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The Mike Toole Show - Damn Yankiis


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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:34 pm Reply with quote
You could also argue that Yu Yu Hakusho is a yankii manga/anime, but with fantasy elements. Wink Anyway, you forgot to mention Cromartie High and Salaryman Kintaro. Crying or Very sad Oh, and Kamikaze Girls. And I guess I should mention Taiyo Matsumoto's Blue Spring, too. Way more interesting than his other stuff, but not 'indie comic' enough to create good buzz here. Also, I've never seen School Rumble, but I hope it's as fun as this promotional live-action music video.

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But it's intriguing to me because there's no analogue to these gangs in western culture.


The Fonz? Rolling Eyes Also, I have a feeling when Togashi wrote YYH, that he was at least partly inspired by The Heavenly Kid. Cool

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What do you think of yankii anime and bosozoku adventure stories? Do you think the whole thing is corny and dumb? Or do you think that these rebellious biker kids have created a certain mystique, their own kind of cool?


They're a lot more interesting than samurai, at least.

Oh, and it's not technically in the yankii mold per se, but it has the same spirit. And I wish someone would adapt into a manga, 'cus it'd be perfect. I'm referring to Robert Cormier's Chocolate War.


Last edited by GATSU on Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:36 pm; edited 6 times in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:48 pm Reply with quote
Um, Hiroshima isn't a small town in the sticks, it's a major metropolis with towering skyscrapers overlooking bustling streets.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1359
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:12 pm Reply with quote
There's always something appealing about yankii anime & manga, & I think it's mainly because the genre has to be about personalities. You can't just be a simple delinquent, but rather you have to have some sort of wacky or differentiating personality. There are almost none that feature over-the-top strength levels or energy blasts, so the fights are very traditional & rough. In fact, the only yankii title I can think of that goes over-the-top is Kongo Bancho (from the creator of Seven Deadly Sins), which I haven't read yet but hear is amazingly awesome.

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Other tough-guy cartoons with titles like Rokudenashi Blues, Bats and Terry, Pelican Road Club Culture, and Otoko Katayama Gumi, have been similarly tough for me to track down. There are VHS tapes on Yahoo Auctions Japan, at least.


I actually managed the buy the VHS tapes for the two Rokudenashi BLUES movies Toei made in the early 90s off of Rakuten a couple of years ago, and they're both very good, especially the second one (RB 1993). Those movies have been ripped & can be found online if you know where to look, though my tapes look better & have crisper colors than the rips online do.

Probably my favorite yankii anime, however, is actually the one that's only slightly in that genre, specifically the school delinquent side. That title would be Hareluya II BØY, the 1997 TV adaptation of Haruto Umezawa's Jump classic from the 90s. It's not completely a yankii title mainly because Hareluya & his friends aren't delinquents like Onizuka, but at the time same they stuff they get into & do enter that territory, especially since they usually take on more traditional delinquent types. The animation isn't exactly noteworthy (it was an early late-night anime, so the budget was small), but what makes it so good are the stories & character interactions due to an excellent script headed up by Yasuhiro Imagawa (this is also the most obscure title Imagawa ever worked in a large capacity on). It also manages to take blatant music promotion that the show was forced to do by King Records (it has nine songs, all by the band SPYKE) and actually fit them in perfectly. I wish this show had some sort of English translation, because it really deserves to be more known.

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It's pretty unique, and it's gradually disappearing, turning into a period fashion movement just like the greasers and teddy boys and the mods of the west did.


I think the biggest reason yankii anime has kind of died out is simply because it never gets TV time. Think about it for second: Pretty much every anime Mike mentioned was either an OVA series or a movie. GTO would be an exception, but even that title isn't quite as much of a yankii title as Shonen Junai Gumi was. Hareluya II BØY is probably the only "yankii TV anime" in existence, honestly, and even that is only yankii to an extent. I also find it really interesting that Rokudenashi BLUES, which lasted 42 volumes, only ever saw two anime movies, but did eventually get a live-action TV series in 2011. With JoJo now on TV, RB is the longest Jump manga to never get a TV anime adaptation, and I kind of think it never will simply because it's absolutely a yankii title, and those almost never get TV anime. They'll get live-action TV, sure, but never animated.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:27 pm Reply with quote
When someone brings up Yankees (in the Japanese sense), I remember Hajime no Ippo's Umezawa Masahiko, the leader of the gang who bullied Ippo in their highschool days at the start of the series.
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:10 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Um, Hiroshima isn't a small town in the sticks, it's a major metropolis with towering skyscrapers overlooking bustling streets.


I was in Hiroshima a few years ago, and it wasn't a huge city at all, actually I was surprised at how peaceful it was and how empty the streets were. It was nowhere near as busy/large as Kyoto, Tokyo or Osaka.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I think yankii anime has a certain charm. I'm the sheepish owner of all ten Shonan Bakusouzoku OVAs on R2 DVD, and if they ever release the "Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!" OVAs I'll be first in line for those, too. You kind of feel like you're getting away with something, watching shows that are blatantly glorifying delinquency and violence; sometimes they can be pretty funny at the same time.

About Yu-Yu Hakusho, yankii elements are definitely there, especially early on. Even though it turns quickly into a supernatural battle anime, Yusuke remains a punk at heart through the whole thing.

Slam Dunk is another one that has a protagonist from a yankii background.

I live in a small-ish city in western Japan, and one thing I can always "look forward to" during Golden Week is the sound of 1) noisy bike engines roaring all night long, and 2) police sirens. One night while walking home late, I turned a corner and found a huge crowd of young people on a street corner watching bikers roaring up and down the street. One bike had two riders, the second of whom was wearing a Scream mask and holding a fire extinguisher. As they went past the crowd, they sprayed everyone. Several cop cars were parked nearby, their occupants just waiting for some line to be crossed.

I got past all that safely and was almost home when I heard a loud bike engine coming up from behind. I was thankfully ignored by the biker, but he was waving around a lit road flare and being followed by a police car, which he seemed to be egging on. At last the siren came on, and the biker took off; he'd practically been begging the cop to chase him.

I never read much Rokudenashi Blues, but doesn't that one kind of turn into a boxing series as it goes along? And why is nothing by Masanori Morita out in English? The man's art is phenomenal! BTW, Rokudenashi Blues and Kyou Kara Ore Wa!! both have live-action versions as well.


Last edited by vanfanel on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 548
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:13 pm Reply with quote
When it comes to Yankee manga, it's Hareluya II BOY the one that always comes to mind. I had such a good time reading it, even if it was only to see the protagonist beating every so-called delinquent, and even some martial arts specialists at some point.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:31 pm Reply with quote
vanfanel wrote:
I never read much Rokudenashi Blues, but doesn't that one kind of turn into a boxing series as it goes along? And why is nothing by Masanori Morita out in English? The man's art is phenomenal! BTW, Rokudenashi Blues and Kyou Kara Ore Wa!! both have live-action versions as well.


I know the title does become more boxing focused as it goes on, but in the first 10 volumes I had read the most that's seen is pretty much "Taison wants to become a boxer but knows next to nothing about the sport." From what I've heard, RB's focus is mostly on the yankii side of things, so the boxing elements probably doesn't get truly focused on until much, much later.

As for why none of Morita's work have never been released officially in English, it's pretty much because he's only done work that can never sell over here. In fact, he's only done three real titles. Rokudenashi BLUES is over 40 volumes & is both a yankii & (likely much later) sports manga, so it's essentially dead before consideration. His next manga, Rookies, is a baseball manga about yankiis who play the sport... Dead once again. His third, the presently running Beshari Gurashi, is about comedians, and that kind of stuff is already a super-hard sell in general outside of Japan. It doesn't matter how good of an artist Masanori Morita is, because his work can never & will never sell over here. And don't go wondering about his collections of short works, because "tanpenshuu" books are notoriously poor sellers over here, and the rare ones we get are only for artists who have very successful works over here (or, in the case of Hiroki Endo's stories we got, someone in a company is a mega fan of the manga-ka).
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Russia had a somewhat similar subculture called "Stilyagi." There was actually a movie about them that got a solid US distribution a few years back.
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bobob101



Joined: 28 Jun 2013
Posts: 201
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:31 pm Reply with quote
I would say the peak of all the Yankee manga out there is the duo of Crows and it's sequel Worst. Both of them star the baddest of the bad, have a local biker gang called "Front of Armament," and intensely goofy characters. This is a manga were every fist fight brings the guys closer together, and every class gets blown off. There are also some live action movies that are pretty rad.

Also Mike, do you read a lot of Dave Barry? I have literally every non-fiction book he ever wrote, he is easily my favorite author. I didn't expect his name to show up in your column.
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mbanu



Joined: 11 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:34 am Reply with quote
Yankii shows can be really funny. One of my favorites is Be-bop High School -- classic stupid guys doing stupid things show. Anime smile
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:16 am Reply with quote
What caused the shrinking of the Yankee movement? Tougher government laws? Increasing social unacceptance? Or just the usual coming and going of a fad?
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Gilles Poitras



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:02 am Reply with quote
zztop wrote:
What caused the shrinking of the Yankee movement?

Bad kids still exist they just changed clothing styles. As for the bosozoku the police came down on them even harder so many boys left, many of the girls started their own gangs. The book Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno goes into this.

A tactic used by the police is to fine the bosozoku to the point they cannot afford gas for their vehicles. The documentary 'Sayonara Speed Tribes' goes into this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDYoInfty4
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Gilles Poitras



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
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Location: Oakland California
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:06 am Reply with quote
bobob101 wrote:
I would say the peak of all the Yankee manga out there is the duo of Crows and it's sequel Worst.


Great stuff, alas only the first 3 volumes of Worst came out in English. I would love to see more of that series.

We did get the Crows Zero movie released in the U.S. subtitled by Media Blasters on their Tokyo Shock label.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBHXYSSGV8Q
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GVman



Joined: 14 Jul 2010
Posts: 700
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:43 pm Reply with quote
I've always loved delinquent stuff, and it's a shame so little of it has ever come out in English, bosozoku, yankii or otherwise. The lifestyle has always appealed to me. As someone who was pretty straight-laced during his high school and college years, the thought of running around with your friends beating other dudes up has always appealed to me. Even though I'm now a grad student, I still have times where I wanna cut loose and get into a brawl. I can't help but feel if we just talked with our bodies more, humanity would be better for it. Of course, that's just a fantasy, but it's one I can't help but cling to. What makes it even more appealing is how it never lasts. I love it when these series go into what these characters are going to do in the future.

Also, I recommend looking up Dokkouren on Manga Reborn if you want a super over-top-delinquent action manga. It's also one of the few delinquent things to actually have a legal release in English.
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