*This review is in memory of the legendary Masami Suda, who was character designer for this anime, as he passed away earlier this same month.*
In the annals of manga history, Hiroshi Motomiya is definitely a perfect example of an understated legend. Born in 1947, his debut serialization, 1968's Otoko Ippiki Gaki Daisho, would become the first true "hit manga" in Shonen Jump (without needing to be infamous, ala Go Nagai's Harenchi Gakuen), inspiring the likes of Masami Kurumada & Tetsuo Hara to become mangaka themselves, & each would create their own direct homages to Gaki Daisho, at some point in their respective careers. Meanwhile, the likes of Buronson (Fist of the North Star), Yoshihiro Takahashi (Ginga -Nagareboshi Gin-), Tetsuya Saruwatari (Tough), Tatsuya Egawa (Golden Boy), & Akira Miyashita (Sakigake!! Otokojuku) all worked as assistants for Motomiya at one point or another, giving all of them early starts to their own respective iconic careers. As for video game fans, Motomiya also has some relevancy there, as his studio Moto Kikaku is best known as the co-creator & co-owner of Capcom's Strider franchise, while Motomiya's Tenchi wo Kurau manga is the basis for numerous games Capcom made, most notably 1992 arcade beat-em-up Warriors of Fate. Finally, even at the age of 74, Motomiya is still making new manga to this very day, usually focused around the ideal of being a "real man", i.e. being an inspiration to others by being a respectable, honest, & earnest person who doesn't allow being taken advantage of.
In short, while he may no longer be your favorite mangaka's favorite mangaka, he still might just be your favorite mangaka's favorite mangaka's favorite mangaka!
|"Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'office power politics'!" - Foutz.net|
After leaving Shonen Jump in 1987, following a ~19-year run with the magazine, Motomiya moved 100% into making manga for adults, and would strike gold when he debuted Salaryman Kintaro in the pages of Young Jump in 1994, becoming one of Motomiya's "masterpieces", alongside Gaki Daisho & the multi-part Ore no Sora series. While the series ended in 2002 after 30 volumes (his longest single series), Motomiya would occasionally return with new stories in Young Jump, namely 2005's Salaryman Kintaro: Money Wars Chapter (4 volumes), 2009's New Salaryman Kintaro (7 volumes), & 2015's Salaryman Kintaro at 50 (4 volumes). If you are curious about reading the manga, it is actually currently available in English officially via Manga Planet, which is putting out three new chapters every week; as of this review, it's just shy of halfway through the first series. Salaryman Kintaro would receive two different J-Drama adaptations, one in 1999 starring Katsunori Takahashi (who would later also portray legendary office worker manga character Kosaku Shima) & the other in 2008 starring Masaru Nagai, as well as a 1999 live-action movie based on the first J-Drama directed by Takashi Miike, which amazingly enough actually saw official English release in 2004 by Pathfinder Home Entertainment under the name "White-Collar Worker Kintaro"! However, this blog is primarily focused on anime, and luckily Salaryman Kintaro did indeed receive one of those, as well.