Category Archives: Kaiju Pictorial

ALIEN ZARAB; ALIEN ZARAB II (making)

Alien Zarab design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “I tried to make something that would make you unaware of the neck and shoulders.”

Narita’s remark tells us that how to hide the human body shape was an essential part of making kaiju characters to be played by actors with costumes.

The body of Alien Zarab is described to be the reuse of that of Giant Ragon with the fins removed.

Tetsuo Yamamura says in a book that the Zarab head was made from FRP coated with latex on the surface. He assumes the legs of the body might have been shortened as he found the alien was short although Umenosuke Izumi who played Giant Ragon was a tall man.

As I have already talked about it, Alien Zarab’s hollowed eyes show some characteristics typical to Narita while each eye has an eye hole in the center with radiation lines coming from the center outwardly (or the other way around).

The same type of eyes were applied to Ultraseven and Human that Narita designed while the radiation lines seem to have been left out for the mask of Human.

Alien Zarab at the back of the Bisen studio

The mouth movement of Alien Zarab is said to have been brought about by a balloon set inside. Although human-sized Zarab had ears that were found to rise from the head, he only had hollows for those parts when he turned into the giant version.

As Narita’s design of this alien has no raised ears, I guess the tokusatsu part featuring giant Zarab might have been filmed ahead of the drama part that featured human-sized Zarab while the raised ears were added to the costume perhaps because the head shape could look too plain when viewed from the front.

You can see that the head part was not attached and integrated to the body but was just fastened to the body part with bands or straps.

Alien Zarab II had no difference in appearance from the first Alien Zarab with his ears in the caved-in state. His silence opposite to the talkative first Zarab makes us aware Zarab II was being manipulated by Alien Mefilas or just an illusion created by Mefilas.

I think I will post another entry in the future on the making of Fake Ultraman that Alien Zarab changed into along with the making of Zoffy.

(About the cabbage and Alien Zarab, see this post)


OBJECT X KORORIN

Episode: “Kaiju Booska” #42 “Object X Kororin”

Object X: Kororin is a space object that came flying or just falling from space. As a behind-the-scenes story, the name should have come from a Japanese onomatopoeia denoting the movement of something round rolling.

Anyway, it came from space and sucked up all the water of a dam lake in Kinugawa, Tochigi Prefecture. While Chamegon guessed it should be the work of Kororin describing it as a space object, he warned it would be disastrous if it should be allowed to act freely.

Chamegon warning of Kororin

Kororin floats and moves in the air about the size of a ball sucking up water from a hot spring or a fall as it grows bigger. When it has grown to be large enough to suck in humans, Mechataro and Zorome were sucked into the object while calling for help.

Mechataro is a boy who always behaves like a rival of Daisaku and tries to get the better of him all the time, and Zorome is one of Mechataro’s buddies. Incidentally, the name Mechataro pronounced as /mechyataro/ should signify something like “messy boy” as he always messes things up and Zorome represents “matching dice.”

Both Daisaku and Mechataro were tying to outdo each other in making a class newspaper while both of them wanted to feature Kororin on their own class newspapers.

Kororin sucking up water from a hot spring

But Daisaku didn’t hesitate to save Mechataro who had been held captive by Kororin, and, while the space object tried to drive away the kids and Booska by spewing water from the tips of its tentacles, Kororin shrunk when hit by Chamegon’s ring beam fired from his tail.

And Kororin was brought into the sky by Booska, then the dangerous space object was tossed into the Sun with Booska’s telekinesis.

As the photo of Kororin taken by Booska with Mechataro and Zorome sucked in was featured in the class newspaper Booska and Chamegon made, both Daisaku and Mechataro realized they had finally been outdone by the two kaijus.

(I think this is the last one among the main Booska characters featured in the show.)


ALIEN CHAME

  • Episode: “Kaiju Booska” #41 “King Of The Universe”
  • Actor: Ren Yamamoto (Hyūdoro)

Alien Chame (pronounced as /chahmeh/) are aliens who came to Earth to take Chamegon back to Planet Chame so as to make him succeed to the throne as King of Planet Chame after the current king who is seriously ill while they admire Chamegon’s courage as a boy who came to Earth by himself from Planet Chame.

Although their remarks cannot help sounding somewhat abrupt, the amorphous object seen on the occasion of the birth of Chamegon might have been another form of the courageous alien boy while he ended up getting the body fused with a squirrel on Earth through the device Daisaku built to bring a Booska’s brother into being.

Ambassador Hyūdoro

Or it is also thinkable that the amorphous form represented by Chamegon is the original form commonly and usually taken by Alien Chame and that they appeared this time just in human forms using their shapeshift ability. At any rate, such descriptions were not referred to at all in the story.

As the aliens tried to  bring Chamegon back home forcibly against Chamegon’s will to stay on Earth with his buddies, Ambassador Hyūdoro from Planet Chame took Daisaku and his buddies hostage along with their teacher while they were camping (maybe on a school trip).

Hyūdoro attacking Booska’s navel (one of his weak points) with a beam fired from the beam lamp

But, when looking at Chamegon trying to protect them at the risk of his own life and his buddies trying not to allow the aliens to take Chamegon with them, Hyūdoro gave up their plan to make Chamegon succeed to the throne admiring their firm bond of friendship while impressed with their LOVE among other things despite the austere and unyielding attitude Hyūdoro had taken.

As Hyūdoro asked Chamegon to pay a short visit to Planet Chame to cheer the sick king, Chamegon accompanied the aliens on their spacecraft bound for Planet Chame.

Hyūdoro was played by Ren Yamamoto who acted Onita in “Ultraman” and the human form of Alien Icarus in “Ultraseven.”

Chamegon trying to protect his buddies at the risk of his life

KAPPA & THUNDER CHILD

Kappa with a lotus leaf as a parasol; a Kappa allegedly has a beak and webbed toes (he apparently wears swim fins)
  • Episode: Kaiju Booska #40 “The Great March Of Water”
  • Actor: Shinya Sato (Thunder Child)

While these characters who appeared in a Booska episode might not be worth being introduced, I would write about them at any rate.

People living in the town where Booska and Chamegon reside with Daisaku and his family were suffering from a severe water shortage caused by scorching sunlight, and it also troubled a kappa dwelling in a pond.

Thunder Child; he has a horn on top of his head along with drums that were believed to generate thunder

Kappas are imaginary creatures Japanese people are so familiar with as they often appear in Japanese folklore, and they are alleged to live in rivers, ponds or lakes while they are also featured in Ultraseven Episode 41 as, in the story setting, it was revealed they were actually aliens.

As Booska found a carp in a puddle of a dried-up pond, he took out buckets of saved water from Daisaku’s home to pour it over the puddle and offended Daisaku’s father and mother.

Feeling sorry for the carp, Booska tried to call rain clouds by his telekinesis, but, when his telekinesis dropped a Thunder Child instead of rain, he learnt from him there was no water even in the sky.

Daisaku and his buddies with the artificial rain generator he developed

In Japan, it had once  been believed thunders and lightnings were the work of Kaminarisama, deities of thunder and lightning, and they have been portrayed like a goblin called Oni with a horn/horns on his head and fangs sticking out wearing tiger-patterned shorts, so this Thunder Child should be a child of Kaminarisama.

Although Daisaku developed an artificial rain generator, it didn’t work, and Booska decided to bring water of a lake over to his town by telekinesis.

It went well and the carp managed to survive with his pond filled with rain water while the rainfall also made the Kappa so happy that it gave him an irresistible urge to dance (incidentally, this Kappa utters unknown words just like U-tom).

Thus, Kappa and Thunder Child only appeared for a short while, not playing any major roles in this episode. Sorry if this entry has betrayed your expectations!

Booska conveying the lake water to the town

MIMI

Episode: Kaiju Booska #38 “The Sea Is Calling”

Mimi is a giant bivalve like a scallop that had been put in protective custody by a friendless boy named Jiro (Tsuyoshi Iwami) and been sheltered in a cave by him while local people feared the cave as it was rumored a goblin would appear.

As Booska and his buddies happened to be at the beach to enjoy sea bathing, Jiro’s elder sister asked Booska to figure out what Jiro was doing in the cave while Jiro kept it secret from anyone that he was taking care of the giant shellfish by feeding it with fish he caught.

Jiro (boy with a swim mask) and the cave where he sheltered Mimi

Booska messed up as he let his buddies in on Mimi after he found Jiro and the giant shellfish in the cave, and fishermen who overheard Booska telling his buddies about Mimi decided to capture the giant bivalve alive as they thought it should have eaten fish in the water and caused a poor catch.

Jiro and Booska along with his buddies managed to free Mimi, incapable of swimming by itself,  by making it a sailboat with a mast while calling waves and generating a typhoon with Booska’s super abilities as his buddies joined forces with him.

And Mimi sailed away safely to the open sea although the shellfish was so friendly with Jiro that it showed reluctance to leave him.

After the case was solved, it was revealed that poor catches had been caused by a shark that appeared in the water, and Jiro who had been friendless became a bright boy after making friends with Booska and his buddies through this incident.

Jiro’s sister was played by Megumi Tama (1950-2013) who appeared in Ultra Q Episode 20 as she impressively acted Fumiko who handed Baby Ragon back to Mother Ragon.

Megumi Tama

ALIEN PUMPKIN (KABOCHA SEIJIN)

  • Episode: 35 “Let’s go to the Galaxy!”
  • Actor: Eiichi Matsushima
  • Voice: Kazuo Kumakura

Alien Pumpkin is an alien who plotted to make the Earth into pumpkin fields all over the planet, and he came to the Earth on July 7.

It is when the Star Festival (Tanabata) is annually and customarily celebrated in Japan while legend has it that Orihime (Weaving Princess representing Vega) and Kengyu/Hikoboshi (Cowman for Altair) are allowed to see each other only once a year as the two who had fallen in love turned out to be separated by the Milky Way in between.

Orihime manipulated by Alien Pumpkin firing beams at Daisaku and his friends

Of all things, Alien Pumpkin abducted Orihime and manipulated her to get rid of Booska and Chamegon with her super abilities as they were in the way for his plot (to turn the whole Earth into a pumpkin field!).

Manipulated by Alien Pumpkin, Orihime came to the Earth and changed Daisaku and his friends along with his parents into …pumpkins.

The pumpkin Daisaku turned into by being exposed to Orihime’s beam attack

By order of Alien Pumpkin, Orihime shapeshifted into Daisaku to trap Booska and Chamegon, and she turned Booska into a pumpkin too while Chamegon’s ring beam from his tail brought Booska back to normal.

After freeing Orihime from Alien Pumpkin’s control, Chamegon shapeshifted himself into Orihime to trap Alien Pumpkin, and they managed to knock him down in the end, then the alien was brought back to space by a rocket Chamegon had shapeshifted into.

Orihime got to see Kengyu

Thanks to Booska and Chamegon, Orihime and Kengyu got to see each other, and Orihime gave the two kaijus a miniature star that makes any hope come true explaining one single good thing you did turns into a star.

And the people made into pumpkins also returned to normal with the power of the miniature star.

The moment Booska prayed to the star wishing happiness for all the people living on the Earth, not only for themselves, the tiny star soared into the night sky and turned into a real star to watch over all the people on the globe.

Booska prays to the miniature star wishing happiness for all the people on the Earth

MEDIUM OF DONBURA ISLAND

Episode: 33 “Mysterious Donbura Island”; 34 “Bakedanuki On Donbura Isalnd” (Episode 33 and 34 are substantially a two-part episode)

Voice: Terue Nunami


Donbura Island was an island reigned by a female medium wearing a raccoon dog (tanuki) mask who ruled over the islanders by making raccoon dog masks latch onto their faces while the medium told them the masks could never be taken off unless the “soundless drum” that had been on the island for a long time should make a sound.

She tried to prevent Booska and his fellows from getting the treasure while she used a number of psychic techniques to bewilder the outsiders, and it was her who made the blood-sucking plant go at them.

Booska and his fellows searching Donbura Island by air

Booska and Chamegon became aware that the medium made the raccoon dog masks latch onto even kids while the kids were living in a hidden village behind Mount Ponpoko on Donbura Island (are  you following me?).

Thus Booska and Chamegon decided to challenge the medium to a fight to save the islanders although the medium turned out to be a tough enemy with a variety of psychic powers such as illusion, shadow cloning and shapeshift with which she turned into Booska to trick Chamegon even though he easily detected her.

Booska and Chamegon challenges the medium with the islanders’ kids wearing the raccoon dog masks in the back

In the end, defeated by Booska and Chamegon with Booska’s psychokinesis and Chamegon’s beam attack from his tail, the medium shapeshifted into a drum, her real identity, finally and Booska struck it so that the raccoon dog masks came off the islanders including the kids.

“Bakedanuki” included in the title means “ghost raccoon dog,” and ponpoko in Mount Ponpoko is an onamatopoeia for sounds like a drum a raccoon dog fictionally makes by tapping its belly when they appear in Japanese folktales.

There is an explanation online describing the medium’s real identity as a spirit or deity called Tsukumogami that Japanese people have traditonally believed possesses a long-used implement represented by a drum in this case.

I hope all my lengthy description will make sense as it is ambiguous even to myself!


BLOOD-SUCKING PLANT

Episode: 33 “Mysterious Donbura Island”


This is a blood-sucking plant that grows wild on the fictional Donbura Island. The name should come from donburako that is a Japanese onomatopoeia (it sounds a bit frumpy, though) used to express the state of something (often quite big, probably) flowing its way while floating on water.

Captain Donkey whom Booska and Chamegon happened to meet along with their friend kids was looking for the island where one of his ancestors discovered a heap of treasure 300 years ago.

At his request, Booska, Chamegon and their friends helped him to search the island that kept drifting in the ocean as it was composed of pumice, and they managed to get there.

Captain Donkey askes Booska and his fellows to search for Donbura Isaland with him

The treasure was sucked and swallowed by the blood-sucking plant 300 years ago, and people were changed into cacti with white powder its flower sprayed over them.

When the plant went at Booska, it wrung him with its vines and troubled him a lot showing its intimidating power, but Booska got to defeat it finally after fighting against the mysterious monster courageously.

It might be the first time that I have seen Booska battle with an enemy so seriously, which tells the blood-sucking plant was such a formidable creature.

Blood-sucking plant spewing white powder capable to make humans turn into cacti

When beaten by Booska, it vomited the treasure it had swallowed 300 years ago, which made Captain Donkey so happy, and the people changed into cacti returned to humans fortunately.

Even though it is described as a blood-sucking plant in the show, there were no scenes portraying the behavior as such like Juran and Suflan.

Along with this allegedly blood-sucking plant, another species was found on this island that coiled around Chamegon although it was beaten by him with his ring-like ray fired from his tail.

Mysterious vines wrapping around Chamegon

ELECTRIC BRAIN GOD

Voice: Kazuo Kumakura (the same sound effects as the SSSP control room can be heard)


This is an electric brain that appeared in “Kaiju Booska” Episode 32 “Wonderful Kaiju’s Day.”

The mayor of Hinode (sun rising) Town where Booska and Chamegon live with Daisaku relied on an electric brain for any decision he had to make even worshiping the machine while calling it “Electric Brain God.”

When seeing Daisaku’s father get a prize being awarded as a great father by the mayor on Father’s Day, Booska and Chamegon requested the mayor to establish Kaiju’s Day as well (in this case, kaiju signifies pleasant beast).

The electric brain and the mayor; the machine with its manipulaters is even capable to fire a heat ray somehow

While the mayor inquired with the electric brain, it made unreasonable demands such as to tell Booska and Chamegon to make smoke rise from Mt. Fuji or to make the Sun into the Moon, but Booska and Chamegon got through them successfully with the use of their super abilities and with support from Daisaku.

Booska and Chamegon even won higher reputation than the mayor when they were allowed to serve as “one-day mayor” while they tried to make children happy with their super abilities and devotedness although it was a measure the electric brain worked out to make the excellence of the real mayor distinctive.

Booska attacking the electric brain with his beam fired from his hands

When the real mayor (he is a good guy, though) swore at the electric brain for its failures, the machine started raging with anger moving by itself while giving out strips of paper that bound up the mayor.

Although the electric brain went at Booska and Chamegon, it was eventually destroyed by the team play performed by Booska and Chamegon along with Daisaku and his friends.

Ashamed of his behavior, the mayor swore in the end to devote himself to work trusting himself without relying on a machine’s judgement.

Chamegon also challenging the machine corageously with a hammer

White Wall Devil

White Wall Devil is a character that appeared in Booska Episode 25 “I Ate A Dream!.”

It is actually a set of white walls that appears in a fairy tale Daisaku was reading, and it tries to press to death Jimmy, the protagonist boy of the fairy tale,  who attempted to pass through the walls to reach the Fairyland that was supposed to be located beyond the walls.

The Dream Machine was developed by Daisaku to have Booska get rid of White Wall Devil in his dream

As it also showed up in a dream Daisaku had after reading the book, Daisaku came near to being pressed between the walls, and the devil said Daisaku would never get to the Fairyland instead of passing through the walls with courage.

The devil also told him that he would die in three days anyway unless he should challenge himself to get through the white walls.

Although Booska tried to get rid of the devil by getting into Daisaku’s dream through the Dream Machine that Daisaku invented, flying tortoises that appeared out of the walls drove Booska away as Booska hates tortoises.

Becoming aware that the flying tortoises are made of chocolate, Booska eats up every tortoise that comes flying at him

When he returned to Daisaku’s dream encouraging himself to save the boy, Booska realized the flying tortoises were made of chocolate, and the devil disappeared with a cry losing its body parts (walls) as the tortoises were being eaten by Booska.

Daisaku and Booska got to reach the Fairyland at last where they met Prince and Princess, and Daisaku found the prince was Jimmy.

Admiring Daisaku and Booska for their courage, Jimmy invited them for a meal as this episode ends with the scenes in which Daisaku and Booska are found happily asleep in their bedroom.

Prince and Princess in the Fairyland (they look a bit grumpy somehow)