|Genre||Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Slice of Life|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yasuhito Kikuchi|
|Written by||Mizuhiro Yamada|
|Music by||Koichi Korenaga|
|Original run||8 July 1999 – 7 October 1999|
Black Heaven (課長王子 Kachō-Ōji ), also referred to as The Legend of Black Heaven and Kacho-Ōji, is a thirteen-episode anime TV series about the middle-aged members of a short-lived heavy metal band and their unexpected role in an alien interstellar war. The Japanese title of the series is a multi-layered pun; it can be translated as "section-chief Oji", "old section-chief", or literally "Section Head Prince". The opening theme "Cautionary Warning" was written and performed by English rock guitarist John Sykes, who played with rock bands including Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. In the US, the series has been available on DVD from Geneon in four separate volumes since 2001 and in 4-disc box set since 2005.
Middle-aged Oji Tanaka has a wife, a child and a mundane job as a salary man in Tokyo's modern society. But his life wasn't always so dull; 15 years ago he was known as "Gabriel", lead guitar of a short-lived heavy metal band called "Black Heaven". Oji's life takes a sudden turn when he is invited by an enigmatic woman to pick up his Gibson Flying V and once again display his legendary guitar skills. Little does he know the effects this will have on his family, on the other remaining members of Black Heaven, on an alien interstellar war with a mysterious ultimate weapon, or on the fate of the planet Earth.
- Oji Tanaka
- Formerly Gabriel, the lead guitarist of Black Heaven, Tanaka takes an office job following the break-up of the band to support his growing family. Years later, he's facing mid-life, wondering what went wrong, when Layla Yuki approaches him, asking him to play for her.
- Voiced by: Kouji Ishii (Japanese), Beau Billingslea (English)
- Layla Yuki
- Tasked with tracking down Oji and getting him on their side to play music in order to activate the ultimate weapon. After finding him, she basically plays the role of an agent, acting as the go between the band and Fomalhaut, the space army commander.
- Voiced by: Miho Yamada (Japanese), Diva West (English)
- Yoshiko Tanaka
- A former groupie of Black Heaven, she marries Oji when he finds out she is pregnant. She plays the role of the housewife and mother, watching in dismay as Oji reverts to his rocker persona and suspicious that he may be having an affair with Layla.
- Voiced by: Kae Araki (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
- Gen Tanaka
- Oji's and Yoshiko son, who has a fascination with an outer space television show that he watches daily. He also believes that Layla is a character from the show.
- Voiced by: Rikako Aikawa (Japanese), Ian Hawk (English)
- Kotoko, Eriko and Rinko
- Layla's subordinates, who work in the same building as Oji and Layla and help with her assignments. They are identified with their respective hair colors of blue, purple, and green.
- Kotoko: Voiced by: Atsuko Enomoto (Japanese), Emilie Brown (English), Eriko: Voiced by: Miwa Yanagihara (Japanese), Sherry Lynn (English), Rinko: Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Bambi Darro (English)
- Formerly Michael of Black Heaven, he plays guitar and is the lead vocalist.
- Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Tom Fahn (English)
- Formerly Luke of Black Heaven, he plays drums. After the break-up of the band, he went into the real-estate business.
- Voiced by: Hidenari Ugaki (Japanese), Joe Romersa (English)
- Formerly Raphael of Black Heaven, he plays bass. After the break-up of the band, he opened up a grocery store.
- Voiced by: Ryuuzou Ishino (Japanese), Dan Martin (English)
- Formerly Joseph of Black Heaven, he played keyboard. After the break-up of the band, he went to New York to try to make it in the music business, only to meet an unfortunate end through an aggravated lobster and an insulted black man. His remains are recovered by "the enemy" and used to create a clone/android to combat the reunited Black Heaven.
- Voiced by: Atsushi Murai (Japanese), Steven Blum (English)
Note: the links are to the article of the song probably referenced.
|#||Title||Original air date|
|01||"Stairway to Heaven"
|July 8, 1999|
|02||"All Night Long"
|July 15, 1999|
|July 22, 1999|
|July 29, 1999|
|05||"These Are the Days"
|August 5, 1999|
|August 20, 1999|
|August 26, 1999|
|08||"All Right Now"
|September 2, 1999|
|09||"Get off of My Cloud"
|September 9, 1999|
|10||"Ten Years Ago"
|September 16, 1999|
|September 23, 1999|
|12||"Into the Arena"
|September 30, 1999|
|October 7, 1999|
"Cautionary Warning" by John Sykes
Episodes 1-12: "Yappari Onna no Hoga Iiya (I Like To Be A Woman After All)" by Riyu Konaka
Episode 13: "Let Me Go, Let You Go" by Koichi Korenaga