Megaman Legends is probably the only part of the Mega Man series that I’m not much of an expert on. So it’s always interesting seeing more adventures in that verse but at the same time titles like this don’t really do it any favors. Megaman Dash is more of a comedy manga than a serious adaption and so it’s not going to reach the heights of NT Warrior of Gigamix. I’m glad that the series finally finished getting translated of course, that was definitely great. Because that means now I get to dive into this one and tell you why it didn’t quite work. I will give it this, the series does avoid throwing in a lot of crude humor or anything like that which I appreciate since so many comedic titles run right to those jokes.
The series is rather short with only 5 chapters so it’s really more of a one shot than a series. Basically Megaman Volnutt is a treasure hunter of sorts. He goes to different caves and mines minerals and resources. Despite his antics he seems to be reasonably good at this, enough so where he, Roll, and doctor Barrel can live a comfortable life at least. Well, he isn’t the only one after the treasure and also has to contend with the likes of Tron Bonne and her crew. They may not be all that formidable but the same can be said for Volnutt so he can’t let his guard down. Eventually he even meets a man named Megaman Juno who has plans for world domination. Can Volnutt really stop this guy?
It’s a fairly basic plot that we’ve got here. Volnutt is your classic explorer who likes having a lot of fun but also really enjoys goofing off the whole time as well. He’s definitely not the kind of guy who takes things all that seriously but he can be tough when needed. I’d like to see more bravery out of him though. I get that it’s a comedic title so that may not be in the cards but it would just do a world of good to see him talking tough and getting serious when the situation calls for it. It’s why he severely lags behind the other Megamen on all sides. It was fun recognizing some of his signature attacks from the Tatsunoko vs Capcom game though.
I can also give the manga this, the artwork is actually pretty good. You can see how the fights would actually be really solid if that was the intent of the manga. The choreography is on point and the character designs are good. Clearly this artist is really being misused having to work on a more gag manga type adventure like this one. It certainly makes for an easy read nonetheless. Particularly now that it’s all scanned you can blast through the whole thing really quick. Perhaps it will read better as a marathon although I have my doubts.
As the heroine Roll doesn’t actually do a whole lot here. She yells at Volnutt constantly since he’s always messing up but that’s really her only role here and he doesn’t really take her all that seriously. Doctor Barrell has even less to do here. You may forget that the guy exists at times. Then there’s Tron Bonne who is a comic relief villain but at least she is doing a lot of things. She builds robots to take Megaman out and is also instrumental in helping him out later on. If you were a fellow villain then you would probably be annoyed at how she changes sides and all but for the heroes it works out quite nicely.
The only character that I can say was solid all the way around was Megaman Juno, the final boss of the adventure. An evil Megaman is always a very intriguing prospect. Whether it’s Copy X from the Zero games or Dark Megaman from EXE, they tend to be standout characters. This one is certainly ambitious as well and he does put the heroes through the wringer. I think he’s probably a really cool character in the games as well, I just got that vibe from him.
I appreciated the series ending with a serious climax against this guy. While it may not keep that tone for long, I’ll take what I can get. Ultimately I don’t think Megaman always has to be super serious but you can do humor in a fun way where it’s less of a gag type approach. Megaman EXE and classic certainly have a lot of humor to them and it works well, I’d say the only thing holding this one back is that the jokes often aren’t funny. It just goes too far overboard with the characters yelling and making all kinds of faces. That kind of thing just isn’t funny when you spam it.
The kind of humor you’d like to see is with the script. Some kind of really great line that you remember or a particularly solid burn that leaves you with a big grin on your face. Things like that are what would leave more of an impact. Or if you have to do this, have it be a lot of gags during the normal scenes but when the fights happen you go all in. That would have worked a lot better as well. If you haven’t played the game you will probably be wondering just a bit what the actual game’s plot is like since you figure it’s probably way different than what we got here.
Overall, Megaman Dash makes for an interesting read. It’s certainly unique and I do think a good amount of effort was put into it, the style and direction it went in just wasn’t the right one. If the idea of a sillier Megaman adventure sounds right up your alley then you should enjoy this one. If you want something more intense then I would redirect you to just about any of the other Megaman adventures. Whether it’s X, classic, or exe you will have a better time straight up. One positive for this one is that it is very short though so it’s not like it’s a big time investment. You can finish this one within 20 minutes easy so what’s the harm right? I’d also say while I had my share of negatives with it, I still wouldn’t call this one bad per say. It’s right in the middle for me where it’s not particularly good but it’s not like I had a tough time reading it either. There’s a certain gag manga I’m reading right now that is actually painful. Just wait until that series ends!