Vintage 1970s Go Nagai, this is arguably his most famous work, and the most relevant to fans of fanservice. Compared to today’s standards Nagai’s art style looks like it was drawn by a caveman, but for those who aren’t turned off by ultra old school nudity in manga, I present to you the first half of the Cutey Honey manga, in fanservice distilled form.
Cutey Honey manga (2 volumes, ongoing)
I don’t know what an average manga was like in the 1970s, so I don’t know how Go Nagai’s works compare in the context of his time. It’s possible that his immense popularity derived from a unique, if incredibly crude, character design style. After all, we’ve seen many other mega-hit mangaka over the years who succeeded because of crude stylings, not despite them. Mangaka such as Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), Eiichiro Oda (One Peice), and Hiro Mashima (Fairy Tail).
But you know, I kinda suspect the real reason for Go Nagai’s rise was his love for titties. Just about every Go Nagai manga is jam packed with bare breasts. But unlike ecchi or hentai manga that are designed for that one purpose, Nagai was a bit more nefarious: he inserted nudity into classic comic action hero stories. Superheroes who’s world saving powers conveniently required them to get naked. Though it’s hard to think the nudity is merely artistic license when some of his chapters have nudity on the majority of their pages.
In the case of Cutey Honey, it’s even more pervy than usual, as Cutey Honey was developed alongside a TV series meant for young girls. Try to imagine what it might be like if Sailor Moon was based on a manga where the girls are showing off their breasts every 4th page.