Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo is one of my all time favorite anime. I watch, I laugh. It’s really that simple. I even bought the manga version in order to get my Bobobo fix. I recall seeing it on Cartoon Network for a while, but that wouldn’t do, since I wanted to watch it in Japanese. Finally, Illumitoon released the Bobobo DVD with Japanese subtitles*, so here’s my review!
There’s not much of a story to speak of with Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo. There’s some random plot where people are having their hair stolen by an evil organization. Bobobo is a one man wrecking crew, bringing down the hair-hunting group one leader at a time. Though most of the time he just goofs off with his cohorts, Beauty and Don Pachi. Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo is derived from a gag manga, so each episode of the anime is also fairly random.
Is it even possible to analyze Bobobo? I’d say that the humor is definitely the kind where you hate it or love it. In my case, I love it. It’s random and stupid and hilarious. Like when Bobobo tries planting hairs into the bad bald guy’s head, and the bad guy says “My head isn’t rice paddies!”
Sure, some jokes fail miserably, but there’s so many in one episode that there are bound to be some funny ones. I’ve watched the first episode probably four times now (spanning like, 3-4 years?), and it’s still funny.
The Actual DVD:
This is probably the section everyone wants to read anyway, right? I think it was fairly well known that the original release of the Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo DVD was seriously flawed. I read about it over at KT Kore‘s, which linked to an Animeondvd review. The main complaint had to do with the fact that there weren’t any Japanese subtitles; the subs included were the English script that changed a bunch of the jokes.
To their credit, Illumitoon offered a program where people could trade in their DVDs for versions that had actual Japanese subtitles. Apparently they were really frustrated at Illumitoon, because when I asked for a screener, the PR person told me she was sick of people acting like they had “killed their grandmothers.” Ouch. So I got the “fixed” version, and my review is based on that.
Indeed, the DVD now has a Japanese translation, but many of the problems with the original release are still present. Much of the text still goes by really fast. On top of that, the titles and subtitles are mashed together, so you’ll see something like “DON PACHI. It’s Don Pachi!” I’ve seen really great subtitles on ADV’s DVDs where the titles are in different colors and placed correctly. The way these subtitles were handled seems really lazy.
Strangely, there are also subtitles for noises that people make, like (crying), (laughing), etc. Do we really need subtitles to tell us the character is laughing? I think most people can tell what Japanese laughter sounds like.
On top of that, I noticed that some dialogue is completely missing subtitles. At the beginning of the third episode, Beauty says something, and there is no subtitle for what she said at all. Just Bobobo’s response…
And another thing I noticed was that the subtitles for the second episode were all about 1 second early. 1 second might not seem like much, but it can really screw up the flow when you’re dealing with a gag anime like Bobobo. I couldn’t even watch the second episode because of this.
Finally (thank god), There is no way to skip the opening song unless you want to fast forward through it. That is, there’s no chapter to be found that just skips the opening. I imagine many people must skip the opening credits. It would make sense to hit the skip button to do so, but no. Not on this DVD.
I really am impressed that Illumitoon decided to offer the trade-in for their customers. I’m very disappointed, however, with the result. Illumitoon had a chance to show the fans that they cared about the quality of the DVD, but it feels like they slapped the subtitles in with little thought about the quality. Again.
I’m really interested in seeing how volume 2 turns out, though, since I’m assuming they didn’t have much time to “fix” volume 1. I’d also assume they’d have ample time to address the additional issues in volume 2.
I really like Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. I want it to have a good release. It’s a good anime. I think it still deserves better than this. I really hope that Illumitoon continues listening to the fans and adjusts their releases accordingly.