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[Boys Be R2 DVD box art]
AKA: ボーイズ・ビー
Genre: Realistic modern teenage romance
Length: Television series, 13 episodes, 22 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Right Stuf International.
Content Rating: PG-13 (mild adult themes)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Azumanga Daioh, Ai Yori Aoshi, To Heart
Notes: Based on the manga by Itabashi Masahiro and Tamakoshi Hiroyuki.
Rating: Three StarsThree StarsThree Stars
 

Boys Be...

Synopsis

(from the back of the box)
Boys Be... carefully details the stories of six students in their school years, refreshing, humorous, touching, sexy, and will definitely put tears into your eyes and warmth into your hearts.

The story touches the unchangeable in any era...
The deepest wishes...
The deepest fears...
The deepest love...
Your mind, your soul, your heart...

These are people in search of directions, love, inspiration and accomplishment.


Review

Boys Be... certainly brought tears to my eyes, but not always in a good way. The use of CG here is shameless and very obvious with lines sharp enough to cut. The makers must have had a wonderful time with the huge palette of colors available to them. But this is the not the major gripe point seeing as how the use of computers to add colors is the norm nowadays; think Card Captor Sakura and Sakura Wars. The major problem I had was in the art of the main female character, Nitta Chiharu. She is not very consistently animated and at certain angles she looks almost like a different person.

Technical details aside, Boys Be... details the romantic aspects of the lives of six students. Each episode can pretty much stand alone, highlighting a different couple each episode. Although Boys Be... abounds with pretty girls (especially in the box art), the main characters who actually undergo development and mature are the three leading male cast members: Kanzaki Kyouichi, Kurumizawa Makoto, and Yoshihiko Kenjou. Hence the title Boys Be...

The majority of the story is narrated and told though the point of view of gentle artist, Kyouichi, who has an on-and-off relationship with Nitta Chiharu that does not resolve itself until the end, although the first story involves them. Kenjou is the restless, don't-have-a-care-in-the-world superb baseball athlete who is trying to find his direction in life. Makoto is the self-professed 'Lady Killer' who carries around a palm-top that stores bios and statistics of beautiful girls in the school, especially those of upperclassmen. He comes across as rather childish, lusting after females that don't so much as give the briefest glance in his direction. I won't spoil it but he'll end up with the unlikeliest girl in the show!

The story is uniquely arranged in four parts: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The settings and moods seem to follow the seasons, and this very cleverly gives a sense of time passing and characters maturing. As such, it manages to give the show a plot that ties all the episodes together.

One of the stronger points of Boys Be... is the very memorable music. The opening and closing is beautifully sung by Maeda Aki and suits the mood of the show very well. Simple piano tunes used in the show can invoke nostalgia, happiness, and sadness.

Boys Be.. may not have cool action sequences and huge mecha, but it's a show targeted at male audience nevertheless. Where the majority of males may run screaming from relationship-oriented shows, you might like to give Boys Be... a chance because it realistically portrays guys in school. It's like a guy's version of Azumanga Daioh. They may think of girls all the time but deep down they are your nice, average guys-next-door.

Drop one if you really hate relationship-oriented shows. Add one if you like cute girls and fan service. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: Teenagers and up, obviously. No nudity, no sex. But there's panty shots and plenty of ogling at huge breasts, and generous display of skin, especially the eye-catch.



Version(s) Viewed: Very expensive commercial VCD by ODEX Pte Ltd, Japanese with English subtitles (Asian release)
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Boys Be... © 2000 Itabashi Masahiro / Tamakoshi Hiroyuki / Kodansha / Boys Be... Committee
 
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