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volume 3 issue 5

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INFO FILE
Title:
Golden Boy Vol.1: Treasure Hunt DVD
Format:
Bilingual DVD
3 Episodes
90 minutes
Production:
ADV
Tatsuya Egawa
Shueisha
KSS
Comments:
The lame extras are really disappointing.
Overall Rating:
70%

Animefringe Reviews:
Golden Boy Vol.1: Treasure Hunt DVD
By Holly Kolodziejczak

Okay, I'll admit it -- I'm an Oe Kintaro fangirl. I'm not ashamed. One would have trouble imagining my elation the day I discovered Golden Boy: Treasure Hunt on DVD. Golden Boy has long been one of my favorite anime series, and finally I had my very own DVD copy. I praised the name of ADV. Sadly, that was to change as soon as I got it home. Wait... I think I'm getting ahead of myself.

Golden Boy is a six-episode OVA series that is a hysterically funny romp through the life of one Kintaro Oe. Kintaro, the main character, dropped out of a prestigious university to go wandering across Japan on his bicycle, but only after he'd already completed all of the courses necessary for his graduation. I think that should tip you off that Kintaro is a little bit wacky upstairs. But no matter how loony he is, he's still a smart guy... because he writes down everything he experiences on his journey in a little notebook, because it's all SO educational. Life... is study.

Each episode puts Kintaro in yet another place, working at yet another temporary job, and facing yet another challenge: winning the hearts of the women near him that think he's basically an idiot. This would be a lot easier for Kintaro if he wasn't such a blatant pervert with a weird toilet fetish. Not to mention, he's just way too nice of a guy. Go figure.

As for the DVD itself, well,... it does have its good points. The cover is attractive, a common Golden Boy image of a small Kintaro being played with like a marionette by two scantily clad women. The DVD features three of the six episodes, which I suppose is better than only two per DVD, but then again, they could have put them all on one.

I found the DVD menus quite amusing. All of the different menus look like pages in Kintaro's journal. However, I thought the cute little pink panties stuck in the binder rings on the "extras" menu were a little tasteless. Thankfully, though, the DVD has the optional Japanese language track, which was kind of cool for me, as I had only seen the dub before and I was interested in seeing the show with the original voices. Some of you might call me crazy, but after watching a couple episodes with the Japanese language track, I have to say that I prefer the dub. Doug Smith does a terrific job as the dub voice of Kintaro. This is not to say that I didn't also love the work of Mituo Iwata in the same role, but Smith's dubbing really made the character that much more over-the-top for me. The Japanese version still made me laugh, but the dub has literally made me spit out my beverage, among other things. Usually I prefer the Japanese language versions of anime, but this is an exception to the rule for me.

The DVD encoding has treated Golden Boy well. All of the animation looks crisp and clean, and the music is all nicely mastered. As for the actual show itself, I really have no complaints. Each episode is also split up into 5 scenes to select from; Intro, Opening, Act 1, Act 2, and End. That's pretty typical, but it was still pretty nice.

One last thing I'd like to address about this release is the thing that disappointed me the most: the extras. On the DVD case, it lists the extras as "Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Image Gallery, U.S. Trailers, ADV Previews." I thought that was a little on the skimpy side, but still okay. However, as soon as I looked at them on the DVD, my opinion changed drastically.

The U.S. trailers were probably the coolest extra on the DVD, and even those weren't very cool. They basically showed most of the funny scenes from the episodes on the disc, so I thought that was somewhat spoiler-riffic. The image gallery was less than impressive, since all it has is 10 screencaps from the episodes on the disc. Some of the images are blurry, and a couple of them are just closeups of cleavage and panty shots, which was even more tasteless. I would have liked to see some conceptual art, possibly covers from previous releases, something that I couldn't get myself with a DVD screencapping program.

That's not all, either. The clean opening animation is cool, as they usually are. However, someone really fumbled by putting a clean closing animation on this disc. The whole thing is just credits rolling on a black screen, accompanied by music. Therefore, the clean closing "animation" is -- you guessed it -- three and a half minutes of blank screen with the ending music playing. That's an extra? Not only that, but the ADV Previews promised on the cover are nowhere to be found on the DVD. Trust me, I looked. If anyone finds them, please email me and let me know where they are.

Problems with the extras aside, this really is one of the funniest anime series I have ever seen. This series is more than a little "ecchi" in places, mostly because we get to see and hear what's going on in Kintaro's head. Guys in their early twenties are not known for having lots of pure and innocent thoughts. However, seeing Kintaro's little fantasies going on in his mind and knowing what's going on the real world is part of the side-splitting humor of this series. If you like your jokes a little on the dirty side, then this series is made after your heart. If you can't bide by a little perverted humor, you may want to pass this title up.

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