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When Capcom's nascent Mega Man Battle Network series (Battle Network Rockman.EXE in Japan, and later just Rockman.EXE) first came to stores, it spawned a franchise that saw the rise of a variety of adaptations, including an Anime and several manga. Several of these adaptations proved successful enough in their own right to be shipped overseas. However, whereas the various adaptations were originally treated as separate entities, when the two manga made it overseas, they found themselves bearing the weight of a new title to bring them in line with Viz Media's western version of the Anime: Mega Man NT Warrior.
The chief conceit is the series' famous For Want of a Nail: In the classic verse, Drs. Light and Wily saw incredible advances in the field of robotics, though Wily's jealousy at Light's more immediate success with the general public saw his arguably greater intellect twisted to petty theft and then increasingly devastating assaults on the world itself. In the Battle Network verse, however, Dr. Light (here named Hikari Tadashi), turned his mind to the world of cybernetics and carried the population of the world with him anyway, leaving Wily, who was left with his robotics to stew in misery.
In the present, or rather, the far, far future of 20XX, the world has seen mind-boggling advances of technology, each and every bit of it connected through the vast cybernetic sea of the internet. Everything -- cars, refrigerators, schools, the weather, you name it -- everything is literally online.
And if that doesn't stun you, the programming required to run everything has gotten so complicated that humans cannot comprehend it by themselves; by the present day the internet has become its own dimension. In order to deal with the sheer mass of internet technology, humans created a series of Artificial Intelligences, roughly human in form, called Network Navigators, more commonly known as "Net Navis" or just "Navis".
Every Net Navi is paired with a human operator, for the Net Navi's purpose is to aid and assist the human being. That doesn't mean, however, that Net Navis are total slaves; consider the stars of the series, 10-year-old Lan (Netto) Hikari and his partner, MegaMan.EXE (Rockman). Much as he tries, Lan can never convince MegaMan to do his homework for him.
However, nothing is ever ideal. The internet is under almost constant threat from a number of villainous entities, most notably the WWW (pronounced "World Three"). In the world of the internet, viruses largely act as animals, though with highly destructive instincts that often attack or feed on the very fabric of the internet itself. In order to counteract the threat, Net Navis are often equipped with digital weapons technologies, either a default weapon integrated with them or one contained in portable Battle Chips - many of which may be derived from the powers of the viruses themselves. Some Net Navis are capable of commanding viruses directly, though it would appear that this is not a socially-acceptable activity (as "commanding" viruses largely translates to "unleashing them on everything nearby"). Net Navis often use their weaponry in the service of "Virus Busting", but every now and again, Net Navis are known to fight against one another in "Net Battles"; Net Battles are strictly illegal (not that it stops Lan), though there are some licensed individuals commissioned to devote their prowess to upholding the peace, known as "Officials".
The dynamics of battles are quite interesting, most notably in the relationship between Navi and Operator. While the Navi fights and wields Battle Chips, it would seem that they relinquish control to their Operators, who have the advantage of an outside viewpoint. In at least one continuity, this leads to a problem in the form of the difference between "Order" and "Action", and the time it takes for the commands delivered by the isolated Operator to the Navi in the heat of battle. Another problem that arises is that, when malevolent entities strike, the machine system connected to that part of the hardware will often malfunction dangerously (Lan's and MegaMan's introduction to the world of crimefighting has the pair take down an arsonist who set housefires using electronic ovens).
However, following that moment, the various adaptations will diverge wildly.
- In the Anime, Lan and his childhood friend Maylu (eventually joined by schoolyard bully Dex, insanely rich Kinglish transfer student Yai, and quiet but loyal ally Tory) find themselves caught up in the various strikes and counter-strikes between the WWW and a small group of Net Agents led by the mysterious Commander Beef; the Commander and his Net Navi SharkMan will often spend time giving Lan and MegaMan subtle guidance on how to grow, or outright enable them to succeed when given no other choice. Also standing in the boys' way are the enigmatic Chaud Blaze and ProtoMan.EXE, the absolute best of the best.
- The first portion of the anime consisted of two seasons consisting of a loose and then tighter and then loose again (what?) Anime of the first two Battle Network games, ending on a relatively satisfactory note with the end of the Gospel arc...before tripping over a series of Filler episodes at the end in March 2004. However, that October saw the airing of the new Rockman.EXE Axess, which abandoned the straight adaptational approach in favor of introducing the concept of Dimensional Areas and Cross Fusion along the way. The series continued unabated, cycling uninterrupted through Rockman.EXE Stream and Beast before the airing of Beast+, whose episodes were shortened to only ten minutes and officially came to an abrupt and unyielding halt on September 30, 2006.
- The Manga released to North American shores, by Ryo Takamisaki, is a loose adaptation of the main six games set across 13 volumes. Notable for both avoiding Filler and for adapting various side stories only vaguely mentioned in the games, including Bass' origin story and his legend-spawning fight with Serenade. The very first chapter sees the popular, skilled, and rather wayward Lan have Mega Man fight off a serial arsonist and his Navi when the local elementary school is targeted going so far as to outright delete the threatening TorchMan, and the next has the freshly backup-restored TorchMan II (along with his operator, the fierce Mr. Match) invite Lan to put his Net Battle skills to use against the people who deserve it by participating in a crack run on the board of education. Lan agrees, despite Mega Man's protests. A third attack by the WWW sees Lan fall into a short coma, and when he wakes up, it is revealed that he has a special talent indeed -- Lan and MegaMan can share a state of perception called Full-Synchro, which allows Lan to shorten the time lapse between himself and MegaMan to nigh instantaneous speeds. With this knowledge comes the special license, enabling Lan and MegaMan to participate in otherwise forbidden Net Battles, but this time, in the service of good.
- The second manga, Battle Story Rockman.EXE by Jun Keijima and Miho Asada, saw European release starting in 2006. By 2007, all four volumes had been translated to French. This section Needs More Love.
More than one of the adaptations contain examples of:
- Aborted Arc: A few in the anime, but the one that sticks out the most is Bass' arc. Towards the end of Axess, he made it quite clear that he was very slowly planning on making his own play for power and was shaping up to be a major villain in the next arc. In Stream, however, he's banished to the UnderNet by Slur and not heard from again until the movie. And then he only shows up in the final episodes of the arc to finish off Slur and then is never seen again.
- The Takimisaki manga spent very little time on filler, and if one paid attention, various hints about Lan's and MegaMan's relationship would crop up. And then...nothing. Not a thing. In the games, Mega Man is identified as Lan's twin brother Hub, who supposedly died from a heart disease in infancy, but nothing of the sort is ever mentioned in the manga, despite noticeable buildup. Miyu even identifies MegaMan as having a human soul, but no.
- Adaptation Expansion: On the flip side, the anime has a few new things to show us, such as the inventor of the Copyroids, Meijin's ex-girlfriend.
- Adults Are Useless: Although they provide a lot of support, it's the kids that wind up saving the world time and time again. In the anime, Stream averts this, introducing adult members of the team. Also, from the beginning, Commander Beef and his squad.
- In the manga, Lan and MegaMan are given unofficial invitations to an anti-WWW task force filled with NetNavis piloted by competent adults picked specifically to take down Wily's organization. After everyone gets in a hit against the Life Virus, they celebrate...and then get annihilated, leaving only Mega Man and Proto Man.
- Alternate Universe/Elseworld: In the original 'verse, robot technology is the way of the future; in NT Warrior, it's networks. (This is alluded to in the first Battle Network game -- we learn that Dr. Hikari's research on networks was competing with Dr. Wily's research on robots for an important grant, which Hikari won.) Most of the Robot Masters from previous Mega Man titles appear in this series as NetNavi programs with different personalities.
- Big Damn Heroes: Every main character and most of the secondary cast gets a couple of these. Netto/Lan usually has at least one an episode, especially once Axess starts. Enzan/Chaud has some truly awesome ones mid-Axess, probably to make up for having to turn his Navi evil a few episodes later.
- MegaMan saves ProtoMan this way (and vice versa) at least once in the Manga, most notably when Proto Man is about to bite it under attack from Gospel. He immediately starts grousing for MegaMan to back off, and MegaMan teases him for taking himself so seriously.
- Chekhov's Classroom: The episode 'Robotic Fish Gone Wild!' revolves around this. Did you know that jellyfish are 90% water? So are Jellyfish Viruses! Water conducts electricity! ELECTRO-SWORD!!!!
- Inverted in the manga, where MegaMan reminds Lan of a history lecture that went awry when it broke off into "sensationalist tripe" about hyperadvanced prehistoric civilizations after Dex asked about Atlantis and Mu and gets laughed down for it. Lan has a good reason for not remembering - he slept through the whole thing.
- Child Prodigy: Enzan/Chaud, Vice-President of a major corporation (and in the manga, top-flight Official). It's implied that he's been VP since he was a little kid.
- Lan, barring a couple of necessary defeats in the beginning, catches up to and later surpasses Chaud's skill. A major case of Brilliant but Lazy.
- Darker and Edgier: In general, Axess compared to the original series, with villains far closer to the Moral Event Horizon than the more comical WWW.
- Lan is not a "good guy" by any definition in the earliest portion of Takamisaki's manga until the police hire him. Mr. Match actually convinced him to contribute to an attack on the Board of Education, for crying out loud!
- ProtoMan gets a vicious Kick the Dog when he slays a helpless NetNavi after he begs for mercy.
- Eagle Land: Ameroupe (The anime's English tends to be phonetic, so you may see "Ameroppa" instead), known as Netopia in the games, is an amalgamation of America and Europe as a whole (as you may have guessed); in the anime, Lan visits it as part of his Championship Tour in the early second season. In the manga, he visits it to try and collect MegaMan, who's on the run from military detention.
- Eleventh-Hour Superpower: Pretty common.
- Anime: Bug Style in season 2, Full Synchro in Axess, Forte Cross in the movie, and Beast Style in Beast.
- Manga: Proto Soul in the fight with Bass GS, which is kept later on; Bass Cross MegaMan, which doesn't quite make it, and then Beast MegaMan against Nebula Grey; Super Beast MegaMan against the Super Cyber Beast. Hub Style is Die or Fly, yes, but occurs in between the WWW and Grave arcs.
- Everything Is Online: Everything. Even doghouses and hospital beds.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Subverted with Sharkman, who's actually a pretty nice guy. However, followed to a T in one scene of the episode with Yai/Yaito and Chaud/Enzan trapped in the underwater restaurant.
- Not to mention the episode Lan/Netto and his friends (and Masa) were chased all over the city by an out-of-control giant mechanical shark.
- In the Manga, Shark Man is, well, much less plot-significant, and more of a Jerkass than his Anime counterpart; then again, Dex and Gutsman didn't help things by lying to him and Masa about their abilities.
- Eyes Always Shut: Both Higure and Mahajarama.
- Free-Range Children: Netto/Lan and his friends take this to ridiculous levels, even before he becomes a Net Savior. This is more often than not due to Yaito/Yai having her own Personal Jet and ROCKET SHIP.
- Not as bad in Takamisaki's manga, since most of the exotic locales are digital, but Lan still wanders about without much parent supervision. One arc sees him put in the employ of the Netopian army. In Netopia. (Technically, he brings Chaud with him, but they get separated when Lan gets taken for a helicopter joyride...and then shot at by military choppers).
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Netto/Lan winds up doing this for Enzan/Chaud after Blues/Protoman is corrupted by the dark chip. Chaud gets meta return points for trying to get Lan back on his feet in the manga.
- Improbable Age: Enzan/Chaud, Vice-President of a major corporation. It's implied that he's been VP since he was a little kid.
- The Kid with the Remote Control: Sorta: Lan's control isn't total (it varies between incarnations), and it's based in part on teamwork and empathy.
- Large Ham: Plenty, but Count Zapp, Masa and Commander Beef stand out. Higsby, too, when he's motivated.
"I am the...Number One Net-Battler Instructor!! Known far, wide, and handsome as...Mr. Famous!!
- Magnetic Hero: Lan and Mega know how to make friends.
- Mons: The Navis, with a dash of Bond Creature. The viruses, too.
- No Export for You: Stream, The Movie, Beast, and Beast + never made it to North America. The manga are also region locked.
- Open-Minded Parent: Netto's mother. Netto flies all over the world and has even gone into outer space on several occasions. He saves the world on a regular basis. Not once have we seen Haruka act nervous about her son going on all of these dangerous adventures.
- Several of these adventures are actually encouraged by the father, and she's been putting up with him for years.
- Power Glows: Program Advances, Style Changes, Soul Unisons. The first episode of Axess indicated that Cross Fusion sequences appeared this way from the outside, too. Also, Full Synchro R-Rockman in the Axess finale. Hub Style in the manga is interesting, as it a) doubles as a visual age up, and b) makes it seem as though the power is leaking out through MegaMan's helmet.
- The Power of Friendship: This is what brings Mega Man back after he was deleted near the end of the first season of the show.
- Soul Unisons are a more blatant example later on. Also, Cross Fusion is said to rely on the 'synchronization rate' of the Navi/Operator pair; while friendship isn't the only factor, it still seems to be a key one.
- The manga focuses specifically on a small number of relationships: Lan and MegaMan, Lan and Chaud, MegaMan and ProtoMan, MegaMan and Bass. Lan and MegaMan see this trope in action the most.
- Synchronization: An early power in the manga. One of the requirements for Cross Fusion in the anime.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Everyone is usably in character, the storylines are true in spirit to the games (though not taken from them), and quite a lot of thought went into designing a society around the games' play mechanics.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Plenty.
- Lan is the Red to MegaMan's Blue.
- And the red to Chaud's blue. And let's throw Lan vs. Laika in here, though technically they all form a Power Trio.
- MegaMan plays double duty by being the more generally cheerful contrast to ProtoMan and SearchMan.
- Inverted with the Lan/Chaud and Mega/Proto relationships, since the Hikari brothers have associations with the color of blue and the other pair are associated with reds.
- Roll can generally be counted on to be far more perky than MegaMan. Averted with Lan and Mayl, who are more Jerk and Tsundere.
- Anime-specific example: Saloma and Miyuki. A nod to the trope appears when Saloma and Miyuki are "working" (read: lounging and sun-bathing) in Jyawaii: Saloma is sporting a red bikini and Miyuki is relaxing in a light blue one-piece.
- The Rival: Chaud, aka Enzan
- Scarf of Asskicking: Forte-Cross Rockman.
- Tsundere: Yai/Yaito can be quite prickly before you get to know her.
- Transformation Sequence: Style Changes in the original, Soul Unisons and Cross Fusion in Axess and Stream, Beast Out and Beast Cross in Beast, Cross in Beast+.
- In the manga, the time delay during Style Change effectively puts it out of the fight. Not that it's any use against the Dark Power.
- Twenty Minutes Into the Future: '200X.'
The anime contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: The WWW henchmen and their Navis have a strong family-like relationship among themselves, which prompted them to perform the occasional good deed.
- Anime Theme Song: Several, all well loved by the fans. Some were disappointed Futatsu no Mirai never came out with a non TV Size version.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English Dub instead settled for Techno Lite beeping and had a couple voice modulated "Mega Man: NT Warrior!"s thrown in for good measure, and then replaced that with a new set of Techno Lite beeping for the Axess dub.
- The German version plays with this, re-dubbing the English anime (well, they did that for the Ruby Spears cartoon). Still, they took the original English theme and gave it actual music, which is an all-around improvement.
- Ascended Extra: Hikawa Tohru (Tory Froid) in the games is a one-shot character with a generic sprite. Hikawa Tohru in the pre-Axess anime got an original design, is Iceman's operator (instead of his father), and becomes a part of the Five-Man Band. Subverted in Axess on, when he is relegated to the recurring squad of himself, Mariko, and Rush, and later he's just abandoned wholesale. An episode in Beast+ is basically devoted to how bizarre it is that he and IceMan became significant again.
- Rush, as well. A random virus in the games; Roll's pet in the anime, though rather independent.
- From Axess onward, Laika/Raika. Was one of the many possible scenarios in the 4th game and the second to last Team Proto Man/Blues member acquired in the 5th. In the Anime he becomes a member of the main cast, more involved in the plot than just about any other character in 4 and 5, barring the characters that were already main characters in the games. Heck, by Stream he's gotten more focus than a good deal of them! By Beast, he's a full member of the Power Trio with Lan and Chaud.
- Yuriko, so much. A palette-swap in the first game. The Dragon of Axess, and a member of the squad in Stream.
- Balloon Belly: Lan, Mayl, Dex and Chisao in episode 54.
- Yuika and Blackbeard in Beast+ episode 9.
- Tends to show up whenever somebody eats a whole hell of a lot; various instances abound throughout the whole series. More significant is Dex, or Dekao, as the later seasons never aired, especially in the early Beast+ episodes. His Plug In sequence is actually animated to show us the fat of his belly flopping around during his Stock Footage -- No, thank you.
- Baseball Episode: A later filler episode in the second season (not Axess) has Netto and company going out of their way to cheer up the One-Shot Character.
- Big Fancy House: Yaito/Yai's family lives in a GIGANTIC mansion on a sprawling estate. The Mansion can even turn into A GIANT ROBOT.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Roll gets an episode of this during the N-1 Grand Prix. Proto Man/Blues gets an entire story arc of this during Axess.
- Butt Monkey: Yamitaro Higure/Mr. Higsby and Masa/Maysa. Usually in the butt of each other's actions due to their feud over Mariko-Sensei/Ms. Mari.
- Collector of the Strange: JunkDataMan. He lives in an abandoned space station and uses it to collect space debris for his collection. He once tried to "collect" Yai's space shuttle and space station, until MegaMan and the gang showed him what he should collect.
- Conspicuous CG: StoneMan.EXE, among other things.
- The Cybeasts in Beast are both in CG; it shows up a lot in Beast and early Beast+.
- Continuity Nod: Despite not using a Filler Villain (yes, Regal is the bad guy), the Stream movie could be considered totally Non-Serial with the exception of Baryl's PET getting nearly crushed--the cause of that weird crack across its face all series--and Bass getting left alone with the Nebula Grey (that nod doesn't show up until Stream's ending, when Bass shows up with newly-absorbed powers from the Nebula Grey).
- For a more comical example, in Rockman.EXE we have Aki-Chan's hit single Install Your Heart. Ever since the episode that first introduced Aki-Chan, any time any character starts singing, whether it's on stage or just a character singing to himself while he works, it will be that song. It got so bad that the fansubbers stopped translating it, instead putting text saying (I think we all know what this means by now.).
- Another humorous example is Enzan/Chaud and Raoul's disco outfits. Used once in Axess as a disguise in order to hide their identities from Netto/Lan, thought to never be seen again after that due to how ridiculous they looked and how out of character it was for Enzan/Chaud to wear something like that. Until Stream that is, when they use them to do some undercover work. Hilarity Ensues.
- Cute Kitten: Why else would there be a BLAM Episode where all of the Navis become cats?
- Demoted to Extra: Neo-WWW members Rei Saiko and Sunayama barely get any screentime in Stream, and when they do appear, it's always as second fiddle to either Inukai or Narcy. At least Sunayama got a single episode all to his self. Saiko was not so lucky, a shame considering he was voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama. Also, Tohru, Axess on.
- Don't Call Me "Sir"!: "-San Wa Iranai!" (No need for -San) in the Japanese version. "Just Famous" in the English version
- He's not even over 30.
- Eye Scream: In The Movie, Dr. Regal kidnaps Yuuichirou to subject him to eye surgery. It Makes Sense in Context, though that context is not pleasant at all.
- Fan Nickname: Disco Enzan and Afro Enzan are the two most commonly used names by most fans to refer to Enzan when he is wearing his "Unique" disquise, with good reason..
- Fan Service: Rare, but when it happens, there's plenty of it for the boys, girls, moms, and dads to enjoy. Expect the basic swimsuit scenes to have the male characters mostly topless while the girls generally use the same swimsuits.
- Beach Episode: A pair in the second season, although the second one is more about dressing the cast up in relatively skimpy Idol Singer outfits. A late Stream episode was ostensibly about putting a whole slew of the female cast in swimwear. None in Beast, Beast+, or Axess, but that's because they use...
- Hot Springs Episode: A repeat focus in Axess. Tohru, Mariko, Chisao, and Rush form a Hotspring Appreciation Society of sorts. This at least once sees a selection of the characters in a Modesty Towel apiece or in swimsuits. They show up again in late Beast+, twice.  all appear in a hotspring moment for all of half a second near the end of Beast+; and a few episodes before that, we got a nice long shot of Tamako on her own; primarily to demonstrate that since the real MetalMan is currently hanging out with her in the hot spring, the one attacking Net City is fake.
- Pool Episode: An episode midway through Beast+ sees Lan and friends relaxing at a local water park, unaware that a malevolent weatherman (Vic, from Battle Network 6) is out to misuse miniroid technology to make them rue the day they laughed at his Weather Predicting Fail.
- Miscellaneous: Midway through Stream, an episode opens in a posh Health Spa, where Lan and Mayl are hanging out. The episode, however, is about Manabe (see Mundane Utility below), who rocks a pair of tight shorts and sweatsuit top for her Workout.
- Fighting From the Inside: Subverted in Roll's example above; Mega Man/Rock Man tries to use The Power of Friendship to try to get her to snap out of it. It seems to work for a few seconds...but it turns out that she was just trying to get him to let his guard down.
- Enzan/Chaud gives the trope new meaning when he crossfuses with Dark Blues/Protoman in order to get in and drag him out..
- Filler: Most of Stream, but every season has a couple of these here and there.
- Flanderization: Meiru grows increasingly, ah...expressive as the series goes on, which is generally accompanied by a growing tendency to behave immaturely. Compare her at her worst in Beast and Beast+ to how she behaves in the pre-Axess seasons and you'll find she's grown rather whiny. Hell, she ends an episode crying over a fallen bow that would take maybe a minute to sew back on to the bag.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Occasionally. A memorable example from "Net City."
Mega Man and Roll are watching the concert of virtual pop diva Aki.
- Grade School CEO: 12-year-old Enzan Ijuuin is the vice-president of the IPC hardware company.
- Gratuitous English: Count Elec's speech in the original Japanese is peppered with this.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Lan's dub voice actor is the same as that of Light Yagami. LIGHT FREAKIN' YAGAMI!
- Funnily enough, Lan's last name of "Hikari" means "Light".
- As well as Amuro Ray from the dub of Mobile Suit Gundam.
- It's also worth mentioning that NT Warrior was created and dubbed before Death Note was.
- On similar note, Bass is Kira Yamato as well as Bonkotsu
- Interestingly, Scott McNeil, known for his role as Wily and Protoman in the first cartoon, is also in the cast...but not as them. Instead, he's Gutsman.
- From Inuyasha: Sesshomaru is Proto Man, Sango is Sal aka Black Rose, Miroku is Elec Man, Bankotsu is Bass, a small bit villain from Inuyasha-Hiten...voices Mega Man, Burner Man in Axess was voiced by none other than Richard Ian Cox.
- NT Warrior could be renamed, "An Inuyasha VA get together"
- Mega Man is Haseo.
- It's rather funny that Eddy is Dex in this series, given that he's the shortest one on Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy.
- Hulk Speak: GutsMan
- I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight: Dark Blues and Enzan in Axess episode 49.
- Attempted in a first season fight where Roll is turned into an evil dominatrix by a corrupted chip. It fails miserably. Roll is only restored by purging the chip from her system manually.
- Lightning Bruiser: SkullMan in the anime. Lan and MegaMan only win when Miyu forfeits.
- Mundane Utility -> Be Careful What You Wish For: Asteroid Net Navis can translate their power into the Real World with devastating ease. They are also used for some of the most hideously banal things in the history of superpowers...until they break off from their operators (usually after the Dimensional Chip is used for the first time).
- PlantMan helps his chosen Operator avoid having to eat his vegetables...eventually ruining Japan's homegrown agriculture, and then its international commerce to keep edible vegetation out of the country.
- GravityMan is used by a pair of lowlife crooks to give Manabe weight issues. (They went so far as to have Gravity Man drag a submarine down to the bottom of the ocean in the plot -- again, to give Manabe weight issues).
- Must Have Caffeine: If you see Enzan/Chaud consuming anything, chances are that it's coffee.
- Apparently he also puts ten sugars in, according to a mid-season Axess episode. That explains how he manages a schedule like that, anyway...
- No Ending: Beast+ (and with it, the entire anime) just ends. We never find out what happens to the characters, and we never see the fallout of Cache's plot. All we are left with are a string of questions and subplots that are never going to be answered since EXE is pretty much dead.
- Post Script Season: The original anime was just The Anime of the Game, for Battle Network and Battle Network 2 (and a little bit of 3). Axess, which builds on the original two seasons, but significantly branches out, is this by definition. This carried through until the end of Beast, which ended rather satisfactorily. Beast+, which came after, ended up resorting to culling leftover characters, plots, and powerups from the games, most notably the Gaiden Games Network Transmission and Phantom of Network. And then the screen went dark.
- Non-Idle Rich: Enzan/Chaud is the vice president of a major company, the son of the president of the aforementioned company, REALLY rich. Yet he works for the Net Police as a Net Savior.
- Rich Bitch: Yai/Yaito, even though she's one of the heroes. Also Ms. Millionaire/Ms. Millions, who combines Mysterious Woman with The Vamp. Her Beyondard version is actually dirt poor.
- Screwed by the Network: The airing times were often changed constantly. The series was abruptly canceled right in the middle of a big story arc and left hanging.
- The English dub of this show (and to a somewhat lesser extent Axess) was considered to be a big victim of Kids WB's management when some fans tried to defend ShoPro. Why would they do that? Simple: Sho Pro's dubs on Toonami, namely Zoids and Hamtaro, were often deemed to be far better dubs. Basically in short the English dub most likely would've gone better if it was made for Toonami.
- Ship Tease: There was plenty of this between Lan and Maylu and, likewise, Megaman and Roll. By 'Stream', the Ship Tease shifted towards Laika and Pride, though by the end of the series, there was major Ship Sinking between the two as nothing came out of their relationship.
- Shout-Out: Axess reveals that Laika has, or at least is fairly close with, a dog. Who looks exactly like the picture provided, is one of Sharo's national heroes, and might have been left to die by military officials before Laika disobeyed orders to save her. Minor example of Heartwarming in Hindsight.
- Tournament Arc: When not fighting good or evil to the death, Navis often fight each other in controlled settings. This in particular is the second to last arc of the original anime, and certain individuals have a keen interesting in bending the outcome to their purpose. However, the events happen before they were anticipated, and the Final Arc of the first season is damage control taken Up to Eleven.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Lan/Netto loves Curry to the point where WWW uses it to lure him into a trap.
- Also Yai/Yaito's love for Strawberry Milk.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: In one episode of Axess, Numberman, the Navi who loves math above all else, is tied to a virtual bowling pin while an evil Navi is knocking down pins one at a time. Numberman calculates the odds that each ball launched will hit his pin - and gets the math wrong. Even assuming that the ball will only knock down one pin, and that each pin is equally likely to be that one (a generally invalid assumption when bowling), the odds would be 1 in 10, followed by 1 in 9, 1 in 8, etc, or 10%, 11.1%, 12.5%, 14.3%...The numbers that Numberman come up with are 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%...
The RockMan.EXE manga contains examples of:
- Arc Welding: Dark Power is involved in the the third, fourth, and fifth games' arcs, and retroactively involves itself in the second's since whoever turned Sean into Kei Yuki was after the same information Sean was looking into when he was studying Dark Power in Netopia.
- Art Evolution: Dramatically, especially after Volume 7. It's also present in the earlier parts of the Manga, even across a single volume.
- Bash Brothers: MegaMan and ProtoMan, often. Sometimes MegaMan and Bass.
- Battle Couple: Roll helped out with some virus busting efforts early in the manga.
- Battle Aura: The activation of Full Synchro will give us a brief flash of this.
- Beyond the Impossible: Explicit in the fifth chapter of Takamisaki's manga, regarding how quickly Lan and Mega Man achieve Full-Synchro.
I'll be...You've just redefined what's possible!!!
- Blade Brake: Briefly seen in the bigass Fight Scene from the Takamisaki Manga between MegaMan and Bass GS -- who, for reference, are flying through the airspace of the real world (Dark Power has formed something of an impromptu Dimensional Area). At one point, Bass punches MegaMan so hard he plummets straight down; MegaMan catches himself by sticking his sword into the side of a building, and then rockets back up to meet Bass...only to once again get the snot beaten out of him. Again.
- Cheap Costume: Lan tries to hash together an imitation of Hub Style for the gang, but he can only vaguely depict it. His friends, who had asked to see it, laugh him off... and in only a few hours, Hub Style is rampaging through the Cyber World.
- Conflict Ball/Fighting Your Friend: The final arc of the manga could readily be described as "MegaMan's Friends All Suck At Friendship." After being invited to the tournament meant to find the ultimate NetNavi, ProtoMan, SearchMan, and Tomahawkman all try to turn Mega Man "ruthless" to fight the Cybeasts. Because that's how its worked every other time.
- Day Old Legend: In the Manga, Bass Cross Mega Man is called the "Legendary Berserker". He first showed up, like, thirty seconds before his christening.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the source. Lan starts off as a delinquent, enjoys Fight Clubbing, and there's plenty of Deconstruction going around. Lots, actually. Lan and MegaMan's bickering can get downright nasty. Lan's Delinquent tendencies urge him to accept when invited to attack the board of education for some thrills. Synchronization isn't unambiguously positive like in the later games, such as when MegaMan's first Super Mode and Lan's broken PET put the latter in a coma. ProtoMan kills a NetNavi in cold blood after it begs to be spared. Chaud grows incredibly jealous of Lan's skills and potential. Bass exploits Lan's and MegaMan's desires To Be a Master so he can later feed on their growth. The Ameroupan Army puts MegaMan on its Criminals At Large list for his ability to Fusion Dance. ElecMan's pre-programmed abiding loyalty to WWW grates on his Operator's nerves so much he gets disowned.
- The manga also takes advantage of the Net Navi's being made mostly out of data, which means more violent fights. Indeed, most of the battles in the latter half of the manga are downright brutal.
- Lighter and Softer: Over time. The uplifting nature of the Shonen genre seeps its way into the manga, usually through the brighter, cheerier Art Evolution and increasingly common gags. A famous one is when Lan and Chaud first get to Netopia, Lan immediately ignores Chaud's warnings t be careful and drags him around in search of food...eventually deciding on the biggest hamburgers he can find.
- Face of a Thug: Raoul's face is so terrifying Lan and MegaMan immediately assume he's a villain (and are quite stunned when he suggests they guess again). Takeo Inukai, however, beats him at his own game...in more ways than one.
Ahh!! That face!! Scarier than Raoul's !!!
- Fight Clubbing: NetBattling Licenses are only available to individuals over the age of eighteen. ACDC's youth have a damn good time nonetheless. Lan enjoys something of a reputation in this crowd, especially after he and Mega Man defeat Bass.
- One early scene has Roll clear the house by raising a false alarm about a Net Battle Raid. Clearing the various Net Navis out allows her to deliver an e-mail from Mayl to Lan and to flirt with MegaMan.
- Fusion Dance: A variation. MegaMan's later power-ups via the Double Soul ability extracts everything but the barest dregs of a given NetNavi's data, leaving them as entirely vulnerable shells prone to attack. At one point BubbleMan has to grabProtoMan and run away from the blast zone, bonking his head on the ground a number of times, much to Chaud's chagrin.
- In the final arc, MegaMan can assume a Beast form modelled on Greiga after extracting a portion of its power. Of course, that's assuming he can get a handle on it.
- Right before the premier of Beast MegaMan, we're given a brief glimpse of Bass Cross MegaMan, who's so powerful his body can't actually handle it and starts breaking down.
- Keet: Kei Yuuki. Sean Obihiro, post-mind control.
- The Kindnapper: In the first chapter of Volume 3, SkullMan kidnaps MegaMan so he (SkullMan) can have a friend (his Operator's disposition kinda scares people away) and to keep him safe from the dangers of the UnderNet. He offers freedom to MegaMan if he can defeat SkullMan.
- Lightning Bruiser: Plenty. BeastMan is notable for claiming prowess due to being a "beast-type" Navi...until ProtoMan cuts him down to size.
- Meaningful Name: Kei Yuuki is japanese for "False Courage".
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The manga gives us a few primarily of the Red Baron class.
- Non Standard Character Design: Any extra characters in the manga look very different from characters pulled from the games.
- Recurring Extra: Whenever the local Navis are up for a fight, look to see a lot of familiar faces.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Lan's not dumb. Lazy and unmotivated, certainly, but a damn good fighter nonetheless. When presented a free helicopter ride (see Umpteenth Customer below), he immediately gets psyched up and goes along with it before Chaud can even finish telling him to be careful. And the ProtoMan gets an email about how Lan knows what he's doing.
- Early on, Lan deliberately plays up the idea that he's an emotional nutcase to pull out of the limelight after news reports identify him as one of the two child prodigies who saved the world together.
- Penny Among Diamonds: The climax of the Grave arc sees Class 5A invited aboard Gauss Magnets' ridiculously luxurious yacht. Which comes complete with arctic simulation air control.
- Power High: The problem with Hub Style is that it feels so damn good to go overboard.
- Rule of Cool: While the entire premise of the EXE franchise is basically this, the manga takes it Up to Eleven. Most of the battles from Volume 5 onward reach Dragonball Z levels of over-the-top.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Each new Big Bad exceeds the last by a good order of magnitude.
- Super Mode: The earliest was Hub Style, though it was quickly discarded because Dark Power negated it. Later MegaMan is granted the Double Soul, which gives him access to his Beast Mode, which itself gets a further extension in Super Beast Mode.
- Style Change in general is considered to be this in-universe -- a NetNavi's skills spontaneously evolve to better take advantage of their Operator's fighting style. Lan and MegaMan managed to get their hands on the greatest of them all. ProtoMan gets a unique "style" when Serenade grants him the Muramasa.
- Super Weight: MegaMan, ProtoMan, and Bass are basically on a track of constant ascent, mostly so they can have more kickass fights with each other. By the end of the series, each of them is easily level 4, possibly level 5.
- Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: Normal Style MegaMan has the former. Hub Style MegaMan has the latter.
- The Worf Effect: In full force in the manga. Its particularly bad since the stories had a tendency of introducing new bad guys literally just after the last ones were defeated, with the heroes saved only by a new set of allies arriving on the scene. Why these allies have never bothered to show up before hand is never explained.
- The World Is Always Doomed: Like it says above, new villains are almost constantly cropping up after the old one falls. The biggest time breaks between arcs never exceed a few months...so The World Is Always Doomed for maybe a whole year, at most.
- Tournament Arc: Averted, interestingly enough. It's not that Lan and MegaMan are trying to stick to Fight Clubbing, it's that they're avoiding the extra publicity -- SharkMan is not particularly happy that they won't showing up.
- The arc that corresponds to the 6th game is ostensibly a "tournament", though its more of a Free-For-All. MegaMan does not take kindly to being forced to fight his friends and ESPECIALLY not to the fact that they suddenly all have absolutely no problem with killing him.
- Later, in the epilogue, MegaMan actually loses during the preliminary rounds of the newest tournament - everyone who watches assumes he's trying to give the weaker participants a boost, Lan himself wonders if Net Battling's worth getting excited about anymore, but ProtoMan shows up and calls him out on how he's been given a lot of credit for heroism when he just lost like a chump. Finally presented with a fight worth getting excited about, Lan and MegaMan prove exactly how much badass they've been holding in reserve. The crowd approves so heartily they actually invent the Tera-Class specifically for the fight.
- Trickster Mentor: Mr. Famous revels in it. He deliberately antagonizes Lan and Chaud to ensure they're itching to prove themselves when they cross Serenade's path. Serenade teases Mr. Famous about it.
- Umpteenth Customer: There's a scene in the manga where Lan is told he's the one millionth customer of a restaurant, so he won a free helicopter ride from the Ameroupan Charlie as a prize. At this point, he and his friend Chaud are on the run from the government because of Mega Man's new powers, which they fear. Once Lan goes up in the helicopter, he reveals that he knows that this whole "millionth customer" was a sham, and that this is an attempt to kidnap him and draw Mega Man out, but he's willing to do it so that he'll see Mega Man again. And then Charlie wonders what the hell he's talking about.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Lan and Mayl. A LOT. Early chapters see them arguing furiously with each other, and even brawling on the floor. Of course, Mayl's a fair bit more developed in the romance department then he is, so it turns into Belligerent Sexual Tension every now and again, like when she deliberately attempts to get Lan's attention on the cruise ship, only for him to tease her about wearing frilly stuff in cold weather. She takes a moment to stretch his face out.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Both Hub Style and Beast MegaMan are troublesome to get a handle on. The first one, being based on Full Synchro, effectively puts Lan in a coma.
- A pun on the Japanese-English L/R confusion in romanisation - the name translates out to Right Light
- A dimensional convergence between the cyberworld and the real world that turns a set area into its own phantom zone.
- The series can thusly be considered in two portions: pre-Axess and Axess on.
- The ten minute episodes would also be inherited by the Anime of the Game of Ryuusei no Rockman and Ryuusei no Rockman Tribe.
- Deletion was held off to the end of the first season of the anime, by comparison.
- Who makes a point of distinguishing himself from his "previous me".
- Ohhhhh, the irony.
- And he's got the chops to prove it.
- Maylu, Yai, Mari, Sal, Miyu, and Madd...and Lan, Dex, and Tory
- Meiru, Jasmine, Meiru AND Jasmine (to give Dekao a Nosebleed), Madoi, Pride, Yai, Mariko, Shuuko, Anetta, and one image thrown in between Anetta and Yai is of one of Yai's maids topless (if you squint, but there's a bunch of Censor Steam). Sure, some of the guys are in trunks and such, too, but there are a good ten long, drawn out pan shots...and they all focus on the girls.
- Lan, Chisao, Mayl, Mariko, Tohru...and Chaud (!). Tamako, who appears in episodes that do have hotsprings, is too busy trying to pick a fight with Lan to waste time looking sexy.
- Mariko, Yuriko, and Tamako
- Meiru, Shuuko, Mariko (at one point using Dekao as a raft when the pool turns into a whirlpool).
- Mayl's sporting a slightly classier one-piece unique to the episode.
- It's for posterity! What, we shouldn't aim for comprehensive?
- A side-scrolling Platform game set between Battle Network 1 and 2 that introduced us to the Battle Network version of Zero.
- A Japanese Only cell-phone game.
- A student of Mr. Famous.
- One might question the "Legendary", considering he's appeared a grand total of twice, both for very modern threats.