Releasing in 1991, CB Character Go Nagai World is a massive cross-over event and parody in one. It stars all of the major Go Nagai licenses of the time, who end up invading each other’s story and messing things up. Devilman, Mazinger, Violence Jack, everybody’s here. Though looking a little different compared to when we last saw them.
The story is kicked off when one day the Devilman cast wakes up, only to find themselves looking different from usual. They’re small, bobble-headed, and their features are greatly exaggerated. They have been chibified! They then set out on a journey to discover how this could have happened, which sees them being harassed by familiar villains. Though they too have been turned cute and had some of their IQ docked for good measure. The situation quickly turns nonsensical, even before the space ships start showing up.
Comedy-wise, CB Character Go Nagai World was initially a homerun for me. Getting to see these familiar plots unfold in the most stupid ways possible was incredibly fun. The voice actors do a great job of capturing their original performances, but making them several times sillier. Ryo who has no problem-solving skills besides threatening people with his gun, Dr. Hell who falls in love with Sirene, Jack who can’t keep his stoic act together, it’s all wonderful. It actually took me a while to realize that these were the actual voice actors from the most recent incarnations of these franchises.
I do have to say that the crossover doesn’t entirely work. It’s fun to see these characters from wildly different series hang out, but their storylines are very divided. Episode 1 is almost all Devilman, episode 2 is all Mazinger, and episode 3 is mostly wrap-up with a bit of Violence Jack stapled to it. Not quite the shared adventure you would hope for
There are also notable absences. There’s no Cutie Honey, no Enma, no Harenchi Gakuen, no Abashiri Family, and no Kekko Kamen. That’s not even mentioning some of the more obscure Go Nagai licenses that would have made for neat shout-outs.
Overall, I had a pretty good time with CB Character Go Nagai World. It’s goofy and its story has some interesting twists, backed up by excellent performances. Just don’t go into it expecting 90s Isekai Quartet.