KEMUR

Episode Episode 19: Challenge from the Year 2020
Alias Abduction Mysterious Man
Height 1.9 – 30 meters
Weight 40 kilograms – 15,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Kemur
Features From Planet Kemur which has the time of the year 2020
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Satoshi Furuya

Kumur is the alien from a planet with a timeline (time axis) of the year 2020.

Although they obtained amazing longevity as long as 500 years with the development of medical science, they can’t stop physical deterioration caused by aging.

Thus they came to Earth to abduct people targetting earthlings’ young bodies.

These are referred to in the book ‘Challenge from the Year 2020’ written by Dr. Kanda who claimed he had wrote it through communication with Kemur while experimenting on the X channel lightwave.

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While Lieutenant Colonel Amano (Akiji Kobayashi) who found jet fighter of the Self Defense Force smashed by an intruding UFO on radar, the staff didn’t believe his words.

Kemur abducted people one after another including Manjome with a jelly-like liquid called the ‘deletion energy resource’ given out of the funnel-shaped tip of the head that causes people who have touched it to vanish and to be transmitted to Planet Kemur.

Kemur is capable of running faster than a police car trying to capture him and transformed into Manjome in use of their transformation capability.

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Kemur has the third eye on the back of his head

Ippei and Amano visited Dr. Kanda’s home just after he was abducted as well, but they found a sample of the K miniode in his room, the source of the X channel light wave.

The light wave emitted from Tokyo Tower defeated Kemur who was rampaging in an amusement park after becoming a giant there so that his own liquid deleted himself.

Although the abducted people came back all in one piece wrapped up in a fog which fell down from the sky, Detective Udagawa (Kan Yanagiya), who played a major role in protecting Yuriko from Kemur, ended up going missing after he stepped in a puddle (it turned out to be the deletion liquid) mischievously.

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Lieutenant Colonel Amano and Ippei heading for Dr. Kanda’s home

Kemur is the alien I find extremely attractive whose cylindrical head has three eyes positioning at different heights while the appearance should show the aging deterioration.

He is usually (and officially) called Kemur-jin (Kemur Human) in Japanese instead of Kemur-seijin (Alien Kemur) somehow.

While Kemur reappeared as Kemur II in Episode 33 ‘The Forbidden Words’ of Ultraman, it is also well known that Kemur of Ultra Q was played by Satoshi (Bin) Furuya who was to act Ultraman later.

The laugh-like sounds human-sized Kemur makes were diverted to those of Alien Baltan of Ultraman.

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Detective Udagawa aiming at Kemur with a pistol

PAGOS

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Episode Episode 18: The Rainbow’s Egg
Alias Underground Monster
Height 30 meters
Weight 20,000 tons
Homeplace Ibaraki Prefecture
Features Feeding on uranium; breathing out a molecular structure destruction beam
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama (only the head with the body remodeled from Toho’s Baragon)
Actor Haruo Nakajima

Pagos is the monster set to have once appeared in the suburb of Beijing to attack a uranium storage facility as the monster feeds on uranium.

Pagos breathes out a molecular structure destruction beam that looks like a golden rainbow to the human eye, and the rainbow came out in Japan while sasame bamboo flowers bloomed by coincidence on the same occasion whose blooming is alleged to be ominous.

After Pagos tried to go at a uranium transporter vehicle, the uranium capsule came off and fell down a cliff.

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And a girl, Piiko (Hikaru Shirakawa), mistook the capsule for the rainbow’s egg while she heard and believed that it would make any dream come true, and she attempted to drag it to her grandmother on wheelchair so that the egg could enable the old woman to walk.

While Pagos failed to attack the girl, the monster made its way for the futuristic industrial city under construction with a nuclear power plant.

The shots of the Neo Neutron Missiles, however, decayed Pagos instantly.

At the sight of the girl who came back safely, the old woman stood up from the wheelchair spontaneously and walked steps toward her in delight (I always find these scenes so moving).

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Piiko dragging the uranium capsule she believes to be the rainbow’s egg

The capsule truly turned out to be the rainbow’s egg for them (aside from whether allowing a uranium capsule to be dragged by a girl is appropriate or not by today’s standards).

Although it’s a monster remodeled from Toho’s Baragon, Pagos is quite an attractive kaiju that looks so massive and stately (no surprise because it was played by Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla actor).

It seems that Pagos was to reappear in Episode 9 ‘Operation Uranium’ of Ultraman, but it ended up being replaced by Gavora as the suit had already been converted into Nelonga.

That’s why both Pagos and Gavora are the monsters feeding on uranium and Gavora was dealt with as a monster already known by people in that episode.

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“No, go away!” Piiko trying to protect the rainbow’s egg she believes would cure her grandmother’s disorder with Pagos approaching

1/8 HUMANS

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Episode Episode 17: The 1/8 Project
Height 1/8
Weight 1/8
Features 1/8

One-eighth humans are humans who have been reduced to 1/8 the normal size to solve overpopulation of Tokyo with the world’s highest population density.

They are managed in the area named District S13 with the whole city built at 1/8 scale where they are exempted from work and taxes while they are identified by citizen numbers they are given instead of using names.

Yuriko happened to be accidentally included in applicants rushing to sign up for the 1/8 Project, and she was shrunk to a 1/8 sized human in the shrinking machine.

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Desiring to go back to the normal sized world, Yuriko attempted to escape from the shrunk city, and she managed to reach the Hoshikawa Aviation where Manjome and Ippei should be there.

But, when she found a portrait of her there as she was deemed to have died, she was shocked and returned to the 1/8 city leaving a farewell message to them on paper.

Manjome and Ippei who stepped into the 1/8 city as they remained normal in size finally found Yuriko.

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But she refused to go back with them and fell unconscious when she was mobbed by a crowd of people escaping at the sight of the normal-sized humans like monsters.

It’s a relief to learn that everything was a dream she had while she was unconscious after falling down the stairs and losing consciousness in a crowd at a train station jammed with people.

After having been shrunk to a 1/8 sized human in this episode, Hiroko Sakurai who played Yuriko was made into 40 meters tall Giant Fuji in Episode 33 ‘The Forbidden Words’ of Ultraman.

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CICADA-HUMAN (ALIEN TILSONIA)

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Episode Episode 16: Garamon Strikes Back
Alias Space Mysterious Man
Height 1.8 meters
Weight 150 kilograms
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Controlling Garamons
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Unknown
Human Form  Michio Gina

Alien Tilsonia is the alien who was controlling Garamons.

While he seems to be described as Planetarian (as a human of a planet) Q in the script and is actually referred to as Planetarian and Alien in the drama, he is better known as Semi-ningen (Cicada-human) among us.

As the name shows, he’s an alien who has an appearance like a cicada in a transparent suit (he wears a business suit).

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In disguise of a man who looks kind of androgynous, the alien took back the electronic brain to control Garamons from the Astronomical Physics Laboratory with the use of a remote controller.

While the man got a ride in a truck (sort of hitchhiked it) with a cello case that had the electronic brain inside and fled away, the radio wave emitted from the device called in a group of Garadams from space and made three Garamons appear out of them.

But, as the man was chased by Manjome and others and cornered near a lake, the electronic brain was recovered after a fight over it and the radio wave managed to be cut off, which brought the three Garamons to a halt.

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After shot with a pistol, the man showed his true colors as Alien Tilsonia, but he ended up being executed in flames with a beam attack fired from their spacecraft that emerged from the lake.

Although the spacecraft flew away, it is stated at the end of the episode that the crisis is not over yet as long as we remain unable to destroy the electronic brain made of Tilsonite, which I find it really threatening.

The head of Cicada-human is said to have been remodeled into the one of Alien Baltan.

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GARAMONS

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Episode Episode 16: Garamon Strikes Back
Alias Meteorite Monster
Height 40 meters
Weight 60,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Robot monster controlled by Alien Tilsonia
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Minoru Takahashi

This episode features multiple Garamons sent to Earth for invasion while the alien controlling them finally showed up.

After the first Garamon was defeated in Episode 13 ‘Garadama’, the electronic brain was stolen from the Astronomical Physics Laboratory by a man with remote control where it had been stored.

Attracted to the radio wave the electronic brain started emitting, multiple Garadamas came flying to Earth immediately, and three Garamons emerged out of them.

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Each of these Garamons had a marking on the chest to make the individuals distinctive although they had the same appearances as the one that appeared in Episode 13.

The two of them showed up in Tokyo, and the Tokyo Tower was shaken and destroyed by one of the two.

While this one seems to have been described as an extraordinarily huge individual lately because of its height compared with the Tokyo Tower (333 meters), I think the scale should be an issue you should overlook in this case and it’s appropriate to deem all Garamons to be in the same size.

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The alien in the human form continued to flee with the electronic brain, but Manjome and others managed to capture him at last.

When the electronic brain was taken back and the radio wave was cut off, Garamons came to a halt all together throwing up the liquid.

To show two Garamons in the same scenes, the image of Garamon was duplicated by optical compositing with the use of the single suit (the same one as in Episode 13) with distinctive markings.

The use of markings to make multiple individuals look to be there was also applied to U-tom in Episode 17 ‘Underground: Go! Go! Go!’  of Ultraseven even though optical compositing was not used for the robot with no scenes in which plural U-toms appeared simultaneously.

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Garamon rampaging in the streets of Tokyo making a mystetious hissing sound (I like to find that Garamon doesn’t roar)

KANEGON

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Episode Episode 15: Kanegon’s Cocoon
Alias Coin Monster
Height 2 meters
Weight 200 kilograms
Homeplace Suburb of Tokyo
Features Feeding on coins
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Haruyoshi Nakamura
Voice Mitsuko Aso

Kanegon is a human-sized monster Kaneo Kaneda (Satoshi Tsujisawa; voiced by Mitsuko Aso), a boy who awfully loves money, mutated into.

The monster characteristically has a head shaped like a coin purse (it has zippers as well) with down-slanting eyes sticking up and a nicely bloated belly like a pregnant woman.

He also has two tiny balls on the top of each foot that glow every time he steps on the ground.

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Kaneo and his parents

Although Kaneo’s parents reproved his extreme attachment to money by saying he would become a kaiju named Kanegon if he should stay greedy with money, the impudent boy just laughed it away.

Right after this, however, Kaneo was sucked into the cocoon (it became huge) he had got from his friends and brought back home as it rang like it had a few coins inside.

And he found that he had truly turned into Kanegon!

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Kanegon coming out of the cocoon

As his energy source is coins, Kanegon had to eat money to live, and he would allegedly die if the cash register on his chest should indicate zero.

Kanegon caused a stir showing up at a bank where he ended up devouring coins a woman had dropped in surprise at the sight of the kaiju.

And his friends figured out he would be able to turn back into Kaneo if Hige-oyaji could have been made to stand on his head.

Hige-oyaji (literally mustache old man) was a foreman of the construction site where the children used as their playground and their arch-rival seeing kids playing there as enemies.

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Kanegon will die without eating money constantly

They managed to turn Hige-oyaji upside down on the cliff side as the result, and Kanegon turned back into Kaneo (how funny!).

When Kaneo got back home with glee, an unbelievable sight awaited him there. (I’m not going to say what it is even though I assume many people already know it. Watch the DVD!)

This is truly a hilarious and sarcastic episode I really love featuring one of the masterpiece monsters while this episode is also known as the one in which the regular cast members didn’t appear at all.

The names Kanegon and Kaneo Kaneda came from kane, the Japanese word for money.

HIgeoyaji (left) going the rounds in the construction site on crawler tractor

GARAMON

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Episode Episode 13: Garadama
Alias Meteorite Monster
Height 40 meters
Weight 60,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Robot monster controlled by Alien Tilsonia
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Minoru Takahashi

Garamon is the monster which came out of a meteorite that fell down in Yumigatani Valley.

First of all, a small meteorite made of Tisonite, a substance that was not around on Earth, was picked by kids in the locality.

Meteorites were often found to fall in Yumigatani, and local people called them Garadama (literally meaning Gara Ball. Gara doesn’t make sense particularly).

In a while, with a mysterious Dellinger phenomenon, a huge meteorite crashed into the dam water in the valley, and Garamon emerged from it (the crash seemingly vaporized the water).

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Huge Garadama containing Garamon

Although Garamon looks like a living creature, it’s a robot monster controlled by invasive aliens (Alien Tilsonia who didn’t appear in this episode) through radio waves emitted from the small meteorite that serves as the electronic brain.

Its somewhat awkward movements along with toy-like stepping sound makes Garamon more likely to be a robot.

The spines covering its entire body are set to be the radio wave receivers, and the electronic brain was so rigid to destroy in any way.

When Garamon was about to head for Tokyo after smashing the dam, the staff members of Department of Physics, Tonan University, managed to block the radio waves at Yuriko’s suggestion.

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At that moment, Garamon came to a stop throwing up slimy liquid through the mouth.

While Garamon is described just as Monster in the drama and the credits, the name is said to be the abbreviation of Garadama Monster, and it is also explained that it was named as selected in an open call before the broadcasting.

Garamon reappeared in Episode 16 ‘Garamon Strikes Back’ of Ultra Q.

In Ultraman sequel to Ultra Q, Pigmon that exactly looks like Garamon appeared including Reborn Pigmon in Episode 8 ‘The Wild Monster Zone’ and Episode 37 ‘The Littlest Hero’ respectively.

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Small Garadama (electronic brain) controlling Garamon

Tower of the Sun and Ultraman

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Tower of the Sun (from the postcards I got in the venue of the Expo ’70 at the time)

I have received an inquiry from a reader asking about a possible connection between Taro Okamoto (1911-1996) and Tohl Narita (1929-2002).

Taro Okamoto is a Japanese artist who is famous for his surreal artwork.

He is especially known among Japanese people as the creator of Tower of the Sun built as a symbolic statue for the Expo ’70 held in Osaka in 1970.

While I have to admit that I don’t know much about Taro Okamoto unfortunately, I don’t think their connection has ever been referred to particularly.

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Do we look alike?

Nevertheless, there seem to have been people who pointed out a similarity between Tower of the Sun and Ultraman back then.

As Ultraman is a 1966-1967 TV series,  it could be deemed that Taro Okamoto might have been inspired by Narita’s design in that sense.

While I liked the design of Tower of the Sun as a child and found it quite impressive even when I actually saw it in the venue, I myself didn’t think that it looked like Ultraman, though.

It is intriguing, however, that the Tree of Life, interior sculpture of Tower of the Sun, was designed by Tohl Narita.

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Expo ’70 (from the postcards)

While I couldn’t figure out descriptions showing a particular connection or relationship between the two, in my conclusion, chances are they were just Surrealist artists almost contemporary with each other rather than which influenced which.

I think it can be said both Ultraman and Tower of the Sun are the artwork created in the days when a variety of talents produced their works inspiring one another.

That may be a big feature of the time.

Incidentally, the motif of Tower of the Sun is described as a crow Okamoto kept and adored.

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Tower of the Sun still preserved today in the venue made into a park

LARUGEUS

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Episode Episode 12: I Saw a Bird
Alias Anscient Mysterious Bird
Height 7 centimeters – 50 meters (wingspan: 100 meters)
Weight 300 grams – 15,000 tons
Homeplace Unknown (ancestral bird species set to have been around before the third glaciation)
Features Usually taking the form of a Java sparrow
Designer Unknown
Sculptor Unknown
Actor None (puppet)

Larugeus is the monster bird Dr. Ichinotani assumes to be in a species of ancestral birds that lived before the third glaciation.

Although it usually takes the form of a bird like a Java sparrow, it transformed into a giant bird and destroyed animals of a zoo and livestock to feed on them.

An assaulted zoo keeper found lying on the ground breathed his last saying, “I saw a bird.”

The monster in the form of the little bird was found in a wrecked sailing vessel presumed to date back to the 10th century that suddenly appeared on the sea like a ghost ship.

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Shipwreck like a ghost ship

The vessel had a ship log in its room that also ended with the words “I saw a bird.”

As soon as the log was found, the ship started melting down like wax (wax was used for the shooting actually) and sank in the sea.

The little bird flew to a boat driven by an adventurous boy Saburo (Akihide Tsuzawa) on his way to an offshore island.

He named the finch Kuroo (/kuro-o/), and the bird and boy spent a few days in unity in a fisherman shed on the isolated island.

Whereas the local police caught the dangerous bird and put it in custody, it shaped into the giant bird ruining the police station and soared into the sky.

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Saburo and Kuroo

In the end, after flying around over people including Manjome and Saburo as if saying goodbye to the boy, Larugeus flew away somewhere.

This is an episode that has a fairy-tale feel with special end credits the other episodes don’t have along with a piece of lyrical music overriding the end credits that was newly recorded for this episode.

It’s also known as the episode in which Akihide Tsuzawa played Saburo before he acted Hoshino in Ultraman.

I think he performed his role pretty freshly and impressively in this preceding Ultra Q episode.

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Strong wind cause by Larugeus’ flapping inflicting enormous damage on the local city

BALLOONGA

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Episode Episode 11: Ballonnga
Alias Balloon Monster
Height 50 centimeters – ∞
Weight Set to be unknown
Homeplace Space
Features Infinitely growing up absorbing any energy
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Akira Sasaki (He says he doesn’t remember making it at all in a recent book interview)
Actor None (puppet)

Balloonga is a monster like a giant balloon with creepily wriggling tentacles on its surface floating in the air that grows big infinitely while absorbing energy on Earth.

Its spore initially adhered to the manned Saturn rocket Saturn 1 bound to return to Earth and made it crash into the sea by absorbing the fuel.

And, after the spore was found in the Cessna Manjome had flown over the waters where the rocket went down, it started growing larger and went up to the sky.

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Floating in the air over the heart of Tokyo, Balloonga paralyzed the city by absorbing any energy including electricity on the earth and the power of a typhoon and kept growing.

Balloonga’s spore was found 20 years ago originally by Dr. Akihiko Naramaru (Hirayoshi Aono) when it came flying on a meteorite.

And it was killed by him as he anticipated that it could destroy human civilization if it’s allowed to grow up.

Dr. Naramaru was a scientist who had secluded himself from the academic world as his scientific paper on Balloonga was not appreciated with no evidence as the spore had been destroyed and he was left branded as a con man.

Dr. Naramatsu

At Dr. Naramaru’s suggestion, however, an artificial sun was formed by a rocket launched from the United Nations’ satellite, and Balloonga was lured to space having remembered its native food: (energy of) suns.

While watching the balloon monster leaving for space, Dr. Naramaru explained that Balloonga was a life form that ate (absorbed) stellar energy drifting in the universe, adding that the deceased pilot of Saturn 1 was his son.

He also impressively described Balloonga as a natural phenomenon, God’s warning and the natural enemy of civilization.