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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.
As Nabeshin in Excel Saga and Nerima Daikon Brothers and other appearances
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.
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.
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
- Fair, then Partly Piggy (1997-1998) - Debut work as Chief Director
- Lupin III: Da Capo of Love: Fujiko's Unlucky Days / The Columbus Files (1999)
- Excel Saga (1999-2000)
- Dotto! Koni-chan (2000-2001) (up to the 13th episode)
- Puni Puni Poemi (2001)
- Tenchi Muyo! GXP (2002)
- éX-D: Danger Zone (2002)
- Nerima Daikon Brothers (2006)
- Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (2006-2007) (known as The Wallflower in the US)
- Monster High (Japan-exclusive anime) 2014
Episode Directing and Storyboards
- Mister Ajikko (1987-1989) - Debut work as an episode director on the episode #56
- Warau Salesman (1989-1992)
- Obocchama-kun (1989-1992)
- Shōnen Ashibe (1991)
- Shōnen Ashibe2 (1992-1993)
- Salad Jūyūshi Tomatoman (1992-1993)
- Dragon League (1993-1994)
- Jungle no Ōja Tā-chan (1993-1994)
- Omakase Scrappers (1994-1995)
- Akazukin Chacha (1994-1995)
- Goal FH (1994)
- Mahōjin Guru Guru (1994-1995)
- Yusha Keisatsu J-Decker (1994-1995)
- Virtua Fighter (1995-1996)
- The Brave of Gold Goldran (1995-1996)
- Bonobono (multiple episodes, TV series) (1995 - 1996)
- Soar High! Isami (1995-1996)
- Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger (1995-1996)
- Meiken Lassie (1996)
- Kiteretsu Daihyakka (1996)
- Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo (1996-2004)
- YAT Anshin! Uchu Ryokou (1996-1998)
- Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (1996-1997)
- Harimogu Harry (1996-1997)
- Ganbarist! Shun (1996-1997)
- Kodomo no Omocha (1996-1998)
- Grander Musashi (1997)
- GaoGaiGar: King of Braves (1997-1998)
- Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku (1998)
- Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children (2000-2001)
- Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School (2001)
- Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Light & Dark (2002-2003)
- Mahoromatic - Automatic Maiden (2002-2003)
- Crush Gear Nitro (2003-2004)
- Popotan (2003)
- Godannar (2003)
- Burn-Up Scramble (2004) - Ending Storyboards
- Gakuen Alice (2004-2005)
- Uta Kata (2004)
- To Heart -Remember my Memories- (2004)
- Eyeshield 21 (2005-2008)
- Tokimeki Memorial Only Love (2006-2007)
- Hayate no Gotoku! (2007-2008)
- Mushiuta (2007) - Storyboards only
- Zettai Karen Children (2008-2009)
- Kirarin Revolution(2008) - Storyboards
- Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity (2009)
- Beyblade (2009-2010) - Storyboards
- Nyan Koi! (2009)
- Hanasakeru Seishōnen (2009)
- Baka to Test to Shōkanjū (2010) #3, 5, 10, 12
- Sket Dance (2011-2012) #5, 8, 11-13, 20, 30, 32, 38-39, 43, 54
- Baka to Test to Shōkanjū Ni! (2011) #3, 5, 10, 12
- C3 -C cube- (2011) #4, 9
- Pretty Rhythm: Dear My Future (2012) - Storyboards
- Tasogare Otome × Amnesia (2012) - Storyboards
- Danball Senki Little Battlers eXperience (2012) - Storyboards
- OniAi (2012) - Storyboards
- Da Capo III (2013) - Storyboards
- No-Rin (2014) - Storyboards
Notes and references
- Zac Bertschy (May 24, 2007). "Interview: Shinichi "Nabeshin" Wantanabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- none (August 12, 2011). "Shinichi Watanabe "Nabeshin" Exclusive Interview - Investigating Anime". Martell Brothers Studios, LLC. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- Anime Expo Hosts Excel Saga Director Shinichi Watanabe, Anime News Network, February 18, 2010
- Bonaminio, Salvan (1 October 2009). "Anime Review: The Wallflower". The Escapist. Alexander Macris.
While a series filled with "beautiful men" who take advantage of costume changes at every opportunity might not be your cup o` tea, there is no need to fret fellas, it's directed by Shinichi Watanabe - the man responsible for the madness in Excel Saga and Puni Puni Poemi - so how bad can it be?
- Aoki, Deb (30 June 2010). "Anime Expo 2010: Thursday's Manga Highlights". About.com. The New York Times Company.
Meet top anime director Shinichi Watanabe(Excel Saga, Tenchi Muyo, The Wallflower), a guy who's so famous and well-respected in the field, his likeness (and you-can't-miss-it-even-if-you-tried giant 'fro) has even been immortalized in anime series such as Eyeshield 21, Hayate the Combat Butler and Excel Saga.
- "Shinichi Watanabe Anime Interview". Active Anime. 26 October 2007.
- A Fan's View (Archived) - Shinichi Watanabe, Anime Convention Personality of the Week, June 27, 2004.
- 新装開店「もっとナベシンにもいわせろ！！」 - Shinichi Watanabe's website.
- Shinichi Watanabe's Thoughts on Anime Piracy - Video Clips of Shinichi Watanabe's Thoughts on Anime Piracy at Oni-Con 2007. (via the Wayback Machine)
- Shinichi Watanabe at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Interview With Shinichi Watanabe at Anime Boston 2013 - Anime Herald