Been a while since I’ve tackled one of these, or so you’d think! In reality, I accidentally skipped over this studio (producer) and watched anime for the next 5 or so studios before coming back to this one.
Well, 81 Produce isn’t a studio, but a producer. They’ve worked on some big titles, like Konosuba, Kakegurui, and How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. But I’ve seen all of those, so I opted for something different – Salaryman Kintaro!
Kintaro is the former leader of a massive biker gang who put that life behind him in order to lead the life of a regular salaryman, in order to raise his kid right. Unfortunately, or fortunately, his very confrontational manner ends up causing his salaryman life to be pretty crazy.
I don’t actually know if this anime is a “classic” or not, but it sure feels like one. From 2001, it has that classic feel. But more than that, the story and feel of the anime itself feels like something you just don’t get from anime nowadays. Not to mention, the whole biker gang trope is something that’s way more prevalent in older anime.
Salaryman Kintaro feels very similar to another classic anime in my books, Great Teacher Onizuka. Only instead of a school setting, it’s an office / business setting. There are some big differences between the two though.
While both are comedy anime, and present comedic situations, Great Teacher Onizuka is definitely the more comedic anime, because Onizuka the character is much more empty-headed and comedic. He’d do more stupid things and create more stupid situations. Kintaro is a lot more serious and genuine, and so Salaryman Kintaro has more inspirational / motivational moments.
Business / Intrigue
I didn’t expect it at all, but Salaryman Kintaro ended up having a lot of intrigue on the business side of things. The story follows Kintaro, but also shows us what is going on behind the scenes – between side characters, shady or not. So we see a lot of backroom deals, scheming, and things like that. In addition though, we see a lot of discussion and planning on the side of the good characters too.
I loved it. Kintaro himself isn’t much of a planner or schemer. He’s a straightforward guy who isn’t afraid to stick up for himself or others, and often resorts to violence when he deems it necessary (which is often). So for the anime to give us a big dose of the business politics behind the scenes was just awesome. It added a really cool dynamic to the anime.
To be honest, the intrigue side of this anime reminded me of Kaiji, because of all the backroom deals and scenes following the villains we see in that anime. Although obviously Kintaro isn’t nearly as hardcore as Kaiji, or even a thriller. I just felt a connection when it came to the company politics / intrigue.
I went back to this studio to check out something new, and I’m glad I did because Salaryman Kintaro is right up my alley. Just as I loved Great Teacher Onizuka, I ended up loving this one too, and felt so many similarities between the two.
I’m giving Salaryman Kintaro a 8.5 / 10.
A great anime filled with action, comedy, and intrigue.
If you’ve seen and liked Great Teacher Onizuka, you’ll enjoy this one too. Conversely, if you end up watching Salaryman Kintaro and enjoy it, you should check out Great Teacher Onizuka! All in all, I think they’re both classics and feature great content and a great feel that you don’t see in modern anime.
And that’s 81 Produce’s Salaryman Kintaro.
I’ve got several more reviews already written up for upcoming studios so I should be able to get more of these reviews out in a timely manner. It’s always fun to watch an anime like this one solely due to the anime studio challenge and end up loving it.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.