Bonobono (ぼのぼの) is a yonkoma manga series by Mikio Igarashi. From March 1986 to March 1987, the series ran in the Takeshobo manga magazine Tensai Club before the magazine was replaced with Manga Club, where it has been serialized since April 1987. It has also been serialized in Manga Life since April 1986. It has been adapted into an anime television series,[3] as well as two anime films and two video games.[1][2]

Bonobono manga volume 29 cover.jpg
Cover of manga volume 29
Written byMikio Igarashi
Published byTakeshobo
MagazineManga Club
Manga Life
Original runMarch 1986 – present
Written byMikio Igarashi
Published byTakeshobo
MagazineManga Life
Original runApril 2016 – present
Anime film
Directed byMikio Igarashi
Yūji Mutō (Animation)
Produced byAtsushi Tashiro
Written byMikio Igarashi
Music byGontiti
StudioGroup Tac
ReleasedNovember 13, 1993
Runtime103 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byHitoshi Nanba
Produced byKeisuke Iwata
Katsutoshi Kanesaka
Written byTetsuo Yasumi
Music byKazunori Miyake
StudioGroup Tac
Original networkTV Tokyo
Original run April 20, 1995 March 28, 1996
DeveloperAmuse, Bandai Visual
PublisherAmuse, Bandai Visual
ReleasedApril 21, 1995[1]
Bonogurashi: Kore de Kanpeki Disu
PlatformSony PlayStation
ReleasedJune 7, 1996[2]
Anime film
Bonobono: Kumomo no Ki no Koto
Directed byKōki Kumagai
Produced byAkihiro Itō
Written byMikio Igarashi
Kōki Kumagai
Music byGontiti
StudioAmuse Pictures
ReleasedAugust 10, 2002
Runtime61 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byHidenori Yamaguchi
Produced byDaisuke Hara
Yasunari Maeda
Yōko Matsushita
Written byMitsutaka Hirota
Music byTakatsugu Wakabayashi
Original networkFuji TV
Original run April 2, 2016 – present
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

While the series is considered a yonkoma manga, most of the "stories" use eight panels. The series follows the main character, a young sea otter after whom the manga is titled, and his daily adventures with his friends from the nearby forest. Bonobono combines gag comic and philosophical questions, bringing up comparisons to other manga such as Azumanga Daioh,[4] and to films such as Forrest Gump.[5]

In 1988, Bonobono won the Kodansha Manga Award in the General category.[6] An anime film was released in theaters on November 13, 1993, and an anime television series was broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 20, 1995 through March 28, 1996. One day after the TV series began, a simulation game was released on the 3DO system.[1] The following June, an adventure game was released on the PlayStation.[2] Several ehon—or "picture books"—have been released since the manga series was first introduced over 30 years ago.


  • Bonobono (ぼのぼの): A mellow sea otter that lives with his father by the ocean near the forest. His mother died in childbirth. He is a bit naive in the ways of the world, and is curious in general. Never seen without a shellfish in his hand, in case he gets hungry.
  • Shimarisu-kun/Chipmunk (シマリスくん): A young chipmunk who's friends with Bonobono. He has a habit of asking if people are going to bully him (いじょめる? Ijimeru?) and is regularly tormented by Araiguma and his older sister Shō. However, he does bring some of it on himself; depending on the day, he can unintentionally or even intentionally say things to rile them up. Like Bonobono, he always carries something with him, in his case a walnut.
  • Araiguma-kun/Racoon (アライグマくん): A young raccoon who's friends with Bonobono. Has a very short fuse and often plays the tsukkomi for his other two friends. Likes to bully Shimarisu, and often gets into trouble with his father.
  • Tsunadori Neko-san/Fishing Cat (ツナドリネコさん): An animal who's not native to the Forest, but is the currently named strongest animal there after defeating Higuma no Taishō. Bonobono and friends often ask him questions about certain subjects. In general, he's often portrayed as one of the more sensible residents of the Forest.
  • Bonobono's Father (ぼのぼののおとうさん): The father of Bonobono. He's a somewhat bumbling man who tries to bond with his son in silly ways. He speaks with pauses in between phrases. Likes to go on long journeys. His wife died in childbirth.
  • Araiguma-kun's Father (アライグマくんのおとうさん): The father of Araiguma-kun. A very ornery animal, he gets set off at the slightest annoyance or indiscretion. Takes out his anger constantly on Araiguma-kun.
  • Kuzuri-kun/Wolverine (クズリくん): A young wolverine that walks on all fours. He has a bad habit of pooping all over the forest.
  • Kuzuri-kun's Father (クズリくんのおとうさん): The father of Kuzuri-kun. The closest thing the Forest has to a medicine man, Kuzuri-kun's Father has plenty of plants and herbs on hand that are relevant to the topic at hand. Resourceful, but somewhat eccentric. He is very proud of his son.
  • Fenegi-kun/Fennec Kitsune/Fenny (フェネギくん): A young fennec fox who's friends with Bonobono and company. Self conscious.
  • Shō Nee-chan (しょうねえちゃん): One of Shimarisu-kun's elder sisters. She loves to pick on him and always wins their fights, but has a soft spot for him underneath her bullying nature.
  • Dai Nee-chan (だいねえちゃん): One of Shimarisu-kun's elder sisters. Acts very proper and elegant, but often embellishes information she gets. She desires for Shimarisu-kun to become independent.
  • Anaguma/Badger (アナグマくん): A stoic young badger who's acquaintances with Bonobono and friends. No one can tell what's on his mind, since he doesn't emote.
  • Higuma no Taishō/Boss Bear (ヒグマの大賞): The former strongest of the Forest before being defeated by Tsunadori Neko. While he is benevolent and wishes to protect the Forest, he does not wish for Tsunadori Neko to be there since he is an outsider. Lives away from his wife and child. Immense in size.
  • Shimacchau Ojisan/The Putaway Man (しまっちゃうおじさん): A tall animal that seems to exist only in Bonobono's imagination as a bogeyman. If Bonobono does something wrong, Shimacchau Ojisan will hypothetically come and lock him away in a cave.


In addition to the original tankōbon releases, the first twenty tankōbon volumes have been rereleased in bunkoban format as 15 volumes. Several stand-alone picture books have been released as well.

For the first film, an ekonte—or storyboard—volume and a set of four film comics have been released.



Takeshobo released all the volumes of manga listed below.


Takeshobo released all the volumes of manga listed below.

Film comicsEdit

These books contain scenes from the first Bonobono film laid out in comic book format. All were released by Takeshobo.


This book contains the storyboards for the first Bonobono film.

  • Bonobono no Ekonteshū (ぼのぼの絵コンテ集), ISBN 4-88475-254-6, November 1993, Takeshobo

Picture booksEdit

Various Bonobono picture books have been released, including the following. Titles are listed chronologically.

  • Kawaisō no Koto (かわいそうのこと), ISBN 4-88475-027-6, December 1987, Takeshobo
  • Shimarisu-kun Daikatsuyaku!! Gō (シマリスくん大活躍!!号), ISBN 4-88475-027-6, December 1987, Takeshobo
  • Ōkii no Koto Chiisai no Koto (大きいのこと 小さいのこと), ISBN 4-88475-033-0, June 1988, Takeshobo
  • Megane Yamane-kun no Koto (メガネヤマネくんのこと), ISBN 4-88475-041-1, May 1989, Takeshobo
  • Kurisumasu no Koto (クリスマスのこと), ISBN 4-8124-0421-5, November 1998, Takeshobo
  • Minna Omoide na no Darō: Bonobono no Kagashū (みんな思い出なのだろう―ぼのぼの詩画集), ISBN 4-88475-253-8, November 1993, Takeshobo
  • Bonobono (ぼのぼの), ISBN 4-88475-255-4, December 1993, Takeshobo
  • Tsuwaio no Koto (ツワイオのこと), ISBN 4-8124-2761-4, July 2006, Takeshobo


1993 filmEdit

The first theatrical release, titled Bonobono, opened in theaters on 1993-11-13. The film has since been broadcast on domestic television in Japan, including on broadcast satellite channels such as NHK BS-2. The film has been released on VHS and DVD in Japan, including in a "no cut" edition.[7]




1995 TV seriesEdit

The Bonobono anime television series ran from April 20, 1995 through March 28, 1996 as part of the "Anime Can" (アニメ缶, Anime Kan) series on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm on TV Tokyo. Each episode was 15 minutes long, and was paired with an episode of Bit the Cupid to fill out the 30-minute timeslot. The series has been rebroadcast on several different channels and networks, including Animax and the on-demand internet streaming service GyaO.

The entire TV series was released as two DVD box sets on April 20, 2007.


Theme songsEdit

Chikamichi Shitai (近道したい)
Lyrics, Vocals: Kyōko Suga
Composition, Arrangement: Etsuko Yamakawa
Ending theme for episodes 1-23 and 48
Love, Two Love
Lyrics, Composition, Vocals: Kyōko Suga
Arrangement: Ryō Yonemitsu
Ending theme for episodes 24-47



TV specialsEdit

Following the anime television series, nine specials were aired on TV Tokyo. At the beginning of each special, the next special was also introduced and showed some animation from it. The specials used a lot of animation from the series, and while the content fit the season in which the special was broadcast, the music, scripts, and jokes were changed for each of the specials. The voice actors from the TV series were used for the specials.

  • Oshōgatsu Da yo: Bonobono no World (January 2, 1997)
  • Kodomo no Hi Da yo: Bonobono no World (May 5, 1997)
  • Natsu Yasumi Da yo: Bonobono no World (July 21, 1997)
  • Taiiku no Hi Da yo: Bonobono no World! (October 10, 1997)
  • Oshōgatsu Da yo: Bonobono no World! (January 1, 1998)
  • Kodomo wa Kaze no Ko: Bonobono no World! (February 1, 1998)
  • Kodomo no Hi Da yo: Bonobono no World (May 5, 1998)
  • Shokuyoku no Aki Da yo: Bonobono no World! (September 23, 1998)
  • Oyako Anime Gekijō Bonobono: Jōji Namahage (December 23, 1998)

2002 filmEdit

Bonobono: Kumomo no Ki no Koto (ぼのぼの クモモの木のこと) was the second theatrical Bonobono movie, released by Amuse Pictures in theaters in Japan on August 10, 2002. It was done completely in 3D.




2016 TV seriesEdit

A recent anime television adaption started airing on April 2, 2016.[11] A Planetarium special Bono Bono - Uchū kara Kita Tomodachi (Bono Bono - The Friend That Came From Space) was shown at the Gotanda Cultural Center from September 16 to October 9, 2017.[12] Crunchyroll only simulcasted the first three seasons of the series. On December 21, 2019, the series had a crossover with Gachapin.[13]


Theme songEdit

Bonobono Suru (bonobonoする)
Lyrics, Vocals: Monobright



Two games based on the Bonobono series have been released. The first was Bonogurashi (ぼのぐらし), a simulation game released on 1995-04-21 for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system by Amuse and Bandai Visual.

The second game was titled Bonogurashi: Kore de Kanpeki Disu (ぼのぐらし〜これで完璧でぃす〜), an adventure game released by Amuse for the PlayStation system on 1996-06-07.


  1. ^ a b c Kindaichi, Wazahiko, ed. (2000-12-01). "3DO". Kōgien (広技苑) (in Japanese) (2000年秋 ed.). Mainichi Communications. pp. 995–996. ISBN 4-8399-0447-2.
  2. ^ a b c Kindaichi, Wazahiko, ed. (2000-12-01). "プレイステーション". Kōgien (広技苑) (in Japanese) (2000年秋 ed.). Mainichi Communications. p. 1278. ISBN 4-8399-0447-2.
  3. ^ a b ぼのぼの (1995) (in Japanese). AllCinema Online. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  4. ^ Bryce, Mio. "'School' in Japanese children's lives as depicted in manga" (PDF). p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  5. ^ Califf, Jennifer. "Bonobono". Anime Web Turnpike. Archived from the original on 2006-01-18. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  6. ^ Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
  7. ^ "ぼのぼのプラス (1994)". AllCinema Online. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  8. ^ "ぼのぼの (1993)". AllCinema Online.
  9. ^ "BS夏休みアニメ特選|ぼのぼの劇場版". NHK. Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  10. ^ "ぼのぼの クモモの木のこと (2002)". AllCinema Online. Retrieved 2007-11-23.
  11. ^ "Bono bono gag comedy gets tv anime after 2 decades". Anime News Network. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  12. ^ "Bono Bono Planetarium Anime's Video Reveals September Debut". August 17, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  13. ^

External linksEdit