Rockman.exe #1

Artists: Takamisaki Ryo
Publication: Shogakukan
ISBN: ISBN4-09-142871-1
Where to Buy: Anime Nation, eBay

Characters Included: Netto, Rockman, Dekao, Gutsman, Meiru, Roll, Mariko-sensei, Haruka Hikari, Dr. Wily, Hinoken, Fireman, Higure, Numberman, Enzan

Basic Storyline: The first volume of the EXE manga introduces the main characters by beginning with a net battle between Rockman and Gutsman. Rockman and Netto of course easily win the match. The next day, Netto has an argument with Rockman, and ends up leaving him behind when he goes to school. When a fire suddenly breaks out in his classroom, Rockman is not there to help him out!

The next day, Netto meets up with the operator of Fireman, who had attacked their school. In this world, only those with official licenses are allowed to Net Battle. Hinoken offers Netto the chance to gain that power, but only if he joins the World 3! Much to Rockman's dismay, Netto accepts the conditions, and is ordered to go attack the school security program the next day! Rockman refuses to take any part in it, so Netto decides to use a backup standard navi instead.

And so, Netto and Hinoken start to destroy the security navis, but Rockman suddenly appears, demanding that Netto stop what he's doing. Before they can come to terms, Fireman turns on them, and attacks Rockman! This whole scheme was only a plot to lure Rockman out, so the World 3 could destroy him. Rockman is unable to fight back due to his left leg being completely blown off, so Fireman moves in to destroy him. However, his attack is blocked by Netto's standard navi!

With renewed determination, Netto uses a recover chip on Rockman, and together they defeat Fireman. Later on, Higure visits Netto's school! Gutsman has a run in with Numberman, who is working for the WWW. Rockman becomes enraged when Gutsman suffers severe damage while protecting a precious "wrestling belt". The surge of energy that Rockman receives enables him to defeat Numberman, but he also becomes hurt in the process. Surprisingly, when Rockman collapses, so does Netto!

Netto has a dream that when Rockman's helmet becomes damaged, his own head begins to bleed. When he finally wakes back up, he finds himself in jail! While Netto is trying to explain that he is not a criminal, the jail bars suddenly become electricuted! Why is he being held as a prisoner?

Inspector Oda introduces himself to Netto, he takes care of cases in the cyber division. As the two begin to talk, he reveals that they are keeping Netto in the cell for his own protection. But from who? It seems the Inspector is interested in Netto's link with his navi. He asks Netto if he's ever experienced the same pain as his navi when in a net battle. Netto reveals that such a thing only started occuring recentely, but even that is enough to confirm the Inspector's suspicions.

The Inspector decides to offer Netto a deal: If he'll cooperate and take a certain kind of test, he'll be granted a Net Battler License! Unable to refuse such a chance, Netto accepts. Before he can ask what kind of test has has to take, the bars of his jail cell suddenly become electrified with electricity. The whole building is under attack by viruses!

The Inspector leaves Netto behind so that he can go take care of the situation. Finding themselves alone and with nowhere to go, Netto spots an intercom, and uses it to plug-in Rockman to go help out.

Inside the net, Rockman meets up with the leader of the viruses, a very mean looking navi. Determined to stop him, Netto and Rockman enter a net battle with the ferocious invader. Meanwhile, the Inspector watches them from the control room, seeming more interested on Netto and Rockman's climbing "synchro" rate.

During the battle, Rockman finds himself in a pinch, and again Netto begins to experience the same pain! During this crisis, their synchronization level begins to climb at an increasing rate. Indeed, Rockman and Netto soon find themselves in Full Synchro! Together, they easily defeat their opponenet, finding the battle much easier with their combined power.

After the battle, Rockman realizes that his opponent is actually the navi of the Inspector. This was their test! It was all to see if Netto and Rockman could acheive their full potential through Full Synchro. The Inspector then reveals that Full Synchro is a double edged sword: even though it makes you more powerful, the operator will suffer the same damage as his navi! This means that not only Rockman will be in danger during battle, but Netto as well.

Having passed the test with flying colors, Netto is awared his license. Members of the police crew are happy to have someone to help them fight the World 3. In fact, one mentions to another young boy that Netto could even possibly become his partner. Enzan simply sneers, replying that Netto is only an amatuer compared to him.

Ryouko's Comments: This manga series is my favourite for the EXE genre. Takamisaki Ryo is an amazing artist, and keeps very true to the Rockman feel. He has a good sense of humor, too! At the end of this manga, there is a short story about Netto and Rockman's first meeting. It's so very cute!

(( - Samples from Rockman.exe #1 - ))

If you have the chance, I highly reccommend these mangas for any Rockman.exe fan!
The Rockman.exe and Battle Story mangas are copyrighted by Shogakukan. Please support the artists and buy their mangas.