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Creator / bkub

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Bukubu Ookawa (大川ぶくぶ, born October 3rd, 1986), otherwise romanized as bkub, is a Mangaka known for his rather absurd style of comedy (generally done in the 4-koma format), whether it be in his derivative works (doujinshi under the Fuminbain circle name or official) or his original works, the best-known of which being Pop Team Epic.

Starting out in 2007, he ran his own blog via Livedoor, and would periodically upload comics on there, and later on his Pixiv too, including IPs such as Arcana Heart, Haruhi Suzumiya, Rozen Maiden and Lucky Star. But it wouldn't be until the following year when bkub would begin his rise to prominence properly, with the release of 3LDKM (a Manga about a man named Tsuneda who moves into an apartment that comes with a robot maid named Fumimi) in February, and the beginning of his Touhou Project doujinshi in April, and later Idolmaster doujinshi too. The former ended up winning the Excellence Prize in the 8th Dengeki Comic Grand Prix in the Shōnen Division, which would, in turn, lead to his serialized debut with Super Elegant in Dengeki G's Festival! COMIC. The latter would end up skyrocketing his internet popularity, not only in Japan, but also in the West, as the online cross-cultural boom of interaction between the two online spheres (resultant from many things, whether it be Nico Nico Douga becoming its own service, or the end of the American anime boom after 2007/2008) would prompt much wider interest in series such as Touhou, and in turn the fanworks that existed.

Since then, bkub has grown to become a rather well-recognized online mangaka, his art style and comedy refined as the years passed by, with LINE stickers made by him, several serialized manga and involvement in anthologies, and even an anime for Pop Team Epic, making him even more internationally mainstream than he had ever been previously. Despite this apparent popularity, many of his works do still remain untranslated, especially those that have never seen any online upload.

An incomplete list of his works in chronological order (commercial works are bolded; anthologies not included):

His career and works provide examples of:

  • Art Evolution: Back when he started, bkub's art looked much rougher, with more pronounced angles in select areas and just overall seeming messier, but nowadays, his art is much cleaner and rounder.
  • Author Appeal: bkub is a well-known fan of many works:
    • One of the most apparent is his love of the The iDOLM@STER franchise, especially Cinderella Girls, having made several doujinshi starring his favorite idol unit Ankira. Kenji Akabane and Shunsuke Takeuchi as well as Ankira ended up doing the ending theme for the Pop Team Epic anime, while Eriko Nakamura and Asami Imai (Haruka and Chihaya) voice the duo in Part A of Episode 9. Ankira even lampshade his love for the franchise themselves in Episode 8.
    • One of the Pop Team Epic 4koma would state how cute Nanachi is, later referenced with one of the fortunes in Episode 2 of the anime. He'd even draw for the Made in Abyss Anthology.
    • He's also a big fan of PriPara, frequently tweeting about it and having the 8 main girls of Idol Time in the penultimate episode drawn in his style at one point. He's even had Popuko and Pipimi pose as Nino and Shion for its anime.
    • One quick glance at his Twitter banner and pinned tweet will reveal that bkub's a lover of Final Fantasy XIV, and in particular the Lalafells, something which his White Mage is. Alongside fellow mangaka and friend Fakkuma, who plays a Lalafell Scholar, he began playing following the release of A Realm Reborn, and has since made art and comics of his character. Both his and Fakkuma's characters had become so popular that you can buy official merch with their characters on it at the Square Enix Store, and Fakkuma's character even ended up receiving her own serialized manga (paralleled by an online version he uploads on Twitter).
  • Author Avatar: Has one named Duckman, who kind of looks like a duck.
  • Brick Joke: Happen frequently in his more comedic works.
  • The Cameo / Crossover: He's had characters from his original works appear in his other works sometimes, from Mission Impossible's Histral suddenly showing up in Pop Team Epic, prompting Popuko to mention how she hates when Production Throwbacks happen, to his original monster Devil Mammo from Extreme Go-Home Club appearing in GOHO Mafia after he draws attention away from Mafia Kajita.
  • Cat Smile: A trademark of his comics, whether it be with Chen or with Popuko or Pipimi.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference: With works such as Pop Team Epic and GOHO Mafia especially, it is rather common to find bkub reference non-Japanese pop culture.
  • Cut and Paste Comic: Lampshaded quite a bit, especially since it is part of his style.
  • Gag Series: Many of his works, doujinshi or official, can fall under here.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: As a result of bkub updating his Livedoor blog in 2011, all his previous blog posts ended up getting deleted, and with that, easy access to the images he uploaded since 2007. While some of the images were also uploaded to his FC2 art gallery, others remained only on that blog. Fortunately, using the Wayback Machine allows one to see many of the posts he made, and while the images he uploaded weren't archived, just grabbing the raw links themselves reveals that the images proper are still available. Similarly, as doujinshi are generally made for one event and then generally not reproduced, the trope could apply to them too.
  • No Export for You: Up until it was announced that Pop Team Epic had been licensed in October of 2017 by Vertical Comics for an official English release in October 2018, bkub's manga have largely been shared online via Scanlation, the sources of the translation varying throughout the years, with more recent ones coming from the Image Booru Danbooru. There aren't many raws of his doujinshi nor his official works, thus most scanlations are made from his online uploads.
  • Self-Deprecation: Incredibly common in his works, even proclaiming himself to be a "Kuso (shit) Manga Boy".
  • Trolling Creator: From the cancellation of Pop Team Epic at the end of the first volume, to much of his humor, bkub can fall under here very often.
  • Twitter: Nowadays, he's mainly on Twitter, having practically left his other accounts, such as his Pixiv, and as well his blogs, on the shelf to gather dust.