Bomberman Bakugaiden: An Obsure Gem?

The world of videogame to cartoon adaptations is wide, it spans a large range of shows of differing quality. Some shows may be amazing and some are outright forgettable. I think I may have stumbled across something truly unique though. It’s a show I find to be fairly entertaining, despite having very little to actually do with the game that it’s based on. I’m talking about Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Bomberman was a popular videogame from the 80s that grew into a large franchise that spanned decades.

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Yes, THIS is from a Bomberman show. Just let that realization sink in.

Due to Bomberman’s popularity, an anime was inevitable. Most people remember the Bomberman Jetters anime, as that was more faithful to the source material while still being it’s own thing. However, Bakugaiden came out a few years before Jetters and even got a second season. One could argue that Bakugaiden was the more popular series. Bomberman Bakugaiden had a lot of trappings of Bomberman, but presented them differently. White Bomber was still the protagonist, while Black Bomber was his rival as always.

Planet Bomber is still a thing, yet White Bomberman is the prince of the planet. This is a far departure from the games, where White Bomber is just another denizen of said planet. In this version, no one throws bombers. Like, ever. It shouldn’t even be called Bomberman, it should be renamed “Erman”. Instead of throwing bombs, they shoot energy-charged marbles out of their chest. That is because this iteration of Bomberman is based off the B-Daman toys. B-Daman got its own anime eventually, which actually made it to America.

I think I prefer the Bomberman version though, just because it is slightly more zany and the characters I found to be more entertaining. Now, back to show itself, I found it to be really enjoyable. I think this comes down to how quirky and silly the characters are. You’ve got the adorable yet headstrong lady Red Bomber, the nervous and laidback Blue Bomber, as well as our hero White Bomber. The show has a ton of characters peppered throughout and all of them are as crazy as the next. The show also has some fun action sequences with giant robots, which is new for this franchise.

It’s weird to have a Bomberman series that centers around exciting mecha battles, but it feels like a welcome addition. After all, Bomberman tends to fight giant robots in the newer games, it’s understandable he finally gets to pilot one of his very own. In this version, the king of Planet Bomber (or “Earth” as the subtitles call it) is being mind-controlled by Dark Bomber. This means our heroes have to rally behind a singular cause in order to stop him.

Yeah, it’s basically Star Wars, but the show is somewhat aware of its derivative nature. This makes it enjoyable, despite its cliche nature. The one biggest flaw I’ve found with this series is the lack of subtitles for the series’ various episodes. About 2 percent of the show is subtitled, there’s 95 episodes that I haven’t been able to find correct subtitles for. It’s a shame, because I think it’s a cute and fun little show.

That’s just my two cents on the series though. I recommend checking out the few subtitled episodes on Youtube if you’re a Bomberman fan and interested in the series. It isn’t the most original series and differs greatly from the games, but manage to bring a lot of silly fun to the table. That’s something I can really get behind. Now, I just need to get around to play Super Bomberman R…

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