Media

Bomberman wasn't just the star of a hundred-odd video games, but also a multimedia icon - in Japan, at least! With one hundred and fifty episodes of anime to his name and over a dozen manga, there's no shortage of stories about the block-headed bomber.


[consider this a sight-seeing tour for now! coverage will get expanded in future!]

Because every dang thing here is in Japanese and mostly untranslated, the best I can offer for now is basic notes and observations. Things will get fleshed out into full pages in future, probably! If you're qualified to translate stuff and want to help (I'm willing to commission!), give me a shout!

TITLE

EPISODES

DATE

* Thanks For The Courage, Bomberman: I Will Hear
ボンバーマン勇気をありがとう〜私が耳になる
n/a 03-1995
* BB-Daman Bakugaiden
Bビーダマン爆外伝
48 02-1998 ~ 01-1999
* BB-Daman Bakugaiden V
Bビーダマン爆外伝V
50 02-1999 ~ 01-2000
Bomberman Jetters
ボンバーマン ジェッターズ
52 10-2002 ~ 09-2003

Thanks For The Courage, Bomberman: I Will Hear
ボンバーマン勇気をありがとう〜私が耳になる

A 26-minute educational short film released in cinemas on April 13 1995 [src], and later released on home video in 1996.

Partially based on the true story of Rieko Watanabe, a young girl with deaf-mute parents who survived the Great Hanshin earthquake. In this telling, the girl creates comic strips of Bomberman and friends to entertain her younger sister, and brings that joy to other children while in a shelter.

Despite the prominent branding on the poster and video cassette, Bomberman and company (all originating from Super Bomberman 3) only appear for a total of three minutes! Ninety of those seconds offer some light-hearted Bomberman japes, while the other half serves as a safety protocol on what to do in the event of an earthquake.

View it on YouTube!

BB-Daman Bakugaiden / Bビーダマン爆外伝

A tie-in to the Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden toy franchise, and partial adaptation of the B-Daman Bakugaiden manga, following the adventures of Shirobom and company in their battle against the Dark B-Da and everyday exploits. Ran on TV Asoya from February 1998 to January 1999.

BB-Daman Bakugaiden V / Bビーダマン爆外伝V

Sequel series to Bakugaiden, repurposing the characters as members of the B-DaCop space police. Ran on TV Asoya from February 1999 to January 2000.

TITLE

EPISODES

DATE

* Super Bomberman
スーパーボンバーマン
03-1993 ~ 10-2005
* Bomberman Returns
ボンバーマンリターンズ
8 ??-1994 ~ ??-1995
* Minasaaan! Bomberman desuyo!!
みなさ~ん! ボンバーマンですヨ!!
31 09-1995 ~ 03-1998
* Saturn Bomberman
サターンボンバーマン
2 07-1996 ~ 08-1996
* Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden
ボンバーマン・ビーダマン爆外伝
21 10-1996 ~ 12-1999
* BB-Daman Bakushoden
Bビーダマン爆笑伝
57 ??-1998 ~ ??-1999
Bomberman Bakuretsu School Wars
ボンバーマンバクレツ学校大戦争
7 1998-11 ~ 1999-05
Bakuretsu!! Bomberman Jetters
爆裂!! ボンバーマンジェッターズ
7 2002-09 ~ 2003-03
* Soreike!! Bomberman Jetters
それいけ!!ボンバーマンジェッターズ
9 2003-04 ~ 2003-11
Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Bakuretsu Bomberman
ば・ば・ば・ば爆熱ボンバーマン
36 2008-09 ~ 2011-08


Super Bomberman / スーパーボンバーマン


きみは何色
What Colour Are You?

4-koma from Super Bomberman Vol. 1

A 4-koma gag strip by Atsushi Musashino (むさしのあつし), published in Monthly CoroCoro Comic from March 1993 to September 2002, before moving to Bessatsu/Supplementary CoroCoro Comic (別冊コロコロコミック) for its final bi-monthly run from October 2002 until October 2005. Also ran in 1st Year Elementary Student(小学一年生) from May 1995 to March 1997, in 2nd Year Elementary Student (小学二年生) for two years, and in 3rd Year Elementary Student (小学三年生) for three years. [src]

A gag comic through and through, most commonly in 4-koma (four-panel) format and featuring dumb antics from the various Bombermen; the hot-blooded buffoon Shirobon, the in-it-to-win-it Kurobon, the high-strung gal Akabon, the unlucky schmuck Aobon, and more. Characters from new game releases were introduced into the strips, including the Five Dastardly Bombers, the Bomber Shitennou and Max, though the four Bombermen always remained the central focus. The author is depicted in some stories as Musabon (むさボン), a Bomberman with black hair, a plaid shirt and glasses with "mu" (む) and "sa" (さ) on each lens.
Early strips focused heavily on using elements from the Battle Game for comedic pratfalls, such as power-ups and warpholes, but even then it played fast and loose with its setting, throwing the characters into a variety of predicaments. Common settings depicted them as weary salarymen, private investigators, or in Japanese home life. Most strips end with characters being blown up, maimed, or otherwise performing a grotesque wild-take.

The longest running of all Bomberman manga, and perhaps the most prolific, having been collected in twelve volumes, featured strips in numerous Shogakukan game guides, and even appearing as bonus unlockable galleries in the Bomberman Land games and spinoffs. [src]
Even after its run in CoroCoro came to a close, Musashino continued with a similar strip on his personal website titled Keep It Up, Musabon (つつけるんだ むさぼん), featuring the author's stand-in and other original characters. It ran a new strip every month from September 2005 until October 2010.

Bomberman Returns / ボンバーマンリターンズ

A serialised manga by Fukuhara-kun (福原君, the pen-name of Kojiki Oji / 古事記王子), serialised in Famicom Kingdom (ファミコン王国 / ファミ王) [src] from 1994 and 1995.

An offbeat adventure series starring friendly rivals/unsteady allies Shirobon and Kurobon, the latter of whom speaks in a Kansai dialect, partaking in adventures alongside and against a variety of human characters unique to this series. A few elements appear loosely based on Super Bomberman, including the heroes' feuds and the top hat-wearing, Mechabomber-commanding enemy, Carat (カラット), though a Louie does appear in one strip. Although full of strange characters and amusing antics, it apparently wasn't shy from telling dramatic stories when it needed to.

The series was collected in Bomberman 4-Koma Manga Kingdom volumes 1 and 2.

Minasaaan! Bomberman desuyo!! / みなさ~ん! ボンバーマンですヨ!!


Panels from Minasaaan! Bomberman desuyo!! 1

A manga by Gen Sato (佐藤元), serialised in Comic Bom Bom (コミックボンボン) from September 1995 to March 1998. Translated roughly as "It's Bomberman, Everybody!".

A light-hearted adventure series with an ever-changing focus; while some instalments were based off new video game releases, most stories were original and put Bomber Kid (from Super Bomberman 3), Akabon and Honey in starring roles. The series largely takes place in Japan, featuring battles in notable locales and references to local pop culture, including fan-submitted Bombermen based off music idols of the late 90s.

Sato wrote on his personal website his pleasure in making a manga of a game he loved (giving it a "satisfaction rating" of 70%); however, the series was discontinued in 1998 by the new editor-in-chief in 1998, who had no preference towards it. The series was collected in four volumes.

Saturn Bomberman / サターンボンバーマン


Panels from ヒゲヒゲランドへ突撃!!
(Assault on Hige Hige Land!!)

A two-part Saturn Bomberman tie-in by Takahiro Yamashita (やましたたかひろ) that ran in Monthly CoroCoro Comic No. 219 (July 1996) and No. 220 (August 1996).

A promotional tie-in that follows some of the same beats as the game's story, but mixes it up with some cornball twists; after getting clobbered by Castle Joe and even Dr. Ein, Shiro and Kuro attend the Master Game's temple for training, only to be bullied by Honey and her remote-controlled Bomber Bomb Kami. The second part features their rematch against Castle Joe, with the help of a timid Tirra.

This comic has not been reprinted or collected anywhere else.

Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden / ボンバーマン・ビーダマン爆外伝

A manga by Koichi Mitaka (三鷹公一), serialised in Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic from October 1996 to December 1999 [src], with a one-off titled Shirobom's B-Daman Bakugaiden (しろボンのBビーダマン爆外伝) in Monthly CoroCoro Comic on February 1998 [src].

A tie-in to the Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden toyline, this began around the time of the Bakugaiden II series of toys and kept up with each new iteration of the franchise, right up to Bakugaiden V. The Bakugaiden III and IV portions were adapted for the first B-Daman Bakugaiden TV anime.

The series was collected in five volumes.


Panels from 決戦! 守れ、ボーダーランド!!
(Decisive Battle! Defend Borderland!)

BB-Daman Bakushoden / Bビーダマン爆笑伝


Panels from 第7話 ねらえ! 純金卜ロフィー
(Episode #7: Shoot for the Gold Trophy!)

A manga by Takeshi Tamai (玉井たけし), serialised in 2nd Year Elementary Student(小学二年生) from 1998 to 1999. [src] "Bakusho" (爆笑) means "burst of laughter"; you could translate it as "Baku-gag-den" if you wanted to be punny (and if you didn't bother translating the word "Bakugaiden" itself, but I digress).

A gag comic based off the BB-Daman Bakugaiden anime, using its settings and characters for stupid one-off stories. stories are largely self-contained with little regard for continuity or accuracy to the source material. The second and third books were rebranded as BB-Daman Bakushoden V (Bビーダマン爆笑伝V), though besides introducing its new characters and mecha, the formula remained as irreverent as ever.

The series was collected in three volumes. The volumes were also released in Indonesia as Bomberman Bidaman Bakushoden and Bomberman Bidaman Bakushoden Victory, published by m&c!.
The first twelve chapters of Bakushoden V have been translated into English at Porink's Hideout.

Soreike!! Bomberman Jetters / それいけ!!ボンバーマンジェッターズ


(image from Zoidsland.com)

Roughly translated as "Let's Go!! Bomberman Jetters". A gag comic by Takeshi Tamai (玉井たけし), serialised in Monthly CoroCoro Comic from April 2003 to November 2003.

Coming from the same author as BB-Daman Bakushoden, this filled the void left by the previous manga by providing more silly continuity-free misadventures starring the cast of Bomberman Jetters. Although similar in style to Tamai's previous work, the humour is crasser than ever, featuring its fair share of boogers, vomit and gag penises, of all things.

The series was collected in a single volume.

TITLE

DATE

* Bomberman: Hidden Character Discovery Technique
ボンバーマン かくれキャラ発見テクニック
1985-10
* Explosive Bomberman Family
ボンバーマン爆発家族
1986-01
* Famicom Rocky
ファミコンロッキー
198?-??
Super Bomberman Hudson Official Guide Book
スーパーボンバーマンハドソン公式ガイドブック
05-1993
* Super Bomberman 2 Hudson Official Guide Book
スーパーボンバーマン2ハドソン公式ガイドブック
05-1993
* Bomberman Game Book
ボンバーマンゲームブック
* Club Nintendo
* Bomberman Hero
ボンバーマン ヒーロー
05-1998
Bomberman Story: An Omen of Conflict!!
ボンバーマンストーリー 新たなる激闘の予感!!
05-2001
* Touch! Bomberman Land: Star Bomber's Miracle World
タッチ!ボンバーマンランド スターボンバーのミラクル★ワールド
08-2008


Bomberman: Hidden Character Discovery Technique
ボンバーマン かくれキャラ発見テクニック

A one-off comic in Monthly CoroCoro Comic (月刊コロコロコミック) No. 94, dated February 1986. A tips and tricks guide showing off how to find and make the most of hidden items, hosted by "Bomber Gyaru". Drawn by Youji Katakura (方倉陽二) [src].

Explosive Bomberman Family / ボンバーマン爆発家族

A one-off exclusive to CoroCoro Comic Super New Year's Supplement 1986 (コロコロコミック増刊号 86年スーパー新年増刊). A glorified players' guide presented as a boy and his parents trying their hand at Bomberman for the Famicom. Drawn by Haruo Saito (さいとうはるお) [src].

Famicom Rocky / ファミコンロッキー


[anyone know what volume this is from?]

An ongoing comic in Monthly CoroCoro Comic from 1985 to 1987 about an overly-dramatic kid who trains hard to beat his friends and enemies at Nintendo games. Bomberman was the basis of one story [src], though I don't know what volume it was published in or what year.


(src: RRPG BLOG)

Super Bomberman Hudson Official Guide Book
スーパーボンバーマンハドソン公式ガイドブック

The game's prologue is recapped in a slapstick-heavy seven-page comic by Uorya Ohashi (うおーりぉ大橋). See the book's page for more information.

Super Bomberman 2 Hudson Official Guide Book
スーパーボンバーマン2ハドソン公式ガイドブック

The game's prologue is recapped in a slapstick-heavy seven-page comic by Uorya Ohashi (うおーりぉ大橋). See the book's page for more information.

Bomberman Game Book (ボンバーマンゲームブック) series


Panels from Bomberman Game Book #2:
Professor Bagura's Ambition

A series of four hardback books published by Futabasha as part of their Comic Game Book series.

Written by Kusunoki Saito [?] (斎藤 楠卜) and illustrated by Masahiro Fujii (藤井 昌浩), these are game books that read like traditional manga pages, but present choices that can lead Bomberman and allies down different story paths (pointing you to the numbered page to skip to next) - or to a Game over! The image on the left shows one such choice: will Bomberman and Louie read the hentai mag? Restraining their libido progresses the story, while reading it will reveal it's an explosive booby trap that kills them instantly. Game over!
Similar to activity books, there are puzzle pages that require the reader to solve a problem before they can continue, sometimes with a variety of different paths. These are often variants of maze games, but come in other flavours.

Four Game Books were released. (other Bomberman game books exist, but are not manga)

Club Nintendo


Panels from Sag niemals Holerö
(image from Retrodox)

A German Nintendo subscription magazine with unique comics starring a smorgasbord of Nintendo characters. Bomberman appeared in three of the comics from 1995 to 1999:
Warios Weihnachtsmärchen: A pastiche of A Christmas Carol. Bomberman is Wario's overworked bomb salesman, but is fired for daring to ask for a Christmas break.
Sag niemals Holerö: An alien disguising itself as a spoof of German folk singer Heino is transforming the populace into food with an enchanted song; Super Mario, Diddy Kong Racing's T.T. and Bomberman team up to defeat the menace.
Freeze Frame: The video game world is being frozen over by King K.Rool, villain of Donkey Kong Country, and Bomberman is among the heroes who set out to foil his scheme.

See the Super Mario Wiki for more information and links to other resources.

Bomberman Hero / ボンバーマン ヒーロー


[have you any information on this series?]

A one-off manga by Takeshi Tamai (玉井たけし), published in the May 1998 volume of 2nd Year Elementary Student (小学二年生) [src]. No other information!

Touch! Bomberman Land: Star Bomber's Miracle World
タッチ!ボンバーマンランド スターボンバーのミラクル★ワールド

A one-off manga by Itsuka Puzzle (逸架ぱずる), published in the August 2007 issue of Fami2Comic (ファミ2コミック, a pack-in comic anthology with Famitsu DS + Wii; see Scans & Bits for info) as a tie-in for the game of the same name.

Shirobon, Kurobon and Pretty Bomber partake in the events of Miracle Bomber's theme park, competing against Gold Bomber and his buddies.

TITLE

DATE

Game Player Comics
ゲームプレイヤーコミックス
1991-09
Hudson Makyou
ハドソン魔境
01-1992
PC Comic World
PCコミックワールド
* Marukatsu Super Famicom
マル勝スーパーファミコン
* Bomberman 4-Koma Manga Kingdom
ボンバーマン4コマまんが王国
* Super Bomberman 4-Koma Gag Battle
スーパーボンバーマン 4コマギャグバトル


Marukatsu Super Famicom / マル勝スーパーファミコン

A Japanese gaming magazine that also ran a number of gaming manga, some of them as pack-in booklets.


War! Bomb Battle Troops

Super Bomberman Secret File (スーパーボンバーマン シークレットファイル), a double-sided promotion for Super Bomberman included with the April 9th 1993 issue; one side is an overview of the game, while the other side contains an anthology of eight manga:


His name is Bomberman

Marukatsu Super Famicom appendix: Super Bomberman 2 (マル勝スーパーファミコン付録 スーパーボンバーマン2) is another overview booklet (packed in with the May 20th 1994 issue), with four manga squeezed in between the Normal Game and Battle Game coverage:


Bomber War

Super Bomberman 3 Perfect Destruction Manual (スーパーボンバーマン3完全爆破マニュアル), packed in with the May 19th 1995 issue, is laid out similar to the previous booklet and includes:

Bomberman 4-Koma Manga Kingdom / ボンバーマン4コマまんが王国


(4-koma from 4-Koma Manga Kingdom 1)

An anthology 4-koma series, released in five volumes as part of Futabasha's Action Comics Series, from June 1994 to February 1998.

An anthology of 4-koma gag strips from a wide variety of artists (including artists notable for other Bomberman works, like Masahiro Fujii, who illustrated the Bomberman Game Book series), with the occasional story manga like Bomberman Returns or Fire in the hole (爆発するぞ) by Natsuki Mamiya (まみやなつき).

Collected in five volumes.

Super Bomberman 4-Koma Gag Battle
スーパーボンバーマン 4コマギャグバトル

An anthology 4-koma series, released in six standalone volumes as part of Kobunsha's Fireball Game Comic Series, from July 1995 to January 1998.

An anthology of gag 4-koma strips, using elements from the Bomberman games for comedic effect and authored by a wide variety of different artists. Began as Super Bomberman 3-branded strips, but would change as new games were released, including Super Bomberman 4, Super Bomberman 5 and Baku Bomberman.

Collected in six volumes; two each for Super Bomberman 3 and 4, and one for Super Bomberman 5 and Baku Bomberman.


シーソーそして…
And see and saw...

4-koma from Super Bomberman 3 - 4-Koma Gag Battle 2

TITLE

DATE

DiGi-mation 2: Bon! Bomberman
凡! ボンバーマン
1990-12
DiGi-mation 4: Tengai Makyou Deden no Den Dennou Dengeki Kabuki Den
天外魔境 電々の伝 電脳電撃カブキ伝
1993-??
Hudson Legend '96
ハドソン伝説'96
1996-??
Totally Bomberman!! Bomberman Hero Introduction Volume
まるごと!!
1998-??
GameCenter CX DVD Box 4
ゲームセンターCX DVD-BOX4
2007-12

DiGi-mation 2: Bon! / Bomberman (凡! / ボンバーマン)

One of Hudson's first live-action dramas, released on Christmas 1990. Advertised in PC-Engine games around that time, including Bomberman, natch.

DiGi-mation 4: Tengai Makyou Deden no Den Dennou Dengeki Kabuki Den / 天外魔境 電々の伝 電脳電撃カブキ伝

An hour-long live-action adventure set in the world of the Tengai Makyou games. A brief segment 45 minutes in features the cast partaking in a real-life Super Bomberman battle, with stop-motion explosions.
View it on YouTube!

Hudson Legend '96 / ハドソン伝説'96

A promotional video given out at Hudson Caravan sites. The live-action sequences feature a basic story where Shirobon, Kurobon, Honey and Kotetsu interact with characters from the Momotaro Densetsu series for the purposes of promoting upcoming Hudson games and merchandise.
Products highlighted include: Saturn Bomberman, Super Bomberman 4, Baku Bomberman, the SBOM Multi Tap and Joycard for SEGA Saturn, and the HuBee Official Speed Checker (for measuring the speed of marbles shot by Bomberman B-Daman toys).
The video ends on the "Hudson CM Caravan", featuring a sampling of live-action commercials for Hudson games, including Super Bomberman 3, 4 and Saturn Bomberman.
View it on YouTube!

Totally Bomberman!! Bomberman Hero Introduction Volume
まるごと!!ボンバーマン ボンバーマンヒーロー紹介編

A rental-only tips and tricks video for Bomberman Hero. It's over an hour long, though, so does that mean there's something interesting on it?

GameCenter CX DVD Box 4 / ゲームセンターCX DVD-BOX4

Japanese comic Shinya Arino plays terrible old games you've probably never heard of. This box set features an exclusive episode never broadcast on televison, of Bomberman on the Famicom.

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page last modified: 05/12/2017