Released by Namco in 1988 for arcades and in 1990 for Turbo-Grafx 16, Bravoman is a side-scrolling Platform Game starring a parody of Tokusatsu and Sentai as its main protagonist. Our hero was once an average salaryman until he was granted awesome powers by the alien Alpha Man from Planet Alpha, in order to combat the evil Dr. Bomb. Bravoman's main method of attack is to extend his limbs forward to kick or punch at a distance, and he can also turn into a missile-armed submarine for underwater missions. Standing in his way is the good doctor's robot armies, plus ninja princess Waya-Hime, Heavy Metal Ninja Benjamin and Black Bravoman, a rival salaryman with his same powers.The series faded into obscurity, barring cameos (and a playable appearance in Namco × Capcom) until it was revived as a webcomic as part of Shifty Look. Fully titled Bravoman: Super Unequalled Hero of Excellence the comic is very silly and self referential.Slated to get its own web series and, after 25 years, new videogame for smartphones and tablets.The webcomic website Shiftylook had announced March 10 that they would be ending all of their webcomics including Bravoman. The comic ended at #300.
Tropes common across the whole series:
Adaptational Badass: Though not to nearly the same extent as Dig Dug most of the characters that appear in Namco × Capcom. Averted in the Webcomic as it sticks to the game's comedy root albeit trading the surreal humour for self-referential humour.
Adjective Noun Fred: The Arcade's full name is Chouzetsu Rinjin Berabouman aka "Super-Unequaled Man Bravoman"note alternatively, "Trascendental Ethical Man"
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Lottery Man, the featured friendly robot at the end of each level, is there to give the player power-ups and life-restoring food. You could punch it to net a series of funny messages like "OW! What are you doing?" and "You will regret hitting a friend". You will indeed if you do it too many times, because the robot will get pissed at you and won't show up anymore for 4-5 levels. The game is already Nintendo Hard by itself (and almost without healing items in-game), so it's not a wise choice to "hit friends"!
Barbarian Hero: Bravoman becomes a parody of them in the "Bravo the Barbarian" arc.
Bechdel Test: Bravowoman complains that Waya-Hime, the only other female character of note, fights with her over Bravoman in their first meeting, thus driving their score on the test way down.
Since remedied by the side-story focused on Bravowoman, which sees her interacting with her sidekick Theta and her enemy-cum-friend the Mer-Queen.
Big Damn Heroes: Zed's entrance buys Bravoman enough time to free his alternate Universe self.
Boss Subtitles: Some of the characters get a grandiose and long subtitle accompanying them. Anti-Bravo, for example, is the Shadowed Doppleganger of Ebony Reflection.
Brick Joke: When first met, Pistol Daimyo mentions how expensive fan wax is, and Alpha Man didn't thought such thing existed. Come the Christmas strip and that's exactly what Alpha Man's gift for Pistol Daimyo is (while still shocked at its existence).
Canon Foreigner: Bravowoman. Lampshaded to hell and back. And Brave-Man, although this isn't pointed out.
Bravo Master and the alien octopus Zulu, as well.
Theta Bravo Woman's alien mentor.
Cerebus Syndrome: Invoked and lampshaded: in the parallel world, where people are slightly different (and Anti-Bravoman doesn't exist), Zulu made it to Earth and tore it up, and the Bravos teamed up with the Ninjas and Dr. Bomb to stop it. After that, Bomb unleashed his forces and decimated the earth, and even invented the 5th wall, which stops all 4th wall breaking, preventing jokes and powers that run on meta humor. Then there's The Reveal that it's really the version of Anti-Bravoman behind all of this, having brought Zulu to earth, decimated the planet, created new more powerful enemies and even shut down the fourth wall, all to see if he could make himself stronger.
Christmas Episode: In the comics case two strips where Alpha Claus delivers gifts to the main characters base on their inner desires.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Waya-Hime. She wants her stretchy cuteness and she'll stab anyone who gets in her way.
Cloning Blues: Anti-Bravoman's origin reveals that he's actually clone of Bravoman made from the cosmic energy used to give him his powers was split in two and bombarded several key materials in Dr.Bomb's lab.
Companion Cube: Waya-Hime is seen to talk to an unactivated robot for advice. That it doesn't talk to her doesn't matter, since she does all the talking anyway.
Cool Shades: Brave Man symbolizes his coolness with a pair as way to further separate himself from Bravoman.
Eyepatch After Timeskip: Sort of — it's an alternate universe rather than the future or even a Bad Future. Even so, in it Waya-Hime has an eyepatch, and both Brave Man and Bravo Woman have the equivalent for their visors.
Friendly Enemy: Bravoman is this to Anti-Bravoman, much to Anti-Bravoman's annoyance when he's trying to be serious. Doesn't stop him from being a jerk to him every now and then.
Foreshadowing: The Cross Over arc with Wonder Momo foreshadows a plot point later seen in both their respective comic strips: Anti-Bravo's ability to merge with others when beaten up is later pivotal in Zulu's defeat, whereas Momoko ends up turning into a darker evil Wonder Momo with no outside help in her comic.
In Waya Gaiden Valkyrie's appearance foreshadowed guest artist Ashley Davis taking over her comic a few months later.
There are several hints that Reverse Bravoman isn't who he seems.
His scarf has a looser and wider design.
He reacts to questions about Reverse Anti-Bravo with shock and avoidance.
And finally his responce to Bravoman saying he can trust him as they're the same person is a "...yeah".
For Want of a Nail: Bravoman ends up in an alternate universe where Anti-Bravoman was never created and therefore Bravo Master never defeated Zulu. Or, in truth where Anti-Bravo took over the mantle of Bravoman.
Fusion Dance: Bravo Master is the combination of Bravoman, Anti-Bravoman, Bravowoman, and Brave Man, created by beating up on Anti-Bravo so his anti-particles destabilize and fuse the four together.
Later on, Anti-Bravo fashions devices that allow them to destabilize his anti-particles without the beatup. Waya Hime jumps in on it, thus creating Bravo Master: Shinobi Essence Custom.
Giant Foot of Stomping: Anti-Bravoman's title of Butt Monkey leads to suffer this fate when his poor sense of humor leads to Attack Bomber V9.1 to humorously step on him.
Grand Finale: "The Death of Bravo Man" which pits Bravo Man and all the Bravos (as well as Hime) against Zulu in a final battle. The title turns out to be metaphorical as its the "death" or rather the end of the webcomic. Not Bravo Man.
Here We Go Again: Bravoman finds a mini alien squid sitting in Starship Alpha and worries that it's going to be another Zulu, this one here to ruin Earth. Alpha informs him that they take at least 1200 years to grow that big and insists that he'll take care of it. "I think I'll name him Zed." Flashback to 1200 years earlier; Alpha is holding a mini alien squid, insisting to his parents that he'll take care of it. "I think I'll name him Zulu."
Highly-Visible Ninja: Double-subverted; Camo wears a forest camouflage ninja suit, but is easily spotted no matter his surroundings because he thinks hiding behind potted bonsai trees is sufficient.
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Anti-Bravoman tries so hard to be the sinister evil counterpart but can't even keep up a gravelly voice without hurting his throat or making the inside of his scarf wet with spit.
Dear Lord, Zulu. To drive the point home his second arc is titled The Death of Bravoman and is almost entirely serious.
Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: During the "Bravo the Barbarian" arc he faced wizard who was add by four orcs in familiar looking war paint that made them resemble a group of four radawesome turtles
The Load: Brave Man, during the Zulu thing. Since he has no real powers, Bravowoman has to carry him around during the fight with Zulu. Alpha summoned him by accident, you see.
Man Child: Anti-Bravoman, as he collects and plays with toys based of Bravoman, plus his moping and the fact he lives with his father/creator Dr. Bomb. To a lesser extent Bravoman, who'd rather be playing videogames than risking his butt. In Anti-Bravoman's defense, he's technically around two years old.
Meaningful Name: Turns out Alpha Man and Zulu had meaningful names. They are the first and last letters of the code alphabet. Alpha began the series by granting Bravoman his powers, Zulu turns out to be an Eldrich Abomination who's only goal is to destroy it.
Minor Injury Overreaction: Komuso hides her face because it was horribly scarred and she wants to spare others the horror of seeing it...but said "scar" is apparently just a small pimple. When Bravoman sees it he theorizes that it's just a rash, possibly brought on by the basket she wears on her head.
Mythology Gag: Brave Man's colour scheme and design is based of the American box art of Bravoman. Pointed out in one strip, and later turned into a plot point.
No Fourth Wall: Characters frequently reference the writers and once even called off a four-way fight because it would've been too hard to draw.
Dr. Bomb has not only complained about his lack of screen time on more than one occasion, he actually watched the web series at one point.
Only Sane Man: Bravowoman is this pretty much. Pistol Daimyo has shades of this, specially after seeing just what type of ninja form his army...
Palette Swap: Concept explored in a chapter focusing on a fictional game, also Anti Bravoman fits this trope as his original character sprite in game was just a black swap of Bravoman.
Parody Retcon: After Brave Man literally gets beaten up by Namco's lawyers he starts claiming he's a parody of Bravoman rather than a rip-off.
Also literally brought up in the crossover mini-arc with Wonder Momo: Glooder forces a retcon after Anti-Bravoman and Momo merge into Anti-Momo since he considered it too important a development for her to happen outside her own series. And it was a big foreshadowing for Wonder Momo's own webcomic as well.
Power Armor: Bravo Woman's costume is revealed to be this.
That's All, Folks!: The last of the webcomic has Bravoman and all the characters (as well as the readers) getting a thank you card from the creators for sticking with them for the entirety of the run. Compared to the other comics of Shiftylook (which either ended abruptly or stopped in the middle of their storylines) this series was one of the few to a have a conclusive ending.
What Does This Button Do?: Bravoman and Alphaman go through a round of this. Alpha fakes an emergency to get Bravoman to stop doing it.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Bravowoman and Brave Man don't think too highly of Bravoman's powers. Despite Brave Man not actually having any powers. To be fair, one of those powers is turning into a small submarine.
Writers Suck: Without the editor present, characters' dialogue becomes horribly misspelt.
Alpha: I guess the writter never opened that diktionery we gave him for Krismuss.
Brandomon: "Diktionery"? Did he even luck at the cover?
Grand Finale: The season finale was a huge parody of this as Bravoman and Alpha worried that the show would end for real, so they went a huge adventure featuring time travel and a big reveal for Antibravoman, it ended with a tear jerking moment where Bravoman plays the original game one last time. Though with the end of Bravoman the webcomic the series really is over.
Alphaman:It appears the creators wanted to start the show in the middle of the story. It's media technique "In Medias Res"
Bravoman: In Medias wha? wha?
Alphaman: I believe it's Latin for "skip the boring parts".
Interactive Narrator: During the 5th chapter, the narrator actively helps Bravoman when it appeared he was to be defeated by Attack Bomber V9, because otherwise the series would be over and the staff (he included) would not get their paychecks.
Author Powers: He reveals Attack Bomber V9's weakpoint (even pointing it out with a big red arrow) to Bravoman so he'd win.
Though according to Alpha this can also be considered a forced Cross Over.
Bravoman: Wait, she's not a Bravoman character
Alphaman: Sorry, Namco-mandated cross-promotion. Ohh look, next week is Pac-Man.
Bravoman: Sweet!, [*head morphs into a Pac-Man-like form*]
The second-to-last episode was a proper crossover, though it was Part two of a three-part story (with parts 1 and 3 not existing). Wonder Momo, her sidekick Glooder, and her archenemy the Waru King all show up for the occasion.
Metaphorgotten: "Sometimes words can be more powerful than any weapon. Unless of course that weapon is a flamethrower. Or a sidewinder missile. Or really any type of rocket propelled-"
Alpha: Well then, did you learn any important life lessons? Bravoman: Err... Girls are scary? (...) Really, really scary.
At the end of the Wonder Momo crossover, Bravoman and Momo can't think of or remember what the lesson's episode is/was. They arbitrarily decide that it was promoting literacy.
Spot the Impostor: Alpha is incapable of identifying a series of increasingly obvious Bravoman impostors, including a slipshod robot, a cardboard stand-up, and an ostrich.
Superhero Origin: Parodied. Bravowoman takes issues to being given the stock distaff counterpart one and is not thrilled by the "Accidentally got hero's power when rescued" one either. She has to settle for a mish-mash of origin tropes.
Theme Tune Cameo: Bravoman singss along to the show's theme with his walkman,while using first person styled lyrics.
Bravoman: Bravoman, Bravoman, Fighting evil whenever I can."
He also does a scat version in episode 4.
The ringtone of the wrist communicator is also the main theme.
Time Travel: Bravoman and Alphaman traveled to the cretaceous period for the season finale.
Unexplained Recovery: Dr. Bomb is somehow alive enough in the second episode to hire Waya Hime despite being lowered into his own fiery pit.
What Does This Button Do?: Second type, Bravoman can't resist pressing the down button that lowers Dr.Bomb into his own death trap and very nearly puts himself and Alpha back in danger by attempting to push the Nemesis Switch button.