Cover of Boys Be... volume 1 as published by Tokyopop
|Boys Be... 1|
|Written by||Masahiro Itabashi|
|Illustrated by||Hiroyuki Tamakoshi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||1991 – 1997|
|Boys Be... 2|
|Written by||Masahiro Itabashi|
|Illustrated by||Hiroyuki Tamakoshi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||1997 – 2000|
|Boys Be... 3|
|Written by||Masahiro Itabashi|
|Illustrated by||Hiroyuki Tamakoshi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||2000 – 2001|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masami Shimoda|
|Studio||Hal Film Maker|
|English network||Anime Network|
|Original run||11 April 2000 – 4 July 2000|
Three different Boys Be... manga series were serialized by Kodansha in Shukan Shōnen Magazine. In 2009 Kodansha announced a fourth series, Boys Be... Next Season, starting in the November 2009 issue of Magazine Special. The second manga series is licensed in North America by Tokyopop.
The anime first aired on WOWOW in April-June 2000. It was licensed by The Right Stuf International. The first DVD volume of the series was released in North America on February 28, 2006. Comcast and several other cable providers have shown Boys Be On Demand in the United States through the Anime Network. This series was aired on AXN-Asia before it handed all anime broadcasting duties to ANIMAX Asia, and, unlike other AXN anime making it to ANIMAX, was never retained. It also aired on Spanish networks Jonu Media and K3.
The anime focuses upon the ups and downs, joys and sorrows of first love and teenage romance. Six students struggle to find the perfect partner and their adolescent limitations. While several characters are taken from stories in the manga, the story of the anime is unrelated to the manga. Each episode begins and ends with a philosophical quote which sums up the episode's content.The anime, while centered on Kyoichi and Chiharu, revolves around seven or eight main characters and their love lives.
Since the manga is in short story format, and features different characters for each story, this listing will focus on the characters featured in the anime series.
Kyoichi Kanzaki (神崎恭一 Kanzaki Kyōichi )
- The main protagonist in the series, Kyoichi is a typical high school student who, in the opening episode, realizes he has feelings for a childhood friend, a track star named Chiharu Nitta. Their relationship develops slowly in the series, however, it encounters some turbulence when he goes out of the area to do some summer work, and upon coming back, sees Chiharu kissing another guy! He also has a brief relationship with Shoko Sayama and dealt with loneliness with the help of another schoolmate. His interests are in the visual arts, mainly drawing. In the final episode, he travels to Hokkaido to clear his mind and work on some sketches, and get a new perspective on relationships.
Yoshihiko Kenjo (剣城美彦 Kenjō Yoshihiko )
- Yoshihiko is talented in sports (especially baseball), but has no interest in it whatsoever (in a manner similar to Initial D's Takumi Fujiwara). He also seems to have no interest in girls... until he bumped into Aya Kurihara at the library and she gave him a kiss to the lips! He meets Natsue Horikawa, who inspires him to keep pursuing baseball and, in getting to know her, and more of himself, they become a couple. He also spent a whole day with pop idol Jyunna Morio when she escaped from her studio taping.
Makoto Kurumizawa (胡桃沢マコト Kurumizawa Makoto )
- Makoto is the epitome of a girl-obsessed guy, keeping an electronic database of the good-looking girls at Otowa-no-Mori with him, and checking with his guide books and magazines for love advice. Early in the series, he was trying to peep at a short-skirted schoolgirl as she was climbing the stairs of an overpass, and his scooter crashed into a mini-truck. He then had a crush on the nurse intern. Later on, he used a computer dating program which paired him up with Erika Kawai. Since he lacked real dating experience, Makoto went on a mock date with Yumi. However, his actual date doesn't go as well when Erika sees a photo of him together with Yumi, and promptly dumps him. Makoto ends up being comforted by Yumi when she offers him her self-made cookies, and he realises that they had a good time together during the mock date, and they end up becoming a couple.
Chiharu Nitta (新田千春 Nitta Chiharu )
- Chiharu is Kyoichi's athletic love interest, running for their school's track and field team. She has been Kyoichi's friend since childhood, but she also has difficulty expressing love, eventually making her move at the end of the first episode by holding Kyoichi's hand while they are out. When she goes out to summer training with the track team, she is wooed by a college guy named Okazaki, and struggles with whether she really has a relationship with Kyoichi. Okazaki continued his advances to which they spent a night together at a lookout point, though she says nothing happened between them. She wanted to keep her tryst a secret, but Kyoichi, coming in to visit, saw them kissing, hence a rift formed between them that lasted all summer. Towards the end of the series, as she sees her friends get into relationships, she considers whether to reconcile.
Yumi Kazama (風間有美 Kazama Yumi )
- Yumi is a glasses girl with a sarcastic attitude on relationships, usually to counter her friend Aki's idealistic sayings. She likes to occasionally dress in odd clothes, such as a sea otter costume at the beach and an animal hat during New Year's Eve. After accidentally destroying Makoto's laptop, she tries to train Makoto on how to date her friend Erika Kawai, and even goes on a mock date where she holds up X signs and razzes Makoto whenever he makes a mistake. But in the course of the mock date, she realizes she is having a good time, that Makoto has some good qualities, and she ends up falling in love, feeling somewhat lonely that Erika gets to date him for real. However, as fate would have it, Makoto's date with Erika did not go well, and she ends up comforting him with her self-baked cookies, and they ended up being a couple.
Aki Mizutani (水谷亜紀 Mizutani Aki )
- Aki has a rather idealistic view of romance. In the opening episode, she talks about how she fell in love with a guy on the train in two minutes. In one of the episodes, she reunites with her former middle-school classmate that she used to spend a bunch of time with on his photography hobby and who was totally clueless that she liked him. Her boyfriend is now working in Hokkaidō, and they maintain a long-distance relationship. In the New Year's Eve episode, she gets worried that the world might really end.
Supporting and guest characters
- Sayaka Kanzaki (Kanzaki Sayaka)
- She is Kyoichi's smart-alecky sister who loves to tease him. She takes over the Kanzaki household when their parents aren't around.
- Mizuki Takano (Takano Mizuki)
- When Makoto broke his leg due to a scooter accident, he was confined to the hospital where Mizuki was an intern, and she became his nurse. At first, Makoto's crush on her causes trouble as she makes embarrassing mistakes in front of her superiors. But eventually she warms up to him.
- Aya Kurihara (Kurihara Aya)
- A female student who had a run-in with Yoshihiko when he looked for a ball that went through the library's window. When he crawled to look for it, he knocked the stool where she was standing while putting a book back into its proper shelf. He caught her and unintentionally got a feel of her "lumpy" side, but she was grateful for the rescue, and rewarded him with a kiss on the lips! The potential romance was cut short when she transferred back to France, as she was just an exchange student, and Yoshihiko learned the kissing is just European custom, although it turns out Aya has a different view on the romance.
- Tsuyoshi Ueno (Ueno Tsuyoshi)
- Tsuyoshi was a classmate of Aki from their third year of junior high. He has a passion for photography, and often spends long hours for the perfect shot, bringing Aki along. But in high school, he lost his passion for photography, until he meets Aki again and she puts some sense into him. They form a long-distance relationship, and he is now working in Hokkaidō. His inspiration is none other than Aki herself.
- Daisuke Nitta (Nitta Daisuke)
- He is Chiharu's cousin and Nao's overprotective brother, and is Kyoichi's and Makoto's boss at the summer resort. He is so overprotective (because of her frail health) that he did not see his beloved sister grow up. Mostly he is in conflict with the fresh Makoto.
- Nao Nitta (Nitta Nao)
- She is Chiharu's cute but frail cousin (prone to sunstroke) with an overprotective brother who lives by the sea. Makoto tried courting her, but her brother is always a step ahead of him.
- Natsue Horikawa (Horikawa Natsue)
- She dreams of standing at the pitchers' mound during the annual Koshien high school baseball championship, but she is a girl, and girls are not allowed to participate in the tournament. This girl with immature emotional swings did guide Yoshihiko out of his disinterest in the sport, and they become a couple.
- Yuki Okazaki (Okazaki Yuki)
- He is the charming young man Chiharu Nitta met during summer training camp. He is a city slicker with a beat for nature and lots of hobbies such as collecting beetles and fishing. At first Chiharu shrugged him off, but because she was lonely, and she's in a fight with Kyoichi, she nearly gave in. Though he had a girlfriend waiting in the city, he continued his advances and managed to make Chiharu fall for him, though, during a date at a spot overlooking the city, Chiharu says nothing happened between them.
- Shoko Sayama (Sayama Shoko)
- She is a renegade student hoping to make it big in the music business. She and Kyoichi get involved after she recruits him to retrieve her confiscated minidisc player. During the time with Kyoichi, she was planning to audition for lead singer in a J-pop band, but loses confidence when she sees a younger rival. She asks Kyoichi out one night, but he doesn't come, and she wanders the street soul searching. At the end of the series, she is on the radio with her latest single called First Love.
- Takuya Yokota (Yokota Takuya)
- Takuya is a schoolmate of Kyoichi, and they work together part-time at the video shop. He wears a cross-shaped earring, which Kyoichi notices after he's been hounded by the same dream involving windmills and downed airplanes. Though soft-spoken and one of the most handsome men at his school, Takuya doesn't have a girlfriend, though he was interested in someone. He is so shy he drowns in loneliness, but found the courage to express what he feels for that someone. Makoto thought Kyoichi is getting desperate when he notices he was spending too much time with him.
- Erika Kawai (Kawai Erika)
- Erika is a good friend of Yumi's and the girl that Makoto's latest matchmaking software selected. Erika comes from a fairly wealthy family and supposedly has refined tastes according to Yumi. Erika and Makoto go on a date, but she notices Makoto has a lot of notes from "training" with Yumi, and that Yumi really does like Makoto, so she quickly dumps him.
- Jyunna Morio (Morio Jyunna)
- She is a pop idol, and her image is plastered on everything from TV commercials selling bottled water to magazine covers. Yoshihiko doesn't know that, even mistaking her for a generic girl in a Santa suit distributing flyers. Yoshihiko became her unwitting "reindeer" for the rest of the day. Earlier in the series Yoshihiko and his girlfriend Natsue went to one of her concerts.
- Chiharu Reicha (Reicha Chiharu)
- This Finnish-Japanese ex-Tokyoite girl encountered Kyoichi when he went to Hokkaidō, acting as his impromptu tour guide that "charges one kiss per transaction." She's more flirtatious, more daring, and freer than the Chiharu he knows, and rides a Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle.
Episode List and Thematic Quotes
Each episode in the Boys Be anime is related to a season and also has a quote associated with it.
|Spring Chapter||1||Cherry Blossoms||"Cherry blossoms, the noble flower, witness to many an encounter over time. Cherry blossoms, the vain flower, have watched many a farewell. And again this year they bloom to watch over a lot of faint but painful feelings in the season of beginnings called spring."
Official translation (English dub): "Cherry blossoms, the reagle flowers that has witnessed countless encounters throughout the ages. Cherry blossoms - the short-lived blooms that have seen so many goodbyes. The blossoms will watch over this year's heartfelt emotions as well. And open their buds once more.... In Spring."
|Spring Chapter||2||Memorial Essence||"Nice memories have their own scent. Whenever you are veiled in its scent, Your heart can always return to your unforgettable past. Together with your own scenery that will never fade."
Official translation (English dub): "Every special memory has associated with a scent. When you're surrounded by that smell - your heart can always return to that unforgettable moment. And you can see it clearly in your memories - where the colors are forever bright."
|Spring Chapter||3||After Kiss||"There are many books in the library. Each book has a wonderful story that will never happen in reality. But when you fall in love, reality becomes a story far more beautiful than any book can tell."
Official translation (English dub): "There are many books at the library. Each and every one contains a fantastic tale - stories that could never exist in reality.... But, when you fall in love, reality changes and becomes far more amazing than any story."
|Early Summer Chapter||4||Bittersweet Rain||"No one can stop the flow of time. But a moment captured in the frame of the heart will never disappear. That will be shown at the bottom of their hearts, and will always give off a great feeling. Sweet...and bitter."
(Official translation (English dub): "Noone in this world can stop the flow of time. However, a single moment captured in a photograph will never disappear. It will always decorate your heart and will always stir your soul - sweetly..and warmly."
|Summer Chapter||5||Feeling Blue||"The color blue has a soothing effect on people. All their stresses and troubles are absorbed by the blue. Awakening honest souls which have no lies. Summer is the season...that is colored in blue."
Official translation (English dub): "The color blue has the power to sooth the soul. It washes away all our worries and stress. Blue awakens the honest and innocent hearts.
Summer..... Summer - the season when the color blue - thrives."
|Summer Chapter||6||Baseball Lovers||"Not many people know when love really starts... More than a friend, but not quite lovers. A delicate relationship like this changes gradually once it is noticed, and keeps on blossoming, Just like the changing seasons."
Official translation (English dub): "Very few can identify the beginning of love. When people become more than friends but less than lovers - such an indefinable relationship changes slowly over time - like the changing of the seasons."
|Summer Chapter||7||[The] Wind-Bell||"The summer days blow through fiercely. With the buried feeling that something is going to happen... Over a summer storm, Soon, the season will change..."
Official translation (English dub): "A summerday goes by like a strong gust of wind, leaving you with a feeling that something is going to happen. As the summerstorms come to an end, gradually, the season change."
|Autumn Chapter||8||Swallow||"With summer's raucous noises, a simple dream seen in spring has turned into a simple heartbreak. The melancholy autumn wind speaks quietly of its meaning...Your heart's true self..."
Official translation (English dub): "A fleeting springdream, engulfed by the hectic Summer, has become a small painful scar - and now a sorrowful autumnbreeze whispers of the story behind the pain.... The story of who you really are."
|Autumn Chapter||9||Leaves||"In the autumn it is said that the reason why leaves fall down from the branch is to make way for new leaves to grow. No matter how sad the fallen leaves look, there will always be new sprouts in the spring. Perhaps, emptiness in the heart is something similar to that."
Official translation (English dub): "Autumn - they say the old leaves fall away from the branches to make way for the new leaves to arrive. Nomatter how lonesome you might feel watching leaves fall - remember - new leaves will always return in the Spring. Perhaps the emptiness you feel in your heart - is just like those falling leaves."
|Autumn Chapter||10||Solitary Cross||"All sound has died out, and the cold, dark night fills the room. Unable to go to sleep, holding on to the covers. Suddenly, that's when it strikes, as if my chest was being crushed in pain and wanted to cry. A painful and uneasy feeling. Yes, from the depths of my heart, a thing called "loneliness" will come..."
Official translation (English dub): "All sounds ceases. When the icecold night-air fills the room, I lie awake, holding my blanket. And that's when it happens - I feel like crying - like my heart is slowly breaking. A sorrowful - an unshakeable loneliness. That sense of loneliness raises from the shadows in my heart."
|Winter Chapter||11||First Snowfall||"Snow covers everything in white. It covers the sadness, softly. If there is happiness, it decorates it beautifully. The snow continues to fall..."
*Official translation (English dub): "Snowblankets, everything in white. If there is sorrow - snow will gently embrace you. If there is happiness, snow will decorate it gently. Silently - the snow keeps falling."
|Winter Chapter||12||End to Beginning||"An ending will come to everything in this world. It may be a fate that one could never avoid."
Official translation (English dub): "All things must come to an end in this world. Everything reaches its natural conclusion. It's inevitable - it's fate." In the end of the episode, the quote continues; "- But as long as there is night - morning will always come."
|Next Season Chapter||13||Let It Be||"There is nothing that really changes, there is nothing that really ends. It's hard to admit, but that is reality. One season ends, and another season begins."
Official translation (English dub): "Nothing stays the same. Every story has its ending. It's hard to accept sometimes, but that's the reality. One season ends and another begins."
- End of Final Episode
- It must only be a matter of a moment once it's gone... (Makoto)
- Official translation (English dub): Once it passes, it will feel like it went by in a flash. (Makoto)
- We should probably be able to laugh at it someday. (Yumi)
- Official translation (English dub): Someday - you look back at it and laugh. (Yumi)
- But the feeling will stay forever in the depths of the heart. (Yoshi)
- Official translation (English dub): But that feeling - that feeling will never disappear. You'll always carry it deep in your heart. (Yoshi)
- It's precious, only here for now. It's our season. (Aki)
- Official translation (English dub): The most important season is the one we're in now. It's our season. (Aki)
- So, one season ends, and a new one begins... (Chiharu (Nitta))
- Official translation (English dub): And with the ending of one season - another new one begins. (Chiharu (Nitta))
- Soundtrack produced by BE-FACTORY
- Opening Theme: Daijobu by Aki Maeda
- Ending Theme: Minna Ga Iine by Aki Maeda
- Final Episode Opening Theme: Hatsukoi by Yuka Imai - the first remake of a song from 1983 by Kozo Murashita
- Episode 8 Ending Theme: My Tomorrow by Yuka Imai
- Episode 8 Insert: Where Is My Paradise by Yuu Asakawa
- Episode 8 Insert: Memoria by Kazuko Hamano
- Episode 8 Insert: Truth by Kasumi Matsumura
- Episode 1 Insert: Naisho no Kimochi by Aki Maeda
- Boys Be... Kono Koi no Yukue (03/28/97)
- Boys Be... Second Season (09/22/99)
- Typing Renai Hakusho: Boys Be... (03/14/02)
- Boys Be... manga, chapter 1: Report 1: Summer of '91, From the Southern Island
- Refsing, Kirsten (August 2004). "Review of Maki, John M., A Yankee in Hokkaido: The Life of William Smith Clark.". H-US- Japan, H-Net Reviews.
- Boys Be... (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Boys Be... (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Official site from Geneon Entertainment
- Official site from the Right Stuf International
- Comics Worth Reading vol. 2 review
- Mania.com anime vol. 1 review
- uk.dvd.ign.com DVD box set review
- Boys Be... Quotations