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ADV Films presents
"That notebook... He's always writing things in it. I wonder what he writes in there?"
DVD ReviewOne look at the cover, and it's safe to assume this isn't children's anime—and it's not. ADV brings us the first of two discs covering the six part Golden Boy OVA, based on the manga by Tatsuya Egawa, though the hentai elements have been somewhat toned down here. Twenty-five-year-old Kintarou Oe is a student of life, roaming around Japan with his notebook always handy. He is a freeter—a moving temporary employee—and there is no job assignment he won't take, as long as there is something to learn. The fact that there is always a pretty girl involved doesn't hurt.
When we first meet Kintaro, he is hurtling through the air after being run off the road by a woman in a yellow Ferrari, winding up in a pile of garbage. Dumbstruck by her outfit and the barely concealed attributes underneath, he is offered a cash settlement for his injuries, which he unwillingly accepts, but she is clearly not impressed by this young man. When he shows up at the computer programming firm where he will be temping, the president is none other than the driver, who is none too happy to see him. After some pleading, he is allowed to stay on, given menial tasks like cleaning the washroom, a job he latches onto with just a little too much enthusiasm, especially when his imagination gets the better of him. The all-female staff are working feverishly to meet a production deadline on an important piece of software, so when Kintaro takes it upon himself to shut down their servers at the end of the day, little does he anticipate the repercussions of his Computer Lesson.
His next assignment is helping out on an election campaign, with his first task being the collection of a box of liquor from the candidate's home. Here is where he spies the seductive daughter, Naoko Katsuda, a girl who has a reputation for getting men into a lot of trouble with her father. When Kintaro volunteers to take over house cleaning duties at the residence, Naoko begins her game of tempting the boy into a compromising position. As the days go by, her tactics become increasingly risqué, as she sets him up for the ultimate humiliation. Can Kintaro resist the Temptations of the Maiden?
Lesson three is in the secrets of oden, when he gets a job as the temporary cook in a noodle shop. A mom and pop operation puts Kintaro in the kitchen, when the father is injured in a hit and run accident. The shop owner's daughter, who has a crush on Kintaro, is being courted by a wealthy man who aided her father after the event. When Kintaro learns the man's true intentions, he is not the only one who will learn something in Danger! The Virgin's First Love.
While being extremely ecchi in nature, Golden Boy is a great little series. His adventures are torturously hilarious as he gives himself an education. The animation is very well done, and the voice-acting is excellent, though I'm less enamored with the dub. The OVAs do a great job of allowing us to sympathize with the character, and as each episode ends, we get another glimpse into the personality of the young man, which goes far beyond the superficial sense we had previously. For older audiences who don't mind the sexually-charged content, there is a lot of entertainment to be found here.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+
Image Transfer Review: Image quality is very good, with only minor aliasing and a hint of rainbowing as an issue. The look of the animation is really nice here, and colors are rendered well, whether in the subtle hues of the primary segments, or the darker styles of some inserts. Black levels are solid.
Image Transfer Grade: A-
Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is clear with no technical deficiencies noted. A dialogue-driven track, the soundstage is primarily center-focused. Not a lot in the way of directionality, and frequency coverage is basic, but is balanced naturally and serves the material well . Both original Japanese and English dubs are available.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Despite listing them on the packaging, there are no ADV previews to be found here, and the second episode credits are duplicates of the first.
Extras Grade: C
Final CommentsDefinitely for mature audiences only, Golden Boy is a humorous adventure series with a lot of ecchi content. The stories are written and executed well, with excellent character development and clever plotting. The animation is diverse, from simple comedic stylings to a more detailed, darker look. This won't be for everyone, but is pretty funny if you appreciate the flavor of the humor.
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