The series takes place in the same continuity as the Ruby-Spears series, but there are enough differences to make it its own series. The series gained an anime-influenced art style similar to the game art, but still with some Ruby-Spears influence. Almost the entire cast was replaced, but a few holdovers from Ruby-Spears (IE Scott McNeil, Terry Klassen, Garry Chalk etc.) remained.
However, the most notable change was giving Mega Man (which is a codename in this series; he is almost always referred to as Rock) a "sidekick" in the form of Roll. However, both Rock and Roll deny this, and often speak of being equals. Rush was also given dialogue provided by Gilbert Gottfried and a streetsmart, snarky attitude.
Common theme of the series include the rights and ethics of robots, over-reliance on technology, whether robots should be used for war or not, and whether the Three Laws of Robotics even exist anymore. Other issues tackled include Dr. Wily's morality, whether or not Rock and Roll truly are siblings, and Dr. Light's relationship status.
The series has a diverse cast made up of characters from the classic series, with cameos from X, Zero, and Legends.
The main protagonist faction. Light Industries revolutionized robotics. Dr. Thomas Light is the CEO.
- DLN. 001/Rock (Bryce Papenbrook) - The main protagonist of the series. Rock (also known by his codename "Mega Man") was created as a lab assistant for Dr. Light, but when Dr. Wily declared war against the world's government, Rock was drafted by Dr. Light, and he was upgraded as a war machine capable of copying and using the weapons of his opponents (very much against his will, as it was later revealed; he often has fits of rage in which he screams to the heavens how he never wanted to be converted into a war machine). When Dr. Wily began rolling out his army of Sniper Joes, Rock was given several upgrades, such as the ability to take off his armor. He also repurposed the name "Mega Man" as a codename; before then, Mega Man was his actual name, but he never liked it, believing it "destroyed his original identity". His weapon is his trusty Mega Buster, which is equipped with the Variable Weapons System that grants his copying ability. He can charge his weapon to create a massive blast. The Mega Buster is a powerful weapon, but suffers from a subpar firing rate.
- DLN. 002/Roll (Tiffany Grant) - The deuteragonist and Rock's "twin sister". She was created as a housekeeping robot, but was known to fight enemy Robot Masters with a variety of housekeeping appliances. After Rock was badly beaten by an army of Sniper Joes, Roll received combat upgrades, bringing her up to spec with Rock. She went on to go on many, many missions with Rock, fighting Dr. Wily and other malcontents in the world. Roll deeply loves Rock, and has been hinted to have "incestuous" feelings for him, which she often has internal conflicts about, seeing as how they're robots and do not share the same DNA (let alone do they HAVE any DNA). However, they do share a common reactor core. Roll has similar weaponry to Rock, though her cannon (the Roll Buster) can't do as much damage as Rock's, though to compensate, it has a higher rate of fire, making Roll much more suited for providing cover fire and mowing down enemies. She also has a built-in jetpack enabling flight; she carries Rock to and from their destinations; the jetpack is spaceworthy and operates using scramjet technology within the atmosphere; in space, it uses waste power from Roll's reactor.
- DLN. 003/Cut Man (Terry Klassen) - Originally made by Dr. Light, Cut Man was one of the six Robot Masters stolen by Dr. Wily and reprogrammed to serve his nefarious purposes (a group often referred to as the "Stolen Six"). He served as one of Wily's frontline soldiers, but fortunately, did little harm and was grossly incompetent, often being the first one taken out by Rock. Cut Man was nearly destroyed by Rock when the latter infiltrated Dr. Wily's base, but was repaired and reprogrammed by Dr. Light, returning him to his old function. After reprogramming, Cut Man is a loyal friend to Rock. He is still a klutz, but his loyalty always shines through, and is a robot to be counted on. His weapon is the Rolling Cutter, which can cut through anything. When not drafted by Dr. Light to go to war, he works in logging camps in Canada.
- DLN. 004/Guts Man (Garry Chalk) - Another member of the "Stolen Six", Guts Man was another robot blasted by Rock and later repaired and re-reprogrammed. He was also rather incompetent like his partner, Cut Man, mainly due to the fact he was all brawn and no brain. He remains this way post-reprogramming, but is more of a gentle giant rather than a roid-raging robot. His weapon is the Super Arm, which grants super strength. When not in battle, Guts Man works at various construction sites worldwide.
- DLN. 005/Ice Man (Jason Alexander) - Yet another member of the "Stolen Six", Ice Man was one of the robots shot up by Rock, then repaired and re-reprogrammed by Dr. Light. He is quite the show-off and can be self-centered, but cares deeply for his friends, especially Roll, whom he has an unrequited crush on. His weapon is the Ice Slasher, which freezes enemies at a temperature of -200 degrees Farenheit. When not fighting, he works at the poles, studying the effects of global warming on the ice caps.
- DLN. 006/Bomb Man (Matt Hill) - One of the "Stolen Six", Bomb Man was later stolen back by Rock and Roll and reprogrammed. He acts very much like a teenager (hence his mohawk) who enjoys being in a scrap and is a master of demolitions, able to create bombs and then launch them with startling accuracy. He also enjoys fireworks shows, festivals, and bowling. His biggest fear are matches and lighters, since he always fears being blown up by accident. His weapon is the Hyper Bomb, which is...a bomb. When not in battle, he is used for demolition and land development worldwide.
- DLN. 007/Fire Man (Frank Welker) - One of the "Stole Six", Fire Man was later stolen back by Rock and Roll in a daring raid and reprogrammed. He sees himself as a hero, is a pyromaniac, and refers to himself as the "Flame of Justice". Fire Man was responsible for burning the entire city of Seattle and its populace while under Dr. Wily's control, an act that still traumatizes him to his day. His weapon is the Fire Storm, which shoots fireballs and puts up a shield, both of which caused damage. Outside of battle, he is used as an incinerator at landfills, and is also used to clear vegetation, start controlled burns, and create fire lines.
- DLN. 008/Elec Man (Tom Kenny) - One of the "Stolen Six", he was returned to Light Industries by Rock and Roll following a daring raid. Elec Man has extremely quick reflexes and physical agility unmatched until Dr. Wily built Quick Man. Elec Man is very conceited and egotistical, with something of a sadistic streak in him, but is otherwise very responsible and competent. His weapon is the Thunder Beam, which shoots high-powered electric bolts in three directions in front of him. His day jobs include working at power companies (mainly PG&E), monitoring the voltage of nuclear power plants (a job he is quickly losing thanks to nuclear plants being decommissioned), and, rather embarrasingly, a mobile phone charger.
- Rush (Gilber Gottfried) - A robot dog created by Dr. Light to assist Rock and Roll in their travels. He was initally much more dog-like, with a Scooby-Doo-esque speech pattern. He was later reprogrammed as a more human-like robot with a snarky, streetsmart attitude and, for some indescribable reason, the ability to transform into a Fourth Generation Chevrolet Camaro. He can also fly in his normal dog form.
- Eddie (Tom Kenny) - A small robot created by Dr. Light for use as a supply courier for Rock and Roll. He is equipped with a material transfer unit that is the size of a Rubik's Cube on the outside, yet contains an entire self-contained universe; these units are marketed commercially as the "Wonder Cube".
- Auto (Tone Loc) - A smooth-talking cat-bot used as what equates to an attack animal.
- Dr. Thomas Light (Paul Eiding) - The creator of Rock, Roll, the Stolen Six, Rush, Eddie, and Auto, as well as the "Father of Modern Robotics". He is an expert in all topics related to robotics, and serves as an advisor to Rock and Roll.
The main antagonist faction. Though on the outside, it seems to be a company not too different from Light Industries, Wily Robotics is actually a front for an international terrorist organization bent on conquering the nations of the world and motivated by robot supremacy. Dr. Albert W. Wily is the leader. Since the end of the Ruby-Spears cartoon, Wily has mostly given up on using Robot Masters, either junking them or leaving them to rust on the streets, which has made them bitter and driven them to help Rock and Roll. He does keep several around, though, as high-ranking officers.
- Dr. Albert W. Wily (Scott McNeil) - The main antagonist of the series. Dr. Wily creates all of the Robot Masters not created by Dr. Light. Since the end of the Ruby-Spears cartoon, Wily has become an extremely amoral man and, among other things, a terrorist mastermind. He is even rumored to be omnicidal. He seeks to rid the world of humans, then implant his mind into a robot and rule a world where everyone is a robot programmed to obey him. To make ends meet, he uses an army of war machines that conventional military forces are powerless to stop. As a result of the atrocities he commits, not to mention his German upbringing and accent, many question whether or not he is a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, seeing as how he and Hitler have the same goals in mind, not to mention Wily's blatant disregard for the Three Laws of Robotics, demonstrated when he ordered Fire Man to burn Seattle to the ground and leave no one alive. Even though the Western nations have frozen his assets and the FBI has placed him at #1 on the Most Wanted List, Wily still gets funding and resources from various jihadist organizations, terrorist groups, Somali Pirates, even North Korea.
- DWN. 039/Napalm Man (Todd Haberkorn) - Created by Dr. Wily after Fire Man was reprogrammed, Napalm Man is a cold-hearted killer by trade, and a pyromaniac by programming. Despite his appearance and the fact he tends to scare off his comrades, he's actually very loyal, as well as more intelligent and diplomatic than he appears. His weapon is the Napalm Bomb, a weapon of mass destruction best used against crowds.
- DWN. 040/Crystal Man (Jim Byrnes) - Dr. Wily's new second-in-command after Proto Man betrayed him. Crystal Man is a sadist who hates all organic beings equally, but is loyal to Dr. Wily due to his programming. His weapon is the Crystal Eye, which creates a storm of crystal shards. Dr. Wily kept him around mainly because of his sadism and ability to produce artificial crystals, which he then sells commercially under the pseudonym "Willy Albertson". This is one of his main sources of income besides selling laser-based weapons to his connections in the Middle East and Asia.
- Sniper Joes (Frank Welker) - The grunts of Wily's army, Sniper Joes represent the common frontline infantrymen. Their standard equipment consists of an assault rifle, a pistol, and a laser machete, but also use various other weapons, such as rocket launchers, shotguns, flamethrowers, miniguns, and mortar launchers. They have no emotions other than "crush, kill, and destroy". They are deployed en masse, using superior numbers as their modus operandi.
- Super Joes (Frank Welker) - Beefed-up versions of the standard Sniper Joe, equipped with wrist-mounted repeating blasters and with much stronger armor. Unlike the Sniper Joes, which rely on vast numbers, Super Joes rely on brute strength and frontal assaults to achieve victory. They are repurposed Hammer Joes.
- Pilot Joes (John Stephenson) - Repurposed Apache and Rider Joes that operate all of Dr. Wily's vehicles. They are armed with pistols and fusion cutters, which can repair anything.
- Gunner Joe (Bud Davis) - Sniper Joes that operate stationary turrets at Wily's bases and on his space cruisers. They are unarmed.
- Cannon Joe (Frank Welker) - Sniper Joes that can transform the lower half of their bodies to form stationary cannon emplacements. They are unarmed, relying on their cannons.
- Scuba Joe (Alan Oppenheimer) - Sniper Joes equipped for underwater operations. They are armed with miniature torpedoes.
A Russian robotics firm that are close allies to Light Industries. It's CEO, Dr. Cossak, was once blackmailed into doing Dr. Wily's bidding after the latter kidnapped his daughter, Kalinka. Cossack is now a friend of Dr. Light, and Kalinka gets on well with Rock and Roll.
- Dr. Mikhail Sergeyevich Cossack (Tim Curry) - CEO of Cossack Labs. He has a close working relationship with Dr. Light, and created Beat to assist Rock and Roll in battle.
- Kalinka Cossack (Kath Soucie) - Dr. Cossack's daughter and a friend of Rock and Roll. She is rumored to have a crush on Rock.
- Beat (Scott McNeil) - A robot bird who is a attack bird who fights alongside Rock and Roll occassionally. He fires a small yet powerful laser from his beak.
Another robotics firm that are, like Cossack Labs, close allies to Light Industries. Dr. Noele Lalinde is the CEO.
- Dr. Noele Lalinde (Caitlin Glass) - CEO of Lalinde Inc. She is rumored to have a relationship with Dr. Light.
- LMN. 001/Tempo (Cherami Leigh) - A Robot Master created by Dr. Lalinde for geological surveyance. She was created around the same time as Rock and Roll. Known by her codename "Quake Woman", Tempo often fights in battles against Dr. Wily alongside Rock and Roll. She and Rock crush on each other big-time. Her weapon is the Quake Drill, which has a variety of uses, such as counteracting minor earthquakes, disarming bombs, and just simply goring her enemies.
- DLN. 000/Blues (Scott McNeil) - The first Robot Master created by Dr. Light, a malfunctioning reactor core caused him to go on a rampage through the lab and force Dr. Light to shut him down and return to the drawing board. Dr. Wily, however, stole Blues and reprogrammed him as Proto Man, his second-in-command, becoming bitter rivals with Rock. Proto Man, though, was able to counteract his programming after he witnessed Dr. Wily's deteriorating mental state and his increasingly rancid acts of genocide, and betrayed Dr. Wily, destroying many of his Robot Masters in the process (in a nutshell, all of the Robot Masters from Mega Man 6). He was also disgusted that he was the template for the very death machines being used for genocide, the Sniper Joes. He struck out on his own, appearing to assist Rock and Roll, but he has yet to return home, since he fears Dr. Light will scrap him for his actions (despite the fact Blues never committed any acts of genocide).
Differences from other Mega Man media
- Mega Man is just a codename; he almost always referred to as "Rock"
- Roll has an expanded role, now fully equipped for combat
- Rush now speaks, acts more human-like, and has a snarky, streetsmart attitude
- Dr. Wily relies on a massive army of Sniper Joes rather than various Robot Masters
- Most of the Robot Masters have either been reprogrammed back to Dr. Light's side, scrapped or abandoned by Dr. Wily, or outright destroyed by Mega Man, whether onscreen or offscreen
- In the Ruby-Spears cartoon, Rock's upgrades seemed permanent; he could not take off his armor at all; in the anime, he can quickly switch between his armor and civilian clothing; the same goes for Roll and Tempo
- Dr. Cossack, Kalinka, Auto, Beat, and the Sniper Joes never appeared in the Ruby-Spears cartoon
- Dr. Wily's motives are more clearly defined
- The Ruby-Spears cartoon features Dr. Wily pulling off a variety of evil schemes of various natures; the Johnson cartoon depicts him simply waging an all-out war against the world
- Roll never had incestuous feelings towards Rock in the Ruby-Spears cartoon
- The art style of the Ruby-Spears cartoon, while slightly Japanese-influenced, was rather Western-looking, and Mega Man, Roll, among others were taller and looked more like teens; in the anime, the art style of the Classic Series is used, with the change never being explained in-universe
- In the comics, Tempo had no personality in her first appearance, is slightly taller than Rock, and never quite had a romance with him; in the anime, she has a personality right off the bat, is relatively the same height as Rock and Roll, and there is an overt amount of ship teasing between her and Rock
- Dr. Lalinde's relationship with Dr. Light is merely stated in rumors in the anime; the comics feature several visual implications
- Kalinka has her Megamix design
As with other Johnson productions, much of the score is comprised of recycled music from other productions. The main theme is John Williams' Superman theme, and music from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Transformers G1, Empire: Total War, Command & Conquer, Godzilla, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and its sequel series Monster World. Orchestral renditions of music from the Mega Man games, as well as various military marches and original music, is also used.