As I wrote in my previous post Tomohiro Miyamoto who played Daisaku, Booska’s closest friend who brought the kaiju into being, appeared in an Ultraman episode, and I may have to explicitly explain a bit more about it.
Tābou says to his father he wears the space suit in preparation for being possibly hurled into space with the impact if, by chance, Comet Cyphon should crash into Earth, and it is fun to see him appear alongside of his father’s understandably antsy behavior funnily performed by Haruo Nakajima.
I have to admit I didn’t know his father was played by Nakajima for a long while until it started being talked about in publications in later years, and I am not sure if I knew it was Miyamoto who acted the space suit boy when I was a kid.
While Daisaku of “Booska” has a cute-looking girlfriend named Miiko (Mīko) as she was acted by Junko Nakahara, she also appeared in Episode 7 of “Ultraseven” as a daughter of the Mizushimas assaulted by the space prisoner 303 Alien Quraso.
It is a great shame that we can’t hear from Miyamoto and Nakahara anymore as they seem to have already left show business long ago maybe as children with little information about them even online.
While it is described online as Namegon was sculpted by Akira Sasaki, another sculptor involved in the primary Ultra Series known for his sculpting of the Ultraman and Ultraseven masks, Sasaki himself says in a book interview he doesn’t remember if he made Namegon at all.
Apparently Namegon is a prop instead of a costume worn by an actoer, and it is explained online that the device to move it came from the one used for the Mothra larva in the 1964 Toho movies “Mothra vs. Godzilla” and “Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster” as a miniature vehicle that drives on its own was inside the larva.
It is said that two props (large and small) were sculpted by Sasaki, and Namegon’s roars were from those of Baragon, another Toho kaiju.
It seems that a balloon was used for the scenes in which the egg inflated.
The eye of one of the props still exists and is shown at an exhibition (I actually saw it) as it was worked out to make the reflection of light even when it is lit up with the use of fiber glass.
As to the kaijus that were designed and sculpted before Tohl Narita and Ryosaku Takayama joined the production, there is so little to talk about unfortunately as much fewer behind the scenes stories are publicized because it is already an old story with fewer photos remaining and fewer people who know what was going on back then.
Nevertheless, I think Namegon is a kaiju that is attractive enough including its design and sculpture, as, especially, the characteristically wrinkled surface texture with a slimy look fully makes him look like a real creature, along with the episode story.
When he got back the Boo Crown, Booska rushed flying in the sky to the scene where Imora was approaching the intimidated kids.
After Daisaku passed on a bunch of dynamite to him, Booska soared into the sky to Imora and tossed the dynamite into Imora’s mouth so that the explosion brought the kaiju to death.
It is hilarious to see the scenes of Imora rising up to Heaven properly illustrated even with a halo apparently made of a circular fluorescent light bulb.
Along with the background music that can also be heard in the background of “Ultra Q” and “Ultraman” (the music for these three shows including “Booska” was composed by Kunio Miyauchi), the scenes in which Imora showed up and went on rampage with the petroleum storage tanks set ablaze with a huge explosion were so impressive as to make me feel like I am watching “Ultraman” in black and white even while even optical compositing is found to have been used.
As Tomohiro Miyamoto who played Daisaku also appeared in “Ultraman” Episode 25 “Strange Comet Cyphon,” the appearance of Imora remodeled from Banila in “Booska” is said to have realized the crossover between the two shows while it is seen as a thoughtful arrangement for kid viewers.
Given these facts, it really comes home to me that they produced their shows devotedly to make viewer kids happy in the midst of the unprecedented Kaiju Boom that arose in the wake of the Godzilla movies and the Ultra Series shows (Ultra Q and Ultraman at this stage).
In this Booska episode directed by Kazuho Mitsuta renowned for his direction of the Ultra Series episodes (especially of “Ultraseven”), Senkichi Omura well known for his eccentric-looking performance in the Ultra Series such as a man addicted to gold in “Ultraman” Episode 29 played the role of a burglar comically and showed his overwhelming presence even in the comedy tokusatsu show.
Imora (imo signifies potato in Japanese. It could be used as a slang meaning “bumpkin” while I am not sure if Imora came from it) is a kaiju (mysterious beast, not pleasant one in his case) that appeared in “Kaiju Booska” Episode 9 “Booska’s great adventure.”
Imora is the only Booska character designed by Tohl Narita and sculpted by Ryosaku Takayama while the costume is the combination of the body remodeled from Banila that appeared in “Ultraman” and the newly sculpted head.
Incidentally, Tetsuo Yamamura says Imora’s horns were attached to Reborn Dorako by Kunio Suzuki, suit actor who was also in charge of kaiju costume maintenance (probably out of fun).
The kaiju initially came in the form of an egg found by the kids led by Daisaku as it was enshrined in a hokora (miniature shrine) in the Jigokudani (Hell Valley that exists in real life in Hakone near Mt. Fuji).
After they tried to heat the egg and left it in a hot spring (Jigokudani is a volcanic area; the egg scenes in the hot spring are reminiscent of the Bostang egg), the monster was hatched from it on that night in the midst of thunder and lightning.
Imora has horns which light up while he has no particular weaponry, and he raged in a petroleum complex after derailing a locomotive.
Meanwhile Booska was in captivity with his Boo Crown that generates his superpower off under two burglars who stole boxes of dynamite after Booska who had mistaken them for delivery men, of all things, helped them load their truck with the dynamite boxes out of kindness.
The kids tried to defeat Imora with their balloon bombs (they look like balloons commonly available) but in vain with Imora coming closer to them!
Tohl Narita: “I made a horned owl’s face look mechanical.”
Windom is set to be a space monster with an appearance like a robot while his emergence in the first episode of “Ultraseven” might have successfully helped make the series look distinctive from “Ultraman” in which we didn’t see any robot monster appear in the preceding show unfortunately.
Although not much can be heard from Narita about the excellent design of Windom, I like the design very much and it is fun to find in it features similar to the design of Ultraseven such as the crest on top of the head and hollowed eyes with radiation lines from each center.
The mechanical-looking antennas sticking out of the eye centers and the lower parts of the head make the design of Windom fully attractive.
I remember Ryosaku Takayama said in his kaiju sculpting diary covered in a tokusatsu magazine Uchusen back then the complex design of the face gave him a hard time to sculpt it as I find it really cool and I think he did a great job in spite of the presumably limited time to form the design faithfully into the real-life head.
It is also attractive to see Windom’s mouth open with a roar like a monster with a biological look, and the roars are said to have come from those of Mechani-Kong that appeared in the 1967 Toho movie “King Kong Escapes.”
Whereas it seems that the original head of Windom doesn’t remain anymore regrettably, a replica head with precisely reproduced features can often be seen at an exhibition as I actually saw it while it is uncertain whether it is from the original mold (as it is described just as a replica).