Friday, November 24, 2017
Anime Music Video Compilations: “Bronze Cathexis Koji Nanjo”
Format: VHS and Laserdisc, NTSC, Japanese Dialogue
Length: 33 minutes
Original Release Date: 6 July 1994
Animation Exclusive to this Release: Yes
Other Sources (Japanese unless noted): None
Currently Availability (as of writing): Out of Print
Note: Originally published on the "Anime Archivist" blog April 2014.
Coinciding with the amazing rise of anime’s popularity in the west in the early to mid 00’s was the fandom around Yaoi. What struck me was that despite all of the material released during that period, Minami Ozaki’s popular manga “Zetsuai 1989” and the follow up series “Bronze: Zetsuai Since 1989”, as well as their anime adaptations, were never translated and marketed to an English language audience. I think it’s easily one of the best in the genre, and I’m not exactly a fan of Yaoi. I first came across the series around 1998 or so when a friend recommended it to me. I borrowed his fansubbed tape which also included the “Bronze Cathexis Koji Nanjo” music video. While I wasn’t completely sold on the OVA (the 1996 “Bronze: Zetsuai Since 1989”, in which the character designs overemphasised the pointy chins and noses almost to parody of the original designs), I thought the music video collection was brilliant. It was dark and moody and the music was fantastic, the antithesis of the brightly coloured, perpetually happy idol filled J-Pop I had heard (and mostly disliked) up to that point
“Zetsuai 1989” follows 17 year old rock star Koji Nanjo, who has become rather apathetic towards life and feels that he can’t find happiness. After a solo pub crawl late at night, he ends up out on the street collapsed on a pile of garbage bags in the pouring rain. 17 year old Soccer prodigy Takuto Izumi is in the midst of training when he comes across Koji. For some strange reason and against his better judgement, Izumi feels compelled to take him out of the rain and back to his flat. Koji awakens the next morning and is stunned that he finds himself being drawn towards Izumi. Passing billboards in Shibuya, Izumi realises who Koji is and asks him to return to his career. But Koji soon develops an obsession with him, much to Izumi’s annoyance. It later occurs to Koji that he had previously saw Izumi some six years ago at school and had immediately fell for him then.
Despite Izumi’s initial reluctance, their relationship eventually develops but Izumi decides to take off for Italy to further his soccer skills without telling Koji. Koji discovers what has happened and races off to airport, but ends up in a serious accident on his motorbike. Nearly dying from this incident, Kojo awakens to find he cannot speak. Soon after the sudden death of his father forces him to become the head of his influential and rich family. He tries to avoid this task and continue his music career, but his brother blackmails him into doing it by threatening to publicly reveal his relationship with Izumi. Meanwhile Izumi decides to turn his back on Koji and their relationship and heads off to Italy permanently to play in the national league. As you’d imagine, the music video compilation is just as melodramatic as the plot of the manga and anime adaptations;
“Bad Blood” performed by Hayami Sho
“Jesus Christ Love For You” performed by Hayami Sho
“Katsuai (Thirsty Love)” performed by Hayami Sho
“20XX Zetsu-ai (20XX Desperate Love)” performed by Hayami Sho
“Gekkou ~ Möbius no Eien (Moonlight Eternal Möbius)” performed by Hayami Sho
The music video compilation ends with an “Original Image Picture Crip” (I think they mean “Clip”, not an LA gang member). This is a six minute slideshow of Minami Ozaki’s colour artwork from the series. The music is a classical piece, Tomaso Albinoni’s “Adagio in G minor” which is actually taken from the “Cathexis” mini album, released in June 1994. I can find no credits for the performers of the piece. A couple of minor effects used in the clip are a little bit cheap and cheesy. Strangely the VHS version of this compilation was released as a two tape set; the first tape with the five animated music videos, the second tape with the image clip. The laserdisc version contains both on one side of the disc.
Despite the popularity of the franchise, no one seems to be interested in re-releasing any of the animated adaptations including this music video compilation. Generally you can find the two VHS tape version for less than ¥500 on Japanese auction sites and Amazon.co.jp, though I have seen copies as high as ¥2,500 and even up to ¥10,000. As most copies hover well under the ¥500 mark and are quite plentiful, so there really is no reason why you should pay above that amount for a copy. The laserdisc version usually goes for around ¥1,000 or less. It’s slightly more rare, but can be found easily. Both versions came with a bonus telephone card, however my second hand laserdisc was missing the card and only came with the black and white lyric and credits insert. In conclusion, even if Yaoi isn’t really your thing (as it is with me) and you aren’t offended by subject matter or the perplexing Nazi imagery in a couple of the videos, then you probably should look into getting this compilation. The music is brilliantly crafted Japanese pop-rock and the visuals are awesome.