“Kasei Yakyoku” (Shining Star Nocturne) is a four volume OVA romantic drama from 1988, directed by Osamu Dezaki ,with character designs and animation direction by Akio Sugino (the same team that gave us “Ashita no Joe”, “Ace o Nerae!”, “Golgo 13”, “Oniisama E”, and “Black Jack” ).
The year is 1923, the place, Tokyo; a city of haves and have-nots. The wealthy Hashou's beautiful daughter, Akiko has just celebrated her 20th birthday, and she is about to become betrothed to the suitable, equally well off, Kiyosu Saionji. However, she is bored with her life and yearns for something different and exciting. While out for a drive, slumming with her lady's maid, the young, beautiful, yet poor and lowly, Sara Uchida, the two women are harassed by a group of thugs. Sara’s kid brother, Junichirou, a newly minted, low level runner for the Aoba gang, sees this altercation, and tries to help. He is immediately pummeled into a bloody mess, so his Yakuza “older brother”, the tall, suave, charismatic, Takao Itou, reluctantly takes over. With just his white suit jacket and a pool cue, “Taka” quickly and gracefully subdues the knife wielding ruffians, without losing his smirk (despite a cut to the face), or even mussing his slicked-back hair. Akiko immediately becomes besotted with Taka; but, Taka would prefer to play the high-born girl for a fool, and add the lovely Sara to his list of conquests. Disdainful of his Yakuza ties and arrogant demeanor, Sara is by no means immune to Taka’s innate bad-boy charms. As the two women are torn between their desires, and their respective duties in this rigid society, their world begins to crumble around them, while Tokyo's clock tower ticks down to the Great Kanto Earthquake.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have some original rough sketches and corrections done by Akio Sugino for this rare OVA. “Kasei Yakyoku”'s soap opera stereotypical characters and over the top plot situations are perfectly counterbalanced and complimented by its beauty, and the badassery of its main male lead.