A long running meta-series
by Tatsunoko Production
, the Time Bokan
meta-series typically involves a Battle Couple
, a Robot Buddy
, and Mini-Mecha
based off animals stopping a Terrible Trio
(maybe even THE
Terrible Trio) from doing misdeeds.
The first in the series was the aforementioned Time Bokan
in 1975. It involved the aforementioned Battle Couple traveling through time to find a Plot Coupon
and a missing scientist, while racing and going up against a Terrible Trio consisting of a Fat and Skinny
male duo and a Stripperiffic
female. Following this it was decided that Time Bokan would become a meta-series and each of the sequels would carry the name as a subtitle.
The second series in 1977 would become the longest and arguably most memorable in the entire meta-series: Yatterman
. While maintaining a similar plot as well as having Expies
of the heroes and villains, the story this time didn't involve time travel, instead opting for a Sentai, "Mecha of the Week"-type format. Yatterman
would eventually get a Revival
in 2008, as well as a live action adaptation in 2009. It even found itself a sequel series in 2015 with Yoru No Yatterman
, which also serves as the Time Bokan
franchise's 40th anniversary special
The rest of series: Zenderman
, and Itadakiman
would more or less feature the same concept. Some series would feature time travel, and others would be set in the present day. Yattodetaman and Ippatsuman are the only two series to not have a Battle Couple but rather a titular hero fighting the antagonists. They are also the only two series to feature Humongous Mecha
. Following a 1993 OVA involving the then seven Terrible Trios in a parody of Wacky Races
, the eighth and final series Kiramekiman
aired in 2000.
As of 2012, there are no plans to make another Time Bokan series not counting the Yatterman remake. The 1993 OVA, Time Bokan: Royal Revival
, has been licensed
by Sentai Filmworks
for a US release.
sort of became its own entity outside of the Time Bokan
franchise, it gets its own page here
Tropes found in most or all the series of Time Bokan:
Tropes specific for the series.
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Time Patrol Tai Otasukeman
- Artificial Intelligence: Tomomot, surprisingly.
- Big Bad: Tomomot.
- The Faceless: Atasha's mysterious boyfriend.
- Fun With Palindromes: Tomomot (Lampshaded by himself).
- Living with the Villain: In an odd twist for this series, both the heroes and the villains work in the same police Space Station as Time Police.
- Market-Based Title: According to Tatsunoko's website, it would've been called Rescueman had it been released in the west.
- Police Are Useless: Because the Otasukemen are so good at stopping the Terrible Trio and setting things back in their proper place, the rest of the Time Patrol never really get their own chance to shine.
- Redemption Equals Death: Subverted. At the end of the series, the four villains perform a Heroic Sacrifice by blowing themselves up to stop a meteorite that's about to hit Earth. However, before the meteorite explodes, one can make out 4 rescue ships leaving the spaceship.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Otatsukemen's stock and trade. It's part of their job as Time Patrol officers to maintain temporal order, after all.
- Inverted with Ojamaman, who usually do the exact opposite. In fact, most of the temporal paradoxes in the series are caused by them under Tomomot's orders.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Hikaru and Nana continuously.
- Sixth Ranger: Gekigasuki as the fourth member to the Terrible trio.
- Time Police: Both the two main characters and the villainous Terrible Trio work for the Time Patrol, whose job is to prevent alterations of history. Both the antagonist trio (which later becomes a quartet) and the good guys have secret identities; the former group as Ojamaman, who try to alter history following the whims of Big Bad, and the latter group as the titular Otasukeman, who always manage to put everything back in place.
- Training from Hell: At the end of each episode, the chief of police allows the main cast to choose randomly between two types of training: a hard and dangerous session, and an easy, enjoyable session. The bad guys always wind up with the former.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In one episode however, they manage to get the easy training (and leave the heroes with the other).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Atasha has green hair.
- Big Good: Headmaster Ochaka.
- Cut Short: The series was cut after 20 episodes.
- Dirty Old Man: Headmaster Ochaka often harasses his vice.
- Non-Action Guy: The heroes trio has a small role. At the end is Itadakiman who always intervenes to save the situation.
- Shout-Out: the entire series is this at Journey to the West. The heroes protagonists are the descendants of Sanzo and Itadakiman is a Goku expies.
- Younger and Hipper: The villain trio compared to their predecessors.