ALIEN SHAPLAY: GIRADORUS (making #1)

Alien Shaplay primary design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: (about Alien Shaplay) “I had been thinking of the style of covering the upper half of the head with something like a helmet making the most of the actor’s face rather than a mask covering the whole head. But I gave it up as I thought (the tight schedule of) the Ultra Series would make it impossible to decide on an actor, to sculpt the mold and to make further adjustments to it.”

Although the Alien Shaplay design turned out to be the one Narita didn’t like so much running counter to what he originally had in mind, I find it very much attractive with its mechanical appearance seemingly combined with a creature like an insect.

Intermediate design by Tohl Narita; looks like a rectangular grid pattern was being thought of for the head with the fanged mouth
Final design drawn by Tohl Narita

While it is said the upper part of the mask was made from FRP and the lower part from latex, I am really drawn to the appearance like a creature merged with mechanical parts.

This design makes it look like Narita broke new ground for his design after he appears to have slightly got stuck with some preceding alien designs as if making Alien Shaplay herald some masterpiece characters he had worked out subsequently before he pulled out of the show.

Along with the dotted part of the head, I find its shape viewed from the side is fantastic.

Alien Shaplay head at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May

The clothes the alien wore were allegedly made by the dress making section of the Tsuburaya Productions. The curly-toed shoes remind me of those of the Type B Ultraman costume. I personally like to see aliens including Alien Bado wear such shoes while I don’t think of putting them on myself (I would apologize for my inconsistency if someone finds me wearing ones in the future).

Takashi Kitahara who played Alien Shaplay’s human form Sakaki says in a recent interview which appeared in a book that he got very much excited with the role of an alien as he had never played such a character in his career.

Alien Shaplay at the back of the Bisen studio

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