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Bobobo-Bobo-Bobo 1: Bo-Nafide Protector

Westlake Entertainment // Unrated // February 13, 2007
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted February 19, 2007 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

I have seen some messed up shows in my time but when I sat down to watch Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo I knew I was looking at something truly...um, unique. Much like Excel Saga, this series from Toei Animation features irreverent humor, outlandish characters, and a concept so bizarre that it just might (I emphasize might) work.

For all intents and purposes Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo was a success in Japan and managed to wrangle in 76 episodes before it went off the air. Heck, here in America the show even made it to Cartoon Network for a while and is apparently going to be making a comeback. In all fairness this is the type of series that should do marvelously in such a setting but after watching the first DVD from Illumitoon I can't say that it's something every otaku should go out of their way to see.

Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo takes place in the distant future where an evil tyrant has taken steps to dominate the world. His name is Csar Baldy Bald the 4th and he wants nothing more than to make all of humanity (poodles too) hairless. A "Hair Hunt" gets underway and his minions roam the countryside shaving entire villages and leaving no follicle unturned. That's where Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo (let's call him Bobobo for short) steps in.

Packing a physique that would make Ahnold jealous and sporting a golden afro, this mysterious hero is out to save every strand of hair that he can. Ironically he doesn't use his muscles that often during fights; he reserves those for striking a pose. Instead his weapon of choice is his body hair. That's right...body hair. Whether it is nose hair or armpit hair, Bobobo uses these five foot monstrosities to unleash Snot Fu on his opponents. The result is disturbing to say the least though it does lend for a few amusing reactions from onlookers.

Of course the weirdness can't stop with powerful nose hair. Bobobo has little people living inside of his nose and a pair of squirrels inside his afro. This makes the talking pickle he hangs out with in the first episode seem almost normal. Other characters join Bobobo during his quest to save hair such as the pink-haired Beauty, an annoying orange guy named Don Patch, and a silver-haired teen called Gasser.

To say that Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo makes use of toilet humor to get the laughs out of you would be an understatement. Most of the jokes here revolve around body parts of some kind and in many cases, bodily functions. Parodies are another point for levity in the show and that's really where the comparison to Excel Saga comes into play since it spoofs other anime, shows, and movies. Needless to say you have to enjoy insanely immature material in order to appreciate what's going on in the show.

The four episodes on this first disc do a great job of showing us what Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo is all about. It may be stupid beyond reason but I do have to admit that in between the mind-numbing dialogue and senseless humor I found myself laughing a couple of times. The show presents a wild atmosphere that most of you will easily be able to get into if you leave your brain at the door and don't expect much. It's nowhere near as potent a comedy as Excel Saga and others in the same genre (like Papuwa) but Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo can be fun at times. If off-the-wall comedies are your thing you may want to put this one on your radar.

The DVD:

Video:

Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo started airing in Japan in 2003 and is presented on DVD with a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. The show features a crisp transfer and vibrant colors that compliment the bizarre art style and animation. While watching I did not notice any aliasing though faint traces of grain and a few identifiable spots with compression were evident. The image quality didn't blow me away by any stretch of the imagination but it was more acceptable than the audio.

Audio:

Ok, so the disc is presented with stereo tracks for English and Japanese. The quality of the dubbing for both was generally fine and technical presentation on the soundstage hit all the expected notes (though there were some volume balancing issues). My biggest beef with this DVD comes from the subtitles that were included.

I started watching the show with the English language selection and admittedly found myself getting kind of annoyed at times. It was then that I decided to switch over to the Japanese track and turn on the subtitles. Wow, was that a mistake! The subtitle track available here is strictly for the English language only and what's worse is that it runs all dialogue together, without spacing or separate lines for different characters. This means that when one character speaks and then another it reads like one line of conversation. This is pretty unforgivable because it makes the Japanese track virtually unwatchable. You can get by with the English selection but after experiencing this flaw I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Extras:

Confusingly enough there is a forced trailer for Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo when you fire up the disc. Other than that you'll find some Illumitoon trailers from the main menu and quite frankly, that's about it.

Final Thoughts:

Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo is one of the weirdest shows that I have ever seen; and I've seen a lot. The cracked-out sense of humor is the driving force for this series and if you can get into it you'll absolutely fall in love. Unfortunately, the brand of brain-dead toilet humor isn't for every one. This is a series that will remain pretty exclusive and after watching the first four volumes I can't say that I'm "thrilled" to see more. Sure I laughed a few times but that by no means constitutes something that must be seen. Add to that the abysmal subtitles and you have a release that is hardly worth checking out at all unless you loved the show when it was on Cartoon Network.


Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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