Salaryman Kintaro
Volume 3 - Episodes 9-12
(Region 1 Edition)

Starring (Voice): Taisei Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Kawakubo and Nachi Nozawa
Artsmagic Ltd
RRP: $24.95
Certificate: Not Rated (USA) / 15 (UK)
Available 15 November 2005 (USA)

Once a proud member of a fearless gang, Yajima Kintaro left his reckless surroundings and disappeared. Now, years later, he is back with an infant son, Ryuta, and is determined to become a white-collar worker thanks to a new job working for a large construction company...

Salaryman Kintaro is based on the comic strip originally created by Hiroshi Motomiya - which went on to spawn a live action TV show, starring Katsunori Takahashi as Kintaro.

Volume 3 in this collection sees Kintaro falling in love with Misuzu and being moved out of the city temporarily by his company in order to sort out a gang of unruly contract workers who are not pulling their weight for the company.

Kintaro has his work cut out for him when he arrives at the site - he catches three of the workers attempting to rape a young woman. Once he's dealt with that problem, he sets about tackling the slack attitude of the workforce - which is no easy task. Their boss is an ex-sumo wrestler and soon hospitalises Kintaro. All he has to do now is get out of hospital and show the workers, and their bully of a boss, that he means action.

Kintaro Falls in Love With Misuzu - After a hard day's work pounding the streets meeting clients, Kintaro is taken to meet a very special someone at a very special bar.

Kintaro Takes His Orders From the Company - Sent to oversee the Mt. Kousei Tunnel construction site, Kintaro runs headfirst into trouble with the foreman, the gargantuan Shingo.

Kintaro Tightens Control of the Site - Hospitalised after being humiliated at the hands of Shingo, our battered hero finds another way to deal with the problems at the site.

Kintaro Follows Through (no laughing at the back) - Disaster strikes when the tunnel starts to cave in. Kintaro has to act quickly to save the tunnel and the workers trapped inside, before it collapses.

The four episodes contained here work well together. They add much to the storyline that has come before, but also work as a mini-story within the Salaryman Kintaro universe. The Misuzu/Kintaro storyline looks like it's heading for trouble. Misuzu's teenage daughter has a serious crush on Kintaro and Misuzu threatens her that she will commit suicide if she steals Kintaro from her. This is a little worrying as she is still a schoolgirl and has just appeared in a naked photo shoot for a popular men's magazine.

This series pulls no punches and is rapidly becoming a must own collection. While the animation is fairly run-of-the-mill, the storylines are well above the quality of other animated shows from Japan.

Darren Rea

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