Tag Archives: hiroyuki kitakubo

Review: Golden Boy (1995) Anime | My Reviews 21 MAR 2014

golden boy anime 1Oe Kintaro, age 25. A professional wandering spirit, he withdrew from Tokyo University Law School before graduating, but only after he had already completed all the requirements for graduation. Ever since, he has travelled the highways and byways of Japan, trying out new jobs and positions, and learning about life to the fullest. Riding his favourite bike, the Mikazuki 5, he keeps moving forward, always on the lookout for new knowledge and adventure.

In tip top physical condition and sparkling mental health, his hobby is studying the world (and the girls) around him. And who knows, someday perhaps he may just be destined to save Japan – or even the world.

Or then again, maybe not.

Golden Boy is based on the manga written by Tatsuya Engawa (who even makes a cameo in episode 6). It is an extremely funny 6 part OVA that takes a look into the life of Kintaro Oe, a professional wandering spirit. Kintaro is a free spirit, moving from job to job whilst travelling throughout Japan on his trusty bicycle. Kintaro is a very bright, athletic and healthy boy, though one wouldn’t say so from watching his actions. Kintaro is a good man with a good heart and will go out of his way to help others without them even realising that he is helping them. Coming across as an idiot and a nobody, Kintaro uses this to his advantage to learn more about the world around him. All his experiences are jotted down in his trusty notebook, his crib notes for life. Kintaro’s only weakness is his eyes for beautiful girls. Kintaro is a bit of a pervert, who can’t stop thinking about sex and pretty girls. Although never doing anything about his perverted visions, Kintaro does have one strange vice – the weird obsession with hugging and drinking from the toilet that a pretty girl has used.

The OVA follows Kintaro through six of his adventures, all involving a host of pretty women. He works as a software house janitor, a noodle maker, a swimming instructor, a house boy, an election campaigner and even an animation production assistant. And in each job he finds some girl that needs his help – even if she doesn’t know it yet. The stories are all funny and charming, with one sitting on the edge of their seat to see how Kintaro resolves matters right at the last moment. The only problem with the series if there is one, is that the stories all follow fairly the same plot. Kintaro finds job, Kintaro sees girl, Girl has problems, Kintaro solves them before running off into the sunset. However, given that this is only a six-part series, it gets away with it just fine.

The animation for this title is excellent. The use of facial expressions to emphasize the humour couldn’t have been better done. Every time you see Kintaro doing or thinking something stupid you can’t help but laugh. The women are all sexy and well-proportioned and the action sequences are fluid and exciting. The colours look a bit washed out, but that may just be the copy I watched. The voice acting for both the Japanese and the English versions are good, though I must say that the English version brings across the blithering idiot character of Kintaro across far better than its Japanese counterpart. The opening sequence animation and score aren’t up to much though it must be said.

If you are looking for a good ecchi laugh, the Golden Boy will deliver. A truly funny anime, it is a must see for all serious guy otaku.

golden boy anime 2

(Historical Note: This was written back in October 2004. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Boy_(manga)

Blood: The Last Vampire Anime | My Reviews 24 NOV 2010

It is 1966 and not much is known about the demanding Saya, other than that she is quite young, prefers to carry a katana and slices and dices some very unsavoury things, working in the employ of some shadowy organisation. Oh, and she’s also what they’ve dubbed, “the last original”.

Her mission is simple. Identify, locate and destroy the monstrous, murderous, blood-sucking bat-like creatures known as Chiropterans.

And did we mention she is rather violent?

This 45 minute short feature film was released way back in 2000 and remains one of the crowning achievements for the powerhouse that is Production I.G., as it marked the first time a Japanese studio produced an anime almost entirely in English with Japanese subtitles, priming it for deeper penetration outside of Japan’s borders. Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Blood: The Last Vampire is a completely original concept, not coming from some or other existing anime or manga series.

Saya, not a girl you would particularly want to mess with

Set around the American Yokota Air Base located in post-World War II Japan and just before the Vietnam War, the film tells the story of a mysterious girl charged with destroying rather monstrous creatures called chiropterans. Because of its short length, don’t expect much by the way of character development, but rather sit back and enjoy the fluid animation, violence and a piece of work that just exudes style and flair.

It is a dark story with a lot of violence and death, but it is masterfully executed, even when you boil it done and realise that all you have sat done and watched is one extended fight scene between a girl with a sword, three bat creatures and one witness who believes she may just be going mad.

These chiropterans are pretty nasty stuff!

Visually Blood: The Last Vampire is simply divine. A muted color palette highlights a very strong main protagonist and Katsuya Terada’s character designs are all completely spot on for this horror tale.

The animation is very fluid and detailed, and as such, there is almost nothing you can fault it on – it is just that damn good! Part of this is of course thanks to the steady hand of animation director Kazuchika Kise and more importantly, the exclusive use of digital animation rather than the time honoured tradition of animation cels. This means that the entire movie was inked, colored and then animated with computers, one of the main reasons behind its distinctive sleek look.

As for voices, Youki Kudo reprises the role of Saya, fitting the character like a glove. Likewise, Joe Romersa fits the role of the handler David perfectly, making for a great sounding combination. Yoshihiro Ike is responsible for the music and manages to come up with the perfect score balance between dramatic and action, resulting in a fantastic aural experience.

In summary, despite its relatively short length, Blood: The Last Vampire is a fantastic piece of work, both beautiful to watch and enjoyable to take it. It is blood-soaked action of the highest quality and thus most deserving of its status as an anime legend!

If I were you, I would listen to her!