The giant fish Manbou is one of the most mysterious characters in the Sonic Wings series. It appears very rarely as a final boss, yet it does not attack the player. The player can either attack Manbou for bonus points or let the fish escape to see a special ending.
Manbou is an ocean sunfish, also known as a mola mola. In Sonic Wings 2, Manbou is blue and is depicted in a cartoony manner. When it returns in Sonic Wings Special, Manbou is grey and depicted much more realistically. Although Manbou's name is written in katakana (マンボウ), the Japanese word for the ocean sunfish (翻車魚) is pronounced the same way.
Manbou appears in a tiny portrait visible in the background during Lord River-n-White's end sequence.
Manbou is an extremely rare final boss, appearing far less frequently than Lar or Tenukie Chaudo; the probability of it appearing is 1 in 256. Unlike the other two bosses, Manbou is harmless and does not attack the player's craft. If defeated, Manbou weeps and provides a large number of points. However, the player can allow Manbou to escape to see it grin and get a special ending featuring the penguin after the first run of the game, and an animated Manbou flapping its fins and opening its mouth after the second run. Manbou also appears at the carnival in the America stage along with Tenukie what might be Lar.
Stage: Southeast Asia Ruins
Occasionally, the shape-shifting boss Mars-Vesta will turn into a grey-scale clone of Manbou. Unlike Mars-Vesta's other forms, it only appears as Manbou for a few seconds at a time. This Manbou clone attacks the player using fireballs, as opposed to the harmless real Manbou in other games.
Stage: Bermuda Triangle
Very rarely, Manbou will appear as the final boss in the Bermuda Triangle stage instead of the usual boss, the Purple Sphere. Occasionally, the underwater column which usually houses the sphere will break immediately, and Manbou will appear in the sphere's place. Manbou swims back and forth on the player's craft. If not defeated in a certain amount of time, Manbou will grow several times in size and swim away. As in Sonic Wings 2, Manbou's escape leads to an ending featuring the penguin.
A very small Manbou appears in a fish tank in Mao Mao's bedroom during her ending in single-player mode, if the player battles Lar. Also, the portrait of Manbou shown in the first Sonic Wings again appears in Lord River-n-White's ending if he battles Lar.