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ADV Films presents
DVD ReviewThe final installment in Tatsuya Egawa's six-part Golden Boy OVA brings more mature humor and outrageous situations, featuring character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto (Gundam 0083, Cowboy Bebop). Twenty-five-year-old Kintarou Oe is a student of life, moving from job to job, with no task too menial, as long as he can learn from it. However, he is not your average "freeter," he dropped out of Law School, but only after the curriculum became unchallenging. His one weakness is with the ladies, a fault that inevitably gets him in hot water, or in the case of the first episode, a swimming pool.
It is winter, and Kintarou is amazed to find people swimming at this time of year. His mind working the way it does, he quickly connects the aquatic fashionwear with its thin veiling of the female form, and when a leather-clad young beauty catches his eye, it unleashes his inner passions. Obsessed by her body, he is soon asking for a job as a swimming instructor, despite barely being able to manage the length of the pool on his own. The woman turns out to be the pool manager, and his obvious ineptitude precludes a position, but Kintarou is adamant that he can do the job, challenging his potential boss to a race in one month's time. A champion swimmer with a gold medal, she accepts, knowing there is no way this young man can best her, but she underestimates his tenacity for learning, as they both are Swimming in the Sea of Love.
In B@!!$ to the Walls Kintarou is working as a servant at a prominent aristocrat's house. Here, he meets Lady Reiko, a quiet and polite young woman, the perfect image of a traditional virtuousness; that is, until he discovers her gratifying herself with her motorcycle. Having sworn off men, she challenges Kintarou to a race through the canyon—on his bicycle—with the prize being her body should he win, a seemingly impossible task. Can Kintarou rise to the occasion? That should be pretty obvious by now.
The final chapter finds our student vying for a job at an animation studio, but as usual, his lack of experience isn't helping him land the position. Never deterred, he manages to become the production manager of the team producing a feature film for a headstrong producer determined to have her project finished on schedule or else! When unexpected problems arise that seem insurmountable, it is up to Kintarou to round up the talent to put the project to bed, so to speak. Hey, Animation is Fun!
This series has been hilarious, and with the last episode, wraps up perfectly. The humor is definitely adult, with plenty of fanservice, frank sexual discussion, nudity, and toilet hugging (one of Kintarou's favorite activities). The finale took the cake, and provided some education of its own on the animation process, and even the real life manga creator/supervisor makes a cameo. The animation is excellent, blending many styles of character and art design, changing tone on the fly from serious and dark, to light and ecchi seamlessly. The women are all viciously sexy, and Kintarou has many faces, echoing his diverse personality. The stories are molded together in the end, and hopefully set up a sequel. While certainly not for all tastes due to the sexual content, Golden Boy excels at what it does.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+
Image Transfer Review: Image quality is excellent, with vibrant, deep, and solid colors, and strong blacks. The great looking animation is well presented, with only minor aliasing standing out for flaws—even the panning didn't seem to exhibit interlacing, and compression defects weren't an issue.
Image Transfer Grade: A-
Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio served the show well, with no technical deficiencies to report. Directionality was used effectively, while not being overdone. The overall sound was natural and full range on both original Japanese and the English dub.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Extras Grade: C-
Final CommentsGolden Boy is a great series for mature audiences who enjoy sexually charged humor and good storytelling. The episodes here are packed with buxom females believing they are getting the better of their student, only to realize the truth when it's too late. The show comes to a nice conclusion, while leaving the door open for more. Due to the explicit content, this gets a hearty, though guarded recommendation.
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