Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2005
Director: Tomoharu Katsumata
Cast: Taisei Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Kawakubo, Nachi Nozawa, Katsuhisa Houki
DVD Released: November 15th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 105 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 & Stereo
DVD Release: Artsmagic
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Yajima Kintaro is the former leader of a biker gang that at one point was 10,000 members strong. He disbanded the gang and decided to go straight after falling in love with a blind girl named Akami. Years later he returns to Hasshu his former stomping ground after the death of his wife Akami who died while giving birth to their son. Now Kintaro with a child to take care of and support works as a salary man at Yamato construction.
Episode #9: Kintaro learns the ropes his first day in the sales department. An old acquaintance of Kintaro’s helps Yamato construction secure a billion dollar contract. Mr. Mita introduces Kintaro to a woman named Misuzu. She falls in love with Kintaro at first sight.
Episode #10: When a co-worker commits suicide Kintaro is sent as his replacement. The Kousei Tunnel is years in the making and months behind schedule. The workers refuse to finish the job until they are paid. Kintaro and the foreman Shingo square off in a no holds bar fight which leads to Kintaro going to the hospital.
Episode #11: Yamato construction agrees to pay the workers the money they owe them and in return the workers must work under Kintaro as their new boss. The construction of the tunnel moves along with great process before tragedy strikes.
Episode #12: There is a cave in while the workers are working on the tunnel. Kintaro jumps into action rushing in to save those who are trapped and has the other workers secure the tunnel before anymore damage is done. Kintaro gains for his quick thinking and bravery gains the respect of all the workers. Misuzu and her daughter Mimi visit Kintaro at the Kousei Tunnel.
These four episodes included of this release are the most action packed in the series to date. Kintaro continues to evolve and even though he still has a problem with his temper he still makes great strides to control his anger. Kintaro who in previous episodes had been hesitant about falling in love meets a woman named Misuzu. Many of the men in this series are often jealous of Kintaro who seems to have the luck of the gods on his side as he continues to move up the corporate ladder and have dozens of women swoon at his feet. There are some solid action scenes in these episodes with the fight between Kintaro and Shingo resembling David verse Goliath proportions. Kintaro is a fascinating character who is almost too likeable as he always takes responsibility for all his actions which is refreshing in a time when passing the buck is all too frequent.
Artsmagic presents Salaryman Kintaro Volume 3 is an anamorphic widescreen that preserves its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Colors look bold and lucid with an exceptional amount of detail present through out. Black levels remain constant and there are nor problems with edge enhancement or compression. The overall source material used is in excellent shape.
This DVD comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo. Both of these audio tracks are presented in this releases original Japanese language. The dialog crisp and the action sound full. There are no problems with hiss or distortion. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release consist of two interviews. The first is a six minute interview with Tomoharu Katsumata in which he talks about what kind of projects he likes working on and how he got the job directing Salaryman Kintaro. The second interview is with Toru Nakano and it is about four minutes in length. Toru Nakano discusses working with Tomoharu Katsumata and the devolvement of screenplay for this series. Overall both interviews are interesting they just don’t offer much in the end when it comes too replay value.
Overall Artsmagic have put together another first DVD presentation that nicely showcases this amazing series. Salaryman Kintaro is a series that just gets better with each new volume and I eagerly wait too see what happens next, recommended.
For more information about Salaryman Kintaro visit Artsmagic here.