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Creator / Go Nagai

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If Osamu Tezuka is the father of manga, Go Nagai (永井 豪, Nagai Gō, born September 6, 1945, real name 永井潔 aka Nagai Kiyoshi) is the cool uncle who lets the kids sneak sips of his beer and always tells the funniest dirty stories. The Roger Corman of manga and anime active since 1967, he has had a great influence on the world of Manga and Anime, as he effectively pioneered many of their most representative genres, such as the Super Robot Genre, the Magical Girl Warrior, the Ecchi and the Darker and Edgier in general. While best known for his Mecha and Horror series, Nagai has also created a lot of comedy material and media aimed at children, and dipped in Professional Wrestling by creating gimmicks for New Japan Pro-Wrestling members like Big Van Vader and Jushin Thunder Liger.

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 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:

  • Adaptational Villainy: A lot of his Noble Demon villains get an upgrade in evil in various adaptations of his work. Examples include Amon in the Amon: The Apocalypse of Devilman OVA, Lan Asuka in the Devilman Lady anime, Tarantula Claw in Cutie Honey a Go Go!, and Ryo Asuka in DEVILMAN crybaby.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The villains even in his serious works have a habit of looking pretty goofy. Though that was more in common in his older works. In his more recent works, they less goofy looking.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Bloody deaths and sexual aggression are pretty much his trademark.
    • Nagai seems to have some kind of running gag fetish throughout his works of impossibly strong naked women beating the tar out of men.
    • As someone pointed this out:
      ''I see Nagai has a fascination with cute ladies being paraded on large sticks." note 
    • Several male protagonists in his works like to drive motorcycles.
  • Bittersweet Ending: This is the most hopeful kind of ending for his stories. Generally he goes for Downer Endings.
  • 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 because 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.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone, or almost everyone, dies, 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.
  • 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 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 Devilman), Susanoo, 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.
  • Science Fantasy: Another trope he is very fond of, since most of his works have both sci fi elements and fantasy elements mixed together.
  • 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.


Example of: