Cover of early English translation, featuring Gon
|Written by||Masashi Tanaka|
|English publisher||Kodansha Comics USA|
|Original run||1992 – 2002|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kim Gil-Tae|
|Written by||Isao Murayama|
|Studio||Kodansha, Daewon Media|
|Network||TXN (TV Tokyo), AT-X|
|Original run||April 2, 2012 – March 25, 2013|
|Gon: Baku Baku Baku Baku Adventure|
|Developer||Namco Bandai Games|
Gon (ゴン?) is a tiny fictional dinosaur and the title character of a Japanese manga series created by Masashi Tanaka. The Gon series features the completely wordless adventures of the irascible title character as he interacts with the natural world, depicted by Tanaka in lush, realistic detail. Gon somehow survived the extinction of his fellow dinosaurs and interacts with paleolithic animals. Gon was most notable outside of Japan for his appearance in the Tekken 3 video game. An animated TV series began airing in Japan on April 2, 2012.
In 1998, the manga received an Excellence Prize at the Japan Media Arts Festival.
Gon's exact saurian species is never delved into. He vaguely resembles an outdated depiction of a generic carnosaur in a tripod stance, only about the size of a small dog. He is an omnivore with an enormous appetite. He possesses enormous power and endurance for his size, his feats of strength including supporting his own weight with his jaws, to being able to partially lift a fully grown African Elephant. His scaly hide is almost impenetrable, being able to shrug off the bites of larger predators.
Gon's intelligence seems to fluctuate in each adventure, ranging from total cluelessness (such as failing to notice a bird nest on his head for weeks), to strategic cunning (using a lion as a beast of burden to capture prey).
Masashi Tanaka (Gon's creator) has said, "This work contains no dialog or onomatopoetic words. People always ask me why I have done this. From the beginning, I didn't think it was necessary. Manga should be without grammar. I also think that it is strange to give animals human language and make them talk. What I set out to do with Gon was to draw something that was more interesting than anything you could say in words. Manga still has great potential that does not exist in other media. I plan to continue developing the art of expression."
Gon's adventures are usually comedic with environmental connotations. There is very little continuity within the series, with Gon appearing in different countries and interacting with their respective fauna in almost every issue. He is often portrayed as being a short-tempered yet good-hearted creature, offering his help to the various animal friends he encounters in each issue.
The first English editions of the manga were published by Mandarin Publishing (UK, 1994) and Paradox Press (USA, 1996–2000). The single Mandarin volume contains the eight stories that were in the first two Japanese Gon collections. The eight Paradox Press volumes contain all the published Gon stories: six eight-page full-color stories in the Gon Color Spectacular, and twenty-one black-and-white stories, of varying length, in the other seven volumes.
- Gon: ISBN 0-7493-9685-7
- Gon: ISBN 1-56389-296-0
- Gon Again!: ISBN 1-56389-297-9
- Here Today, Gon Tomorrow!: ISBN 1-56389-298-7
- Going, Going...Gon: ISBN 1-56389-299-5
- Gon Swimmin′ : ISBN 1-56389-380-0
- Gon Color Spectacular!: ISBN 1-56389-381-9
- Gon Underground: ISBN 1-56389-591-9
- Gon on Safari: ISBN 1-56389-669-9
The first two Paradox Press books (Gon and Gon Again) were later reissued in an omnibus volume:
- Gon: Introducing the Dinosaur That Time Will Never Forget!: ISBN 1-56389-749-0
The third and fourth Paradox Press books (Here Today, Gon Tomorrow and Going, Going...Gon) were also reissued in an omnibus volume:
- Gon Wild!: ISBN 1-56389-474-2
From 2007 to 2009 CMX, a subset of DC Comics, reissued the black-and-white Gon stories in a seven-volume series. These did not have volume titles, but were simply numbered. Unlike the Paradox Press versions which were reversed for western readers, these stories are printed in the original sequence, and in their original right-to-left format. CMX had closed their doors in early 2010. Kodansha Comics USA reprinted the seven-volume series in 2011 and 2012.
Gon made his first video game appearance in the SNES platform game of the same name. The game was developed by Tose and released in Japan by Bandai on November 11, 1994. A new platformer, Gon: Baku Baku Baku Baku Adventure, developed for the Nintendo 3DS and was released in Japan on June 14, 2012 by Namco Bandai Games.
Gon is a licensed character appearing in Tekken 3. He is unlockable by defeating him in the Tekken Ball mode or by achieving a high score in Survival mode and inputing the name "GON". He is one of the two special hidden playable characters, along with Doctor Boskonovitch. It is unknown if Gon's appearance in Tekken 3 is canon or not. His appearance seems purely ornamental, considering no motive is given for him participating in the third King of Iron Fist Tournament. Gon's ending is the only ending in Tekken 3 that goes in a continuous loop. Gon's alternate costume for this game shows him with a turtle shell and blue gloves (the turtle shell being a reference to the time when Gon decided to wear a turtle shell that he found). Gon is the only character in Tekken 3 who is barely affected by True Ogre's fire blast. It only does 1 damage point to Gon and only flinches him as opposed to stunning him like all of the other characters in the game.
As he is a licensed character, Gon's appearance in Tekken 3 is a likely reason as to why the game has not been rereleased on the PlayStation Network as a "PSOne Classic" game.
Theatrical Movie Release
Sprite Animation Studios has announced that Moto Sakakibara, co-director of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, will direct a theatrical CG Animation based on the Gon manga. The movie was due for release in 2009 but has yet to materialise.
- Age of Reptiles (comics) − another silent comic featuring dinosaurs