Wherever there's a head of hair being threatened by a criminal clipper, I'll be there!
Combining a thinly-disguised parody of Fist of the North Star with a plethora of bad puns, pop-culture parodies, and a cocktail of hallucinogens, Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo is every bit as weird as its name, which is also the name of its main character. Bo-bobo (as he's known) is a tall, muscular man with sunglasses, a large blonde afro, and tendencies towards childish, eccentric, or downright strange behavior that belies his serious demeanor.
In the post-apocalyptic world of the year "300X", Bo-bobo fights the machinations of the Margarita (from marugarite, the Japanese word for "bald-shaven") Empire and their leader, Emperor Tsuru Tsururuna IV (Czar Baldy Bald IV), who has sent his "Hair Hunters" to shave the hair off everyone in the world. Ostensibly, Bo-bobo does this through the art of Hanage Shinken (translated as " Fist of the Nose Hair"), an oddball form of martial arts that allows him to manipulate his body hair to defeat his enemies. More often, though, he defeats his enemies by confusing the hell out of them with his oddball behavior and an assortment of sight gags (like little people living inside his afro). This is eventually revealed to be an actual fighting style in the world of Bobobo, known as "Hajike" (from the Japanese word "hajikeru", which literally means "to burst" but can also mean "to go crazy", translated as "Wiggin" ala the phrase "Wiggin Out"), where the object is to use these strange happenings to distract and confuse your enemy into submission.
The show was very well liked in America and Japan; the dub wasn't a direct translation from the Japanese original (just look at the narrator), the voice acting in both versions was great (Kirk Thornton, an incredibly famous voice actor, voiced Don Patch and is considered to be one of his best roles), and it appealed to many people. However, it was Too Good to Last, as the anime was cancelled after 76 episodes, and the American manga beginning at Volume 11 (renumbered) on hiatus, with only five volumes released (supposedly they are going to translate more in the future, according to an email). The Japanese manga is finished, but there is still high demand from fans to finish the anime.
Bo-bobo is accompanied on his adventures by an assortment of sidekicks, including:
- Beauty, an otherwise ordinary young girl who is frequently perplexed by Bo-bobo's antics (and frequently kidnapped by the bad guys).
- Don Patch (Poppa Rocks, his Japanese name being a pun on "Donpachi", a brand of Japanese candy similar to Pop Rocks), a strange fellow who resembles an orange ball covered in spikes and, as a former "King of the Hajikelists", frequently acts as weird as Bo-bobo. Don Patch frequently tries to act tough or hog the spotlight, usually with no success. Hinted to be genuinely insane, as he occasionally makes humorous references to how, in his own words, "I don't take my medication, because thats just how cool I am!"
- Heppokomaru (Gasser), a young man who is another token "sane" person like Beauty, aside from the fact that he fights with a style called Onara Shinken (or "Fist of the Backwind(fart)").
- Softon, a former Hair Hunter whose head looks like soft-serve strawberry ice-cream (and, by no coincidence, the common anime representation of excrement). He fights with the Babylon Shinken(Fist of Blabs-A-Lot), and for the most part (one of the excluded parts being the aforementioned head) is the most serious of the group. Has a penchant for spouting badass-sounding nonsense, though. In the manga, his head was chocolate ice-cream and thus many jokes about it being poop are made.
- Tokoro Tennosuke (Jelly Jiggler), another former Hair Hunter who happens to be a humanoid blob of blue jelly. His name is a pun on "tokoroten", a type of seaweed jelly, of which he'll often sing the praises. He frequently tries to get people to eat him, and is somewhat obsessed with the Japanese character for "nu". Uses the fighting style Purupuru Shinken (Fist of the Wobble-Wobble)
- Dengakuman, a cute little white humanoid figure who, like Softon and Tennosuke, leaves the Hair Hunters to fight alongside Bo-bobo. He occasionally insists he is a dog, and is almost always obsessed with either making people eat dengaku (fried tofu on a stick covered in miso sauce), or making people be his friend.
- Torpedo Girl, who is not one of his traveling companions but pops up from time time as a Sixth Ranger. Is in love with Softon. As her name suggests, She's a Torpedo! with arms and legs. Alternate form of (the very male) OVER but he virtually stops appearing after turning into her.
- Action Girl: Most of them are the few villanesses within the Maruhage/Chrome Dome Empire's many incarnations.
- Afro Asskicker: Bobobo
- All Girls Like Ponies: Beauty
- Alternate Self: Parodied with Bobobo From An Alternate Universe Kinda Like His Alter Ego
- The Alcatraz: Cyber City
- Aloof Big Brother: Softon to Beauty and Bi-bibi to Bo-bobo
- The Artifact: The importance of the Maruhage Empire's "Hair Hunts"(see Bald of Evil below) fluctuated as the series progressed. By the time the group battles Halekulani, the notion had been virtually forgotten. Only during the final battle of the Hair Kingdom arc does it get any important mention (Bi-bibi started the Hair Hunts out of jealousy) again.
- The same thing happens in Shinsetsu: By the time the first volume is over, the Hair Hunts are only mentioned in passing a few times.
- Art Evolution: The first bunch of volumes have very blocky and undetailed work to a degree that it looks ameturish; later volumes become more fluid and detailed, and by the time the sequel Shinsetsu begins, comparisons become exceptionally jarring.
- Ascended Extra: The Narrator in the English dub of the anime, where he becomes a Lemony Narrator.
- Jelly Jiggler himself was originally intended to be a one-off joke character, but when the author recieved fan mail demanding that he appear more, he became a full-blown series mainstay.
- Ass Shove: Kancho-kun/The Splinter's specialty and does this Up to Eleven in the later story arcs...
- Badass Adorable: The original series had Ruby, a mind controlling Ninja little girl, and Shinsetsu has Pokomi, an absurdly strong Magical Girl Warrior.
- Bald of Evil: Duh! Although, oddly, most of the Hair Hunt Troops have hair. Many, though, fit the trope.
- Maybe people who decide to work willingly for the Hair Hunters have the privilege of keeping their hair. Although it is mentioned that some of the Hair Hunters are wearing wigs.
- Balloon Belly: Suzu in episode 18.
- Bare Your Midriff: A lot of characters do this, including Bo-bobo himself.
- Beta Couple: Gasser/Heppokomaru and Beauty.
- Big Bad - Czar Baldy Bald IV (Smoothie IV in Viz manga) Czar Baldy Bald III in Former Maruhage Arc, Hydrate in Reverse Maruhage Arc, and Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi in Hair Kingdom Arc.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine
- Bowdlerize: The anime was toned way, way down from the original manga. The High-Pressure Blood Running Gag was completely removed, Softon's ice cream head was changed from chocolate to strawberry to avoid the poop jokes, one enemy who was a box of cigarettes was changed to a box of chocolate bars, and quite a few more minor examples.
- Breathe on the Fan: Bobobo once won second place in a contest for "Saying 'Ah' in front of an electric fan".
- Butt Monkey: Pretty much everyone except Beauty, but in particular Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler (especially the latter), to the point where Bobobo randomly beats them up in fights for no reason.
- Don't forget Pickles!
- Pickles, you're not allowed!
- Don't forget Pickles!
- Cable Car Action Sequence: one of our protagonist's special attacks involves this.
- Calvin Ball: Every. Battle.
- Canon Immigrant - Dark Yasha/Sambaman originally first appeared in the Bo-bobo GBA game, "9 Kiwame Senshi Gyagu Yuugou", and he later appears in both the manga and the anime in the Emperor Playoffs.
- Catch Phrase: Torpedo Girl's "I'm a TORPEDO!" Even her laugh is just her repeating the word "torpedo" over and over again.
- Chekhov's Gag: Bo-bobo uses Ganeme, modification for Megane which is Japanese for glasses, by flipping a pair of glasses against Zeb Ziegler/Kibahage to confuse him and it came back later in the fight against Be-bebe when Bo-bobo flips his glasses upside down and unleashes the ultimate glasses-filled attack that defeats his brother.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Pickles, of all people, was left behind in the first chapter because Bo-bobo secretly assigned him to spy on his evil brother, Bi-bibi.
- Clothes Make the Superman
- Cloudcuckoolander: Bo-bobo, Don Patch, and Jelly Jiggler.
- Cloudcuckooland: Bo-bobo has this in his head. LITERALLY.
- One notable case is when Don Patch injects the Poet with a serum that causes him to think like Don Patch. Instead of creating cool weapons to attack, he creates "Stupid Prince", "Pure-Hearted Bucktooth Cop" and "Panties".
- Combat Pragmatist - Any Hajikelist/Wiggin Specialist such as Bo-bobo and co. are this.
- Comedic Hero
- Comedic Sociopathy: And how!.
- This was actually one of the main reasons that parents in Japan petitioned the anime's cancellation.
- Confusion Fu
- Crossdresser: Don Patch, and occasionally Bobobo.
- Cut Short: The anime ran for 76 episodes, covering 11 of the manga's 13 story arcs; it was cancelled after about a third of the second-to-last story arc surrounding the battle with the Reverse Maruhage/Chrome Dome Empire aired. The manga itself did, however, reach a conclusion.
- The Viz release of the manga seems to have ended at volume 5 (Japanese release: volume 15) with 6 volumes left untranslated (13 counting Shinsetsu), as there is no indication that they will be continuing and no previews for future volumes at the end of the latest one. (According to an email, they are going to translate more at an undetermined point in the future)
- The release in Spain won't cover Shinsetsu despite the first series ending with a giant Sequel Hook (Tsuru Tsururina III is back!) and the volume and author notes encouraging the reader to buy Shinsetsu (Which were left in the volume, of course). After constant Screwed by the Network moments (Early volumes coming almost randomly, stopping for a while after 5-6 were published and stopping again for nearly two years when they only had 2 volumes left to finish the first series), Spanish fans felt this was final middle finger moment from the publishers. The only explanation was "low sales", but it's not like the series is known for selling a lot (In fact Shinsetsu ended for its low popularity), so...
- Darker and Edgier: The manga sequel Shinsetsu, from its darker and sharper art style to some more grisly violent moments, namely Heppokomaru getting violently stabbed by a villian and Bo-bobo's first fight with "emperor" Namero.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Bo-bobo
- Deranged Animation: Former page image, and it's one of the tamer examples.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Namero
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Bobobo and co. does this many times, especially the time they were sent into the underworld during their fight against Giga using the Macho Men Fist and they picked a fight against Enma...
- Damsel in Distress: Beauty. Suzu also is victimized a few times, but not as much.
- The Dragon: Giga to Czar Baldy Bald IV, Hanpen (General Lee Fishcake) to Czar Baldy Bald III, Byakkyo & Bebebe-be Be-bebe to Hydrate, and Shigeki X to Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi
- End of Series Awareness: The characters (including the narrator) complain that the series is canceled just before an epic fight, and the narrator complains that he was never visible through the entire series.
- Although that was a line in the dub, and the narrator did in fact make an actual appearance in the recap special in Japan.
- Enemy Mine: Played straight in The Reverse Maruhage Arc with the remaining finalists such as OVER, Halekulani, Zetsubou/Sad Sack, and Kancho-kun teaming up with Bo-bobo's gang to fight against the Reverse Maruhage Empire led by Hydrate.
- Epic Fail: In fights whenever attacks go wrong lead into these moments very often.
- Evil Counterpart - Gunkan/Battleship to Bo-bobo, J to Softon, Shigeki X to Don Patch, and Jati to Beauty.
- Evil Laugh: Torpedo Girl manages to combine this with Pokémon-Speak... despite speaking normally at any other time.
- Eye Shock: Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler do this in shock after seeing Giga's true form.
- Face Heel Turn: Gasser/Heppokomaru in Shinsetsu, under the threat of Pokomi being potentially harmed. Namero Yononaka as well, upon discovering from a Neo Maruhage solider that he is an heir to Tsuru Tsrulina III, and a canidate to become the next emperor.
- Fan Nickname: In certain circles of the fandom, Don Patch is usually called "Patchan", which is a shortening of Patch-chan.
- Due to Porusutoroi's tongue-twist-tacular name, fans sometimes call him "Porufgsfds" for the lulz.
- Fan Service: Subverted; at the beginning of one chapter, Don Patch poses while wearing girls' underwear and says "Fanservice!"
- Service Man. His name is a parody of fanservice. Not to mention his only attack is to lift his sheet to show things that should never be seen.
- You mean his boxers?
- Not his boxers...
- Played more straight in the forms of lolicon-girl Pokomi and Princess Chinchiro in Shinsetsu.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Hatenko deals with one of the Cyber Knights by freezing him in one place and putting a bunch of bladed keys in him. Also, Rice gets turned into a polygon and gets his face torn off.
- Fartillery: How much more obvious than "Fist of the Back Wind" can you get?
- Fire-Breathing Diner: Done by Bo Bo Bo to Don Patch, Jelly Jiggler and Torpedo Girl during the battle against her/OVER.
- Five-Man Band: Bo-bobo's gang
- Fusion Dance: Parodied, spoofed, came close to being deconstructed at one point when an enemy tricks Bobobo into fusing with the wrong person in an attempt to weaken him.
- Gag Series
- Guest Star Party Member: Suzu joins the crew only in the Hallelujah Land Arc.
- Goggles Do Nothing: Parodied with the minor villain Rububa the Bubbles (Bubble-uba in the English dub), who wears three pairs of goggles on his forehead, and has an extra-large pair wrapped around his waist.
- Gasshole: Gasser
- Ghost in the Machine: Represented in various bizarre ways fully visible to the other characters.
- Grievous Harm with a Body - Bo-bobo does this with his own friends in fights against enemies.
- Hard Work Hardly Works - When Bo-bobo was chosen over Gunkan as the 7th Master of the Fist of the Nose Hair, this led to Gunkan's betrayal.
- Heel Face Turn mixed with Defeat Means Friendship - 4/7ths of Bobo-Bo's team is comprised of Hair Troopers he took down.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Don Patch and to a lesser extent Bo-bobo.
- Hikaru Midorikawa: Softon
- Honest Axe: Spoofed
- Hurricane of Puns: Describes pretty much the entire series.
- Even more so in the English dub
- Hypocritical Humor: The fusion character Bo-Jiggler constantly preaches about peace and love while beating people up
- Idiot Ball: Don Patch summons a LITERAL one in the manga while fighting Pana.
- Bo-bobo later uses two of Don Patch's spikes to inject some of Patch's stupidity into a foe. And it's not the last time that they literally weaponize stupidity.
- Insane Troll Logic: Pretty anything that comes out of Bo-bobo's mouth. It makes sense to him but no one else.
- Except the targets of said logic, against whom it inexplicably works.
- Improvised Weapon
- Improbable Weapon User: Don Patch and his Don Patch Sword, which is a green onion.
- Indecisive Parody: Not quite, but this is the closest trope I could find. Although the show is CLEARLY a parody of pretty much all anime, it can also, surprisingly, be appreciated as simply a stand-alone funny show, and is by a lot of fans.
- Interactive Narrator
- Interesting Situation Duel: Starting around the Cyber City Arc, most of the battles have some sort of gimmick. From fighting in a giant coin toss game to being tethered to bungie cords.
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The entire series (manga and anime), and it does, too. Still, this is one of, if not THE biggest reason why a number of anime fans don't like this show.
- And also the biggest reason why many anime fans LOVE it, of course.
- James Bondage: Gasser in Cyber City Arc, and both Softon and Dengaku-man at two points during the Hair Kingdom arc.
- Jamieson Price: Jelly Jiggler
- Johnny Yong Bosch: Plays the part of Bo-Jiggler.
- Kirk Thornton: Don Patch (English dub)
- Large Ham: Almost everyone aside from Beauty and Gasser.
- Aside Beauty? She responds the madness going on by yelling 95% of the time.
- Last-Second Word Swap: In the English dub, while Bobobo, Don Patch, Jelly Jiggler and Dengakuman look like they've formed a rock band...
All four of them: Gasser, Gasser, he's first class!
- Lemony Narrator: The English dub narrator constantly breaks the fourth wall, interacts with the characters and even the producer, and bitches about certain elements of the show. Arguably, he also gets more character development than most of the main cast.
- Lip Lock: Lampshaded/Parodied in Episode 53.
Bobobo: Now I'm gonna tell all of ya, where we're ... going. I just hope by the time we arrive, I can speak without weird pauses.
- Played Straight other places.
Gasser: I wonder how Jelly Jiggler... is doing.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The majority make up the antagonists but good grief if you have have trouble trying to keep up with all of them.
- Loners Are Freaks: The English Narrator subscribes to Creepy Loner magazine.
- Lucky Translation: Hanage Shin Ken translates to Fist of the Nose Hair. Coincidence?
- Considering the entire series is originally supposed to be Fist of the North Star on crack, no.
- Martial Arts and Crafts: Fist of the Nose Hair. Fist of the Fart. Too many to count. The "Hajike" fighting style as a whole counts.
- Mad Artist: Giga
- Masaya Onosaka: Don Patch
- Morality Pet: Beauty to Bo-bobo.
- Musical Episode: Parodied in Episode 48.
- Naomi Shindo: Heppokomaru/Gasser
- Nintendo Hard: Brought up In-Universe when Bo-bobo fights Lambada (who uses the Fist of the Polygon), who forces Lambada through several old school video games to neutralize Lambada's powers. It also lampshades several other classic video game tropes such as Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard, and Hopeless Boss Fight. And it ends with Product Placement for the Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo Game Boy Advance game.
- No Ending: The anime was cancelled after 76 episodes, midway through an arc, with the characters about to storm the enemy's fortress. They're then notified that the show ends on that note and everyone, villain included, freaks out.
- No Fourth Wall
- Not So Above It All: Beauty, but it tends to be very brief.
- Gasser, more frequently.
- Official Couple: Gasser and Beauty.
- One-Winged Angel: Parodied on several occasions, by opponents whose "true form" is something just plain wacky. Torpedo Girl and Sambaman are probably the best examples)
- Only Sane Man: Beauty, to a lesser extent Gasser, and to a even lesser extent Softon.
- When he's not worshiping Don Patch, Hatenko is also one.
- It depends on Beauty, I mean, look how many time she yells!
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Most of the villains, as the plot progresses and introduces stronger and stronger enemies. Parodies the rapidly rising power levels in shonen series.
- Paid Harem: Giga
- Papa Wolf: Bobobo to Beauty. He's proud of harming his allies, but he will never, EVER hurt Beauty, nor will he ever let anyone hurt her.
- Pastel-Chalked Freeze-Frame: Spoofed
- Pet the Dog: Bi-bibi who despite causing many Moral Event Horizon moments, is actually a good father to his two daughters.
- Power Incontinence: Gasser
- The Power of Rock: Parodied again. Denbo, Jelly Jiggler and Don Patch fight J by singing, which makes stuff in the song real. But the songs they think up are complately ridiculous, involving things like Beta-Carotene and a 49 year old man. There's even a little DDR section. This is recycled in the manga sequel, except that Pokomi is the one singing.
- Purple Prose: Cyber City villain J manages to outdo Softon at this.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: almost literally by the dozen
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- Romantic Plot Tumor: Discussed in-universe by the English Narrator regarding Softon and Torpedo Girl
Narrator: (in an enthusiastic voice) THEY'RE IN LOVE!!! (voice drops to a low, weary tone) How annoying.
- Royal Blood: Gunkan/Captain Battleship didn't earn the title as the 7th master of the Fist of the Nose Hair because he isn't of the Hair Kingdom like Bo-bobo despite his hard work.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Halekulani
- Sex Is Violence: Manga!Rice is... very much this trope. This, uh, quirk was (mostly) removed for the anime version.
- Serial Escalation: How totally and impossible weird can this episode be? Only answer is "more than the last."
- Ship Tease / Puppy Love: Namero and Pokomi in Shinsetsu, despite being 16 and 10, respectively.
- Shout-Out: For one, Bobobo summons Yugi Mutou from his afro in one chapter (drawn by Kazuki Takahashi, no less), and Dengakuman looks suspiciously like a Chao. Also, he once does a attack that involves A Dragonball Z posterboard, and Bobobo, when thrown while doing this attack, shouts "Vegeta"! All of this is from one volume.
- Hell, the manga is rife with these from poking fun at its fellow Jump series to parodying live action shows. Folks not from Japan probably won't get a few of the jokes due to most of them being rather exclusive to its home nation (as if this series wasn't confusing enough). The toning down of the anime forewent most of these shout outs due to copyright reasons.
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: The second opening, "Baka Survivor" by Ulfuls, which goes a mile a minute and is in Osaka-ben! The only words most people remember are the title and (maybe) the chorus.
- Spanner in the Works: Before he made a Heel Face Turn, Jelly Jiggler had an elaborate plan to defeat Bobobo that all hinged on him asking Jelly how he could break his leg if he didn't have any bones. Right before he could implement it, some random kid came up and asked the question instead, ruining everything.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Don Patch tries to do this constantly, and fails spectacularly.
- The Starscream: Gunkan/Battleship was secretly getting rid of many Hair Hunters so he can become ruler. It didn't work.
- Surreal Humor: Taken Up to Eleven
- Takehito Koyasu: Bobobo himself. And does a damn good job at being crazy!
- Talking Poo: Subverted: Softon's head is made of soft-serve ice cream.
- Tear Off Your Face: Lambada has done this to Rice, although in a less gory manner - the polygonated Rice was left with with no apparent injuries, save for not having polygon edges or colour on his face. The face also turned into a nice little rectangular brick thing. It has been said that Lambada does this to defeated enemies regularly.
- Time Skip: Shinsetsu
- Testosterone Poisoning: Parodied with the "Macho Man Fist".
- Training from Hell: Torpedo Girl puts Gasser and Hatenko through a comically exaggerated version of this
- Traintop Battle: Episode 36, Bo-Bobo and the gang fight "The Boxer on the Boxcar", Cane-maru. At one point, the train derails and smashes through an amusement park.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-Universe, Giga's Super Fist of Objet d'Art, ordinary objects turned into incomprehensible art. He also considers Don Patch the true definition of art for some reason.
- True Companions: Parodied, of course, but also (believe it or not) played straight. After all, Bo-bobo doesn't want Beauty to get hurt...
- Tsundere: Torpedo Girl. One moment she acts like a giddy schoolgirl (especially when she fawns over Softon,) the next she violently blasts through anyone who provokes her like a, erm, torpedo. However, she is still quite dangerous in Dere mode (albeit unintentionally dangerous.)
- Unfazed Everyman: Beauty
- Visual Pun: None of which translated. Enough were there that the already-insane series became even less comprehensible.
- Voice of the Legion
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Gasser, OVER, Halon Oni
- Widget Series
- Wild Take: At least a dozen times per episode, mostly from Beauty.
- Word Salad Title: Not so much a salad, but more like a cup of the diced carrots you'd put on the salad.
- World of Ham: Holy cow!
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: Double subverted: When Baldy Bald/Tsuru Tsurulina III awakens, Bobobo slams his cryogenic chamber shut, duct-tapes it, and blows it up. Unfortunately, the emperor had already escaped./