Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anime Review 31: Golden Boy Part 2 (Episodes 4-6)

Well, continuing from last week, I shall finish up Golden Boy with its last 3 episodes. Will it be good, or be bad? Let’s find out. Like I said last week, the OVA episodes are based off of the first volume of the manga of the same name. Why just the first volume? Well, after the first volume, the content gets very adult in nature, being a few steps short of full-on hentai. Trust me, I’ve read it. Well, up to the sixth volume then gave up, it got a bit much even for me.

He's floundering lol (Sorry)
Anyway, let’s move onto the rest of this OVA. The fourth episode takes place in winter, with Kintaro working as a swimming instructor at an indoor pool. There he meets the head instructor, a rather hot babe who is a bit of a bitch, to be honest. She seems a bit uncaring at Kintaro’s antics, which seem dialed up to 11. His antics reach the peak of annoyance in the ‘swim race’ scene, and he gets kicked out. However, much like the first episode, he ends up revolutionizing the teaching method at the indoor pool: Get the kids to like the water, and they will swim. Genius! /sarc. Though, the head instructor ends up, well, in love with Kintaro, but doesn’t go after him…just yet.

I like this episode a lot. Yeah, Kintaro’s antics are ramped up to levels not imagined, but I can somewhat understand that. He is basically an everyman, with all his strengths (good-natured, smart, lot of heart etc.) and his flaws (yes that includes his hugging of toilets and finding the need to ‘satisfy’ urges). But that makes him a great character, the fact that you simultaneously want to root for him and also slap him in the face.

What he's watching is very much NSFW to be sure 
The fifth episode, titled “Balls to the Walls!”, is perhaps the most insane episode out of this OVA series. I won’t say much on it, if you have seen it, then good on you. It is one of those episodes in anime that, quite frankly, has to be seen to be believed. I will say it involves motorcycles as metaphor for well, ‘urgings’ and some other adult material masked oh so subtly. 

Kintaro busy at work. Note how realistically detailed the desks behind him are 
The sixth and final episode is titled “Animation is Fun!”. Kintaro is working at an animation studio, helping out with odd jobs. He meets Chie, a female animator who works there. The studio is working on a movie based off of a story by, get this, Tetsuya Engawa. That’s right, this episode is rather meta-fiction as the author of the Golden Boy manga makes a cameo. This episode is also a tremendous love letter to the art of animation, with Kintaro’s speech about why he loves animation being the high point of the OVA, for me at the least.

Unfortunately, production difficulties mount, as the director ends up in the hospital and the schedule gets shrunk down. But, Kintaro to the rescue! He calls up all his potential love interests from the other 5 episodes to assist with the production. I really like this part, as it brings in all the loose ends and finally everything is connected. Also, it gives an interesting life lesson: Networking will help you out someday! The movie is done on time, though Kintaro runs off at the end with the other women chasing after him. But, Chie doesn’t follow. When asked about it, she states “I will, but first I got a job to do”. Chie represents the well-adjusted woman, hard working, kind and yet open to a potential relationship.

Well, final thoughts: A really good OVA series, great on comedy and yet still has human drama to it as well. From start to finish, it is a great and funny ride. This is further enhanced by the English dub, done by ADV Films. Yeah, Doug Smith’s performance as Kintaro might seem inconsistent at times, but it fits the character very well. The other voice actors are very much standard 90s era ADV dub cast, with V.A.s like Tiffany Grant, Allison Keith, Laura Chapman, etc which are fairly consistent, given the material.

Overall, a great series and despite being a guilty pleasure of mine, I would recommend this to another fans of anime. It is one of those ‘Must-see’ anime series. So, yeah, Golden Boy deserves that “Essential Anime” title bestowed upon it by ADV. Good job, ADV!

Until next week,

The Eclectic Dude 

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