Voices Of Monsters


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As my readers pointed out in their comments, the voice of Jamyra (Jamila) which sounded like groaning was also very much impressive that helped to make us aware of the tragic monster’s hostility to the human race and his grief.

When he was defeated by Ultraman with Ultra Water Stream, he roared like a crying baby crawling and wriggling in mud before he breathed his last…

 

Akio Jissoji who produced this episode as the director said in his book that he aimed at the effect of the monster’s voice turning into a human baby’s cry with the use of the processed voice of a real baby recorded when a crew member in charge of sound effects made his own baby cry for real (poor baby…).

Jissoji seems to find the result satisfactory enough saying he feels proud that he got to express jamyra’s innocent emotions and sadness of being wiped off from Earth.

 

There were cases in which a voice of a kaiju was diverted to another one like Gyango (Gango) and Telesdon (I love their voices) or came from the other monsters of films, but I think they made the sounds distinctive by processing them or overlapping sounds with each other.

Alongside of Jamyra, I think the roars of kaijus featured in the primary Ultra Series were excellently attractive and impressive to the extent that we can associate each monster with the roar he made with Alien Baltan and Zetton as typical examples.

It is also well known that the funny sounds Gavadon (A) makes when moving forward were generated from rubbing a glass surface as they apparently sound as such.

Ultraseven In Hawaii


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The English version of the Ultraseven theme sung by Masato Shimon

The other day, one of my readers kindly shared the information on the Ultraseven shows held in Hawaii in 1975 in the comment section on this blog.

As the linked articles were so lovably funny and worth seeing while they convey the atmosphere the shows had back then, I hope you will take a look at them and enjoy!

Although I have known that Ultraseven was aired in Hawaii in those days, these articles were such a fun thing.

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Ultraseven English pamphlets shown in ‘Ultraman Whitepaper’

It was when books with detailed information on the Ultra Series for adults started being published here in Japan in the 1980s that I learnt about the fact though it was just briefly referred to in those books.

While I was a senior high student then, I didn’t imagine at all the Ultra Series would gain this much popularity even outside of Japan (and I’m now running a blog on it in English!) at the time.

The information of one of the books told us that the English version of the Ultraseven theme song was sung by Masato Shimon.

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An interview with Noboru Tsuburaya shown in ‘Ultraman Whitepaper’

Masato Shimon was a representative singer of Japanese tokusatsu and amime TV shows in the 1970s, and he’s known to have sung the theme song of Kamen Rider, tokusatsu hero series that have been so popular along with the Ulraman Series.

And, excitingly enough. one of the articles mentioned above shows him on the stage of an Ultraseven show!

Last but not least, I always appreciate comments from readers that let me know what I have never known or seen.

Many thanks to you all!!!

Expressiveness Of Jamyra


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As to the expressiveness of the monsters which were capable of performing drama, as one of my readers pointed out in his comment, Jamyra is an unforgettable example.

When the monster was destroying a village with furious hostility against human beings as he found they had abandoned him, the words Ide yelled at him ‘you Jamyra, do you have no humanity anymore?’ stunned the monster mutated from a human.

While looking around the village he destroyed with houses ablaze, he just kept standing motionless like he felt ashamed of and regretful for what he did.

 

Although Jamyra’s eyes have no pupils, the glowing eyes supposed to be emotionless looked so expressive alongside the movements of his mouth like mumbling something.

The closeup of his face in the scenes in which he tried to destroy the international conference venue like hell that represented the human race he hated looked so impressive.

I feel like I can’t stand watching him writhing in agony anymore while Ultraman was pouring Ultra Water Stream over him.

Even more than the story line, these scenes make me realize how much expressive these monsters were.

 

With all the factors coming together including the designing and sculpting of monsters, stories, acting performed by suit actors and soen (role to operate the mechanisms of costumes or miniatures including wire action), they got to make the kaijus look so prominent to the extent that they struck a chord with us.

According to Satoshi Furuya’s memoir ‘A Man Who Became Ultraman,’ Teruo Aragaki who played Jamyra told Furuya that he performed to express the emotions of the tragic monster wishing to turn back into a human.

Furuya also says in the book he can’t see this episode featuring Jamyra as he finds it too sad.

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Who Played Garamon?


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Eiji Tsuburaya speaking to Minoru Takahashi

Thinking of the abundant and subtle (probably I should add this word) expressiveness of the Ultra kaijus, the suit actors’ fervent performance should be another important factor to remember.

Garamon is also an unforgettable monster whose unique behavioral gestures as a robot monster were found absolutely impressive while these were performed by the actor Minoru Takahashi.

When you look at the body proportion of Garamon, you will be aware that the monster measures just about 3-heads tall.

 

And the photo shot on the set for ‘Garamon Strikes Back’ with the main cast members in it shows he is a very tiny monster in reality even compared with Hiroko Sakurai, allegedly 155 centimeters tall.

It’s said that applying the small size to the monster was a means to make him look relatively large in comparison with the Yumigatani Dam miniature that was to be destroyed by the meteorite monster.

Takahashi is said to have been 115 centimeters tall according to the  measurements figured out by Ryosaku Takayama before sculpting the costume.

It is said to have been Toru Matoba, SFX director, who came up with the idea of assigning Takahashi to the role of Garamon.

 

While Takahashi was a diligent actor who followed the director’s instructions without complaint and tried to elaborate his own performance to make it look better, the shooting with the costume on seems to have been so tough to the seemingly relatively old age actor who was short on physical strength.

That may be why he didn’t play Pigmon in Episode 8 and Episode 37 of Ultraman and Pigmon turned out to be acted by a child actor (the height of the costume was extended).

Nevertheless, Takahashi’s charming performance should have greatly helped Garamon remain to be a representative monster of Ultra Q.

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Narita Takayama Kaijus Filled With Love


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The color version of the image previously posted showing Takayama modeling Garamon

The abundant expressiveness of the monsters modeled by Ryosaku Takayama seems to be greatly attributable to the relatively high mobility of the costumes that enabled the actors inside to act quite easily.

It is well known that Takayama’s kaiju costumes were much lighter than the Toho monsters although they failed to win favor with Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla actor.

Nakajima says that he found kaiju costumes for TV shows too light lacking in a feeling of massiveness to be expected from monsters.

 

Alongside the appearances faithfully modeled after the designs drawn by Tohl Narita, they are said to have been made in consideration of the actors who perform inside.

Tetsuo Yamamura says that the costumes made by Takayama were distinctively flexible while the latex surfaces taken out of the mold were attached with another latex and rubber cement instead of adhesive which was normally used by the other modeling workshops leaving the costumes too stiff to act freely when it dried up.

According to him, the inside of each monster was covered with cotton fabric carefully sewed all over the inner side.

 

There seem to have been people, however, who showed disagreement to TV show kaiju costumes among those involved in modeling film monsters as it looked to them like the latter were being made very easily.

I hear Narita consoled Takayama saying that it should be all right as they were making costumes taking inside actors into account for their own good when they heard criticism about their monsters.

While I think I already wrote about most of the above on this blog before, I find Narita Takayama kaijus were full of love in every aspect.