Random Ramblings Vol.03 : Celebrating 40 years of Nagai Go Goodness

Time for more random ramblings…boy, this blog has more than that, instead of gaming. Well, the reason is that currently I’m busy with exams for the semester and translating my game projects to plain english while making new ones. But enough about that!

This year marks the 40 year aniversary of two rather legendary series, two series by non other than the favoured assistance of Ishinomori Shoutaro himslef, Nagai Go! This year, it’s Mazinger Z and Devilman’s birthday.

The story is a bit on the odd side. Nagai Go started penning the Devilman series, a series that while it had tons of gore and some very disturbing scenes, even for today’s standards, it was kind of like a documentary showcasing humanity’s greatest enemy : the demons. And not the ones the came out from Hell, but the ones that reside in humanity’s heart, the inner selves of the humans, the ugly side of man that is willing to become inhuman to achieve his goal. And it had a truly iconic picture where Devilman breathed fire and burned those “demons” down. The picture was blurring with the heat and everything was distorted…leading to the question…who was the real demon? The literal one, that burned the humans out of anger for their despicable actions against their own kin for the sake of their own curiosity and distorted morals, or the humans themselves, now being to chunks of flesh, as if they were in Hell burning in it’s eternal fires because the atrocities they commited in the name of “humankind”?

You can find these legendary pictures here,here,here and here!

Just by seeing this, anyone can get depressed or burdened with questions, moreso the writter himself. To counter this, Nagai made a very lighthearted and awesomely hot blooded series that practically made robots cool again since the age of greek mythology that had Talos the iron giant, with the Iron Fortress, the robot that can be either a god or a devil, the all powerfull Mazinger Z. Staring a hot blooded youth hailing from a family of scientists, named Kabuto Kouji, the series was fairly episodic in nature and aimed to please with tons of giant robotic awesomeness.

Here’s Mazinger Z in case you are wondering :

Mazinger’s popularity and good writing[Nagai was letting off some serious steam and he enjoyed it], both in the tv series and the manga, helped the robot genre finally get up on it’s feet and finally introduced the concept of the robots being piloted. From the inside, with controls that looked like an airplane’s, a jet’s or something of the sort. It has spawned countless spin-offs and sequels, many familiar and loveable characters that everyone wants to see riding their robots again! Seriously, everyone loves the Mazingers.

Mazinger Z

Everyone…exept for Nagai himself…but only for a period of time. Devilman initially suffered from bad timing, because it was paired with Mazinger and the later, due to it’s lighthearted nature and awesome new ideas stole Devilman’s thunder as Nagai’s best work at the time. Nagai was his own worst enemy and he hated it. Things got better though, as Devilman was aknowledged and even got a sequel, Violence Jack and his legacy now lives on.

40 years later now…Mazinger Z and his incarnations have appeared in more videogames than one can keep track of, without counting the Super Robot Wars series where he is a staple, a member of the “Holy Triad of Mechas”. Devilman on the other hand…not so much. So far I’ve counted three decent appearences in videogames and just three arcade shoot’em ups that don’t even do him justice.

The opening of one of his games is pretty awesome though!

One of the games I’d like to do, if I could get use licenced characters and settings, would be a Devilman game. With the videogame technology finally having reached a summit, I only dreamed of as a kid, but stopped hoping it could be achieved, I’d love to make a game with him. A game that tells of that man’s crusade to save humanity, the tale of Fudo Akira, the Devilman and later known as the giant going by the name of Violence Jack. Even if it will result in a game where gore will be like the air we breath, everywhere and anywhere, due to games like Mortal Kombat and other over-the-top violent games, I’m pretty possitive it can happen now, without any censoring.

It may have been a fine idea, but unfortunately didn’t age that well.

It’s time someone did justice to Devilman in the videogame world and finally altered the fate of the Earth and his tragic fates by the power of our controllers. It’s about time we get to see his tale in videogame form and about time we get to be Fudo Akira…no…Devilman!

Devilman - Akira Fudo

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