Cho Aniki ("Super Big Brother") is a series of side-scrolling Shoot Em Ups originally produced by NCS (although there was a later shift of designers) with gameplay that's pretty conventional and a lot like Darius. Really, the series only has one claim to fame:
It is incredibly, incredibly Macho Camp.
Playing Cho Aniki is a journey through a long, bizarre psychosexual dream, featuring recurring characters such as Adon and Samson, a pair of musclebound bodybuilders with a holes in their heads that they shoot bullets out of, and Adam, a giant naked man in a saucer that looks like a moon.
Most of the games have not been released outside of Japan, though a few of the games are now available through download services. Here is a full list of the games in the series:
- Cho Aniki (1992, PC Engine Super CD; rereleased internationally on the Wii Virtual Console)
- Ai Cho Aniki (1995, PC Engine Super CD)
- Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto Hen (1995, Super Famicom; Fighting Game)
- Cho Aniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko (1995, Playstation/Saturn; available on PSN.)
- Cho Aniki: Otoko no Tamafuda (2000, Wonderswan; Card Battle Game)
- Cho Aniki: Seinaru Protein Densetsu (2003, Playstation 2; developed by Psikyo)
- Cho Aniki Zero (2009, PSP; available on PSN in the U.S.)
Still, for the love of God, read this and discover just how bizarre the whole thing is. You won't believe us if we just tell you. (Note, however, that there's a small error: what they call the first game is actually the second. The first featured similar imagery, but the leads were the more standard action-game hero type Idaten and the female Benten; the two would become semi-recurring characters in the series, and are usually (but not always) who you're controlling in game. Samson and Adon were defecting aliens who served as option characters in the original game and went on to have bigger roles in subsequent games.)
Tropes common to the Cho Aniki series:
- Ascended Extra: Adon and Samson zig-zag this. Most of the time they're option characters. In Ai Cho Aniki, they're the main characters. Regardless of their role, they're the only characters to appear in every Cho Aniki game to date and are the poster boys of the series.
- Digitized Sprites: In Cho Aniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Inverted! While the first game was still very, very strange, it wasn't all that homoerotic compared to later games in the series. Ai Cho Aniki, however, turned the camp Up to Eleven and the series never looked back.
- Excuse Plot: Generally has to do with protein powder, although in Seinaru Protein Densetsu, you're playing as a blob of unspecified protein... That Came Out Wrong.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The third boss in Cho Aniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko is a giant frog-snail hybrid.
- The Smurfette Principle: Benten is a fairly recurring character in the series, and has been playable along with Idaten in three of the shooters and the fighting game spinoff. In fact, the only game where she doesn't appear at all is Seinaru Protein Densetsu. The fighting game also has Mami, though she's a battleship carrying tiny naked men.
- Snowlems: One of the late game bosses in Ai Cho Aniki is a snowman; as per the norm, he also has a bodybuilder's physique.
- Timed Mission: Ai Cho Aniki had a longish time limit that lasted through every stage. If time ran out, it was game over.
- World of Muscle Men: The series is full of ridiculously muscular men, though the first game is a bit less so than the sequels.