[[caption-width-right:241:With your help, our hero ''can'' be this awesome.]]
->'''Zowie''': You can't!\\
'''U-1''': Because I can!\\
'''Zowie''': Because what?\\
'''U-1''': Because...\\
'''Zowie''': Say it! Because what?\\
'''U-1''': I can do it because... Because... Because ''I AM GITAROO MAN!''\\
-- Quote taken from right before the FinalBoss, which sums up the game pretty nicely.

''Gitaroo-Man'' is a Music/Rhythm Action [=PlayStation=] 2 game developed by iNiS.

U-1 is a [[ThisLoserIsYou loser]]: his best and only friend is his talking dog, Puma; he can't get attention from his crush Pico to save his life; and [[RichBitch rich, talented Kazuya]] takes every opportunity to pick on him. Fortunately for him, Puma reveals that he's the inheritor of a great legacy: he's the last descendent of Gitaroo-Man's line, destined to battle evil and free his people by playing a magical Gitaroo. U-1 thus finds himself thrust into the conflict between the Gravillian opressors and his enslaved people, and along the way, he falls in love, learns to to stand up on his own, and [[ComingOfAgeStory grows up]].

Gameplay consists of a Charge Phase (following a curving line and tapping a button in sync with the circles that appear in the line to fill up U-1's vitality meter), a Battle Phase (same as the Charge Phase except you are damaging your opponent as well as pressing buttons to dodge the enemy's attacks), and a Final/Harmony Phase (when your enemy's health is low/critical, U-1 launches an extravagant solo attack that finishes the enemy off).

The game was given a PSP remake, ''"Gitaroo-Man Lives!"'' which featured some new options such as a Jukebox mode as well as two new songs for multiplayer.

!!This game provides examples of:
* AllThereInTheManual: Actually, you have to unlock most of the character profiles. Not like it helps much, though.
* AndYouWereThere: Kirah, the girl that U-1 befriends, and Zowie, the BigBad of the game, look very similar to Pico, U-1's Crush, and Kazuya, the boy who bullies him, considering that both sets of characters share the same voice actors, and both Kazuya and Zowie share the same YearsTooEarly catchphrase.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: From "Born to be Bone":
--> '''Miranda:''' "Go for their weak spots!"
--> '''U-1, Puma:''' "''What'' weak spots?"
--> '''Miranda:''' "Their weak spots are... uh... [[SubvertedTrope I forget]]."
* AmbiguouslyGay: Gregorio
* BadassBoast: In "Metal Header," U-1 and Kirah are facing off against a rapping HumongousMecha. If you listen closely, every lyric is dedicated to explaining how awesome he is along with alluding to SuperRobot attack names.
* BareYourMidriff: [[spoiler:Kirah]] in Gravillian mode.
* BearsAreBadNews: Let's face it; there ''is'' a bear in the third stage.
* BeeAfraid: Haven't you heard? There's a new King in town. Mojo mojo mojo KING BEE! Truly one of the most terrifying characters ever.
* BigBad: Emperor Zowie.
* BitterSweetEnding: [[spoiler:U-1 is forced to return home, despite having come a long way with his love interest and making friends on Gitaroo world. Back on Earth, his new found self confidence and badassery lets him stand up to the bully and make a different but similar girl notice him.]]
* ButtMonkey: U-1.
* ComingOfAgeStory: U-1 learns to play the gitaroo, stand up for himself, and overcome his self-esteem issues.
* ConcertClimax: The second last level could be seen as a combination of both versions, what with you [[spoiler:fighting and serenading Kirah]].
* CreatorThumbprint: It has all the themes that would later define [=iNiS=]. Is it weird? [[WidgetSeries Yes]]. Is the music any good? ''Yes''. Is it hard? Let's just say that one fan has lovingly nicknamed it "[[NintendoHard Carpal Tunnelroo Man]]" and leave it at that.
* DemBones: The Sanbone Trio.
* DifficultySpike: The stages with Panpeus, Flying-O, and Mojo King Bee aren't too tough if you have a good grasp of the game mechanics. Then you hit the [[ThatOneBoss first battle with Ben-K]], and the difficulty just skyrockets from there.
** On Master Mode, you could just start the spike from Mojo King Bee. And considering that's only the [[SerialEscalation third level]]...
* EleventhHourSuperpower: [[spoiler: U-1's "True Gitaroo-Man" form in the final stage]]
* {{Expy}}: In-universe examples: Kirah and Zowie are suspiciously similar to Pico and Kazuya (see TalkingToHimself).
* FinalLoveDuet: The Legendary Theme in the penultimate level.
* FlyingSaucer: The Flying-O and its minions in Stage 2. They shoot Dance-Until-{{Death Ray}}s.
* ForcedTutorial: When starting a new game on Easy or Normal difficulies.
* GenderBlenderName: Emperor Zowie and Elder Miranda.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: Most of the bosses at least get mentioned by Zowie before they show up, but Panpeus and Gregorio III just kind of...appear. Gregorio III doesn't even get a proper cutscene.
* HarderThanHard: Master Play/Master Mode. Notable when you consider that this is the only step above ''[[NintendoHard Normal]]''.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Kirah]] in the penultimate stage.
* HumongousMecha: Ben-K after the chase stage. U-1 and Puma get their own, called "Woofer-Mazing", to fight him (or for most of the stage, to run away from him).
* HotbloodedSideburns: U-1 when he's not Gitaroo-man, Kirah in her [[spoiler:Gravillian warrior outfit]].
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Even considering that all the weapons in the game are instruments, there are some weird ones. Panpeus' axe and Gregorio III's cathedral stand out in particular.
** While Ben-K can be excused for having an improbable weapon, being a robot and all, who the hell designed him to have ''nipple turntables'' as a weapon?
* InvisibleBackupBand: Averted, as the backup band is visible every time there's a musical duel. It's composed of a cymbal player, ukulele player, and accordion player, and they always show up regardless of whether or not their instruments are even used in the song. Nobody ever mentions their existence.
* LargeHam: Gregorio Siegfried Wilhelm III.
** He does calm down a little when he narrates for the Album, though, replacing the ham with [[LemonyNarrator lemons]].
* LaserGuidedTykebomb: [[spoiler:Kirah, who has been "bred since birth" to be the ultimate Gravillian warrior.]]
* LetsYouAndHimFight: "Darn it, Why did it have it have to be Kirah?"
* LifeMeter: You have to charge it up for most stages.
* LogicalWeakness: King Mojo Bee's and his trumpet Gitaroo are threatening, but he runs out of breath after 4 minutes of nonstop playing and jumping around, causing him to be finished off while trying to recover.
* MusicalAssassin: Just about every major character in the game is.
* NintendoHard: If Normal Mode doesn't leave you crying for mercy, Master Mode certainly will. It's not surprising, though, given that half the dev team is also behind [[VideoGame/OsuTatakaeOuendan a certain other]] NintendoHard [[VideoGame/EliteBeatAgents rhythm game series]].
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Emperor Zowie is SO not Music/DavidBowie. And no, he's most definitely named after [[Creator/DuncanJones the guy's first son]], if that's what you were thinking.
** No, the mismatched eyes and camp mannerisms of Gregorio III aren't meant to remind you of Bowie either. And no, he's clearly not a pastiche of post-1991 Music/MichaelJackson either.
* NonHumanSidekick / TalkingAnimal: Puma, U-1's pet dog.
* NonIndicativeName: Gitaroos can be, among other things, trumpets, [=UFOs=], sharks, space helmets, and church cathedrals.
** Even U-1's Gitaroo changes sound depending on the enemy he's fighting against. In one level, it even sounds like a theremin.
* OhCrap: U-1 when he realizes he has to fight the Sanbone Trio without being able to turn into Gitaroo-Man.
* OneWingedAngel: Zowie's armor Gitaroo.
* OverlyLongName: Gregorio Siegfried Wilhelm the Third.
* ThePowerOfRock: Pretty much the whole premise of the game.
* ProtagonistTitle
* PunnyName: Scattered throughout the game. U-1 would be read as Yuichi in Japanese or rather like Ewan in English, [[LuckyTranslation both being boys' names]]; Ben-K, the robotic shark, is probably a reference to [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/benkei.html this guy]], church Gitaroo wielder Gregorio III brings to mind a Gregorian chant, and [[spoiler:Kirah is a pun on "killer", hinting at her TykeBomb nature.]]
** The Sanbone Trio are a Triple-Whammy of puns: their name is both a pun on "Sambo" and BilingualBonus for "Three (San) Bones", and is also a pun on "Hambone".
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Zowie.
* RichJerk: Kazuya.
* RightHandCat: Zowie's pet cat, Ming-Ming.
* RobotBuddy: Puma, when he's not in dog mode.
* RockMeAsmodeus: The first boss, Panpeus, is an axe/guitar playing devil.
* RhythmGame
* RuleOfThree: Refering to how many times the YearsTooEarly example was invoked.
* SecondLove: Kirah, most likely.
* SerenadeYourLover: The Legendary Theme (Acoustic)
* SissyVillain: Gregorio III, the alto-singing WhiteHairBlackHeart.
* SkeletalMusician: The Sanbone Trio, a trio of robotic skeletons who play themselves like xylophones.
* TakeAThirdOption: The battle against [[spoiler:Kirah]]. It starts with U1 fighting her Gitaroo to Gitaroo. But midway through the song he can't bring himself to continue, despite urges from his allies to fight or be beaten. Rather then do either, he instead plays the love ballad he played to Kirah earlier. This convinces her to surrender the battle and her Gitaroo, after a duet of course.
* TechnicalPacifist: In Lives!, after Puma and co. defeat Ming-Ming and destroy her flying machine, Puma floats his platform down to catch her before she can fall into the ocean.
* TechnicianVsPerformer: In the final guitar duel, Zowie opens with a bunch of rapid fire notes that sound really harsh and atonal. U-1, in response, opens with one crystal clear reverberating note. He intends to win through melody, not through flash.
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Turns out that Kirah was trained to fight with her own musical weapon but U-1 refuses to keep battling her in her respective stage, and decides to show her that the real enemy is Emperor Zowie]].
* ThemeNaming: A few names are references to Music/DavidBowie, oddly enough.
** Not so odd when you consider iNiS's strange obsession with Bowie, however.
* ThePowerOfLove: Protects U-1 from [[spoiler:Kirah's]] attacks and subsequently prompts her HeelFaceTurn.
* ThePowerOfRock: Yeah, that's practically the whole point.
* {{Theremin}}: Used in the song "Nuff' Respect".
* ThisLoserIsYou: U-1 starts off as this, but gets better in the ending.
* ThreateningShark: The two stages after the third feature Ben-K. The first stage is '''[[NintendoHard really]]''' terrifying. The second stage is a BreatherLevel, probably because he's a HumongousMecha now.
* UnlikelyHero: U-1, oh so very much.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Gitaroo-Man Lives!''
* UpToEleven: Gregorio's Gitaroo is his '''entire cathedral'''. No, not the pipe organ inside it, the entire room.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Ming-Ming isn't seen after the battle with the Sanbone Trio, and doesn't appear for the rest of the game. He is however fought in the PSP remake ''Gitaroo Man Lives!''.
* WidgetSeries: '''Yes.'''
* WorldOfHam: Gregorio III may be the largest offender, but it seems as though everyone has to overact in this game.
* YearsTooEarly: Invoked three times: First said by Kazuya, then twice by Zowie in a MeaningfulEcho, or in two different cutscenes in two different forms, either way for the latter a RuleOfThree at it's best.
** Is actually quite a motif in this game with '''"Infinity Impossible"''' appearing everytime something like that is mentioned.