Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Boyfriend is a 1992 OVA/TV special based on an award-winning shoujo manga. I'd describe it as a fairly routine shoujo romance crossed with a sports anime. Yuuki, a girl with a weak heart, falls for Takatou, a rebellious but talented basketball player. Complicating matters, her childhood friend and quasi-fiancee, Nakatsugawa, is the coach for Takatou's basketball team, and Mami, a player on the girls' basketball team, has a crush on Takatou. A rival from another basketball team, Akira, wants to best Takatou in both basketball and love. As the climactic championship game between Takatou's and Akira's teams approaches, Yuuki must undergo risky heart surgery to save her life. Will she survive her ordeal? Will the lovers be united? Does a bear shit in the woods?

Boyfriend has had a long and winding road to release. Moho Kareshi translated it almost three years ago, before going off on his odyssey to translate all 136 episodes of the Oishinbo TV series. And there it sat. First, I couldn't find a translation checker. Then, when it was checked, I couldn't find lyrics for the opening and ending songs. Finally, after a few small purchases on Yahoo Auctions, it was ready for the back end - editing, typesetting, and QC.

Boyfriend also had a complicated release history. It was released as a 110-minute OVA on two VHS tapes or one laserdisc. It was also released as an abridged, 94-minute TV special, on one VHS tape.
TOVA-1117 - movie version 94 minutes
TOVA-1118 - OVA first half "The Encounter" 59 minutes
TOVA-1119 - OVA second half "The Promise" 51 minutes
TOLA-1131 - OVA first and second half, 110 minutes  (laserdisc)
At the moment, the only raw (by ARR) is for the TV special. Orphan was able to buy the "The Encounter" on VHS tape but just missed buying the laserdisc. We'd like to get the full show, so if you have access to the OVA version, either laserdisc or video tape, please let me know.

The voice cast includes many familiar names:
  • Tsujitani Kouji (Takatou) played the title role in the Captain Tylor franchise and the lead role in the 3x3 Eyes OVAs. He also played Guy in Ai no Kusabi, Shou in Condition Green, and Seishirou in Yuukan Club, all Orphan releases. His most recent role was in Kokkoku, which just finished.
  • Hidaka Noriko (Yuuki) played Satsuke in My Neighbor Totoro, Akane (the female lead) in Ranma 1/2, Peter in Peter Pan no Bouken, Mrs. Yamada (the mother) in the first two Chi anime series, Near in Death Note, Kikyo in the Inuyasha franchise, and Noriko in Yuukan Club, an Orphan release. She is still active and recently appeared in Little Witch Academia.
  • Inoue Kazuhiko (Nakatsugawa) played Yamaoka Shirou in Oishinbo and Yuki Eiri in Gravitation, but I know and love him best as the irascible, sake-swilling Nyanko-sensei in the Natsume Yuujichou properties. He also played Ryousuke in Daishizen no Majuu Bagi, Kitten Smith in Starship Troopers, and Liu Bei Xuande in both Sangokushi OVAs, all Orphan releases.
  • Yao Kazuki (Sofue) is best known for his lead role as Dark Schneider in Bastard!! and his recurring role as Franky in One Piece. He also played Date Ikkaku in Akai Hayate, an Orphan release.
  • Mizutani Yuuko (Yuuki's friend Aki) has many credits, including Pinoko in all the Black Jack properties, as well as Rika in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, Lila in Eien no Filena, and Dr. Uematsu Kikue in Yume Kakeru Kougen, all Orphan projects.
  • Yamaguchi Kappei (Takatou's teammate Ougi) has played the lead character in the Detective Conan franchise, Ranma in the Ranma 1/2 franchise, Inuyasha in all the Inuyasha properties, Kudou Shinichi in the Conan franchise, Usopp in the One Piece franchise, Sakuma Ryuichi in Gravitation, Arslan in the first OVA series, the title role in Mouse, and Shibuya in Zetsuai 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai Since 1989 (both Orphan releases), among many others.
  • Yokoyama Chisa (Mami) played the title roles in Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, Iron Virgin Jun, and the Sakura Taisen franchise, as well as Sasami/Pretty Sammy in the Tenchi Muyo franchise. She played Hu Si, the were-tiger, in Wolf Guy, an Orphan release.
  • Touma Yumi (Hanyuu, the captain of the girls' basketball team) played the title roles in Emma: A Victorian Romance and Baby Felix. She has appeared in numerous shows, including Boyfriend, Condition Green, Fukuyama Gekijou, and Eguchi Hisashi no Nantoko Nareudesho, all Orphan releases. 
The director, Dezaki Satoshi, is an industry veteran. Among his other projects are the Tezuka Osamu specials Marine Express and Time Slip Ichimannen Prime Rose, as well as Yume Kakeru Kougen (all Orphan releases), the Urusei Yatsura OVAs, Tobira wo Akete, Bakumatsu no Spasibo, and many more.

Moho Kareshi translated the dialog and the songs. laalg did translation checking. ninjacloud timed. I edited and typeset (a painful process because of the raw). VigorousJammer and BeeBee, a new staff member, did QC. bananadoyouwanna styled the songs. The raw is from ARR. It's terrible - marred by tracking losses, audio distortion and wobble, and pitch variation. One of the audio channels has very reduced volume and is badly distorted. (I've remixed the audio to include just the good channel.) Orphan bought a new VHS tape of Boyfriend, but it's only the first half of the OVA version. If anyone has a tape of the second half - or better yet, the laserdisc - we'll do another release. Help, please!

As I said, Boyfriend is a mid-tier show: not outstanding but watchable. It's available from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.


  1. Tsujitani just passed away last month, on the same day as Nobuo Tanaka.

  2. Hi! If yo us our terrible raw, please don't forget credits:
    https://twitter.com/AnagaminX, straight_forward@mail.ru