Golden Boy (Essential Anime Collection) -

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 180
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Golden Boy

Golden Boy (Essential Anime Collection)

By Luis Cruz     June 27, 2004
Release Date: May 25, 2004

Golden Boy (Essential Anime Collection)
© ADV Films

What They Say
Get ready for the ultimate road trip as wandering student Kintaro Oe hits the highways of Japan in the wildest quest for knowledge ever! Whether he's re-programming the president of an all-female software company, check-mating the malicious daughter of a malevolent politician, or defending the sweet virtue of a noodle maker's daughter, Kintaro's cross-country odyssey is guaranteed to keep your sides aching with laughter! Take a lesson from the Book of Love with Golden Boy!

The Review!
Kick your feet up and prepare to laugh, as Oe Kintaro shows you just how much fun studying can be!

As part of the "Essential Anime Collection" line, it is only natural that the Japanese audio track was used for my primary viewing session. This release contains a solid stereo track that utilizes the front soundstage very well. Dialogue and music are balanced very well; the opening theme song is quite catchy. It is a light, airy tune that captures the spirit of the series quite well. It also features a Shaft like hook at the end which always brings a smile to my face.

The English soundtrack was given a quick spot check; the voice actor for Kintaro captures the character quite well but does sound like a Robin Williams impersonator at times. The secondary cast does an adequate job but does not quite capture the energy of the original cast. Fans of either language track will be pleased with the results.

Produced in 1995, Golden Boy has held up quite well; it is a clean transfer free of dust, scratches, and other print damage. There appear to be no problems from the digital transfer either. Colors are solid and vibrant making for some beautiful scenes. ADV provides a great transfer that will allow you to enjoy every sight gag and jiggle.

Two DVDs are packaged in one clear keepcase with a disc on each side of the cover. The front cover features two of Kintaro's admirers playing with him like a puppet; the show's logo, the "Essential Anime Collection" logo, and the "Digitally Remastered in 5.1" logo are the only other items on the cover.

The back cover features the requisite screenshots, plot synopsis, and disc specifications. There is no insert, but the cover is reversible. The opposite side contains more screenshots and a breakdown of the episodes and chapters for each disc.

Portrayed as Kintaro's notebook, the menus are perfectly simple; the theme music plays in the background, and there are no transition delays switching between menus.

The extras for this release are clean versions of the opening and ending and previews of the series which are essentially trailers for the series. What is interesting is that the ending sequence contains no animation; so, the clean ending is just a black screen with the music playing in the background.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Golden Boy is a rare series that manages to blend comedy, risqué content, and a decent plot. Our hero for this six episode tale is Oe Kintaro; Kintaro travels across Japan on his mountain bike taking whatever odd job comes his way. He is a twenty-five year old law school dropout, but he dropped out because he mastered the curriculum within two years.

He travels in search of knowledge; life is the ultimate teacher, and he yearns to learn as much from it as he can. While his knowledge and learning aptitude are impressive, there is one quality of his that surpasses them all -- his libido. Fortunately, Kintaro's odd jobs find him bumping into various well-built women. The audience gets a good idea of what is in store for them, as the first episode opens.

Kintaro is peddling along on the way to his next job while listening to his walkman. This prevents him from hearing the Ferrari behind him and ends up crashed into a pile of trash. The car's owner comes out to check on him; the owner is a very well endowed woman wearing a very revealing outfit. She jiggles her way towards Kintaro and hands him a stack of money to pay for his trouble.

Once Kintaro finally arrives at his job, he finds himself working for an all-female software company; his job appears to be in jeopardy when the president of the company turns out to be the same jiggling goddess that almost ran over him. He begs his way into a janitorial job and begins to learn whatever he can from the employees. However, things turn sour one night after he mistakenly unplugs a server.

The server contained three months of work that was due to be delivered within a day. Kintaro's jiggling goddess turns her full fury on him and kicks him out. A week later, the company has worked themselves to exhaustion and looks to be doomed to fail. Their salvation comes from an unlikely source; Kintaro delivers a disk that contains the program they were working on.

The president is furious thinking that Kintaro was making fun of them all this time. Things are not what they seem though, as the program is significantly different. In fact, it is much easier to use and contains advanced design concepts that amaze even the president. She realizes her error and finds herself madly in love with Kintaro. Kintaro has moved on though to find his next learning experience but has left a wiser but broken heart behind him.

So go the other five episodes; Kintaro pedals into a job and manages to teach those around him a valuable lesson even while he is learning things himself. And after each adventure, a new woman has fallen in love with the eternal student of life. My two favorite episodes are the last two of the series. Episode five tops the list, as the woman du jour has a rather unique auto erotic fetish. This fetish leads to an entertaining chase sequence and some witty bits of dialogue.

The final episode allows the show's creators a chance to poke some fun at themselves and their industry. Kintaro takes a job at an animation studio that is under an intense deadline. All seems lost until Kintaro enlists the aid of all the women from the previous episodes. Each woman's unique skill that was featured in their episode comes into play enabling the studio to finish the film on time.

In true Kintaro fashion, the series ends with him racing off to study life more with all the women chasing after him. Golden Boy is surprisingly well-written for an erotic comedy; there are so over the top elements such as the running Kintaro toilet gag. However, the jokes are not forced and flow from the plot naturally. They feel like a natural extension of both the characters and the plot.

Golden Boy is a feast for the ears and the eyes; the characters and the backgrounds are quite detailed and beautiful. Of course, the main eye candy is the women, and one would be hard pressed to find a reason to complain. The attention to detail is also apparent in the sight gags throughout the show; the animator's reward the audience for paying attention, as they provide an extra chuckle through the small touches in a scene.

What holds the series together is the charming character of Kintaro; he embodies the stereotype of a man having only sex on his mind yet manages to be utterly honest, humble, and caring. Knowledge is all he truly seeks, and he delights in learning anything however mundane it might be. Whether he is making noodles or teaching children to swim, he gives his all and tries to make himself and those around him better people. With such an endearing character, you find yourself just sitting back and enjoying the adventures as much as Kintaro does.

In Summary:
Having seen this title listed in catalogs since the VHS days, I never considered picking this title up; as the final credits rolled, I found myself realizing that I had been making a mistake all these years. It is difficult to find a smart, sexy, and funny comedy in any medium, and Golden Boy easily ranks high in the erotic comedy genre. With plenty of eye candy and great standalone stories, this title easily deserves the "Essential" moniker bestowed upon it.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Ending

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable


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