Go Nagai

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Go Nagai is a Japanese manga artist, or mangaka, that was born in 1945. He began being noticed by the manga world when he was only twenty. It was then that he created a story called Black Lion, or Kuro No Shishi. Next for Go Nagai came a story called Shameless School, or Harenchi Gakuen. With Shameless School, Nagai decided to break stereotypes and introduced a lot of graphic violence and humor into his manga. This made him become known as a controversial mangaka, and in some places, children were not allowed to read his manga. Four years later, in 1972, the manga ended in typical Nagai fashion: with everyone being massacred.

Parents may have hated the series, but the critics loved it, and it was turned into a live-action television series, as well as becoming more than one live-action movie. Nagai became so popular that in 1970, he created his own company named Dynamic Productions. This, in part, was in an effort to stop the production companies from censoring his work. The first title to come out of Dynamic Productions was Getter Robo, with Abashiri Ikka, or Abashiri Family, following closely behind.

Mazinger Z was next on Nagai’s list, and this became extremely popular. It ended up being so popular, actually, that a few sequels followed the story. Mazinger was one of the sequels, and was one of the first mangas to introduce robots that had human pilots. This has gone on to become one of the staples of the modern anime series. Devilman was created shortly after Mazinger, and followed along with his tradition of being very graphically violent. Devilman, a story about a hero that fights demons for a living, became extremely popular. Nagai found himself changing the series years later, making the main character a woman and calling it Devilman Lady. This became an anime and is known world-wide as one of Nagai’s best works. Nagai himself considered Devilman Lady his life work.

Violence Jack came next, and was about a man who wanders a world that has been destroyed by an earthquake. His entire mission is to stop the warlords that have taken over the country, while trying to figure out why they have been separated from the rest of the world, and how to reconnect to them. Nagai went in a totally different direction with his series Cutey Honey. This series introduced the magical girl genre that has become so popular since Sailor Moon, and is generally regarded as the first magical girl series. He also created a magical girl series for younger girls, called Majokko Tickle. Majokko Tickle was not as popular as Cutey Honey was, but managed to have some success in anime form in some European countries.

Nagai is still creating manga and anime, and has worked with such prolific mangaka as Ken Ishikawa and Shotaro Ishinomori. He even managed to surprise fans by making a cameo in The Toxic Avenger, Part II.

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