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Black Heaven
課長王子
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Science Fiction, Light drama
TV anime
Director Yasuhito Kikuchi
Studio AIC
Licensor United States Canada Pioneer
Network Japan WOWOW
Hong Kong Macau Philippines Singapore Thailand AXN Asia
Original run 8 July 19997 October 1999
Episodes 13
Anime and Manga Portal

Black Heaven (課長王子?) is a thirteen episode anime TV series about a short-lived heavy metal band. The series has also been referred to as The Legend of Black Heaven, or Kacho-Oji. The Japanese title of the series is a multi-layered pun. It can either be translated as "section-chief Oji", "old section-chief", or literally "Section Head Prince".

Similar to the way music was influential in Macross, alien research has shown that the music of the disbanded rock band "Black Heaven" is able to power their ultimate weapon and turn the tables on what is inferred as a losing war.

Contents

Characters

Oji Tanaka
Formerly Gabriel, the lead guitarist of Black Heaven, Tanaka takes an office job following the break-up of the band to support his growing family. Years later, he's facing mid-life, wondering what went wrong, when Layla Yuki approaches him, asking him to play for her.
Voiced by: Kouji Ishii (Japanese), Beau Billingslea (English)
Yoshiko Tanaka
A groupie of Black Heaven, she marries Oji when he finds out she is pregnant. She plays the role of the housewife and mother, watching in dismay as Oji reverts to his rocker persona and suspicious that he may be having an affair with Layla.
Voiced by: Kae Araki (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
Kotoko, Eriko and Rinko
Layla's subordinates, who work in the same building as Oji and Layla and help with her assignments. They are identified with their respective hair colors of blue, purple, and green.
Voiced by: Atsuko Enomoto (Japanese), Emilie Brown (English), Voiced by: Miwa Yanagihara (Japanese), Sherry Lynn (English), Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Bambi Darro (English)
Layla Yuki
Tasked with tracking down Oji and getting him on their side to play music in order to activate the ultimate weapon. After finding him, she basically plays the role of an agent, acting as the go between the band and Fomalhaut, the space army commander.
Voiced by: Miho Yamada (Japanese), Diva West (English)
Sato
Formerly Michael of Black Heaven, he plays guitar and is the lead vocalist.
Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Tom Fahn (English)
Yamada
Formerly Luke of Black Heaven, he plays drums. After the break-up of the band, he went into the real-estate business.
Voiced by: Hidenari Ugaki (Japanese), Joe Romersa (English)
Suzuki
Formerly Raphael of Black Heaven, he plays bass. After the break-up of the band, he opened up a grocery store.
Voiced by: Ryuuzou Ishino (Japanese), Dan Martin (English)
Watanabe
Formerly Joseph of Black Heaven, he played keyboard. After the break-up of the band, he went to New York to try to make it in the music business, only to meet an unfortunate end through an aggravated lobster and an insulted black man. His remains are recovered by "the enemy" and used to create a clone to combat the reunited Black Heaven.
Voiced by: Atsushi Murai (Japanese), Steven Blum (English)

Episodes

Note: the links are to the article of the song probably referenced.

# Title Original air date
01 "Stairway to Heaven"
(天国への階段) 
July 8, 1999
 
02 "All Night Long"
(オール·ナイト·ロング) 
July 15, 1999
 
03 "Hot House"
(ホット·ハウス) 
July 22, 1999
 
04 "Space Child"
(スペース·チャイルド) 
July 29, 1999
 
05 "These Are the Days"
(輝ける日々) 
August 5, 1999
 
06 "Walk Away"
(ウォーク·アウェイ) 
August 20, 1999
 
07 "In Need"
(イン·ニード) 
August 26, 1999
 
08 "All Right Now"
(オールライト·ナウ) 
September 2, 1999
 
09 "Get off of My Cloud"
(ひとりぼっちの世界) 
September 9, 1999
 
10 "Ten Years Ago"
(幻の10年) 
September 16, 1999
 
11 "Sweet Emotion"
(やりたい気持ち) 
September 23, 1999
 
12 "Into the Arena"
(イントゥー·ジ·アリーナ) 
September 30, 1999
 
13 "The End"
(ジ·エンド) 
October 7, 1999
 

Themes

Opening

"Cautionary Warning" by John Sykes

Ending

"Yappari Onna no Hoga Iiya (I Like To Be A Woman After All)" by Riyu Konaka

Real world references

  • The name Black Heaven is a reference to seventies metal band Black Sabbath.
  • Oji plays a Gibson Flying V, similar to one played by Michael Schenker, whom he idolizes.
  • Like most famous bands, the songs are written primarily by two band members: Oji and Watanabe.
  • Layla is probably a homage to Eric Clapton's Layla.
  • Hamill is possibly a homage to Mark Hamill, or British singer-songwriter Claire Hamill.
  • Mulder and Scully are seen investigating a disappearance, only to be brushed aside by Layla's stooges.
  • The band's ship is named Zappa, in reference to Frank Zappa.
  • Oji's guitar is a Flying V (Flying Vee), and Gen's favorite show is called the Flying V (Flying Five). The band's ship Zappa also transforms into a giant Flying V.
  • Oji's pick is a Japanese 10 yen coin, a homage to Brian May who used an old sixpence as a pick on Queen albums.
  • All five stage names of Black Heaven - Gabriel, Luke, Michael, Raphael, and Joseph - derive from important figures of Christianity.
  • The episode titles are taken from famous rock songs.
  • The lobster house where Joseph Watanabe was eventually killed was named "Dio Lobster", in homage to the band Dio.
  • In Episode 9, Oji summons a U.F.O. by chanting "Ventura", in reference to Urusei Yatsura.
  • Oji's wife's name is Yoko, probably a reference to Yoko Ono.

External links








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