|“ Hige. ”|
—A Hige Hige Bandit saying "Hi" in the Hige Hige dialect, Bomberman Jetters Episode 14
The Hige Hige Bandits (translated as "Hige Hige Gang" in Japanese) are the group of robotic underlings that serve Mujoe in the Bomberman series. They are most often seen in the Bomberman Jetters anime, as well as several Bomberman games. According to the story of the anime, they were designed and built by Bagura, who assigned Mujoe to be their leader. In most of the games, they're just Bagura's minions.
They wear black costumes and have two antennae on their head. They have large eyes and a large mouth, but they lack a visible nose. The only word they are ever heard speaking is "Hige" or some variation of it. In the Jetters anime, certain Bandits have other physical traits, such as a mustache or clothes, to denote their special status. Hige Hige that appear as enemies in the Bomberman video games will also wear different costumes and carry objects to denote different abilities. Almost all of the Hige Hige are male, with a small number of female Bandits in non-combat roles (such as a nurse) briefly seen in the anime.
The word Hige means "mustache" or "beard" in Japanese, in reference to the facial hair of their leader Mujoe. The emblem of the Hige Hige Bandits even incorporates a mustache into the design. The Bandits often run around cluelessly and make many careless mistakes because of their simple-minded nature. In many cases, they are the reason that Mujoe loses to the Jetters when they confront one another. Nevertheless, they always make an earnest effort to fight together, in spite of their their poor abilities.
Episode 14 of the Jetters anime contains many details about the daily lives and personality of the Hige Hige Bandits. They are shown to all live, work, and train together in a sort of military barracks. While they are loyal to each other, most of them are portrayed as not being very loyal to Mujoe, who often shows them propaganda films that portray him in an unrealistically positive light while diminishing their efforts. The Bandits are not fooled by these videos, and act annoyed at them, throwing food at the TV. It is also shown that the Bandits receive knowledge through a CD drive in the back of their heads, though this is prone to malfunctioning and deleting all of their data.
As is revealed later on in the anime, the characteristic antennae of the Hige Hige Bandits are actually transmitters continuously sending out a Hige Hige identification signal, which allows the Bandits to be remotely detected and tracked by anyone who possesses the equipment to do so.
The Hige Hige also have a special identifying pose that they like to assume together, perhaps to show their spirit and unity. Both arms are held horizontally to the right side, while the right foot points to the right side, and the left leg is lifted, with its knee pointing right.
Chige Chige Bandits
In Bomberman Jetters, there is a group of bandits that resemble and behave very similarly to the Higes. They are known as the Chige Chige Bandits and are led by a man named Achoe, who resembles Mujoe. The Chiges have a reddish-brown costume and are always seen wearing pots over their heads.
The Chiges are not to be confused with the small unnamed group of Higes from the anime, who are also seen wearing yellow helmets (construction hard hats, instead of pots). Unlike the rest of the Higes, these Bandits are shown to be very strongly loyal and dedicated to Mujoe.
Video game appearances
In Saturn Bomberman, the Hige Hige Bandits are introduced (as the "Meanie Gang" in the English version). They are common enemies that also appear as comical background elements. In the first phase of the final boss battle against Dr. Mechado, twenty of them must be fought.
Bomberman Fantasy Race
In Bomberman Fantasy Race, a Hige Hige Bandit is playable. He goes by the name Sentouin #15 (せんとういん15号) or Mechbomber 015.
Saturn Bomberman Fight!!
In Saturn Bomberman Fight!!, a different Hige Hige appears as a playable character. He is identified as Sentouin No.12 (戦闘員12号).
In Bomberman Tournament, they appearead in all Bases as standard enemies and appeared to be under the servitude of the Five Dastardly Bombers, along with many other enemies. They were among the easiest enemies in the game, with simple movement patterns and would only walk in Bomberman's direction when he was nearby. They had the habit of "dancing" every so often, which left them vulnerable to attack.
A special variant of the Hige Hige Bandit appeared in Fantasy wielding a gun which it could fire in rapid succession. The projectiles however can be blocked with Ceedrun's ability and easily avoided, and the Bandit themselves were still vulnerable when "dancing".
Hige Hige Bandits also appeared in the game three times where they were not directly fought; the first time was a minigame where one must utilise Bombs to set off cannons to free ToughGuy, using ToughGuy's ability to throw bombs across a ravine to defeat three Hige Hige Bandits to cause an avalance to cross it, and finally traversing a track consisting entirely of Hige Hige Bandits to free Pommy Animal.
Four Hige Hige Bandits appear as playable characters in the Battle Mode of Bomberman Jetters. Their numbers are #1 through #4. #1 is unlocked from the start, but #2-4 must be respectively unlocked by collecting Red, Green and Blue Hige Hige Cards in the Story Mode. Their Killer Shot freezes all characters into a Hige Hige Pose for a second, no matter what they are doing.
Bomberman Land Portable
Super Bomberman R
Notable Hige Hige Bandits
- See No. 156
No. 156, despite looking almost identical to any other generic Hige Hige, is the most notable Hige Hige Bandit. His name debuts in episode 14, where the entire episode focuses on him and his daily life. He appears in other episodes however, and he seems to be very loyal to Mujoe.
- See No. 398
No. 398 is also one of the most notable Hige Hige Bandits; His initial role was to go undercover and live out a normal life, getting a job and raising a family on Planet Jetters so he could spy on the Jetters HQ. Since he appears to have raised a family however, his undercover work may now be in question, which is acknowledged by other characters in the anime, including Mujoe. His job role is the "Department Chief Hige".