Black Heaven

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This article is about the TV series. For the 2010 film known in English as 'Black Heaven', see L'autre monde.
Black Heaven
課長王子
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Slice of Life
Anime television series
Directed by Yasuhito Kikuchi
Produced by Pioneer
Written by Mizuhiro Yamada
Music by Koichi Korenaga
Studio AIC, APPP
Licensed by Canada United States Geneon
Network WOWOW
Original run 8 July 19997 October 1999
Episodes 13
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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.

Plot Summary[edit]

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.

Characters[edit]

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)
Sato
Formerly Michael of Black Heaven, he plays guitar and is the lead vocalist.
Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Tom Fahn (English)
Yamada
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)
Suzuki
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)
Watanabe
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)

Episodes[edit]

Note: the links are to the article of the song probably referenced.

# Title Original air date
01 "Stairway to Heaven"
(天国への階段) 
July 8, 1999
02 "All Night Long"
(オール·ナイト·ロング) 
July 15, 1999
03 "Hot House"
(ホット·ハウス) 
July 22, 1999
04 "Space Child"
(スペース·チャイルド) 
July 29, 1999
05 "These Are the Days"
(輝ける日々) 
August 5, 1999
06 "Walk Away"
(ウォーク·アウェイ) 
August 20, 1999
07 "In Need"
(イン·ニード) 
August 26, 1999
08 "All Right Now"
(オールライト·ナウ) 
September 2, 1999
09 "Get off of My Cloud"
(ひとりぼっちの世界) 
September 9, 1999
10 "Ten Years Ago"
(幻の10年) 
September 16, 1999
11 "Sweet Emotion"
(やりたい気持ち) 
September 23, 1999
12 "Into the Arena"
(イントゥー·ジ·アリーナ) 
September 30, 1999
13 "The End"
(ジ·エンド) 
October 7, 1999

Themes[edit]

Opening[edit]

"Cautionary Warning" by John Sykes

Ending[edit]

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

External links[edit]