In another hairbraned anime watching suggestion, a group of unfortunates came together to share in the pain that is Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. Expecting random, spastic comedy, the show’s humour was hair today and gone tomorrow. Definitely not in the cutting edge of Japanese animation brought to the Western shores, much of the mane comic drama has been americanised, swamping the native puns in what can only be described as inane stupidity.
If these terrible hair puns are turning you off, imagine nothing but 24 minutes *per episode* of nothing but these atrocities. The main story sees Bobobo teaming up with Beauty, Gasser and Don Patch to defeat...... actually, just completely disregard that plot – the writers most certainly did. After just five episodes, the most common comment amongst the buddy group was “err, what the hell is going on?” Introducing a new adversary seemingly every episode, the ongoing mission is quickly tossed by the way-side as the heroes come face to face with bad guys such as General Jelly Jiggler, Rice and Torpedo Girl. Sadly, those are their real names and not gross spelling mistakes.
The onslaught of randomness comes too fast and hard for anyone with an IQ over 80 to understand. I kept finding my gaze wandering away from the screen to something more exciting, like a spider abseiling down the wall or the second-hand moving on a clock. However, younger viewers will more than likely love the silly jokes, over the top special attacks and the frankly retarded character fusions. Everyone else with an attention span longer than 3 seconds will likely end up confused, as the onscreen action can change in the blink of an eye.
Unfortunately, it seems that much of the humour has been lost in the import across the Pacific. Original humour has blatantly been toned down for our more PC tastes; Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is awash with playground jokes and only goes to prove inane stupidity alone cannot carry a show. Continuing with the lazy translations, screen after screen of kanji is left untranslated and unexplained, with one scene even going as far as to see Bobobo filling out a form and commenting he didn’t understand the funny symbols. A desperate hunt for a subbed version was fruitless, and so the western world is stuck with a heavily bastardised version of our own making. Thank you Cartoon Network.
“What the hell, did someone doodle over the cells with a pen?”
The groups’ first experience with the bizarre artwork is to ponder how serious the artists are; with scribbled nose-hair pouring out of a butch blonde-afro’d berk, and an orange sun... star... thing... dominating the main stage, it is impossible to take the visuals seriously. This unfortunate feeling continues throughout much of the show, as a very low budget hand-drawn essence brings down the aesthetic quality of Bobobo. The constant puns borrow the styles of other better known anime shows, such as Fist of the Nose Hair (Northstar) and Sailor Moon. Unfortunately, the feel of a grade school project means the visuals never rise above “puerile” and “mediocre”.
Stepping up to the low quality bar, the opening track is on par with the incomprehensible plot; stupidly random lyrics accompany what can only be described as “noise”. The voice acting in the dubbed version of the show suits the characters perfectly: annoying over actors you want to choke to death. Bobobo’s seiyuu comes across as so badly wanting to be African-american, it hurts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ali G line “is it because I is black?” was cunningly slipped into the script. The rest of the cast fair no better, however, if grown men frequently putting on girly voices is your thing, then feel free to mark this section up. Otherwise, start the impossible hunt for the original Japanese soundtrack.
All hopes of some likable characters to offset the lack of story were dashed shortly after meeting the main protagonist, Bobobo. When I say “meet”, what I actually mean is “brutally assaulted by”. For a supposed hero, the blonde bouffant-topped prat spends his time cross dressing, beating the crap out of Don Patch (a supposed ally), and going off on completely unrelated tangents. I can think of rabid squirrels with a more affable personality than this idiot.
Beauty is the token female who sadly does not live up to her name, and I don’t think that is meant to be ironic. Her thoughts mostly echo that of the viewer; her face contorts into ugly confusion as she screams “WHAT!!!” for the fifteenth time in an episode as Don Patch reminisces over a lost love with the number 6, or Bobobo undergoes a bizarre fusion into Bobopatchiggler. Kind of understandable really. It seems the writers took the idea of development, slapped it silly, dressed it in a clown suit and instead decided to create a new personality called Dengaku Man – a character with as much point as a blunt arrow.
Apparently, “bobo” means stupid in Filipino... how appropriate. I honestly don’t think I would have finished Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo if it wasn’t for the support and laughs with the buddy group – it really is that terrible. Compare it to having your bikini-line waxed; the first few times are utter pain, but this numbs over time the more you repeat it. Is the excruciating pain and lowering of IQ really worth it? I can safely say that suffering through 76 episodes of this trash has given me the definitive answer of NO. One day I *will* learn that watching shows suggested by Chii is a bad idea....
I feel Bobobo gets a lot of undue criticism and a little undue praise. Bobobo is pretty much a show with one purpose: to be as surreal as possible. At least, this is the case in the English translation. I imagine that in Japanese it uses a tonne of puns that don't translate, or something. The story pretty much only exists as a framework for the bizarre interactions between the characters - to me this seems to be what puts most people off. However if you watch it with an open mind it really is funny, with some moments that are pure gold! I recall one episode that was almost entirely Bobobo and Don Patch (practically his sidekick) roleplaying as if they were a husband and wife with marital problems. Obviously they end up doing all kinds of impossible things...
In essence, Bobobo is slapstick turned up to eleven. Don't expect much of a story. Don't expect particularly deep characters. DO expect a tonne of nonsense and surreal humour, and a comedic feel that I personally have never seen anywhere else.
Bobobo's main flaw was that around half way through it began to decline. Perhaps it was just me getting used to the humour and the effect wore off on me, but after maybe 40 episodes it became a bit of a slog. There was still the odd good one, but overall it was on a downward spiral.
So, don't let the silly reviews put you off. Embrace the show for what it openly is: outright stupid. If you can laugh at surreality and non sequitors, this show is for you.
Bobobo, to put it simply, is one of those animes that you either love with a burning passion or hate to the point that you wish to see it buried under 12 tons of dirt. This quirky, hilarious and..unique anime isn't for everyone, but from the POV of someone who loved this show, here's my honest review of Bobobo.
The story of Bobobo is one of the most unique tales that may seem better suited for an American show. To put it simply, a tall, blonde afro superhero of some kind fights off the army of Hair Hunters from snatching the luscious locks of the citizens with his whip-like nose hairs.
Unfortunately, this plot point of Bobobo can be easily forgotten as the deliverance of each episode is paced quite badly to the point that you forget that Bobobo is fighting to save hair. Indeed, it's the poor pacing of Bobobo that the story gets such a mediocre score. The pacing of each episode can waste some 20 minutes of a 24-minute run time featuring the main characters doing random things, from going to school in a slice-of-life fashion, to a samurai-epic spoof, only to jump back to the main fight in the last few seconds of the episode with the big bad of the day getting pummeled in a deus ex machina fashion. It's as if the real fight was too short to fit the runtime and extra filler material was thrown in to stretch out the plot. While this may have been done to spoof typical anime fights that last 10 episodes, Bobobo stretches their fights to the point that the audience can become impatient and annoyed of its constant dodging of the ACTUAL plot. It also doesn't help that the fighting theme in Bobobo follows a "tier-style" mechanism with each battle leading to another more challenging one, or in this case, another 10 episodes of not getting to the point!
Bobobo is chock full of characters with unique designs inspired by real life icons, such as Jelly Jiggler's design which is obviously inspired by Gumby. Among the colorful folk like Don Patch and Bobobo himself, there ARE plenty of characters with just..just plain creepy looks..Softon looks like any regular anime dude..aside from the fact that he's got SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM for a head. Torpedo Girl is self explanatory, and many of the bad guys have the world's most ridiculous hair styles..which is interesting to note since they HUNT hair..
The actual ANIMATION for Bobobo can look a bit overused and freaky. Beauty and Gascan for example serve as the "normal" ones/ token couple of the cast and their usual facial expressions are their faces looking from the sidelines in a bug-eyed fashion when the others do something random. A few of the more nuttier characters do this too on rare occasions, but after the 6th time they've done this in a SINGLE episode, it gets old. Fast.
The fight scenes are quick and this anime seems to have an addiction to freeze framing WHILE the characters are talking. Actual contact is also a noteworthy observation, as we never see many of the bad guys getting physically hit..now, when it's Bobobo hitting his ALLIES...
Music was never really Bobobo's focus. It's mostly just the main theme that only plays when Bobobo and co. FINALLY defeat an enemy or at the end of an episode. Since the original Japanese OST can't be found, this may have been all that the English speakers could do. It's not a big problem though, as this anime has quite a few moments without ANY music whatsoever.
In terms of voice acting, since almost all the characters are basically screaming whenever they talk, it's understandable why the acting wouldn't be so spectacular as the voice actors really are in other roles. Emotions are basically non-existent here unless the character is intentionally exaggergerating. Since Bobobo is more of a visually driven comedy, scripts aren't important, even down to the characters sounding like the actors ad libbed most of the dialogue. Case in point, "Get those Japanese words off me."
The characters of Bobobo aren't necessarily unique in terms of their personality. Almost all of them are especially violent and little backstory is given to anyone since everything NOT related to the bad guys are there for laughs. This lack of characterization leaves each character an essential mystery to the viewers, which may be why each of them are so different and why people may keep watching. The relationship between Beauty and Gascan for example, only shows up once in a blue moon in this anime, which leaves any romantics like myself on the edge of their seats, anxiously waiting for another moment between the two and whether their relationship becomes canon or not. Other mysteries such as Jelly Jiggler during his introduction when he was actually an enemy of Bobobo and Hatenko's respect towards Don Patch all provide reasons why these characters standout; the fact that we don't know anything about them..beyond the gags..
Unfortunately,Bobobo never delivers the mysteries behind ANY of the characters, nor does it establish the relationship between Beauty and Gascan beyond a few blushes and "nice catches". In fact, the anime ITSELF doesn't even finish, ending on a cliffhanger just before the final boss (which it probaby isn't..). Even the characters themselves are surprised at the sudden end of their journey. .
Overall though, while Bobobo fails to remain focused on its wild plot and its characters, it's still a hilarious anime since it's such a RANDOM show, returning to the "mystery" aspect of the show. If you simply want to watch an anime that pays no attention to plot, characters, scripts and music, then Bobobo will be your cup of tea depsite the fact that it lacks basically EVERYTHING that makes anime different from an american cartoon. If you can open your minds to basically American Slapstick meets Dragonball Z, then you're in for a treat. :)
Awesome show from start to finish. It has a surprisingly good story for a silly show and i enjoyed seeing every episode. Taking down an empire doesn't sound original but somehow it was awesome. First they take down "block leaders" which are each given a title like "A-block" leader. Then they have to defeat the big four and then someone named giga. Later they Bald Bowl starts and all the characters you thought were dead come back and compete to become the next leader of the empire. Doesn't sound great but its presented in such an awesome way
The animation was good. Very entertaining with how the jokes were presented(like Sad Sack falling doesn't sound funny but is histerical when you actually see it) No complaints here
Everyone's voice was perfect. Nothing more to say.
The characters were the best part. There a large cast of characters like most animes. most of them are villians but they're all histerical. Every character is interesting and so different from any other character i can think of(jelly jiggler, sad sack, rice,OVER.battleship,don patch, bobobo,bojiggler,etc....)Seeing all the great characters return was great so i had to give the characters a 10.
Overall: an insanly funny messed up show that will leave you begging for more when its over(trust me...)