and ended up buried by the snow. Ice Man and Freeze Man notice he is missing and wonder where he went.|
|3||Light and Shadow||Dr. Light notes that it's the end of another great year, and has a peaceful diner with his family. Meanwhile, Dr. Wily notes that it's the end of another lousy year, and eats noodles in a dirty place while Bass and Flash Man argue who will be the next to use the video game.|
|4||Me Too...||Mega Man is having fun with a flying kite, and Heat Man wonders if he could do that too. Mega Man asks if he wanted to try it, and Heat Man says that's not exactly what he meant and starts explaining. Later, Heat Man is flying as a kite, with Beat holding him while Mega Man holds the line. Bright Man appears and thinks that it might be fun.|
|5||"Untitled"||The heater in Wily's cabin broke and he starts feeling cold, but Flame Man says that he doesn't need to worry as he can keep him warm simply by setting fire to thing around him. Wily's home is burned down to ashes.|
|6||Kotatsu||With nothing left to burn, Flame Man asks if there is anything else he can do for Wily. Shivering, Wily asks for a kotatsu, and Flame Man orders three Fire Boys to steal one from Dr. Light's home. Flame Man then sets fire on the kotatsu, and asks Wily why he insisted on one as there are other things that would burn more easily.|
|Final||Waiting for Spring||Snake Man and Toad Man prepare to hibernate.|
Natsuyasumida yo Rockman
Natsuyasumida yo Rockman (夏休みだよロックマン lit. "Rockman's Summer Vacation") has Mega Man and the Robot Masters going in a summer vacation to have fun in a beach, except for some small problems. Ice Man overheats and had to stay on the water most of the time, while Elec Man learns that it isn't a good idea for him to go in the water, and Dust Man gets busy cleaning the mess from the other robots. Dr. Wily used Air Man to cool himself, and when he learns that everyone went to the beach and he wasn't invited, he rushes to the area despite being already night. However, his rushed work caused the Wily Machine 4 to explode, creating fireworks for everyone in the beach to admire.
Dr. Wily's Diary of Evil Genius
Dr. Wily's Diary of Evil Genius contains short stories with Dr. Wily's daily life.
|Mega Man||Dr. Wily||Sunny||Angry that he was defeated, Dr. Wily can't stop thinking about how to defeat Mega Man. As he is constantly thinking about him, he wonders if he actually likes him.|
|Rush||Beat||Sunny||Wily wonders how to get rid of Mega Man's support robots, and Hard Man gives him an idea: Make a stage where pets are forbidden.|
|Book||Glasses||Rainy||Wily asks Top Man and Magnet Man to buy some books for him, but they get the wrong idea of what kind of book he wanted.|
|Ariga||Heat Man||Cloudy||Wily's robots see that Wily currently has no money, so they decide to get a job. Wily is moved that his robots would do that for him, but is soon shocked when he hears that they are only working to mantain themselves as Wily is useless when it comes to money.|
|Bright Man||Roll||Sunny, partly cloudy||Dr. Wily decides to send his robots to kidnap Roll, but things don't go as he planned, with Roll defeating his robots with a frying pan.|
|Skull||Heart||Explosive||Angry with Mega Man constantly ruining his plans, Wily's face becomes red with rage. Wily then wonders if he loves Mega Man as whenever he things about him his face gets red and he trembles.|
The Evil Genius Dr. Wily's Robots 101
The Evil Genius Dr. Wily's Robots 101 (悪の天才Dr.ワイリーのロボット入門 Aku no Tensai Dr. Wairī no Robotto Nyūmon) has Dr. Wily explaining about his robots, introducing several ways to use them for world domination. This short was included in the 2003 Rockman Megamix release, in Rockman Maniax, and in Comic BomBom Special #96: Saishinban Rockman Daihyakka.
For Dr. Wily, the first step toward world domination is having robots able to cause damage, as harmless robots are useless. He notes that missiles and laser beams don't necessarily define a robot's ability to deal damage. Using Pickelman and Bunby Heli as examples, he shows that even peaceful construction robots can be turned into a combat robot just by adjusting their AI processors, with Pickelman throwing his pickaxe as a weapon and Bunby Heli swooping down on and colliding with targets.
Next, Wily notes that the attacks used by the robots must be varied to have the upper hand in battle, keeping the enemy guessing what they can do. He starts with basic examples: Bombombomb, Press, Petit Snakey, Pakatto 24, Subeil, and Count Bomb.
Afterwards Wily notes to don't understimate minor robots as they are tough and do a great job slowing down Mega Man, giving him enough time to carry out his plans and focus on his research, considering them valuable members of his team. He them shows more advanced examples: Adhering Suzy, Mole, Pole, Taketento, Mizzile, and Ben K. Wily notes that there are many other powerful minor robots, but there isn't enough time to introduce them all one by one, and sometimes it's difficult to figure out how best to use them in his plans. Whether they are his own creations or not, he cares for all of them equally. Two group images of all original minor robots from the Game Boy games are shown before he continues, saying that he does his best even if it is just for the Game Boy, as complacency only leads to regret.
Wily then introduces the evolutionary process by series of two robots: The Metall and Joe models. Identifying the weakness of the robots and making appropriate modifications to establish an entire series of that robot type is the first step toward making real progress, wenting through many upgrades and cost reductions. Wily also notes to not be afraid to make mistakes, as one can only make progress by learning from his mistakes.
With the Metall, Wily added feet to make it mobile (Neo Metall), them propellers to be able to fly (Metall DX). He also tried to enlarge it (Giant Metall and Metall Daddy) and shrink it (Metall Mommy and Baby Metalls), made several variations, like Metall EX (an upgrade), Metall Swim (underwater combat), Space Metall (space travel), and Metall Sniper (experimental upgrade), and used it as the AI for machinery (Metall Cannon and Metall K-1000).
Changes to Sniper Joe include integrating the shield on its body (Hammer Joe), reducing weight (Skeleton Joe), powering it up (Crystal Joe and Piriparee), and taking advantage of its humanoid form to make it act as a pilot, be it of land (Sniper Armor), aerial (Apache Joe), or marine (Rider Joe) machines, and also to control other devices (Cannon Joe).
Wily proceeds to talk about developing large-scale enemies, which can be quite useful when placed strategically in front of boss chambers and ladders. Examples presented are Big Eye, Jumbig, Bikky, Power Muscler and Power Slam. Though each of them is quite powerful in their own, they are still minor enemy characters, and sometimes Mega Man will simply run past them, but they are still useful to slow him down, specially when well placed.
By developing mini-bosses strong enough to slow down Mega Man, one of them may even be able to defeat him, posing a seious threat that can't be ignored by him. Wily showcases Friender, Big Snakey, Tama, Whopper, Moby, Kabatoncue, Escaroo, Octoper OA, Metall Potton, Gorilla Tank, Gamarn and Gamadayu, T. Khamen, Hyoey and Tyhorn.
After giving a good understanding of how to strategically place various minor robots, Wily says it's time to teach about the boss robots, revealing secrets he never released to the public before, and he asks to not tell Mega Man about it. He gives details about Fire Man, Heat Man, Cut Man, Quick Man, Elec Man, Spark Man, Air Man and Gravity Man. Wily says there are more bosses, but that's it for now.
Lastly, Wily talks about powerful robots suitable for the final battle, mainly the Yellow Devil System (Yellow Devil, Yellow Devil MK-II and Dark Moon) and the Mega Man Killer Numbers (Enker, Quint, Punk and Ballade). They are some of his most powerful robots, who are the final lines of defense at his fortresses. Wily notes how modifications and the evolution of technology make each robot from the Yellow Devil System series much more powerful than the one that came before, and the Mega Man Killers, as the name implies, are combat robots created for the sole purpose of destroying Mega Man. He also notes that Quint is a special case and may not technically be a "Mega Man Killer", suggesting if he can be considered a "Special Variation Number.001".
Wily concludes by asking if the reader liked his introductory course on the proper use of robots for the purpose of world domination. There are many other robots he wished to introduce, but he may do so later. He says he will never give up on his dream to take over the world, and hopes readers will continue to support his cause by sending in ideas for new and better robots.
Mega Gandhara (メガガンダーラ) is a short story featuring the Genesis Unit that was included in the 2003 Rockman Megamix release and in volume 2 of the 2015 Rockman Maniax.
Wily created three powerful robots, Buster Rod G, Mega Water S and Hyper Storm H, to go after Mega Man and destroy him, but they went out without knowing where he is and got lost, and as they didn't remember where Wily's lab was, they decide to continue with their mission, searching Mega Man until they find him, their long journey presented as a board game with many negative panels that send back to the start and causes the loss of turns. Six months later, they finally find Mega Man and celebrate, with Mega Man not understanding what's up with them and Roll taking him away from the trio. As they forgot that they were also ordered to destroy Mega Man, they considered their mission a success and tried to return to Wily, only finding him one year later. They inform Wily of their success of finding Mega Man, but Wily forgot the Genesis Unit, asking who they were.