MegaMan NT Warrior, known as in the original Japanese language version, is an anime and manga series based on the Mega Man Battle Network series of video games. Despite the common ground, the game, anime, and manga versions of the Battle Network series all diverge heavily from each other.
Licensed by VIZ Media (formerly ShoPro Entertainment before the two companies merged), the English adaptation (titled MegaMan NT Warrior) originally aired on Kids' WB in the United States and TELETOON in Canada (though both networks have stopped airing the series). Axess aired on TV Tokyo in October 2003, while the English adaptation (titled MegaMan NT Warrior: Axess) aired in January 2005 in the United States and April 2005 in Canada. Stream aired on TV Tokyo in October 2, 2004, Beast on October 1 ,2005, and Beast+ on April 8, 2006. Kids' WB dropped MegaMan NT Warrior off the TV block at one point and revived only to complete the final episodes from Axess before dropping it again.
The movie, , was shown alongside the Duel Masters feature film, Duel Masters: Curse of the Deathphoenix, as part of a double-billing March 12, 2005 in Japan. Although the two films are independent of each other, promotional material for the double bill seemed to indicate a fictional crossover (such as a Duel Masters Battle Chip in Battle Network 5) between the two series.
Like many English adaptations of other anime series, MegaMan NT Warrior is edited due to Americanization and the shifting of the target demographic toward a younger audience. Among one of the more notable edits made was the editing out of words such as "fire," "bomb," and "napalm," which were thought to be inappropriate for younger viewers. As a result, the names of FireMan, BombMan, and NapalmMan also changed (while the original names were retained in the English games). Other inconsistencies between the English game and anime resulted from similarities in name to American superheroes. For example, AquaMan's name was changed to SpoutMan in the English anime to avoid confusion with the DC Comics superhero of the same name. In addition, swords are blurred, and scenes of MegaMan pointing his buster at the screen are removed in earlier seasons. Curiously, subsequent airings of certain episodes reveal that some of the original edits were changed back—most notably, the FireTower Battle Chip originally edited as "FlameTower" subsequently reverted back to "FireTower". Even though that the show is dubbed by the Ocean Group, the show has much of the same official severe edits as taken from 4Kids. The 4Kids text edit of removing the Japanese writing on Higsby's sign is performed as Ocean Group and ShoPro.
As with WB's other dubbed series (such as Pokémon and Cardcaptors), some episodes were aired out of order, edited together, or skipped entirely. Viewers elsewhere saw the series in its entirety in the correct order. The first series (EXE) has been released on DVD (and a few earlier volumes on VHS), but in edited format only.
Although the series originally remains fairly close to the games in terms of storyline, it begins to diverge greatly partway into the series. For example, there is no evidence showing that Lan and MegaMan were twin brothers in the anime, unlike in the games where it is revealed near the end of the first Battle Network game.
Certain plot points have evidently been changed during the course of the series. In the first Japanese ending credits for Stream, both Ribitta (Kero Midorikawa) and Higsby were featured, foreshadowing, at the time, the possibility of the two becoming Cross Fusion members (Maylu and Ms. Yuri were chosen as substitutes). Similarly, in episode 12 of Beast, Iris is chased down by a shadowy figure bearing a resemblance to Colonel. Given the events that unfold as the rest of the story progresses, this scene does not make sense, as Colonel had not yet become a Zoanoroid, therefore he would not be stalking her to discover Trill's secrets.
At the beginning of Axess, Lan manages to use the then-untested Synchro Chip to Cross Fuse with MegaMan and defeat the Darkloids that materialize in the real world with the aid of Dimensional Converters. Because of this, Lan is invited to become a NetSaver (Net Savior), an Official NetBattler charged with protecting the net. As a result of Cross Fusion, MegaMan loses his Style Change option, but instead gains the ability to use Soul Unison (or "DoubleSoul") with which allows him to combine his powers with other NetNavis, harkening back to the original Megaman's Power Copy ability. Much of the series is devoted in dealing with the problem of the addictive Dark Chips and the criminal syndicate, Nebula.
Part I: Beast
Beast introduces the warring Cybeasts (Cyber Beasts) Gregar (Greiga) and Falzar (Falzer), as well as the Navi Trill (who starts out the series as an infant but quickly grows into a young child). Pitted against the newly-emerged Zoanoroid armies of the Cybeasts, Lan, MegaMan, and a select group of their partners, find themselves drawn into the parallel world of Beyondard. Guided by a mysterious girl, Iris, they join the human resistance in the fight to claim the "Synchronizer" powers of Trill, with which MegaMan is able to "Beast Out". Nearing the end of Beast, the android brain belonging to Wily of Beyondard reveals himself along with his lackeys, Blackbeard (Captain Kurohige) and Yuika (Chirol), hoping to acquire the victor Cybeast as his new body. Ultimately, the two merge together into the Super Cybeast Grezar, which becomes Wily's vessel with assistance from Trill's powers. MegaMan and Trill merge together and lend their strength to Lan to form a "Juuka Style," giving him the strength to destroy it.
Part II: Beast+ Beast+ continues from where Beast left off, though it is marketed as a stand-alone series. Episodes are reduced to approximately ten minutes in length, airing in the thirty minute time-slot Oha Coliseum alongside the Saru Getchu anime. Beast+ consists of a string of arcs beginning with the appearance of the Professor and Zero (both from Mega Man Network Transmission). An ex-WWW member, the Professor recovers the remains of Grezar, intent on reviving it for his own purposes. Following its deletion and Zero's decision to break ties with his master, the second arc takes place. Stranded in the world that they perceive to be opposite of their own, Blackbeard and Yuika band together with Darkloid BubbleMan, committing various crimes in a Team Rocket-esque fashion. Shortly thereafter, MegaMan gains the abilities of Cross System. Zero then returns in the subsequent arc, befriending both GutsMan and MegaMan. The vengeful Professor, however, also resurfaces, unleashing a new subordinate known as Zero One. Moved by the kindness that has been shown to him, Zero sacrifices himself to put a stop to the Professor once and for all. The storyline then continues toward its finale with the introduction of Cache, the final boss of the Japan-exclusive mobile game, Rockman EXE Phantom of Network, who threatens to consume the world with the aid of Phantom Navis and cache data. Beast+ concludes the series, ending September 30, 2006.
|Operator||Seiyū||Voice actor||NetNavi||Seiyū||Voice actor|
|Netto Hikari / Lan Hikari||Kumiko Higa|| Alex Doduk (Episodes 1-5, 9-17)|
Brad Swaile (Episodes 6-8, 18 and on)
|Rockman / MegaMan||Akiko Kimura||Andrew Francis|
|Meiru Sakurai / Maylu Sakurai||Kaori Mizuhashi||Brittney Wilson||Roll||Masako Jou|| Lenore Zann (EXE)|
Sharon Alexander (Axess)
|Dekao Oyama / Dex Ogreon||Yuusuke Numata||Tony Sampson||GutsMan||Yoshimitsu Shimoyama||Scott McNeil|
|Yaito Ayanokoji / Yai Ayano||Hinako Kanamaru||Jocelyne Loewen||Glide||Yasuhiko Kawatsu||Ted Cole|
|Tohru Hikawa / Tory Froid||Kumiko Watanabe||Reece Thompson||IceMan||Junko Noda||Samuel Vincent|
|Enzan Ijuin / Chaud Blaze||Mitsuki Saiga|| Bill Switzer (EXE)|
Scott Perrie (Axess)
|Blues / ProtoMan||Masaya Matsukaze||David Kaye|
|Masa / Maysa||Jin Horikawa||Richard Newman||SharkMan||Takama Suzuki||Don Brown|
|Saloma / Sal||Omi Minami||Kelly Sheridan||WoodMan||Toshihide Tsuchiya||Lee Tockar|
|Miyuki Kuroi / Miyu Kuroi||Kumiko Yokote||Anna Cummer||SkullMan||Riichi Nishimoto||Brian Drummond|
|Yamitaro Higure / Higsby||Yuji Ueda||Lee Tockar||NumberMan||Yuji Ueda||Samuel Vincent|
|Shuuko Kido||Mamiko Noto||Chantal Strand||Aquaman / SpoutMan||Chiemi Chiba||Matt Hill|
|Kenichi Hino / Mr. Match||Katsuyuki Konishi||Trevor Devall||Fireman / TorchMan /HeatMan and FlameMan||Kenji Katougi||Ross Douglas (TorchMan), Brian Drummond (HeatMan)|
|Madoi Iroaya / Maddy||Junko Noda||Tabitha St. Germain||Coloredman / WackoMan||Yuji Ueda||Andrew Toth|
|Count Elec / Count Zap||Kenta Miyake||Colin Murdock||ElecMan||Chiriro Suzuki||Kirby Morrow|
|Mahajarama / Yahoot||Keiichi Sonobe||Ron Halder||MagicMan||Katsuyuki Konishi||Paul Dobson|
|Mariko Ozono / Ms. Mari||Noriko Hidaka||Janyse Jaud||(No NetNavi)|
|Yuriko Ozono / Ms. Yuri||Noriko Hidaka||Janyse Jaud||Needleman / SpikeMan||Tsuchiya Toshihide||Tony Alcantar|
|Yuichiro Hikari / Dr. Hikari|| Kouichi Nagano (EXE, Axess)|
Tokuyoshi Kawashima (Stream onwards)
|Michael Adamthwaite||(No NetNavi)|
|Meijin Eguchi / Mr. Famous||Keiji Fujiwara||Jonathan Holmes||GateMan /Punk /KendoMan and ChargeMan|
|Laika / Raika||Yuuki Hiro||Matt Smith||SearchMan||Fukuyama Jun||Brian Dobson|
|Dr. Wily||(No NetNavi)|
|Forte / Bass||Keiko Nemoto||Matt Hill|
|Dr. Regal||Kazuhiro Nakata||Trevor Devall||LaserMan||Nakata Kazuhiro||Michael Kopsa|
|ShadeMan||Hidetoshi Nakamura||Scott McNeil|
|BubbleMan||Chiyako Shibahara||Gabe Khouth|
Merchandising for the Rockman EXE series was heavy in Japan with a variety of toys. Toys ranged from action figures and plush dolls to board games and trading cards. Many toys were originally released by Bandai, including an electronic Plug-In PET replica of the PET used in the original EXE, but Takara took over with merchandising starting with Axess. Electronic PET toys have since been released with every new model used in the show: Advanced PET and Advanced PET II (Axess), Progress PET (Stream), and Link PET and Link PET_EX (Beast and Beast+). Battle Chips for use in the PETs are often packaged with other merchandise, including action figures and even Japanese installments of Battle Network video games.
Most of the merchandise remains Japan-exclusive. However, to help promote the English version of the anime series, Mattel created a line of original MegaMan NT Warrior action figures for the U.S. market. The series were released in two waves with a third wave planned but never released. The action figures featured many prominent characters from the anime with detachable limbs—interchangeable with other figures—so that Battle Chip weaponry could be attached. Mattel also released all twelve DoubleSoul MegaMan figures (featured in Battle Network 4 and Axess) with detachable armor, as well as various miniature figurines (usually depicted in battle) and a few taller figurines, including a talking CrossFusion MegaMan figure.
Furthermore, the Advanced PET toy (featured in Axess) was imported in three available designs: blue/gray (MegaMan), red/black (ProtoMan), and black/purple (Bass). The Advanced PET II model was planned but never released. English Battle Chips were packaged with nearly every piece of MegaMan NT Warrior merchandise, but chips could also be bought separately in booster packs. Japanese and English Battle Chips will work on either Japanese or English versions of the PETs, although only the Progress PET featured backwards compatibility with previous generations of Battle Chips.
Decipher also distributed a trading card game in the United States. However, it was not a translation of the pre-existing trading card games in Japan. The card game has since been discontinued.
In Japan, various soundtracks have been released featuring background music and theme songs used in the show. Also, every episode of the anime has been released across sixty-five DVDs usually containing three episodes per disc. In the United States, thirteen DVDs have been released covering the original 52 episodes of EXE. The first six volumes were also released in VHS form. The English version of Axess has yet to be released on DVD.
Other merchandise includes a life-sized Mega Buster that fires foam darts, an original MegaMan NT Warrior-themed board game, and MegaMan.EXE Halloween costumes.