Mamoru Nagano Lists
In 1995 a Questions and Answers book about Mamoru Nagano’s Five Star Stories was released by the name of Questionia. It includes over a hundred questions from fans, editors, etc, all answered in rich detail. As far as I know this hasn’t been translated into English and so I wanted to post his answer to two excellent questions of a general nature that deal with Nagano’s aesthetics. If you like Five Star Stories, or even just this picture right here, you’re in for a treat.
Q#84: Please tell us each of the designers, authors and illustrators who have most influenced you.
A: Yukio Mishima, Yoshiyuki Tomino, Irving, W. Disney, Osamu Tezuka, Kihachiroh Kawamoto, Wilde, Doyle, Arthur C. Clarke, Roger Dean, A. Rackham, P. Delvaux, Jacos [sic] Schumacher (especially), Wagner, Tchaikovsky, the Beatles (and always the newest stuff coming out from the underground scene of that time), Ferdinand Porsche, the Daimler Benz corporation, Pinin Farina, Cartier products, the Krupp company’s drawing plans, a great number of musical instrument manufacturers, George Lucas, Thunderbird.
NOTES: are my annotations on this list, including the first names fully fleshed out as I’ve found them.
1. Yukio Mishima – novelist, playwright, actor and political activist. The Alpha and Omega of 20th century Japan. If you enjoy value judgments, let’s call him the Best and Worst of Japan.
2. Yoshiyuki Tomino – creator of Mobile Suit Gundam.
3. Irving – Hard to say who this is referring to…John? There’s also a show biz agency in Japan called “irving”…
4. Walt Disney – godfather of all animation.
5. Osamu Tezuka – godfather of Japanese animation.
6. Kihachiroh Kawamoto – puppet designer and prince of the animation world.
7. Wilde – Oscar Wilde, for sure. Artist for for art’s sake. Anglo-Irish decadent.
8. Doyle – Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame is my best guess, especially coming right after Wilde.
9. Arthur C. Clarke – sci fi legend.
10. Roger Dean – The English designer famous for doing funky album covers in the 60s and 70s.
11. Arthur Rackham – English illustrator, specially known for his work on fairy tales.
12. Paul Delvaux – Belgian Surrealist known for his paintings of women.
13. Jacos Schumacher – the most tantalizing reference, because he’s put that “especially” in, happens to be the most elusive. Here the text actually has “Jacos” but I think maybe it’s a misspelling for “Jacob” (the katakana involved do resemble each other). The only Jacob Schumacher I can find is a leader of the Templers, a German millenarian Christian group which tried to fulfill Bible prophecy by emigrating to Palestine starting in the 19th century. But that doesn’t really make sense. Or is this one of Nagano’s characters? ???
14. Wagner – Richard, the German opera composer.
15. Tchaikovsky – Pyotr, the Russian composer of ballets and symphonies.
16. The Beatles – you know them, right?
17. Ferdinand Porsche – German automobile designer and tank designer.
18. Daimler-Benz – German automobile manufacturer
19. “Pinin” Farina – Italian automobile designer, known for his work with Ferrari.
20. Cartier – famous French jeweller.
21. Krupp – Super old and super powerful German steel and armaments family business. Also worked on tanks.
22. George Lucas – Star Wars man.
23. Thunderbird – I can’t tell from all of the possible choices which one Nagano is referring to: Gibson’s, Ford’s, the British TV series Thunderbirds???
Q#85: Please tell us each of the things and people which Mamoru Nagano has thought were the most beautiful throughout his life.
A: Nina from Big X, Gabrielle Drake from UFO, Nadia Comăneci, Anne Frank, Princess Aurora, the Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, the Rickenbacker 4001S, the Fender Stratocaster, the Spector NS-2, Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso, 1959 Ferrari 250 TR, the Hapsburg double-headed eagle, Roger Dean’s dragons, Luna Kohzuki, my wife, the Cartier Panthère, Patricia Boyd, Farouk Ruzimatov, gasp gasp, there’s more still! The Fatimas, the look of the bullet train Nozomi, a lump of plutonium, CG Lachesis, Pai in Virtual Fighter 2 with moves like ↓ P + K + G and ↓ P P P + K. “Your kung fu ain’t good enough!” “I know, so just shut up!!”
NOTES: I hope I’m not breaking 76 copyrights or anything, but the best way to illustrate this particular list is to actually provide the illustrations!
1. Nina – A character in Osamu Tezuka’s Big X.
2. Gabrielle Drake – Actress in the 1970 British series UFO.
3. Nadia Comăneci – Romanian gymnast, first ever Olympic perfect 10 (in 1976)
4. Anne Frank – Jewish German famous for her wartime diary.
5. Princess Aurora – heroine of Sleeping Beauty.
6. Harley-Davidson knucklehead – motorbike engine produced from 1936 to 1947.
7. Rickenbacker 4001S – Bass guitar produced in the 60s and 70s
8. Fender Stratocaster – since 1954 one of the most popular electric guitar models.
9. Spector NS-2 – another popular bass guitar.
10. Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso – 250 GT designed by Farina and introduced in 1962.
11. 1959 Ferrari 250 TR – one of the legendary Testa Rossas [possibly my favorite!!!]
12. Hapsburg Double-headed Eagle – symbol of the Holy Roman dynasty from Austria.
13. Roger Dean’s dragons – this one is for a Pink Floyd album.
14. Luna Kohzuki – character in Neo-Human Casshern (1973 and later)
15. Nagano’s wife – voice actress Maria Kawamura. She played Lachesis in the FSS movie and Jung-Freud in Gunbuster.
16. Cartier Panthère -Cartier has a watch series, jewellery and even a perfume based on the panther motif.
17. Pattie Boyd – former wife and muse of George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
18. Farouk Ruzimatov – Russian ballet dancer and theater director.
19. Fatimas – semi-robotic semi-living mortar headd operators. For example, Focus Light, the very first Fatima built in the Star System.
20. Bullet Train Nozomi – it began service in 1992 with the 300 series, the only sort available in 1995.
21. Plutonium – granted this is not a lump per se, but it’ll still blow up your house.
22. CG Lachesis – it took me hours to find her so my appreciation is probably higher than most people’s 🙂 She appeared in volume 6 (in the Japanese edition) of FSS, 1994.
23. Pai from Virtua Fighter 2 – Pai Chan, the Hong Kong fighter in this Sega game released in 1994 for the arcades. I think this cap is from the Saturn version.
There’s obviously a few holes and maybe some mistakes in this so be sure to let me know if you find anything! Is it a coincidence both lists have sorta 23 items?