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Anime / Bomberman Jetters

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(Or Bomberman Jetterz, alternatively, but we Spell My Name with an S around here, just like in Wikipedia.)

The Jetters are an intergalactic police force apparently formed for the sole purpose of fighting the Hige Hige Bandits, a spacefaring criminal organization with the single goal of amassing all the one-of-a-kind objects in the universe. The battle against the Hige Hige Bandits is going well, until the leader of the Jetters, the infallible Legendary Bomberman Mighty, goes MIA after the first episode. The Jetters need a new Bomberman for the team, and believing badassery to be In the Blood, go straight to Mighty's younger brother, White Bomber.

Problem is, White Bomber is Just a Kid, and the Jetters suddenly find themselves on the losing end of the fight. This isn't helped by the appearance of a new secret weapon the Hige Hige Bandits are fielding: a sinister Bomberman called MAX, whose techniques are highly reminiscent of Mighty's…

Make no mistake, Bomberman Jetters really is a kids' show, but for all that, it's pretty well done. The writers have skillfully avoided the problems associated with The Anime of the Game by doing their absolute best with the source material, which turns out to be quite a lot as the series moves from a Strictly Formula Monster of the Week show into compelling drama with more Character Development than you can shake a stick at. You kind of even stop hating White Bomber in the end.

Highly recommended for children and the childlike, as well as Bomberman fans who can get over the fact that MAX is the bad guy now.

Had a Recursive Adaptation in 2002 with Bomberman Jetters for the GameCube, which was largely a sequel to Bomberman Generation from earlier that same year. The game ended up being all that Western audiences saw of Jetters.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Mighty is portrayed as this at first — only for it to get deconstructed later as it is revealed that he fell for Dr. Mechard's Evil Plan and died as a result. Several of his screw-ups and Fatal Flaws come to light during the series.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Bagular is normally a heartless and megalomaniacal Mad Scientist, but here is a eccentric and grumpy yet pleasant old man who only started the Hige Hige Bandits out of grief of being rejected by Momo.
  • Adaptational Villainy: MAX is usually The Rival but here he's a Villian.
  • Adorable Evil Minions: The Hige Hige Bandits themselves have a vaguely-pug like face, and are about Bomberman's size.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Subverted by Mighty, as he is aloof only geographically and is about the kindest person in the world.
    • MAX would seem to be this, but he's not actually Mighty. He's just an evil robot, albeit one possessing Mighty's negative traits.
  • The Anime of the Game: Of Bomberman, of course.
  • Avenging the Villain: After the other three members of the Bomber Shitennou are turned back into Kyarabon, Thunder Bomber goes to great lengths to ensure White Bomber pays. Though he comes close, it doesn't work.
  • Bad Guy Bar: Mama's bar. Mujoe regularly heads to Mama's to drown his sorrows and flirt with her.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Mighty is this to White Bomber, giving him brotherly advice and comfort. And later, Zero takes up this role, bonding with White Bomber just as Mighty did. Sadly, both fall prey to the Mentor Occupational Hazard.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Thunder Bomber. They appear to be made out of metal, and each of them is as long as his head.
    • Mighty has the large pair as well, although you only see one due to his large eye visor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Zero is dead and with him so is Mighty, but Dr. Mechard's plan is foiled, all the characters have recovered from their past tragedies, and Shiro has fully matured.
  • Brain Uploading: The core of Mechadoc's plan—not with his own brain, but with Mighty's. MA-0, his prototype design, has a near-complete copy of Mighty's personality...which meant that, when activated, he attempted to stop Mechadoc himself and was subsequently discarded, deemed a failure. In MA-X's finalized design, only Mighty's negative traits were carried over.
  • Break the Cutie: Both White Bomber and Shout get this around the halfway point on discovering Mighty's death. And then White Bomber gets this again during Zero's death.
  • Calling Your Attacks: "BOMBER SHOOT!"
  • Cheerful Child:
    • White Bomber himself is ten years old and acts it, even after his Character Development.
    • For a Wake-Up Call Boss, Flame Bomber is very hyperactive, peppy, and immature, treating his fights more like playing than anything else. At one point, he even waves goodbye to the badly-beaten Jetters after their Curb-Stomp Battle with him.
  • Coming of Age Story: It's White Bomber's story of becoming less of a Jerkass and into a genuine hero. Then to move on from his brother's death.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The Bomb Crystal functions as one of these during its eponymous episode.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Literally done when White Bomber crashes his ship into Shout's scooter.
  • Deliberate Under-Performance: During his fight with White Bomber, Thunder Bomber is hit three times with bombs before he can throw a single one. These just so happen to be the very same bombs that destroyed each of his three siblings: Flame Bomber (Burning Fire Bomb), Mermaid Bomber (Sunrise Thunder Bomb), and Grand Bomber (another Burning Fire Bomb).
    White Bomber: D-Did you make me throw that bomb on purpose?!
  • The Dragon:
    • Mujoe. He's Bagular's second-in-command, and the main force opposing the heroes throughout most of the show.
    • And the dragon gets his own dragon, Thunder Bomber.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Thunder Bomber wants to avenge his siblings and kill MAX at all costs. When Mujoe disagrees and tries to turn him back into a Kyarabon, Thunder Bomber, despite his Undying Loyalty, knocks him out with a wrench and runs away to pursue his goals alone.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Birdy is capable of driving safely, but should a taxi customer ask him to hurry...
  • Empathic Weapon: The Bombermen's bombs: "The power of the bomb does not lie in the bomb itself… it lies in your heart!"
  • The Faceless: Shout's father, Twist. There is a single episode where his entire face is shown. He's about the most normal-looking person on the show.
  • Harmless Villain: Bagular is this to a T. Bagular only created the Hige Hige Bandits to steal unique treasures because he and Dr.Ein were rivals for Granny Bomber's love when they were younger, both were flat out rejected. Highlighted once Mechadoc overthrows him and hijacks his space fortress.
  • The Heartless: Played with. The reason MAX is so competent and ruthless in equal measure? He's a crystallization of Mighty's hidden negative traits via Brain Uploading.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Mermaid Bomber's storyline has parallels to The Little Mermaid.
  • Four Is Death: The Bomber Shitennou has four members, all of whom dangerous (with one even managing to defeat White by themselves).
  • Identical Grandson: Mighty and his grandfather look nearly identical, as does the former's brother White - they even retain the very same white coloration.
  • Idiot Hero: White Bomber. Seriously. His Jerkass tendencies and arrogance end up getting his ass kicked on numerous occasions, which is one factor behind his gradual Character Development.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Quite a few.
    • White Bomber is often a selfish and whiny brat, but even before his Character Development he is incredibly heroic and goes out of his way to help others.
    • Shout is short-tempered and vain, but also fighter for justice who becomes a Cool Big Sis to White.
    • Birdy is icy and aloof, but it's mostly because he's so broken up about Mighty's death.
    • Misty is a greedy thief who also was also close to Mighty and becomes an ally to the Jetters.
    • Mujoe is a smug jerk and he and the rest of the Hige-Hige Bandits are thieving crooks, but they still try to avoid seriously injuring others most of the time and are amazingly friendly when not actually being bandits. This makes sense as their founder Bagular also turns out to be this. Dr. Mechard on the other hand...
  • Joke Character: Seagull Bomber is a goofily drawn character who goes unnoticed by the other characters, even winning the first round of the B-1 Grand Prix without anyone realizing.
  • Kid Hero: White Bomber, as he is occasionally portrayed, is a young and naive protagonist - though here he is striving to become a hero like Mighty.
  • Knight of Cerebus: MAX completely deflates any levity and humor when he appears. Once he is revealed to be the true Big Bad, Dr. Mechard does the same.
  • The Lancer: Initially Birdy, to Mighty's Hero. By the time White Bomber joins, though, he's become more of a Mentor in Sour Armor.
  • Large Ham: Mujoe. There isn't a line of dialogue he says normally. Grand Bomber also, although a more literal case given that he is a very large individual.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Subverted: Everyone from the viewers to the cast is led to believe that MAX really is Mighty... and turns out, he isn't. Double subverted in that an earlier prototype, MA-0, has Mighty's soul. Then triple subverted when MA-0 realizes that even with Mighty's soul and memories, he's still the android who killed Mighty, not White Bomber's missing brother.
  • Mentor in Sour Armor: Birdy, to White Bomber's Kid Hero. Previously, though, he was Mighty's Lancer.
  • Mid-Season Twist: 23, 24, and 25 are all this. White Bomber discovers his brother died a horrific and lonely death, Shout's tearful backstory is explained when she resigns from the Jetters, and MAX is revealed to have been the one to kill Mighty, all with lots of crying. Needless to say, you'll want tissues.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    • Mujoe. Enough so that he helps the Jetters when Mechard takes over the Schumulvault.
    • Grand Bomber doesn't just fail to defeat the Jetters, he befriends and temporarily joins them. In the end, he can't choose between the Hige Hige Bandits and the Jetters, so he tells White Bomber to turn him back into a Kyarabon.
    • The basic Hige Hige minions also qualify. On several occasions, they actually helped White Bomber overcome some distraction (can't find the bathroom, overcoming his fear of needles so he could be cured of an illness) that was keeping him from stopping them. Immediately after, Mujoe would scold them and White Bomber would kick their asses.
    • All the lower tier Combined Bombermen created by Mujoe and Mechadoc, most of them don't survive being destroyed by Shirobon's bombs by the end of their respective episodes.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Hige Higes are robots who can be programmed to do whatever their master wishes. However, they are Ridiculously Human Robots in that they need to eat, enjoy recreation, and pursue the attention of the other gender.
  • My Hero, Zero: MAX's first prototype, MA-0, or just "Zero" among friends. He is also Mighty, which is where The Hero comes from.
  • No Mouth: As always with the series, all of the Bomber characters completely lack mouths, though they can still speak despite it. Normally, they are expressing emotions through their eyes.
  • No Waterproofing in the Future: Episode 2 starts off with White Bomber's spaceship crashing. The reason: Juice spill.
  • Only Sane Man: Birdy is this in the Jetters, being easily the most level-headed and mature member of the group.
  • Parental Abandonment: White Bomber and Mighty's parents are never ever mentioned, leaving them both under their grandmother's care. It appears from the Flashbacks that Mighty had also received a Promotion to Parent, but then he disappears, too. Man, not a happy family. Shout's mother is dead, too.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Despite being a highly trained special unit, the Jetters apparently have notoriously poor funding; many of its members hold other jobs just to get by.
  • Pokémon Speak: The Hige Hige minions can only say variations of "hige".
  • Punny Name: Twist and Shout.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Gangu and Bongo have this chemistry, thus being a source of comic relief. Gangu even has a thick Kansai accent to boot!
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Mujoe and his subordinate Hige Higes. They regularly appear to torment our heroes in various silly ways, before being sent packing.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: MAX's eye cover things are red, the first sign that he isn't like his game counterpart (where they're blue).
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Thunder Bomber goes absolutely mental after his brothers and sister are killed and Mujoe has been demoted from commander to mail delivery.
  • Space Police: The Jetters. They patrol space, fighting the Higes and various other villains.
  • Spoiled Brat: Mermaid Bomber. She wheedles her way into getting whatever she wants from Mujoe, most often his credit card, and refuses to take Birdy's hints that he's not interested in her, no matter how blatantly obvious.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Mermaid Bomber is this to Birdy. While this trait isn't so notable at first, it shows itself a bit more later—for example, she sends one of the Higes to steal his phone so she can get his number.
  • Status Quo Is God: Parodied. Even after Dr. Ein and Bagular have buried the hatchet; the Hige Hige Bandits and Jetters remain archenemies, which is cemented by Mujoe stealing a golden sake bowl and some of Jetters chasing after him. Lampshaded by Shout who comments that even after everything, some things never change.
  • Strange Salute: The Hige Hige Bandits have a highly... idiosyncratic salute.
  • The Syndicate: The Hige Hige Bandits are a gargantuan criminal army, led by Mujoe and Bagura.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Zero attempts this with MAX. He succeeds in defeating his opponent, although he is then corrupted and needing to be killed as well.
    • Thunder Bomber was about to perform this on White, before getting blasted by MAX.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Flame Bomber almost kills White Bomber while he was playing around in their first battle.
  • Yakuza: Alluded to by Oyabon in Episode 34. His name is a pun of an actual oyabun, the big boss of Yakuza gangs. His trademark "Banchou Bomb" attack also reflects this.
  • Wham Line: At the end of 23:
    "Your brother is dead!"