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File:Uncle Go.jpg

Uncle Go

Go Nagai (永井 豪, Nagai Gō, born 1945) is a famous Japanese writer and artist, active since 1967. Highly influential in the world of Manga and Anime; he effectively created many of their tropes, such as the Super Robot Genre. While best known for his Mecha and Horror series, Nagai has also created a lot of comedy and erotic material, and even one Magical Girl series aimed at children.

Nagai began his career after he fell sick in college and believed he had colon cancer; he wanted to leave something to be remembered for. By the time he found out he did not have cancer, he was set on his career. Ironically his first efforts at getting published were sabotaged by his own mother! Fortunately, he caught the attention of Shotaro Ishinomori, (creator of Cyborg 009) who helped him get started. Nagai eventually funded his own company, Dynamic Productions. A 1980s OVA series, CB Chara Go Nagai World, was an Affectionate Parody of Nagai's works, with Super Deformed versions of his most famous characters interacting with each other.

Nagai is known for intentionally breaking taboos, and even his milder material has a humorously deranged quality to it. His early works got him in trouble with the PTA, and even today some of them can contain controversial material. Nevertheless, most of his TV work is technically safe in the interest of placating censors even in Latin America and Europe (though not the US).

See also: Ken Ishikawa

Notable Nagai Series:

  • Abashiri Family — a gag series about a family of thugs.
  • Cutey Honey — The first (or at least the Ur Example) Magical Girl-Magical Girl Warrior series.
  • Devilman — Horror/Superhero series. The TV anime is one of the most influential action anime of the early 70s, and the manga is widely regarded as his best work.
  • Dororon Enma-kun — Enma-kun, the Prince of Hell, heads up a "demon patrol" with his friends Yuki-chan and Kappaeru, searching for and punishing wayward monsters. In a way, sort of a much younger Devilman, and definitely aimed at kids although too violent (and Ecchi) for America.
  • Harenchi Gakuen — Nagai's first work, an Erotic Comedy. Highly excessive pressure from the Moral Guardians was enough for him to Torch the Franchise and Run.
  • Iron Virgin Jun
  • Kekko Kamen — an even more sexually explicit Magic Warrior; "Nobody's seen her face, but everyone's seen her body."[1] An outright Deconstructive Parody of the Magical Girl Warrior concept (and Moonlight Mask[2]), complete with nazi schoolteachers.
  • Kotetsu (Steel) Jeeg — a Super Robot with cyborgs and lost civilizations.
  • Majokko Tickle - A more straightforward, family-oriented (non-fighting) Magical Girl series. One of his lesser known works (supposedly).
  • Mao Dante — Horror series. A demon possesses a boy, and it builds up to a cataclysmic demon war. Elements from this would later be used for his far more successful Devilman.
  • Mazinger Z — The first piloted Super Robot series. Without a doubt his most famous and influential work.
    • Great Mazinger — The Sequel to Mazinger Z, continuing where it left off.
      • UFO Robo Grendizer — The third part of the trilogy and the one that launched Nagai's popularity big-time outside Japan, when it became a massive hit on French TV under the name Goldorak not long after finishing its run in Japan. Also his first work to make it to the U.S. in 1980 as Grandizer (part of Jim Terry's Force Five).
  • Shameless School — Nagai's first long series (1968-1972), the first Ecchi manga, and the first one to get him in trouble with the PTA. Nagai responded by having the series end with the PTA conducting a military raid on the titular school. Yes, he did South Park the Movie back in the 1970s!
  • Star Fleet — A Thunderbirds style sci-fi puppet series. Known as X-Bomber in Japan, and hugely popular in the UK where it ran on Saturday afternoons in the early 80's.
  • Violence Jack — as the name implies, an extremely violent series that really pushed the boundaries for what was acceptable in manga. Part of the Devilman universe, it features cameos from almost all of Nagai's works. One of the first post-apocalyptic manga to be published in Japan, and would later influence works such as Fist of the North Star.

Contrary to popular belief, Go Nagai merely pitched the idea for a Combining Mecha story that became Ken Ishikawa 's Getter Robo rather than being actual creator.

Tropes common to many (not all) of Nagai's works:

  1. This is because Kekko Kamen - Japanese for "Beautiful Mask" - is nude except for said mask.
  2. or "Gekko Kamen" in the original Japanese, making Kekko Kamen a Punny Name