Ask John: What’s the Background of Legend of the Blue Wolves?

Question:
Recently a friend sent me a copy of “Legend of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (A.K.A. “Legend of the Blue Wolves,” original title: Aoki Ookami no Densetsu), and I was impressed. While my yaoi watching was limited to a few random doujin and raw copies of Boku no Sexual Harassment and Ai no Kusabi, this show was something else entirely – a fascinating mecha plot, unbelievably gorgeous animation, a sweeping musical score, and for the ladies, probably the most graphic male-male sex ever animated. (Shame it had to be filled with one of the ugliest men in yaoi history.) Unfortunately, finding information on this show is next to impossible. I’m under the impression that the first episode was finished, but the creator’s went bankrupt, and as such nothing else was ever animated. A pity, since I think it’s one of the greatest adult anime since the original Urotsukidouji.

When was it released, anyhow? And was it ever on anything but VHS? Even some serial numbers to help me track down a legit Japanese copy, or even just some of the above answered, would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
I must admit that I’m a bit shocked to read a question about this particular anime title as, at least among non-Japanese anime fans, this OAV is about as obscure as they get. I recall seeing a rental copy of it available at my local Asian market many years ago and thinking to myself, “It’s a gay Char’s Counterattack!”

But enough with the anecdote. The Aoki Ookami Tachi no Densetsu OAV was released on December 18, 1996, on VHS and LD in two different editions. The “Aoki Ookami Tachi no Densetsu X,” as its name implies, was a 45 minute long uncut version. It retailed on VHS for 12,800 yen (SKU code SHVA-1009) and laserdisc for 6,800 yen (SKU code PXVA1001). The “Aoki Ookami Tachi no Densetsu R” VHS release (6,800 yen, SKU code SHVA-1010) was a 35 minute long cut, edited for under aged viewers. The edited version wasn’t released on LD. The uncut OAV was released on Japanese DVD on March 4th, 2005. Unfortunately for foreign fans, the DVD is only available by mail order directly from the publisher, and the publisher only accepts orders within Japan.

The Aoki Ookami Tachi no Densetsu OAV was produced by Phoenix Entertainment, the same studio that produced higher profile anime series including Giant Robo, Super Atragon, and Princess Nine. The Japanese fan site from which I got the above data refers to two different short manga serials. However, as far as I can tell, neither manga serial was ever compiled and released in tankouban book form.

Finally, regarding the critique of the OAV having, “Probably the most graphic male-male sex ever animated,” while I haven’t seen the two episode long Enzai OAV series myself, I’ve heard that it may challenge or surpass Aoki Ookami Tachi no Densetsu in graphic intensity.

Thanks to Markus Zuba and Cat Clan for their supplemental assistance in composing this response.

Addendum added December 16, 2005: The Legend of the Blue Wolves OAV is now available on American DVD from Media Blasters.

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