golden boy

Golden Boy (manga)

is a Japanese manga series by Tatsuya Egawa about a 25-year-old freeter, pervert, and "travelling student" named Kintaro Oe (大江錦太郎 Ōe Kintarō). The manga was originally serialized in Shueisha's Super Jump starting in 1992, with the first collected volume released the following year. Parts of the manga were adapted into a six episode OVA series produced by Shueisha and KSS in 1995, which was subsequently released through ADV Films in North America in December 1996. ADV's license of the series expired in 2007, however, and in November 2007, Media Blasters acquired the license to it. Media Blasters has confirmed that the dub produced by ADV was kept.

Kintaro, despite having met the requirements for a degree, left Tokyo University without graduating. Golden Boy depicts his living the life of a free spirit, roaming Japan from town to town, job to job. During his travels, Kintaro meets several women whose lives he dramatically changes, despite poor first impressions. He constantly observes and studies the people and events around him, recording his findings in a notebook he carries on his belt.

The Golden Boy OVA has been positively received by English-language reviewers, but it is widely known for its mature content: while the OVA is not strictly a hentai animation, it does feature instances of partial female nudity, orgasms, and female masturbation. In contrast, the manga becomes almost pornographic starting in the second volume.

Summary

Each volume and episode of Golden Boy places Kintaro opposite a young, beautiful woman, whose interest or disdain for him acts as the conflict of the plot. Some of these women initially dismiss Kintaro as an idiotic and clumsy pervert, and either give him or accept from him some challenge to prove their superiority. Kintaro invariably lusts after these women, but he is principally driven by his desire to be of actual service to them and to thereby learn more about the world. Despite his outward appearances, Kintaro is an incredibly clever and resourceful individual, and consistently exceeds what the women in his encounters thought impossible, winning their hearts despite his outward awkwardness. But due to chance, necessity or a sense of honor, Kintaro never takes advantage of these newfound feelings.

Kintaro is a freeter, and has done various jobs as he quests around Japan in pursuit of knowledge. His ventures include computer programming, housekeeping, teaching, the culinary arts, and most of all, studying. The series began with minimal story, and each chapter featrued a different girl and a different challenge for Kintaro to overcome. Later on, the story follows arcs, such as Kintaro being forced to impersonate a schoolgirl after catching her shoplifting. Another shows Kintaro involved in a bizarre plot involving one of his old schoolmates, and bizarre women who seem to worship him. Kintaro is also often seen demonstrating the skills he's learned in previous chapters to overcome challenges faced in the current one.

Much of the humor derives from situational elements, such as encounters between Kintaro and the women gone awry, and interactions between Kintaro's libido and imagination. Recurring gags include Kintaro's fetish for toilets (especially those recently used by beautiful women), his exaggerated facial expressions, and comical entries in his notebook. The later include explicit drawings of the women he encounters and bits of wisdom such as "'C' is not sex", and "The human head cannot turn 360 degrees." Regarding the series, Tatsuya Egawa writes: "Before leaving kindergarten, I wrote these words in my notebook: 'I really like to study.' Often I wonder when it was that our schools forgot the true meaning of 'study.' Something which is now so often misunderstood by teachers and parents. Learning ought to be both stimulating and entertaining.

Media information

Manga

Vol. Release date ISBN
01 June 1993 ISBN 4-08-858721-9
02 December 1993 ISBN 4-08-858722-7
03 May 1994 ISBN 4-08-858723-5
04 December 1994 ISBN 4-08-858724-3
05 June 1995 ISBN 4-08-858725-1
06 December 1995 ISBN 4-08-858726-X
07 June 1996 ISBN 4-08-858727-8
08 December 1996 ISBN 4-08-858728-6
09 July 1997 ISBN 4-08-858729-4
10 January 1998 ISBN 4-08-859001-5

OVA

Adapted by Shueisha and KSS into an animated OVA, Golden Boy was first released in Japan on VHS and later on laserdisc. Kintaro is voiced by Mitsuo Iwata (and Doug Smith in English). The closing theme is "Study A Go! Go!" by Golden Girls. ADV, its North American distributor, first released the series on six video tapes (English-subtitled and -dubbed versions were sold separately), but its was later released on two DVDs, later being reissued as part of ADV's Essential Anime line. The six episodes (which adapt the first volume of the manga) are as follows:

"Computer Studies" : Kintaro obtains a janitorial job at an all-woman software firm led by the Ferrari-driving, skimpily-clad Madame President (voiced by Hiromi Tsuru and Tiffany Grant). An electrical accident jeopardizes the firm's future, allowing Kintaro to put his newly acquired programming skills to the test. "Temptation of the Maiden" : Working as a campaign staffer for a mayoral candidate, Kintaro is assigned to tutor his boss' attractive teenaged daughter, Naoko Katsuda (voiced by Yuko Minaguchi and Allison Keith), who wants more from him than help with her math homework. "Danger! The Virgin's First Love" : A car accident has left the owner of a udon restaurant temporarily handicapped, and Kintaro is helping out and learning the trade. The owner's daughter, Noriko (voiced by Yuri Shiratori and Kim Sevier) has a well-heeled boyfriend, but a series of events leads Kintaro to doubt his sincerity. "Swimming in the Sea of Love" : Kintaro has challenged the local swimming coach (and former Olympic athlete) to a race, but he first needs to learn how to swim. While training, however, his situation with the coach, Ayuko Haramizu (voiced by Kikuko Inoue and Sue Ulu) is compromised. "Balls to the Wall" : Kintaro becomes a servant in a traditional-style mansion of a wealthy family, but is quickly dismissed. He then challenges the daughter Reiko Tarayama (voiced by Sakiko Tamagawa and Laura Chapman), who has a fetish for her motorcycle, to a race. "Animation is Fun!" : Chie (voiced by Mika Kanai and Yvonne Aguirre) is a cel-painter at the animation studio where Kintaro works as an errand-boy. Production difficulties ensue, and Kintaro must rely on old friends to pull things through. An animated rendition of Tatsuya Egawa, voiced by the author himself, makes a cameo appearance in this episode.

Western reception

The Golden Boy OVA was generally well received by English-language reviewers. Jeff Ulmer of DigitallyObsessed calls it "hilarious," and Luis Cruz of AnimeOnDVD says it is "surprisingly well-written for an erotic comedy," and that it "easily deserves the 'Essential' moniker bestowed upon it" by ADV. Cruz goes on to say that the series' jokes “feel like a natural extension of both the characters and the plot.” Mike Toole of AnimeJump says “the mixture of realistic storytelling with Kintaro's deranged personality is always a hoot to watch.” Of Kintaro himself, Toole says he "has a simple everyman appeal,” and Cruz contends that Kintaro's "charming character" is what makes the anime coherent. In partial contrast, Andrew Sheldon of AnimeMetaReview criticizes Kintaro's "ability to master any task in a couple of weeks, when needed, as somewhat patronizing.” Reviewers also seem especially pleased with the last episode, "Animation is Interesting." Toole says that Golden Boy "is worthwhile for the final episode alone,” and Ulmer feels that it "took the cake.” Sheldon describes it as "an interesting and largely fitting conclusion," but feels it is "somewhat self indulgent."

Notes and references

External links

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