Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen: The Surreal SNES Beat ‘Em Up

Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen on the Super Nintendo game box art
Hell yeah!

When it comes to weirdo SNES fighting games, the Cho Aniki series appears to win this one by a country mile.

Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen only launched in Japan. And that was way back in 1995.

If you think of Street Fighter II Turbo you’re sort of there. But you’ll also need dollops of hypermasculinity and other strange goings on. Hurray!

The History of Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen

The Cho Aniki series first launched in 1992. The developer Masaya Games was responsible for the early titles.

But apparently Bits Laboratory was responsible for this specific outing.

As for the title, Cho Aniki (超兄貴—Chō Aniki) translated into English means “Super Big Brother”.

Now… if you remember that Zack Snyder film 300 (from 2007). The game is basically that, with strange homoerotic muscular men all oiled up and ready to do battle. But there’s also slapstick and strange humour.

The game series largely consists of side-scrolling shoot ’em ups. Such as this one on the first PlayStation.

But in 1995’s Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen, the action turned to a beat ’em up genre where you fight characters across various stages.

Clearly, Bits Laboratory took a heaping wodge of influence from what Capcom was up to around that time.

The big difference is just how goddamn bizarre the whole thing is.

Descriptions are great and all, but it’s better to see the thing in action. Some of the character inventions are from a different planet. It’s proper belting.

Along with the vivid imagery, we’ll detail a few of the characters you can take control of on your way to glory. They include:

  • Sabu: A pagoda ship with a head with an Elvis quiff.
  • Mami 19: A girl/battleship hybrid that transports three naked men who are frolicking with wild abandon.
  • Uminin: This thing just looks like a large condom.
  • Adam: This bloke is naked and is riding on a moon.
  • Samson/Adon: Uses flatulence as his primary attack.

Good, eh? And so yeah, the usual beat ’em up goal is to defeat your enemies by hammering at buttons and lowering their health meter.

You just do this using the most fantastically flamboyant fighting game characters we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen is a special game. No doubts.

You may wonder why anyone would create something so ridiculous, but it happily falls into a little sort of genre of its own. Huzzah!

The Kusogē World of Bad Games

In Asia, the term kusogē brackets crap things under one term. Think of the likes of Samurai Cop (1990) and the success of The Disaster Artist (2013).

Takeshi no Chōsenjō (1986) on the NES is a good example. Fantastic advert, eh?

People like stuff that’s so bad it’s good. The advent of the era has made that blatantly clear.

It’s basically become the internet culture term to bracket crap stuff under. Kuso (糞—くそ) means “shit”. But it’s also a term to describe really outrageous things.

Gēmu (ゲーム, game) is the clipped compound added to the end to get kusogē.

It’s not something specifically for the east as in the west we revel in this sort of thing as well. After all, the Angry Video Game Nerd has been documenting rubbish games since 2004.

But there are a lot of Japanese titles that don’t make it out over here for one reason or another, so Asia has its own centric versions of crap stuff.

We sort of covered this in our Wonder Project J2 review, in which the genre bishōjo targets men looking for bizarre dating simulations with attractive cartoon women.

Camp stuff and parodies fit into the genre. And we think Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto-hen fits perfectly into it all. Kusogē!

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