Black Heaven


Black Heaven

Infobox animanga/Header
name = Black Heaven


caption =
ja_name = 課長王子
ja_name_trans =
genre = Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Light drama
Infobox animanga/Anime
title =
director = Yasuhito Kikuchi
studio = AIC
licensor = flagicon|USA flagicon|Canada Pioneer
network = flagicon|Japan WOWOW
flagicon|Hong Kong flagicon|Macao flagicon|Philippines flagicon|Singapore flagicon|Thailand AXN Asia
first = 8 July 1999
last = 7 October 1999
episodes = 13

nihongo|"Black Heaven"|課長王子| is a thirteen episode anime TV series about a short-lived heavy metal band. The series has also been referred to as The Legend of Black Heaven, or Kacho-Oji. The Japanese title of the series is a multi-layered pun. It can either be translated as "section-chief Oji", "old section-chief", or literally "Section Head Prince".

Similar to the way music was influential in Macross, alien research has shown that the music of the disbanded rock band "Black Heaven" is able to power their ultimate weapon and turn the tables on what is inferred as a losing war.

Characters

Main

Oji Tanaka AKA Gabriel - lead guitarist. After the breakup of Black Heaven, he took an office job to support his growing family. Years later, he's facing mid-life wondering what went wrong. That's when Layla Yuki approaches him asking him to play for her.

Yoshiko Tanaka - groupie. Oji married Yoshiko when he found out she was pregnant with Gen. She now plays the role of the housewife, taking care of Gen and watching in dismay as Oji reverts to his rocker persona. With Layla fetching Oji to play for the ultimate weapon, she's under the impression that the two are having an affair.

Kotoko, Eriko and Rinko - Layla's subordinates. They work in the same building as Oji and Layla, and are to help Layla with her assignments. They are very much based on the Three Stooges, although without all the physical slapstick. They are identified with their hair colors: blue, purple, green respectively.

Layla Yuki - Tasked with tracking down Oji and getting him on their side to play music in order to activate the ultimate weapon. After finding him, she basically plays the role of an agent, acting as the go between the band and Fomalhaut, the space army commander. She reports on Oji's status to Fomalhaut and he in turn tells her when Oji is needed.

Minor

Sato AKA Michael - Guitar.

Yamada AKA Luke - drums. After the break-up of Black Heaven, he went into the real-estate business.

Suzuki AKA Raphael - bass. After the break-up of Black Heaven, he opened up a grocery store.

Watanabe AKA Joseph - keyboardist. After the break-up of Black Heaven, he went to New York to try to make it in the music business. However, while roaming the streets one night, he attempted to aggravate a tanked lobster outside a restaurant, only to have it clamp on to his middle finger. While nursing the wound, a passing large African-American man took this as Watanabe giving him "The Finger" and proceeded to beat him up until hammer throwing him through a billboard, causing his death. His remains were recovered by "the enemy" and made into a clone to combat the reunited Black Heaven.

Episodes

"Note: the links are to the article of the song probably referenced."

Themes

Opening

"Cautionary Warning" by John Sykes

Ending

"Yappari Onna no Hoga Iiya (I Like To Be A Woman After All)" by Riyu Konaka

Real world references

* The name Black Heaven is a reference to seventies metal band Black Sabbath.
* Oji plays a Gibson Flying V, similar to one played by Michael Schenker, whom he idolizes.
* Like most famous bands, the songs are written primarily by two band members: Oji and Watanabe.
* Layla is probably a homage to Eric Clapton's Layla.
* Hamill is possibly a homage to Mark Hamill, or British singer-songwriter Claire Hamill.
* Mulder and Scully are seen investigating a disappearance, only to be brushed aside by Layla's stooges.
* The band's ship is named Zappa, in reference to Frank Zappa.
* Oji's guitar is a Flying V (Flying Vee), and Gen's favorite show is called the Flying V (Flying Five). The band's ship Zappa also transforms into a giant Flying V.
* Oji's pick is a Japanese 10 yen coin, a homage to Brian May who used an old sixpence as a pick on Queen albums.
* All five stage names of Black Heaven - Gabriel, Luke, Michael, Raphael, and Joseph - derive from important figures of Christianity.
* The episode titles are taken from famous rock songs.
* The lobster house where Joseph Watanabe was eventually killed was named "Dio Lobster", in homage to the band Dio.
* In Episode 9, Oji summons a U.F.O. by chanting "Ventura", in reference to Urusei Yatsura.
* Oji's wife's name is Yoko, probably a reference to Yoko Ono.

External links

* [http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=401 ANN Profile]
* [http://www.geneon-ent.co.jp/rondorobe/anime/kacho-ohji/home.html Official Japanese Website]


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