Creator / Go Nagai

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Uncle Go
If Osamu Tezuka is the father of manga, Go Nagai (永井 豪, Nagai Gō, born 1945) is the cool uncle who lets you sneak sips of his beer and always tells the funniest dirty stories. Active since 1967, he has had a great influence on 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 a 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 Cyborg009) who helped him get started. Nagai eventually funded his own company called Dynamic Productions. A 1980s OVA series, CB Chara Go Nagai World, was an Affectionate Parody of Nagai's works which had Super-Deformed versions of his most famous characters interacting with each other.

Nagai is known for intentionally breaking taboos. 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 Go Nagai Series:

Contrary to popular belief, Go Nagai merely pitched the idea for a Combining Mecha story that would become Ken Ishikawa's Getter Robo rather than actually creating it.

Tropes common to Go Nagai's works include:

  • Body Horror: A lot of his works have this in spades. As an example, the demons from Devilman. They can be a blob with tendrils, mouth, fangs and eyes or a giant head with arms and legs attached to them and the humans possessed by a demon are even worse: one of them was a normal-looking woman. Then her arms grow into tentacles, and two heads sprout from each breast. Or the villains and Mooks from his Humongous Mecha series: Baron Ashura is half male, half female, Archduke Gorgon's lower half is a tiger; Pygman has two bodies, one of them sprouting from his bigger body's neck and Gandal has another being inside his head, and every time she wants to speak up, his face splits...
  • Canon Welding: Used to link apparently unrelated works such like Devilman, Violence Jack and crossovers such like Getter Robo vs Devilman.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: His character designs are diverse and very bizarre. It's common to see multiple characters who look like they come from completely different series in the same manga.
  • Chest Blaster: Introduced the concept in Humongous Mecha anime with Mazinger-Z's Breast Fire
  • Combining Mecha: The creator of the trope. At a time he was staring at a traffic jam (he seems having a lot of his ideas from them), and he saw a car's frontside had crashed into another one's rear. Then he wondered what it would be like if two machines merged into another.
  • Crapsack World: The Devilman and Violence Jack settings especially stand out. If you live in those worlds, your life will be horrible and miserable, and your death will be even worse.
  • Creator Cameo / Descended Creator: Made a cameo appearance in the Cutey Honey live-action movie, and played the role of Dr. Kisaragi in episode 26 of Cutey Honey The Live.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shows up a lot in his work, but none more prominently than Devilman.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: He has spoken against it, and he has made some measures against webpages that reproduce his work without permission. His last measure, in company of some famous artists such as Buronson, is to sue seven book-digitizing shops beacuse they're accomplices of all of the works that are circulating on the Internet without the author's permission.[1][2]
  • Dirty Old Man: Show up in several works, such like Cutey Honey.
  • Doing It for the Art: Nagai wrote a manga version of The Inferno from The Divine Comedy, which is surprisingly faithful to the source material, and probably wouldn't have been very popular in a country which is predominantly Buddhist and Shinto were it not penned by him.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone, or almost everyone, dyies, the world, or universe, is destroyed or the bad guys winning. See Devilman.
  • Fan Disservice: While Go Nagai loved his fanservice, he also did scenes that were anything but titillating, such as in Devilman and Violence Jack.
  • Fan Nickname: Fan communities reverently refer to him as "Uncle Go".
  • FanserviceTrope creator, using the classic definition of the term (referring only to manga/anime).
  • Gorn: When Go Nagai wasn't wowing us with his Hot-Blooded heroes, he was delivering incredibly gory violence.
  • Gonk: A large portion of his characters have very unique and very weird designs. In comparison, the more conventionally drawn protagonists tend to fall under Only Six Faces.
  • No Ending: Some of his manga works were left unfinished (Like for example the original Mao Dante manga, Abashiri Family (which remained popular in its original run until Nagai decided to drop it along with other series that he was doing at the time in order to concentrate on the Devilman manga) the original Cutey Honey and UFO Robo Grendizer. The New Mazinger manga (Also known as Mazinger U.S.A. Version) was also left without conclusion after its first and only issue.
  • Self-Parody: Kekko Kamen is a parody of Magical Girl series... a type of series Go Nagai essentially invented.
  • Serial Escalation: Since Go Nagai runs his own publishing company, he's been essentially free to create whatever he wants for most of his career. While a few of his mainstream titles are known for their sexuality and violence, some of his more obscure, non-commercial works are amongst the most unrestrained, shameless and bizarre works to come out of Japan, and that's saying something.
  • Slasher Smile: His protagonists tend to sport one as a sign of Hot Blood and not just bloodlust.
  • Super Robot: Though Misuteru Yokoyama launched the genre with Gigantor, Go Nagai's series featured the first Super Robots to be piloted by humans and created or codified many of the tropes that would come to define the genre. Mazinger Z itself (or rather, its Anime Theme Song) is even the Trope Namer.

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