Ever since the good old days of his second adventure, Capcom's Mega Man has been able to recharge his energy with the aid of special blue E-tanks, and now you too can power yourself up just like the blue bomber. Available in Japan for a while now, North America will soon get a taste of the E-tank sports energy drink, but the can has lost a little something in translation. The Japanese can looks like a iconic Mega Man E-tank, big black "E" and all. The North American version misses the point of the whole exercise and puts Mega Man himself on the can. Why'd that happen? Marketing, of course. Protodude's Rockman Corner has a statement from North American E-tank distributor Boston America:
"I understand why that Japanese version had such a tremendous appeal to the hard core Mega Man fan but when we showed this to the buyers here in the US they didn’t know if the majority of their customers would understand the product. They felt that if we created a branded drink that this would have a broader appeal. That being said, our strategy with this drink is to create a demand for the brand with the attached design and then follow this up in 2010 with a design similar to the one you suggested below."
Japan seems to love their gaming characters in greater numbers than we do here in the America. Video gaming is such a part of the culture overseas that companies can put a big blue E-tank on a store shelf and the majority of the customer base will get the reference right away. Here in America where gaming is still looked down upon by far too many people, the E-tank imagery is meaningless to most people, so we end up with Mega Man on the can, and frankly even that seems like a risk to take when marketing to the unwashed domestic masses.