Can't Beat Air Man! / Air Man ga Taosenai

Can't Beat Air Man! / Air Man ga Taosenai

Part of a series on Mega Man / Rockman. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 26, 2024 at 01:23PM EDT by Mateus.

Added Aug 11, 2010 at 11:21AM EDT by Kalmo.

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About

"Air Man ga Taosenai" (Japanese: エアーマンが倒せない; lit. "Can't Beat Air Man") is a Japanese doujin rock song that is based around the frustration the player feels during boss battle between Air Man on the Mega Man game, Mega Man 2. The song reached massive popularity on the Japanese net after its release during the summer of 2007, inspiring a series of remixes and musical tributes on Nico Nico Douga.

Origin

The first version of the song was created by Niconico user Seramikarutitan[1], or Sera for short, and was uploaded to the video sharing site on May 26th, 2007. Originally a guitar composition, the MIDI karaoke-style video featured lyrics describing the player's inability to defeat Air Man, so he can make it through the Heat Man stage on Mega Man 2, while featuring Mega Man dancing and mouthing the lyrics. The video (shown below) was well-received with users on the site, helping the song to gain over 395,000 views as of March 2014.



Precursor

Mega Man 2

Originally released in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) on December 1988, Mega Man 2,[2] also known as Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily was the second installment in the Mega Man series, developed by Capcom. Universally considered to be superior to the first game, the game was both a critical and financial success. The gameplay of the series is based around making your way through a number of Robot Master’s lairs, before taking down Dr. Wily himself at the end in a boss fight.

Spread

Almost a week later, the first full vocal-mix of the song was performed by Nyanyannya, vocalist for the doujin group Team Nekokan (Team.ねこかん[猫]), and uploaded it, without permission, to Niconico[3] on June 7th, 2007. While that version would gain over a million views, the song would later be uploaded officially by the group to Niconico[4], and later reprinted to YouTube, on July 1st, 2007 (shown below, left). In a collaboration with the groups SoundCYCLONE and Scinicade, the song featured improved musical arrangements and a flash-animated video created by Sera, involving Mega Man finding a way to defeat Air Man, but ends up finding difficulty when battling Wood Man, before giving up and goes back to battle Air Man again.

Team Nekokan's musical re-arrangement would help the song to immediately captivate the attention of Japanese users with its higher quality, extended lyrics and vocals, and it's animated video. In just six years, Team Nekokan's video would generate over 4.6 million views on Niconico and over 11 million views on YouTube. Soon after, users on Niconico began trying their hand in creating their own musical rendition and visual tributes to the song. Additionally, users also began creating parodies of the song known as the "'Can't Beat X' series" (倒せないシリーズ)[5], which was initially kick-started by a parody based on Japanese weather reporter Yoshizumi Ishihara, performed by Niconico singer known as J and uploaded it (shown below, right) to the site on June 19th, 2007[6], where it would gain over 1.6 million views as of March 2014.




The well-known status of the song has since been cemented in the history of Niconico, with its multiple inclusions in Nico Nico Douga medleys[7], alongside another Mega Man-inspired song, "Okkusenman", when the medleys were first being created during 2007. The song has also been included in a compilation album titled "Nico Nico Douga Selection: CD de Kiite Mite."[8] ("Try to Listen to the CD."), which featured songs that also became popular on the site.



Commercial Success

Led by the huge online popularity of the song, Sera and Team Nekokan went on to form a unit called Tetsu x Neko (てつ×ねこ) and distributed the song, along with an acoustic remix, in a CD (shown below, left) at the 72nd Comiket convention during the August that same year. Ringtones of this song were released in October, where it would later rank 15th place in the Japanese ringtones charts in the first half of 2008. An official English version (shown below, right) would also be created by the group and released on December 23rd, 2007.


エアーマンが project-Delta #02 AIR MAN GA TAOSENAI Projet SERAMIKARUTITANK TEAMねこかん[猫] SoundCYCLONE Scinicade

The song has been distributed by major Japanese karaoke services since late 2007, and has been included in compilation music albums of popular songs in NND several times. Moreover, the song was featured as bonus tracks, along with "No Sleep Until Clear" and "Is He Really In The Mood To Cooperate?", in Capcom's official compilation album for Mega Man titled "Rockman Kai: Arrange Shitemita!!" and was released on October 20th, 2010.[9] The release was a rare case for an official video game franchise to approve doujin fan works in those days. Meanwhile, thanks to the popularity of their doujin works, Team Nekokan succeeded in landing a contract with an indie label under the umbrella of the major record company King Records in 2009, before moving up to a major label the following year, where they have since been building their careers as professional musicians and producers.

Mega Man's Tweet

On June 19th, 2018, the official Street Fighter Twitter [11] account announced that the Air Man costume would be available for the character Rashid.

The following day, for seemingly the first time since the meme, Capcom acknowledged "Can you defeat the Air Man?" when the official Mega Man Twitter account tweeted,[12] "Can YOU defeat Air Man?" The post (shown below) received more than 630 retweets and 3,500 likes in 48 hours.


Mega Man @MegaMan Can YOU defeat Air Man? Street Fighter @streetFighter The Air Man costume for Rashid blows in soon! Show this thread

Following the tweet, fans of the meme and the video games responded to the Mega Man tweet. Twitter[13] user @fuyafuyu tweeted, "Dang. It's been 11 years until Capcom catches up to the Airman meme, but I'll take it. This could get me to buy SFV and main Rashid." Twitter user @SuperUnhappyman tweeted,[14] "Great now the songs stuck in my head."

That day, Twitter[15] published a Moments page about the tweet.


Dang. It's been 11 years until Capcom catches up to the Airman meme, but l'll take it. This could get me to buy SFV and main Rashid Street Fighter @StreetFighter The Air Man costume for Rashid blows in soon! Show this thread Mega Man@MegaMan Jun 20 Can YOU defeat Air Man? Street Fighter @StreetFighter The Air Man costume for Rashid blows in soon! Show this thread 130 t 638 3.6K Gappy @SuperUnhappyman Replying to @MegaMan Great now the songs stuck in my head

Various Examples

Many instrumental covers, parodies, and remixes have since been created after its release, with more than 3,000 videos relating to the song can be found on the Nico Nico Douga.[10]



Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments

Mario94
Mario94

11 years later, Rashid in Street Fighter V gets the Air Man alternate costume.

To be fair, I can't remember if they had someone with his abilities before in the SF series.

+10

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