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. :)
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