Three different Boys Be... manga series were serialized by Kodansha in Shukan Shōnen Magazine. In 2009 Kodansha announced a fourth series, Boys Be... Next Season, 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. Comcast and several other cable providers are currently showing 'Boys Be' On Demand in the United States through the Anime Network. This series was aired on AXN-Asia before it handed all anime broadcasting duties to ANIMAX Asia, and, unlike other AXN anime making it to ANIMAX, was never retained.
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.
Each episode begins and ends with a philosophical quote which sums up the episode's content. Boys Be…, while centered on Kyoichi and Chiharu, revolves around seven or eight main characters and their love lives.
Characters, backgrounds, and cast
- Kyoichi Kanzaki (神崎恭一 Kanzaki Kyōichi?)
- He is a high school student having difficulty expressing his love for his childhood friend, Chiharu Nitta. Their relationship has encountered turbulence. It had an all-time low when he was connected to one Shoko Sayama. In Hokkaido, he worked on his sketches with a girl named Chiharu Reicha.
- Yoshihiko Kenjo (剣城美彦 Kenjō Yoshihiko?)
- Talented in sports (especially baseball), but has no interest in it whatsoever (in a manner similar to Initial D's Takumi Fujiwara). He also seems to have no interest in girls... until the day he met Aya Kurihara. After her return to France, he met during baseball practice his girlfriend Natsue Horikawa. He also met young idol Jyunna Morio when she escaped from her studio taping.
- Makoto Kurumizawa (胡桃沢マコト Kurumizawa Makoto?)
- He is the epitome of a girl-obsessed guy, keeping an electronic database of the girls at Otowa-no-Mori with him, even using computer dating simulators and guide books. He is also the only techno-geek in the group. After he botched his date with Erika Kawai, he ended up with her best friend, Yumi Kazama. He also had an interlude with a nursing intern after getting hospitalized for peeping at a short-skirted girl as she climbed an overpass, and his scooter hitting a mini-truck.
- Chiharu Nitta (新田千春 Nitta Chiharu?)
- She is Kyoichi's athletic love interest, running for their school's track and field team. She has been Kyoichi's friend since childhood, but she also has difficulty expressing love. Though not in a relationship with Kyoichi, she was asked by Okazaki if she had a boyfriend to which she replied that "he" wouldn't mind. Okazaki continued his advances to which they spent a night together at a lookout point (though nothing happened between them). She wanted to keep her tryst a secret, but Kyoichi, coming in to visit, saw them kissing, hence a rift formed between them that lasted all summer.
- Yumi Kazama (風間有美 Kazama Yumi?)
- This spectacled girl loves to dress in odd clothes, like wearing a sea lion costume at the beach. She acted as an "Erika Kawai Simulator" for Makoto...and fell in love. She felt some sort of emptiness when Makoto dated Rika. But, lucky for her, Rika dumped him.
- Aki Mizutani (水谷亜紀 Mizutani Aki?)
- Her boyfriend is a photographer now working in Hokkaidō, hence her limited love interludes. For most of the series she's maintaining a long-distance relationship.
- Erika Kawai (Kawai Erika)
- Voiced by: Michiko Neya (Japanese), Jennifer Ramirez (English)
- The only daughter of a rich family, she was dated by Makoto based upon the results of his matchmaking software. Yumi had to help him with her in exchange for dropping his Sony VAIO laptop from the third floor and wrecking it. Erika dumped him, thinking Makoto loves Yumi instead.
- Natsue Horikawa (Horikawa Natsue)
- Voiced by: Manabi Mizuno (Japanese), Sonia Scrancia (English)
- She dreams of standing at the pitchers' mound during the annual Koshien high school baseball championship, but she is a girl, and girls are not allowed to participate in the tournament. This girl with immature emotional swings did guide Yoshihiko out of his disinterest in the sport... and they ended up as lovers.
- Aya Kurihara (Kurihara Aya)
- This French-Japanese transfer student had a run-in with Yoshihiko when he looked for a ball that went through the library's window. When he crawled to look for it, he knocked the stool where she was standing while putting a book back into its proper shelf. He caught her and after getting a feel of her "lumpy" side, he daydreamed about her. Sometime in the middle of the first episode and at the start of the third episode, she was the one watching Yoshihiko from a library window.
- Jyunna Morio (Morio Jyunna)
- She is a popular pop idol, and her image is plastered on everything from bottled water to TV screens. Yoshihiko doesn't know that, even mistaking her for a girl in a Santa suit distributing flyers. Yoshihiko became her unwitting "reindeer" for the rest of the day. Earlier in the series Yoshihiko and his girlfriend Natsue went to one of her concerts.
- Nao Nitta (Nitta Nao)
- She is Chiharu's cute but frail cousin (prone to sunstroke) with an overprotective brother who lives by the sea. Makoto tried courting her, but her brother is always a step ahead of him.
- Shoko Sayama (Sayama Shoko)
- She is a renegade student hoping to make it big in the music business. With her relationship with Kyoichi, she found the confidence to weather rivals for a spot in a J-pop band. She dropped out of school to work on her career.
- Mizuki Takano (Takano Mizuki)
- When Makoto broke his leg due to a scooter accident, he was confined to the hospital where Mizuki was an intern. She became his nurse. He pledged not to forget her...until the next girl, that is. But it won't work, either--she put falling in love aside for her career.
- Chiharu Reicha (Reicha Chiharu)
- Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese), Kirsten Potter (English)
- This Finnish-Japanese ex-Tokyoite girl encountered Kyoichi when he went to Hokkaidō, acting as his impromptu tour guide that "charges one kiss per transaction." She's more flirtatious, more daring, and freer than the Chiharu he knows, and rides a Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle.
‡ Note that there are two women named Chiharu in the story; and that Harley-Davidson-riding anime characters are a rarity.
- Sayaka Kanzaki (Kanzaki Sayaka)
- She is Kyoichi's smart-alecky sister who loves to tease him. She takes over the Kanzaki household when their parents aren't around. She's the typical teasing but caring big sister.
- Yuki Okazaki (Okazaki Yuki)
- Voiced by: Miki Shinichiro (Japanese), Jason C. Miller (English)
- He is the charming young man Chiharu Nitta met during summer training camp. A city slicker with a beat for nature and lots of hobbies, at first Chiharu shrugged him off, but because she was lonely, and she's in a fight with Kyoichi, she nearly gave in. Though he had a girlfriend waiting in the city, he continued his advances and managed to make Chiharu fall for him, though, during a date at a spot overlooking the city, nothing happened between them.
- Takuya Yokota (Yokota Takuya)
- He is Kyoichi's partner at his part-time job as a video shop manager with the cross-shaped earring. Though soft-spoken and one of the most handsome men at his school, he hasn't got a girlfriend, though he was interested in someone. He is so shy he drowns in loneliness, but found the courage to express what he feels for that someone. Makoto thought Kyoichi is getting desperate when he notices he was spending too much time with him.
- Tsuyoshi Ueno (Ueno Tsuyoshi)
- Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Kevin Hatcher (English)
- He is Aki's boyfriend with a passion for photography. At first he's losing the passion, until Aki put some sense into him. Eventually they maintained a long-distance relationship, since he is working in Hokkaidō. And his inspiration is none other than Aki herself.
- Daisuke Nitta (Nitta Daisuke)
- He is Chiharu's cousin and Nao's overprotective brother, and is Kyoichi's and Makoto's boss at the summer resort. He is so overprotective (because of her frail health) that he did not see his beloved sister grow up. Mostly he is in conflict with the fresh Makoto.
- Girl in the Overpass
- Makoto Kurumizawa saw a high-school girl with a short skirt using the overpass. Distracted while driving his scooter, Makoto never noticed the mini-truck coming at him at the intersection, causing an accident that broke his leg. She appeared again as Makoto was discharged from the hospital. She may me a minor, unnamed character in the series, but her role was pivotal in the episode which afforded the meeting between Makoto and Mizuki Takano.
Quotations per episode
Boys Be is known for the philosophical quotations that is associated with each episode.
Spring Chapter (1-3) Early Summer Chapter (4) Summer Chapter (5-7) Autumn Chapter (8-10) Winter Chapter (11-12) Next Season Chapter (13)
- Episode 1
- Spring Chapter, Episode 1: Cherry Blossoms.
- "Cherry blossoms, the noble flower, witness to many an encounter over time. Cherry blossoms, the vain flower, have watched many a farewell. And again this year they bloom to watch over a lot of faint but painful feelings in the season of beginnings called spring."
- Official translation (English dub): "Cherry blossoms, the reagle flowers that has witnessed countless encounters throughout the ages. Cherry blossoms - the short-lived blooms that have seen so many goodbyes. The blossoms will watch over this year's heartfelt emotions as well. And open their buds once more.... In Spring."
- Episode 2
- Spring Chapter, Episode 2: Memorial Essence.
- "Nice memories have their own scent. Whenever you are veiled in its scent, Your heart can always return to your unforgettable past. Together with your own scenery that will never fade."
- Official translation (English dub): "Every special memory has associated with a scent. When you're surrounded by that smell - your heart can always return to that unforgettable moment. And you can see it clearly in your memories - where the colors are forever bright."
- Episode 3
- Spring Chapter, Episode 3: After Kiss.
- "There are many books in the library. Each book has a wonderful story that will never happen in reality. But when you fall in love, reality becomes a story far more beautiful than any book can tell."
- Official translation (English dub): "There are many books at the library. Each and every one contains a fantastic tale - stories that could never exist in reality.... But, when you fall in love, reality changes and becomes far more amazing than any story."
- Episode 4
- Early Summer Chapter, Episode 1: Bittersweet Rain.
- "No one can stop the flow of time. But a moment captured in the frame of the heart will never disappear. That will be shown at the bottom of their hearts, and will always give off a great feeling. Sweet...and bitter."
- (Official translation (English dub): "Noone in this world can stop the flow of time. However, a single moment captured in a photograph will never disappear. It will always decorate your heart and will always stir your soul - sweetly..and warmly."
- Episode 5
- Summer Chapter, Episode 1: Feeling Blue.
- "The color blue has a soothing effect on people. All their stresses and troubles are absorbed by the blue. Awakening honest souls which have no lies. Summer is the season...that is colored in blue."
- Official translation (English dub): "The color blue has the power to sooth the soul. It washes away all our worries and stress. Blue awakens the honest and innocent hearts.
Summer..... Summer - the season when the color blue - thrives."
- Episode 6
- Summer Chapter, Episode 2: Baseball Lovers.
- "Not many people know when love really starts... More than a friend, but not quite lovers.
A delicate relationship like this changes gradually once it is noticed, and keeps on blossoming, Just like the changing seasons."
- Official translation (English dub): "Very few can identify the beginning of love. When people become more than friends but less than lovers - such an indefinable relationship changes slowly over time - like the changing of the seasons."
- Episode 7
- Summer Chapter, Episode 3: [The] Wind-Bell.
- "The summer days blow through fiercely. With the buried feeling that something is going to happen... Over a summer storm, Soon, the season will change..."
- Official translation (English dub): "A summerday goes by like a strong gust of wind, leaving you with a feeling that something is going to happen. As the summerstorms come to an end, gradually, the season change."
- Episode 8
- Autumn Chapter Episode 1: Swallow.
- "With summer's raucous noises, a simple dream seen in spring has turned into a simple heartbreak. The melancholy autumn wind speaks quietly of its meaning...Your heart's true self..."
- Official translation (English dub): "A fleeting springdream, engulfed by the hectic Summer, has become a small painful scar - and now a sorrowful autumnbreeze whispers of the story behind the pain.... The story of who you really are."
- Episode 9
- Autumn Chapter Episode 2: Leaves.
- "In the autumn it is said that the reason why leaves fall down from the branch is to make way for new leaves to grow. No matter how sad the fallen leaves look, there will always be new sprouts in the spring. Perhaps, emptiness in the heart is something similar to that."
- Official translation (English dub): "Autumn - they say the old leaves fall away from the branches to make way for the new leaves to arrive. Nomatter how lonesome you might feel watching leaves fall - remember - new leaves will always return in the Spring. Perhaps the emptiness you feel in your heart - is just like those falling leaves."
- Episode 10
- Autumn Chapter Episode 3: Solitary Cross.
- "All sound has died out, and the cold, dark night fills the room. Unable to go to sleep, holding on to the covers. Suddenly, that's when it strikes, as if my chest was being crushed in pain and wanted to cry. A painful and uneasy feeling. Yes, from the depths of my heart, a thing called "loneliness" will come..."
- Official translation (English dub): "All sounds ceases. When the icecold night-air fills the room, I lie awake, holding my blanket. And that's when it happens - I feel like crying - like my heart is slowly breaking. A sorrowful - an unshakeable loneliness. That sense of loneliness raises from the shadows in my heart."
- Episode 11
- Winter Chapter Episode 1: First Snowfall.
- "Snow covers everything in white. It covers the sadness, softly. If there is happiness, it decorates it beautifully. The snow continues to fall..."
- Official translation (English dub): "Snowblankets, everything in white. If there is sorrow - snow will gently embrace you. If there is happiness, snow will decorate it gently. Silently - the snow keeps falling."
- Episode 12
- Winter Chapter Episode 2: End to Beginning.
- "An ending will come to everything in this world. It may be a fate that one could never avoid."
- Official translation (English dub): "All things must come to an end in this world. Everything reaches its natural conclusion. It's inevitable - it's fate." In the end of the episode, the quote continues; "- But as long as there is night - morning will always come."
- Episode 13
- Next Season Chapter: Let It Be
- "There is nothing that really changes, there is nothing that really ends. It's hard to admit, but that is reality. One season ends, and another season begins."
- Official translation (English dub): "Nothing stays the same. Every story has its ending. It's hard to accept sometimes, but that's the reality. One season ends and another begins."
- End of Final Episode
- It must only be a matter of a moment once it's gone... (Makoto)
- We should probably be able to laugh at it someday. (Yumi)
- But the feeling will stay forever in the depths of the heart. (Yoshi)
- It's precious, only here for now. It's our season. (Aki)
- So, one season ends, and a new one begins... (Chiharu (Nitta))
- End of Final Episode, English dub (Official translations)
- Once it passes, it will feel like it went by in a flash. (Makoto)
- Someday - you look back at it and laugh. (Yumi)
- But that feeling - that feeling will never disappear. You'll always carry it deep in your heart. (Yoshi)
- The most important season is the one we're in now. It's our season. (Aki)
- And with the ending of one season - another new one begins. (Chiharu (Nitta))
- Soundtrack produced by BE-FACTORY
- Opening Theme: Daijobu by Aki Maeda
- Ending Theme: Minna Ga Iine by Aki Maeda
- Final Episode Opening Theme: Hatsukoi by Yuka Imai - the first remake of a song from 1983 by Kozo Murashita
- Episode 8 Ending Theme: My Tomorrow by Yuka Imai
- Episode 8 Insert: Where Is My Paradise by Yuu Asakawa
- Episode 8 Insert: Memoria by Kazuko Hamano
- Episode 8 Insert: Truth by Kasumi Matsumura
- Episode 1 Insert: Naisho no Kimochi by Aki Maeda
- Boys Be... (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Boys Be... (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Official site from Geneon Entertainment
- Official site from the Right Stuf International
- Comics Worth Reading vol. 2 review
- Mania.com anime vol. 1 review
- uk.dvd.ign.com DVD box set review
- Boys Be... Quotations
ca:Boys be ko:Boys Be id:Boys Be... it:Boys Be pt:Boys Be tl:Boys Be... zh:新戀愛白書