Shounen Keniya
1984 / 109m - Japan
Adventure, Fantasy - Animation
Kenya Boy poster


February 25, 2023


Obayashi's first and only foray into anime. That alone makes Kenya Boy worth watching, even though the film itself is pretty messy and not up to par with other big productions of its time. Obayashi does manage to put his stamp on the film, so it's definitely not a generic or throwaway anime feature.

Wataru is a young boy who is visiting Africa with his family. On a trip, he gets separated from his dad, and he ends ups with Zega, a proud Masai warrior who roams the country. Together they begin a big adventure that will lead them to Kate, a young goddess who was also separated from her family.

The quality of the animation is a little wonky, but the art style is interesting and Obayashi has some nice tricks up his sleeve. What starts as a pretty straightforward adventure spirals into an epic, madcap fantasy that made the final a lot easier to stomach. Not a great film, but surely an oddity that deserves a little extra attention.