As to the making of Chamegon, it is a shame that little is known about who designed and sculpted the character unfortunately.
While I have seen an article putting the designer as Tohl Narita on the Net, I don’t think it is what is officially publicized and commonly known although, come to think of it, the character could appear to have some Narita features in his face depending on the way you look at it. It remains unknown anyhow.
Regarding the sculpture, I assume the costume should have been made along with the Booska costumes by the same sculptors (Shimada Workshop and Ex Production), it has not been talked about so far either.
Although there are few people who point it out, Chamegon also has different types of costumes, and, as far as I know, it seems that they can be roughly classified into two types. If I put them as Type A and B following the customary practice, the Type A costume is thought of as a standard suit of Chamegon illustrating his naughty and mischievous character with eyes slanting upwards at a sharp angle.
The Type B costume looks milder with eyes more rounded, which gives me a more friendly impression. It might have been for making him more popular among kids. The two types of costumes appeared randomly seemingly till the end of the series even though there might have been another type I have not noticed.
I personally prefer the Type A costume as I find it is very Chamegon who behaves naughtily most of the time. At any rate, it is regrettable to find little is referred to about the making of Chamegon compared to Booska, and it makes me feel strange that the different types of the Chamegon costumes have not been pointed out among fans despite its significance (I hope you will agree).
While it is uncertain who designed Booska, it seems to be alleged that Tatsuo Fukada in charge of art of the show “Kaiju Booska” designed the character with many people who were involved in the production referring to him as the designer of Booska.
The first costume of Booska is said to have been sculpted by Tamotsu Sato while it was recently disclosed that he sculpted the costume of the first Alien Baltan when he was with Shimada Kobo (Shimada Workshop) that was located in the Toho filming studio as they worked for the art of Toho movies.
Sato says he made the first Booska costume after he had sculpted the Alien Baltan suit at the workshop.
According to him, Booska’s eyes were made from acrylic plates and the crown was made of FRP cast out of the mold he sculpted (he says the crown easily broke).
The second and subsequent Booska costumes were made by Ex (from “expert”) Production that was involved in kaiju sculpting mainly for “Ultraman” along with renowned Ryosaku Takayama.
It had been known that two different types of the costume were acknowledged among fans while they were called Type A and B just like the masks of the original Ultraman. The type A Booska costume was made by Sato and Type B by Ex Production.
Furthermore, it is known now that the costume had the other type called Type C while it should also have been made by Ex Production. The difference between the Type A and Type B is obvious as the former’s head looks like a round triangle while the latter looks more round-shaped.
In addition, the Type A costume has a longer body with shorter legs and his lips are more conspicuous. It seems that the Type A head gradually flattened as thinner wires were used to support the head from within.
The Type C Booska’s head came back to a triangular shape with a broader white part under the mouth. That being said, it is realized that there were many different Booska costumes including the ones for stage shows as they appeared in Episode 37 “Startling Nainai Temple” of “Booska” as the shadow cloning technique Booska used.
While we are at the topic of “Kaiju Booska,” I would like to talk about another associated matter between “Ultraman” and “Booska,” both of which were produced and aired around the same time.
As I just talked about the making of Pigmon in my recent post, Reborn Pigmon who returned to life as an unvaryingly friendly monster was set to speak words although it was a kaiju language.
In the episode, as you know, an expert of the dolphin language study tried to figure out what Pigmon was talking about, and he managed to interpret the monster’s words in the end.
While Pigmon’s babbling, yelling, shouting and screaming was so impressive as the friendly kaiju was trying hard to convey his warning to people about upcoming attack by the kaijus (Telesdon and Dorako) Geronimon had brought back to life.
In this episode, Pigmon was voiced by Nekohachi Edoya (the third: 1921-2001) who gained popularity as a performer known for his excellent vocal mimicry of animals’ voices.
And, moreover, Edoya regularly played Daidaku’s funny and humorous father in “Kaiju Booska.”
Kazuho Mitsuta, director, who was also involved in “Kaiju Booska” along with the original Ultra Series recalls Edoya was nice enough to happily accept their request to voice Pigmon as he was already acting Daisaku’s father even though he was a big name performer then while his name was not included in the opening credits of Reborn Pigmon’s episode.
The voice that can be heard through the kaiju language interpreting device was played by Kiyoshi Komiyama (1937-present), and you can also hear komiyama voice a boy in “Ultra Q” Episode 1 and Episode 15.
One day cakes suddenly disappeared at a confectionery store in town where Booska and his fellows live.
At the suggestion of an adult they are friendly with, Daisaku and his friends guessed the sweets should have gone to the “Candy Land.”
Booska said he knew where they could take a train bound for the Candy Land, and they boarded the train found at an amusement park (It was a real-life locomotive ride in the park) to get back the stolen sweets.
After that they wandered into mysterious, misty woods while Mīko said it should be woods no one could get out of there once they got in.
Seven magicians consisting of boys and girls appeared in the woods and troubled the kids with their magic which changed the kids into animals and trapped Daisaku in a crystal ball by shrinking him.
Booska and six of the magicians went into an air battle, and, crashing into Booska in midair, they fell down to the ground.
And it was revealed that they had stolen the sweets to feed (unspecified) children who didn’t get to eat them.
Then all of them including children invited and Booska and his friends along with the seven magicians enjoyed eating the sweets until full.
As Daisaku and his friends awoke at the amusement park where they had ridden on the train, they found the seven magicians were the incarnation of the Big Dipper.
I find it moving that the seven magicians stole the sweets to feed other children not for themselves.
Among the seven magicians, a cute little girl can be found while the kid actress, Michiko Kondo, also appeared in “Ultraman” as a “boy” who found (Reborn) Pigmon in a toy department.
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.
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!
Just like Booska, Chamegon also has various super abilities inherently.
First of all, it is one of Chamegon’s greatest features that he can change himself into anything by eating a walnut and turning around although it had hardly any effect on Booska who has a keen sense of smell which enabled him easily find out Chamegon whatever he has changed into.
While he has no flying ability, Chamegon runs at a high speed (100 meters in 5 seconds) and also has an extraordinary jumping ability.
He has an antenna on top of his head with a sphere shaped like a bell at the tip that works as a radar while he hates it being touched, and he can fire electricity attack from his tail.
As he originates from the mixture of a space creature and a squirrel, Chamegon is capable to act in space without any space suit.
As Booska dislikes tortoises, Chamegon hates frogs.
Booska and his younger brother Chamegon have been the two greatest kaijus (pleasant beasts) for those in my generation while a long time has passed since they first appeared in front of us when we were kids as their cute-looking gestures and behaviors continue to fascinate me even now along with the comical but heartwarming story of each episode.
Designer: undescribed Sculptor: undescribed Actor: Tesuo Yamamura; Teruo Aragaki (depending on the episode) Voice: Junko Hori (actress)
Chamegon is another kaiju ( : pleasant beast) who regularly appeared in “Kaiju Booska” after he showed up for the first time in Episode 26 “The Birth Of Chamegon” of the show.
He was brought into being as Booska’s younger brother through an apparatus invented by Daisaku, who also gave birth to Booska, and called the “Object Transmission Formation Device (or something like that in English)” while Booska dreamed of having a younger brother (it sounds familiar to me, too!).
Chamegon originated as a space monster from atoms of an amorphous-looking space creature that accidentally came into the device through which a squirrel put inside was supposed to turn into another kaiju so that the space creature and squirrel merged into Chamegon.
While the Japanese informal word “chame /chahmeh/” (usually used as “ochame /ochahmeh/”) means “amusingly mischievous,” Chamegon often causes a fuss among people as he likes to play pranks.
Although he initially had a stubborn, selfish streak with too much pride and a slight lack of common sense which sometimes made him behave arrogantly as it often gave Booska a hard time to deal with him, he is another gentle, friendly kaiju at heart, and that made it more likely that he helped people out of trouble in cooperation with Booska for the later episodes.
Alongside of his keen sense of smell and hearing, Booska is also capable to use psychokinesis, and he can reduce his size, too. In addition, he has many more funny features which make him look truly adorable.
He is such a big eater with a big appetite as to eat up even 30 helpings of ramen noodles he is very much fond of at a time with ease, and he hates tortoises so much that they drive him crazy the moment he looks at one.
The Boo Crown he wears supplies him with energy from Booskanium, a substance allegedly generated inside the crown to enable him to use his super abilities (he is found to wear the crown from the very beginning somehow while it apparently looks artificial).
If the crown is warmed, it brings his intelligence to the same level as academics, and, if it is cooled, it works the other way around. If the crown comes off, it critically weakens him leaving any of his super abilities unusable while it is often found to put him in trouble throughout the episodes.
When he gets angry, the crown lets out smoke the instant he finishes saying “puri puri no kiririnko! ka! ka! ka!” with a particular gesture to express anger.
He has a strong sense of justice and takes the initiative to save people when they are in trouble wishing for everyone’s happiness.
He can stretch out his pig-like tail to reach out for and fetch things. Furthermore, the tail is capable to detect a lie if the person who holds it is trying to deceive him like a lie detector (from Episode 15; the crown sparkles when a lie is detected).