Shinichi Watanabe (渡邊 慎一 Watanabe Shin'ichi?) (born September 6, 1964) is a Japanese anime director and seiyu. 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 revealed that the nickname Nabeshin (which is a combination of "nabe" in Watanabe and "shin" in Shinichi) came to him from God. He was honored at Anime Expo 2010 in Los Angeles on July 1–4.
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 Lupin the Third's. This was referenced to in the Italian dub, as he was given the same voice actor as Lupin.
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 apparence 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.
Shinichi is the director of:
- Bonobono (multiple episodes, TV series)
- éX-D: Danger Zone
- Excel Saga
- Goal FH
- Gravitation: Lyrics of Love
- Hare Tokidoki Buta (Tokyo Pig)
- Lupin III: Da Capo of Love: Fujiko's Unlucky Days
- Puni Puni Poemi
- Tenchi Muyo! GXP
- Dotto! Koni-chan
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (Known as The Wallflower in the US)
Notes and references
- ↑ Zac Bertschy (May 24, 2007). "Interview: Shinichi "Nabeshin" Wantanabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Anime Expo Hosts Excel Saga Director Shinichi Watanabe, Anime News Network, February 18, 2010
- A Fan's View - 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.