Shinichi Watanabe

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Not to be confused with Shinichirō Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.
Shinichi Watanabe dressed in the style of his 'Nabeshin' character.

Shinichi Watanabe (渡邊 慎一 Watanabe Shin'ichi?, born September 6, 1964) is a Japanese anime director and voice actor. He is best known for his over-the-top adaptation of Rikdo Koshi's Excel Saga, in which he appears as the character Nabeshin. In addition to his appearance in Excel Saga and Puni Puni Poemy, his likeness has also appeared as NB in Tenchi Muyo! GXP, Inu-Afro in Dotto Koni-Chan and in a bit role in Mahoromatic. In addition, an unmistakable cameo of Nabeshin can be seen in Nurse Witch Komugi. He has also appeared in EyeShield 21. More recently he has made appearances in episode 32 of Hayate no Gotoku, the 9th episode of Tayutama and the 7th episode of Nyan Koi.

Watanabe stated that the nickname Nabeshin (which is a combination of "nabe" in Watanabe and "shin" in Shinichi) came to him from Kami-sama.[1]

About his unique appearance (dressing similar to the character Arsène Lupin III) Watanabe said he grew out his afro and started wearing bright clothing in order to stand out and get attention.[2]

As Nabeshin in Excel Saga and Nerima Daikon Brothers and other appearances[edit]

Nabeshin (ナベシン), since he is based on the director, only appears in the anime version of Excel Saga, and the spin-off series Puni Puni Poemi. Nabeshin is a peculiar character, since he appears in two capacities - acting as a director, working on the show and often battling with Rikdo (in a parody of the conflict that original writers sometimes find themselves in when their work is adapted), and as a character in the fictional universe of the show, playing a role as a devil-may-care vigilante. His design is a combination of stylish cool and over-the-top absurdity; he wears Lupin the Third's suit and a gigantic afro out of which he can pull an endless supply of weapons. Nabeshin can be considered a parody of other directors who insert themselves into their shows to make themselves look cooler.

Nothing is ever really explained about Nabeshin, although it is hinted that he has a vast, complicated history. The series frequently features old allies and enemies of his, such as Space Butler XIII, Tetsuko, Red Beard and Antonio. He has had some prior encounters with the Puuchuu race, and he and Space Butler knew Hyatt and possibly Il Palazzo long before the events in Excel Saga. Nabeshin was involved in a dramatic battle at a location named Pogota (possibly after Bogotá), apparently involving That Man. Later in the series, Pedro and later his son Sandora are found to also have the "Power of the Afro", and Nabeshin becomes their partner in an offensive against That Man.

Nabeshin is also a character featured in Tokyo Pig as one of Noriyasu Hatakeyama's best friends. This child character is apparently the 3rd grade equivalent to Nabeshin from Excel Saga, wearing almost the same clothes and afro.

Nabeshin also appears as "Oya-san" (aka Pops), the rental store owner, in the musical comedy anime Nerima Daikon Brothers. Every episode he helps the three characters out of a predicament with a "rental," after they entertain him with a song.

Nabeshin also has made a brief appearance in Nurse Witch Komugi, where he is supposed to direct her anime, but quit due to co-worker incompetence.

Nabeshin recently, made an appearance on Hayate the Combat Butler(epi.32), notice that Excel Saga, and Nerima Daikon Brothers were also on TV Tokyo.

His clothing style is a reference to Arsène Lupin III from the Lupin III series, of which he directed an animated TV special. This was referenced to in the Italian dub, as he was given the same voice actor as Lupin.[original research?] While Lupin's rival in that special is only loosely modeled after him, Lupin: Green vs. Red features an actual Lupin imitator modeled after his animated Nabeshin persona.

Nabeshin's likeness can also be seen in the anime Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (USA: The Wallflower). The director appears in the 'Path to Becoming a Lady' (レデイへの道 redei e no michi) sections of the anime.

Nabeshin also makes a brief appearance in Eyeshield 21 as a mechanic during episode 16.

Nabeshin also made a very brief appearance on Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School during episode 9.

Nabeshin makes cameos in several episodes of Zettai Karen Children.

Nabeshin makes an appearance in Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity as a salesman in episode 9.

Nabeshin makes a cameo in episode 7 of Nyan Koi! as a bus driver.

Nabeshin makes a cameo in episode 3 of Rune Soldier as an adventurer.

Nabeshin makes a cameo in éX-D: Danger Zone as a pedestrian.

The surname of him is mentioned in the episode 14 of Chibi Vampire and in the episode 105 of YuYu Hakusho.

Nabeshin makes a cameo in episode 8 of Sket Dance as audition Director. He also shows up in episode 23 of Sket Dance to promote his new (fictional?) anime.



Chief Director Work[edit]

Episode Directing and Storyboards[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Zac Bertschy (May 24, 2007). "Interview: Shinichi "Nabeshin" Wantanabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  2. ^ none (August 12, 2011). "Shinichi Watanabe "Nabeshin" Exclusive Interview - Investigating Anime". Martell Brothers Studios, LLC. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Anime Expo Hosts Excel Saga Director Shinichi Watanabe, Anime News Network, February 18, 2010

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]