I’ve talked about biker delinquents in anime,
I’ve talked about schoolgirls with long skirts and bad attitudes,
But I haven’t covered any regular delinquent anime, and it’s about time that I do that. No heavy plot,
no cute girls doing cute things, just people fist fighting getting all their teeth punched out.
Osu!! Karate Bu is a comedy delinquent anime, that tells a bloody, slapstick, martial arts story, over the course of four
Manly VHS tapes. The anime takes place in Osaka, a city in Japan known for its crazy haircuts,
karate experts, and badass
backwoods delinquents; and the man with the most incredible haircut of them all is Takagi the main character of the series.
He’s a man among men, and also the unofficial protector of the town.
The most iconic thing about Takagi is his lightning shaped haircut.
It may look insane, which, you know it is,
But it marks him as the third soul of Osaka, which basically means that you do not mess with him.
Now if you’re unfamiliar with the delinquent genre, then a show like this would probably be a pretty good place to start.
Each story ends with a delinquent showdown and every fight centers around a new villain that Takagi has to beat into the ground
with fists of justice.
Apparently the manga eventually went full Shonen with fireball attacks and everything,
but this anime keeps it straight to hand-to-hand combat, with none of the superpowers
That you would expect from something like Dragon Ball Z.
It really is just punching people into the ground until they stay down, and
Takagi is such a likeable character, that you’re never gonna get bored of it. Takagi’s reputation is constantly getting him into trouble though.
He’s routinely getting jumped by people who just want to make a name for themselves, and there’s always someone starting trouble,
so Takagi is always there, solving that problem with his fists. Did somebody steal something of his? Well, he beats em up.
Somebody beat up one of his friends? He beats them up. Somebody beat him up? You better believe he beats them up.
There’s no problem that he cannot solve with karate. And when he’s not punching all the blood out of people’s bodies,
he runs the Osaka karate club.
A martial arts dojo where the training could kill you. You better not collapse or you gonna get a face full of thumbtacks.
There’s other members of the karate club too,
but most of them are first-year students that are constantly getting the life kicked out of them, whether they deserve it or not,
and there’s also Momo the first girl member of the club.
She only really became the club manager so that she could get closer to Takagi, and she’s got a bad habit of breaking all the
Windows when she cries. This anime really loves to remind you just how manly it is too – we’re talking
Self-reliance through martial arts. We’re talking defending your friends honor through armwrestling.
They even make a huge deal out of keeping your promises, to the point, where there is an entire
story that revolves around it.
You know originally the series wasn’t even supposed to start Takagi, but that quickly
changed the second that he got introduced in the manga. Him and Momo basically carry the entire
Anime, and their voice acting is so over-the-top and fun to listen to, that
I’m tempted to recommend the anime just based on the voices alone.
Tesshō Genda lent his voice to the main character, and he’s currently voicing
Kaido in one piece, as well as the ninetaled demon Fox from Boruto.
So his list of manly anime characters goes back decades, and it fits Takagi’s character like a glove.
Osu Karate Bu is as manly as animate get, but they throw in a lot of comedy to keep it interesting. One moment
One moment ther’ll be a hilarious training montage and the very next scene. Someone is having every single bone in their body broken.
That’s how most of the stories go anyway, they like to have mix it up with some side stuff.
It’s a four episode OVA, but it feels a lot more like eight episodes since every VHS tape tells two separate stories.
Takagi fights a rugby team, the vice-president defends the club, and even Momo gets a chance to fight a bunch of delinquent school girls.
Good balance of punching and humor. They spend just enough time on every character
so you get to know them, and with that said it may not have a whole lot of depth
but there’s some genuine moments between Takagi and his friends, that makes it feel less like a generic delinquent show
Which I really respect. I really wish this was a full series though. Osu Karate Bu was serialized in young jump from 1985, to
1996, & it ran for 43 volumes before it ended. That’s a lot of manga.
You know what they did do though? They gave it a pachinko machine ,and there’s nothing like
delinquents yelling at you while you lose all your money to really put your life into perspective.
Another thing worth mentioning is it has anime cutscenes! Like ACTUAL anime cutscenes, you know, like an anime?
So if you wanted to see what a modern version of
Osu Karate Bu looks like, well, this is probably the best you’re ever gonna get.
I don’t know if it’s a law on the books,
but they just don’t make anime about high schoolers breaking each other’s bones anymore. Poor Jotaro from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure,
can’t even have a lollipop without half of his face getting blacked out unless you buy the blu-ray versio. Osu Karate Bu may be
completely unknown out of Japan, but in the 1990s, in that country, it was incredibly popular, and it held up
so well that they made it into a live-action movie.
Now unfortunately, this movie never came out in English, so I can’t offer any sort of MEANINGFUL review when it comes to the movie,
but what can I say? It’s live action karate, and karate is awesome. Most of it follows the same plot as the anime.
Takagi is still the head of the karate club. Momo is still the cute manager, and Takagi still does MASSIVE
amounts of damage to absolutely anybody who stands in his way. Also,
MAJOR props to whoever cast the main character of this movie. Seeing that lightning cut in real life
somehow makes it even more badass than it already was, and it’s not a
Japanese delinquent movie without a model of the city in the bad guys lair.
Was there like, a delinquent quota that said every single series had to have at least one diorama?
I mean, I love it, but it’s a little ridiculous when you see one pop-up in every single movie. Even Hana no Asuka Gumi
had it, and that series is about schoolgirls.
If you like the anime, I’m not gonna say it’s a must-see, but unless somebody subtitles the tape
I can’t really recommend it to people who aren’t familiar with the series. Then again,
I mean if you watch karate movies on VHS, then something like not having subtitles probably isn’t gonna stop you.
It wouldn’t stop me, and it didn’t. So here’s some trivia. Apparently the movie was released alongside
something called “never say can’t”? I have no idea what that is, but look at this poster.
I mean come on, which of these two films would you have watched?
Romantic drama? or delinquent movie packed with Lightning haircuts? I think the choice is pretty obvious.
And now we’re gonna move on to the Super Nintendo game, which they made, and exists, and it has voice acting!
How does it have voice acting on a Super Famicom? That blows my mind.
It’s pretty good at actually following the manga too.
It has a full story mode in everything. In a way it kind of continues where the anime left off.
That means you get to fight all the boss characters from the OVA, such as the monk guy who fights with these Buddha beads,
(I don’t know what else you would call them)
You’ve got the overly buff guy with no pupils from the anime, and you’ve got thethe karate twins,
Which are two characters that you control at the same time way WAY before the ice climbers from Smash Bros.
So here’s a cool tip. If you wanted to play as Momo
There’s a cheat code to place her. At the title screen, press L,
Left, down, B, A, R, and you can play as the second best character in the series,
momo the schoolgirl.
This is the part of the video where I was going to talk about all the merchandise,
But there isn’t any.
Obviously you got all the volumes of the manga but I mean, come on. There’s some posters for the movie,
But is that what you think of when someone says “anime merchandise”? Look, I like delinquent shows about people
Punching each other to death as much as the next guy,
But even I’m not going to go ahead and bother tracking down a phone card. Now if you want to watch this…
That’s gonna be a problem. There is no Blu ray of Osu Karate Bu,
There is no DVD, there is no laserdisc, There’s no Betamax,
There is no streaming site that
You can officially watch it on. The anime was never released in English, and that also goes double for that
live-action movie. My VHS tapes came from a Japanese rental storem
Which had the awesome side effects of bleaching the spines bluem and even if you were a Japanese person living in Japan…
I think this would be an absolute nightmare to watch. As far as actual criticism goes; this anime was done by j.c.staff
And they’re not particularly well known for their good animation.
They just did season two of One Punch Man,
And not a lot has changed in the 30 years or so since they made this anime.
It’s not high art,
But you know, this show, it’s not trying to be. It’s just manly men doing what they do,
Working out, doing karate training ,punching people in the face, but hey, you know if it’s got karate in it, I’ll watch it.
I don’t know if you’re like me, you might say I have low standards, but I live for this sort of thing.
All in all Osu Karate Bu is some pretty good violent fun. People bleed,
lots of interesting fights happen, good comedy,
And this series has to have some kind of record when it comes to hospital visits. But as far as delinquent anime go,
You know, give it a watch.
There’s a lot of bad delinquent shows out there,
And this is definitely not one of them. With all that said will the series get an English release one day?
I mean who can say, however, if it never happens, and you’re the kind of total badass who watches karate movies on VHS;
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Let me know in the comments; and as always, train hard and only punch stuff that deserves it. Kenny Lauderdale, OUT.