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.
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 willing to help, give me a shout!
A one-off comic in Monthly CoroCoro Comic (月刊コロコロコミック) No. 93, dated January 1986. The comic was drawn by Youji Katakura (方倉陽二) [src], but aside from that factoid, there's no information online!
Two standalone anthologies under the Game Player Comics (ゲームプレイヤーコミックス) banner, published by Minori Shobo (みのり書房) in 1992.
An anthology of comics and 4-koma based off of Hudson Soft games, primarily the Momotaro Densetsu franchise, but also featuring PC Genjin (Bonk), Seiryu Densetsu Monbit, and Bomberman. The first volume has two different Bomberman strips: Bomber Boogie Woogie (ボンバーブギウギ) by Yoneyama Tomoko (米山智子), a four-page comic with an all-girl cast; and Bomber Theater (ボンバー劇場) by Maraia (まらいあ), a crudely-drawn 4-koma.
A gag strip by Atsushi Musashino (むさしのあつし), serialised in Monthly CoroCoro Comic (月刊コロコロコミック) 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 run from October 2002 until October 2005.
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.
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.
The game's prologue is recapped in a slapstick-heavy seven-page comic. See the book's page for more information.
The game's prologue is recapped in a slapstick-heavy seven-page comic. See the book's page for more information.
An anthology 4-koma series running from 1994 to 1998. Collected in five volumes.
(image from 2channel)
A 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]; the year of its publication and its duration are unknown.
An offbeat adventure series starring 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, including their top hat-wearing rival, Carat (カラット). 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. (or so i hear? waiting to confirm!)
An anthology 4-koma series, released in five 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 vareity 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.
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.
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.
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.
A manga by Koichi Mitaka (三鷹公一), serialised in Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic from October 1996 to April 1999.
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.
A manga by Takeshi Tamai (玉井たけし), released as three standalone volumes from November 1998 to December 1999. (was it really not serialised somewhere first? let me know!) "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 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.
Alternately parsed as ボンバーマン爆裂学校大戦争, roughly translated as "Bomberman Explosive School Wars". A manga by Makoto Kai (カイ・マコト), serialised in Comic Bom Bom from November 1998 to May 1999.
The cast of Saturn Bomberman are transplanted into a school setting, with Shirobon as an exciteable kid, Mujoe and the Hige Hige Bandits as the delinquent gang, and Dr. Ein seemingly as the teacher or principal, though he exists solely for comedic pratfalls. The 'students and delinquents' settings seems to exist solely to justify the petty squabbles between Shiro and Mujoe; the excerpt on the right takes place after Shiro destroyed Mujoe's newly bought Bomberquest video game, for instance.
Makoto's personal website mentions it was also published by Rightman Publishing Ltd. (正文社), which operate in Hong Kong; in Japan, however, the series has never been collected in volumes or reprinted.
The sixteen-page story depicts the first encounter between Shirobon and Max: a dramatic, all-out battle with copious amounts of shouting attack names. It's notable for being one of the only Bomberman stories to treat itself entirely seriously, with a shonen art style quite unexpected from the franchise's otherwise cuddly appearance.
Another curiosity is the final page's glimpse of Bagura, Mujoe and Mechadoc plotting an evil scheme. Not only are none of these villains in the game, it seems a strange time for them to be reappearing. Bagura had not made a game appearance since 1998 in Bomberman Fantasy Race, and the latter two had only appeared in Saturn Bomberman at this point; all three would make a cross-media comeback in Bomberman Jetters the following year, though.
Roughly translated a "Bang!! Bomberman Jetters". A manga by Matsuhara Tomofumi (まつばらともふみ), serialised in Monthly CoroCoro Comic from September 2002 to March 2003.
A jokey adventure comic, featuring the Jetters cast of characters in light-hearted, hot-headed adventures, but has little in common with the established canon. It is notable for being the very first Jetters media to be released, coming out a couple of weeks before the first episode of the anime was broadcast. (this manga was made to promote the TV show, mind - don't go thinking the whole Jetters franchise was built around this!)
The comic's position in CoroCoro was immediately filled upon its conclusion by another Jetters strip, Soreike!! Bomberman Jetters. This comic has never been reprinted or collected.
(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.
A one-off strip in the August 2007 issue of Fami2Comic (ファミ2コミック).
(image from Ginnansha.com)
Roughly translated as "B-B-B-B-Blast Bomberman", and alternately parsed as ばばばば爆熱ボンバーマン. A gag comic by Dynamic Taro (ダイナミック太郎) that ran in Dengeki Nintendo DS (デンゲキニンテンドーDS) from September 2008 to August 2011. It is one of the few Bomberman manga to be read from left-to-right.
Elementary school student Dan Ohno (大野 弾) shares his home with Shirobon who gets him involved in shenanigans, along with Kurobon (depicted with a blue face and blank white eyes), Pretty Bomber, Golden Bomber, Louie and others. Hige Hige Bandit Grunt #16 served as the villain in at least one story.
The author commemorated the series' end with a blog post containing some excerpts and well-wishes. It has never been reprinted or collected.
Translated roughly as "Thanks For The Courage, Bomberman: I Can Hear". 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 and 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.
[a spin-off of the Bomberman B-Daman toy franchise and continuation of the manga. ran on TV Asoya from February 1998 to January 1999.
[sequel! ran on TV Asoya from February 1999 to January 2000,
[a media franchise in itself. ran on TV Tokyo from October 2002 to September 2003.
One of Hudson's first live-action dramas, released on Christmas 1990 [SRC]. Advertised in PC-Engine games around that time, including Bomberman, natch.
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.
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!
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?
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.