“Fight On” – Megaman NT Warrior – 7/10 Black Cats

Tell me what company thou keepst, and I’ll tell thee what thou art. ~Miguel de Cervantes

Mangaka: Ryo Takamisaki

Genre: Action/Mecha/Sci-fi/Shounen/Kids

Review Status: Complete (13 Volumes/13 Volumes)

Licensed: Yes, this manga is licensed in the US

Art: If you’re familiar with the Megaman franchise, then these will look very familiar. If you’re not, then there isn’t a lot that’s going to stand out. I’m vaguely familiar with it, and still managed to mix up characters on occasion.

Summary: The year is 200X and everyone is now connected to the Cyber Network. People carry their own PET (Personal Terminal) and are paired up with an artificial intelligence program called a NetNavi (or NetNavigator). Computers have turned the world into a bright and shiny utopia but there’s always trouble in paradise. While the invention of the PET and NetNavis has brought great benefits to the world, computer hacking, virus spreading and other high-tech crimes are becoming a major problem. A sinister organization by the name of World Three has appeared and they’ve vowed to destroy this technological wonderland. Enter our young hero, Lan Hikari, an intensely curious and cheerful fifth grader. Synchronized with his NetNavigator, MegaMan, he becomes a super-charged dynamo. In and out of the Net, Lan and MegaMan do their best to thwart World Three’s never-ending quest to take over the world! (Amazon.com summary)

Review: First off, I want to clarify that the score on top is scoring it as a children’s manga, and how good it is for that age bracket. I would give it a seven because it’s a very typical story, with characters that could be ripped from any storyline from the same age bracket. Lan and Megaman are both upbeat and determined, who fight for their friends and refuse to fight against them. They’re always willing to risk themselves from others. His friends aren’t any better off, nor are his opponents, except for Blaze, who is the sole character that shows actual depth, though it’s not explored since this is an action manga.

The story also doesn’t stand out too much from others like Digimon or the like. He encounters low-level thugs, gets stronger, finds out there’s high-level thugs that he needs to defeat to save the cyberworld, gets stronger and defeats them, and finally saves the world. It would be more effective and moving if there was actual characterization, but for a kid’s story, it’s pretty solid and I can’t make many complaints- except for one.

The major drawback is that this is so shallow that the two girls (Roll and her NaviOp) that get more than one appearance suffer from ‘Daphne syndrome’. They exist only to be saved/protected/be a general burden and distraction. This ends up being both confusing and frustrating when Roll is brought to an ‘ultimate level’ alongside other super-strong Navi’s, must be saved, and then is completely forgotten about plot-wise.

As an adult reading this manga, I have to score it a 5/10, possibly lower. There were some genuinely funny moments, rare as they were, and the story is somewhat solid, but this has flaws out the wazoo. I would never want to live in this world since the security of the network is so poor that in the space of a few days (once a volume for about 5 volumes straight) the appliances in houses explode and start fires. Apparently, the terrorists have nothing better to do than burn down a small city. Fighting online is illegal without a license, but PETs are sold with the ability instead of the stuff to block it that they put in Lan’s PET at one point in the manga. And of course, the ability to synchronize NetNavis with NetOps without any sort of machinery or technological link to facilitate it- which comes off as realistic as me being able to synch with my Pokemon game while holding a Nintendo DS. It just isn’t going to happen.

To top it off was, of course, the ever-present ‘Daphne syndrome’, which was old by the second volume. Please note that none of the major players were female in this story. I found it to be sexist and discriminatory and definitely brought down my rating a notch or two.

Overall, while it’s an okay children’s manga, it has a few too many issues to really be enjoyed by an adult.

Recommended: 5+. This has no language, no fanservice of any kind, cartoon violence (except for one scene where they show the hand of someone who had been crushed). If your kid can handle that, then they’re good to go.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Dennou Coil (anime)
½ Prince (manga)
Real Drive (anime)
.hack//Sign (anime)
Digimon Adventure: War Game (anime)
Summer Wars (anime)
Angelic Layer (anime)
Yureka (manga)


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