Boys Be... (ボーイズ・ビー Bōizu Bī?) is a manga created and written by Masahiro Itabashi and illustrated by Hiroyuki Tamakoshi, which was in 2000 adapted into a 13 episode anime series by Hal Film Maker.
Three different Boys Be... manga series were serialized by Kodansha in Shukan Shōnen Magazine. In 2009 Kodansha announced a fourth series, starting in the November 2009 issue of Magazine Special. The second manga series is licensed in North America by Tokyopop and the anime is licensed by The Right Stuf International. The anime, first aired on WOWOW (with a matching fanline email address courtesy of Lycos Japan), is licensed in Singapore by Odex. The first DVD volume of the series was released in North America on February 28, 2006.
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. Boys Be…, while mainly centered on Kyoichi and Chiharu, revolves around six main characters and their love lives.
- Acquainted In Real Life: One single-chapter story centers around a boy and girl engaging in an old version of chat. The two can't seem to get along in class though the boy does have feelings for the girl, but they get along great online. Then one day they argue and talk about what a great friend each has on the chat system, and both are shocked when the girl sends a message and the boy's device buzzes...
- Beach Episode: The fifth episode.
- Bland-Name Product
- Camera Fiend: Tsuyoshi.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Yeah, back that truckload right in there...
- Central Theme: The main characters deal with the challenges of First Love.
- Continuity Porn: The twelfth episode features a lot of flashbacks to past events throughout the series as the 20th century counts down to its close.
- Contrived Coincidence: The New Year's Eve episode. Chiharu hears a rumor that couples who welcome the 21st century together are destined to live happily ever after. Meanwhile, Kyoichi learns another rumor saying the complete opposite: if a couple is together at the stroke of midnight, their relationship is doomed. Naturally, they stumble onto each other as the clock strikes twelve, resulting in an awkward conversation between the two.
- Covert Pervert: Makoto in the first episode. Until Chiharu follows his gaze as he looks at a mirror cleverly placed on his shoe, angled for him to get a Panty Shot...
- Holding Hands: How Kyoichi and Chiharu's romance begins. Tragically, their relationship doesn't develop any further.
- Love Epiphany: While Yumi is giving Makoto advice on how to woo her friend Erika, she starts falling in love with him.
- Literary Allusion Title: The title is a truncated version of William S. Clark's farewell address to his students: "Boys, be ambitious!" It's a popular Japanese motto that pops up in other school-based anime; it's on the school statue in Hyakko, for instance.
- Maybe Ever After: Kyoichi returns from his trip to Hokkaido, and it's a new spring season. Chiharu warmly welcomes him back.
- Nuclear Weapons Taboo: A dream sequence involving the end of the world involves explosions that are nuclear-esque, but very definitely not nuclear, being rapidly-expanding blackish domes of some sort instead.
- One Steve Limit: Averted; on Kyoichi's trip to Hokkaido, he's surprised to learn that the strange foreign-looking girl he encounters is also named Chiharu.
- Plot-Based Voice Cancellation:
- Car horns are loud, though, so Justified Trope?
- The seventh episode has Chiharu trying to talk to Kyoichi on the phone and confessing that she might be falling in love with someone else, while fireworks are going off behind her, preventing him from understanding what she's saying. Later, Kyoichi finally gets what she was trying to say as he stumbles into Chiharu kissing another guy.
- Short Runner: The anime has thirteen episodes.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The opening song is beautiful, light, happy pop, entitled "Daijobu" (trans: It's Okay). Sung by, apparently, an angel (Aki Maeda's wonderful voice would certainly bear this out). On its own, this is all well and good. Watching the background, however, will reveal that she is singing this song over a freaking Nuclear Holocaust, and the song ends with a desolate playground, littered with calcified bones and a bit of sand blowing over the annihilated remains of humanity and quite probably the Earth itself. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it. Seriously, this may even stray into nightmare territory, as in one episode, one of the girls has a dream of the end of the world, with huge black dome-shaped explosions... hmmmm. Meaning that this horrible, desolate wasteland could well be one future of the series, and those bones would consequently belong to *the main characters*, who have died horribly just as they find love and happiness. You can go cry yourself to sleep now.
- Special Edition Title: The thirteenth (and last) episode of the animé. A different song plays over the opening credits, while the original opening song plays at the end.
- Will They or Won't They?: See Maybe Ever After above for the answer.