Natsume Kyusaku: one of the finest minds ever to grace the field of cybernetics. A loon.

Kyusaku studied under Professor Yoshikawa, the 'Father of Biotechnology,' and went on to work in the R&D department of Mishima Heavy Industries, a major military equipment manufacturer. He married Akiko, the granddaughter of the company's owner, and its President. They had one son, Ryunosuke, and everything was fine up to a point.

That point came when Grandfather Mishima started pressuring Kyusaku for an early release of the android he was developing. Since it would take years to make the android a functioning member of society, Kyusaku realised that Mishima must want it solely for a war machine. His own principles wouldn't allow him to go along with that. Concerned about the sort of upbringing Ryunosuke might get if he left him with Akiko, he piled the boy, the near-complete but still inactive android and assorted equipment into a junky old Land Rover and ran away on Christmas Eve.

Kyusaku's character is pretty much summed up right there - technically brilliant but somewhat naive (why on earth did he think Mishima was funding his research?), well-intentioned but often insensitive (Akiko, naturally, was both heartbroken and furious about him taking off with Ryunosuke), a weird combination of quixotically flaky and responsible.

Despite everything, Kyusaku is a pretty good father. He loves Ryunosuke, obviously, and doesn't talk down to him just because he's a kid. In fact, he addresses him as 'Ryu-san,' to show that he respects him as an equal - and also to bring it home to Ryunosuke that he has to try to be mature about his situation. That's a lot to lay on a kid, but Ryunosuke seems to be coping.

Part of the reason for Nuku Nuku's inclusion in the Natsume family is to provide Ryunosuke with routine and reliable care. Kyusaku's own living patterns are apt to be erratic, to say the least. He'll go without sleep for several days straight if he's working on something special, and at these times gets very punchy and disoriented. He'd also probably live on fast food if left to himself. He has a little den in the apartment he shares with Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke (it looks like a storage cupboard with a sliding door) where he keeps his computer and spends hours tapping away and smoking one cigarette after another. To support his family, Kyusaku has found work as a teacher at the high school Nuku Nuku attends, and has probably developed something of a reputation as a dead shot with a stick of chalk.

Kyusaku believes in old-fashioned family values, and putting your loved ones first. He can be a tiny bit of a male chauvinist sometimes, and tends to assume he knows what's best for everyone. (What is it with people who build androids and playing God?) In a highly scientific study of every Nuku Nuku episode, it was found that you never once see Kyusaku's eyes.

What's not immediately apparent about Kyusaku is that he still loves Akiko dearly. He can't compromise his principles enough to live the life she would like them to have, but has never stopped caring for her. Although it's easy to feel dubious about him building such a cute female android, he really is just a good dad to Nuku Nuku. And Nuku Nuku loves her Papa-san!

Omake for Otaku

Kamiya Akira, Kyusaku's voice actor, has been working in anime for donkey's years and was even in the great old series Urusei Yatsura, in which he played Mendou. Plus, he was the voice of Professor Tomoe in Sailormoon S, so he's obviously got this mad scientist thing nailed!

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