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Yoshio Sawai (澤井啓夫, Sawai Yoshio, born on March 14, 1977 in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture) is a gag mangaka most well known for his series Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.


Yoshio Sawai

Yoshio Sawai

Sawai made his debut in Weekly Shonen Jump drawing one shot manga such as "Mutekiman" and "Fierce!! Rock Paper Scissors Island!!", all of which have a gag aspect of manga and usually use satire and visual gags. Not too long after beginning to work for Shonen Jump, Sawai began experimenting with various concepts regarding characters who fought with bizarre bodily functions, including a hero who fought with farts and a poop-headed hero. His most successful experiment was a Fist of the North Star parody that involved a strange afro-haired man who fought against "Hair Hunters" using his nosehairs in a post-apocalyptic society. The character, as well as the story itself, was Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Over several one-shots, Sawai further defined Bo-bobo as well as introducing other characters, including damsel-in-distress Beauty, fellow nosehair fighter Gunkan (Captain Battleship), rival fart-fighter Heppokomaru (Gasser), and a strange star-shaped creature and fellow "Hajikelist" known as Don Patch. After the success of these one-shots, Bo-bobo became a weekly series in 2001, where it had a long and successful run until its conclusion in 2007.

Sawai's art style is a mix of very blocky-looking characters and, sometimes, very detailed art. He tends to focus on the realistic appearance of his characters' facial expressions when they freak out. Because of the nature of his series, he has often written Bo-bobo version parodies of other authors' manga, including Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball, Yudetamago's Kinnikuman, Kazuki Takahashi's Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Tsugumi Ohba's and Takeshi Obata's Death Note. He was also the leader of a team of gag-based mangaka (alongside Kyosuke Usuta, Amon Dai and Kouji Ooishi) who wrote a special 30th anniversary chapter of Osamu Akimoto's Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (Kochi Kame).

Similar to Toriyama before him, Sawai created an avatar character that represented himself. The character was a small yellow bird wearing Sunglasses. Interestingly, it made 10th place in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo's last popularity contest.

Sawai returned to the magazine in September, 2008 with new series Chagecha, which, unfortunately, lasted only two months before it's abrupt cancellation.

List of Yoshi Sawai's works

Sawai's Comments

A list of entries Sawai made in the manga.

It's Here! The Bo-bobo Gameboy Advance (GBA) Game

"Thanks to you guys (my fans), the third Bo-bobo game will be released. (By the time this tankobon is released the game would already have been out). This third game is for the GBA and it's a sequel to the last GBA Bo-bobo game. The story covers the appearance of Hatenko through the Halekulani series. There will also be an original story written just for the game based on a new character. I'm looking forward to it because the game includes my favorite story arcs with OVER and Halekulani. Overall features of the game have been improved and there will be team battles and new secret techniques and gimmicks. Also, you'll be able to team up with most of the characters. I'm very excited about it. I'm also excited about the mini game feature that is a parody version of the Hudson game (Challenger, etc). This game has more wigging elements than the last one so please check out the wigging experience of Bo-bobo and the gang that you can only experience in the game."

My Dream Collaboration With Yugi

"In chapter 12: Scary Board Game Battle, thanks to the generosity of Takahashi Sensei, I was able to include Yugi in my book. Yugi was drawn by Takahashi Sensei specifically for this appearance in Bo-bobo. My dream of a Yu-Gi-Oh! and Bo-bobo team up was able to come true. This was very exciting for me because I love Yu-Gi-Oh! This is how it happened. I had a chance to speak with Takahashi Sensei at a Shonen Jump New Year's party and I mentioned to him, "Wouldn't everyone be surprised if Yugi popped out of Bo-bobo's afro?" Surprisingly enough, he responded, "Sure, 'll draw it for you." And I said, "Are you serious!!!?" And my dream came true. Later, I received the Yu-Gi-Oh! art from Takahashi Sensei and it was complete with screen tones and everything. I was very moved by that. Takahashi Sensei, thank you very much for finding the time to provide such beautiful art and for having a "Nu" handkerchief appear in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. I was very happy about this. By the way, I drew the Slifer the Sky Dragon on Yugi's card (in this book)"

Bo-bobo Animated 1

"Hello, this is Sawai, creator of Bo-bobo. I'd like to express my gratitude to everybody who made it possible to make this series animated. It makes me so happy! I hope that even more people will be interested in Bo-bobo from watching it, and that more people will have smiles upon their faces because of it.

I watch the animated series every week, and it is really fun.

There are gags in the animation that are twice, or even three times as funny as it was in the manga because of the way it is presented! I get a good laugh thinking "They got me" or "I never thought of that one." The original gags in the animation are funny too. It was only after seeing the animation that I realized, "Bo-bobo and the others are so full of spirit," and that's thanks to all the voice actors' hard work. I also re-realized that Bo-bobo and the other are unbelievably hyper. In fact, maybe they're too hyper.

I'd like to work even harder to make this series more exciting so I won't give in to the animated series.

I hope you will all continue to enjoy Bo-bobo the animation, and Bo-bobo the manga from now on.

Thank you so much!"

Bo-bobo Animated 2

"I was really excited to hear that Bo-bobo was going to be animated, but the greatest excitement for me was the fact that Toei Animation was going to be producing it. Toei Animation has produced many of the animated series of my favorite Jump manga, such as, Kinkkiku-man (Ultimate Muscle), Dragonball Z, One Piece, Slam Dunk, etc. I had been watching their anime since childhood. I was greatly moved to find out that they were going to be producing Bo-bobo.

From 1st-2nd grade in elementary school, I watched the animated series of Kinkkiku-man every week. Every week was another exciting episode. I was especially surprised at the end of the deadly battle between Robin Mask and Atlantis. It was presented in a "Hisss... grrr.." way, making it the most memorable scene in any animation I had watched. In around 3rd grade, I started watching Dragonball Z and Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac), saying "Whoa, what cool battle scenes..." to myself, and would often play with my friends, pretending to be characters from those series.

So now that I look back at it, Toei Animation was a big part of my childhood. And, currently, I watch One Piece so it's a great honor for me to have them produce Bo-bobo."

Bo-bobo Q & A?!!

"Hey, everybody! Long time no see!! And nice to meet you!! The Q & A corner is finally back. Anything ranging from the characters in Bo-bobo down to personal questions for Sawai-san himself! He's going to answer your questions."

Q. Mr. Sawai, I really like the cover illustration for volume 6, but which is your favorite cover so far? Please tell me. (Tokyo, Dengaku Sukiyaki)

A. I like all of the Bo-bobo cover illustrations. I've got a special attachment to each of them. So, I'd like to tell you my feelings for each of those illustrations whether you like it or not.

Volume 1

This illustration is from the front cover of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine when Bo-bobo started. Bo-bobo's pose is meant to be a show of my determination to "Do my best!" and "Get cracking!"

Volume 2

It's Beauty and Poppa Rocks doing the same pose as Bo-bobo in volume 1. The meaning in exactly the same as volume 1, and I've added a very small Bo-bobo in the background, thinking it would be strange if he weren't there.

Volume 3

Like the first two volumes, this is Gasser in the center doing the same pose as before, but he's embarrassed to have Beauty nearby, and Poppa Rocks and Bo-bobo are distracting him with their little romantic play. Very Gasser-like, don't you think?

Volume 4

I tried to give it a very festive image, thinking it would be cheerful to have lots of images of Bo-bobo and his friends. I think I should have added more.

Volume 5

The concept of this image is "Robo Bo-bobo, go!!" This was also an illustration I drew for the cover of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, but I decided to use it on the cover of volume 5 since I liked it so much. It was a pain to draw it.

Volume 6

The concept of this illustration is "The arrival of a beautiful transfer student!" That's why Beauty is wearing a boy's school uniform. This is also the only volume with Hatenko in the illustration. I like Poppa Rocks's pose and everybody's reaction.

Volume 7

This is the volume where Bo-bobo, Poppa Rocks, and Jelly Jiggler finally get together, so I drew the three of them as the center of the illustration to show that "Now the three of them are going to get cracking together." Also, this was the volume with the fearful battle against Rice, so I tried to give it a battle manga-like atmosphere. I'm glad I succeeded in giving Rice a really menacing look.

Volume 8

In this volume, I drew Beauty and Gasser as the main characters in the cover illustration and had them walk around some kind of ruin. It's supposed to give you the fun atmosphere of Bo-bobo's journey.

Volume 9

I tried to make everybody look cool in this one. This is Softon's first appearance in a cover illustration, although he's kind of small in it. This was actually an illustration that was used for a poster for V Jump, but I liked it a lot, so I decided to use it for volume 9 as well.

Volume 10

This is an image of Poppa Rocks completely ignoring the rising tension between Bo-bobo and Halekulani as he plays around in Hallelujah Land. You'll find Dengaku Man drawn on the badge Poppa Rocks is wearing, and Jelly Jiggler is also hidden away amongst the money in the background.

Volume 11

This is an illustration of Bo-bobo and his friends who are on their way to save Gasser from Giga. Gasser has been captured, and Hatenko is acting alone. Actually, this is the only illustration with Jelly Jiggler wearing the "Nu" suit (not that it really matters).

Volume 12

I tried to draw Bo-bobo, Poppa Rocks and Jelly Jigger being happy and cheerful in this one. I like the "Whoa, it's not going to fit on the page" look about it. Well, to tell you the truth, I just ended up running out of space to draw on...

Volume 13

The concept is "The appearance of Rocks-Bobo." but I was worried that people would not know what manga it was, so I drew small images of Bo-bobo and the others. I like how Rocks-Bobo is holding the Poppa Rocks Sword (green onion).

Volume 14

Bo-bobo looking tough. He looks like a true champion, doesn't he? I'm not sure what he's a champion of. It's been a while since I drew a cover with just Bo-bobo on it. The background is supposed to be a jungle.