|Birth Name||Kiyoshi Nagai (永井潔 Nagai Kiyoshi)|
|Born|| September 6, 1945|
Wajima, Ishikawa, Japan
|Other Notable works|| Mazinger Z|
|Awards|| 4th Kodansha Manga Award|
|Influences|| Gustave Doré|
Kiyoshi Nagai (永井潔 Nagai Kiyoshi, born September 6, 1945 in Wajima, Ishikawa), better known by the penname Go Nagai (永井 豪 Nagai Gō), is a Japanese manga artist and a prolific author of science fiction, fantasy, horror and erotica.
Nagai is the creator of X-Bomber along with Kimio Ikeda, however is far more well known for creating Cutie Honey, Devilman, and Mazinger Z. He is credited with creating the Super Robot genre and for designing the first mecha robots piloted by a user from within a cockpit with Mazinger Z.
Born a few weeks after the A-bombing of Japan on September 6 1945, in the Ishikawa Prefecture city of Wajima, son of Yoshio and Fujiko Nagai (永井芳雄・冨士子), and the fourth of five brothers. His father died while he was young so he and his family moved to Tokyo. Growing up, Nagai was largely influenced by the works of Gustave Doré and Osamu Tezuka. He did well in college but had difficulty getting into a university. In Japan at the time, university was seen as a prerequisite to having a successful life.
When he was almost 20, he fell ill and was convinced he had fatal Colon cancer but would merely end up being diagnosed with Colitis, and he soon recovered. Aware of his own mortality, he wanted to leave some evidence that he had lived, by doing something that he liked as a child: working on manga. He was determined to create one work of manga in what he thought were his last months.
Aiming to be a manga artist, despite the fact that his mother opposed his manga career, he submitted his works for publication finding many rejected. Fortunately, he caught the attention of Shotaro Ishinomori, (creator of Cyborg 009) who helped him get started. Ishinomori saw this work and praised Nagai for it, but commented that the design was too chunky and should improve it a little.
Nagai would become an assistant with Shotaro Ishinomori and his first comic work was left buried and forgotten until 2007, when it was published for the first time, in the magazine Comic Ran TWINS Sengoku Busho Retsuden (コミック乱 TWINS 戦国武将列伝) by LEED, under the name Satsujinsha (殺刃者(さつじんしゃ)). Nagai would make his debut with the comic-book Meakashi Polikichi (published in the November 1967 issue of Bokura Magazine).
His turning point came in 1968, with the controversial comic-book Harenchi Gakuen ("Shameless High School"), which not only became a huge success, but singlehandedly revolutionized the manga industry.
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).
The year 1971 saw publication of his comic-book, Demon Lord Dante, about a demon awakening in the present to destroy mankind. The following year saw what would be perhaps Nagai's best works, and since then, he had formed his own company Dynamic Productions. His "Dante" comic foreshadowed its more popular incarnation, Devil-Man, which soon had its own anime series in 1972. Then came his classic comic-book/anime series, Mazinger Z, which started the Super Robot wave in Japan, and became influental to just about any giant robot you've ever seen, from Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), Hyakujû-ô Goraion (1981) to Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). Despite popular belief, Go Nagai merely pitched the idea of combining mecha for Ken Ishikawa's Getter Robo (1974) rather than being the creator of the series.
He is also best known for creating perverse, sex-oriented parodies, his most memorable being another 1972 vintage, Cutey Honey, about an android girl named Honey Kisaragi, who fights monsters and demons, and also has the power to change into different clothes, most prominently from her blonde-haired Kisaragi persona to her red-haired, super-suited Cutey Honey persona! Nagai created a similar superheroine called Kekko Kamen, a spoof of Japan's pioneer TV superhero show, Gekkou Kamen (1958). Whereas Gekkou Kamen was a man wearing a white costume, cape, mask and turban, Kekkou Kamen was a girl who wore only a mask, an occasional cape, gloves, boots, thin scarf, and nothing else!
Nagai's Dynamic Productions split from Toei Animation around 1981, so he was given more creative freedom, thus producing his own shows, such as a 2-part OVA (Original Video Animation - a term for anime made exclusively direct-to-video) remake of Devilman in 1987, and more recently, sequels to Cutey Honey, Getter Robo, and Mazinger Z.
- Harenchi Gakuen (1968)
- The Abashiri Family (1969)
- Demon Lord Dante (1971)
- Devilman (1972)
- Mazinger Z (1972)
- Dororon Enma-kun (1973), (2011 anime remake)
- Cutie Honey (1973)
- Violence Jack (1973)
- Kekko Kamen (1974)
- Steel Jeeg (1975)
- UFO Robot Grendizer (1975)
- Battle Hawk (1976)
- Gaiking (1976)
- Pro-Wres no Hoshi Aztecaser (1976)
- Majokko Tickle (1978)
- X-Bomber (Star Fleet) (1980)
- Iron Virgin Jun (1983)
- Getter Robo Go (1991) - co-created with original 1974 manga creator Ken Ishikawa
- Devil Lady (1997)