Written by Joe Barnathan
Story by “Man of Action”
Directed by Gino Nichele
It’s Bert Wily vs. Peter Punkowski in a contest to become president of the entire school. Except that Aki copied the arrogant Air Man’s schematics earlier and the personality corruption that came with that compels Aki to run for president too. The election season ends up feeling like a grudge match between two stereotypically loud and stupid Americans with a stereotypically polite Canadian caught in-between.
– The pixel art cutaway is used to great effect as Air Man’s personality takes over Aki. Its timing is far better than when it was used in the premiere episode.
– Poor Bert. He’s the only one interested in running a half-decent campaign while Peter and Aki flog each other with their egos. I’d definitely vote Wily for president, and fortunately everyone else did too. In fact, he may also be the only reason I gave this episode a rating of “alright” instead of “awful”.
– Mega Man comes to his senses when he actually sees people afraid of him, which is a big deal in a cartoon that likes to break the cardinal rule of “show, don’t tell”. Pay attention to the timing here: this is the last episode of the first batch and it looks like it was doing a half-decent job at establishing how Mega Man could overcome personality corruption with willpower alone before the rest of the cartoon completely ruined that idea.
– Air Man’s theme from Mega Man 2 being used note-for-note may be the most awkward and hamfisted attempt at fanservice in the entire cartoon. It’s also remixed to blend in with the mood soon after though, and that’s the correct way to use classic music.
– Mega Man copies Air Man’s powers for no reason whatsoever. He didn’t need them at all; he immediately went for Ice Man’s schematics to defeat Air Man! That makes the entire plot forced.
– The animators didn’t make backsides for the election posters. They’re all double-sided.
– The whirlwinds that kick up around Aki as Air Man’s personality takes over are pretty weird. It’s like the show is so bad at defining what a robot is that it thinks Aki is a wizard instead.
– Since Mega Mini is in charge of monitoring and repairing Aki’s systems, it’s quite conspicuous when something is obviously wrong with Aki and he doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t even run diagnostics until it’s too little too late, nor does he suggest disabling Air Man’s schematics, outright deleting them, or aborting Aki’s transformation into Mega Man. The episode “Drilling Deep” said that Mega Mini is supposed to be able to halt personality corruption, so there’s no excuse for him being so useless even when the personality corruption affects Aki instead of Mega Man, even when he’s not using Air Man’s schematics. What’s worse, in the premiere episode he quickly figured out that Aki was suffering from personality corruption, but in this episode he’s totally oblivious.
– Though it may be the entire point, Mega Man plugging Aki in the election is all kinds of cringe. Thankfully it’s brief before Air Man returns.
– Why are the other students shocked and dismayed at Aki dropping out of the race after how horrendous his campaign was? And why does no one cheer right away when Bert is elected after everyone voted for him? It’s like the show demanded that everyone shut up so it can jam an aesop down the kids’ throats.
– There’s a missed opportunity for intrigue here: what if Sgt. Night actually knew about the quirks of Mega Man’s replication system and deliberately sent Air Man to exploit them? He could have seized upon the public’s fear of Mega Man to further his agenda. This episode was a golden opportunity for him to finally prove he’s the kind of villain he claims to be and the writers completely whiffed it.