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During summer vacation a group of fifteen children discover a mysterious man living in a cave surrounded by high tech gadgets, the man claims to be a game developer, creating a video game with a giant robot defending Earth from fifteen alien invaders. He asked the children to test the game for him and they agreed.

Notes: Received Excellence Prize from Japan Media Arts Festival in 2010


Related Series
Bokurano Alternative (Novel) (Alternate Story)

Associated Names
Bokurano: Ours
Sống còn

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
c.65 (end) by Hox over 11 years ago
c.63-64 by Hox over 11 years ago
c.62 by Hox over 11 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

in Country of Origin
11 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 5, Chap 28 (Changed story with a different continuation)

User Reviews
Bokurano by bully_jesus


User Rating
Average: 8.3 / 10.0 (669 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.22 / 10.0

Last Updated
June 4th 2020, 1:35am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Ikki (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (11 Vols - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #477 increased(+173)
Monthly Pos #1081 increased(+209)
3 Month Pos #1652 increased(+112)
6 Month Pos #1857 decreased(-16)
Year Pos #1956 decreased(-146)

List Stats
On 717 reading lists
On 1312 wish lists
On 1445 completed lists
On 89 unfinished lists
On 429 custom lists

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User Comments  [ Order by time added ]
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Repetitive action, but stay for the existentialist themes  
by emkat
February 12th, 2011, 12:37pm
Rating: N/A
First of all, let me get this straight: the plot is very repetitive. There are a lot of robot battle scenes that aren't particularly exciting. The plot is woven around the individual pilots, to the point where they seem like individual independent short stories that have been tied together.

What's the point of reading this then? Well if you're looking for a simple thrill this manga is not for you. The manga really shines in its dialogue, its exploration of the humanity behind each of the characters. I was surprised that such an existential manga existed. Of course, the manga leaves you empty and kind of hollow, and there is no resolution; but this is so with any existential work.

I was very impressed by the author's treatment of existential dialogue. Spoiler: Upon learning the true nature of the "game", that is, every pilot is to die, each pilot deals with this crisis differently. The most important parts of this manga has to do with the fundamental points of existentialism: why them? Why not anyone else? Kirie mentions that in a movie, anyone's death is equal to the death of the hero - and that is the idea that the existence precedes essence; just essence of the "hero", created through the construct of the movie, is no better than an extra in the same movie. It is a biased viewpoint. The extra has probably validated his existence through his choices and his behavior.. just because the movie dictates that these are the ones to root for, which is their "essence", does not mean that their death is more tragic than the others.

This dialogue is especially brilliant, because it pertains directly to the heroes of this manga.

Other existential themes involve the absurdity of life. We learn that *SPOILER* every earth is going through the same thing, and Kokopelli did the same thing for his earth as well... it is an endless cycle. The way that the manga ends is perfect, with the dungbeetle sitting, starting a new cycle, over and over again. The world is neutral, it is not biased. It goes on, no matter the thoughts and the beliefs of the people. They ask who it was that made this game, and dungbeetle can only claim that it's always been like this... and so it is with the futility of life.

And of course, like any good existential work, it is all about death. In a cyclical world that seems without purpose, everyone in the manga still cherish life, as this life is given meaning by the finality of death.
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by israel8491
April 8th, 2013, 9:24pm
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Bokurano is unlike any other manga I have ever read. I haven't read any of the author's other works, but apparently they are in a similar vein.

For a manga about massive mecha battles, Bokurano is a surprisingly quiet manga. The battles aren't truly important, it's the children and how they mentally prepare for them. Fifteen children, faced with an awful and inescapable fate. They can't run away, all they can do is decide how they will rise up and meet their deaths - and rise they do.

This is what the manga is truly about, dealing with a horrible situation and trying to make the best of it. It is about finding humanity in the most desperate of times, of trying to find meaning in a life that is about to end. In some ways, it reminded me of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which is about a girl living with terminal cancer. Her primary concern is her parents, and how they will deal with her inevitable death. Some of the children spend their last days trying to make things easier for their families and friends. The boy who doesn't want his younger siblings to know that he died. The boy who wants to save his friend's life as his dying wish. The girl who fights so that her baby brother will have a world to grow up in, even if she can't live to see it. Others try to find some kind of peace with themselves and accept their fates as gracefully as they can. But these are children, and sometimes it isn't possible to do this. Some children, futilely, try to run away. Others use the mecha as a means of enacting personal revenge, even at heavy costs.

At one point, one of the boys is debating whether or not to fight when his turn comes. He explains to a police officer that he never understood films where a lot of people are killed by a monster or natural disaster, but so long as the hero is alive and laughing at the end, everyone considers it a happy ending. If even one person dies, he considers it a tragedy. The only difference between the hero and the anonymous casualty is that the narration follows the hero, but it could just have easily followed the victim who died. He makes us, the readers, aware of the immense casualties these mecha battles have caused. Early on, numbers of death tolls are thrown out so casually we breeze past them in our hurry to find out what happens next. But the manga reminds us that even the anonymous victims were people who had lives, who thought their own existence was valuable. And they died. That is a tragedy. Even if one of the fifteen survives, Bokurano cannot have a happy ending, because too many have died to reach that ending.

Bokurano is a quiet, sad, surprisingly existential and thought-provoking manga. It won't be to everyone's taste. But that's just fine. Most of modern day manga is cheap, quick entertainment, and that's fine too. Manga is entertainment, first and foremost. But it is such a joy to discover a manga that looks deeper and asks the reader difficult questions, ones I'm not sure how to answer. How do you live when you're going to die? I don't know.
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by Aikanaro
May 31st, 2010, 6:37am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
Bokurano is crushing. I marathoned it the first time I read it, but this time I read it slowly over a few days and enjoyed it much more. I think if you read it too quickly, you'll become numb to it.

I don't normally cry over things - I made an exception for Bokurano. Several times.

It's not just an angst-fest - it takes a really long, hard look at humanity. The result isn't always nice, but it's not just cynical either. I think I need some time to redigest what it has to say though.

Anyway, I won't gush any more than that. Reading it doesn't really leave you in a gushy mood anyway. Mohiro Kitoh's status as my favourite mangaka is confirmed - now I just need to gather up the strength to reread Narutaru...
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An interesting one, to say the least.  
by Crenshinibon
January 9th, 2009, 5:34am
Rating: 8.3 / 10.0
Bokurano is daring, if nothing else. It's willing to explore themes that are as negative as you can really imagine, and then somehow become more bleak with each passing chapter. The mangaka seems to have a fascination with the concept of life having no "magical solutions," but his attempts to convey this message often result in extremes.

Regardless of that, Bokurano is a pretty interesting story. There's a lot of strong character development with a variety of different personality types, and I'm fairly certain that almost anyone who reads this will find at least one character that they can project themselves into a bit. The essential conundrum and overlaying theme of powerlessness can get overwhelming at times, but on the whole I find myself enjoying this series every time I read a new chapter. It's worth a read if you don't mind feeling a little depressed, and it might just give you some cynicism to ponder a bit.

... Last updated on March 5th, 2009, 12:02am
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read this in one sitting  
by egoamote
January 12th, 2010, 12:34am
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
I really enjoyed reading this series, especially learning about everyone's background story. The whole premise of the story is pretty depressing and has some very dark moments (well, depending on how desensitized you are to violence), but there were also some very happy and humorous (Dung Beetle is one freaky-looking mascot, but the stuff that came out of his mouth was hilarious) moments as well.

This manga isn't really graphic as I thought it would be, much of the horror and violence is left for the reader's imagination. It tells and describes to the reader the horrific moments and/or was always on the verge of showing them, but doesn't. Then again I might have repressed something.

The ending was clear from the start, but the journey was horrifyingly fun and memorable that my jaw never even got tired of dropping or it just didn't close for periods of time.
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From a mecha fan  
by kaloo
December 10th, 2008, 11:04pm
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
This series is depressing as hell. That is probably the best way to start. For some reason though I couldn't stop reading it. The plot was interesting. The characterizations were unique. The mechs were beautifully designed. I need to go find something happy now to get out of the foul mood it put me in though. Though with the plot it'd be hard not to be a bit sad as you read it.
The ending is satisfying.

... Last updated on June 26th, 2009, 9:29pm
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Good for a read  
by barbapapa
April 1st, 2007, 10:12am
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
It's an intriguing, dark take on the genre (call it mecha if you like, though it's unlike anything you've read/seen before). In a way it's a collection of stories about 15 (give or take) children, all tied together by the red line running through the story. As more and more information gets out about what's behind Zearth and it's opponents, things turn out to be very different than they seemed at first.
I have to say I'm not a big fan of Mohiro Kitoh; he can get extremely preachy in his storytelling. And the art is very minimalistic and sterile, though I'm not sure if I would call it bad. It's an acquired taste, which will probably appeal to seinen fans who consider good writing more important. I do however like the designs of the "robots"; very slender, insect-like contraptions.
All in all it's a decent manga, that manages to fascinate and bore me equally. It's really hit and miss with the backstory of a pilot.

... Last updated on April 1st, 2007, 10:15am
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It gets better  
by intemango
February 8th, 2011, 3:36am
Rating: N/A
It definitely looks like Evangelion at first glance. But things change pretty quickly. This guy wrote Narutaru, I already expected it to happen. There is no main protagonist, there is no villain, there is no deus ex machina to save the day. Everyone is the lead character of their own life. Who will you shed tears for (or care for, if you're the machismo type) in this story ? How ridiculous (and in some cases, hypocritical) are you for doing that ? These questions will haunt you as you read this series.

There is more existential pondering here than most. What happens in this fictional universe is already beyond common sense and societal restrictions, but in the end, infinitely human. This is the biggest reason why I read manga, especially this kind of manga. Of course, you might as well claim that every death in fiction is a huge cliche with a finite set of recurring themes. But then you might as well claim every life is a cliche.

It's how the story is told that makes it worth reading.
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Very Interesting  
by nail80
July 22nd, 2009, 12:48pm
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
I took some of my time to read this and i'm glad i did. I really like Psychological manga, mainly because i graduated in philosophy.
There are some very interesting points made by some of the characters. Each has a very distinctive personality, i ended up hating some and liking others, the character development is amazing.
This manga is dark and shows that life isn't easy, something not only shown in the characters lives, but in the whole picture.
The pace is good, the plot and the twists are very well done.
There were however some chapters that just didn't work for me. Because of that i can't give this a better grade, but in conclusion it was a great experience, it made me think, it made me pay attention, and that is what a manga of this genre should do to the reader.
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Great Psycological Manga  
by markdarkangel
August 2nd, 2008, 4:54pm
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
Spoiler (highlight to view)
Well considering i hate reading mecha manga, i find this... pretty good. The psycological is amazing, ur always asking yourself what kind of story will the other characters have behind them. It has a twisted sence of fate and the plot... well it not much of a plot but to just to fight for the earth. I wouldn't recommend this for any who likes happy/ slice of life that makes you feel good, but i recommend for people who will enjoy a great psycological manga with depressing stories and not nice people.
Overrall, the down side to it is that the art is...bah, but i recomend you get started on reading this.

EDIT: I don't think i would recommend watching the anime for Bokurano. It's completey way off track from the manga and the rules changed in it because the director hated the manga because he didn't want all of them to die. Also, it's lifeless and would not entertain you like the manga would.

Edit after ending: The ending was really good, can't imagine it any other way. I'm just glad the author didn't come with some half-assed ending to revive everyone which would have taken away from the story itself.

... Last updated on July 19th, 2009, 4:51pm
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