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Shintaro Kago

Page history last edited by Aja Julian 15 years, 5 months ago
Shintaro Kago (駕籠 真太郎; Kago Shintarō), was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Not much else is known about his early life, his schooling, his major inspirations, or why he got into manga. He remains fairly tight-lipped about his past, and plans to keep it that way. In a recent interview, he said that both his parents died when he was a year old, and soon thereafter participated in a childhood rife with theft and debauchery, but who can say if it's true or not: the magazine the interview was published in isn't known for great journalistic truth. But Shintaro Kago is here and he's here to try and make you sick.
 
Such a normal, unassuming guy. Such a horrific, crazed mind.
 

Style

He has described his style in an interview with Ondergrond.tv as just wanting to shock people, and the most consistent way of doing that is to show sex and violence. Kago's style is classified as Ero Guro, short for "Erotic Grotesque" (エログロ) . Ero Guro is a wasei-eigo term (literally "Made-in-Japan English") that describes a literary and artistic movement in the 1920's and 30's. The grotesqueness of Ero Guro comics has been improperly used by western audiences to mean blood, guts, and horror -- when in actuality the "grotesque" of Ero Guro describes the malformed, unnatural or horrific depictions.  Alternately, Shintaro Kago's style has been likened to "fashionable paranoia", where "fashionable" refers to the idea that the manga itself is cool, rather than the actual artwork looking cool.
 
He has been published in several adult manga magazines and Vice Magazine in the US, gaining him considerable popularity in and outside of Japan. Many of his manga have strongly satirical overtones, and deal with grotesque subjects such as extreme sex, scatology and body modification. Many of his short manga comics are experimental and bizarre to downright gross, and he frequently breaks the fourth wall with his drawings, having his characters talk directly to the audience. He also dabbles in messing with traditional page layout, and in some instances completely skewing the whole scheme and really throwing the reader for a loop.
 
You could make the argument that Kago's works are a strange and bizarre social commentary, but where would you begin? Where would you end? Is he making a statement about violence? Is he just pushing the boundaries because there are so few left unturned? Even Kago himself is unsure. He's even gone on to say that a majority of his works are inspired by the magazines that take the chance to publish his works, and he tailors his style and his ideas to the genre of that particular magazine -- most of them being underground, adult, and occasionally pornographic revues.
 
Cover for Vice Magazine
 
 
 
 
some of shintaro kago's monthly comics in Vice mag
 
READER BEWARE: ALL OF SHINTARO KAGO'S LINKED WORKS ARE HEAVILY NSFW/NSFL. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK. "Abstraction", "Blow-Up", "Multiplication" "Oral Cavity Infectious Syndrome" and "The Memories of Others" are good examples of his creative ways of bending and breaking traditional ways of sequential art. If you can get past the grotesque, the various ways that Kago breaks up panels and divides his work is mind-blowing, amusing, and fascinating.
 
a small clip of a panel from "Abstraction"
 

Other Works

He has written some Sci-Fi non-guro manga, the most notable Super-Conductive Brains Parataxis (超伝脳パラタクシス, Choutennou Paratakushisu) for Weekly Young Jump.

 
Recently, Shintaro Kago has gotten into making short animated films, toys, and paintings based around the Guro theme. Of course, they're currently unavailable in the US. He's also been featured in Vice Magazine quite a few times, and now has a monthly comic within the same magazine.
 

Extras

For English speakers, the blog Same Hat! Same Hat! does an excellent job of culling information from Kago's blog and website and translating it, also posting personal interviews, Scanlations, gallery reviews and the like.  http://samehat.blogspot.com/search?q=shintaro+kago
 
Thanks to the exposure from Vice magazine and the Scanlator Anonymous K, Kago's works are being viewed by a much wider audience and being appreciated by such other notable artists like Scott McCloud and MC Frontalot.
 

List of Assorted Works 

▪ 輝け!大東亜共栄圏 (Shine! Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere)
▪ アイコ十六歳 (Aiko, the 16 year old girl)
▪ 六識転想アタラクシア (Six Consciusnesses Thought Changing Ataraxia)
▪ 万事快調 (Everything's Peaceful)
▪ 大葬儀 (The Big Funeral)
▪ 殺殺草紙 (Notebook of Murder and Killing)
▪ 喜劇駅前虐殺 (Atrocious Comedy in Front of the Station)
▪ 駅前花嫁 (Bride in Front of the Station)
▪ 駅前浪漫奇行 (Wandering Cartoon Eccentricities in Front of the Station)
▪ 踊る!クレムリン御殿 (Dance! Kremlin Palace)
▪ かすとろ式 (Kasutoru Shiki)
▪ 健康の設計 (Health Plan)
▪ 奇人画報 (Eccentric People Magazine)
▪ 超伝脳パラタクシス (Super-Conductive Brains Parataxis)
▪ パラノイアストリート (Paranoia Street)
▪ 凸凹ニンフォマニア (Ruggedness Nymphomania)
▪ 人間以上 (Superhuman)
▪ ハンニャハラミタ (Hannya Haramita)
▪ 飛び出す妄想 (Sudden Delusion)
▪ 殺殺草紙・大江戸無残十三苦 (Notebook of Murder and Killing - The 13 Cruel Sufferings of the Great Edo)
▪ 新装・万事快調 (Refurbishment - Everything's Peaceful)
▪ 夢のおもちゃ工場 (Dream Toy's Factory)
▪ 正しい変態性欲
▪ ブラックシアターおばあちゃんが死体くさいよ (Black Theatre: Granny's Dead Body is Stinky!)
 
 

Blog: http://kagosin.exblog.jp/ 

Vice Mag interview with Shintaro Kago: http://www.viceland.com/int/v15n2/htdocs/shintaro_kago_shit_gold.php

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