The very first episode of Ganso Tensai Bakabon opens with a short sequence that establishes the show’s aim to fulfill the unique insanity of its source material. A mysterious figure runs into the street, causing a massive pile-up, and asks if the genius Bakabon’s dad is around. A whole slew of doppelgangers begin to claim his identity, which causes the figure to unveil himself as being the original Bakabon’s dad.
This debut half-hour is something of a triumph for the Dezaki school of direction. Yoshio Takeuchi, who was one of Osamu Dezaki’s main protégés in the 70s, directed the first segment, while the master himself directed the second. Continue reading “Ganso Tensai Bakabon Episode 1”
(with apologies to any readers who are fans of Dragon Ball Z (Kai) or—gosh forbid—Filmation cartoons)
Where to begin in talking about this landmark show?
Ganso Tensai Bakabon was the last of the classic Tokyo Movie-produced gag comedies, and easily one of the most delightfully unhinged anime to ever hit airwaves in Japan, superseded only by the best episodes of Goku’s Big Adventure (1967) and Fight da!! Pyuta (1968). The studio and its various subcontractors, chief of which was A Production, had already tried adapting the material a few years in Tensai Bakabon, albeit this was toned down significantly from Fujio Akatsuka’s original manga; for this iteration, the staff would hew closer to the insanity and black comedy of Akatsuka’s work (hence the “Ganso” in the title, meaning “Original”). Continue reading “Prelude to Ganso Tensai Bakabon”