Golden Boy (1995) First Episode Impressions

As I stated in my previous post, my anime history, I want to watch more retro anime from the 80s and 90s, as I have a serious gap in my knowledge in these decades. The first one that I will be reviewing on this blog will be Golden Boy, a 1995-1996, 6 episode OVA comedy series, adapted from a manga.

With my reviews, I intend to outline my impressions of the first episode and then review the entire series upon completion. So here are my first impressions of Golden Boy!

Golden Boy starts off with the main character riding his bike and delivering a brief monologue introducing himself, Kintaro, and the vague direction of the episode (his start at a new part-time job). When a flashy, fast car shocks him, causing him to crash his bike, portraying the clumsy nature of the character. This leads into the OP which shows Kintaro as impressive and heroic looking man, preparing to ride his bike. This contrasts significantly with the crash scene that comes before and after, having a comedic effect. Furthermore it presents the bike as perhaps being an important element within the anime ass it features so heavily in the opening scenes and the OP. Kintaro receives a large sum of money from the heavy chested woman driving the car as an apology.

Jumping forward a few scenes,  debt collectors arrive at the shop Kintaro’s bike was fixed at while he is exiting the shop. We learn the man who owns the shop owes money and the thugs are there to put pressure on the old man to pay up, money he doesn’t have. The next shot is of Kintaro’s face, comically serious and intense in comparison to his regular expressions. He starts walking towards the thugs and the audience gets the impression he is going to stick up for the old man, perhaps fight the thugs, who are looking at him in confusion. He, however, ducks behind a wall at the last moment. This suggests something about Kintauro’s character, maybe he thins of himself as a hero but is in fact quite cowardly.

His overconfidence are apparent in multiple scenes in the first episode. One discovers that he expected to be good at computer programming because he practised on a paper keyboard. His facial expressions and the way in which the switch intensity gave me the impression that he views himself very differently in his head to how he is perceived by others. While he overestimates himself, everyone else underestimates him.

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His incompetence is displayed through his destruction of the computer programme that his company has been working on however it is revealed that while he is an idiot, he is also a quick learner and somewhat of a genius, as he replaced the programme and in fact improved it drastically.

At the end of the episode we learn he spent all the money the woman, who turned out to be his new boss fyi, gave him on paying off the old man’s debt and showing that while he may be a rather over the top and intolerable idiot, he is also kind-hearted and clever.

My overall impressions of this first episode is that it does a very effective job at delivering the key characteristics of the main character, as well as setting up the plot, through character design and the use of facial expression. One can definitely see how this was originally a manga. The first episode makes you care about the character and is interesting while still being funny. I will see how this series develops over the course of the 6 episodes.

I imagine I’ll finish the whole anime in a day so the overall review should follow in a couple of days or less.

I’m not 1005 sure how I should space these posts out yet, I don’t want to exhaust content quickly but on the other hand I want to post very regularly.


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