For whatever reason, Gainax does not talk about Blazing Transfer Student. The studio’s name appears in the opening credits, but then they don’t even list it as one of their works. It’s as though the show was somehow mistaken. But here it is, the “lost” Gainax anime, leaving viewers to wonder why the studio would distance itself from it.
Blazing Transfer Student is an adaptation of an 80’s manga that I must assume also satirized the over-the-top manly heroics of the kind of 70’s action manga that had heavy black outlines on everything. The show’s opening is perhaps its highlight, with a brazen braggart theme song in which the titular hero himself sings in praise of his own might.
From there, Blazing Transfer Student is a comedy about rules and fighting. These are rules you’re probably already familiar with: they’re the arbitrary rules and cliches of shonen fight manga that you’ve probably already read played straight. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a, um, blazing transfer student enrolls in a school where all disputes are settled in battle and eventually defeats the school bully with an unheard-of fighting technique for the love of a girl who pads her bra.
It’s entirely standard but it’s also painfully self-aware throughout, with all the genre cliches—from training montages to the silly names with which a simple punch is often saddled—skewered one after he other. Lines like “I beat you with my rhetoric!” are common. Most of the show ends up taking place in a boxing ring after the school bully and the hall monitor decide to fight over the heroine and our hero Takizawa eventually decides to intervene.
The two-episode OAV is simple, dumb fun, even though the subject matter is the easiest parody around and you’ve probably known every last one of these jokes for years. Unfortunately, it starts to run out of gags about halfway through the second episode, and gets stuck on one gag for entirely too long—half an episode!—to the point where I just wanted the show to wrap it up already. If they’d just tightened up that one bit Blazing Transfer Student would be an even better light genre parody than it is, and it might not have left a bad taste in my mouth immediately upon viewing.
So why doesn’t Gainax associate themselves with Blazing Transfer Student anymore? The show isn’t bad at all, so it’s really a mystery. A studio willing to take credit for Mahoromatic and He is My Master shouldn’t have to be ashamed about anything it ever does, right? Perhaps the answer is less to do with the show itself, and perhaps it is more complicated than we will ever actually know. After all, you really shouldn’t be thinking so hard about Blazing Transfer Student.