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What games do most people think of when they hear the name "Konami?" Castlevania? Metal Gear? Yu-Gi-Oh!? How about Ganbare Goemon? No? Well, you're not alone.

Ganbare Goemon (known as Mystical Ninja in western countries) is a long-running series of video games by Konami that began in 1986 with the release of Mr. Goemon for the arcade. The plots revolve around the chivalrous thief Goemon and his friends Ebisumaru, Sasuke, and Yae as they set out to defeat whatever zany villain is threatening Japan (or the universe) at the time. Surreal Humor ensues.

While Western gamers are largely unfamiliar with the series, it's actually one of Konami's biggest Cash Cow Franchises in Japan, having spawned a numerous games (but also some manga, a few anime, and loads of merchandise) since its debut. But if the games are so popular, then why aren't more of them released in English?

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Cultural barriers, mostly. One of Ganbare Goemon's biggest draws - aside from the vibrant graphics, superb music, and great gameplay - is its bizarre brand of uniquely Japanese humor that makes translation difficult. Within you'll find many oddities such as time-traveling transvestite nuns, bunny-obssessed shoguns, and suicidal sportsmen. There's also a great deal of anachronistic elements (such as giant robots) that really have no place in Edo-period Japan. It's all so absurd that you'll just have to experience it for yourself.


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Notable works in the franchise:

Video Games:

  • Mr. Goemon (1986, Arcade) is a side-scrolling action game that is only thematically related to the later series, as it features a completely different gameplay and an art style based on ukyo paintings.
  • Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Dōchū (1986, FC) is the first true game in the series, an attempt to create a 3D platformer on the NES by adopting an overhead view. It is notable for being the first 2 Megabit cartridge on the Famicom and the final game to feature the first-generation Konami logo. The MSX2 version released in 1987 features redesigned stages in order to better suit the hardware's lack of scrolling capability. A sequel was released titled Ganbare Goemon 2 (1989, FC), which added 2-player co-op and introduced Goemon's faithful sidekick, Ebisumaru.
  • Two spin-off traditional RPG surfaced: Ganbare Goemon Gaiden: Kieta Ōgun Kiseru (1990, FC) and Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihō (1992, FC) . They are notable for using special double-sized cartridges, and for ditching the original gameplay in favour of a more elaborate story. Yae, and Kurobe (the ninja cat) are introduced here, with some cameos from Simon Belmont and Twinbee.
  • Then there were the Super Famicom games, which returned to the original's gameplay improving upon it to make themselves the epitome of the series.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Yuki-hime Kyūshutsu Emaki (1991, SFC) was the first one, and the only of the SNES offerings to have a release overseas as Legend of the Mystical Ninja (1992, SNES).
    • There were three more Super Famicom offerings: the second had a case of Sequel Difficulty Drop, and the third was similar in many aspects to Zelda II, although with the best side-scrolling sections in the entire series. Both of them introduced Mode-7 mecha boss battles, after the castles' bosses. These starred the famous Goemon Impact. The fourth one is the one with the best level-design, graphics and situations, although it is Nintendo Hard.
  • Another puzzler spin-off, with prerendered graphics, starring Ebisumaru, has been released as Soreyuke Ebisumaru: Karakuri Meiro (1996, SFC), with Fake Difficulty due to awful isometric perspective controls.
  • Meanwhile, a plethora of Game Boy games have been released. Only two of them got released overseas:
    • Ganbare Goemon: Sarawareta Ebisumaru (1991, GB): Released in Europe as part of Konami GB Collection Vol.3 as Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (2000, GBC). It is available worldwide on the 3DS eShop.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Kuro Fune-tō no Nazo (1997, GB): a mediocre Zelda clone released as Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (1998, GB) in the west.
  • Other Japan-only Game Boy titles are:
    • Ganbare Goemon: Tengu-tō no Gyakushū (1999, GBC): an RPG like the Gaiden Famicom series.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Mononoke Dōchū - Tobidase Nabe Bugyō! (1999, GBC): Links with Mononoke Sugoroku. Tries to capitalize on the Pokémon success.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Seikūshi Dainamaittsu Arawaru!! (2000, GBC), the best Game Boy Color entry in the series: it plays like a port of Goemon 2 SFC.
  • The PlayStation opuses were not met with nearly as much success as the N64 games.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu (1996, PS1): a 2D sidescroller, inspired from Goemon 3 SFC. It ditches long-time PCs Yae and Sasuke for two Replacement Scrappy old men.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Kuru Nara Koi! Ayashige Ikka no Kuroi Kage (1998, PS1): a full 3D game. Hit the Polygon Ceiling pretty hard, and is widely considered the worst console Goemon game, save for its Goemon Impact sequences.
    • Ganbare Goemon: Ōedo Daikaiten (2001, PS1): where the series went back to its 2D roots, with a 2.5D sidescroller, inspired from (and bordering on ripping off) Goemon 2 SFC.
    • Goemon Shin Sedai Shūmei! (2001, PS1): A spinoff with a futuristic setting and a new cast, with a young spiky-haired Goemon. Fans didn't appreciate. It was ported (with many cuts) to the GBA as Goemon New Age Shutsudō! (2002, GBA).
  • The Nintendo 64 games, notable for being localized more accurately:
    • Ganbare Goemon: Neo Momoyama Bakufu no Odori (1997, N64), released overseas as Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (1998, N64). A full-3D platformer, yet more successful than its PS1 counterpart.
    • Ganbare Goemon Derodero Dōchū Obake Tenko Mori (1998. N64), Released in American as Goemon's Great Adventure, and in Europe as Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon 2 (1998, N64): a 2.5 sidescroller. A highlight of the series.
    • Goemon Mononoke Sugoroku (1999, N64): A Japan-only spin-off board game, with Mons elements. Links with Mononoke Dōchū.
  • Bōken Jidai Katsugeki Goemon (2000, PS2): A slightly Darker and Edgier attempt at reimagining the series, with a kid Goemon with a pet white tiger, and a more serious tone. Has cameos from long-time PCs Yae, Sasuke, and Ebisamaru. Has a complete unreleased english localization by Working Designs.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū - Ōedo Tengu-ri Kaeshi no Maki (2005, NDS): Marks the return of the series to its former glory, with a gameplay similar to the first N64 with better controls. Upon being linked to the GBA port of the two first SNES games, it unlocks various cameos from earlier games NPCs.
  • Pachislot Ganbare Goemon (2009, Arcade)
  • Goemon has also been referenced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate by way of Mii Costume, though he's not physically in the game himself.

Hiroshi Obi's Manga:

  • Ganbare Goemon: Yuki-hime Kyūshutsu Emaki (1991): 3 volumes.
  • Ganbare Goemon Gaiden: Kieta Ōgun Kiseru + Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2: Tenka no Zaihō (1992): 4 volumes.
  • Shin Ganbare Goemon: Jigoku-hen (1993): 2 volumes.
  • Ganbare Goemon 2: Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu (1993): 2 volumes.
  • Ganbare Goemon 3: Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame (1994): 3 volumes.
  • Ganbare Goemon 4: Kirakira Dōchū - Boku ga Dancer ni Natta Wake: (1995) 3 volumes, includes a side chapter based on Soreyuke Ebisumaru.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu (1996-1997): 1 volume.
  • Ganbare Goemon Fever (1997): 1 volume.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Neo Momoyama Bakufu no Odori (1997): 3 volumes, includes a side chapter based on Kuro Fune-tō no Nazo.

Anime:

  • Ganbare Goemon: Jigen-jō no Akumu (1991, OVA)
  • Anime Ganbare Goemon (1997-1998, TV): 23 episodes.
    • Legend of the Mystical Ninja (2003, VHS/DVD): Released by ADV Films.
  • Ganbare Goemon: Chikyū Kyūshutsu Sakusen (1998, OVA)

This Series Franchise provides examples of:

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    Game-Related Tropes 
  • Achilles' Heel: Parodied in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, where in Zazen Town, Ushiwaka gives it to the heroes to defeat the bridge guard Benkei with.
    Narrator: Ever since the Achilles' heel was thrown at Benkei... Achilles' heel was meant to be the weak point of someone.
    Ebisumaru: There's something fishy about that story... [Laugh Track]
  • Actually a Doombot: The first phase of the final boss of Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu ends this way, with McGuinness's head falling off, revealing it was actually a robot double of him.
  • All There in the Manual: How else could we learn about how Yae enjoys making sweet bean donuts and croissants?
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: When the first SNES game in the series, Ganbare Goemon: Yuki-hime Kyūshutsu Emaki got translated and brought over to America as Legend of the Mystical Ninja, it's boxart got redesigned to suit the more 'American style'.
  • Anachronism Stew: The Humongous Mecha are the most obvious example of this, but the series is chock full of references and things that just aren't likely to be found in Edo-era Japan, like cameras, Hollywood, giant space ships, bazookas, submarines, pizza and much, much more.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In Goemon's Great Adventure and Tōkai Dōchū.
  • Anime Theme Song: The intros for the N64 games (or at least the first one in the USA) are basically shonen opening sequences made with the game engine, and sung by none other than Hironobu Kageyama of Dragon Ball Z fame.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Goemon's Great Adventure, the free room at the inns won't heal any health, but will allow you to sleep until morning or nighttime, which is helpful in accessing certain sidequests that are only available at certain times of day.
  • Art Shift: The New Age games use a more Animesque artstyle and proportions.
    • Tōkai Dōchū goes for a cel-shaded, Sumi-e-esque artstyle.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Inversion. In the end of Ganbare Goemon 2, Ebisumaru reveals that he is actually a beautiful young girl who was transformed into an ugly man by a jealous feudal lord. For some reason, he reverts back to his "ugly man" form in subsequent games, and his "beautiful girl" form is never seen nor mentioned again.
  • Balance, Power, Skill, Gimmick: Goemon is the most balanced, Ebisumaru is the slowest and strongest, Sasuke is the fastest and weakest, and Yae has the most specialized moves (such as turning into a mermaid).
  • Boss Subtitles: Used in the later games.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • The geisha striptease shows from Legend of the Mystical Ninja were too risque for Nintendo of America's content policy at the time, and were thus removed from the English version.
    • References to Wise Man's perversions were censored in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and Goemon's Great Adventure, such as pornographic books being changed to car magazines.
    • Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon also features multiple characters referring to one of the main villains, a flamboyant crossdresser, by the anti-LGBT slur "okama" (roughly equivalent to "faggot" or "tranny" in both meaning and connotation, depending on the context). The English localization addresses this by either replacing the term with a more neutral substitute (e.g. "weirdo") or just avoiding it entirely. "Okama" in general has been a hugely contentious issue for localizers due to its homophobic/transphobic nature, and Japanese society itself gradually shifted away from using it so casually, to the point of re-releases of older games excising the term entirely (though it still crops up here and there in modern media).
  • Canis Major: In Goemon's Great Adventure, Dochuki's true form is a gigantic, horned wolf demon.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Used for romantic symbolism in Kuru Nara Koi, when Dr. Yabu (revealed to be Mr. Ayashige) realizes he still loves his estranged wife and in the post-credits scene where Omitsu comes to forgive Goemon.
  • Chubby Chaser: A NPC girl on Tortoise Island in Goemon's Great Adventure will only give you a plot-relevant item if you talk to her as Ebisumaru because she finds his chubbiness attractive.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: One-shot characters make up a large number of the series' massive cast. The lucky ones are allowed to make a cameo appearance or two.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Continuing in Legend of the Mystical Ninja causes you to lose everything, including your money, power and max health (which you can't get back.) There are locations in town where you can write a logbook to save your progress and retain everything upon continuing, but if you die in the next town before getting to that place, you better be prepared to either start the previous level over again or give up everything to keep going.
  • Continuity Reboot: Legend of the Mystical Ninja, which has Goemon and Ebisumaru meeting Yae for the first time (despite the fact that she already met them in Gaiden) and ignores the twist ending of Ganbare Goemon 2 where Ebisumaru is revealed to be a woman who was cursed into looking like an ugly man.
  • Cultural Translation: Defied Trope. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon is explicitly about a handful of quintessentially Japanese comedic heroes preventing a Widget Series-themed feudal Japan from being turned into a western-style fine arts theater.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Ryukyu Castle in Legend of the Mystical Ninja is long and hard as hell, and ends with Goemon and Ebisumaru finally rescuing Princess Yuki... only to find out that you fell into a trap set by the villains and get thrown in jail, and have to break out to traverse the real final dungeon and rescue her a second time.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Tōkai Dōchū has a cameo by the "New Age" Goemon, who has been imprisoned for crimes against the franchise. The same title even has straw training dummies made in his likeness.
  • Dub Name Change: In Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Goemon becomes Kid Ying, and Ebisumaru becomes Dr. Yang.
  • Dungeon Town: Every single town (at least until future games stopped trying to invoke Everything Trying to Kill You).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The anachronistic elements of the series wasn't introduced until Legend of the Mystical Ninja.
    • Originally, Goemon himself was the only playable character; Ebisumaru would become playable in Ganbare Goemon 2 (as player 2), Yae in Gaiden, and Sasuke in Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu.
    • Until Gaiden, the artstyle of the series was Sengoku-esque, before becoming more cartoony later on.
    • Between Mr. Goemon and Gaiden, Goemon's hair was brown/black instead of its usual blue.
    • In the Gaiden games, Ebisumaru wears white instead of blue.
    • In Gaiden, Yae's hair is black instead of green; in Legend of the Mystical Ninja, it's blue.
    • The Humongous Mecha fights, a staple of the series, weren't featured until Impact's debut in Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu. Also, in the Impact fights of said game, your health is slowly drained over time.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: EVERYTHING.
    • Starting with Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu, the townspeople would no longer harm Goemon in town, at least until he attacks someone, triggering an infinite swarm of furious cops, as a nod to previous Famicom-era games... Played straight, however, in a town set within Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu's Final Castle (which may be justifiable), and with the platforming sections.
  • Evil Knockoff: Obisumaru from Goemon's Great Adventure, who challenges Ebisumaru to a race on Frog Mountain and the Wind Castle Wall, and gives an Entry Pass as a reward for each.
  • Fembot: While Yae Impact exhibits the typical "sleek and feminine" style of most cited examples, Miss Impact simply looks like Goemon Impact wearing a wig and kimono.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The second phase of the final boss of Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu, where McGuinness uses the conch shell to turn Impact against you.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Of sorts. Legend of the Mystical Ninja requires the player to buy a pass and a phrasebook at different points throughout the game, both of which are very expensive. If you don't have the money on hand already (which can easily happen if you Game Over in a new town before you reach the logbook, and don't feel like starting the previous level over again,) you either better be good at minigames or be ready to grind for money for a while.
  • Foreshadowing: In Ganbare Goemon 2, Ebisumaru can only bathe in the ladies' section of the bathhouses despite being a man, hinting that he's actually a young woman.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A fair amount. Because of Values Dissonance, many censors don't realize that there's anything that might be objectionable to Westerners. For example, the conspicuous genitalia of Tanukis are left intact.
    • Despite the game being somewhat censored on Western importation, the English version of Goemon's Great Adventure does contain the word, "damn."
    • The instruction manual for the English version of Legend of the Mystical Ninja contains this description of the Memory mini-game: "You really have to concentrate in this camp." Yep — somehow Nintendo's censors missed a concentration camp joke right in the middle of a kid's game.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Legend of the Mystical Ninja has the Mountain Pass boss, a giant kabuki actor, who gets no explanation, and after his defeat, Goemon and Ebisumaru simply continue on their way.
  • Glass Cannon: Goemon's "Sudden Impact" ability from Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon temporarily turns him into this, letting him deal twice as much damage at the cost of taking twice as much damage.
  • Heart Container: The gold and silver Maneki Neko dolls.
  • Historical Domain Character: Ishikawa Goemon
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Ebisumaru's "Mini-Ebisu" ability in Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, which lets him go through small holes and crevices.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Featured in a few games, such as Goemon's Great Adventure — tougher monsters appear at night, and some side quests are available only at certain times of day.
  • It Can't Be Helped: The party's reaction to Goemon being forced into doing a certain sidequest in Goemon's Great Adventure, but only if you're playing with a friend.
  • Konami Code: One NPC in Legend of the Mystical Ninja explicitly tells you that nothing will happen if you input it.
  • Laugh Track: Used in both Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon.
  • Level Goal: The tanuki statues in Goemon's Great Adventure, which break open to reveal a cache of coins or an Entry Pass.
  • Mythology Gag: Early on in Tōkai Dōchū, Goemon has to free the Wise Man from imprisonment by brainwashed village cultists. In one of the cells, Neo Age Goemon (not depicted in the same Sumi-e art style as the rest of the NPCs) is held for copyright infringement.
    • The two Famicom games and Legend of the Mystical Ninja has a severe case of Everything Trying to Kill You, as all of the villagers, cops, fishermen (and the fish they're holding) trying to kill you. Starting with Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu, this is no longer the case, but if you hit someone, you'll be raided by an infinite army of cops, in a nod to the earlier games. Tōkai Dōchū even summons more powerful cops every time you clear enough of them, some being end-game enemies. But the cops won't react if you attack a thief, or some grandmas/old men (who are much more dangerous than cops).
  • Nintendo Hard: Legend of the Mystical Ninja is certainly hard, but much of its difficulty comes from how unrelenting the game is, with the player not even able to take a break in towns due to Everything Trying to Kill You (as well as the fact that Continuing Is Painful).
  • Noodle Incident: It's not at all explained why the old perverted man and kitsune joined forces to menace Japan in Legend of the Mystical Ninja. Continuing to harass the princess forces the mystical fox spirit to call off their deal, rendering the old man completely harmless.
  • No Swastikas: The star blocks in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and Goemon's Great Adventure were originally adorned with manji marks.
  • One-Winged Angel: Interestingly, Dochuki from Goemon's Great Adventure is the only villain to have done this in the series' 23-year run.
    • Technically, Kabuki did it as well.
  • Point of No Return: Once you go to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, you can't go back to Edo. Thankfully, the game warns you of this.
  • Plot Coupon: The Miracle Items in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (all five of which are needed to access The Very Definitely Final Dungeon), and the Entry Passes in Goemon's Great Adventure (which need to be shown to the guards to pass through each checkpoint).
  • Polygon Ceiling: Averted with the two first localized N64 games (the third, Mononoke Sugoroku, being a Japanese-only version of Culcept), but played horribly straight in the 3D PS1 and the only PS2 outings. Futuristic Punk Kid Goemon, anyone? Rumours say it was the reason Sony would not allow these to be localized. The only redeeming factors in those outings (infamous for a blue void as a background, and horrible game designs) are its FMVs, or the Impact Battles pushing those systems to their limits.
  • Shout-Out: The obligatory references to other Konami games. Simon Belmont was even a Guest-Star Party Member in Gaiden 2.
  • Skip of Innocence: Ebisumaru is a Rare Male Example. Some games (the Super Famicom ones, mainly) have him skipping as a walking animation.
  • Stalked by the Bell
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu
  • Unwanted Rescue: From Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon"The oh-so-beautiful song and dance of Dancin' and Lily... we won't be able to see them. Thanks to you! You little..."
  • Unwilling Suspension: Koban the cat in Legend of the Mystical Ninja is suspended from the ceiling by a single rope when you find him and during the ensuing boss fight.
  • Variable Mix: Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and Goemon's Great Adventure are notable for having this, with the background music in "castle" areas becoming more fleshed out as the player progresses deeper within. Not to mention the latter having the music change in field stages as evening rolls in and vice versa.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu and Tōkai Dōchū, a swarm of angry guards will appear if you harm innocent civilians. They can be defeated in easily, but will continue to appear until you either die or leave the area (in the latter game, stronger versions will appear once enough are defeated). In earlier games, attacking the roving "bonus characters" (which included Omitsu and Princess Yuki) would result in a monetary penalty.
  • Villain Song: Three words: Gorgeous My Stage.
  • Visual Pun: The foreign villains in Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu wear rabbit suits. The Japanese word for "rabbit" is "USAgi".
  • What the Hell, Player?: In Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, after rescuing the Lord and Princess Yuki in the Transformed Oedo Castle, the Lord asks you to investigate the Peach Mountain Shoguns, the main antagonists. You have the option of accepting or refusing the call. If you say "no", the Lord will comment on how he can't believe a hero like you would refuse his request, followed by the Laugh Track. If you keep refusing, the Lord will keep repeating the same line, but the Laugh Track will be replaced with disapproving groans.

    Manga-Related Tropes 
  • Adaptation Distillation: The games are already light on plot, so trimming the fat allowed Obi to expand upon some characters' roles — such as Omitsu in Legend of the Mystical Ninja and Impact in Ganbare Goemon 4 — and generally making things more interesting.
  • All Men Are Perverts: It's to be expected when Hiroshi Obi also produces Ecchi and Hentai...
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In Legend of the Mystical Ninja, Goemon wets himself when he mistakes a food-engorged Ebisumaru for a monster.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: There have been a number of gag manga produced over the years, but Hiroshi Obi is by far the most well-known for having made an entire series based on the "major" games (along with two original stories).
  • Derailing Love Interests: Despite being initially described as Goemon's sweetheart, Omitsu quickly underwent Flanderization into an abusive and selfish harpy of a woman, making readers wonder why Goemon continued to keep her around long after it was made obvious that he preferred Yae.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: A recurring segment in Ganbare Goemon Fever had Goemon and Ebisumaru "modify" Sasuke based on schematics sent from readers.
  • Indirect Kiss: Invoked in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon. Ebisumaru states that he had his lips on Koryuta's Flute after Yae did, making it an indirect kiss. Goemon then assumes that kissing Ebisumaru would be like doing the same to Yae, and does so out of desperation.
  • Love Chart: Ganbare Goemon 3 has one.
  • Lust Object: Yae is Goemon's, though there's some hints of romantic attraction here and there.
  • Nosebleed: Described as happening but never actually shown in the games for some reason. The manga naturally has more than enough to make up for it.
  • Ret-Canon: From the manga to the games, there's Yae's bazooka (Legend of the Mystical Ninja) and Ebisumaru Impact (Kiteretsu Shōgun Magginesu). The concept of Obisumaru from Goemon's Great Adventure may have resulted from a panel in Legend of the Mystical Ninja in which Hiroshi Obi cosplays as Ebisumaru.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The fate of anyone who witnesses Ebisumaru's "Heroine Technique." Its first usage triggers a Vomit Chain Reaction from friend and foe alike!

    Anime-Related Tropes 
  • The Anime of the Game: One television series and two OVAs.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chikyū Kyūshutsu Sakusen is a rare occasion in which Omitsu takes an active role in the plot instead of being a cheerleader or kidnapping victim. Nico Nico Douga commenter reactions were a mixture of confusion and annoyance.
  • Emotion Eater: The "Rage Gauge" in Anime is powered by negative emotions, which will allow Makuamuuge to enter the real world when enough is collected.
  • Green Aesop: The entirety of Chikyū Kyūshutsu Sakusen.
  • Happily Married: Yōko and Junichirō Ishikawa (Tsukasa's parents).
  • Love Hurts: Protein falls for an oblivious Sasuke, but they're on opposite sides of the conflict. Later, the same happens to Dr. Mudanashi with Tsukasa's mother.
  • Power-Up Food: Omitsu's ohagi in the TV anime only works for Goemon if it's made by her, thanks to The Power of Love.
  • Real World Episode: Goemon and company have the ability to freely go back and forth from the game world to the real world in Anime.
  • Rich Bastard: Noboru Mejirodai in Anime.
  • You Have Failed Me: In Anime, Makuamuuge tires of Seppukumaru's constant screw-ups and sends him down a Trap Door to make way for newcomers Dr. Mudanashi and Mr. Protein.

    Multi-Media Tropes 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Even the guys want Goemon, but they tend to be male versions of this trope. Kenzo especially stands out, repeatedly entering Goemon's house uninvited and claiming it to be their "love nest."
  • Alternate Continuity: The anime and Hiroshi Obi's manga. Game-wise, there's Bouken Jidai Katsugeki and the two "New Age" titles.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Nyanko of the Four Tsujigiri does this on a near-constant basis.
  • City of Adventure: Hagure Town of Edo, variously translated as "Oedo Town" and "Lost'n Town."
  • Console Cameo: A Super Famicom is shown in Soreyuke Ebisumaru and Jigen-jō no Akumu.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: This series just loves them.
    • This provides another example of Bowdlerizing. In Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Goemon routinely calls the villains "weirdos." In Japan, however, it's "faggots."
  • Demoted to Extra: Koryuta made his debut as a permanent party member in Ganbare Goemon Gaiden 2. Nowadays he's just a mode of transportation, though the manga tried to expand his role a little.
  • Edo Is the Center of the Universe
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: If a villain has henchmen, chances are they'll be this.
  • Historical and Public Domain Character: Due to many Japanese folk characters being based on real people, the series skirts between the two tropes. A few examples are Nezumi Kouzo, Sarutobi Sasuke, and (of course) Ishikawa Goemon.
  • Humongous Mecha: A staple of the series since Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu introduced Impact to the series.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens a few times to Omitsu, particularly in Kuru Nara Koi where the entire plot revolves around the spoiled son of the wealthy Ayashige family attempting to force her into marriage. (Said son is only a child...)
  • Implied Love Interest: Konami hasn't revealed the true nature of Goemon and Omitsu's relationship, but they're obviously very close. This is possibly for the best, considering how popular it is to pair off Goemon with someone who isn't Omitsu - making them explicitly an Official Couple would definitely piss off a lot of shippers.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Goemon's trademark weapon is a kiseru, a type of Japanese smoking pipe. Ebisumaru's arsenal varies from game to game, and includes some conventional weapons such as hammers and shuriken, but he has had a few unusual weapons as well, including flutes, megaphones, hula hoops, and paper fans.
  • Kabuki Sounds: The series is generously peppered with all manner of Kabuki influences, such as Goemon's kumadori face paint and tendency to make mie poses.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Goemon is revealed to be the ancestor of Shishi Jurokubei, the Big Bad of Shishi Jūrokubē no Karakuri Manji-gatame. Jurokubei performs a Heel–Face Turn immediately afterwards.
  • Meaningful Name: Many of the villains in the series have one, often overlapping with Punny Name.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In Kirakira Dōchū, the heroes' breaking of the barriers surrounding Planet Impact allowed the evil Harakiri Seppukumaru to escape. Whoops!
  • The Nicknamer: Spring Breeze Dancin' in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon immediately gives Goemon and Ebisumaru the nicknames of "Fernandez" and "Antonio," respectively. In the manga, Sasuke recieves the less-dignified nickname of "Boingy." As Kitty Lily explains, Dancin' has a habit of, "choosing a new name for a person if he feels it better suits them". Which leads to this priceless exchange:
    Dancin': Farewell then, Fernandez!
    Goemon: Wait a minute! Who's Fernandez?! [Laugh Track]
    Ebisumaru: He was looking at you when he said it... [Laugh Track]
  • Ninja
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The series uses the names of the old provinces of Japan, but the locations therein are entirely fictional.
  • No Name Given: The majority of characters are only referred to by their first names, save for most villains. The few exceptions - Ishikawa Goemon, Ikeda Omitsu, and Momochi Monoshirinosuke - are never mentioned again after they're revealed.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: Hey, there weren't robots in Feudal Japan!
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Harakiri Seppukumaru in Kirakira Dōchū and Dochuki in Goemon's Great Adventure.
  • Ship Sinking and Ship Tease: In Kuru Nara Koi, GoeYae fans are baited by an impending Medicine Kiss scenario, only for Yae to quickly pass the task on to an obliging Ebisumaru instead.
    • Also, the post-game phone conversation in Goemon's Great Adventure has a branch leading to Yae lamenting about how she didn't know that Goemon and Omitsu were together, and she even admits that it's too late to do anything about it.
      • Probably a reference to the fact that the Goemon/Omitsu couple was there before Yae came into existence, meaning it was too late for the creators to get them together even if they wanted to.
    • Goemon had nightmares in the manga to make it clear that any romantic feelings he had for Omitsu were eliminated by the time Kiteretsu Shougun Magginesu occured, perhaps even earlier if one takes the bonus chapter of Uchū Kaizoku Akogingu into account. There's another in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon in which Omitsu guilt-trips him for treating her disappearance with apathy (even whipping out the manga itself as proof when he denies it). Ironically, the real Omitsu thanks Goemon for his concern when they meet again later on.
  • Vague Age: Everyone except for Wise Man (98 years old as of Kirakira Dōchū) and General McGuinness (39 years old).
  • Verbal Tic: A lot of characters have them, mostly villains. The Four Tsujigiri even have different verbal tics between the games and anime.
  • Widget Series

Alternative Title(s): Goemons Great Adventure, Mystical Ninja

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