|Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (series)|
|Genre:||Action, Parody, Surreal Comedy|
|English Publisher:||Viz Media|
|Magazine:||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|English magazine:||SHONEN JUMP|
|Original run:||February 2001 – November 14, 2005|
|Volumes:||21 (List of volumes)|
|English network:||Cartoon Network|
|Original run:||November 8, 2003 – October 29, 2005|
|Episodes:||76 (List of episodes)|
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (ボボボーボ・ボーボボ|Bobobōbo Bōbobo) (sometimes known as Bo x 7 or Bo-bobo) is a manga by Yoshio Sawai, published by Shueisha in Japan and serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is a comedy influenced by Japanese manzai humor that uses puns, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, non-sexualized cross-dressing, visual gags, and satirical and pop-culture references, which makes its non sequitur humor very specific to Japanese audiences. The manga series lasted from 2001 through 2007, divided into two separate sections with a distinct difference in humor and plotting. It was voted the best anime of 2002.
In the year 300X, the entire world is under the tyrannical rule of the Maruhage Empire, and their ruler, Tsuru Tsurulina IV. His malicious Hair Hunt troop, which ranges from basic soldiers, to block Commanders, and the insidious Big Four, ruthlessly hair hunts innocent bystanders, leaving the people bald and their villages in ruins. Standing against this evil regime is the heroic, but bizarre, rebel, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, who fights the Hair Hunt Troop with his powerful Fist of the Nose Hair. Joined by his friends Beauty, Don Patch, and Heppokomaru, Bo-Bobo is on a quest to deliver his own hairy brand of justice to evildoers everywhere.
The show's comedy is driven by its insanity and bizarre nature. Although fighting a rebellion against evil forces, none of the heroic characters take their job too seriously (nor do they seem to care for each other), drawing their power from their spontaneity with a special "Hajike" style to create attacks that either parody what they are up against or have nothing to do with anything going on. The more serious characters break the fourth wall to comment on this to the readers.
List of main characters
Although many wild and wacky characters exist within the world of Bo-bobo, the story focuses primarily on the nine main heroes who gather together under the most unlikely circumstances to fight against Tsuru Tsurulina IV and the evil forces of the Maruhage Empire. At the center of this team is Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo himself, master of "Hanage Shinken" (Fist of the Nosehair) and the completely wacky Hajikelist who will do anything and everything for victory. Through his journey to defeat the forces of baldness, he slowly gathers a team of allies and former enemies who become attached to his cause in one way or another:
- Beauty: The teen female who usually has little idea regarding why all the strange stuff is happening.
- Don Patch: The egotistical former leader of a group of Hajikelists whose ultimate power comes from his own insanity. In the manga, he is referred to as Poppa Rocks.
- Softon: A warrior with the power of the mysterious goddess Blabsalot, and a head that is made out of ice cream. (In the manga, it is stated that his head is fecal matter or ice cream who knows?)
- Heppokomaru: A teen boy with the stinky abilities of "Onara Shinken" (Fist of the Backwind), and with as little knowledge of what is going on as Beauty knows.
- Tokoro Tennosuke: A gelatinous being who is as powerful as he is the consistent target of his allies' attacks.
- Hatenko: A warrior from Bo-bobo's Hair Kingdom with the power of keys, and an obsession with Don Patch.
- Dengakuman: A cute little chibi-dog thing who is frequently ignored or left behind.
- Torpedo Girl: The transformed state of a former enemy (OVER), with a short temper and an obsession for teaching her "students" who's boss.
While these eight are the main warriors of the series, others occasionally assist in fighting against the evil in this world, including:
- King Nosehair: A nosehair that used to live in Bo-bobo and takes part in the nonsense of "Bo-bobo World".
- Serviceman: A covered being that makes everyone see things that shouldn't be seen (he is eventually discovered to be wearing boxers). His name could be a play on the term "Fan Service."
- Suzu: A nice girl with psychokinetic powers.
- Rice: Master of "Kome Shinken" (Fist of Rice) and powerful Hajikelist.
- Hanpen: A walking fishcake who fights with various martial arts.
- Despair-Kun: A guy with a bag over his head and serious emotional issues, though he can go from depressed to enraged within an instant.
- Kancho-kun: A tiny being with fingers of fury.
- Halekulani: One of Bo-bobo's greatest enemies with a power and obsession tied to his greed.
- Bebebe-be Be-bebe: One of Bo-bobo's older brothers and the master of "Sunege Shinken" (Fist of Leghair).
- Bububu-bu Bu-bubu: Bo-bobo's sister, master of "Wakige Shinken" (Fist of Armpit Hair) and bearer of a strong resemblance to one of Bo-bobo's fused forms. She also has a crush on Don Patch.
- Landmine Dandy: A skillful Hajikelist and teacher, he is the master of "Enban Shinken" (Fist of the Disc), and is Torpedo Girl's father.
- Gunkan: User of "self-taught fist of the nose hair" and Bo-bobo's childhood friend.
The series mocks existing manga and anime conventions, making fun of more than a few fairly specifically. While the series' main concept is a warped version of Weekly Shonen Jump series Fist of the North Star, series as varied as Doraemon, Sailor Moon (and the whole magical girl genre in general), Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Gundam, Dragon Ball, Serial Experiments Lain, Inuyasha, Wolf's Rain and many others are used as humor. The result is usually nothing short of sheer nonsense. The series also operates as a mockery of stereotypes in Japanese literature (for instance, the ideal of noble self-sacrifice) and Western popular culture (such as action films). While Bo-bobo is ostensibly the hero, his behavior is frequently self-important, childish, arbitrary, and incomprehensible. However, this is also often how he deals with his enemies — by confusing them into submission. At various points the top of Bo-bobo's head pops open, revealing a scene that is either an allegory for the state of Bo-bobo's own mind (e.g., when his powers fail him, the viewer sees a pair of boy-and-girl cartoon squirrels going through a painful separation), or to unleash weapons. Bo-bobo even turns into a giant robot (or at least emulates its functions) a number of times. Bo-bobo's afro also opens up to reveal something meant to drive the opponent mad, such as Game Boy Pig.
The manga version of Bo-bobo has an easier time getting away with parodying and paying homage to various other manga, past and present, from Weekly Shonen Jump, the manga anthology book it is published in. Other manga authors have assisted in the parodies and paying homage as well. The most famous being a cameo by Yugi Mutou from Kazuki Takahashi's Yu-Gi-Oh!, where Bo-bobo summons him from his afro and he summons the Egyptian God Saint Dragon - God of Osiris (Slifer the Sky Dragon in the English version) to take out an enemy (a scene that is re-enacted in the video game Jump Superstars). About the same time as this, Takahashi returned the favor by sneaking in Tokoro Tennosuke's "Nu handkerchief" in a panel of his manga. The anime could not get away with many of these homages and tributes.
There were also two special chapters of Bo-bobo that parodied chapter 18 of Death Note (Takeshi Obata, the artist for Death Note, drew Bo-bobo (Chapter 153) in the style of that current series) and recently a chapter based on the fight between Son Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball. They basically had Don Patch and Tokoro Tennosuke imitating the characters in those series (with a special cover with even more DBZ/Bo-Bo-Bo fusions).
Throughout the Bo-bobo series, there are several running gags that continue to pop up every now and then. Each character has certain traits that end up with the gag being used, with some of the gags showing up like clockwork (such as Beauty freaking out over many of Bo-bobo's actions or various "toilet jokes" connected with Softon). while others appear at the most random or unexpected times (such as Bo-bobo or Don Patch appearing in drag or Tokoro Tennosuke using a "Nu"-based artifact connected to his obsession Generally each of the main characters, as well as several of the more minor characters, has one of these weird unique traits that is shown occasionally, adding to the humor and unexpected nature of this show. One of the strange gags is that Bo-bobo is always using Tokoro Tennosuke as a shield when he is attacked.
Main Article: List of common terms in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
Release and Distribution
Shueisha published the manga of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and serialized it in Weekly Shonen Jump. The original manga story ended in 2005, and in January, 2006 a sequel manga replaced it in Weekly Shonen Jump, now entitled Shinsetsu Bobobō-bo Bō-bobo (True Theory : Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo) which has ended in July, 2007. The anime was directed by Hiroki Shibata, produced by Toei Animation and ran for 76 episodes from November 8, 2003 to October 29, 2005 on TV Asahi.
In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media and was published in a one shot graphic novel form in October 2005 and is now published monthly in Shonen Jump. The anime, licensed by Toei Animation, first aired as a sneak peek on Cartoon Network's Fridays block on September 30, 2005 and then aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block Saturdays at 10:00PM (EST). The show returned to the United States on February 17, 2007 at 8:30 PM. It has been shown on Jetix UK since April 14, 2007 at 7:00PM. The anime is dubbed by Phuuz Entertainment Inc., the studio that dubbed the second Lupin the 3rd]] series, the original 1994 Shin Chan dub, and the Viewtiful Joe anime. The dub was heavily edited for TV to remove the large amounts of on-screen inappropriate scenes.
Despite its limitations, the American dubs of the anime and manga manage to preserve the spirit of the show; the translators and adaptation writers were forced to rewrite several of the jokes due to the differences between the Japanese and English languages. At several points in the dub, the American version makes fun of the fact that it is a translation of a Japanese product (for example, when Bo-bobo is filling out an application card in one episode, he botches it because the application is in Japanese and he cannot read it, instead drawing "little doodles" for answers; in the original Japanese version he messes up the application for a completely different reason, and the "little doodles" are his honest answers written in hiragana). This style of self-referential humor can also be seen in the American version of Kyatto Ninden Teyande (Samurai Pizza Cats). Additionally, with the exception of the opening credits, all other on-screen Japanese text is intentionally kept in the English dub (most likely as a part of the retaining the show's surreal humor).
Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
Main Article: Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo
- Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo's Toonami indent theme is Chase Me by Hexstatic.
- Japanese Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo website
- Shueisha Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo website
- Toei Animation Bo-bobo website
- TV Asahi Bobobo-bo website
- TV.com Summary
- Anime News Network Summary