Ken Ishikawa (June 28, 1948 November 15, 2006) was a manga artist active from the early 70s until his death in 2006. He was a great friend of the famous and influential Mangaka Go Nagai, who he worked as an assistant for during the earlier years of his career. His most famous work by far is the mecha series Getter Robo, though he himself isn't actually famous for it. Thanks to Ishikawa's willingness to credit Go Nagai for helping him out with the series during its early planning stages, Getter Robo is wrongly considered a Go Nagai work far more often (Dynamic Productions regularly crossing the series over with Mazinger Z and and its sequels, not to mention their almost symbiotic appearances in the Super Robot Wars series does not help).
Ken Ishikawa is known for his distinctive art style and character designs, which usually involve lots of sketchy black lines, crazy spinning eyes and insane grins. In addition to Humongous Mecha, many of his manga were about ancient Japan and even in his sci-fi works, themes and philosophies taken from eastern spirituality are often present. Nevertheless, Ishikawa's first work to reach the United States was the 1982 kiddie robot comedy Cybot Robotchi (aka Robby the Rascal).
Ken Ishikawa sadly died early in November 2006, at the age of 58, though he's well remembered by many fans and animation studios.
Notable Ishikawa Series:
- Getter Robo — His most famous work, the first Combining Mecha series.
- Kyomu Senki — Less known than Getter Robo, but just as long and considered equally good. Each series takes place in a different time period, from the Heian era to the 70th century, and work as a stand-alone tale.
- Kyomu Senshi Miroku
- Shin Rashoumon
- Ninpou Honnouji Kashinkojino Youjutsu
- Tiger Of 5000 Light Years
- Dogura Senki
- Jigen Seibutsuki Dogura
- Jakiou Bakuretsu
- Skull Killer Jakiou — A young boy fights monsters in Tokyo using a berserker, cannibalistic cloned bio-mech. Strange sexual imagery abound. Created looong before Evangelion.
- Maju Sensen — Apocalyptic horror about people with the forms and abilities of beasts. Considered by many to be a Spiritual Successor to Devilman.
- Maju Sensen also got a spiritual successor by Go Nagai himself, known as The Bird.
- Makai Tensho — An adaption of the novel of the same name.
- Jubei Yakyu Dies — A somewhat sequel to Tensho where Jubei encounters time traveling ninjas who rule a dystopian steampunk future.
- Fatal Fury — A manga adaptation of the SNK fighting game series of the same name.
- Cybot Robotchi - A 1982 TV Tokyo gag anime for kids created by Ishikawa and scenario writer Toyohiro Ando, about a boy robot created by an eccentric, lecherous inventor who gets into various misadventures around his hometown (shades of Dr. Slump). Produced by the infamous Knack Productions of Chargeman Ken! fame, the show was released in the U.S. in 1985 in a feature-length edit of several episodes titled Robby the Rascal.