Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (Japanese: ボボボーボ・ボーボボ, Hepburn: Bobobōbo Bōbobo) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshio Sawai, published by Shueisha, and serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is a comedy influenced by Japanese manzai humor that uses puns, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, non-sexualized cross-dressing, visual gags, and satirical and pop-culture references. The manga series lasted from 2001 through 2007, divided into two separate sections with a distinct difference in humor and plotting.
In the year 300X, the entire world is under the tyrannical rule of the Maruhage Empire, and their ruler, Tsuru Tsurulina IV (Baldy Bald the 4th). His Hair Hunt troop captures innocent bystanders' hair, leaving the people bald and their villages in ruins. Standing against this evil regime is the heroic, but bizarre, rebel, Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo, who fights the Hair Hunt Troop with his powerful Hanage Shinken (Fist of the Nose Hair). His team consists of the normal teen girl Beauty, the smelly teen warrior Heppokomaru (Gasser) and the Hajike leader Don Patch (Poppa Rocks). Bo-bobo is on an exciting, gag-filled quest in which he uses his hair as a weapon in many locales.
Shueisha published the manga of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo and serialized it in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The original manga story ended in 2005, and in January, 2006 a sequel manga replaced it in Weekly Shōnen Jump, now entitled Shinsetsu Bobobō-bo Bō-bobo (True Theory : Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo) which ended in July, 2007.
In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media and was published in a one shot graphic novel form in October 2005 and was later published monthly in Shōnen Jump from July 2007 to June 2009. A report by Viz at the 2008 New York Anime festival reported that graphic novels would be released sometime in 2008, the first (covering volume 11 (the one-shot covers part volumes 9 and 10) yet released as "Volume 1") having been released on August 5, 2008. A total of six volumes of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo were published by Viz before they ceased publication with Volume 15. When asked about why the previous volumes were not being published at Anime Expo 2008, Viz said it was due to the "content". While earlier chapters did run in Shonen Jump to promote the airing of the anime on Toonami, the majority of the first 8 volumes were never officially released.
After the end of the initial Bo-bobo series, the series rebooted into a second part known as Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo in December, 2005. Picking up one year after the end of the first part, the Maruhage Empire is reformed by former emperor Tsuru Tsurulina III into the Neo-Maruhage Empire, where the Hair Hunts resume and a new generation of powerful Hair Hunt generals are created. Bo-bobo, powering the abilities of his "Fist of the Nosehair" into its Shinsetsu (True Theory) form, rejoins Beauty and the Hajike allies to take on the renewed Maruhage threat. Many of the rebels from the original series, including Don Patch, Jelly Jiggler, Hatenko, Softon and Hanpen return to assist in the new rebellion. Yet in the midst of this, Heppokkomaru (Gasser) joins the Neo-Maruhage forces, forced to turn to the dark side for his own personal reasons.
The anime was directed by Hiroki Shibata, produced by Toei Animation and ran for 76 episodes from November 8, 2003, to October 29, 2005, on TV Asahi. The anime, licensed by Toei Animation, first aired as a sneak peek on Cartoon Network's Fridays block on September 30, and then aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block Saturdays at 10/9c. The show returned to the United States on February 17, 2007, at 8:30/7:30c. It has been shown on Jetix (UK) since April 14, 2007, at 7:00PM, and has been seen on Cartoon Network's broadband service Toonami Jetstream since November 5. The anime is dubbed by Phuuz Entertainment Inc., in association with Cloverway Inc.. The dub was censored at some points in order to receive a lower TV-rating, allowing it to be broadcast to a younger audience demographic.
Despite its limitations, the American dubs of the anime and manga manage to preserve the spirit of the show; the translators and adaptation writers were forced to rewrite several of the jokes due to the differences between the Japanese and English languages. At several points in the dub, the American version makes fun of the fact that it is a translation of a Japanese product (for example, when Bo-bobo is filling out an application card in episode two, he botches it because the application is in Japanese and he cannot read it, instead drawing "little doodles" for answers; in the original Japanese version he messes up the application for a completely different reason, and the "little doodles" are his honest answers written in hiragana). This style of self-referential humor can also be seen in the American version of Kyatto Ninden Teyandee, Samurai Pizza Cats. Additionally, with the exception of the opening credits, all other on-screen Japanese text is intentionally kept in the English dub (most likely as a part of retaining the show's surreal humor).
The series was originally licensed for home video release in North America by Illumitoon Entertainment who released only 2 volumes on bilingual DVD in 2007 before their distribution deal with Westlake Entertainment fell through, and all further volumes were canceled. S'more Entertainment later announced on January 16, 2012, that they will be releasing Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo to bilingual DVD in North America beginning on April 10, 2012. This release, however, was criticized by fans for lacking an English subtitle track, despite a fully translated script being present on a PDF file on disc 4 and indication on the box and pre-release information that there would be a subtitle track on the release. S'more Entertainment released a statement claiming the packaging was wrong, and there never was an intention to subtitle the release, due to costs.Theme songs
- "Wild Challenger" (WILD CHALLENGER) by Jindou (Episodes 1-32)
- "Baka Survivor" (バカサバイバー) by Ulfuls (Episodes 33-76)
- "Shiawase" (幸せ) by Mani Laba (Episodes 1-19)
- "Kirai Tune" (キライチューン) by FREENOTE (Episodes 20-32)
- "H.P.S.J." by mihimaru GT (Episodes 33-76)
Bobobo games have only been released in Japan. The first game for the PlayStation 2 and the first two Game Boy Advance games were based on the manga, unlike the later games which were based on the anime. The first three were released prior to the release of the anime. Each game had different gameplay due to the nature of the series.Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Ougi 87.5 Bakuretsu Hanage Shinken (GBA)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Atsumare! Taikan Bo-bobo (PS2)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Hajike Matsuri (PS2)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Majide!!? Shinken Shoubu (GBA)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Shuumare! Taikan Boubobo (PS2)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Dassutsu! Hajike Royale (GC)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo 9 Kiwame Senshi Gyagu Yuugou (GBA)
Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Bakutou Hajike Taisen (GBA)
Jump Superstars (DS)
Jump Ultimate Stars (DS)
J-Stars Victory VS (PS3/PS4/PSVita)