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Anime: Time Bokan

"8!
7!
6!
5!
4! 3! 2! 1!
TIIIIIIME BOKAN!"

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, Otasukeman, Yattodetaman, Ippatsuman, 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.

Since Yatterman 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 Bokan 
  • Animal Motifs: Bugs. Lots of bugs.
  • Art Shift: The credits are styled after paper puppet shows.
  • Brick Joke: Early in episode 2, Chorobou threatens Perasuke with being grilled and eaten if he doesn't reveal where Dr. Kieta is. When the gang is sent back to Ancient Greece, Perasuke is taken by the Persians, who almost do exactly that.
  • Brought To You By The Letter "T": This series' insignia uses a stylized "T" on everything belonging to Dr Kieta, often seen on the Time Bokans and quite prominently on Tanpei's outfit.
  • The Cameo: Not in their series, but Junko and Tanpei show up alongside other Battle Couples in the Royal Revival OVA.
  • Cool Helmet: Tanpei and Junko have these as part of their attire. They even go with the Bug motif, as they resemble bug eyes.
  • Evil Counterpart: Gaikotts, the Skull Trio's version of the Time Bokans.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Tanpei and Junko, despite their young age. Tanpei was even the one who built Chorobou in the first place.
  • Gosh Hornet: One of the scouting mechs on the Kuwagattan is modeled after one.
  • Henpecked Husband: An almost literal example of the trope in Perasuke. In fact, he continues to avoid going back to his time specifically to avoid his wife.
  • It Was with You All Along: Dr. Kieta was in the present day the entire time. After traveling back from Perasuke's time, the Doctor left the Time Bokan. Perasuke accidentally booted it back up while the Doctor wasn't looking, and ended up landing it where it should have landed in the first place-the lab. He then stumbled out of the cockpit, encountering our heroes in the process and kickstarting a 27-episode long search and a gang of thieves on their tails for their trouble.
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: The first and third mechs resemble a Rhinoceros and Stag beetle respectively, while the Mechabuton's scouting mech resembles a ladybug.
  • Kid Hero: Junko and Tanpei are the youngest heroes of the franchise.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Unlike later protagonists in the franchise, Tanpei and Junko always wear their Iconic Outfits. Slightly justified as they might be standard attire for Dr. Kieta's lab.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator tends to pepper in his own commentary during his recaps and concluding speeches.
    Narrator: Will they ever find Dr. Kieta? Eh, I don't know. Find out next week, maybe.
  • MacGuffin: Perasuke for the Skull Trio, as he's the only one who knows how to obtain Dynamonds.
  • Made of Explodium: Gaikotts and the titular Time Bokan tend to explode when leaving for new time periods.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Granddaughter: Junko qualifies, though her grandfather isn't completely mad.
  • Market-Based Title: Almost. The series would have been called Time Fighters in the West had Tatsunoko gone through with the localization.
  • Meaningful Name: Marjo's name is derived from "Majo", the Japanese word for witch. The word can also mean "old hag" depending on how it's used.
    • Walther's romanized name (Warusa) means "Evil Behavior".
  • The Mole: Grocky serves as this in episode 1, as he worked for Dr. Kieta for about half a year to get information on the Time Bokan project.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The titular Time Bokan. It actually refers to three mechs over the course of the series: the "Time Mechabuton" (the first), the "Time Dotabattan" (a locust mech), and the "Time Kuwagattan" (a Stag beetle mech). The term "Time Bokan" itself just refers to its carrier functions, as they all carry smaller mechs inside them.
  • Only One Name: Everyone, save for perhaps Junko.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Junko and Tanpei.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Perasuke, the parrot of Dr. Kieta.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Tanpei often goes into this whenever either Junko or another cute girl kisses him on the cheek.
  • Smoke Out: One episode has the Skull Trio pull a smoke bomb in order to disguise Gaikotts' time travel abilities.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Perasuke/Parrosuke.
    • Majo/Marjo.
    • Grocky/Glocky.
    • Walther/Walter/Warusa.
    • Chorobou/Chorobo/C-Robot.
  • Stealth Pun: Although Gaikotts goes through several design changes over the course of the series, its base form always serves as the skeleton for the changes.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Like her successor Ai, Junko has hearts on her clothing.
  • Terrible Trio: Marjo, Walther and Grocky make up THE Terrible Trio, Trope Codifier for all the trios that followed.
  • The Theme Park Version: Being a kid's show, the cast of Time Bokan probably couldn't get away with being historically accurate with the time periods they went to.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cream puffs for Perasuke.
  • Unobtanium: Whatever makes up the contents of Dynamonds. In use, they have about 100 times the explosive power of Uranium, making it perfect for the Skull Trio to power up their mechs.
  • Villain Song: "Soreyuke Gaikottsu"
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Junko has green hair. Oddly enough, the intro for the show portrayed her as blonde at one point.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The series is a long string of our heroes going to different eras based on what Perasuke tells them that episode, but failing to find Dr. Kieta every time. He is found in episode 27, right in their home time period to boot.

    Yatterman 
See—> Yatterman

    Zenderman 

    Time Patrol Tai Otasukeman 
  • Big Bad: Tomomot.
  • Fun With Palindromes: Tomomot (Lampshade by himself).
  • Living with the Villain: as Time Cop both heroes and villain living in the police Space Station.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Subverted. At the end of th series, the four villain perform a Heroic Sacrifice blowing himself up against a meterorite that is going to hit Earth. But before the explosion it can see 4 rescue ships leave the spaceship.
  • Sixth Ranger: Gekigasuki as four member in addition to the Terrible trio.
  • The Faceless: the mysterious boyfriend of Atasha.
  • Time Cop: 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 trio (which later becomes a quartet) and the good guys have secret identities, the former as the Ojamaman, who try to alter history following the whims of Big Bad, and the latter as the titular Otasukeman, who always manage to put everything back in place; so that we never see the Time Patrol actually do anything.
  • Training from Hell: At the end episodes, the chief of police allows the main cast to choose randomly between the two types of training: a hard and dangerous and the other easy and enjoyable. The bad guys always end up choosing the first.
    • Throw the Dog a Bone: However, in an episode, they pick the easy training (and the heroes the other)
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Atasha has green hair.

    Yattodetaman 

    Ippatsuman 

    Itadakiman