Goemon is a series of video games, anime, and manga starring none other than Goemon, the mystical ninja, himself. Goemon looks like a pudgy punk rocker, replete with blue and black spiked hair. The series began as a computer game in Japan, released by Konami. Since then, there have been more than twenty Goemon titles released in Japan, spanning many different consoles, along with many cameo appearances in other Konami games. Three titles have even been released in the United States:
The series has a cast of recurring characters. The most notable is, of course, Goemon himself, who lives in the town of Edo, Japan. He usually wields an oversized pipe, (as in the smoking kind,) as his weapon. He is very loosely based on the historical character of Ishikawa Goemon. Ebisumaru, based on the historical thief Nezumi Kozo, is the sidekick who has accompanied Goemon on almost all of his travels. He is the "Ninja of Justice", and a short and pudgy one at that. Another pudgy character? When trying to imagine this art style, think "super-deformed." Dressed in blue, with a mustache that connects to his sideburns, this ninja is played up for laughs more often than not. There is a huge cast of other regulars, including the robotic ninja Sasuke, the beautiful ninja Yae, "Wise Old Man", and Goemon Impact. Goemon Impact, also called just "Impact", is a gigantic fighting clockwork robot that looks similar to the lead character, Goemon. The games usually transition into a completely different style when Impact comes into play, fighting huge Godzilla-esque enemies. Also of note is the fact that the 200 foot tall Impact was formerly a movie star in Hollywood, according to the series.
The series is known for its offbeat humor, and willingness to lampoon all aspects of Japanese and American culture. It has been very succesful, particularly in Japan, where it has spawned not only the aforementioned games, but over twenty manga books, and even an anime series which aired in 1997. The games in the series have been from almost every imaginable game genre, from RPG's to side-scrollers. With new games in development for the GameBoy Advance and Playstation 2, Konami seems to have a good thing going with Goemon, despite American culture's reluctance to entertain the heroic and very, very silly ninja.