Golden Boy - Anime’s savior or is it?
Anime has been through much transformation since its inception, not only the art style has changed even the way of telling the story and creating characters has changed drastically through out the years. Today I will be talking about a show from the 90’s that I recently stumbled upon by chance and thoroughly enjoyed - Golden Boy. Nah just kidding I have seen numerous clips of the show on various social media platforms so I know what I am getting into before starting the series, the only thing I am regretting is that it took me too much time to finally begin binge watching it, it was a very good show it is like an oasis in the middle of this season’s dryness.
Well that’s all for the introduction, let’s go to the article proper right away!
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi
Aired: October 27, 1995 to June 28, 1996
The biggest hurdle to tackle when you are going for dated anime shows is the noticeable difference in the quality of animation, that much you should be prepared for. However, for me, these older animation and art style offers no problem whatsoever. In the contrary I find them more artistic and regal as they are mostly drawn by hand that time showing the artists raw talent at work, maybe it is just me being sentimental though, I am a 90’s kid after all.
Now let’s talk about Golden Boy. The show is a six episode series of Original Video Animations (OVAs) featuring Kintaro Ooe a college of law drop out that travels around Japan using his bike Mikazuki 5 to learn about life. Each episode is a stand alone story about him and a female character who will eventually fall head over heels for Kintaro at the end of the episode, rinse and repeat for six times and you’ve got a show. The plot summary sounds like your any other harem show in existence and that is something I won’t deny, this is indeed a Harem show no matter how you slice it. But is that really all there is to it? If you paid attention to my previous sentences I used the word “female” rather than girl, grill or waifu to refer to the characters, this of course is not just me trying to use a different word, it was intentional on my part, to show one of this series’ biggest difference compared to most generic harem shows or maybe most of the anime shows we’ve been getting recently, for that matter. I am sure most of you are familiar with the terms tsundere, yandere, kuudere and other deres out there, these are character archetypes that most anime characters fit into and that is where I am drawing the line between this and those other harem shows, this series’ female characters are all unique characters that doesn’t seemingly fit in any of the mainstream archetypes these days (as far as I can tell, that is). The first one is an intelligent and strict software developer company president, the second one is a manipulative daughter of a Mayor, the third is a timid and old fashioned sweetheart, the fourth is a dominant boyish Olympic gold medalist swimmer, the fifth one is a traditional and elegant beauty that loves to ride her big bike “bimo-chan” and the last one is a caring and kind animator. As you can see the diversity of the characters is not only driven from their difference in personalities and character design, they are from different places and have different backgrounds therefore each one are personified fitting the unique persona they are representing and not just outright cardboard cutouts to fit in any of the aforementioned archetypes just to cater to the taste of different viewers.
Another important part of a harem, of course is the male lead and Kintaro will easily put more than 90% of all those dense mofos into shame. The character of Kintaro is that of a lecherous free spirited guy that is secretly more capable than he lets out. He is, as I mentioned earlier, a college of law drop out but it is not because he is a failure kind of guy, on the contrary he chose to drop out because he already mastered it and he no longer has the need to stay there any longer. He can be seen taking notes most of the time and scribbling female body while at it to document the things he learned. He is not only good at learning, he is also very well at translating those new learnings to produce results which is the main reason why most of the female characters he met has fallen deeply in love with him. He also has a gentleman’s(?) heart and kindness that he doesn’t brag about, he has accomplished a lot but not once he was seen boasting about it. He is also proficient at using martial arts that he can easily deal with a black belter but he refuses to use it even if he gets badly beaten up at times because he respects its teachings. Overall Kintaro is a really great MC that gives a real reason for the ladies to like him though he is extremely perverted that even I find some of his actions questionable sometimes (the guy has a deep attachment to toilet seats it seems).
Now for the final stretch, the show is not only a glorified fan service show with notable male lead and unique and well defined female characters, it also doubles as a golden comedy stash. If I were to briefly summarize the show I would have to say that it is an unorthodox comedy anime that is not chained by things like common sense and modesty. I know that we’ve got a lot more risque shows these days compared to this one but this one did it all without sacrificing the story telling and not ending up as a lame excuse just to showcase NSFW stuff. Golden Boy has its decent share of nudity and scenes that you’d better not let other people around you catch a glimpse of but at the end of the show it is not those stuff that you will remember but how wild and fun of a ride it is (except episode 5, that one is exceptionally erotic) that you will end up craving for more. It is also a bonus that Kintaro’s voice actor is immensely talented and a perfect fit for the role that I believe the comedy wouldn’t have been as effective had it been done by any other person, he is just that good at sounding like a full-blown lecher lol.
Overall, Golden Boy is an anime that pulled no punches to deliver what it ought to deliver - entertainment. By modern standards I believe many would find the show a bit offensive because of how perverse Kintaro is but that won’t change the fact that it is one hell of a ride that will continue to live on for years to come. It is a prime example of how harem shows should be and how male leads should get their acts together and make their harem members’ affection well deserved. Lastly, the show is a testament that the female characters need not to fall into any of the meta classifications to capture the heart of the audience, uniqueness is one of the things that the current era lacks and that is something that I learned again on this one. A must watch for those that doesn’t mind nudity and a little weirdness in their comedy shows, 10/10. Benkyou, benkyou!
It has been a while since I made an article focusing on a single show. I am still not done with Bakuman so I decided to watch a few shorter series in between so as to be able to pump out new stuff every week. Well nothing much going on in my end, I am still getting by and recently I started to give Pokemon GO and Pokemon Duels a shot again, I am still playing Revolve8 by the way. I am looking for more strategy and interactive games involving duels against fellow players recently so I may try Shadowverse again sometime soon. If you guys have any decent games that you think might interest me please drop by the comment section, I am done with RPGs for the mean time by the way. Anyway that is all for this week and see you again next time!