52 (23 minutes)
2 October 2002 - 24 September 2003 (JP)
Bomberman Jetters is the story of Shirobon, a young Bomberman who joins the Jetters after his older brother and their former leader, Mighty, disappears. The Jetters are a group of intergalactic peacekeepers tasked with protecting the populace and their one-of-a-kind possessions from the nefarious pilferers, the Hige Hige Bandits. Shiro is young, ignorant, self-centred, clumsy and inexperienced (and that's the short list!), but with a little help from the Jetters, he hopes to live up to his brother's legacy.
This section focuses primarily on the anime; while the basic premise and characters are shared across all Jetters media, their depictions and place in the story vary slightly between them. See media below for links to other Jetters tie-ins.
From neighbouring planets to the farthest reaches of the universe, we will be there - Jetters!
Broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 2nd 2002 to September 24th 2003 for 52 episodes, Bomberman Jetters begins as a lighthearted monster-of-the-week affair, with the Hige Hige Bandits pursuing a unique treasure and the Jetters foiling their plans, usually fighting one of Mujoe or MechaDoc's creations, namely a Fusion Bomberman (合体ボンバーマン). The series follows the dramas of foibles of both factions, eventually including story arcs such as Shiro's quest for the Bomb Stars, Mujoe's long-standing among the Hige Hige Bandits, and Shout coping with the death of her mother.
The long-running mystery throughout the series is the fate of Shirobon's brother, Mighty. Initially said to have gone missing, his absence effects all the characters - even the Hige Hige Bandits! - and Shiro becomes obsessed with the notion that MAX is secretly Mighty. As the story progresses, Mighty's absense and prior actions and absence wind up having greater importance than once thought, and a recurring theme throughout the series is of growing up, loss, and coming to terms with one's flaws.
From its announcement, tie-ins and merchandising were a big part of the Jetters brand; perhaps not to the outrageous extent of B-Daman Bakugaiden, but there's still a lot to cover!
Bakuretsu!! Bomberman Jetters
Soreike!! Bomberman Jetters
Bomberman Jetters: The Legendary Bomberman
Bomberman Jetters Vol. 1
Bomberman Jetters Game Collection
Bomberman Jetters Original Soundtrack
Boku wa gakeppuchi
Hop! Skip! Jump!
|01||The Idol Bomberman
|02||The Five Jetters
|03||Formidable Foe! Fusion Bomberman
|04||Shirobon, Launched Without Notice!
|05||Underground Go! Go! Go!
|06||MAX, The Man of Mystery
|07||Pursue The Hige Hige Bandits!
|08||The Blue Rose of Memories
|09||Next Stop, Treasure Island!
|10||Bomb Star of the Sunset
|11||3000 Light-years in Search of Mother!
|14||The Glorious Hige Hige Bandits!
|17||The Captivating Mermaid Bomber!
|18||The Sunrise Bomb of Friendship
|19||Max and Shirobon
|20||Plow, Grand Bomber!
|21||Duel At The Ancient Hot Spring Village!
|22||The Longest Day of Mighty's Life
|24||Blitz, Thunder Bomber!
|25||The Truth Revealed
|26||We, The Jetters!
|29||Melody of the Macro Planet
|30||Curry and the Prince
|31||Misty's Big Crusade
|32||The Admirable Shirobon
|33||Ein the Bomb!
|34||Fierce Fighting! B-1 Grand Prix!!
|35||B-1 Bout! The Fiery Shirobon!
|36||Total Coverage! 24 Hour Jetters
|38||Protect the Great Invention!
|39||The Suspicious Health Checkup
|40||A Coup d'Etat Erutps!
|41||Reborn! The Dark Hige Hige Bandits!
|42||Mujoe, One Man's Salty Ramen
|44||Find The Bomb Star!
|45||Zero and Shirobon
|46||Secret of the Bomb Crystal
|47||The Terrifying MechaDoc
|48||Head-On Collision?! Planet Jetter!
|50||Fusion! Dark Force Bomber!
|51||The Last Day of Planet Bomber!
|52||Forge On! Jetters!
The following episode was not broadcast on television - it was a radio drama included as a bonus CD with early purchases of the Blu-Ray boxset in 2016.
|53||The Return of the Jetters
The series was released across 13 VHS tapes from 2003 to 2004, containing four episodes per tape.
13 DVDs were released in the same manner as the VHS tapes, but were also available in three boxsets:
DVD BOX 1: Fire Box (ファイヤーBOX) (released 28 August 2003) contains the first 4 DVDs, and includes a sheet of stickers, a booklet, a poster for Bomberman Jetters Game Collection, and a Hige Hige Bandit Members Card (ヒゲヒゲ団員証)
DVD BOX 2: Burning Fire Box (バーニングファイヤー BOX) (released 26 November 2003) contains the middle 4 DVDs, and includes a booklet [?] and a Hige Hige Bandits Members Card.
DVD BOX 3: Ba-Bi-Bu-Be Box (バビブベBOX) (released 28 January 2004) contains the final 5 DVDs, and includes a booklet [?] and a Hige Hige Bandits Members Card.
The spines of the boxsets create a composite image when lined up, of the Jetters and Hige Hige Bandits dining in Twist's restaurant.
Listed online as The Only Bomberman Jetters Blu-Ray BOX Of Its Kind In The Universe (ボンバーマンジェッターズ 宇宙にひとつしかないBlu-ray BOX), this eight-disc set contains all 52 episodes, with seven episodes per disc and three on the final disc. The final disc contains clean OP and ED animations, a montage of all eyecatches, the original commercials hyping the show from the characters/voice actors, and commercials hyping the Blu-Ray.
The boxset comes packaged with a booklet featuring retrospectives from the primary voice actors and staff, as well as an episode guide and brief character bios. Early orders came bundled with a Special Drama CD containing an all-new 21-minute radio drama with the original voice cast; these were only available from the first production run, and it's unknown how many were made.
Bomberman Jetters was first publicly announced by Hiroshi Kudo (the president, CEO and co-founder of Hudson Soft) in a press release dated July 24th 2002; the earliest known point in development is December 24th 2001, the date on Shirobon's model sheet.
Hailed as Bomberman's first foray into television animation, high hopes were placed on it strengthening the Bomberman brand image; the campaign was repeatedly referred to as a "Bomberman Renaissance" [src], aspiring to appeal to the entire family dynamic, young children and nostalgic adults alike.
Merchandising was a big part of the campaign, and it was helmed by a collaboration between Hudson Soft, Konami and Takara, dubbed "Konami Group". Alongside Hudson's tie-in video games, Konami published a trading card game and a sub-line of their Beast Shooter series of toys, while Takara handled other headlining merchandise.
The anime, games and merchandise were promoted in Monthly CoroCoro Comic during its year-long run, and a tie-in manga Bakuretsu! Bomberman Jetters (published shortly before the first anime episode broadcast) ran for its first six months before tagging out with Soreike!! Bomberman Jetters, which ran from then until two months after the anime had ended.
D-Rights were in charge of advertising and rights management, and in an early press release were said to be looking into licensing the series overseas [src]. It's unclear how much was done on that front, but very little came of it; the anime's only export was to Hong Kong in 2006, and all the United States ever saw was the GameCube video game - six months after the franchise had ended in Japan!
The anime did find a following in English-speaking circles not by Hudson's handiwork, but the work of anime subbing group Anime-Kraze, who distributed subtitled episodes from late 2003 to December 2006.