Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: KSS Films
- MSRP: ¥4700
- Running time: 77
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Golden Boy
Golden Boy Vol. #1
Golden Boy Vol. #1
What They SayThe Review!
© KSS Films
Ah, what can be said about one of the greatest comedy anime series to have ever been created? Finally after years of waiting, KSS Films has released the classic Golden Boy anime series onto DVD in Japan. What makes Golden Boy so funny and classic is the incomparable acting performance of Mitsuo Iwata, the voice of the main character Kintaro Oe, as well as the masterful film direction by Kitakubo-san. From the voice acting, to the hilarious, ridiculous, over-the-top situations, to the masterful direction, Golden Boy is one of the greatest anime comedies ever made.
Golden Boy is about a talented, ex-college student named Kintaro Oe, who dropped out of Tokyo University just a few units shy of getting his Law Degree. He voluntarily dropped out to study life and through his studying he hopes to save Japan, or maybe even the world! (this is what gets said by the narrator at the end of each episode.) With a setting like that, it's hard not to smile and let yourself go.
What makes Golden Boy so funny and endearing is the earnestness of Kintaro, in his playfully perverted appreciation of the female form, as well as his good-heartedness, and genuine earnestness to help others. While his lecherousness may seem silly or "typical" to some people on paper, in execution, he never gets as annoying as Ataru Moroboshi (Urusei Yatsura / LUM), but he's delightful in his own way. On top of that, the ridiculous, over-the-top situations that he gets into and the film direction that the director, Kitakubo, delivers is really what puts this show on top: For example, in one scene in OAV #1, Kintaro is hired as the janitor for a computer company, who's president is an ultra-hot, beautiful woman. While Kintaro's scrubbing the private toilet of the president, he fantasizes that this is where she sits her bottom on. Which then causes his perverted feelings to draw him to caress the toilet seat with his face! At which point, the lady president just happens to show up behind him, and then Kintaro's facial expression of sheer horror is something that has to be seen to be believed. He then immediately turns around and begs for his life and job, and then in a crazy, over-the-top way, he begins his spiel about how she is keeping him down, and that he's really talented with computers, and to give him a chance! She then decides to give him a chance only to have him stare blankly at a Windows computer screen asking if they still use BASIC to program! This brief example has to be seen to be truly appreciated, but it is this type of crazy, insane situation that Golden Boy consists of.
Golden Boy is the brainchild of Tatsuya Egawa, and the anime is the place where many famous people in the Japanese anime industry got together. First off, there's the Character Designer, Toshihiro Kawamoto, who went on to do the character designs for Cowboy Bebop. Then there's the Director, Kitakubo-san, who also directed Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and went on to direct the new Blood: The Last Vampire movie!
The voice cast is even more star-studded: Kintaro Oe is played by Mitsuo Iwata, truly one of the greatest seiyuu (voice actors) I have ever heard. He practiced months before hand, to the point of going hoarse from overwork, to perfect Kintaro's voice. There's no one who could replace him for this role. Even if you don't understand Japanese, just listening to his extreme vocal range and crazy antics will yield much insight into his skills. The first OAV features Hiromi Tsuru (Madoka Ayukawa (Orange Road)) as the voice of the sexy female president, and it has Kikuko Inoue (Belldandy (Ah My Goddess)), and Junko Iwao (Mima (Perfect Blue)) as well! The second OAV features another talented actress in the form of Yuko Minaguchi (Yawara (Yawara!)) as Naoko. What's even more funny is that Tatsuya Egawa (the original creator) pops in to voice one of the bit-part yakuza gangsters that shows up in the first episode!
The video quality is solid, but it looks like it was just the LD Master dumped onto DVD. There is noticeable rainbowing going on, but not to the point of ruining the disc; it's about the same amount that can be found on the Escaflowne DVDs. Other than that, the colors are solid and the transfer is good.
The audio is also solid as well, with the voices and music coming across perfectly. And again, it's really the talented Japanese voice actors and actresses that really make this show what it is.
Finally the one extra they added in this is a real treat: a Special Interview with the Actors feature. In this feature (which wasn't available in the US release on VHS), we are introduced to the talented voice actor for Kintaro as well as some of the other talented Japanese actresses in the series. It's really funny, and a great way to see just how earnest and hard-working they are. Especially noteworthy is Iwata-san: just looking at him and the way he talks about the show, it is evident that he is really down-to-earth and humble.
All-in-all, the Golden Boy Vol.1 DVD is a fantastic DVD to own. It contains the first 2 OAVs from the Golden Boy anime series, and is some of the best comedy anime that can be had anywhere in the world. A word of warning that it is a bit "adult" or rather, risque in nature. It's really hard to categorize or market this. When I first saw the US VHS tape release by ADVision, I was put off by the seeming "Adult" content / marketing that it had. I had mistakenly thought it was just another hentai title. But after the insistence by a good friend to check it out, I was very pleasantly surprised and happy that I didn't miss out on such a great series. There's never any true "X-rated" material in this series; merely "R-rated" material from time to time, and mostly in very comedic situations. Currently, AD Vision still has not announced any DVD plans for this in the US, which is unfortunate. Even if you don't understand Japanese completely, with a little bit of knowledge, Golden Boy is readily accessible. Kintaro's crazy antics and the gorgeously drawn women make it very easy watching. Golden Boy anime seriously reminds me of what it would be like if John Woo ever directed comedy instead of action: Insane, over-the-top funny situations. Highly recommended.
Japanese Language,Interview Special with the original Japanese Voice Actors
Pioneer DV-606D (Code Free) DVD Player, Mitsubishi CS-3503R 35" TV, Yamaha RX-V2095 DD / DTS Receiver, MIT S-Video cable, KEF C85 Front speakers, B&W Center, Infinity Rear speakers, and NHT Subwoofer.