Let me start by getting something out of the way. I could have reviewed this book months ago when I received the preview copy, but I genuinely wanted to read it on paper first. And I am glad that I waited.
The story is a continuation of Asteroid blues that introduces the Star Droids in a unique way and combines many elements of Mega Man 8 and Mega Man V. Unlike Gigamix vol.1, Gigamix vol.2 has two separate chapters of the same story, making it a very lengthy and entertaining read. I don’t want to delve to deeply into the plot because I fear it may ruin the experience for you, but I will say that it is unique in that Wily and Light seem to truly be forced to team up to combat the threat of the Star Droids. Also getting to see a different side of Dr.Wily, and younger versions of he and Dr.Light was a unique opportunity. There is a Cutman transformation that is truly awesome, and an explanation for why Dr.Wily and Dr.Light ever decided to work together in the first place.
The story is packed with action and heart, it is an eye opening insight to the world of Ariga's Mega Man that is in line with how I originally viewed the character at a time when the internet didn’t truly exist and I was left to my own devices to interpret the story. This story invokes nostalgia and the desire to see Ariga direct and create the story for any future Mega Man game titles. If only Capcom would hire this man.
This manga is truly worthy of the paper it was printed on. The story is 10 times better than anything Capcom has ever officially given us in the game series. This is mostly due to the outstanding efforts of the Udon translation team. They seem to understand how to give us a story that is not simply translated directly, but instead tailored to an American audience while remaining 100% true to the original source material.
Ariga's artwork has as many robots as possible jam packed into each panel, creating the feeling that even with their combined efforts, they are destined to fail. I was never left wondering what was going on, and each page has amazing detail and clarity. Every time I think Ariga cannot top himself, he goes the extra mile and dominates my brain with imagery that is explosive and complex. The character designs are hyper detailed and show that Mega Man characters can be so much more than the simple way Capcom's artists draw them, it just takes the right amount of imagination, and Ariga's got that in spades.
To sum up the review, I would just say that if you are a Mega Man/Rockman fan and this isn't in your collection, you should get it immediately. Why are you still reading this? Go get it!