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In a story that flits between serious drama and comedic farce, Shinjuku gangster Sabu and his young wife Koiko try to live a normal life, despite the interferences of gang politics and criminal deals. After she saves his life, Sabu's gang-boss, Tominaga, falls in love with Koiko, and sends Sabu into increasingly more dangerous situations, hoping to cause his arrest, and thus obligate himself to "take care" of Koiko while Sabu is in prison. Based on a manga in Manga Action magazine by Pink Curtain-creator Joji Akiyama, this was also adapted into a TV drama starring Beat Takeshi-years ahead of The Sopranos. NV
Kojiro of the Fuma Clan
1989. jpn: Fuma no Kojiro. Video. dir: Hidehito Ueda. scr: Takao Koyama. des: Shingo Araki, Michi Himeno. ani: Takeshi Tsukasa. mus: Toshiro Imaizumi. prd: Animate Film, JC Staff. 30 mins. x 13 eps.
Five young boys are the reincarnations of elemental spirits and replay old tales and enmities from Japanese history in a modern setting. Teenager Kojiro receives a letter from Himeko, the young owner of Hakuo (White Phoenix) High School, who needs help dealing with gang intimidation. Kojiro decides to help her because she's very cute, but gang intimidation is the least of her worries-a rival clan is planning a takeover, and Kojiro must face their champion, Nibu, before dealing with another adversary, Oscar Musashi (see Sword of Musashi). The interclan school struggle is just a cover for the powers of evil, who wish to collect the ten magical swords that determine the balance of power in the universe. It's pretty boys at a ninja high school but with a surprisingly old-fashioned look to the designs and animation. This video was based on a 1982 manga in Shonen Jump by Masami Kurumada, who would recycle the same ideas in Saint Seiya, though the anime adaptation of the latter preceded this to Japanese screens. NV