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As a child, he was influenced by the work of Gustave Dore (specifically, a Japanese edition of the Divine Comedy) and Osamu Tezuka (his brother Yasutaka gave him a copy of Lost World).
After he graduated from the Metropolitan Itabashi High School of Tokyo, he entered the world of manga.
With the help of his brother Yasutaka, he created his first manga works.
He also pioneered the ecchi genre with Harenchi Gakuen.
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.
He was determined to create one work of manga in what he thought were his last months.
As Nagai prepared for the task, he went to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with catarrh of the colon, and soon healed. Convinced that he would continue working on manga, he stopped attending school after three months and started living as a ronin.
, is a Japanese manga artist and a prolific author of science fiction, fantasy, horror and erotica.
He made his professional debut in 1967 with Meakashi Polikichi, but is best known for creating Cutie Honey, Devilman, and Mazinger Z.