Boys Be...


Boys Be...
Boys Be... vol. 1.png
First volume cover
Written byMasahiro Itabashi
Illustrated byHiroyuki Tamakoshi
Published byKodansha
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run19911997
Boys Be... 2nd Season
Written byMasahiro Itabashi
Illustrated byHiroyuki Tamakoshi
Published byKodansha
English publisher
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run19972000
Boys Be... L CO-OP
Written byMasahiro Itabashi
Illustrated byHiroyuki Tamakoshi
Published byKodansha
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run20002001
Anime television series
Directed byMasami Shimoda
Written byKenichi Kanemaki
StudioHal Film Maker
Licensed by
Original networkWowow
English network
Original run 11 April 2000 4 July 2000
Boys Be... Next Season
Written byMasahiro Itabashi
Illustrated byHiroyuki Tamakoshi
Published byKodansha
MagazineMagazine Special
Original runNovember 2009March 2012
Related works
  • Boys Be... Alive , musical
  • Boys Be... Alive -Try Again- , musical
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Boys Be... (stylized as BOYS BE…) is a Japanese manga series written by Masahiro Itabashi and illustrated by Hiroyuki Tamakoshi. Three different Boys Be... manga series were serialized by Kodansha in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. A fourth series, Boys Be... Next Season, ran in Magazine Special from 2009 to 2012. The second manga series was licensed in North America by Tokyopop.

The anime first aired It was later adapted into a 13 episode anime television series by Hal Film Maker, which was broadcast on WOWOW from April to 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.[citation needed] Comcast and several other cable providers have shown Boys Be On Demand in the United States through the Anime Network.


The title of the series is explained in the first chapter where the author refers to the quote "Boys, be ambitious",[2] which was said by William S. Clark and has become a popular motto in Japan.[3]

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.


Main characters

Kyoichi Kanzaki (神崎 恭一, Kanzaki Kyōichi)
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese); Sam Regal (English)[4][5]
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. Kyochi is broken hearted and 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)
Voiced by: Hideo Ishikawa (Japanese); Patrick Seitz (English)[5]
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 kisses him. 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)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese); Liam O'Brien[4] (English)[5]
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)
Voiced by: Kazusa Murai (Japanese); Amy Kincaid (English)[5]
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)
Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (Japanese); Jennifer Sekiguchi[4] (English)[5]
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)
Voiced by: Yuri Shiratori (Japanese); Michelle Ruff (English)[5]
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)
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (Japanese); Karen Thompson (English)
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)
Voiced by: Junko Noda (Japanese); Tara Platt (English)[6]
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. Eventually she warms up to him.
Aya Kurihara (Kurihara Aya)
Voiced by: Misato Fukuen (Japanese); Rachael Lillis (English)[7]
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 a European custom, although it turns out Aya has a different view on the romance.
Tsuyoshi Ueno (Ueno Tsuyoshi)
Voiced by: Yuuji Ueda (Japanese); Kevin Hatcher (English)[8]
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)
Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese); David Earnest (English)[9]
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)
Voiced by: Chie Sawaguchi (Japanese); Carrie Savage (English)[9]
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)
Voiced by: Manabi Mizuno (Japanese); Sonia Scrancia (English)[10]
She dreams of standing at the pitchers' mound during the annual Koushien (Japanese High School Baseball Championship). Trouble is, 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)
Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki (Japanese); Jason Miller (English)[11]
He is the charming young man Chiharu Nitta met during summer training camp. He is a city slicker with a beat for nature and many 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)
Voiced by: Yuka Imai (Japanese); Zarah Little (English)[12]
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 "Hatsukoi" ("First Love").
Erika Kawai (Kawai Erika)
Voiced by: Michiko Neya (Japanese); Jennifer Rau-Ramirez (English)[13]
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.
Takuya Yokota (Yokota Takuya)
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese); Yuri Lowenthal (English)[14]
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.
Jyunna Morio (Morio Jyunna)
Voiced by: Rika Komatsu (Japanese); Wendee Lee (English)[15]
She is a famous pop idol. Her image is plastered on everything from TV commercials selling bottled water to magazine covers. Yoshihiko mistakes her for a generic girl in a Santa suit distributing flyers. For the rest of the day, Yoshihiko became her unwitting "reindeer" . Earlier in the series, Yoshihiko and his girlfriend Natsue went to one of her concerts.
Chiharu Reicha (Reicha Chiharu, also Chiharu XXXX)
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Kirsten Potter (English)[16]
She is a Japanese-Finnish girl that Kyoichi met when he travel to Hokkaidō, acting as his impromptu tourist guide that "charge 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[17] associated with it.

Episode # Title Quote
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 regal 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): "No one 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 soothe 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

Video games

Two Boys Be... video games were released by Kodansha for the PlayStation:

  • Boys Be... Kono Koi no Yukue (03/28/97)
  • Boys Be... Second Season (09/22/99)

Another one was released by Sunsoft for the PlayStation 2:

  • Typing Renai Hakusho: Boys Be... (03/14/02)


  1. ^ "Boys Be... DVD Collection Box Set". Nozomi Entertainment. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  2. ^ Boys Be... manga, chapter 1: Report 1: Summer of '91, From the Southern Island
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c Harris, Jeff (2008-06-09). "Boys Be DVD Box Set Review". IGN. p. 2.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Cherry Blossoms". Boys Be.... Episode 1. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:33 (JP cast) 22:45 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  6. ^ "Memorial Essence". Boys Be.... Episode 2. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:34 (JP cast) 22:48 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  7. ^ "After Kiss". Boys Be.... Episode 3. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:47 (JP cast) 23:02 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  8. ^ "Bittersweet Rain". Boys Be.... Episode 4. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:38 (JP cast) 23:02 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  9. ^ a b "Feeling Blue". Boys Be.... Episode 5. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:23 (JP cast) 22:35 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  10. ^ "Baseball Lovers". Boys Be.... Episode 6. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:47 (JP cast) 22:58 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  11. ^ "Wind Bell". Boys Be.... Episode 7. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:47 (JP cast) 22:58 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  12. ^ "Swallow". Boys Be.... Episode 8. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 22:58 (JP cast) 24:26 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  13. ^ "Leaves". Boys Be.... Episode 9. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:46 (JP cast) 23:01 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  14. ^ "Solitary Cross". Boys Be.... Episode 10. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:37 (JP cast) 22:51 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  15. ^ "First Snowfall". Boys Be.... Episode 11. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:38 (JP cast) 22:51 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  16. ^ "Let It Be". Boys Be.... Episode 13. Manga Entertainment. Event occurs at 21:17 (JP cast) 22:38 (EN cast). Retrieved 2014-07-08.
  17. ^ "Boys Be... Quotes". Archived from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2016-11-10.

External links

  • Official site from Geneon Entertainment
  • Official site from the Right Stuf International
  • Comics Worth Reading vol. 2 review
  • anime vol. 1 review
  • DVD box set review
  • Boys Be... Quotations
  • Boys Be... (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia