Princess Robot Bubblegum
Princess Robot Bubblegum (プリンセス ロボット バブルガム) is a fictional anime series featured in the GTA IV Era.
Princess Robot Bubblegum is a general parody of shōjo (young female) anime; however, it incongruously mixes this with tropes of shōnen (young male), seinen (mature male), and hentai (pornographic) anime. Aside from general stereotypes of anime, specific references include:
- La Blue Girl: PRB bears some strong resemblances to the hentai La Blue Girl's female protagonist Mido Miko who also sports long hair and a large bow. PRB's hair color and the color of her bow, however, are inversions of Mido's hair color and bow: Mido has purple hair and a pink bow while PRB has pink hair with a purple bow. Like Mido, PRB was also raised as a ninja. PRB also finds herself under the threat of tentacle rape, a hentai style pioneered by La Blue Girl.
- Sailor Moon: PRB herself bears a heavy resemblance to Sailor Moon, including her sexual image (Sailor Moon wears a skimpy schoolgirl's outfit, among other controversies) and also share similar superpowered transformation scenes. Other heroines in the series, like PRB, sport unnatural hair colors such as pink, blue and green.
- Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS: As Sailor Moon is a magical girl anime, PRB's transformation sequence is reminiscent of the magical girl genre of anime. Particularly, though, her robotic power suit appears to refer to mecha anime. This combination magical girl and mecha anime styles was notably used by the third season of the anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, StrikerS.
- Final Fantasy: The video game merchandise is an obvious parody of the Final Fantasy games. Also, Sword Boy's androgynous appearance, large sword, and moody demeanor parodies Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife.
- Naruto: Like PRB, the eponymous protagonist is an orphan who trains to be a ninja.
- Dragon Ball: Master Hentai is somewhat based on Dragon Ball's Master Roshi, a wise but perverted old martial arts master. In another scene, an elderly woman is mugged by a superpowered blonde male bearing extreme resemblance to one of Dragon Ball's "Saiyan" characters.
- Pokémon: Saki is partially inspired by Pikachu, who was, at least in the beginning of the series, a "cute, but utterly useless sidekick", heavily exploited for merchandising. PRB's "naturally pink hair" could be a reference to Jessie, an antagonist sporting outrageously large pink hair. Her sidekick, James, is an almost inappropriately effeminate male, much like Sword Boy.
- Super Sentai/Power Rangers: A group of rainbow-colored warriors are seen battling a giant monster/robot at the start of the show.
- Transformers: An American tourist encounters a used panties machine which transforms into a killer robot.
In Grand Theft Auto IV, PRB is only mentioned in a radio advertisement, however in The Ballad of Gay Tony, the program itself appears on television, specifically on CNT. Within the game universe, it courts controversy, with Weazel News in GTA IV reporting on a protest by Asian Americans against the airing of the anime. Also, in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, there are many advertisements of PRB throughout Liberty, mostly in Dukes and Bohan.
- Princess Robot Bubblegum: The eponymous protagonist. She fights the forces of evil and darkness with a robotic power suit which shoots missiles from its chest. She also owns a cell phone which transforms into a vibrator. Her catchphrase is "Too horny to fight crime".
- Master Hentai: PRB's sensei. He trains PRB after her ninja parents leave her on his doorstep. He tells PRB that she must train in skimpy clothing for merchandising purposes. It is revealed that Master Hentai is a pedophile (after "an innocent swimming lesson" which resulted in his arrest and the addition of a blue dot being added over his house on an online predator database), his forehead is shaped like a buttocks and his cane is shaped like a penis. His name refers to the aforementioned pornographic anime.
- Saki: PRB's alcoholic and drug abusing floating animal sidekick. He is seen drinking a malt beverage, then promptly vomiting in Master Hentai's dojo, peeing in the graveyard scene, and overdosing on a speedball during the final fight sequence. His name refers the Japanese alcoholic rice beverage of the same name.
- Sword Boy: An effeminate blind teenage samurai whom PRB encounters during her quest. As a child, his parents were burned to death in a freak onion volcano accident which left him blind. Sword Boy is seeking the Shogun of Teppanyaki for revenge.
- The title character's voice in GTA IV's PRB commercial is a mock-Asian caricature; in The Ballad of Gay Tony, she has the American accent more typical of dubbed characters.
- Characters in PRB often break the fourth wall, mentioning the show's writers, translators, future episodes, and merchandising.
- In a scene of Master Hentai's dojo, a banner can be seen hanging on a wall, which is written in Japanese, saying "忍者は毎日オナニー", which translates to "All Ninjas Should Masturbate Every Day".
- Master Hentai comically refers to the 2Pac and B.I.G. feud, when talking about the forces of Evil (personified as an Akuma spirit) and Darkness (personified as a Godzilla-esque monster), "One is east coast and the other is west coast! And if you listen to the way that they sound, it's completely different..."
- During PRB's "Final awkward tranformation montage", the background music is the theme song from the TBS music video show "Night Tracks" that ran from 1983 until 1992.