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Anime / The Legend of Black Heaven

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Hard Rock Saves The Space!
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At first glance, this 12-episode anime from 1999 — originally known as Kacho Oji(課長王子), either "Old Section Chief", "Prince Section Chief", or "Section Chief Oji" — is about how Oji Tanaka, a jaded and distracted office worker who doesn't seem to get much enjoyment out of life, meets Layla Yuki, a hot new coworker. But wait, that's not all!

Layla Yuki is part of an alien army trying to defend outer space from another army. Her troops are losing badly, and even though they have an ultimate weapon, only Tanaka can operate it. In his golden days, Tanaka was better known as "Gabriel", the leader of a band called Black Heaven that was highly popular before a groupie (Tanaka's current wife, named Yoshiko, or just "Yokko") found she was pregnant with Tanaka's baby. His skills on the guitar are second to none, and for some reason, the ultimate weapon is powered by hardcore ass-kicking rock music.

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Soon, Tanaka is trying to balance his rekindled love for playing the guitar despite Yokko getting angry at him for clinging to it, taking care of his family, trying to get the band back together, and fighting a war in outer space.

At the same time, Layla's three subordinates get the cast wrapped in some rather wacky hijinks.

The series was released in English by Geneon (as Pioneer).


Tropes:

  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Oji/Gabriel's relationship with Layla is shown as similar to an affair on multiple levels.
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  • Flipping the Bird: When Watanabe does this involuntarily (through having hurt his middle finger), it sets off a chain of events that ultimately get him killed.
  • Foreign Language Theme: the theme song is sung by John Sykes in perfect English.
  • Gratuitous English: Bizarrely averted in a hilarious moment in the flashback of what happened to Watanabe.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Watanabe, more commonly called Mechanabe by the characters once he returns from the dead as an eight-armed keyboard-playing machine for the enemy army of aliens to try and defeat them with his own groove. Seriously.
  • Penultimate Weapon: Ironically, the ultimate weapon. The enemy retaliates with their own ultimate weapon, which outclasses Layla's because they have Black Heaven's old keyboardist outfitted with at least four extra arms for super hard rocking.
  • Power Ballad: Oji's song in the final episode, managing to out-rock an 8-armed cyborg with it.
    Tanaka: Everyone, please listen to the way I feel right now.
  • The Power of Rock: This show is about the unrivaled awesome power of rock music! As it turns out, what powers the ultimate weapon is, and I quote, "groove."
  • Pursue the Dream Job: Inverted. It opens with a bored and unfulfilled salary man who used to be a rock star; he gave up his musical career for a steady office job so that he could support his family.
  • Sentai: Oji's son Gen is fanatical about a Sentai group called Flying Five (or Flying V), whose events and characters parallel Oji's life.

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