Kurenai Sanshiro (紅三四郎? Kurenai Sanshiro, "Scarlet Sanshiro", also known as Judo Boy) is a Japanese manga and anime television series created by Tatsuo Yoshida and Ippei Kuri. The original manga ran in Shueisha's Shonen Book from 1961 to 1962, whereas a second one ran in both Shonen Sunday (Shogakukan) and Shonen Jump (Shueisha) in 1968 and 1969. The anime series aired on Fuji TV from April 2, 1969 to September 24, 1969, totaling 26 episodes.
The series stars a teenage martial artist named Sanshiro Kurenai, trained in the Kurenai School of Jiujitsu, and centers around his search for his father's killer. Accompanying Sanshiro is an orphaned boy named Kenbo and his pet dog Boke. Sanshiro's only clue to his father's murderer is a glass eye left on the scene of the crime, suggesting that his father's murderer was one-eyed. Thus many of the villains Sanshiro fought during the course of the series were one-eyed or had one eye concealed with an eye-patch...
The opening theme was performed by Mitsuko Horie (her first) when she was just 12 years old.
Tropes present in Kurenai Sanshiro
- Badass Biker: Sanshiro searches for his dad's killer whle riding stylishly on his motorbike.
- Downer Beginning: The anime starts with poor Sanshirou arriving too late to save his beloved father.
- Fatal Attractor: The handsome Sanshirou has several girls after him, but cannot settle down with any gal and more than one of them gets hit by misfortune. At least one girl dies to help him.
- Heir to the Dojo: Sanshiro is the son of a famous and recently deceased martial artist.
- Inter Generational Friendship: Between a teenage boy (Sanshiro) and a much younger boy (Kenbo) who sees him as his Big Brother Mentor.
- No Ending: Sort of. In the course of all his fighting, Sanshirou finds various hints that suggests the murder of his father to be part of a greater conspiracy...but, ultimately, who is the one-eyed man, why he killed Sanshirou's father, and if Sanshiro will one day be able to find him, is left unresolved.
- Red Is Heroic: Sanshiro wears a red short robe (made by his Missing Mom) and drives a red motorbike, plus he's unambiguosly heroic.
- Spirited Competitor: Every fighter in this story is mainly motivated by competition rather than simply lust for bloodshed, even the most villanious. At one later point, is implied that even the one-eyed man may have not killed Sanshirou's father because he specifically wanted him dead for some reason, but rather as a consequence of a deadly yet fair duel, which would make Sanshirou's quest for revenge less right than is appears to be in the beginning.
- Shōnen: Published in three different shonen magazines, even.
- You Killed My Father: Sanshirou's main driving force. In the last episode, he subverts it by finally understanding that the Kurenai fighting style is NOT for murder, leading him to decide that when he finds the one-eyed man, he'll fight him... but not for revenge, but as a Worthy Opponent.