Chapter Five, "One For The Sake Of All", ends the first volume of the Mega Man Zero manga, and trust me, you need to take a breather between volumes of this epic disappointment. We've drudged through crappy characters abandoned on the side of the road near This Plot Gargles Balls Avenue, and at this point, I wouldn't really expect anything less. However, there is one element of the video games that, defying all means, actually managed to remain intact in the manga. Of course, this also happens to be one of the most minor points of the entire Mega Man Zero series, so it's not like a tremendous sigh of relief here.
It's PASSY! Yay, BARELY EXISTENT CONTINUITY!
The chapter starts with -3, Lito, and Ciel riding the epic waves on their way to the Resistance Base, which is way out in the ocean on an island that seems more at place in a Bond movie.
Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom, Passy strikes up a conversation with Cerveau, that guy in the Mega Man Zero games that gave you all of those nifty toys. Except the Triple Rod. That sucked.
They talk about plot and crap, but with the way this part's set up, I'd rather just parody Dinosaur Comics instead.
Repeat over and over for a philosophical sleeper hit.
So OMG, here's Ciel! Cerveau, like all men who meet her, immediately attempts to violate her personal space.
Passy and Ciel share a loving moment, brought to you by the Coproration, the one that supplies the frothy bubbles in the background as Passy and Ciel embrace. Like normal people, Lito naturally wonders what the hell Passy's supposed to be.
NYAAAAHHHHH! DON'T DO THAT! I was ready to kung-fu your ass!
Cerveau explains that Passy's a Cyber Elf, and that he created them during his research. They each have special powers, with the one drawback Cerveau completely fails to mention at this point in time. Now, I'm not a scientist like Cerveau here is, but I were to create a race of powerful energy beings during MY research, I would have probably spent more time making them look a lot more impressive. I mean, come on! ELVES? Why did Cerveau, out of all the potential shapes these new energy lifeforms could take, decide to have them take on the shape of ELVES? Why not have them take cool forms to match their totally awesome powers? You know...like dragons?
"They can do special things like boost a Reploid's power for a short period of time or heal them! Also, THEY CAN BLOW YOUR F***ING BRAINS OUT."
Sign me up for one of those.
Anyway, back to the "story". The rest of the Resistance notices Ciel and comes to greet her. She declares that she "carried out the mission".
"We've got Dish Network!"
The real mission was to bring back Zero, of course. Naturally, nobody really believes her, and with good reason. To get some more info on the failure of life that is -3, they hook him up to a machine and probe him or...something, I'm not really paying attention at this point.
"Subject is too comfortable! WE'RE LOSING COMFORT!"
"DAMN YOU, Lazyboy!"
Cerveau gets into the analyzing mood a bit too well, and shouts in amazement at some information on his screen.
YOU SCORED 50,000 POINTS ON DOUBLE DRAGON?!
Cerveau explains that, at the moment, -3 is using the lowest amount of energy possible to move, conversing it for when things get tense. To become Zero, -3 just releases that stored-up energy.
I want you to understand what this means, boys and girls, for it is an idea that serves to shake one's very core.
IN ORDER TO SAVE ENERGY, ZERO DECIDES TO
You all don't realize what I've gone through. I've sat here and FORCED myself to read EVERY SINGLE ONE of these chapters, filled to the BRIM with CRAP STEW, having to deal with the remarkable waste of existence that is -3, with the ONLY redeeming factor being Zero himself, and you, Mr. Manga, have the GALL to sit here and tell me ZERO WAS IN ON THE SUCKAGE
I think I'm going insane. I think the foundations of my very world are tearing apart at the seams!
MY WORLD IS FALLING APART.
In reality, it was Fefnir punching the ground, in an area that suspiciously looks like any sort of background in Dragon Ball Z. He gloats that he's finally found the Resistance...somehow, and that they can't escape by hiding underground. Fefnir them proceeds to fire off the most elaborate punch ever:
You just PUNCHED THE GROUND, Fefnir! There wasn't a need for an ATTACK NAME! I understand that in anime and manga, it's common for characters to shout out the name of their special attacks. That's fine and dandy for special attacks, but that was a PUNCH. That's IT. There weren't any special effects, you weren't glowing yellow when you did it, it was just a punch. Hell, I can do a big elaborate punch to the ground too and call it something stupid like you did.
'Course, I'd break my hand if I did that, but that's beside the point.
Fefnir's Excessive Anime Punch tears through the ground and rocks the Resistance. Heading to the computer room, Ciel and the gang discovers that Fefnir apparently followed them to the island. The Resistance grabs some guns and proceed to fire potshots at Fefnir, who reinforces his utterly sadist nature.
Yeah, bitch! You'd better watch out, we've got, uh...we've got, uh, Cyber Elves.
Yeah. We're bad.
Ciel and the gang are the last to come out and take cover rather than heroically getting shot in the face. Instead of doing her job and leading the Resistance toward the best course of action in taking down the rage in the machine that is Fefnir, Ciel tells Cerveau to hold his fire, because she wants to see Zero fight.
Yeah, like Cerveau would've really turned the battle around for the Resistance.
What this is is a mess I ain't gonna clean up.
Is it just me, or does every anime character seem to fall to hands and knees and whine with their eyes covered by some mysterious blackness that just happened to appear over them? Fulfilling the proud tradition, Ciel does just that in realization that, possibly, this is somehow her fault. While Cerveau attempts to pull Ciel back together and -3 continues to waste valuable air, Fefnir notices the group, and promptly fires a load of flaming lead at them.
So he'll give his punches really elaborate, stupid attack names but he won't drop any on something that can actually be considered a special attack? Yeah, THAT makes sense.
As expected, Zero leaps in to save the day, using the Shield Boomerang to block the blast. And the damn thing's HUGE. I mean, just look at that!
IT'S OVER 9000!
Fefnir is clearly thrilled to see Zero again, and for the most part, this is on-par with the games. Fefnir has, like, a fetish for violence, and loves fighting Zero because it satisfies that fetish in psychological ways I can't even begin to explain. With that, Fefnir pulls off his own Dragonball Z-esque aura!
I HOPE MY BODY CAN TAKE IT
Fefnir shoots a big fireball in the air, and Zero stupidly watches it break into a bunch of little fireballs that stream down toward him. As they crash in the ground, Zero leaps up through the resulting smoke, but that smoke gives Fefnir time to rush over and smack Zero old-school.
No, no, no, if you're gonna put an elaborate attack name on a simple uppercut, you'd better do it right.
Zero hits the dirt, and he'd better after he gets pinned by the almighty Shoryuken. Lito shouts for his gay lover and Cerveau holds him tight to prevent him from running out to the battlefield, getting shot, and finally giving me a chance to rejoice. Fortunately, Ciel rushes out instead! Perhaps some good will come of this manga after all.
DON'T GLOAT, TAKE THE SHOT, YOU MORON!
Before being engulfed by Fefnir's hot, hard destruction, Zero magically leaps in front of Ciel and takes the brunt of the attack.
What the hell is this? Did you see how frickin' big that beam was? Zero had to extend the hell out of his Shield Boomerang to block the first one, how the hell could he take that second blast and not be blown to kingdom come? I understand Zero has one bigass character shield, but come ON! In Mega Man X5, X and Zero got shot through the chest by Sigma's beam, and it was way smaller than Fefnir's beam! How the hell could Zero have taken this?
I guess Fefnir is all flashy pretty noises and no bite, then. Of course, I'm not surprised he sucks, this is the Mega Man Zero manga, for crying out loud.
Zero falls over pretty uselessly, and Fefnir notes that there's no way Zero could recover from the effects of his weak ass beam. Rather than, you know, finish the job, Fefnir decides to let his nameless grunts clean up. I don't know about you guys, but I think that if Neo Arcadia needs to do anything, they need to show their generals the Evil Overlord List.
11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.
Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Cerveau explains that he needs to get Zero back to the base to fix him, and Ciel, well, tells him to carry the guy back to the base. Passy offers a different course of action.
"Awwwwww, I don't wanna draw the body right. I'll just wing it. Hopefully nobody'll notice Passy's debilitating club foot."
Lito's like "Hell yeah, that's MORPHINOMENAL, go revive Zero, Passy!" But that power, she comes with a price! Cerveau explains that Cyber Elves die when they use their powers, and since he hasn't bothered to fix this incredibly inconvienent design flaw yet, Passy'll go up to that big forest in the sky, where she'll make cookies with all the other elves that got killed in the great Keebler-Smurf War of '87.
As Ciel cries over the possiblity of losing her friend, I notice that so far, she's been INCREDIBLY bipolar in this manga. One minute she's all like "YEAH, LET'S KILL THESE BITCHES" only to drop to her hands and knees in anime fashion and wonder how this could happen to her. I suppose it's some sort of an attempt to give Major Hardass here a soft, caring side like she had in the video games, but hey, if you wanted to see that kind of character, maybe you should just GO PLAY THE GAMES THEMSELVES AND DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS MANGA. I don't need to remind you that they're WAY BETTER than this manga, but you know, I think I'll remind you again. THE VIDEO GAMES ARE FAR SUPERIOR TO THIS MANGA. The characters are better, the plot is better, Zero doesn't SUCK and overall, they're just way more satisfying than this crap.
Anyway, Passy enters Zero in a stream of light, which is how I imagine fairies healing Link in the Legend of Zelda, except without all the fanfare. Meanwhile, the Resistance is getting pummeled by the strangely competent forces of Neo Arcadia, and Ciel, already having a bad day, pulls out her gun and gets ready to shoot some ass. Suddenly, a crimson blur streaks into the battle and pwns the mess out of a Neo Arcadian soldier-Zero is back!
Meanwhile, on a boat floating a distance from the island, Fefnir is amazed that Zero has magically returned to life. I bet you're feeling pretty stupid for not shooting his head off, aren't ya, Fefnir? Well, don't worry. We've all made stupid mistakes before reading the Overlord List. You'll get him next time.
Or maybe not, because suddenly, we see a newcomer standing behind Fefnir. Who can it be? Well, if every other Guardian's been introduced, that can only leave...
OH, NO! IT'S HARPUIA!
Well, that's it for Chapter Five. Can you believe there's a second volume of this crap? Can you believe that Manga Harpuia is nearly completely different from his video game counterpart? Can you believe that more pain awaits us in Volume 2, where we conclude -3's excellently crappy adventure and launch right into a whole new kind of disaster? Can you believe my wrists aren't cut yet after having to read this manga? You'd better get ready, true believers, because all this and more await you in Volume 2 of the Mega Man Zero manga. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll DIE INSIDE. And so much more.
Stay tuned...and keep your finger on the trigger.
Oh, and by the way. This?
This isn't a punch.
THIS is a punch.