Golden Boy

The many faces of Kintaro...         Meet Kintaro Oe, a 25 year old wandering student of life in the most literal sense of the word. You see, Kintaro had been studying for a law degree and had finally acquired all the needed credits to graduate when he suddenly dropped out and hit the road. He views life as the ultimate study topic and he wants to earn a master's degree in it so, obviously, the best course to follow is to go out and live it to the fullest. Equipped with nothing more than his trusty bicycle, whatever belongings he can fit into his backpack, and his vitally important notebook (in which he notes just about everything he thinks, sees, or does), he sets off to learn all that life has to offer. The thing about life on the road, though, is that you still have to eat. This means stopping in one spot long enough to pick up an odd job or two. That's okay, though, because it's just another form of study and is to be expected when you live a wandering lifestyle.
        Today, for example, Kintaro is on his way to interview for a new job as a computer programmer at T.N. Software. True, he's never actually done computer programming before or, for that matter, actually ever used a computer, but he's determined to do his best. Ambition alone, though, won't make him into a computer programmer.Women are scary! So he's stayed up all night studying up on the topic and he's ready to face his newly appointed duties with full confidence in his abilities. Of course, there seems to be an unwritten rule that the first day at a new job never goes smoothly. On his way to the interview he ends up being run off the road by someone in a very expensive foreign car. Kintaro ends up being too distracted to be angry when he gets a good look at the lady who steps out of the car to see if he's all right. She's the sort of woman that could make the Pope break his vows of celibacy and she's dressed in an outfit that leaves little to the imagination.Most folks don't appreciate their toilets enough... She stays only long enough to ensure that he's okay and to give him some money to pay for any repairs to his bike and then she's gone as quickly as she arrived. Leaving our hero to ponder one of life's greatest mysteries, namely the opposite sex, with a few quick entries into his notebook. Life is a study and, for Kintaro, women are a specialized course he hopes to achieve high marks in.
        For the moment, however, he as a job interview to get to. After a quick stop at a nearby bicycle shop to get one of his pedals adjusted which was damaged when he wiped out, he's off to land his new job. When he arrives he's pleasantly surprised to learn that if he gets hired he'll be the only male in a company full of attractive females. You can imagine his surprise when he learns that the woman who ran him off the road is also his new boss. She wasn't really too impressed with him during their first meeting. Chances are nothing is going to happen in the immediate future to help change that impression.
        As it turns out, our hero manages to land a job, but not as a computer programmer as he had hoped. Instead he's put to work as a janitor and told to start with the toilets. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it and some work is better than no work. Disappointed by being relegated to the status of Janitor, it doesn't take our hero long to allow himself to be distracted by a lusty daydream about his new boss. The fact that he's busy scrubbing away at his new Queen's very personal "throne" doesn't help him to keep his mind on the work at hand.Life is a study.... enjoy the research.... It goes without saying that the object of his desires happens to walk in on him as he's busy worshiping at the porcelain altar. It looks like he's out of a job before he's really even gotten started. Fortunately Kintaro is a quick thinker, and an even better groveller, and he manages to win the chance to prove his newly acquired programming skills.
        Alas, it turns out all he had access to was a book on BASIC programming. A language aimed squarely at beginning computer programmers and way below what this development house codes in. After a little confusion over the meaning of C Base, our hero once again finds himself in danger of losing his position. Will his quick thinking once again keep him employed long enough to prove his worth? Will he realize his dream of being a love slave for his new boss? Will the ladies in the office catch him trying on one of their black lace bras in the locker room? To find out the answers, you'll have to see the video for yourself...

        Golden Boy is a 6 part OAV series based on the manga of the same name by Tatsuya Egawa. The series is being released here in the States by A.D. Vision in both dubbed ($19.98) and subbed ($24.95) formats as well as hybrid laser disc ($39.95). Each volume is approximately 30 minutes long, is not rated, and contains nudity and mature situations.
        As far as I know, the manga is not currently being imported and translated by anyone on this side of the pond. Which is a real shame if it's half as funny as the anime series is.

Good RatingLes' Review:

        The first time I saw this video I was on the floor in tears and my sides seemed like they would split from laughing too much. This is one funny series with a hero who really is more than he appears to be. It's definitely aimed at a more adult audience and some fans will even classify it as hentai although it probably doesn't really qualify for that label. Other than Kintaro's affection for toilets (which is almost a running gag in the OAV series), there isn't too much in here that is really out of the ordinary for a healthy 25 year old male with working hormones to be doing.
        There is actually very little true nudity in the anime despite the adult subject matter, although some would argue that the Boss' outfit in the first volume might as well just be spray paint on a naked woman for all the detail it reveals. For the most part it's a lot of lovingly animated cleavage. Which, admittedly, could be more startling than naked breasts alone. Still, in the first three volumes released by A.D. Vision Stateside so far, Kintaro never actually has sex with anyone and that doesn't seem to be the point of the series anyway. Instead, it's a simple tale of an extraordinary fellow who travels around Japan learning all he can about life while occasionally pausing to stare longingly at the women. It's the ultimate male fantasy brought to life.
        The dub of this series is pretty good, but then the material is perfectly suited to ridiculous, over-the-top performances and tats what you get in the English adaptation of this series. Special notice should be given to Doug Smith's performance as Kintaro Oe as it had to be a difficult role to play and he manages quite well considering the high rate of speed some of his lines required.

Bottom Line: If you like bawdy humor and a decent story then be sure to pick this one up.

Good Rating Hairboy's Review:

        When I first heard about this title, I thought it was going to be another hentai title created for the sole purpose of tantalizing prepubescent boys. As it seems that is the only purpose for most hentai, having next to no story content, but lots of naughty bits. Not that naughty bits don't have a place in anime, but lets make sure they are part of they story, not in place of one. So when Les called me raving about this great title, I was expecting a soft porn anime with a few jokes thrown in for good measure.
        I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a story here, and at how funny this title actually was.  I too was laughing my ass off while watching this video. It has it's fair share of naughty bits, but they are mostly implied, or involve scantily clad women rather than out and out naked ones.
        Having only seen the dubbed version I must compliment the actors and the editors for putting together one of the better dubs I have seen. When I do finally pick this title up for myself I will most likely buy the dubbed version, rather than the subbed.  Which in my case says a lot about the quality, as I am rather picky about  my dubs.
        I really thought the artwork was great as well.   It changes drastically to enhance they mood of the scene, changing from the typical cel animation look, to rugged sketch like styles, as well as the superdeformed look, and others.  All these styles are drawn equally as well as another.
        The first tape is my favorite out of the three I have seen so far, and in my opinion the funniest.  Not to say that the others aren't as good, just not quite as funny.

Bottom Line: I wrote my review without looking at Les', and found that my bottom line was almost word for word the same.

Eric's Review:

Eric's review is pending...

Mirahla's Review:

        From the description I got from Les, I figured Golden Boy was another hentai title and that I would be asking him to turn it off after 20 minutes. Was I surprised! I was laughing so hard I nearly asphyxiated before the first episode was over!
        The concept of an intelligent male who decided that college was not going to teach him what he needs to know about life is a great starting point. Kintaro's cries of "study study STUDY!" are just hilarious! He carries a notebook into which he records literally everything, which was also interesting.
        Even the mammoth-breasted women in tight and scanty clothing did not diminish this series for me. The innuendoes and hentai-style leering did not bother me a bit. (It was the fascination with toilets that made me uncomfortable! I mean, eeeeewww!) Golden Boy provides an excellent example of how what Hairboy calls "naughty bits" should be utilized. Take a good, creative, unique story, throw in an ample supply of humor, some serious good art, and then your "naughty bits" and you come up with an anime that is truly fun to watch.
        The artwork was really unique, because of the tendency to change styles as the need arose. A few times the "chibi" or super-deformed look was used, right out of the blue, to emphasize some expression, or plot twist. It was crazy, unexpected, and downright refreshing!
        This is series also had the unique accomplishment of a good dub. I'd be interested in seeing it with subtitles, just to compare, but the dub was quite tolerable! This is one series where "over the top" is totally acceptable, and down-right required.

Bottom Line: I really enjoyed Golden Boy. This is one I would actually purchase for my own collection. The worst fault I can find was that it was too short. With the primary concept being the study of life, this series could have gone on and on, and all the TCO folks wish it did!

At the moment, there isn't really much of anything in the way of web pages for Golden Boy. Then again, it's such a short series and is so often overlooked due to the perception it's a hentai flick that this probably shouldn't be too surprising. Here's what we've found, though.

Yuka Ni Omakase Home page is more about Tatsuya Egawa than Golden Boy, but does provide some interesting background on the artist.

A.D. Vision Home page - It won't tell you much more than you'd find on the back of the box, but it's a start.


Obligatory Copyright Notifications:
Images from Golden Boy copyrighted by Tatsuya Egawa/Shueisha/KSS/A.D. Vision Films.