Wherever there's a head of hair being threatened by a criminal clipper, I'll be there!
Combining a thinly-disguised Affectionate Parody of Fist of the North Star with a plethora of bad puns, pop-culture parodies, and a cocktail of hallucinogens, Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo is every bit as weird as its name, which is also the name of its main character. Bo-bobo (as he's known) is a tall, muscular man with sunglasses, a large blonde afro, and tendencies towards childish, eccentric, or downright strange behavior that belies his serious demeanor.In the post-apocalyptic world of the year "300X", Bo-bobo fights the machinations of the Margarita (from marugarite, the Japanese word for "bald-shaven") Empire and their leader, Emperor Tsuru Tsururuna IV (Czar Baldy Bald IV), who has sent his "Hair Hunters" to shave the hair off everyone in the world. Ostensibly, Bo-bobo does this through the art of Hanage Shinken (translated as " Fist of the Nose Hair"), an oddball form of martial arts that allows him to manipulate his body hair to defeat his enemies. More often, though, he defeats his enemies by confusing the hell out of them with his oddball behavior and an assortment of sight gags (like little people living inside his afro). This is eventually revealed to be an actual fighting style in the world of Bobobo, known as "Hajike" (from the Japanese word "hajikeru", which literally means "to burst" but can also mean "to go crazy", translated as "Wiggin" ala the phrase "Wiggin Out"), where the object is to use these strange happenings to distract and confuse your enemy into submission.The show was very well liked in America and Japan; the dub wasn't a direct translation from the Japanese original (just look at the narrator), the voice acting in both versions was great (Kirk Thornton, an incredibly famous voice actor, voiced Don Patch and is considered to be one of his best roles), and it appealed to many people. However, the anime was cancelled after 76 episodes, and the American manga beginning at Volume 11 (renumbered) on hiatus, with only five volumes released (supposedly they are going to translate more in the future, according to an email). The Japanese manga is finished, but there is still high demand from fans to finish the anime. Bo-bobo is accompanied on his adventures by an assortment of sidekicks, including:
Beauty, an otherwise ordinary young girl who is frequently perplexed by Bo-bobo's antics (and frequently kidnapped by the bad guys).
Don Patch (Poppa Rocks), his Japanese name being a pun on "Donpachi", a brand of Japanese candy similar to Pop Rocks, a strange fellow who resembles an orange ball covered in spikes and, as a former "King of the Hajikelists", frequently acts as weird as Bo-bobo. Don Patch frequently tries to act tough or hog the spotlight, usually with no success. Hinted to be genuinely insane, as he occasionally makes humorous references to how, in his own words, "I don't take my medication, because thats just how cool I am!"
Heppokomaru (Gasser), a young man who is another token "sane" person like Beauty, aside from the fact that he fights with a style called Onara Shinken (or "Fist of the Backwind(fart)").
Softon, a former Hair Hunter whose head looks like soft-serve strawberry ice-cream (and, by no coincidence, the common anime representation of excrement). He fights with the Babylon Shinken(Fist of Blabs-A-Lot), and for the most part (one of the excluded parts being the aforementioned head) is the most serious of the group. Has a penchant for spouting badass-soundingnonsense, though. In the manga, his head was chocolate ice-cream and thus many jokes about it being poop are made.
Tokoro Tennosuke (Jelly Jiggler), another former Hair Hunter who happens to be a humanoid blob of blue jelly. His name is a pun on "tokoroten", a type of seaweed jelly, of which he'll often sing the praises. He frequently tries to get people to eat him, and is somewhat obsessed with the Japanese character for "nu". Uses the fighting style Purupuru Shinken (Fist of the Wobble-Wobble)
Dengakuman, a cute little white humanoid figure who, like Softon and Tennosuke, leaves the Hair Hunters to fight alongside Bo-bobo. He occasionally insists he is a dog, and is almost always obsessed with either making people eat dengaku (fried tofu on a stick covered in miso sauce), or making people be his friend.
Torpedo Girl, who is not one of his traveling companions but pops up from time time as a Sixth Ranger. Is in love with Softon. As her name suggests, She's a Torpedo! with arms and legs. Alternate form of (the very male) OVER but he virtually stops appearing after turning into her.
Provides Examples Of:
Action Girl: Most of them are the few villanesses within the Maruhage/Chrome Dome Empire's many incarnations.
Sort of off set by his being glad at the destruction of the hair empire (although that's set off by the fact that they're potentially racist), destroying Gasser's home town, and most likely killing his master.
The Artifact: The importance of the Maruhage Empire's "Hair Hunts"(see Bald of Evil below) fluctuated as the series progressed. By the time the group battles Halekulani, the notion had been virtually forgotten. Only during the final battle of the Hair Kingdom arc does it get any important mention (Bi-bibi started the Hair Hunts out of jealousy) again.
The same thing happens in Shinsetsu: By the time the first volume is over, the Hair Hunts are only mentioned in passing a few times.
Art Evolution: The first bunch of volumes have very blocky and undetailed work to a degree that it looks ameturish; later volumes become more fluid and detailed, and by the time the sequel Shinsetsu begins, comparisons become exceptionally jarring.
Bad Export for You: Initially, all that the American fanbase had gotten was a compiled book of the Halekulani story arc (Parts of volumes 9 and 10), and Viz Media has absolutely no plans to translate the first eight volumes (allegedly, they couldn't because Yoshio Sawai was ashamed of the artwork. However, considering that most other countries that translated it got all 21 volumes, that may not have been the reason at all). They finally decided to translate it again, in the middle of the Cyber City Arc, some time after the anime went off American airwaves. Now it's stuck in limbo at volume 15. And given that it had a lukewarm reception, Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bobobo, the sequel, was never exported.
Again in the States, the anime was initially licensed by Illumitoon Entertainment, a no-name distributor that had three other titles, and only two sloppily put-together volumes were released on DVD before the company went out of business. Another company, S'more Entertainment note who isn't exactly new, and who usually doesn't dabble in anime, is now releasing the anime on DVD in full. Unfortunately, it's far worse than the previous release as it features no subtitles at all. The script has been translated, however it's only available as a printable PDF file on one of the discs. The worst part: the next collection has been confirmed to also have no subtitles, plus S'More has confirmed that they have no plans whatsoever to issue replacement sets with on-screen subtitles.
Big Bad - Czar Baldy Bald IV (Smoothie IV in Viz manga) Czar Baldy Bald III in Former Maruhage Arc, Hydrate in Reverse Maruhage Arc, and Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi in Hair Kingdom Arc.
Blood from the Mouth: In the manga, everything, everything that qualifies as an attack in some way (like breathing in their ear suggestively) causes this to happen. It's almost a useful indicator that someone's been harmed.
Bowdlerize: The anime was toned way, way down from the original manga. The High Pressure BloodRunning Gag was completely removed, Softon's ice cream head was changed from chocolate to strawberry to avoid the poop jokes, one enemy who was a box of cigarettes was changed to a box of chocolate bars, and more minor examples.
The English adaptation that aired on Cartoon Network went even further in both removing scenes and implementing the dreaded Never Say "Die" trope. Some of the foreign dubs also did this.
Breathe On The Fan: Bobobo once won second place in a contest for "Saying 'Ah' in front of an electric fan".
Butt Monkey: Everyone except Beauty, but in particular Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler (especially the latter), to the point where Bobobo randomly beats them up in fights for no reason.
Calvinball: That's literately the only rule of the fights in the bobobo universe. The rules for one battle won't carry over to the next one. One battle my be borderline serious, with all attacks ending in blows even if the attacks themselves are silly, and another one the enemy might be defeated by what appears to pure psychological damage because the moves shouldn't be do any damage. It's very, very odd.
Canon Immigrant - Dark Yasha/Sambaman originally first appeared in the Bo-bobo GBA game, "9-Kyoku note The "9" is read as "kyuu", which combined with the "kyoku" makes "kyuukyoku", or "ultimate" Senshi Gag Yuugou", and he later appears in both the manga and the anime in the Emperor Playoffs.
Catch Phrase: Torpedo Girl's "I'm a TORPEDO!" Even her laugh is just her repeating the word "torpedo"('Gyorai') over and over again. Infact, it actally starts to annoy the heroes in her debut episode, to the point where Don Patch asks her to stop saying it.
Chekhov's Gag: Bo-bobo uses "Ganeme", a modification of "megane" (the Japanese word for glasses), by flipping a pair of glasses while fighting Zeb Ziegler/Kibahage to confuse him and it came back later in the fight against Be-bebe when Bo-bobo flips his glasses upside down and unleashes the ultimate glasses-filled attack that defeats his brother.
Chekhov's Gunman: Pickles, of all people, was left behind in the first chapter because Bo-bobo secretly assigned him to spy on his evil brother, Bi-bibi.
One notable case is when Don Patch injects the Poet with a serum that causes him to think like Don Patch. Instead of creating cool weapons to attack, he creates "Stupid Prince", "Pure-Hearted Bucktooth Cop" and "Panties".
Combat Pragmatist - Any Hajikelist/Wiggin Specialist such as Bo-bobo and co. are this.
Cut Short: The anime ran for 76 episodes, covering 11 of the manga's 13 story arcs; it was cancelled after about a third of the second-to-last story arc surrounding the battle with the Reverse Maruhage/Chrome Dome Empire aired. The manga itself did, however, reach a conclusion.
The Viz release of the manga seems to have ended at volume 5 (Japanese release: volume 15) with 6 volumes left untranslated (13 counting Shinsetsu), as there is no indication that they will be continuing and no previews for future volumes at the end of the latest one. (According to an email, they are going to translate more at an undetermined point in the future)
The release in Spain won't cover Shinsetsu despite the first series ending with a giant Sequel Hook (Tsuru Tsururina III is back!) and the volume and author notes encouraging the reader to buy Shinsetsu (Which were left in the volume, of course). After constant Screwed by the Network moments (Early volumes coming almost randomly, stopping for a while after 5-6 were published and stopping again for nearly two years when they only had 2 volumes left to finish the first series), Spanish fans felt this was final middle finger moment from the publishers. The only explanation was "low sales", but it's not like the series is known for selling a lot (In fact Shinsetsu ended for its low popularity), so...
Darker and Edgier: The manga sequel Shinsetsu, from its darker and sharper art style to some more grisly violent moments, namely Heppokomaru getting violently stabbed by a villian and Bo-bobo's first fight with "emperor" Namero.
Deranged Animation: Where do we begin, Bobobo and co change into random things without warning, stuff ranging from booger ball people to giraffes and even Yami and Slifer come out at one point of the manga, then there's the random things in the earlier episodes like when a giant baby comes out of the train ride at the A-Block troop and then there's this....
Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Bobobo and co. does this many times, especially the time they were sent into the underworld during their fight against Giga using the Macho Men Fist and they picked a fight against Enma...
The Dragon: Giga to Czar Baldy Bald IV, Hanpen (General Lee Fishcake) to Czar Baldy Bald III, Byakkyo & Bebebe-be Be-bebe to Hydrate, and Shigeki X to Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi
End of Series Awareness: The characters (including the narrator) complain that the series is canceled just before an epic fight, and the narrator complains that he was never visible through the entire series.
Although that was a line in the dub, and the narrator did in fact make an actual appearance in the recap special in Japan.
Enemy Mine: Played straight in The Reverse Maruhage Arc with the remaining finalists such as OVER, Halekulani, Zetsubou/Sad Sack, and Kancho-kun teaming up with Bo-bobo's gang to fight against the Reverse Maruhage Empire led by Hydrate.
Epic Fail: In fights whenever attacks go wrong lead into these moments very often.
Evil Counterpart - Gunkan/Battleship to Bo-bobo, J to Softon, Shigeki X to Don Patch, and Jati to Beauty.
Evil Plan: Supposedly Emperor Tsuru Tsururuna IV wants to shave everyone bald and the heroes try to stop him, but they get sidetracked by the weirdness.
Eye Shock: Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler do this in shock after seeing Giga's true form.
Face Heel Turn: Gasser/Heppokomaru in Shinsetsu, under the threat of Pokomi being potentially harmed. Namero Yononaka as well, upon discovering from a Neo Maruhage solider that he is an heir to Tsuru Tsrulina III, and a canidate to become the next emperor.
Fan Nickname: In certain circles of the fandom, Don Patch is usually called "Patchan", which is a shortening of Patch-chan.
Due to Porusutoroi's tongue-twist-tacular name, fans sometimes call him "Porufgsfds" for the lulz.
Fanservice: Subverted; at the beginning of one chapter, Don Patch poses while wearing girls' underwear and says "Fanservice!"
Service Man. His name is a parody of fanservice. Not to mention his only attack is to lift his sheet to show things that should never be seen.
Played more straight in the forms of lolicon-girl Pokomi and Princess Chinchiro in Shinsetsu.
Fate Worse Than Death: Hatenko deals with one of the Cyber Knights by freezing him in one place and putting a bunch of bladed keys in him. Also, Rice gets turned into a polygon and gets his face torn off.
Fartillery: How much more obvious than "Fist of the Back Wind" can you get?
Goggles Do Nothing: Parodied with the minor villain Rububa the Bubbles (Bubble-uba in the English dub), who wears three pairs of goggles on his forehead, and has an extra-large pair wrapped around his waist.
Gratuitous Korean: Denbo, the Magical Girl fusion warrior of Bobobo and Dengakuman, can speak Korean...very badly. In fact, when that episode was aired in South Korea, that line wasn't dubbed over, for extra funniness.
Also, some episodes have characters chanting "Bulgogi!" (Korean Barbecue) for some reason.
Large Ham: Almost everyone aside from Beauty and Gasser.
Last-Second Word Swap: In the English dub, while Bobobo, Don Patch, Jelly Jiggler and Dengakuman look like they've formed a rock band...
All four of them: Gasser, Gasser, he's first class!
He thinks with his heart but fights with his - Ask us how he stays so fit!
He works out hard and he smells like-
Gasser: HEY NOW!! Wait a second!
Lemony Narrator: The English dub narrator constantly breaks the fourth wall, interacts with the characters and even the producer, and bitches about certain elements of the show. Arguably, he also gets more character development than most of the main cast.
No Ending: The anime was cancelled after 76 episodes, midway through an arc, with the characters about to storm the enemy's fortress. They're then notified that the show ends on that note and everyone, villain included, freaks out.
This is because their sponsor was in financial crisis during that time.
The Power of Rock: Parodied again. Denbo, Jelly Jiggler and Don Patch fight J by singing, which makes stuff in the song real. But the songs they think up are complately ridiculous, involving things like Beta-Carotene and a 49 year old man. There's even a little DDR section. This is recycled in the manga sequel, except that Pokomi is the one singing.
Shout Out: For one, Bobobo summons Yugi Mutou from his afro in one chapter (drawn by Kazuki Takahashi, no less), and Dengakuman looks suspiciously like a Chao. Also, he once does a attack that involves A Dragonball Z posterboard, and Bobobo, when thrown while doing this attack, shouts "Vegeta"! All of this is from one volume.
Hell, the manga is rife with these from poking fun at its fellow Jump series to parodying live action shows. Folks not from Japan probably won't get a few of the jokes due to most of them being rather exclusive to its home nation (as if this series wasn't confusing enough). The toning down of the anime forewent most of these shout outs due to copyright reasons.
Spanner in the Works: Before he made a Heel Face Turn, Jelly Jiggler had an elaborate plan to defeat Bobobo that all hinged on him asking Jelly how he could break his leg if he didn't have any bones. Right before he could implement it, some random kid came up and asked the question instead, ruining everything.
Talking Poo: Subverted: Softon's head is made of soft-serve ice cream.
Tear Off Your Face: Lambada has done this to Rice, although in a less gory manner - the polygonated Rice was left with with no apparent injuries, save for not having polygon edges or colour on his face. The face also turned into a nice little rectangular brick thing. It has been said that Lambada does this to defeated enemies regularly.
Training from Hell: Torpedo Girl puts Gasser and Hatenko through a comically exaggerated version of this
Traintop Battle: Episode 36, Bo-Bobo and the gang fight "The Boxer on the Boxcar", Cane-maru. At one point, the train derails and smashes through an amusement park.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, Giga's Super Fist of Objet d'Art, ordinary objects turned into incomprehensible art. He also considers Don Patch the true definition of art for some reason.
True Companions: Parodied, of course, but also (believe it or not) played straight. After all, Bo-bobo doesn't want Beauty to get hurt...
Tsundere: Torpedo Girl. One moment she acts like a giddy schoolgirl (especially when she fawns over Softon,) the next she violently blasts through anyone who provokes her like a, erm, torpedo. However, she is still dangerous in Dere mode (albeit unintentionally dangerous.)
You Can't Thwart Stage One: Double subverted: When Baldy Bald/Tsuru Tsurulina III awakens, Bobobo slams his cryogenic chamber shut, duct-tapes it, and blows it up. Unfortunately, the emperor had already escaped./