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"A Bright Idea" by Fireman

In 1991 roughly 70,000 entries were received for Capcom's "Rockman 4 Boss Character Contest" in Japan. Among them Yoshitaka Enomoto's Pearlman was chosen to be among the eight which would be implimented into the game, and changed to Brightman. Now 28 years old, Enomoto is a professional illutrator and painter. In this interview Enomoto looks back to his victory 14 years ago and reflects on his thoughts and feelings about being a winner.

Where did you find your inspiration when you created Brightman?

"I'd thought of making a character from an item close to me. I had five characters of various types lined up using themes like a pen, eraser, mirror, etc. One among them was a lightbulb."

Capcom changes everyone’s final design just a bit. What did you think of Capcom’s final design for Brightman from your entry Pearlman? (image)

"Oooh-! This takes me back! This is my original drawing, isn't it. It's nostalgic. In those days there was a lightbulb brand called Pearl sold in Japan. But I named him Pearlman not knowing that was a trademark... so Brightman is better, you know? I think the character was improved in making him more round."

How did you feel the first time you fought Brightman in Rockman 4?

"I was happy. 'My character is moving!' I thought with deep emotion. If I'm not mistaken, I think I won the first time I fought him. 'He's weak!?' I thought. (laughs)"

If you’ve seen Rockman EXE Transmission’s Brightman EXE, what do you think of him?

"I haven't seen him. He’s probably cool though, right? Since becoming an adult I don't really play games, so I don’t know much about the recent things."

Here's the EXE series Brightman. (image)

"Oh! My he changed a great deal... Yeah, he has a near-futuristic look. But, I prefer the original character. This one has lost a touch of the adorableness the original character has."

Aside from Brightman, did you ever enter any other designs into the Rockman Boss Character Contest?

"No. Though I applied to Rockman 5 and 6 it was no good. I thought of one called Cookman who had a rooster's crest, but I rejected it in the end. (laughs)" (image)

So, did designing Brightman and winning the contest have an impact on your life and career?

"Yes, it did have an impact you see. At the time, I received a copy of Rockman 4 with a gold colored cartridge, and even now it's a treasured item. Are you familiar with Akihabara, Tokyo’s electronics shopping district? Many high profile collectables are also sold there. One of those Rockman 4 golden cartridges was being sold there too. (image) I recently learned this from the news. Since there are only eight in the world they have incredible value, and the price it was given was incredibly high I'd heard. About how much do you think it was?"

I'm not too sure.

"It was given a price of ¥590,000 (about ,250 US). I was shocked to know that. Some Japanese enthusiasts will pay a lot of money for very few things. But since I consider mine a treasure I won't sell it."

Though you're an adult, even now do you still have interest in the original Rockman series aside from Rockman 4?

"Not a lot, unfortunately. I saw a reprinted edition of Rockman for the PS2 in a store and I bought it feeling nostalgic, but I'm not playing it."

Alright, thank you for the interview!

"Yes, thanks!"

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