Tag Archives: Golden Boy

Golden Boy – the manga is so much worse

Japanese Title: Golden Boy

Related: Golden Boy (anime)

Genre: Comedy Ecchi Harem

Length: 104 chapters (10 volumes)



  • The first few chapters made a good anime


  • All garbage past the first few chapters
  • Art gets lazier as the series progresses
  • Messy and unfocused arcs

Golden Boy is best known for being a fun six-episode ecchi comedy about university dropout Kintaro, who travels around Japan working various jobs (coincidentally under women) to learn new skills and broaden his horizons. “Study! Study! Study!” is his motto. While browsing for something to read a while back, I came across the Golden Boy manga and added it to the list, curious to see how the source material fared. After all, I enjoyed the anime and most of the manga’s 104 chapters wouldn’t have made it to the screen.

Good heavens. What a disaster.

The premise at first is of Kintaro doing this variety of jobs, incompetent at every one of them yet his hard working nature and determination makes him a force for good after a whirlwind of chaos. These chapters, the basis for the anime, are done with in the first volume. Afterwards, Golden Boy goes into longer “arcs” with Kintaro spending more time in one location doing a single job. The education aspect quickly falls to the wayside. It pretends to keep up the premise but none of the quality in that first volume remains.

Scenarios instead devolve into being all about sex fetishes. It gets quite graphic, though not in that erotic way. I believe it was meant to be erotic but this artist isn’t good, so it looks janky and it only grows worse. Sometimes the art is intentionally bad for comedy, though you’ll be waiting for when it gets good. Basic elements such as aligning the features of someone’s face is too difficult a task here. Character sizes aren’t even consistent from one panel to the next on the same page. It’s just ugly in general. You’re unlikely to find titillation. More importantly, the writing is terrible.

Golden Boy works best in single-chapter stories, where the author can extract all humorous material of any given scenario and move on before it gets old. The longer arcs are an absolute drag to get to through and painfully unfunny. A central problem is that they put the sex first and the work experience second, whereas the single chapters did it the other way around. The sex comedy isn’t funny when it so overt. Honestly, I’m not even sure if it’s meant to be a joke half of the time.

Alright, Kintaro is going to learn to be a more seductive dancer by becoming this woman’s slave and watching her have sex. Silly premise but it’s just a gag. Wait, you’re going to repeat it over and over and over and over and over and over. (Release me from this pain.) Later arcs repeat earlier material as well. Golden Boy anime versus manga is a great lesson in the benefit of keeping it brief.

Some arcs even try to “educate” the audience on love, romance, and relationships. However, it’s the worst advice to give anyone. You may be thinking, “But Kintaro is an idiot and this is a comedy manga. Of course the advice isn’t meant to be taken seriously.” I thought that as well until I realised these are the moral conclusions of the arcs and nothing contradictory occurs.

I have never seen such a disparity in quality between adaptation and source material than seen with Golden Boy. To have one version be better than the other to some degree or vice versa is expected, but for it to be this bad is astonishing. No wonder they only made six episodes.

Art – Low

Story – Very Low

Recommendation: Avoid it. Watch the Golden Boy anime instead.

(Find out more about the manga recommendation system here.)

Golden Boy – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Golden Boy


Similar: Great Teacher Onizuka


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Comedy Ecchi Harem

Length: 6 episodes



  • Hilarious.
  • Succeeds despite being in one of the worst anime genres.
  • The goofy voice acting enhances the comedy.


  • A couple of episodes aren’t as good as the others.
  • If you can’t stand ecchi, you will hate this.

I’ll be honest, I am no fan of ecchi and I see harem as the worst genre in anime. I never expect anything other than perv over substance. The lewd nature isn’t what bothers me; South Park is one of the greatest shows ever made, yet has dirty jokes that would make any ecchi fountain from the nose. See, unlike most ecchi, South Park is actually funny without compromise on substance. So it came as a surprise when Golden Boy made me laugh, not once or twice, but for nearly the entire series. With great comedy, well-timed ecchi that adds to the scene rather than get in the way like a Twitch TV cam-girl, and a likeable protagonist, Golden Boy is one amusing anime.

We follow Kintaro, a wandering student who rides his bike around the country, and does any job – swimming instructor, production assistant, ramen cook, etc. – to broaden his horizons and meet beautiful ladies. His focus is “research” for “educational” purposes. He’s incompetent at most jobs, but is a fast learner and hard worker willing to do what it takes to help the ladies. Though he is clueless half the time, he knows of his attraction and arousal, unlike other harem protagonists that come across as complete idiots. His goofiness makes him endearing to women, eventually pulling them into love with him. However, a wandering student can never settle down, so he’s always gone by the time they see his good heart.

Golden Boy is steeped in sexual innuendo, slapstick, a strange obsession with toilets graced by gorgeous behinds, and lustful comedy – “Oh sweet plunging valley!” Kintaro meets a new woman with a different occupation in each episode and the comedy incorporates that into the core of the jokes, such as programming innuendo when he works for a bombshell in a software company – “C-based? Is that like third base?”

Furthermore, the ecchi humour is different for each woman. Rather than have an endless series of panty shots, breast grabs, compromising positions, and so on, each episode picks one to use for a few great jokes. This prevents overuse, as seen in Rosario + Vampire with panty shots. It’s why in Monty Python, they don’t do a silly walk in every skit; it’s why they don’t dress as women all the time; it’s why the Spanish Inquisition doesn’t burst into every gag. Each is hilarious, but the moment a joke overstays its welcome, the charm fades. The programmer’s breast physics – they just keep going…and bouncing…and boinging… – are hilarious, but if applied to all characters, it would feel repetitive. Golden Boy knows that less is more (except when it pertains to the programmer’s breast physics) and yet is still far lewder than most ecchi.

Some episodes are better than others. When he works as a tutor for a spoilt university girl, the jokes stray too close to generic ecchi territory. The aristocratic mechanophiliac (fetish for motorcycles) on the other hand, is both painfully funny and seriously not safe for work (worst time for someone to walk in as you watch). The episode pushes the lewdness and innuendo so far that it had me in stitches. Ever seen a woman use a motorbike like a hot stud?

Golden Boy isn’t a deep, philosophical look at the human character, nor is it a complex narrative filled with twists. It’s an ecchi that, and I can’t believe I am going to say this, is hilarious and succeeds where others fail. As Kintaro would say, this has been very educational. Study! Study! Study!

Art – Medium

Though Golden Boy is aged, the animation level is above average for its time and boasts a surprising amount of detail. Several ladies overflow with sexiness.

Sound – Medium

The voice work presents an interesting conundrum. Technically, the Japanese is better; however, the English track is more amusing. Kintaro’s English actor is rather janky, yet that suits the character better – the Japanese is too restrained, too strict. Similarly, with the women, their English actors sound sexier and seem to have more fun with their characters.

Story – Medium

Kintaro the travelling student’s adventures working odd jobs for a variety of beautiful women isn’t a deep story, but it is certainly a hilarious one. Golden Boy had me laughing for much of its screen time.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: If ecchi doesn’t bother you, Golden Boy is easy to recommend. This anime is better than the sum of its parts, delivering high enjoyment despite its aged art and sound – they enhanced the humour for me. I never thought ecchi could make a series funnier.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)


Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)


HilariousPositive Recommended English Voice Track

Negative: None