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Tensai Bakabon

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Tensai Bakabon
The cover of Tensai Bakabon volume 2
Written byFujio Akatsuka
Published by
  • Weekly Shōnen Magazine
  • (April 9, 1967–February 23, 1969, June 27, 1971–January 12, 1975, October 26, 1975–December 5, 1976)
  • Monthly Shōnen Magazine
  • (August 1967–January 1969, August 1974–December 1978)
  • Weekly Shōnen Sunday
  • (August 24, 1969–April 5, 1970)
  • Shōnen Sunday Deluxe
  • (September 1969–June 1970)
  • Weekly Bokura Magazine
  • (May 10, 1971–May 31, 1971)
  • Monthly TV Magazine
  • (December 1971–August 1977)
  • Comic BonBon
  • (October 1987–October 1991)
  • Hero Magazine
  • (October 1989–January 1991)
  • Bom Bom Deluxe
  • (November 1991–December 1992)
Original runApril 9, 1967December 5, 1976
(Shōnen Magazine version)
Anime television series
Directed byHiroshi Saito
Music byTakeo Watanabe
StudioTokyo Movie
Original networkYomiuri TV
Original run September 25, 1971 June 24, 1972
Anime television series
Ganso Tensai Bakabon
Directed by
  • Yoshio Takeuchi
  • Makura Saki
  • Shigetsugu Yoshida
  • Hideo Takayashiki
Written by
Music byTakeo Watanabe
StudioTokyo Movie
Original networkNippon TV
Original run October 6, 1975 September 26, 1977
Anime television series
Heisei Tensai Bakabon
Directed byHiroshi Sasagawa
Original networkFuji TV
Original run January 6, 1990 December 29, 1990
Anime television series
Rerere no Tensai Bakabon
Directed byHayato Date
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run October 19, 1999 March 21, 2000
Anime television series
Shinya! Tensai Bakabon
Directed byToru Hosokawa
Written byToru Hosokawa
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run July 10, 2018 September 25, 2018

Tensai Bakabon (天才バカボン, lit. "Genius Bakabon")[a] is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujio Akatsuka, which began publication on April 9, 1967, in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. It is about the misadventures of a dim-witted boy (Bakabon) and his idiotic father, the latter of whom eventually becomes the central character.

It has been adapted into five anime television series. The first two series produced by Tokyo Movie were broadcast in the 1970s for 40 and 103 episodes respectively. The third and fourth series were produced by Pierrot and broadcast in 1990 and 1999–2000, for 46 and 24 episodes respectively. The fifth series was produced by Pierrot+ and broadcast for 12 episodes in 2018.


Bakabon's Papa (バカボンのパパ, Bakabon no Papa)
Bakabon's troublemaker father who eventually steals the show and becomes the central character. His catchphrase is saying "Kore de ii noda (これでいいのだ, It'll be all right)" to someone when trying to get them to go along with one of his stupid plans. A typical episode plot involves Papa either being too stupid to perform a simple task or coming up with some crazy idea to accomplish a simple task, usually asking for his son Bakabon's advice and causing tons of trouble. He was once very smart but became an idiot after an accident. He is known for always wearing his trademark hachimaki and haramaki. His favorite food is octopus. Papa has become an anime icon in Japan and was ranked number 9 in a 2002 TV Asahi Top 100 Anime Characters list.[2] Voiced by Masashi Amenomori (1st-2nd series), Kōsei Tomita (3rd series, pachinko games), Hisahiro Ogura [jp] (4th series), Arata Furuta (5th series).
Bakabon (バカボン)
A boy who enjoys causing mischief, especially with his Papa. On the inside, though, he is kind and works a part-time job as a shoeshine boy to buy his mother a birthday present. He is known for not wearing pants underneath his kimono. At the beginning of the series he attends Bokenasu Elementary School (坊毛茄子小学校, Bokenasu Shōgakkō), which means Idiot Elementary School, but by the fourth anime it has been renamed Bakada Elementary School (バカ田小学校, Bakada Shōgakkō), meaning Stupid Elementary School. Voiced by Keiko Yamamoto (1st-2nd series, pachinko), Megumi Hayashibara (3rd series), Yoshiko Kamei (4th series), Miyu Irino (5th series).
Hajime-chan (ハジメちゃん)
Bakabon's younger brother. He is a child prodigy, understanding words almost immediately after his birth and being capable of explaining the Pythagorean theorem and Kepler's laws of planetary motion. His name means "beginning". Voiced by Takako Sasuga (1st-2nd series, pachinko), Chika Sakamoto (3rd series), Yukiji (4th series), Ai Nonaka (5th series).
Bakabon's Mama (バカボンのママ, Bakabon no Mama)
Bakabon's mother and a graduate of Kuroyuri Women's University (黒百合女学園[3], Kuroyuri Jogakuen) (a parody of Shirayuri Women's University). Despite how much trouble and mischief Papa and Bakabon cause, she is a good wife and mother. She is the only family member to have the same voice actress throughout the series. Voiced by Eiko Masuyama (1st-4th series), Haruko Kitahama [jp] (1st series, Ep. 35 only), Noriko Hidaka (5th series).
Rerere no Oji-san (レレレのおじさん, Mister "Rerere")
The Bakabon family's odd neighbor, named so for his tendency to say "rerere" (rather than are (あれ)) when confused about the countless shenanigans in the series. He is almost always seen sweeping the street outside of his yard. He is bald, has a moustache but no nose, ears that extend slightly off of his head, and wears a yukata and geta sandals. Voiced by Ryūji Saikachi (1st-2nd series), Shigeru Chiba (3rd-4th series, pachinko), Akira Ishida (5th series).
Omawari-san (お巡りさん)
The local beat cop, referred to as Honkan-san (本官さん, lit. "Mr. Policeman") in the anime. He is gluttonous, lecherous, and often fires his pistol at random. He is always wishing for money or a promotion. His notable features include his huge eyes usually drawn as connected into one eyeball, his underbite buck teeth (from the jawbone), and his one nostril in the middle of his nose. His official name from Akatsuka is Mentama Tsunagari Omawari-san (目ン玉つながりのおまわりさん, Officer with the Connected Eyes). Voiced by Isamu Tanonaka (1st series), Kaneta Kimotsuki (2nd series), Shigeru Chiba (3rd-4th series, pachinko), Toshiyuki Morikawa (5th anime).
Unagi-Inu (ウナギイヌ, Eel-dog)
An unusual animal from the neighborhood who is a cross between an eel and a dog. Voiced by Michihiro Ikemizu (2nd series), Aruno Tahara (3rd series), Kōzō Shioya (4th series), Takahiro Sakurai (5th anime).
Dog of the Night (夜のいぬ, Yoru no Inu)
A goofy dog who shows up during scene changes.
Kumada-kun (熊田くん)
Bakabon's classmate who always wears a helmet. For the 4th anime he was renamed Osamu Tezuka-buto (手塚ブト 治, Tezukabuto Osamu, "kabuto" means "helmet"). Voiced by Rica Matsumoto (3rd series), Kappei Yamaguchi (4th series).
Norauma (ノラウマ, "Stray Horse"/"Wild Horse")
A reckless horse with no owner.

Minor characters[edit]

Honda-sensei (凡田先生)
Bakabon's headmaster. Only appears in the first anime. Voiced by Kōichi Kitamura.
Nakamura-kun (中村くん)
Bakabon's ill-tempered classmate. Only appears in the first anime. Voiced by Kaneta Kimotsuki.

Characters from Akatsuka's other Titles[edit]

Iyami (イヤミ)
Originally from Osomatsu-kun, he only appears in the Rerere no Tensai Bakabon series alongside Chibita. Voiced by Kaneta Kimotsuki (Episodes 1, 4, 16); Kenichi Ogata (Episodes 3, 6, 11, 16, 20-21, 24) (4th series)
Chibita (チビ太)
Originally from Osomatsu-kun, he only appears in the Rerere no Tensai Bakabon series alongside Iyami.
Hatabō (ハタ坊, lit. "Flag boy")
Originally from Osomatsu-kun, he only appears in the Rerere no Tensai Bakabon series.
Dekapan (デカパン)
Originally from Osomatsu-kun, he only appears in the Rerere no Tensai Bakabon series.
Dayōn (ダヨーン)
Originally from Osomatsu-kun, he only appears in the Rerere no Tensai Bakabon series.
Sakura-chan (さくらちゃん)
Originally from Kikanpo Gen-chan. Bakabon's girlfriend. Only appears in the first anime. Voiced by Kazuko Sawada.



4 bilingual Japanese-English volumes have been released of the manga as The Genius Bakabon.[4][5][6][7]


Four anime series have been produced, with the first two series produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and the second two produced by Studio Pierrot. Tensai Bakabon (天才バカボン, "Genius Bakabon") aired for 40 episodes on Yomiuri TV from September 25, 1971, to June 24, 1972. Three years later, Ganso Tensai Bakabon (元祖天才バカボン, "Original Genius Bakabon") aired for 103 episodes on NTV from October 6, 1975, to September 26, 1977. In India this show was broadcast by Hungama TV.[8]

The original series was heavily rerun on Animax during its first few years on air, as it was centred around classic anime at the time.

The two Studio Pierrot series aired nearly nine years apart, with Heisei Tensai Bakabon (平成天才バカボン, "Heisei period Genius Bakabon") airing on Fuji TV for 46 episodes from January 6 to December 29, 1990, and Rerere no Tensai Bakabon (レレレの天才バカボン, "Rerere's Genius Bakabon") airing on TV Tokyo from October 19, 1999, to March 21, 2000, for 24 episodes. A late night anime titled Shinya! Tensai Bakabon (深夜!天才バカボン, "Late Night! Genius Bakabon")[9][10] premiered on July 10, 2018 on TV Tokyo and other channels.[11] It ran for 12 episodes.


  1. ^ The official English name was Meet the Boneheads,[1] but has since been favored for the more accurate The Genius Bakabon.


  2. ^ "大好きなアニメキャラベスト100 シネマでぽん!S cinema-game-toy/ウェブリブログ". Cinema-de-pon.at.webry.info. July 13, 2002. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  3. ^ "天才バカボン ママ". Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  4. ^ 赤塚不二夫 (2000). 天才バカボン: 第1卷. 講談社インターナショナル. ISBN 4770026978.
  5. ^ 赤塚不二夫 (2000). 天才バカボン: 第2卷. 講談社インターナショナル. ISBN 4770026986.
  6. ^ 赤塚不二夫 (2001). 天才バカボン: 第3卷. 講談社. ISBN 4770026994.
  7. ^ 赤塚不二夫 (2010). 天才バカボン: バイリンガル版. 講談社インターナショナル. ISBN 9784770041272.
  8. ^ "Indiantelevision.com's Kidology: Hungama TV launches weekly primetime show 'Tensai Bakabon'". Indiantelevision.com. August 6, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  9. ^ "Arata Furuta to star as Papa in "Shinya! Tensai Bakabon"". animatetimes.com. April 3, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Tensai Bakabon Family Comedy Manga Gets New TV Anime After 18 Years". Anime News Network. April 2, 2018. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  11. ^ "New Tensai Bakabon Anime Premieres on July 10". Anime News Network. June 7, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.

External links[edit]